Snacky Things

How often do you snack?

It’s a serious question. Most of us snack more than we like to admit really, but in a culture where food is abundant, snacks are in full demand.

If you’re looking to shed some body fat or tighten up your muscle tone, snacking can be detrimental to your goals. Well, let me re-phrase: WHAT you snack on could be detrimental to your goals.

apple

So, what are we supposed to eat? Celery sticks in between every meal? No. I am a realist when it comes to snacking. Here are a few tried and true snacks for anybody with any kind of schedule.

  • An apple with 2 TBSP natural peanut butter
  • Cucumber, baby carrots, and celery with 1/4 cup hummus
  • Medium iced latte made with low-fat milk
  • Peppermint Patty Shakeology (I’m OBSESSED with this recipe right now! 1 scoop chocolate shako, 8 oz almond milk, tiny splash of peppermint extract, ice to taste)
  • P90X protein bars (use sparingly, but they are GREAT to keep in your purse/bag)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with a handful of berries
  • 1 banana and a handful of almonds or walnuts
  • small serving (inner line of your palm) no-salt-added trail mix
  • cup of green tea and 1/2 whole grain sandwich or wrap
  • Quest bar

Keep in mind that real food should always be the focus, but whipping up a shake or putting together a snack isn’t always an option in the car :)

Make sure your portions stay small and your body keeps moving and you’ll be there in NO time!

Peace, love, snacks and lunges!

Michelle

Fad Diets, Detox, Elimination Diets and Your Skin

Good Monday Morning!

Today, I’m tackling a LOT of questions all at once, so buckle up and grab some water….

Your skin. You literally live your life in it. It is your greatest accessory as well as your first line of defense against disease and parasites. It also takes the most beating and can be the cause of many sighs and begrudging thoughts. Your skin may be clear as crystal, though that is highly unlikely. Since we live in an imperfect world, our skin tends to take the brunt of the abuse. Pimples, wrinkles, blotches, moles, skin tags, loose skin, stretch marks, varicose veins, cellulite….these all have a common bond with the skin. How we live will inevitably reflect on the skin we wear, and many times wear-down, daily. Aside from our daily environment, there are a few other factors that contribute to skin health or breakdown. Stress (actually our response to stress), fad diets, exercise, detox and elimination diets all play a vital role in the health of your nearest companion. Let’s take a look at a few of them in a little more detail:

FAD DIETS:

You know where I stand on these, but let’s review. If it seems too good to be true, it is. All meat diets get you nowhere (except in the high blood pressure and a possible heart attack catagorie…but at least you’ll die skinny? Not worth it.) and eliminating ANY macronutrient (don’t confuse this with elimination diets, which we’ll get to) sets the metabolism up for failure. Extemely low-calorie diets also strip the body of weight yes, but they also take lean muscle tissue. This means that as you age, and lose muscle which is normal, your metabolism slows down even more. Think about this…..is it getting harder and harder to lose weight? Yeah, it’s not in your head, it’s in your dead metabolism.

Programs such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and even Medifast have left clients with no idea of how to actually eat. If it doesn’t come pre-packaged and pre-portioned, we feel clueless. HELLO! It’s food, it’s your body and it’s your job to nourish your body with said food. Eating brownies fortified with vitamins for breakfast is NOT nourishing your body!!!!! It’s a vat of crazy that you’ve been sucked into because the marketing geniuses know how to phrase things to grab your attention. When I tell people to get off of these programs, here is the MOST common phrase I get:

“But, it worked for me the last time I did it.”

Um, yeah, let’s discuss this. Did you lose weight? Yes, about 20 pounds. Good for you. Did it stay off? No, it came back with a few more pounds.

People….it DID NOT WORK! What works is creating a lifestyle that you can work with, not being told you can have a brownie and lose weight simply because it’s on your meal plan! I’ve lost 104 pounds and haven’t found it again in 5 years…..I know a couple of things and these fad diets don’t work. It’s not you failing at the diet, it’s tha diet failing you! Put the book down, chunk the unrealistic meal plan and start thinking in terms of actual nutrition. Real food = real results.

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DETOX:

This is a great buzz word right now. It’s cool to detox now. It’s an easy way to forgo non-meal-plan-related foods because you’re cool and¬†detoxing darling. I don’t believe in hardcore detox diets (see above). I do believe that many of our diets can eliminate some harmful nutrients to reset the body and work far more efficiently (see below). Detoxing in and of itself can make many people sick, especially if they are prone to ulcers and migraines. I am a far bigger fan of elimination diets and steer clear of crazy detox plans. I advise you to do the same…

Elimination Diets:

This phrase became really big when Gwyneth Paltrow said she was doing Dr. Junger’s Elimination Diet a couple of years ago. First, I think Gwyneth is gorgeous and a great advocate for a healthy lifestyle. Second, I have the greatest respect for Dr. Junger and his research and willingness to continually learn. An elimination diet can sound harsh, but in reality it is quite easy and very beneficial to your health. This diet (Dr. Junger’s is by far the easiest and cheapest!) works with the basic research in human anatomy in relation to the digestive system and beyond. In other words, it works with our own natural biology instead of against it ( like crazy fads and detox diets). It’s a way to reset our internal organs to function more optimally and it also increases our immune response, therefore making us healthier all over. It’s also a guided way to get the junk food out of your system. Elimination diets usually rid the pantry (and your system) of sugar, gluten, caffeine (ok, I still drink coffee on it, shhh), and dairy, all of which have been shown to have detrimental effects on the body. If you’re sitting there going “But what do I eat?!?!?!” then your diet is admittedly crap and you need to eliminate stuff. Tough to hear, but you needed it.

Elimination diets consist of lean proteins, from plants and animals, as well as LOADS of vegetables and grains (sans the gluten). Why are these diets superior to fad diets? Well, nutritionists have used them for centuries to diagnose food allergies and intolerance. Also, our Western world has access to so MUCH food, even when it’s not in season, that we have developed food intolerance over the years that were not always there. We’re also becoming pretty proficient at making new diseases such as metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance….go us, we’re such entrepreneurs in our own health! I kid because I care. Elimination diets should focus on getting plenty of water, which most of us don’t, and plenty of vegetables (ahem, we don’t). Most elimination diets work in phases for about 21 days. Then you can re-add foods into your diet to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions. Most people will be able to eat gluten and dairy again while assimilating food at a much higher rate. This means that you actually USE the food you eat, which turns you into a fat burning machine ALL THE TIME. Some will find that they function much better without certain things such as gluten or dairy. It really is an individual response.

Personally, I function better without gluten, sugar or dairy (especially cheese, BUT I LOVE IT!). I can have these things in moderation in my diet without complications. What are some complications of a food intolerance?

  • Constant fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation
  • Headaches
  • Forgetfulness
  • Constant confusion
  • Sleepiness after eating
  • Restless sleep at night
  • Insomnia
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • GI disorders such as constipation or diarrhea

I know, I totally just diagnosed you right? Chill out! Honestly, most of us have fallen prey to a poor diet simply because it seems convenient. Contact a nutritionist about setting up your plan to get the most out of it. Sometimes you may be able to find an intolerance, other times your pipes just need cleaning and everything will return to normal within a few weeks. More energy, less fatigue and far less pain are all in the cards for you. By the way…there happens to be a nutritionist on this very site that can help you with all that…

So, what have we learned here today? Fad diets have to go! Honor your body and what it does for you with nutrition. Consider setting yourself up for an elimination diet (BTW: your whole fam can do it and benefit!) and reset your energy in a just a few weeks. Remember that you are special and identical diets don’t work for everyone. Oh and….drink your water and eat your veggies!!!!

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

 

A Day in the Life: Walk through my meal plan and see my favorite shake

So, nutrition seems to be the BIGGEST struggle for everybody. You don’t have to be all crazy with it people, just make smart choices :)

Here’s a look at my daily meal plan as of right now. It’s pretty basic, cheap and full of FOOD!

Meal #1:

8 ounces water mixed with 1 scoop chocolate Shakeology.

Workout

Meal #2 (Breakfast with the kids!):

2 fresh yard eggs

1/2 cup cantaloupe

2 cups veggies (usually this is pepper, cucumber and tomato)

1 slice homemade bread (no yeast) with coconut oil and strawberry spread, fruit only

Meal #3:

1 serving 2% Greek yogurt, drizzle of honey

Meal #4:

2 cups cabbage

5 ounces salmon

2 tbsp mustard

2 cups raw veggies

Small slice of homemade bread if needed (depending on my schedule)

Meal #5:

1 apple

1 serving PB2 (powdered peanut butter)

small plate of raw veggies

Meal #6:

This is my absolute FAVORITE of the moment!!!!!!

It gives me energy and gets me through clients and training, plus I go to bed comfortable, never hungry.

4 ounces no sugar almond milk

4-6 ounces water

handful of spinach

1 cup frozen cantaloupe melon

1 scoop Tropical Strawberry Shakeology

1 Scoop Greens

Sprig of fresh mint

Blend in blender for a refreshing smoothie that totally ROCKS!!!!!!

Well, as you can see I like to eat and I do so a LOT! Fresh vegetables are portable and filling, so you can take those wherever you go. I have 6 meals per day due to the fact that my day starts at 4 a.m. and ends just after 9 usually. If you don’t wake up as early, you can get by with 5 small meals. My largest meal is meal #2 and I taper carbs (like bread, pasta, etc) in the afternoon. THIS is the plan that helps keep my midsection toned, my skin tight and clear, and my energy high.

I’ll see you soon!

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