Archive for April, 2014

Food Phobia Foible? Nuts to That!

April 30th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve been doing more reading about the benefits of nuts lately, hmmmmm. I already divulged my stealthy and healthy snacking strategy including these in my personal eating repertoire posted last week. Decades ago, these tasty morsels with a powerhouse of nutrient richness never made it into my shopping cart until I cracked that eating code of wisdom, CRRRRUNCH.

The adoption of a Mediterranean diet of sorts certainly sets the stage for nutrient richness by including olive and/or canola oil, nuts, beans, fish, dairy products and that horn of plenty of fruits and vegetables that fills half your plate.

Focusing in on nut noshing – one study observed “those who ate more nuts were slimmer”. I wrote about the altruistic almond before. I add slivered almonds to my oatmeal along with berries and skim milk every weekday morning and enjoy almond butter on toast on weekends. I make a tossed salad most evenings and always add any variety of nuts to top it off to add extra flavour and crunch, which always disappears.

Certainly a very versatile and noble food these can fill that void in your eating repertoire. Put an end to that nutty food phobia foible and sneak nuts in to your eating repertoire and enjoy!

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The Flaw of the ‘Forbidden Food’ Strategy

April 28th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I read yet again about another study on forbidden food and kids. You know what I’m talking about folks. Those empty snack foods loaded with nothingness except sugar, salt and/or fat that goes crunch that are brought into the household and hidden in hard to reach places from our half-pints. You don’t even need to tell your child they ought not eat this freely, they intuitively know by your actions. Kids are certainly smarter than you think! They don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out. Half baked home food strategies like this backfire every time and can create disordered eating in your kids for a lifetime.

The study I read about described the “reactive eater”. Studies show that children who grow up in homes with restrictive food rules, where a parent is constantly dieting or desirable foods are forbidden or placed out of reach, often develop stronger reactions to food and want more of it when the opportunity presents itself. Talk about a strategy that backfires with a capital “B”.

“The message is that restriction is counterproductive — it just doesn’t work very well,” said Brandi Rollins, a Penn State postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the study, which was published in February in the journal Appetite. “Restriction just increases a child’s focus and intake of the food that the parent is trying to restrict.” The same thing happens with kids and adults alike when are posed with the forbidden food.

The take home message here is to have food and snack options at home that are better for you, but still enjoy treats such as having an ice cream once a week outside of home setting.

When I think more deeply about this flawed strategy my thoughts wander to schools that have been cleansed of any sort of treat yet are surrounded by them with fast food joints, coffee shops and junk food havens. School boards cheer of their accomplishment, but I shutter at the thought of how the students have reacted to this same sort of strategy. Are we creating a new generation of reactive eaters that will take longer to help cure in the long run? Something to gnaw on, that’s for sure….

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Miss Behavin', Policy for the People, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Will to Grill

April 25th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

It’s griller time folks! Yes that time of year when you whip up a fast and delish dinner in a flash. I love the taste of grilled anything (pretty much), for me it’s a taste of summer that’s unparalleled.

That inaugural meal was my family friendly chicken fajitas. Check out this easy recipe and give it a go.

I marinate chicken breasts the day before then have them grilled to perfection, succulent and zesty with an array of fixins that provides freshness, crunch and munch; making my taste buds smile!

I chose the pesto pitas and served each up with cut up field tomatoes, perfectly ripened avocados, chopped Spanish onion for extra zing, shredded cheddar with a dab of low fat sour cream. I adorned my plate with an ear of corn on the cob and one of my famous green salads topped with some slivered almonds and sweet blueberries to cover every delectable taste explosion and nutrient imaginable.

As always I made extra chicken to top a future lunch salad or as a planned extra for quesadillas another Mexican dish my family loves.

Be a thriller griller and get that BBQ blazing to make healthier dinners from now through the coming seasons!

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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes | No Comments »

Facts on Snacks

April 23rd, 2014 4 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well folks, snacks have significantly nibbled their way into our daily eating repertoire. In fact, they account for about 20% of what we eat daily. In addition to that, about that same proportion of our diets are filled with empty foods considered extras, hmmmmm.

I find snacks in the day help keep my appetite at bay. I remember my Grandma used to say not to eat before dinner or that’ll ruin your appetite. Now curbing extreme hunger can certainly help slow you down to be in control for your meals.

What’s a stealth snacking strategy you ask? Its one I talk about in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books having a healthy and stealthy approach. For me, my first line of hunger defence is fruit. Ya you heard me right, fruit- an apple, an orange, a pear, a few small plums, some grapes, a banana and the list can go on. I don’t leave home with one or two. The trick here is to eat a piece of fruit and take 15 minutes to reevaluate your degree of hunger. Often times that’s all I need to tide me over until my next meal, be it lunch or dinner.

My second line of defence when I’m still hungry after eating fruit is having food that contains protein. My go-to choices are a glass of skim milk, portion of yoghurt or cottage cheese an ounce or two of almonds, pistachios or walnuts in the shell. I love to snack on nut in the shell at home because you can’t gobble them down by the handful. You crack each nut and enjoy it’s freshness and crunch which satisfies me every time.

Take last week for example, I was travelling on a biz trip that found me on the run from the airport to my meeting while my blood sugar took the plunge. Luckily I had a banana and a package of unsalted almonds in my purse that saved the day as my power snack on the fly, literally.

Take a few minutes to think about those snacks that have nibbled their way into your repertoire. Are they filled with nothingness from a nutrient perspective that makes your blood sugar go boing or are they rich with nutrients that hold you up and never let you down? Maybe it’s time for a change!

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | 4 Comments »

Finding 5′s….

April 21st, 2014 3 Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s nice to have a long weekend with extra time to think, write and just breathe – ahhhh. This busy contest called life sometimes seems to snatch our good intentions and eat into our free time. How often do I hear “I don’t have time to exercise!”? Too often, that’s how often!

We live in a world of conveniences and yet we still proclaim not to have the time to move. For the coming days think of ways you can find 5 minutes’es – five here, five there another five somewhere else to make up 15 minute intervals and suddenly you’ve gathered yourself the hottest resource on the planet – time!!

Chop Chop… or NOT - Yes ladies I have spoken about the importance of getting your 5-10 a day of fruits and veggies, it’s true. If you’re really stuck for time treat yourself to some pre prepped produce and bestow onto yourself 5 minutes. Now you have time to wield your weights around to a stronger you.

Close the Lid… of your computer that is – Sometimes I feel bug eyed sitting at my computer for the better part of the day with messages streaming in, one more document to proof, one more post to write, just one more…. It’s healthy to just save what you’re working on and close the lid. Go for a walk and get some fresh air. Listen to the birds, work out the creaks in your joints from sitting so long and escape. I find I come back refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated and end up being more productive. Make it a habit!

Making Two… meals at once - I routinely cook more than I need at any one meal and end up enjoying a schmorg of sorts another night. This frees up a mittful of time to be able to fit your activity in.

Dovetail - Be a master juggler and do a few things at the same time: example throw your laundry in while you’re doing something else like making dinner. Even better enlist everyone in the household to pitch in and presto you have more time. How often do we neglect to just ask? When was the last time we said “no”? You reap what you sow, you know!

Hold the Phone – Do you spend reams of time yacking on the phone?? Use that answering machine of yours to screen your calls. When you’re ready call them back and dovetail a catch-up call without eating into a fresh 30 minutes of your day.

Get Anti-social – All this social media with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus can put a dent in your spare time. Give yourself 60 seconds to catch up then refer back to “Close the Lid” and just stop.

Zone in to Zoning Out - That boob-tube aka the television can be a big time sucker for many. You sit down for one show then all of a sudden, oooops it’s time for bed – ug. Be mindful of what you’d actually like to watch then get outside in-between for an evening walk or bike ride.

Ponder over what’s eating up your time and find a bunch of 5′s adding them make up 15 minute intervals, like I explain in my ebook, Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books, the new interval training. Get a minimum of 30 minutes each day of activity and ensure your kids get 60. Time is a funny thing so if you have 5 minutes in front of you jump into that open space with gusto before it passes. When it comes to activity you don’t need to do it all at the same time either. A healthy and stealthy activity strategy, that’s for sure!

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Posted in Miss Behavin' | 3 Comments »

Hopping Down the Bunny Trail – Chocolate & BMI

April 18th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I recently read about a study touting that people who ate chocolate regularly had lower BMI’s. Oh my!! Just in time for Easter, hippity hop down the bunny trail.

When I think about this dynamic my thoughts focus on our relationship with food and allowing all food to fit. No foods that are deprived. Nutrient balance is the key. Just think about it. When a food is forbidden we want it so much more and when we get it, often overdo it, eating it in excess. It’s the excess part that contributes to an increased BMI, that’s for sure. Let’s not kid ourselves on that. I discuss this in my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

If you want a bite of chocolate have it. A piece of it or two, not a meter high bunny with the big long ears. Of all of the relationships to work on (other than that with family) is that with your food – eat it, savour it, enjoy it, respect it and allow it. Create a love affair with it. When all is said and done you won’t be driven to binge to make up for what you can’t have, because you can have it.

Get that taste out of your mouth and be done with it!

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Nutrition News | No Comments »

Pomegranate Gems

April 16th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Oh ye heavenly fruit
Ruby red jewels to boot

So hard to believe
It’s so good for me!

I must contest
That I make a mess!

For crying out loud
I need to wear a shroud!

Cutting open one
Deep staining has begun

A bite of Mother Nature’s sweet
A taste explosion that can’t be beat

A super food for sure
For a fruit that’s so obscure

Oh ye pomegranate gems
Makes me say “amen”

An unparalleled natural food
That makes me feel unglued!

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Rhyme Time! | No Comments »


April 14th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have had thoughts of momentum on my mind lately, hmmmm. With the Master’s golf tournament and the ebb and flow of the players on the leader board the mystery of momentum was impossible to ignore. With Adam Scott, then Bubba Watson, then newbies Jason Speith and Jonas Blixt to the seniors of Fred Couples and Migel Jimenez momentum ebbed and flowed until the green jacket was dawned at sunset for a perfect finish.

I did some food prep during the lovely afternoon prior to the Sunday t-off with the windows open so I could hear the birds sing. I witnessed that spring zing of momentum pass by my window spying walkers and joggers, cyclers and roller bladers, saunterers and runners. The robins, sparrows, squirrels, chipmunks and ducks have had a shot of it too guarding new territory, finding nuts and enjoying the thaw. It’s as if everyone’s creating their new spring movement movement, how perfect!

Our lives also have a characteristic ebb and flow affected by outside forces and our internal attitude. That’s what I love about spring as double digit temperatures dominate so does that positive momentum catapulting us off the couch to the great outdoors, ahhhh. While you’re shifting into a new found spring gear make a goal or two for the better throughout the month and the season to sustain this positive shift. Let’s make a pact together come sun, cloud, rain or wind to keep our momentum surging forward to surpass 30-minutes a day or more of moving for adults and for kids 60 minutes or more.

Now that the polar vortex is behind us, it’s our time to soar!

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Posted in Edit-Storial By A Foodie, Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

Getting Your Zzzzzzz’s

April 11th, 2014 1 Comment Tags: , , , ,

We seem to be pacing life at mock speed these days, all of us taking part in the “busy contest”. Who’s winning? None of us, it would seem. I recently reviewed some studies on current sleep patterns and I won’t be sleeping easy thinking about this tonight!

One study touts that over the past 103 years children have reduced sleep more than 1 hour. Another study showed that in the US the amount of sleep has reduced by 102 hours over the past 40 years for young adults, hmmmm, what gives? Between checking our phones over a 100 times a day, consuming excess caffeine and immersing ourselves in life’s “busy contest” there are many contributors to this phenomenon.

One study showed an increase intake of calories from snacks when research subjects’ sleep was restricted and in another greater alcohol consumption in adults. Let’s think about this in our own lives using the example of travelling to different time zones and trying to make an adjustment in sleep. When feeling exceedingly groggy it’s not always simple to differentiate your cues and often snacking wins the vote. Also when you feel listless due to lack of sleep it’s more challenging to get that daily walk or activity that you’re used to when all you feel like doing is putting your noodle down on a fluffy pillow like Thumblina to catch up on the sleep you missed.

It is worthwhile to ponder your own sleep habits if you are burning the candle at both ends while trying to get a handle on your handles. More interesting food for thought, that’s for sure.

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Successful Loser Logic | 1 Comment »

Spring Swing Thing, Energy Management

April 9th, 2014 No Comments

Yes, spring has certainly sprung as the temperature is climbing, hasn’t it? I find it so inspirational seeing so many people shaking their booty in the neighbourhood, don’t you? Raking the lawn, washing the car, walking the dog, taking the kids to the park, bike riding, jogging; people are getting outside to play that’s for sure.

Less is More – If your mid-section still has it’s winter tire on you may want to pay more attention to both sides of that energy equation. On the “energy-in” side of the equation take on the motto that “less is more”. Ensure you’re getting your 5-10 a day of fruits and veggies written about in Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books. Focus on the food guide and limit the extras to help that tire disappear. Focus on Chapter 7, Foodie Fundamentals.

More is More - On the “energy-out” side of the equation take on the motto that “more is more” by ensuring you’re moving 30 minutes at least, each and every day. I saw an old woman walking down the street today with 2 canes, as happy as a lark because she was outside….and alive…. There’s a mom of 2 kids up my street who roller blades like she a member of the Roller Derby team. Both very inspiring. If they can pump it up, so can we!

Zone In – If you have been zoning out ignoring what’s in your food, spring back in and get back to reading the Nutrition Facts Panel on food packages focusing in on the calories. If you eat out at restaurants or order in get a handle on the calorie content in those foods as well so you can get a better handle on your handles. That surprise factor is better realized before you order than after you get on the scale – that’s for sure!

Whatever you decide to do, be aware of your calories by doing spot checks. When it comes down to managing your weight, the calories in food versus calories burned through activity is THE most fundamental part of tipping the balance. Good luck!

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Posted in Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »