Posts Tagged With: Healthy Eating

Whole Food Lifestyle

This year I completed 4 rounds of Whole30. I know it’s supposed to be a 30 day program, yet the results were so great I decided to keep going. I lost roughly 7 pounds a round. I am down several sizes. I feel better. All the digestion issues I had went away.

I noticed a different relationship to food. I learned that I was not as hungry eating whole foods. I noticed that I did not really miss those sugary drinks and bread. I did crave pizza and tacos, let’s be honest.

Since I finished a round yesterday, I tried tacos. I did not enjoy them as much as my dairy free and flour free tacos. I tried another dish off the plan and my stomach was not a fan.

So the plan forward is modified Whole30. I will add hummus, maybe some quinoa. My meal plan will be mostly Whole30. I have not found a plan that works better.

I barely exercised during this program and lost fat. I was concerned about muscle loss, yet that did not happen!

How do we make eating whole foods a lifestyle?

Easy, we choose to. It is a myth we need all the dairy, processed foods, bread or grains. If you are vegetarian or vegan, the Whole30 rules of no beans or grains would be a challenge, yet they have a program guideline for those who do not eat meat. Whole9 for Vegetarians/Vegans.

Are you trying to be a whole food foodie for life? Here are some options for substitutions (note: Whole30 restricts peanuts):

I had many swaps during the program.

  • Mixed nut butter instead of peanut butter
  • Lettuce wraps instead of bread
  • Apples instead other carbs
  • RX bars and Larabars for meal substitutes
  • Sparkling water instead of soft drinks
  • Unsweetened tea instead of sweet tea
  • Olive oil instead of butter
  • Plantain chips instead of potato chips
  • Frozen fruit instead of dessert
  • Guacamole instead of cheese on burgers
  • Avocados instead of cheese on salads
  • Almonds instead of peanuts

Mostly I love the way eating whole foods impacts my body. I feel better. Life is too short to be bloated and not feeling great. Good fuel means the body runs better. We want to feed our bodies good things!

Wishing you the best on your wellness journey. Take care of yourself!

Xoxo

Erin Lamb

Photo sources: Pinterest, myfitnesspal

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Eating Healthy Away from Home

 

Hey gorgeous fitness friends, 

I hope you are drinking tons of water and eating healthy. Last time I talked about cooking your own meals. Today I want to talk about eating well away from home. 

I have not had time to cook and prep meals. Yesterday was an 11 hour work day. So, today I ate the following… 

Stopped by Panera and picked up their  oatmeal, red quinoa, with almonds and cinnamon. Yummmm!!!

 

I’m staying  away from bread which meant breakfast sammies are out. This dish was yummy and filling. 

Tips:

Look for whole food choices when dining out. 

Look for fresh items if you can find them. 

That moves me to lunch.  I’m a fan of Subway’s chopped salads. I opt for spinach as the base and ask for double chicken, extra protein. They have so many options. 

  

So, instead of those burgers and fries…how about a chopped salad?

It is possible to eat healthy on the go. 

If you have the time, the best meals are the ones prepared in your kitchen. You can determine the sugar, salt, fat intake! If you’re on the go, you can still make wise choices. 💪👍

Here’s to your health! 🙌

Love, 

Erin 

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Get back on that wagon

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Hello fitness friends. As the holiday season comes to a close, I’m sure there are at least a few of you thinking, “I ate too much and gained too much this season!” Well, this post is for you!

I admit it’s challenging to not indulge in the cookies, pies, or carb loaded sides. It’s all fun and games until that muffin top becomes a pound cake or those delicious pies bring you thunder thighs!

If you ate poorly this season, know life’s a journey…not a destination. I hate “dieting.” It’s like a swear word. I do like healthy eating. I feel better and look better.

Step 1. Stop beating yourself up! Yep! Make a decision to change today. Examine what went wrong and move forward.

Ex. People kept giving me cookies and treats this season. At first I felt obligated to eat them. Then I started giving them away. Eat one, share the rest. Even now, I’m giving treats away or throwing them in the garbage. Sugar and white bread will add weight quickly. Recall stable blood sugar leads to fat loss.

2. Get moving! Sitting on our bums leads to weight gain. If we eat more than we burn, we gain. It’s a simple mass balance. And if you can, do some resistance training. Muscle burns more calories than fat.

3. Throw out the junk food! If it’s tempting you or you’re binge eating, get it out of the house.

4. Join an online group or find an accountability person. If someone is monitoring you, you’re less likely to stay in a rut. Start your own Biggest Loser contest with friends, coworkers, or family.

5. Trade high glycemic foods for low glycemic foods. You’ll see your percentage of fat drop quickly.

6. Water! Green Tea! Drink them. Stay hydrated and green tea is great for fat loss.

7. Fiber y’all! Get some. Fiber makes you feel fuller. So you’re less likely to overeat. I take glucommanan. I also eat beans, sub kale and spinach for lettuce, and eat fiber cereal. If you’re concerned about stomach upset, test out natural sources of fiber instead of supplements at first. Talk to your doctor before taking any.

8. Prep meals at home. Less sodium, fat, and sugar is in the food you make at home vs. what you get at a restaurant. You can monitor it too! Many restaurant veggies are overlooked and loaded with oil or butter and salt.

9. Take it one day at a time! It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. What can you do for life, not just to drop 10-15 pounds?

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10. Encourage yourself! You can do this!!! I am cheering for you.

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Fast Food Nation

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Hello mi amigos (my friends). I have not forgotten about you! I wanted to talk today about fast food. We live in a fast food nation! Everywhere you turn there is a restaurant offering you burgers, fries, deep fried golden delights! Since the rise in obesity, type II diabetes, and other food related illnesses, many places have added healthier options. BUT, you have to be careful. Yes careful. It’s required now that places provide their nutritional information to you. If you look at only the calories, you can still eat food not healthy for you.

Examples:

Taco bell has a new Cantina menu which is supposed to be healthier for you.

If you look at the calorie information, the burritos still have over 500 calories and loads of sodium (1100 mg and up)! Which is half of your daily allowance (what we should have). You are better off with one of their fresco menu items.

I told you a few posts back about my coworker who drinks his calories. The frappacino he drinks has 660 calories and almost 40 grams of sugar. We can get into trouble with fast food places if we think because an item is on a healthier menu it’s healthy. Too much sodium will not only cause you to retain water, but can lead to many other health problems. I read an article about how excess sodium helps your body produce the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol tells your body to store fat on your abdomen. Here’s how much sodium we should be having every day.

Sodium Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

The current recommendation is to consume less than 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. This is about 1 teaspoon of table salt per day. It includes ALL salt and sodium consumed, including sodium used in cooking and at the table.

We are consuming far more sodium, fat, and unhealthy carbs than we should when we opt for fast food. Even the healthier items are loaded with sodium. I track my calories, fat, sodium, fiber, and sugar intake. Fat, sugar, and salt are the best friends of fast food.

My recommendations:

Limit fast food to only a few meals a week (if that) and eat at home or what you make as much as possible. The Sugar Detox I completed last year eliminated fast food. I lost fat, and felt 100 times better. We were not made to consume so much salt, sugar, preservatives, and fat. Oh and visit the nutrition site. You’ll be surprised what you find. There are some good options, it’s good to know which ones are not.

Fast food nutrition sites:

Panera: http://www.panerabread.com/menu/

McDonalds: http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/food_quality/nutrition_choices.html

Wendys: http://www.wendys.com/en-us/nutrition-info/

Taco Bell: http://www.tacobell.com/nutrition/

Chipotle: http://www.chipotlefan.com/index.php?id=nutrition_calculator

Starbucks: http://www.starbucks.com/menu/nutrition

Kentucky Fried Chicken: http://www.kfc.com/nutrition/

Subway: http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&p=subway+nutrition+facts (Has the healthiest options)

Be careful with salads at restaurants as well. Some options once you add dressing are worse than fries (the fat content and calorie content).

Keep up the good work with your fitness and wellness journey! Cheering for you.

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Cheat Meal

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Hello friends. I have not forgotten about you. Tonight’s post is about a cheat meal. Yes I said it, a cheat meal.  If you are indeed making lifestyle changes and cutting out all of not so good food, you are probably missing some of your favorite treats. Maybe you have found substitutes, but most likely you are missing a favorite treat. I take one meal a week or every two weeks to have something I like, something that is a splurge.

I really love Trader Joes Peanut Butter and Jelly candy bars. Yep, they are amazing. I can’t eat them every day, nor should I. I have introduced one cheat meal a week or every other week.

Here’s what a cheat meal can do…

1. Keep you from feeling deprived. Diets normally don’t work long term because people feel like the restrictions are too much. No sugar, no salt, no carbs, no fat….whatever the diet may be, it restricts something.

2. Keep you from binge eating. Along with the restrictions when people finally reach their goal weight they tend to binge eat! All the cake, ice cream, fried food they have eliminated come back in full force. If you know once a week or every two weeks you can have a treat, you are less likely to binge eat the rest of the week. Moderation is better than starvation.

3. Shock your metabolism. Our bodies are smart. They they to figure out the best way to not lose weight. We are not wired to be stick thin, but to have some weight just in case a famine comes. So, when you eat the same things all the time, your body adjusts and does not burn as much as it used to. You can also shock your system by varying calories throughout the day. If you always eat a big breakfast and lean lunch, switch them up.

What a cheat meal is not….

1. A license to binge eat! The goal is moderation not gluttony! If you know that buying ice cream will lead you to eat it all, try buying single servings. Skinny Cow has single serving cups. They are 150 calories a piece. If you know you’ll eat an entire pizza, order an individual serving size pizza. If you know you’ll want to eat the entire Chinese Buffet….order a single serving.

Lastly, the goal of the cheat meal is to make sure the changes you are making can be sustained for life. I don’t know many people who can give up desserts for life (unless they have to), or avoid all high calorie food. We get invited out, invited to others homes for dinner, invited to birthday parties, events, and places where there are limited choices. So, here’s a way to keep from feeling completely deprived!

Keep up the good work! You can do this….

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Hunger Pains

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Hi friends! Sorry for the neglect. Work has been super busy lately! I haven’t had time to write. I have not forgotten about you. Tonight, I wanted to talk about something I have been dealing with-hunger pains. Often we think we are hungry and we are not hungry at all.

Things to ask when you feel the stomach screaming for food:

1. Are you hydrated? Many mistake thirst for hunger. Before popping any food in your mouth, go grab a glass of water. If after drinking 8 ounces of water there is still hunger, eat something healthy.

2. Are you sleeping well? The hormones that regulate hunger and feeling full (grenhlin and leptin) are disrupted if we are not sleeping well. So, our bodies scream, “Feed me,” and “I am not satisfied!” Lack of sleep leads to overeating.

3. Are you stressed? Food makes us feel good. Especially those sugary, salty, fatty foods. Many times we are not hungry, we are stressed out and our bodies are crying out for comfort. Take a walk instead, workout, journal, call a friend and not Ben and Jerry. 😉

4. Are you bored? Boredom can lead to all kinds of trouble. It’s not good to be overworked or busy all the time. It is also not good to sit and eat and eat. Food is fuel, and as we know every gas tank has a limit. Put in too much, and it spills out. Eat too much, gain weight. I like the phrase, “Eat to live, not live to eat.”

5. Are you eating in front of the TV or media? Studies have shown that people who eat in front of the TV or at the movies consume far more than those who eat at the dinner table or other places. I watched this study where they gave people in the movie theater stale popcorn and they ate all of it. When they exited the movie, they gave them samples and the people spit it out. Because they were so engrossed in the movie, they didn’t register how much they ate or what they were eating. If we can, don’t eat in front of the TV, etc…

6. Are there vitamins in your food? I will say it again and again. The quality of food we eat is important. Trans fats, sugary, salty, processed, and most fast food do not contain the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. So, since the body views food for fuel, it says, “Feed me more.” The nutrients are not there so the body keeps craving real food. Also, the foods I mentioned make the body want more sugary, fatty, highly processed food. The body is never satisfied. Taking multivitamins and eating poorly does not solve the problem either. The best way is to eat whole foods.

7. Are you getting enough fiber? Fiber is a great asset. It helps to regulate blood sugar, cleanse the body, and help us feel full. If there is no fiber in our diets, we are probably HUNGRY! Many diet programs work because they encourage the consumption of fiber.

8. Are you hormonal? Emotional? This isn’t just for the ladies. Many times when something is not going well for us, we turn to food. For some it’s sweets, others it’s alcohol, for some it’s pizza and wings…whatever the choice it’s due to wanting comfort. As for the hormones, many women have tremendous cravings based on hormone shifting. You may not be able to stop the cravings, but you can choose better options-fruits, veggies, lean protein, and choose to workout instead of pig out.

So, my friends, those hunger pains may not be due to the bodies need for food. I have had to stop myself in the busy last few weeks and ask, “Am I hungry or stressed? Is there a better option than what I have chosen? Maybe I am dehydrated not hungry.”

I hope you keep on the wellness journey! It’s a lifestyle change; one I am excited to take with you. You can do it! I believe in you! Have an awesome week. I hope you feed your body real food and make time to work it out! Cheers,~Erin.

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Read the Label

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Hello friends. I hope you are doing well and continuing on your journey to wellness. Today I wanted to talk to you about something that gets us in trouble, food labels. No one wants to count calories every day. However, it is wise to take a peak at what we are eating. Many of us don’t even know what serving sizes are or what we are eating. All products sold in stores require a nutrition label. Most restaurants have their nutritional information online. Set aside the calories and think back to some previous posts. Sugar and salt (sodium) get us into loads of trouble. The excess sugar causes our blood sugar to spike and drop-leading to fat storage, and excess sodium causes water retention. Some foods say fat free and they are loaded with sugar and sodium. It’s also beneficial to see if the food we are eating has any vitamins or fiber. Both are beneficial for our health.

I decided to talk about nutrition labels because this past week I had to stop by a local fast food chain for food. I picked something from their “Fit menu.” What I ordered seemed healthy from an ingredient perspective. However, a few days later I decided to check the chains website for nutritional information. OMG-oodness! The one item had 760 calories, 27 grams of fat, & 1,960 grams of sodium. The sodium alone was more than I normally eat in a day. I try to have 5 meals a day with calories of each meal equally~300-400 calories.  The moral of the story is that it’s important if you’re monitoring calories, sugar, salt, or fat to read labels.

Oh, and one item we fail to think about the calories are beverages. I had a friend who loves frappucinos. So, we decided to look up his favorite beverage on line. His drink of choice had over 600 calories for a small with, are you ready for this, ~60 grams of sugar. In one drink he was consuming the same calories as two of my meals and 3 times more sugar than I allow for in a day.

Let’s talk a bit about serving size. We don’t always know what one serving is. Here is a chart to help.

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Most of the meals we eat are several portions instead of one. I truly believe this is why other countries who eat smaller portions but richer foods are thinner than Americans. The USA is the land of “Super Size Me.”

Our portion sizes matter and so does the information pertaining to what we are eating. I hope this post helps you make wise choices with food. Stay Healthy!

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