Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Do You Lack The Energy? Probably!

 In the fast paced world in which we live, we often find ourselves struggling to maintain a good healthy NATURAL energy level.   
 Starbucks, Red Bull, 5 hour energy, and vitamin B12 shots are all the rage and many people can’t seem to survive without them.  Are these “solutions” to fatigue really the root cause of the problem?  Thankfully, there are things you can do to enhance your own natural energy levels.  I challenge you to forego the stimulants and fancy pills and try these simple tips for a week!  See if you don’t have more energy! 

1. Control stress.
Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy.  Talking with a friend or relative, joining a support group, or seeing a therapist can all help diffuse stress.  Relaxation therapies like meditation, yoga, and tai chi are also effective tools for reducing stress.

 2. Lighten your load
One of the main reasons for fatigue is overwork.  Overwork can include professional, family, and social obligations. Try to streamline your list of “must-do” activities.  Set your priorities in terms of the most important tasks.  Pare down those that are less important.  Consider asking for extra help at work, if necessary.

3. Exercise
Exercise almost guarantees that you’ll sleep more soundly.  It also gives your cells more energy to burn and circulates oxygen.  And exercising causes your body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, stress hormones that in modest amounts can make you feel energized.  Even a brisk walk is a good start.  Get moving!

4. Avoid smoking
We all know smoking threatens your health.  But you may not know that smoking actually siphons off your energy by causing insomnia.  The nicotine in tobacco is a stimulant, so it speeds the heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates brain-wave activity associated with wakefulness, making it harder to fall asleep.  And once you do fall asleep, its addictive power can kick in and awaken you with cravings.

 5. Get adequate sleep
If you're always tired because you only allow yourself a few hours of sleep each night, you obviously need more rest.  On average, most adults need seven or eight hours of quality sleep each night, but there’s no hard and fast magic number that’s right for everybody.  If you consistently get seven hours of sleep but still wake up feeling drowsy, you probably need a little more.  Once you figure out what works for you, be consistent about getting that amount every night.

6. Eat for energy
It’s better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day.  This approach can reduce your perception of fatigue because your brain needs a steady supply of nutrients.
Eating foods with a low glycemic index — whose sugars are absorbed slowly — may help you avoid the lag in energy that typically occurs after eating quickly absorbed sugars or refined starches.  Foods with a low glycemic index include whole grains, high-fiber vegetables, nuts, and healthy oils such as olive oil. In general, high-carbohydrate foods have the highest glycemic indexes.  Proteins and fats have glycemic indexes that are close to zero.

 7. Avoid caffeine
Caffeine does not boost your energy, it stimulates your nervous system and adrenals, so you think you feel energized.  The real down side is when the affects of the stimulant wear off, leaving you tired and feeling like you need another pick-me-up.  People who take caffeine regularly are generally less sensitive to its affects and require more and more to feel stimulated.  Caffeine can also cause insomnia, especially when consumed in large quantities and after 2pm. 

 8. Eat a healthy breakfast
Don’t skip breakfast!  Don’t eat an unhealthy breakfast either!  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it sets the tone for your energy level throughout the day.  HERE are some good breakfast ideas to get you started on an energy filled day.

 9. Drink water
What’s the only nutrient that has been shown to enhance performance for all but the most demanding endurance activities?  It’s not some pricey sports drink.  It’s water.  If your body is short on fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue.  As a general rule, you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
Take my challenge and see if in a week’s time you don’t have more energy and a better outlook on life!  It works!  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lean and Green: Lobster Tail & Asparagus with Mustard Vinaigrette

Oh. my. word.  These were so fabulous!  The tangy mustard and vinegar are a perfect compliment to the sweet lobster meat and asparagus (with a hint of salt)!  Really, REALLY good!

You could use the same vinaigrette and put it over just about any veggie - and switch up the meat as well (pork, chicken, other fish, etc).

We got our lobster from Fred Meyer - fresh frozen Maine Lobster:
If you soak your seafood in milk, it helps draw out that "fishy" flavor.

Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut up the center of the shell, just to the base of the tail. 

Lay the lobster tails in a 13x9 pan (sprayed with PAM).
I love the colors!

Put some fresh lime zest over the top of the tails. 

Then squeeze a little lime juice on there - for good measure.  Set aside.

Take a moment to mix up your vinaigrette:
This is so simple: Red Wine Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Dijon (or Beer 'n Brat) Mustard (salt & pepper to taste)!

Place 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard in a bowl. 

Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil: 

And 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and mix well. 

Add some fresh cracked sea salt & pepper to taste (or add them to your asparagus). 

Meanwhile, place your lobster tails in a 350° oven set to BROIL:
They will turn red fairly quickly, but need to cook for about 13 minutes.  The shells will open and reveal the luscious, sweet meat!

Back to the ass-per-grass as Payton calls it.

Wash and prep your asparagus while heating a medium saute pan over med-high heat.

Spray pan with PAM and add asparagus. 

Cook until asparagus turns bright green and becomes soft and pliable (easily pierced with a fork) - about 10 minutes.  Turn off heat to burner.
We added pepper while cooking.

Pour sauce over asparagus (reserving some for lobster tails) and let sit:

Remove lobster tails from the oven and pour a small amount of vinaigrette in each one (if desired).

Serve together with a lime wedge and... 

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Yum, yum, yum, yum!!  Please make this and tell us what you think - or what you would do differently!

Lobster Tails & Asparagus with Mustard Vinaigrette
2 Servings, 1 lean, 3 green, 1.5 fat

16oz Lobster Tail
2 Tablespoons Beer 'n Brat Mustard (or Dijon)
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

24 spears Asparagus (~1 lb or a little more)
PAM cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350° set on BROIL.  
Soak lobster tails in milk for at least 30 minutes.  Drain & rinse.  Cut tails lengthwise from open end to base (see picture).  Place in 13x9 baking pan (sprayed with PAM).  Zest lime over the top of tails and cook for 13 min (or until done - red shell, opened up at cut, firm meat).

Meanwhile, mix mustard, red wine vinegar & olive oil together for vinaigrette.  Add salt & pepper if desired.  Wash & snap/cut asparagus.  Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat.  Spray with PAM and add asparagus.  Cook until asparagus turns bright green and becomes soft and pliable (easily pierced with a fork) - about 10 minutes.  Turn off heat to burner and pour vinaigrette over asparagus (reserving some for lobster tails).  Pour remaining sauce on lobster tails and serve with asparagus.  

Nutritional Information HERE.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Slim Down - Weight Loss Challenge! You Could Win A Samsung Galaxy Tab 2!

Are You Ready For A Fit & Fab Summer? Join Our Summer Slim Down Weight Loss Challenge!

We will be hosting an 8 week Summer Slim Down challenge starting May 28th through July 23rd. 

 We are going to run it similar to the Biggest Loser challenge - going by total percentage lost, not just weight lost. 

Take advantage of this awesome summer event!  It's a wonderful opportunity for YOU to have your healthiest summer ever, but there's also some great prizes:

We are now giving away TWO grand prizes, that's right! TWO - 7" Samsung Galaxy Tabs. One to the female biggest loser and one to the male biggest loser. 

  • The Grand Prize Winners will receive a 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Check it out HERE
  • 2nd Place overall gets a $50 Amazon gift card
  • 3rd Place overall gets a $25 gift card to GNC

It doesn't matter what program you use - just get healthy and get that weight off! (for a great post on keeping it off click here)

How To Enter:

1.) Follow Our Blog

2.) Friend Us On Facebook Here or Here - We will be creating a secret group for all participants!

3.) Send Us An Email With Your Starting Weight & Weight Loss Goals - Tell Us Your Story! 

4.) Check-In On Monday's Via Email, With Your Weight Loss Progress.

5.) Go Get Healthy!

PS - We recommend a fabulously comprehensive wellness program to help you lose the weight & keep it off - email for details! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

#1 Weight Loss Secret! Revealed!

In the quest to find health and win the battle of the bulge, I often see people looking for a quick and easy fix. “Take this pill and you’ll lose twenty pounds!” You know that magic “diet” pill that melts the pounds away while you continue eating Big Mac’s and French fries. Unfortunately there isn't one and if your favorite vegetable is a French fry, there’s a pretty good chance that "magic" isn’t going to work for you either. You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, so with this too, you will have to put in some time and effort to win the battle. 

That being said, there are a few secrets to weight loss and here today I am going to share with you the #1 weight loss secret. Now this is not something you can buy in a store, no secret plant you suck on three times a day, nope not a magnetic bracelet to align your noggin or special oil you rub behind your ear, just some basic science of how the body works in relation to what you eat. 

Okay enough all ready………… Here it is………. The #1 weight loss secret:……. When insulin is present in your blood stream your body is not burning fat, so you’re not losing weight! You're probably going, WHAT? Let me explain, when you eat anything (sugar) that causes your blood glucose to spike, your body will release insulin into your blood in order to regulate your blood glucose levels - which should remain between 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter. Insulin is a hormone which moves glucose (sugar) from the blood into the muscles and fat cells for storage. STOP, that’s important, let me say it again. Insulin is a hormone which moves glucose (sugar) from the blood into the muscles and fat cells for storageDuring this time of insulin presence, you will not be burning fat for energy. To make matters worse if all of your sugar (glycogen) stores are filled in your liver and muscles, you will most likely start storing the excess sugar (starch) you ate as body fat. In order to visualize this relationship better, take a look at the graph below. 

In this graph, we can see how insulin reacts to an increase in blood glucose levels. After eating a big meal, blood glucose levels increase rapidly. Once the body detects these elevated blood glucose levels it releases insulin. You can see that blood glucose levels peak and then fall off and insulin does the same, however insulin levels peak later than blood glucose. It is in the peaks when your system converts the excess blood sugar into fat reserves.
Once blood glucose levels reach normal again, you can see that it takes insulin a little bit longer to reach normal again. It is this lag time in normalization of insulin levels which gives us those sugar cravings. This is because blood sugar levels are normal but we still have insulin present in the blood and that insulin needs something to do – without sugar to store it gets bored! So it has the effect of asking the body for more sugar.
So the question begs, how do we use this information to our advantage????? We have to learn how to control the insulin response in our bodies in relation to the food we eat. Recent studies and research tell us that by leveling off the peaks and valleys in insulin during the day you will be able to exit that “hunger rollercoaster”, stop the cravings, and have a much easier time of managing weight loss. How do we do this?????? Take a look at the graph below. Notice a difference? 

By tradition, we tend to have 3 meals each day (with some snacks in between.) This process induces the hunger rollercoaster, causes cravings, and promotes weight gain. By spreading our nutrition out over six meals (or mini-meals), we better manage blood sugar and insulin levels, minimize fat storage, promote weight loss, minimize hunger and cravings, and have increased energy.

Ideally, you should include carbohydrates, fats and protein in each of the six meals throughout the day. Fat and protein will slow down the release of insulin, further leveling the peaks. Also, carbohydrates that have a higher fiber content do not cause as large an insulin response as those which contain less fiber

 As some of you may know, I have been on a health and wellness program that utilizes the #1 weight loss secret, and I have lost a total of 110 pounds. Here are a few more success stories of people doing the same program. Enjoy! 

Diane - I lost 90 lbs in 9 months. A friend posted a horrible picture of me on facebook and that was my AH-HA moment. My cousin was a health coach and had been trying to convince me to get started for almost a year, but that picture did it. I started the program a little over a week later and the rest is history. No more meds for Type II diabetes, no more Cpap machine, no more constant sweating. I also got my husband and 12 year old daughter on the plan and between the 3 of us we have lost 145 lbs!

It is amazing how fast my weight melted away. And I'm not perfect when it comes to these things, I went off program two times for a few days when holidays got a bit tough for me, but I got right back on program and kept going and sure enough I'm almost to my goal weight and feeling strong. I still have 13 pounds to lose to reach my goal of 132, BMI of 22.

(Don & Rachel) a total of 120 lbs less. Yay!


If you think it's time that you looked into this further....... let me know! I can help you! Find me HERE

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If you need a little motivation to get moving, we are hosting a Summer Slim Down challenge where we are giving away TWO Samsung Galaxy 2 Tab's. Click HERE for the details! Come join us for the fun! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How Healthy Are You?

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When it comes to your health, it’s important to be your OWN biggest advocate. This means not only taking the important steps to promote wellness in your life – but it also means listening to your body, eating right, sleeping right and getting enough water. Before you can start forging your path to optimal health, you need to find your starting point. Take this health quiz and find out how healthy you really are. 


DIET FAIL? Why You NEED A Health Coach!

Written by Terese Weinstein Katz, Ph.D.

We take for granted that other people influence our health, for better and for worse. Think about it: we know that we share germs, and that we stress each other out. We know that love and support help us heal, and even live longer. We give and take advice on health...mostly. For many of us, despite all this, become lone rangers when it comes to losing weight.

The support of others, though, often spells the difference between losing weight and not, between keeping it off and not. Studies throughout the past decade have reached this conclusion. And while Judith Beck, Ph.D. talked extensively about using a “diet coach” in her 2007 book, a new book by Miriam Nelson and Jennifer Ackerman builds an entire weight loss plan around supportive relationships. To cement the idea even more firmly in our public conscience, Dr. Oz (in his Real Age newsletter) recently headlined “Lose Weight With the Buddy System”.

You may well breathe a sigh of relief on hearing that you’re not to blame for those lone struggles with food. All you needed was a teammate to succeed. On the other hand, it’s not always clear what using relationships for weight loss really means. Or how it actually helps. How can you best make these social prescriptions work for you?

First of all, the social prescriptions aren’t so new as recent reports suggest. Weight Watchers and other organizations, notably 12-step groups like Overeaters Anonymous, have long capitalized on the power of group influence and support. Newer is the confirmation that who we socialize with can influence our weight. Hang around with slim people and you’re statistically more likely to eat less, and vice versa. Newer, too, is the discovery that even phone check-ins with a doctor or diet coach can make impressive differences in weight loss and maintenance.

Relationships exert a powerful influence on our goal achievements in a number of ways. Having another to call on, we gain strength against cravings, fatigue, discouragement, confusion. We’re less likely to mess up when we know we’ll be reporting to someone else. We’re more likely to do what’s good for us with the encouragement and problem-solving help of another. We find inspiration in knowing that mentors have succeeded against similar odds.

Likewise, a variety of social support structures offer promise. A “buddy system”can involve two people, relatives or friends, working toward shared goals. A “coach” doesn’t necessarily have to be a clinician or professional, though research does suggest that these relationships make a significant difference. People who’ve struggled for a long time, whose weight and eating issues have been strongly resistant to change over the years, may even do best with a “team”—perhaps some combination of doctor, coach, nutritionist, support group, buddy.

To assess your own social support standing, think of who in your life can or could support your goals. First think of friends and family. Who might you talk to? Who might you want to spend more time with, simply because they are supportive, or because they themselves behave in ways you aspire to. Consider whether an organized group or class might bolster your efforts and resolve. Think of whether or not checking in with a coach, doctor, nutritionist, or trainer might help you stay on track. Knowing that our social connections can help us care for ourselves, our weight and health offers a wide world of possibilities. We’re surrounded by many obstacles to eating well, but we’re also surrounded by a lot of other people.

Why We Do What We Do!

Is Food Your Addiction?

My beautiful wife (LEFT) at 280 lbs (and completely addicted to food) and (RIGHT) at 180 lbs (fit and fab and feeling great)!

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In today’s society, there is much debate about the right way to get healthy, lose weight, exercise and stay fit. I think we would ALL agree that it’s important to get healthy and stay healthy. In my experience, it’s usually the people that have had very little personal experience with “weight” problems saying, “JUST EAT RIGHT AND EXERCISE, THAT’S ALL YOU NEED”!    Well Duh!    That’s a no-brainer! It doesn’t take a degree or a bunch of fancy initials after your name to know that. So….. If it’s just that easy, then why is America getting more and more unhealthy as time goes on? If it’s that easy, why isn’t everyone doing it and having great success? Why can’t people control what they eat? Why do some people yo-yo diet their entire life? Why do people eat unhealthily and then spend HOURS exercising just to keep it off? Why do people sleep eat, binge eat, or not eat? I believe in this case there are many more questions than answers.

Let me throw something out that might surprise you…….. THEY MIGHT BE ADDICTED TO FOOD!

Food addiction you say?

How can anyone be addicted to food?

Don’t we need food to survive?

Well, yes! From our mother’s breast forward, eating fulfills a need and brings satisfaction, nurturing and comfort. As we age, we have the opportunity to explore the pleasures our palate can provide, this enhances the pleasure and mood-altering ability of eating, but that doesn't mean we can’t get this process all fouled up.

The problem occurs when we move from self-nurturing…… to self-indulgence…… to compulsion. When eating becomes compulsive, we really begin to have problems. At this point when difficult feelings present themselves, our urge to eat is stronger than our will to say NO. Even if we have decided to "do better," our decision process is now compromised. We will eat, not because we are hungry or NEED to, but simply because we feel compelled to.
The problem begins with the process psychologists call "conditioning." By repeatedly feeling relief from difficult feelings through the nurturing effect of food, an emotional attachment, or relationship, is formed. This is an emotional bond to … food ... that becomes a compulsive attachment.

It is a battle we will not win without making some changes. The emotional bond between difficult feelings and food overpowers us and must be extinguished if we want freedom from the compulsion. Since the bond was created over time and has possibly been practiced for many years, it's not a simple process.
The long-term solution is learning to make good food decisions and re-conditioning, but that doesn’t happen instantly and usually can't be accomplished without changes and some help, gotta love health coaches.
Reversing the equation is the goal. We look for things that will raise our will and lower our urge so that we can write the equation as this: The will to say NO is greater than our urge to eat.

Here's how we do it:

  Structure is where we begin. Taking the decision out of our hands is a good way to stop making bad food choices. That can be accomplished with structure. Plan the day's eating in detail before it happens. If you don’t have a choice, you won’t make a bad one, right?
This isn’t a life-long commitment; the goal is to learn to make good food decisions. That's why reworking our urge/will equation is a priority. Taking a “time-out” from the decision making process can create a safe haven where that change can occur.

Food planning is a key component to the health plan that Steph and I have been working on. It also teaches portion control, proper timing of meals, and how to balance the protein, fat and carbs in what you eat. If you fail to plan…….. plan to fail!
  1. Reframe your attitude about “dieting”. So many people spend a lot of emotional energy struggling with what they are “losing” by going on a "diet" — the deprivation of it all, SIGH! That regret or sense of loss stimulates resentment and other difficult feelings that, in turn, fuel our urge to eat. If we can eliminate the difficult feelings, we can diminish the urge substantially.
Focus instead on what you are gaining: a healthy new part of your lifestyle. Improved health, greater energy, improved self-esteem can all be by- products of a switch to healthy eating. There is much to celebrate! When you look at it like this….. IT’S NOT A DIET!
  1. Learn new eating skills. During this decision making “time-out” period, educate yourself about what a healthy eating lifestyle looks like. Learn about nutrition, appropriate potion size or perhaps new cooking skills for eating in a healthier way. Educate yourself so that you can maintain the weight loss you achieve.
I strongly recommend reading the books written by Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson: Dr A’s Habits of Health and the companion guide Living a Longer, Healthier Life. They can be found HERE.
  1. Righting the equation. Raising the will and diminishing the urge. There are a number of things that can help us raise our will to say “no” to the inappropriate urge to eat. One is accountability. Joining a program that holds us accountable can be very helpful. Having a health coach to check in with or to help you correct your thinking process makes it a lot easier to stay on track.
Weight loss buddies can also be a great resource. Finding a partner with similar goals can provide a safe haven to vent frustrations and struggles and provide encouragement. Sometimes a telephone call when we are feeling tempted to go off track can suck the life right out of an urge.
  1. Disputing urges is a great skill for diminishing their power. When the urge arises to go off your planned menu for the day, we can dispute that urge by using STOP… CHALLENGE… CHOOSE. With this statement, we take a quick break and stop, challenge what we are thinking and feeling to see if it is in line with our goals, and then make the appropriate choice. This simple tool used consistently can help you reshape your thoughts and feelings about food. “Yes, in my old days, I would eat all of that chocolate cake, but I am doing things differently now and I really like the results. That cake isn’t worth giving up how well I am doing.”
Don’t be discouraged by your slips. This is a process, not an event, and it takes time to accomplish. Consistent effort and resilience will see you through to new, healthy eating habits. 

If you want or NEED more info on what we do for our clients, let us know! Or you can check it out here!