The Veggie Secret

Hey there good lookin!

Today’s weight loss tip is one that I love and that I live by! It’s a portion control tip that’s sure to not disappoint. You’ll leave the table satisfied, satiated and full. You’ll feel great and have a rush of lasting energy that will help get you through your day. What is the mystical tip that can possibly do all this?

It’s simple. Fill 1/2 your plate with low carb veggies (sorry potatoes). Steamed, raw, sautéed, baked, stir fried, marinated, grilled…you name it, you can have it.

Veggies are oh-so-amazing for a variety of reasons. They:

1. Are chalk full of fiber (helps us feel full so we don’t overeat)

2. Are loaded with vitamins and minerals and other nutrients which our bodies can’t live without.

3. Are low in calories and fat (we can eat lots of them and not feel guilty)

4. Reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.

5. Increase our energy

6. Help us have healthy skin and hair

Talk about nutrition powerhouses! These little beauties are packed full of these and about a million other healthy benefits.

So, really, there’s just no excuse not to eat your veggies!

What are some of your favorite ways to eat your veggies?

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Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – The Big “O” #1

Ok peeps, let’s get real. This is a major issue that’s important to talk about.

You may realize that this post in on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. I was so excited to post yesterday, but the topic I chose was WAY too big for one post. So, I decided to give you bite-sized nuggets in a three part series vs one ginormous post.

Part 1: Fruits and Veggies

I’m sure that somewhere along the line, you’ve heard the term “organic”. But, what does that really mean? And is it even that important? Is it simply a marketing ploy? Is it worth spending the extra money? Does it help you lose weight? Let’s find out.

Definition: Organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms [GMOs], or ionizing radiation…[It] is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. -1

There’s a branch of the government called the USDA (I’m sure you’ve heard of them) and they have a National Organic Program (NOP). They send out certified inspectors to ensure the farmers meet the national requirements of the organic label. Processed goods also undergo a rigorous process to ensure quality.

Do you hear that? This is awesome news! I LOVE that there are strict, rigorous guidelines in place that make sure that the food we’re eating is actually clean and good for us.

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It’s the conventional (aka non-organic) stuff that bothers me. You know, the stuff filled with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, chemicals, etc. Well, what’s the big deal? How harmful can this stuff be?

The answer is simple, it’s a HUGE deal! These things are all toxins. That means they are poisonous (like, as-in-poison!) and VERY harmful to humans.

The United States uses 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides per year, but only .01 percent of that actually reaches it’s intended target – the bugs. The rest winds up polluting our food, air and water.

Pesticide exposure can lead to skin, eye and lung irritation, brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, blood and nerve disorders, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, Autism, hormone disruption, reproduction effects and even birth defects. -2

Some fruits and veggies have a ridiculous amount of pesticides sprayed on them. For example, hot peppers top the charts with a whopping 97 different pesticides sprayed on them to keep the bugs away. Apparently, some bugs really do like it hot! Cucumbers are high on the list at 68 and leafy greens are a close third at 66. -3

Think you or your child are allergic to a certain fruit or vegetable? Does your mouth get itchy and tingly? You could actually have an allergy to the pesticides on that apple vs the apple itself.

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Washing your fruits and veggies doesn’t work all the time. Even after a good washing, pesticides were still there on 63% of samples (according to the Environmental Working Group or EWG for short).

There are some fruits and veggies that have more exposure than others. The EWG tests samples of produce each year to determine their rating. The fruits and veggies on the Dirty Dozen Plus list include produce that you should try your hardest to get organic no matter what. They have above average pesticide exposure. The produce on the Clean Fifteen List include fruits and veggies that you can get away with. Get them organic if you can, but if it isn’t available, you can still get conventional and be ok.

Dirty Dozen (Plus):

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Nectarines – Imported
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry Tomatoes
  11. Snap Peas – Imported
  12. Potatoes
  13. Hot Peppers
  14. Kale/ Collard Greens

Clean Fifteen:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet Peas – Frozen
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet Potatoes

There’s no way I would be able to memorize all these, especially since they change every year. Thankfully, the EWG came out with a free app called “Dirty Dozen”. So, next time you’re in the grocery store and can’t remember, don’t despair! There’s an app for that.

If you can, always opt for organic. Keep in mind that this list doesn’t take GMOs into consideration. If it’s conventional it may have GMOs present. Eating organic eliminates this risk all together.

Plus, because organic foods are more pure, they taste better. When things taste good, you want to eat them. When you want to eat healthy foods because they taste good, you’ll lose weight, feel amazing and love your life!  How is this a bad plan?

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Let’s talk cost. Organic food is a little more pricey. But, look at it this way. Pay your organic farmer now, or pay your doctor later.

Every time you buy something, you’re voting with your dollars. You are either supporting pesticides or helping the organic movement.

But don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. Find this stuff out for yourself. It makes it so much easier to eat clean (which helps you drop those unwanted pounds) when you truly understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!

Sources:

1- organic.org

2-The Problem With Pesticide

3-Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide in Produce

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – Anti-inflammatories!

Are y’all staying warm? I know some places have had the first blanket of snow grace their presence and others have significantly dropped in temperature. In my neck of the woods it’s super-duper windy! I feel like a little piggy hiding inside my house while the big bad wolf tries to blow my house down! It’s insane! Winter has arrived folks!

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This weight loss tip is excellent for weight loss (duh) and it will help keep you warm. I thought it was fitting for this time of year. I know I need a little extra help staying warm!

Let’s talk about inflammation for a sec. It is a necessary function that our body performs to keep us going. Inflammation creates a healing response – to help fight infection (think of how your skin swells up after a mosquito bite or after a paper cut). The problem that most of us face is that our body is too inflamed and our immune system is a little overwhelmed because of stress, environmental factors, diet and poor lifestyle choices. The bells are constantly going off and alerting your immune system that there’s a problem. This can lead to a variety of illnesses including obesity, cardiovascular issues and possibly even cancer!

Clearly we need to be proactive in our response to inflammation. We can do this by limiting inflammatory foods (like sugar, processed foods, and saturated fat), limiting our stress and eating more anti-inflammatory foods.

These include: omega 3s (found in wild salmon, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, etc), whole grains (like brown rice, amaranth, oats, quinoa), fruits and vegetables (beets, dark leafy greens, broccoli, turmeric) – basically eat the rainbow and you’ll be well on your way.

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Now, this is the cool part. Remember last week we talked about eating seasonally? There are different fruits and veggies in season at different times and there’s a purpose for this. There are some anti-inflammatories that will warm you up when you eat them. These are things we mostly eat in the winter. Like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg…remind you of something? This combo always brings up memories of happy holidays for me.

To stay warm this season and fight inflammation (double bonus) stock up on root veggies, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and garlic.

You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging without a new delicious, warming, smoky, sweet recipe did you?!

I have basically been obsessed with these babies…just thinking about them is making me drool!

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Smokey Sweet Potato Fries with a Killer Sauce

1 medium sweet potato
1 tsp chipotle olive oil*
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

Killer Sauce:
2 Tbs veganaise
6 drops chipotle tobasco sauce
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

– Slice the sweet potato into fry size pieces. Put in a bowl
– Add the oil. Toss to evenly coat all the fries.
– Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.
– Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes. Flip the fries. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown and delicious.
– Mix all the sauce ingredients together and dig in!

*If you don’t have chipotle olive oil, don’t fret…regular olive oil can be substituted.

Enjoy!

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Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – The Distractor Factor

Hey there beautiful! Thanks for dropping by 🙂

One of the most crucial parts of weight loss is what I like to call the distractor factor. Have you heard of this before?

Cravings generally only last for 3 minutes (although they can last up to 10). This is great news! This gives us the power to understand that they won’t be there forever and that we can overcome them!

This means that reducing cravings is simple…we need to distract ourselves. We need to get out of our heads so the thought of the temptation doesn’t consume our minds.

Next time you get a craving, try drinking a glass of water, going for a walk, calling a friend, going for a drive, reading a book, watching a fascinating show, listening to your favorite tune, dancing to it, going to the gym…basically, anything to get your mind busy with something other than food.

So, next time you get a hankering for junk, consider which distractor factor you’ll choose.

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Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – Smile!

Have you tried and tried to lose weight and just can’t seem to drop any of those extra pesky pounds? Your attitude may have something to do with it!

That’s right! Having a positive attitude is CRITICAL when it comes to weight loss!

Most of the time when we look in the mirror and decide it’s time to lose a few pounds, we are filled with negative thoughts and emotions. “I have to go on a diet.” “I’m fat.” “I’m disgusting.” “I hate the way I look.” and the thoughts go on and on and on. Sound familiar?

We automatically assume that the joy will be sucked out of our lives if we choose to change. We feel like we’ll be deprived of what we want and it feels like it’s an uphill battle. Well, stop right there sweetheart! This couldn’t be further from the truth! Turn that frown upside down and stop that bad, negative attitude in it’s tracks!

Focus on the why. Why do you want to lose weight? What is the main reason behind this goal?

Is it so that you’ll have more energy to run around with your kids? Is it to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight so that you can feel lighter and fit into your favorite outfits? Is it to have more confidence so that you can accomplish your dreams? Is it to get rid of your aches and pains? Is it so that you’ll live to see your grand babies?

Establishing this nitty gritty reason is imperative. Sure, wanting to lose weight just to lose weight is ok, but you’ll be more likely to accomplish your goals when you have a solid reason behind what’s fueling your fire.

Positive thoughts can increase your motivation and your energy levels. They are empowering. They raise you up. Negative thoughts are self deprecating and really drag you down. These thoughts can lead to shame and guilt – this doesn’t make anyone feel good! Getting down on yourself and beating yourself up isn’t our goal. We need to love ourselves up. We need to tell ourselves positive things while looking at ourselves in the mirror. Our bodies are amazing things, no matter how big or small they are!

When we love ourselves, we believe that we deserve the best. We stop trying to sabotage our success, we stop eating chemically laden foods that we know are bad for us, we stop beating ourselves up. We are able to triumph, we are able to raise up and do good, we are able to think more clearly, we have more energy, we’re able to sleep better and handle stressful situations more gracefully.

Pay attention to what you think. Your actions are inspired by your thoughts. Focus on what you think. The average person has between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. That equals around 35-48 thoughts per minute! When you notice a negative thought creep in, change it to a positive one.

For example: Let’s say you have the thought, “I am fat” pop into that brain of yours. What can you change it to? Try, “I am strong.” “I am fun.” “I am lovable.” Anything positive and uplifting.

Before you know it, you’ll be a glass half full kind of person!

Now, to announce our contest winner! Congratulations to Sarah Longhurst! She submitted this gorgeous photo!

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Thanks to everyone who participated! There were so many lovely pictures, it was difficult to choose one winner. So, we’ll do another giveaway contest soon. Stay tuned!

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – Eat the Rainbow

Hola peeps! It’s finally fall! Can you feel it in the air where you are? Here in the Northwest the leaves are changing, there’s a bit of a chill in the air and Halloween can be seen everywhere. Spooky stores are open, they’re playing Hocus Pocus on tv and there are pumpkins everywhere!

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Do ya’ll know what you’ll be for Halloween? I have no clue what I should be! Last year I was a scary skeleton, this year…who knows?! What are some of your favorite fall/Halloween traditions?

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I’ve been a bit MIA, so I’ll tell you what’s been going on in my neck of the woods. Last week we went somewhere I never thought I’d ever be. We went to an Elton John concert. Can you believe that? It wasn’t too bad 😉 He sang some favorites such as Candle in the Wind, Tiny Dancer, and my all time favorite…Benny and the Jets. After this, a nasty cold crept up on me. I am just now starting to get over it…2 weeks later.

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This was my 4th concert…I’ve also seen Lady Gaga (she kinda freaked me out), Josh Groban (he was hilarious and soooo good, totally not what I was expecting), James Taylor/Carol King (I’m pretty sure we were the youngest people in the crowd) and now I can add Elton John to my list.

Today’s weight loss tip is to eat the rainbow! This is one of my favorite tips, because it’s fun and pretty. Did you know that the colors of fruits and veggies actually have meaning? They tell us which vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals (disease fighters only found in plants) are in the foods we eat.

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Red: tomatoes, red onions, radishes, red cabbage, beets, red peppers, rhubarb, apples, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, pomegranates, cherries, grapefruit and red grapes

These are good sources of lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene helps prevent cancer and heart disease while anthocyanins boost your brain power and prevent urinary tract infections.

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Orange/Yellow: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, peaches, oranges, apricots, mangoes, cantaloupe, nectarines, orange/yellow tomatoes, orange/yellow peppers, corn, pineapple and lemons

These are notorious for being excellent sources of beta carotene which prevents the risk of heart disease, and cancer. It also helps with your eyesight in dim light, increases your immune system making it possible for your body to fight against any illnesses, infections and even a pesky cold or flu. This group of colors also contains bioflavonoids. These work together with Vitamin C to keep our bodies healthy so our wounds are able to heal, prevent cancer, strengthen our bones, lower the risk of heart attacks and keep our skin healthy and glowing.

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Green: avocado, broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, green peppers, green onions, leeks, peas, green beans, zucchini, cucumber, celery, lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, swiss/rainbow chard, watercress, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, green apples, green grapes, kiwi fruit and honeydew melon

This is one of my favorite colors to have on my plate! Eating dark leafy greens every day will give you tons of energy! These babies are loaded with lutein which helps you have healthy eye balls. This phytonutrient helps protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. They are also packed with indoles which fight against breast, colon and prostate cancer.

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Blue/Purple: eggplant, purple cabbage, blackberries, blueberries, figs, plums, raisins and purple grapes

These contain phenolics which help prevent cancer, heart disease, lower blood pressure and may prevent age-related memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s. These are also high in anthocyanins (see red)

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White: garlic, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, shallots, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, bananas, white nectarines, white peaches, white raspberries

I know, it’s not exactly a color in the rainbow, but it’s still important. Think of them as the white fluffy clouds next to the rainbow. These guys have flavonols called quercetin. This helps lower your risk of heart disease and helps block histamines which means they could help with allergies. Plus, these help reduce inflammation. They also contain an antioxidant called allicin. This has been linked to reduced blood pressure and may even act as a natural antibiotic. IMG_1871

If you don’t remember all this, that’s ok! Just remember that having a colorful plate will help you lose weight! 

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All of these fruits and veggies contain nutrients that kick disease out of your body, boost your metabolism, make you feel full and satisfied and help trim down your waist line. The best part is, it’s simple as ever to do. And it’s fun to make your food beautiful and colorful!

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Try to have every color on your plate at every meal.

Now for the Contest Announcement! It’s fun to take pics of your beautiful food! Be proud and show it off. Take  pictures and tag me in them (via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter). The winner will receive a Breakthrough Session with mwuah (regular value: $150) which includes a strategy for how to lose weight, a plan to accomplish your health goals, some amazing recipes and so much more! I will announce the winner next Tuesday (10/14/14). I’m so excited about this!

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – Work Those Chompers

It’s that time again! Our favorite day of the week! Weight Loss Tip Tuesday!!

Remember last Weight Loss Tip Tuesday? It was all about beans…anywho, I mentioned I would talk more about how important it is to chew your food. Well, today’s the day my friends.

Have you ever shared a meal with someone who scarfs their food down like it’s the first and last meal they’ll ever have? They inhale it so quickly and it feels like there’s been a whirlwind or a tornado in the room.

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My sister-in-law, Brandi took this epic shot. These were clouds right above her house before a tornado blew through town!

I used to love to see how quickly I could consume my food. Not anymore kimosabe, not anymore. Now I am frequently the last one to finish my food. I attempt to eat consciously and be present in the moment. It is so much more fun to eat now! I can actually look and feel and taste my food .

Ideally, you should shoot for between 30 and 50 chews per bite. Let me tell you, at first, it may feel weird and you may even hate it. But keep it up! I promise, the benefits definitely outweigh the weirdness. It’ll change your life.

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Did you know that digestion actually starts in your mouth? Ya, go figure! As you chew your food, digestive enzymes that are present in your saliva begin breaking it down prepping your body to absorb all the wonderful nutrients.

Chewing this way helps with portion control, which is a huge issue in America especially. Have you ever gone to a restaurant, ordered an entrée and had a dish that could literally feed a family of 4 presented to you? I know I have! Portion sizes are so skewed! It’s hard to actually know how much you should be eating. Chewing your food allows you to listen to your body. It may take some practice, but if you listen, it will tell you when it’s full.  

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Chewing also helps your beautiful pearly whites. Teeth need a workout too! Chewing helps to keep them strong. Bonus: the saliva produced when you chew also helps with plaque buildup and tooth decay.

If you chew your food, your body doesn’t have to work as hard so you’ll encounter less gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, cramping along with other digestive problems.

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Now that you’re not rapidly chowing down on your food, you have more time in between bites to notice things you never have. If you can, surround yourself with instrumental music or silence. Try to be mindful, look at your food, really look at it. Think about everything that went into bringing this food to your plate and into your tummy. Notice the smell. I know your mom probably told you to never play with your food but touch it, take note of how it feels. Now put it in your mouth and notice the movement of your tongue. Pay attention to the taste – describe to yourself what you’re tasting. Is it sour? Sweet? Juicy? Notice the texture. Swallow. Now, pause for a moment and take a breath. You did it! Now repeat! 

This can actually be a meditative experience. It took me a while, but now I don’t have to count every bite. Eventually you’ll be able to do this without having to put a lot of thought into it as well. It takes practice, but don’t stop! Keep it up!

 

Now, for the recipe that will blow your socks off…it’s a kick butt hummus recipe! Check it out!

 

 

What are your thoughts on chewing? Have you ever given it thought?

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/31/chewing-foods.aspx