Posts Tagged ‘balance’

Press the re-Start Button…

February 4th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

It seems as if I blinked and February rolled in. How are your New Year’s resolutions progressing? Have they morphed from intention to action? Sometimes life’s commitments get in the way of progress, but today is as good as any day to press the re-start button. Reframe your thinking by considering these ideas:

Just for Today – Shift your focus and work on your goal “just for today”. Eat just a little better and find opportunities to stand and move a little more, more often. Sometimes we psych ourselves out wanting a mountain of change by next month, next season, next birthday and more. By keeping your head in today, those goals will come to fruition down the road.

The Weigh In – Early in January, Dr. Brian Wansink reported on the importance of weighing in throughout the weeks post holiday noshing. Like I always say “awareness is bliss” and the scale never lies. I have taken heed of this advise and weigh ins have served as a reminder to nip the nosh-fest in the bud.

Work in Intervals - Time can be on your side when you find 5 minutes here, or 15 minutes there to move more. Forget about finding a full hour or more if you have been out of any activity routine. You can more easily add up these intervals to 30 – 60 minutes by sneaking your moves in. You may eventually feel so good you may schedule in more activity to move, to destress and energize yourself!

Plan a Small Change – Next month (March) is Nutrition Month. The theme is “Take a 100 meal journey. Make a small change one meal at a time.” While you’re working on doing just a little bit better, join in starting February 23, 2016 and Take the Pledge. While you’re at it find ideas, follow the weekly topics throughout March from “Get Ready!” “Quality Counts!” “Prioritize Portion Size!” “Try Something New!” to “Make it Stick!”

Instead of life getting in the way of your goals, let your goals get integrated in your life little by little by taking the first step.

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Mother Nature 3 Ways

November 19th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m back. Back from Middle Earth, a driving tour that led me around New Zealand’s south island, ahhhh. I love getting away and being able to ponder life’s wonders.

During that time my soul was doused with a triple dose of Mother Nature. Being able to witness the splendour of Mount Cook with a back splash of cirrus clouds, to crystal blue glacier lakes, fjords of Milford Sound on a mysteriously rainy day, an end-to-end rainbow with 2 pots of gold, the glory of spring flowers, to Fangorn’s Forest all connected by rolling hills and flatlands of farmland with flocks of sheep dotting the countryside from coast to coast to coast. Nothing could be finer, truly. Middle Earth? It felt like living a fairy tale. There and back again with Bilbo Baggins of sorts…

As I reflect about what was most captivating aside from “nature in your face” was the (almost) absence of big corporate anything, met with warm and genuine hospitality of unpretentious New Zealanders. Rarely a logo, a billboard, a golden arch, a fancy handbag was sported with a casual, comfort and acceptance of being as you were whether at a gas station filling up or a dining room of a remote lodge. How refreshing.

I relished listening to the silent whispers of nature whether a waterfall, sweet bird songs, the bark of a seal or wind rustled leaves. I collected souvenirs of rocks from the blue pools, some feathers of a red hawk and twigs of a grand Cypress tree found on the grounds of Larnarch’s Castle. How odd for me being a self proclaimed Material Girl, nothing seemed finer than those treasures I stashed in my suitcase….

There aren’t words to fully express the magnificence of it all as I mull over the jarring sumptuousness of my experience.

Speaking of jarring. The reentry to reality after an overnight flight being coddled to a final dose of New Zealand congeniality to San Francisco had life’s BS meter off the charts experiencing a double whammy of Friday the 13th day of November, literally. Paris splattered the headlines, to the Ho Ho Ho of Christmas harriedness, to my twitter feed spewing with breaking news. What gives?

It has been a few days since arriving home, still feeling a sense of calm from Mother Nature’s sweet caress despite our world going postal yet again in spades, sadly. As I took my daily walk I pondered my feelings more deeply, hmmmm. A lightbulb went off, AHA!

What we all need in our lives is more of Mother Nature – that’s the answer! I hiked to the grocery store yesterday to pick up some of her bounty that landed on my dinner plate. I walked with her feeling the brisker breeze blowing through my hair and sauntering by the bare trees reaching up to the sky. I felt her sense of calm to douse the stress of our world’s madness helping to make sense of it all somehow.

As I pondered what I’d write about in the months ahead aiming to synthesize life down to its skivvies, it came to me: let’s get more of Mother Nature in our life through our food, with fun activity and with her sage counsel to manage stress for our soul.

Hmmm, Mother Nature 3-Ways, more on this to come, Through Thick & Thin…

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As the saying goes, “The whole is greater than the sum…”

October 23rd, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We have all heard the saying “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This saying came to mind recently when the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s press release exclaimed “Cut the crap!” They revisited their nutritional recommendations for a healthy heart and slightly shifted their position suggesting we eat more whole foods and less highly processed, low nutrient junk food, AKA “crap”! How wise is that? Very!

Well, well, well, what a breath of fresh air these well thought out, new recommendations are for everyone! Over the past decades the masses have complicated matters of the heart and the diet, transforming the innocent act of eating into such a complicated affair. We got to focusing too much on micronutrients, while losing the essence and joy of food and eating somehow. It’s time to put “the bread” back into “breaking bread together”!

I am not proclaiming that nutrients in the food don’t matter. Our masterful machines – our bodacious bodies need all nutrients to function optimally. Changing our focus to one overarching goal – to consume mostly whole foods in a balanced fashion, is sage advise. Aiming to cook these whole foods at home more often can be life changing and for some life saving.

Instead of needing to remember a wide array of complicated food and nutrition rules – “…more of this, less of that, this percentage of the other… ” you simply have to ask yourself, “Is this a whole food or not?” When you look in your fridge, freezer, pantry and grocery list you can easily see if you are on the right track. Make small changes to move in the direction of eating whole foods more often in balanced proportions.

A few weeks back I made a vat of tomato eggplant sauce and froze it in smaller containers. Last week I made a lasagne with ground beef & mushrooms, spinach & ricotta and noodles using that trusty tomato sauce. This week I assembled this cinchy dinner of smoked salmon & brie, whole grain bread with a side salad. Next week I plan to create some calzones and dip them into my tomato sauce. Trust me, I am no Julia Childs and approach this to make food prep as easy and enjoyable as possible.

It’s helpful to take stock of your whole food enjoyment right now. If you have been falling short during this harvest season get a move on to your grocery store or market and load up.

Because it’s true, the whole IS greater than the sum of its parts. Eating more home-prepared, whole foods is better for you than consuming your nutrients from a bottle or elixir and following a plethora of illogical food rules, don’t you think?

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

Who can you trust in this mad mad mad world of misinformation?

September 30th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , ,

I have written in my book that it can be a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World when it comes to the smelly heap of food and nutrition misinformation these days. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to believe. Sadly, many innocent consumers don’t only waste their hard earned money on crack-pot, unnecessary products but also harm themselves physically by trying some of these schemes.

I recently recounted a story I heard in my blog post “Clean Up on Aisle 3“. I heard about a woman who tried a cleanse, limiting her to only drink a high-priced, special elixir to help her find her fountain of youth. After a month on this bevy blaster her hair started falling out. That wasn’t exactly the special side effect she was seeking, good grief. That’s what happens when you don’t deliver all the nutrients your body needs consistently – it eventually breaks down.

Unfortunately the wisdom of eating a balanced diet and regular food can seem so unsexy and highly underrated when indeed this nugget is truly the Holy Grail… The moral of that story – don’t mess with the machine – your bodacious body, as I have written many times and explain in my ebook, Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

Dietitians of Canada has some pointers to help Canadians sort through the noise to find the best available nutrition information.

Here are five tips to spot misinformation:

  • Is the person or product promising a quick fix like fast weight-loss or a miracle cure? If it sounds too good to be true, then it likely is! Making changes to your health means a commitment to eating well and exercising regularly. Check out the ‘Your Health’ section at dietitians.ca
  • Are they trying to sell you products such as special foods or supplements instead of teaching you how to make better food choices at home, at play, at work or while eating out?
  • Do they provide information based on personal stories rather than on facts? Although it’s nice to hear about a success story from a celebrity, it’s not proof that something works or is true. Nutrition advice should be based on the best available scientific research. Dietitians are university trained, regulated health professionals who use tools such as PEN® to make sure they are basing their advice on the best available information.
  • Is their claim based on a single study or a few research studies? Were the studies with animals or humans? Are you similar to the humans that were studied (age, gender etc.)? The stronger the study design, and the more studies available that draw the same conclusions, the stronger the evidence that something it true.
  • What are the person’s qualifications? Think about it: You wouldn’t ask a celebrity how to build a safe bridge, you’d ask a professional engineer. You also wouldn’t ask a celebrity to fill your cavity, you’d ask a dentist. The same thinking should apply for nutrition advice. Dig a little deeper and ask for credentials. The title dietitian is protected by law, just like a nurse, dentist or pharmacist. Look for the initials “RD or PDt” to identify a registered dietitian.

Awash yourself with wisdom people. Trust an RD!

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Twitter Taddler: Crash diet? Don’t try it!

May 27th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

You know that it’s spring not only when the blossoms have bloomed but also when the crash diet industry’s false promises are on the airwaves. While on Twitter recently, I noticed a barrage of attention grabbing “before and after” photos with promises to get you skinny in a jiffy, good grief. When I looked closely some “after” shots didn’t even look like the same person. What gives?! Whatever you do, don’t fall for it. And yes Dr. Oz, one of those tweets was yours!

I made a conscience decision to begin this year posting a series to help you to jump start your regimen to propel you into a slow and steady behaviour modification “change project” to a healthier you. What’s the rush? If you are now ready to make some changes, press the “start” button and consider some basics first. Avoid getting sucked in to those claims with empty promises that seem too good to be true.

Take a look at my ebook to support you in your quest: Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books Here are a few of the posts to help you get started:

Save your money, like magic – Do you believe in magic? The child in me would like to. But my adult brain knows full well about illusions. Many plans, pills, procedures and products promise mystical results. That’s what desperate dieters want: fast, easy, magical solutions to solve their weight problem. Don’t fall for them!

Super starvation nation – I divulged the ultra-low-calorie diet blunder that twisted my eating into a tailspin for years in my ebook so I understand the allure of “quick fix” promises. The physiological truth is when anyone goes on an ultra-low cal diet, they will lose weight, and fast, especially the first time they try it. The inconvenient truth is that we humans are biological beings with a penchant for survival. Once you go on a fast like that, guess what? The next opportunity you get to eat freely you won’t be able to stop until a week next Sunday —of next year, probably longer. Yes those food floodgates will surely fly open.

Super low-cal regimens can have long-lasting negative effects on many levels. I learned the hard way and I don’t want you to do the same. Some people try these scary schemes over and over again and tank their metabolism and self-esteem. Each rebound results in a greater amount of weight gain. Each time you try again, the weight loss is harder and harder to achieve. Do you know why? Our masterful machine is protecting itself by becoming more efficient. Your metabolism will slow down which is exactly what you don’t want when you try to lose weight.

Experts say that the lowest daily energy we should ever fall to is 1,200 calories for women and 1,600 for men, a far cry from this delinquent dietary quota.

You may lose weight because of the ultra-low calories prescribed. You will not, however, keep the weight off because you will eventually revert to your previous ways. From now on when you hear the word “fast” in the name of a diet you’re enamoured with, that’s the speed you should travel in the opposite direction away from it!

So folks, take your time and make small changes. You will eventually succeed. Your physical, mental, emotional health and wellbeing depend on it. Spot the snake in life’s game of Snakes and Ladders and move on.

A bigger part of me – grab some flab – Let’s have a reality check, shall we? Take a moment and grab your tummy roll or flabby thigh or arm flap – look at it, pinch it, realize it. This extra fat is part of your very body. It is integrated throughout your complex systems with your circulation flowing through it in every appendage, all over your torso, your neck and head, everywhere.

Losing this excess fat like that junk in your trunk isn’t like emptying a pot of tea (“turn the handle and pour me out”). Don’t you wish? It’s much more complicated than that and needs time. Your self-image is affected in part by this excess fat too. So losing weight affects you deeply both physically and mentally. It takes time to lose it safely without compromising your temple. Be kind to your “body as temple” and as I like to say “Don’t mess with the machine, your bodacious body!”

Yes spring has sprung folks and if you were slow out of the gate to build your beach body in the New Year, relax and take stalk. Slow and steady is the name of the game to successful weight loss taking the trek to Slim Town if you want to make one last trip and stay there!

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Shades of Grey 5 Ways

February 11th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

We live in a world filled with shades of grey. I assume you can create your own steamy 50 Shades of Grey sequel for Valentine’s without advice from this square RD! It is good, however, to learn to manage life in the grey zone on many fronts. The world of food and nutrition is no different, there are numerous “grey zone” issues to make sense of. So here you go a compilation of food and nutrition grey zone issues. Some food for thought to help build your love affair with food and activity. Enjoy!

Thinking of trying a diet? Put it to my Thanksgiving Dinner Test - Want to know what I think of any diet plan you’re contemplating? Put it through my simple test to see if it passes, if it doesn’t don’t give it another thought. Save your effort and money.

What’s so super about “super food” you ask? – What’s the “food jag du jour”? Is quinoa still in or is it barley? Should I awash myself with droplets of hallowed vitamin water…drip, drop, drip? Does an apple a day still keep the doctor away? Let’s get to the bottom of what’s really super, shall we!

Enjoy Maxing Out Nutrient Richness – Get real with your food. Now is a perfect time to up the natural nutrient richness in your diet. Calorie counting is SOOOO yesterday. Put the abacus away already! Fill yourself up with natural goodness containing more nutrients. Your body will smile back at you when you do!

Keeping Your Activity Routine Flexible – So much has been written about staying limber. Even more needs to written on how to keep our activity routines fluid and flexible to help us keep active every season, on busy work days, on fun holidays, when the sun’s shining or when snow is pelting. I know one thing for sure, KEEP MOVING and while you’re at it, make it a double (2 times a day!)

Grey Zone on Bad Food, Good Food & Piglets - One of my readers outed her “ice cream lovin’” Dad a while back. So I tried to set the record straight. Now I have a regular reader, guess which one?

So there you have it folks, a smattering of grey zone food and nutrition issues to mull over during this month that’s been very grey of late. There is beauty in grey, so embrace it. Once you learn to manage in that zone, you’ll know how to spot garbage when you read it and will be sailing right along…upward and onward ho!
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Weight loss fast or slow? Changing habits is the way to go!

October 20th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I read the headline flurry about that study conducted deducing whether you lose weight at a fast or slow rate, people gain the weight back. Somehow I knew that UNsound sound bite would be retweeted by many, good grief.

I get my eyeballs frosted with studies AND reporting like this. Both groups of study subjects were put on diet regimens designed to lose weight quickly or slowly both groups using some degree of liquid meal replacements. The last time I checked I don’t believe Optifast was served at my Thanksgiving dinner last weekend, how about at yours? I describe in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books that before you try any diet make sure it passes the Thanksgiving Dinner Test. Hit the buzzer on these folks as they fail on all accounts.

If you talk to any Yo-Yo dieter I’m sure all will agree how easy it is to lose weight, as many admit “I’ve done it many times!” There’s a clue in that statement folks it’s the word “diet” because diets don’t work – period. If you do want to lose weight the secret is in your ability and commitment to change habits and your mindset for the better, for good. I discuss in my ebook details about the National Weight Control Registry of “Successful Weight Losers”, which is a perfect group to emulate if you want to do this.

I feel for people toying with the idea of changing their habits for the better who many now stop in their tracks and exclaim “forget about it!” after reading those headlines.

Let’s hope they find wisdom to embrace change one tiny step at a time so the pebbles of change turn into an avalanche of positive results in time. Don’t give up!

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Posted in Francy Rants, Miss Behavin', Nutrition News, Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Thanksgiving Musings

October 10th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

Time for (Canadian) Thanksgiving
Are you taking time?
To ponder your many blessings
Or following through blind

Is it just a day off?
Or do you take time to dwell?
On special people around you
And the stories they tell

Do you plough through the day
Like a freight train at high speed?
Or take a few quite moments
To just stop and take heed

A deep breath is a blessing
A warm abode is too
Does this fill you with appreciation?
Or do you just sit and stew?

Do you have legs to walk with?
And eyes that gleam bright?
A heart that beats loudly
And a strong will that ignites?

If you woke up this morning
On the green side of the grass
Make the best of Thanksgiving
Help your gratitude last

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Press Start, Press Pause, Press Stop

September 10th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Everything is so “back to school” these days. I love this time of year. It’s a perfect time to review, reflect and reframe your routine. Wouldn’t you agree? You don’t need to wait until the New Year. Like I always say, any day is a perfect day to make a positive change. Here are some ideas to consider starting, stopping and hitting the pause button:

Press Start

Trying A New Fruit or Veg Weekly – Take a walk on the wild side and try a new fruit or vegetable each week. You might just surprise yourself and discover a new favourite.

Dressing for Dieting Success – Make a pact to dress presentably for your age and shape each day then see how divine it makes you feel, through and through.

Finding 5’s – Having trouble fitting 30 to 60 minutes of activity at one time each day? You’re not alone! Break it down into 5, 10 or 15 minute intervals and watch them add up throughout your day as you do them.

Press Pause

Before Adding Salt or Sugar – Try your food before inundating it with salt or sugar. Give your taste receptors a workout and experience how devilishly delicious natural food really is, yum…..

Before Taking Seconds – In the habit of dishing up more than you should chew? Try serving dinner on a smaller plate, slow down your eating pace while upping your taste sensing then cue in on your degree of fullness.

Before You Pour - Think about your caloric drinks and remind yourself about what you’re going to pour down your gullet is food too! Consider swapping in a no cal drink in its place, except if you’re drinking milk.

Press Stop

On Negative Self Talk – Easy does it cowgirl and talk kindly of yourself to yourself. We’re often our own worst critics. Time to get positive!

Relying on the Drive Thru – Get out of the habit of picking up fast food and choose to drive by the drive thru trying some fast and easy, good for you recipes at home.

Cutting into Your Sleep Time – Make sure you get your full zzzzz quota to help you be as productive as possible. You will eat better too.

So there you have it folks, some ideas to tweak your behaviour as we change the season again and spring into fall….

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Who’s Retiring Anyways?

August 11th, 2014 2 Comments Tags: , , , ,

Someone I know is conspiring
That they might consider retiring
Has worked a long time
Many achievements have shined
Inspiring many behind him

He believes that anything’s possible
Stays the course, and is always unstoppable
Has made a huge mark
Is a remarkable spark
To all that are all around him

Has a way to make you get better
His approach is always unfettered
Helps you rise to new heights
Using all of your might
Never taking the credit because of him

Has learned to have his priorities straight
Which for me is absolutely great
Work/life balance is fine
Our life together is so divine
Special times just being with him

This person I know can’t retire!
Just shift gears of his inner bonfire
Not able to slow down
Always runs fully wound
Boundless energy with more ahead of him

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Posted in Rhyme Time! | 2 Comments »