The holidays are over, decorations are no longer up and we are moving on with 2017. With Valentines Day as the next holiday it is safe to say you won't have to over indulge like you did on Christmas. Although chocolates are the best V-Day gift. In my opinion, the next big eating event is the Super Bowl. Because, really thats what all holidays are anyway, just big events where you can pig out with family and friends. I love the Super Bowl for the food and drinks. Not so much the football, mainly because I don't really know what's going on. Oh and the half time show! The best part.
But when it comes to your Sunday afternoon hang out, you want to enjoy yourself without having to completely ruin a weeks worth of hard work. We eat healthy, work out, drink water, do all the necessary things to stay in good spirits and don't want to break it for one night. Yes, it is fine to have a cheat meal but you don't want it turning into a cheat day. So how do you stay on the good side? Simple!
When attending a Super Bowl party everyone usually brings a couple things to the game. So you have two great ways to stay on track and not fumble into your Monday hungover and feeling fat.
1. If you are asked to bring something, pick up alcohol that you know you'll drink. Most games have beer, so pick up a light beer if that's your thing or liquor to mix with a seltzer or soda water.
2. When it comes to bringing food, you don't want to be that person that brings something no one likes. But you also don't want to be the person who brings something that tastes good but gives everyone heartburn after. Take the usual appetizers and make healthier versions. (Check out my healthy recipes tab)
My favorites are:
3. Eat foods that you know aren't bad for you. While there will always be options for mozzarella sticks and fried goodies, look for the veggies and dips, or even some protein like a couple of chicken wings (if they're not drenched in bbq sauce)
4. Eat before you go! Have a meal before you leave for your game so you aren't starving and drooling over foods you might want but won't eat. Eat a meal packed with protein and vegetables to keep you full.
Enjoy the game!
Counting calories isn't my thing. I don't read the back of nutrition labels to see how many calories I'm ingesting. Why, you may ask? Well if I have to read the label of the food I am eating, chances are it isn't good for me. My "diet" or eating lifestyle is simple. If it at one time was living, then I can eat it aka plants like vegetables, fruits, fish, and poultry. (I do not consider dairy as living, although the milk comes from animals). As I explain to many of my clients, if I am eating a bag of goldfish, while it may say its 100 calories for the snack pack, I don't concern myself so much with that number. I know in packaged goods there will be carbs, sodium, sugar, artificial flavors and colors that make up whatever it is I am eating. I am not one to deprive my body of what it craves, although I will always try to make it a healthier decision.
Tracking your calories is a diet fad that has been around for a long time. While some people may swear by it, others think the opposite. Many people believe that if they stick to a certain amount of calories a day then that is how they will lose weight. True and false. If you figure out that to lose 5 pounds before your up coming vacation you have to eat 1500 calories a day along with exercising then you will hit your goal. If you are eating any 1500 calories that goal won't come as fast, or at all. You have to take into consideration that while some fruit could be high in calories it is more beneficial to eat a bowl of fruit then a bowl of cereal. But that is where some people go wrong. We tend to get caught up in the labels. If they box says 140 calories for 1 serving and it still fits within our daily goal then I'm golden. Wrong. While overeating will cause weight gain, making sure your body is being nourished with the nutrients it needs is what you need to be focusing on.
But don't lose sight on keeping track. I don't diminish keeping track of what you are eating. I find that keeping a diary of some kind helps to keep you on your game, and holds you accountable. There are plenty of apps now that track your macros, calories, nutrients and so much more to help you hit your goals. I find that My Fitness Pal helps me because I get daily reminders to log my foods. I then am able to go back, even weeks or months back to see what my eating habits were.
My advice: Hold yourself accountable, go easy on yourself and enjoy your journey to a healthier lifestyle one day at a time.
It's a love hate relationship I must say. I remember when I first heard of paleo, a friend of mine was changing her lifestyle to this diet. I thought how insane and difficult it must be. I didn't really understand what she was allowed to eat. It sounded like she'd be drinking a whole lot of water and eating nothing but air. After doing my own amount of research, it is clearly not just the essentials to keep you living. Everyone is welcomed to form their own opinions but here's mine after trying it out.
If you are looking to lose weight, it is a great diet to jump start weight loss. Now, I am not a fan of cutting out an entire food group for any reason. I truly believe everything in moderation. (Yes even taco bell every now and then) With that being said, this diet completely cuts out certain food groups. You are refrained from eating starches, sugars, legumes, starchy vegetables, and dairy. It sounds difficult, right? It completely is if you're like me where you love your cheese. I say this is a good diet for jump starting weight loss, because for the most part you are cutting out all the negative food groups like sugars and dairy products. I do however, believe that starches like quinoa or brown rice should be a part of your everyday meals especially if you are an active person. I also believe beans are a healthy fat and can be acquired in small amounts like avocados.
So what is the diet? It consists of any type of protein, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Thats it. It sounds pretty simple. If it at one time was living, you can eat it. If it comes out of a package or you can't pronounce the ingredients on the back, don't. For the most part, that is how everyone should be eating. With that being said, paleo goes a bit more extreme. In my research it shows that when it comes to protein, you can pretty much eat any animal based proteins from lean fish to turkey, to bacon and sausage. Most would argue that the amount of cholesterol and fat in bacon and sausage is probably something you shouldn't consume especially if trying to lose weight.
* Something I learned: Peanuts are not a part of the nuts group that you can eat.*
Did you know that in most weight loss programs, coaches will recommend that their clients switch to almond butter instead of peanut butter and eliminate peanuts substituting it for almonds, cashews and other nuts. While peanuts do come from the ground, they are high in fat and can contribute to skin irritations like acne, eczema and rosacea.
My advice on paleo diet:
I don't think that anyone should be on a diet. The word itself tricks us into thinking that it is temporary and that after a certain stint of time it will be over and you can go back to normal living. Most people do, do this and this is why they see limited results or none at all. I find that deciding and dedicating yourself to make a lifestyle change is obviously the way to go and how to see the biggest difference in your body. The paleo diet is similar to most fad diets where you are cutting out a certain food group to lose the weight. I find that the moment you re-introduce those groups back into your diet that your weight comes back tenfold. My advice would be, if you are looking to lose weight eliminate the bad groups. Stop eating white bread, white rice, any bleached grains and switch to whole grain products. Eliminate cakes, cookies, chips, or anything that comes in a package where you cannot define the ingredients. Lastly, take out beverages like sports drinks, juices, sodas and alcohol.
Successful people seem to have it all. You envy them for their money, their car, their clothing and so on. But successful people didn't wake up one morning with the maserati out front. Success happens over time (unless it was passed down from elder generations). But let's say, for this purpose we are talking about people who have built their own successes. Achieving a goal, making a certain income, even having the relationship you want are all things you must work for. As I've read many times, it seems to be the small daily habits that add up to the big picture.
When it comes to health and fitness, the same rule applies. There is a reason why meal prepping and daily workouts are a "thing". If you only had to do it one day a week for it work, everyone would. It is in your small daily habits of deciding to go a little longer in your workout, or to pick the fish and vegetables dish over the burger. I researched some of the habits claimed to help become more successful, to better understand. Here are a few;
1. Get up an hour earlier - Research has shown early risers are more optomistic and conscientious. Also getting up an hour earlier allows you to get that workout in before work, or enjoy your cup of tea before the kids are up. Every bit counts.
2. Eat Breakfast - Fuel your body for your day. Don't just sip on a protein shake, enjoy a wholesome breakfast to have more energy for your day. Even if it means waking up an hour early to do so (1.)
3. Pack snacks - Smart snacking. Your body needs fuel to keep going. Pack smart snacks to keep in your car or on the go to keep your mind sharp and prevent your blood sugar from dropping.
4. Go to bed early - Getting the proper amount of sleep is vital for mental health and weight control. If you are lacking sleep, the next day you will probably be lacking focus. When lacking focus you're off your game, and can lead to bad eating habits.
1. Step outside your comfort zone - Stepping outside your comfort zone allows new things to happen. If you are constantly doing what is comfortable, most things won't change.
2. Focus on the big picture - It is easy to to be doing and forget to be building and creating. Always keep yourself in mind. You are the big picture and are building this success for yourself, so don't lose sight.
3. Never stop learning - Once formal education is completed, most people stop learning. Allow yourself time weekly to research what you are interested in, or something you know nothing about and would like to know more. If you are not growing, you are dying.
1. Letting go of your past - Learn the lessons of you past so they don't restrict you from future opportunities. Your past can be toxic and holding on to problems can hold you back from positively moving forward.
2. Complete your tasks - It doesn't matter how big, or how small. Complete your tasks. It is satisfying to cross it off your list, you are getting done what is necessary and gives you more time to focus on other things if your tasks are done.
The often struggle is trying to get enough meals in, making them healthy decisions and fresh ingredients. For working mothers, or just working individuals in general cooking and preparing your own meals can be hard to come by with time restraints. We live in a world where being busy is glorified and being healthy is the new "in" thing. But being busy and healthy doesn't have to be impossible. It doesn't have to be one or the other, it can very much be both.
Companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, to name a couple are popping up all over. Whether they are in corporate companies or Mom and Pop shops in your town, meal services have never been easier. With companies like this you pay for a certain amount of meals a week, how many people it can feed and fresh ingredients get delievered to your doorstep. What could be better then that? Your box of fresh ingredients come with instructions and already measured out spices, sauces and garnishes. All you have to do is put it together and serve. While I'm all about the easier route, sometimes its best to take the road less traveled by. It's great to have food delievered to your doorstep but of course it comes with a price. So here are my pros and cons;
-No food shopping
-Delievered right to your house
-Directions are given, so no thought out process on what to cook
-Feeds 2-4 people so enough for your whole family or a few meals for yourself through the week
-Teaches you how to cook
-More expensive then shopping for your own ingredients
-May not feed enough people (for large groups/families)
-Can be time consuming
-Not knowing specifically where ingredients come from
-Reciepes although are fresh ingredients may be high in fat, sodium or calories
-Not as much recommended if watching weight or eating specific for dietary needs