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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I’m Baaaaaacccckkkkkkk!!!

I’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus since my last post. Things have been just a little cray cray and we’ve had more than a few life changes goin on. But I’m here and I’m super excited to be back! (I’ll write a post in the about me section to give you a look at what’s been happening in my world later).

Let’s dive right back into it shall we?

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday (oh how I have missed you!)

Cook more. Yup, you heard me. Get in that kitchen and cook! It’s as simple as that!

When you do the cooking, you have way more control over what goes in your food. A gallon of oil on my veggies? Umm…no thanks! I’ll just steam them with water. A  truck load of salt on my food? I’ll stick with a pinch instead.

You can decide if you want organic, hormone free, low salt, no oil, gluten free and/or unprocessed food. Plus, you get to decide how you want to cook it! Some restaurants use microwaves for a lot of their food. This is a big no no! If I’m going out and spending the money to pay ppl to make my food, they better make it! Not just nuke it!

And here’s a bonus, cooking is fun! I used to think that I had to follow a recipe EXACTLY as it was written. I wouldn’t deviate at all. Like never.

Now I realize how boring that is! I look at recipes all the time and tweak them like crazy. Before you know it, they’re unrecognizable from the original recipe. And no one dies. The world doesn’t stop turning and most of the time I end up loving my creative revisions.

So, get in that kitchen and cook!

You didn’t think I’d tell you to cook and then leave you hanging did you? Here’s a simple, delicious recipe for ya:

Pears with Balsamic

1 pear – thinly sliced

1/2-1 tsp balsamic vinegar (any kind)

-Arrange the pears on a plate and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over them. Enjoy at room temp or put in the fridge to make them cold.

Feel free to add things to this recipe. Maybe add some fresh basil chopped and sprinkled on top, or a pinch of red pepper flakes to spice things up. Like honestly, anything goes!

Let your inner creativity out to play, you just may like what you find!

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P.S. Here’s a selfie just for you! It has been a while after all 😉

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 – 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 – On Wednesday

Hola peeps!

I hope your long Labor Day weekend was as wonderful as mine! The hubs and I went up to Seattle to spend time with family. It was a blast! We went to a Mariner’s baseball game on Friday. 

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We lost, but there was an incredible firework show that was synchronized to music afterwords. They made the stadium shake and they painted the sky with gorgeous colors. 

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This weekend I discovered Cotton Candy Grapes. Have you ever heard of/tried these beauties?! They really do taste like cotton candy! It was insane! Seriously, these may be the best things since sliced bread. 

photo 5Saturday I slept in. By the time I woke up, everyone was off doing their own thing. So I ate breakfast with the best dog around. Stockboy kept me company the entire time. He’s so sweet!

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To repay the cutie, Jon and I took him for a walk and played at the park. 

We continued exploring and found a bunch of snails and slugs. Seriously? They’re huge. And slimy. And gross. But look at this shell! Nature is so cool. 

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We also found the rabbit’s hole that leads to Wonderland…in case anyone was interested.

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Sunday is always a day of church, relaxing, family and a big dinner. This is from Alaska. It’s called an Ulu. Apparently, it’s a type of knife that they’ve used in Alaska for hundreds of years. Clearly, I had to try it out.

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It was so much fun! Here’s some of the beauties I chopped up for our salad.

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We ended the night by the fire pit in the backyard.

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It was a fabulous weekend with lots of fun, adventure and family. Love it!

Ok, now for the weight loss tip of the day! Plan your meals.

I cannot stress how important this is. It’s so easy to eat junk food when you’re starving your brains out. I know I’ve had times where I’m so hungry, I go into my kitchen and eat anything and everything I can find. If I have any junk food in my home, you better believe that’s the first thing I shove in my face. Have you ever had that happen to you? Talk about annoying.

How do you avoid this? Plan ahead. I have found that most of my clients and I do best when we plan out a weeks worth of meals. I like to go shopping and get all my groceries in one day. This way I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to eat. When I have a plan, I look forward to eating that week. 

I just cook for my husband and I at the moment. So, I usually plan out breakfast, a couple different options for lunch and 3-4 dinners. This way, we are able to eat leftovers and not let anything go to waste.

I always make sure that my meals are balanced to include protein, good fats and carbs along with vitamins, minerals as well as phytonutrients. I like to be sure I I like to mix things up so I’m not having the same thing every day. This is the easiest way to ensure you won’t get food allergies to things you love. 

For breakfast, I either have oatmeal with a spoonful of blackstrap molasses, or organic, whole-grain cereal with unsweetened almond milk and an apple or banana/whatever fruit is in season. Sometimes I will have a smoothie with fruits and veggies, chia seeds, nuts, maca powder, cacao nibs, goji berries and anything else I feel like throwing into the mix.

For lunch, I have a slice of Dave’s Killer Bread (it’s like amazing) with organic PB&J (love crunchy pb!). I’ll cut up whatever fruits and veggies I have in the fridge to put on the side. Some days I’ll have a tomato sandwich (especially yummy in the summer) that has toasted bread, vegan mayo, sliced tomatoes, and a little salt and pepper on top. Other times I’ll have a wrap that’s loaded with veggies or I’ll have leftovers from dinner. I like lunch to be something quick that I can just throw together. 

Dinner is the meal I really plan out.  I’ve given a few recipes on my blog that are so yummy! There’s a few of my favorites on my website and I also love the blog Oh She Glows

I really like sweets, but I’m not a huge fan of sugar. One of my all time favorite desserts just happens to be healthy. They’re easy and kid approved! Check out these amazing Chocolate TrufflesChocolate Truffles

Have you ever tried to plan your meals out ahead of time? Tell me what you think…

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – A Whole Lot of Whole Grains

This weekend was fabulous! We went out on the town! We actually went across the river to Vancouver – our old stomping grounds. It was so fun! I love going to our old favorite places. We ate dinner at one of my all time favorite restaurants. They have Thai/Laotian cuisine and it is heavenly! It’s called Wild Tiger. They were so sweet and more than willing to accommodate me and my healthy, crunchy people ways 🙂

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It’s also hatch chili pepper season…finally! I LOVE these things! They are basically amazing. I love adding them into almost everything. My newest snack obsession is hatch chili chips with hatch chili salsa. Overkill on the hatch? Umm…I think no. If you tried this, you would understand. 

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So, now for the scoop of the day. What is gluten? I love this clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Don’t be like these poor people. Know your stuff. Now, let’s explore why gluten is such a hot topic these days. 

As Jimmy mentioned, gluten is a protein found in wheat. The problem with this is that a lot of people are sensitive and some are even allergic to it. The wheat we eat now isn’t the same as the wheat our ancestors ate. It has been modified in labs which has made it difficult for our bodies to process and digest. Symptoms of gluten issues (sensitivities, intolerance, or celiac) range from: gas, bloating, constipation, fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, migraines, inflammation, mood swings, depression, even ADD to Fibromyalgia, hormone imbalances and infertility. 

There are some people who are sensitive to it and some are straight up allergic to it (Celiac Disease). A person with Celiac Disease has to be sure to avoid gluten at all costs. Their body attacks itself every time they eat gluten. Ouch! This damages their small intestine so they can’t absorb nutrients which brings about a whole host of other issues. 

We know that things like bread and pastries have gluten in them, but what else? Some of the common grains that contain gluten are: wheat (obviously), barley, bulgur, couscous, kamut, rye and spelt. Oats should be avoided. They don’t have gluten, but often are processed in a factory where they can be cross contaminated.

How do you know if you have an issue with gluten? It’s simple really. Go on an elimination diet. Remove gluten completely (like 100%) from your diet for 3 weeks, then re-introduce it. If you feel amazing without it, or if you feel worse when you re-introduce it, chances are gluten isn’t for you. 

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Now that we’ve talked about that, I must say that I am a HUGE fan of whole grains. There are a ton of whole grains that are gluten-free and are full of amazing nutrients that our bodies will love. These include: brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, cornmeal, millet, quinoa and farro (low gluten, avoid if Celiac).

These whole grains are full of complex carbs that help keep our blood sugar stable, our tummies full, our energy up and our willpower as strong as ever. They are packed with B vitamins, fiber, iron and other nutrients. They all have protein (quinoa is a protein power-house with 8g per cup!)

Whole grains are simple to make, cheap and most don’t have a lot of flavor which means you get to be creative and can pretty much add anything that looks good to you. Curried quinoa…why not? BBQ brown rice…sure! South of the border amaranth…go for it! 

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I  love looking in my fridge and whipping up some random creation with anything I can find. This recipe was born out of randomness and has been a huge hit! You can definitely use regular whole wheat spaghetti noodles if you don’t have an issue with gluten, but if you’re giving the elimination diet a shot, try this using buckwheat soba noodles. They’re delicious! Click here for this incredibly simple, nutrient packed, drool worthy, delicious recipe. 

 

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – Dark Leafys

One of the first homework assignments I give to my clients is to eat more dark leafy greens. Why? I could tell you that greens are the #1 food missing in the standard American diet or that they are loaded with essential nutrients that we need to survive and thrive, but they are so much more than that!

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Dark leafy greens are vital to our health! Calorie for calorie, dark leafys are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, micronutrients and phytochemicals that help filter out pollutants, strengthen our immune system, help with blood purification, clear congestion, promote a healthy gut, prevent cancer and strengthen our respiratory system. Not to mention, they are brimming with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc – along with vitamins A, Bs, C, E and K, folic acid, protein and chlorophyll.

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They are also full of fiber. This is so important, I’m giving it it’s own paragraph! It keeps your systems flowing – goodbye constipation/ diarrhea. Fiber helps make and keep you fuller for longer. This makes it so much easier to resist those mid day or late night munchies. If you’re full, you’re more likely to avoid the temptations that result in impulsive choices. Hello weight loss!

Dark leafys include bok choy, cabbage, watercress, endive, swiss chard, romaine, mustard greens, radish/turnip greens, beet greens, escarole, broccoli rabe, and brussel sprouts. A few of my favorites are broccoli, kale, spinach, arugula and lettuce – all varieties.

I would say that the majority of my clients have never tried more than a couple of these, let alone incorporated them daily. But once they do and recognize how good they feel, they’re hooked!

It’s amazing how they’re so versatile! You can steam them, sauté them with water, boil them, or enjoy them raw. You can throw them in soup, a smoothie, casserole, lasagna, or even as a wrap instead of a tortilla – you can pretty much sneak them in anywhere!

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Here are a couple of my all time favorite recipes to help you include dark leafys into your life.

 Massaged Kale Salad: http://www.laciegibson.com/massaged-kale-salad-13

Steamed Greens: http://www.laciegibson.com/steamed-greens

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How do you get your dose of daily greens?