6 Tricks to Kick the Junk Food Habit

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Confessions of a Junk Food Junkie: 6 Tricks to Kick the Habit

By Denis Faye

 

True story: I was a fat kid, peaking at about 225 pounds by age 18. In my more socially awkward moments—and there were many—junk food was my best friend. Or so I thought. When my algebra class crush would gave me the “just friends” speech or a so-called buddy would jokingly call me “Fatso,” nothing said acceptance like a pint of Rocky Road and half a package of Nutter Butters.

Junk food vs. healthy heart food

Today, I weigh about 160 and I’d love to tell you those urges are behind me. Sadly, they’re not. On bad days, it takes a concerted effort not to pig out. My name is Denis Faye and I am a junk food junkie.

Given our nation’s exploding obesity and diabetes rates, you very well could be too. The good news is that with a few tricks and a little hard work, together we can keep those sugar monkeys on our backs under control.

Why we’re hooked on garbage

NachosIt’s safe to say that junk food addiction is a very real thing. The first place to look for proof is the ever-mounting pile of scientific evidence, including a recent study out of Sweden showing that the hormone ghrelin, which activates the brain’s reward system and increases appetite, reacts similarly to sugar and alcohol.

Then there are the increasingly decadent foods we have 24-hour access to. In his book The End of Overeating, Dr. David Kessler theorizes that manufacturers have, over the years, engineered the balance of fat, sugar, and salt in junk food to the point of making it irresistible. He refers to our gluttonous response to this crackified food as “conditioned hypereating.”

Most of this current thinking revolves around physiological factors, such as the fact our brains are hardwired to seek out highly caloric foods as a “feast or famine” instinct left over from caveman days. Unfortunately, human beings are slightly more complex than our primitive ancestors. By adulthood, most of us are a hodgepodge of neuroses and psychoses for whom a Twinkie has become a security blanket, so this urge to splurge will never completely vanish. Sure, you can retrain your body to crave healthy food, but your psyche may never stop seeking validation, Hostess® style.

How to keep that addiction under control

DonutLuckily, a well-trained body goes a long way towards helping a slightly off-kilter mind. For example, if I were to force down that half package of Nutter Butters®, I’d get physically sick. After years of clean eating, my digestive system has lost its ability to handle the toxic effects of a sugar hit like that, not to mention the preservatives and additives. Thanks in part to these newfound “limitations,” today I can walk away from the cake or limit myself to one or two bites—but that’s taken years of training.

But it wasn’t easy. If you’re going to break a sugar habit, it’s going to take time, patience, and willpower. But take it from a guy who used to work his way through an entire box of Cap’n Crunch® for breakfast: If I can do it, so can you. Here’s where to start.

    1. Clean all the junk food out of your home. Think of the stereotypical image of the woman getting dumped by her boyfriend and climbing into bed with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s®. If that tub wasn’t in the freezer to begin with, odds are that our protagonist would have instead settled for a soak in the tub.

      There’s also “unconscious eating” to worry about—when you just grab a bag of fried carbs while you’re sitting in front of the tube and stuff your face for no reason. If you don’t have access to the junk, the only bag you’ll be able to grab for will be filled with baby carrots. If someone brings some junk over for a dinner party, enjoy it with them and dump the rest when they leave.

    2. CookiesMake 80% clean. Relax with that other 20%. Just because your kitchen cupboard no longer looks like a movie theater concession stand doesn’t mean you can’t live it up sometimes. If most of your diet is super tight, you’re doing great, so cut yourself some slack. When I made my first big push to clean up my diet, Friday was Cookie Day. I ate like a saint 6 days a week, but every Friday I had a giant chocolate chip cookie and a latte.

      Knowing I had Cookie Day to look forward to made all the celery on the other days much more palatable.

    3. Make a comforting ritual out of eating healthy. The fact that Cookie Day was a ritual was also quite helpful. Unhealthy eating is often ritualistic—something comfortable and constant that you can depend on. Not only can you have your own Cookie Day—a conscious, controlled, weekly moment of indulgence—but you can replace unhealthy rituals with healthy ones.

      For example, I used to drink at least two servings of alcohol a night. I’d have wine or beer with dinner and then another one when I was sitting around reading or watching TV. When I realized that second drink wasn’t doing me any favors, I replaced it with a cup of herbal tea. The 21-days-to-form-a-habit thing has no scientific backing, but eventually a behavior pattern will set in. In my case, after three weeks I stopped missing that second beer. Then, after a few more weeks I really started craving the calming, peaceful feeling my cup o’ chamomile gave me. Now it’s a nightly ritual.

    4. Almonds and Nutrition BarCarry healthy foods with you at all times. If you carry a purse or a backpack, throw an apple or some raw nuts in there. In this Fast Food Nation, it’s pretty easy to find yourself in situations where you’re hungry and, shucks, you just have no choice but to buy a donut because that’s the only thing you have access to.

      You don’t have that excuse if there’s a snack in your pack. Here are a few to consider:

      • Fresh fruit (Apples and oranges travel well!)
      • Dried fruit (It all travels well!)
      • Raw nuts
      • Whole-grain crackers
      • A Shakeology® packet

  1. Discover new, yummy fruits and veggies. There’s a lot of weird, healthy food out there. Sometimes, we avoid fresh produce because either we’re either bored of the same old oranges or there’s a stigma associated with particular produce. Dad just forced you to eat asparagus one too many times. If this is a problem for you, buy fruits and veggies you don’t recognize. If you don’t know how to prepare it, do an internet search for “(produce name) + recipe.” You might stumble on a new flavor that completely blows your mind.

    For me, that magic fruit was the cherimoya, or “custard apple.” They’re green and scaly on the outside, thick, white, and creamy on the inside, with a rich taste as sweet and satisfying as the richest sorbet. My mouth is watering just writing about them.

  2. Fresh FruitBinge on healthy foods. I’m probably the only person who will ever give you this advice since it’s a wee bit questionable. Every once in the while, something emotional triggers me and I need to eat junk. Someday I might completely conquer this urge, but not yet. When I feel this happening, I hit the fridge and “pre-binge” on healthy foods, mainly raw veggies. Sooner or later, the ice cream or chips come out, but by that point, I’m so full of broccoli or spinach that I’m not physically capable of doing too much damage. Dysfunctional? Maybe, but a vast improvement over the alternative.

You might be one of those lucky souls who just decided to walk away from the candy counter and never looked back. Good for you. I’m not one of those people. Eating right is much easier than it was 20 years ago, but it’s still a process. That said, the rewards are innumerable, so why don’t you set down the pudding pop, grab a peach, and join me?Resources:

  1. Kessler, D. (2009). The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite. New York, NY. Rodale.
  2. Lally, P., Van Jaarsveld, C., Potts, H., & Wardle, J. (2010). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world.European Journal of Social Psychology, 1009 (June 2009), 998-1009. JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.
  3. 3. Landgren, S., Simms, J. A., Thelle, D. S., Strandhagen, E., Bartlett, S. E., Engel, J. A., & Jerlhag, E. (2011). The Ghrelin Signalling System Is Involved in the Consumption of Sweets. (M. Mattson, Ed.) PLoS ONE, 6(3), 9.

 

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Nutrient Timing: What and When you should eat.

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The 911 on Nutrient Timing: What and When You Should EatBy Steve Edwards

What time should I eatIt’s not just what you eat but when you eat that matters. The perfect food for one situation may be horrible for another. Nutrient timing is a science that athletes use to try to get the most out of every calorie they consume. Not everyone needs an athlete’s level of efficiency, but all of us will benefit from a basic understanding of nutrient timing.

This is 911, need-to-know info only. To keep you focused on the big picture, I’ll begin with an example at the extreme end of nutrient timing. If the average Joe followed the same diet as an Ironman triathlete, he’d likely have type 2 diabetes in a matter of months. Conversely, if someone tried to complete an Ironman on even the healthiest version of a low-carb diet, that person would either be forced to quit or die. This is not just because either diet would mean eating too much food or too little food. Different foods cause the body’s metabolic process to react in different ways; and various activities should be fueled using various means.

Let’s begin by looking at our possible fuel sources:
Carbohydrates
Are fuel only. They aren’t stored in body tissue, only in the blood and liver as glycogen, which needs to be burnt off. They are essential for high-level functioning like running fast, lifting heavy things, and thinking. They are digested and put to use by your body very quickly. If you eat more than you burn, your body will convert them to be stored in adipose (fat) tissue.

Proteins
Called the body’s building blocks. Hence, you need them to rebuild tissue that breaks down daily. You digest proteins slowly, and at a certain point, your body just can’t assimilate them. Therefore, it’s important that throughout the day you eat foods that are high in protein.

Fats
Help regulate all of your bodily functions. They are dense and contain over twice the calories of proteins and carbohydrates. While they are vital for our health, it’s easy to eat too much of them, which will result in unwanted fat tissue on your body. You digest fats slowly, and fats will also help slow the digestion of anything else you eat. Fats are also your backup fuel source, though they can’t be put to use right away the way carbs can.

Fiber
Categorized as a carbohydrate, it is not a source of fuel as it has no calories. It’s the indigestible part of a plant and is of vital importance in your diet because it regulates the absorption of the foods you eat. It also helps us feel full. Most of us don’t eat enough fiber, and that’s a big part of the obesity problem.

Alcohol
Not really a food source but something we tend to consume. It has nearly twice the calories of proteins and carbs (though it lacks fuel) and digests rapidly. Its only healthy function is that it seems to make us happy. Studies indicate this is a good thing, as those who consume alcohol generally live longer than those who don’t, but from a purely nutritional standpoint, it’s not so hot because you’re getting calories without any upside. Its use should be strategic and regulated for best results.

Now let’s look at the various situations we face daily, at least on most days—hopefully.
Relaxing
This is when we’re sedentary both physically and mentally. In a relaxed state, you burn very few calories because your body is engaged as little as possible, hence the relaxing.

Sedentary work
When we’re at work or school. Our bodies aren’t moving, but our brains are engaged. The brain runs on glycogen, which is blood sugar fueled by carbohydrates.

Low-level exercise
Like mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, or going for a walk. This breaks down body tissue, so you’re burning calories, but it’s not intense work. Therefore, it can be fueled by your stored body fat. Your body tries to fuel its low-level outputs by mobilizing fat stores because this saves its limited glycogen for emergency situations.

High-level exercise
Fueled by glycogen. When you really have to get after it, all sorts of hormones go to work, and your body burns its blood sugar. Body-tissue breakdown is rapid, and your stored blood sugar (glycogen) won’t last much more than an hour.

Sleep
A very active time. Deep sleep is where your body works the hardest to repair itself. You need nutrients to make these repairs, but it’s better if you aren’t mucking up the process with digestion. This is why you hear that you shouldn’t eat too much at night. It’s best to eat early to allow most of the digestion to happen while you’re awake, thus allowing your body to use all its energy for recovery during sleep. It is worth noting here that it’s better to eat before bed if you need the nutrients—don’t skip them. Your body can’t repair itself without nutrients, and recovery from breakdown is why we eat in the first place. Next, let’s take a look at an important word you need to know: insulin.

Insulin
Wikipedia tells us that insulin “is a hormone that has extensive effects on metabolism and other body functions, such as vascular compliance. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle, and stopping use of fat as an energy source.” Okay, that’s a little scientific, but look at all the things we’ve already referenced: hormone, glycogen, metabolism, and fat as an energy source. Even if you don’t fully comprehend “vascular compliance,” you can tell that insulin is something important in today’s discussion.

Sure enough, it’s the only hundred-dollar word we need to know today. Your body’s insulin response is the main reason you want to eat certain foods at certain times, to do certain things.

Putting it all together
Now let’s take what we’ve just learned and put it to use. For most of us, nutrient timing is pretty simple. The next thing to consider is what you’re going to be doing or what you just did. As I said before, what you eat should be based on this. You’ve probably heard about the evils of sugar, or maybe even the glycemic index. Using the science of nutrient timing, you can turn sugar into something healthy because it’s the only thing that transports nutrients into your blood quickly enough to be of service during and after hard exercise.

Essentially, sugar or other easily digested carbs (the less fiber the better) promote an insulin release. This speeds the transformation of carbohydrates into glucose in your blood. As your glycogen stores are depleted during exercise, recharging them with sugar minimizes the damage done by the breakdown of tissue during exercise. Therefore, sugar, the oft-vilified ingredient, is actually your body’s preferred nutrient during times of excessive stress and tissue breakdown.

Pretty cool, huh? The bad news is that this miracle nutrient is not good for you when you’re not doing intense exercise, which for almost all of us is most of the time. In fact, sugar’s very bad for you because the insulin response that was so fabulous for you when you were bonking (glycogen depleted) is not so fabulous for you when you’re sitting in front of the boob tube.

Remember this from the Wikipedia definition of insulin, “stopping use of fat as an energy source”? That’s bad when you’re sitting around. Remember how one of dietary fat’s responsibilities is to fuel you during low-intensity exercise? Well, when sugar causes your insulin to spike, it cuts off that process. Now not only are you not burning body fat for low-level outputs, you’re trying to force your body to use its glycogen. Double bad.

Unless you’re exercising, sugar intake should be minimized. During these times—which is most of the time—your diet should consist of a mixture of proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates. The latter are natural sources of carbohydrates that generally come with fiber, which regulates the insulin response. Whole fruit, a simple carbohydrate by definition because it contains fructose (a sugar), always contains fiber and, thus, can be treated as a complex carb. Fruit juice, and other such stuff, is processed; it, along with processed complex carbohydrates like white rice, can cause an insulin response, so these types of foods should be used more like sports foods than staples.

It’s also important to note that combining all these different nutrients slows sugar’s ability to incite insulin into action. Therefore, a little sugar like a dessert after a well-rounded meal is buffered by the meal. The calories and lack of decent nutrients (processed sugar is devoid of most nutrients, except for energy) still count toward your overall diet, but at least you don’t have to worry about an insulin spike.

So the main point of this article is very simple. You should eat small, well-rounded meals most of the time. These should include some proteins, some fats, some fiber, and some carbs. During (only if it’s a long workout) and after hard workouts, you should supplement your diet with sugar or simple carbohydrates. After this, you should go back to eating well-rounded meals again.

Sports nutrition has evolved this process even further. In nature, foods are generally slow to digest. Nature’s great sports foods are things such as bananas and figs. These are sugary but still contain fiber and other nutrients. Science has found ways to make foods that are even more efficient during sports. These basically manipulate pH levels and process the sugars to speed them into your system. Outstanding when you need it. Terrible when you don’t.

They’ve even taken this a step further by finding a ratio of other nonsugary nutrients (like protein) that can be transported by the sugar to give you a further benefit. Beachbody’s Results and Recovery Formula uses this science. When you’re bonking during a hard workout, it speeds nutrients that are essential for quick recovery into your system as quickly as possible.

I can’t stress how important it is that sports fuels be used for sports performance only. Gatorade, soda, and all sugar candies (hey, no fat!) all function as the poor man’s sports foods. Unfortunately, those perusing the Quick Stop generally aren’t trying to fuel up after doing Plyo X, and therein may lay our obesity trend.

In case the topic is still a bit fuzzy, let’s use the above logic on the examples in the intro: An Ironman athlete is doing intense exercise for 10 to 12 hours or more. During this time, that athlete is mainly burning glycogen, which is gone after an hour or so. The athlete burns stored fat, too, but this is limited in its effectiveness. To race, the athlete must replenish with sports foods because they contain the only nutrients that the athlete will digest fast enough to help. To complete an Ironman, especially at your physical limit, it may take 5,000 calories coming mainly from sugar.

This is a sports-specific diet only. Someone trying to eat that way during a viewing of the Lord of the Rings trilogy would be lucky to stay out of the emergency room. Conversely, if you tried to maintain a 25-mph speed for 8 hours on your bike while munching on raw spinach and lean steak, you’d bonk so hard you’d be praying to get yanked from the race at the first checkpoint. That should cover your 911 on nutrient timing.

Comparison Chart - You do the math

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Everyone I know seems to be interested in taking Shakeology. They KNOW it’s the best thing for them, yet they have ONE.BIG.HANGUP. Price.  They say “I don’t have the money for that.”  Ironically, that seems to be the same excuse people give for not eating health.  “Organic foods are too expensive”, or “Fruist & Vegetables cost too much money.“Is your health not worth anything to you??

And more than that – have you ever actually compared the price?

 

Isn’t it funny that people will say they don’t have enough money to eat healthy whole foods?  And yet they will eat fast food CONSTANTLY.... putting unhealthy food into their bodiesnd then spend even MORE money on healthcare because they are sick and overweight??

It’s not really funny I guess…. just strange.  Very, very strange.

 

 

Large View Here: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/09/24/opinion/sunday/20110925_BITTMAN_MARSHgph.htm

Interesting comparison of what 200 calories looks like

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This is a very interesting comparison.

Is it worth it? For 200 calories, is it worth it?

{sorted from low to high calorie density}

source: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-200-calories-look-like.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beach-Friendly Snacks Under 150 Calories

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Summer Snack Attack! 23 Easy, Beach-Friendly Snacks Under 150 Calories

No matter what body of water you’re heading to this summer—beach, lake, your local pool—or even some neighborhood kid’s Slip ‘N Slide—you’ll be glad you packed these 23 delicious, nutritious snacks, each of which is 150 calories or less. If you’re looking to get a balance of protein, fat, and carbs for each snack, halve the portions and combine nuts, cheese, or lean meats with the fruit-forward treats!

Summer Snack


Not only will these keep you from craving that double scoop of mint chocolate chip, they’ll help keep your hunger at bay while you’re in and out of the water or soaking up the sun. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Got a cooler? If you’re packing an ice chest, try these refreshing treats that will cool you down when it feels like you’re about to melt in the afternoon sun.

  1. Jicama SaladFrozen grapes. With a taste just like sorbet, frozen grapes make a tasty snack!  Just rinse some grapes, toss them in a plastic bag, and throw them in the freezer. Hours later, you’ll have a chilly, low-calorie snack. 1 cup of grapes equals 62 calories.
  2. Jicama salad. Chop 1 cup of jicama and add a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt for a tangy, crunchy salad. Those 50 calories will give you a blast of energy to get back in the pool for one more round of Marco Polo.
  3. Mediterranean salad. Go Greek and dice 1 medium tomato, half a red onion, and 1 cucumber. Top with 1 ounce of low-fat feta cheese and a pinch of salt. Trust me, it tastes way more decadent than its 146 calories.
  4. Dates and prosciutto. If you want something with more of a savory flavor, wrap 1 piece of prosciutto around a date for a bite that combines sweet and salty. Your taste buds will love you for it. Each one is approximately 50 calories.
  5. Watermelon twist. Even on its own, watermelon is such a great summer food. It’s low in calories, full of water, and high in vitamin C. To add some protein and fat, top 1 cup of watermelon with 1 ounce of crumbled feta for a treat less than 100 calories.
  6. Caprese. The Italians know what they’re doing when it comes to eating healthy. Moderation, moderation, moderation! For this savory snack with a little bite, top 1 ounce of fresh mozzarella cheese with 1 cup of cherry tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of your favorite balsamic vinegar.
  7. Shakeology. Why not bring the Healthiest Meal of the Day to the beach? Just mix half of a serving of your favorite flavor with water for a nutrient-packed snack that’s 70 to 85 calories.
  8. Stuffed tomatoes. Tomatoes are packed with cancer-busting antioxidants, and when they’re stuffed with this vegetarian-friendly recipe for olive and quinoa salad from Cookie + Kate, they’ve also got the protein and fat to keep you going all day. The easy-to-make snack is just 112 calories a serving.
  9. Berries. Feeling the heat? Munch on 1 cup of strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries for an antioxidant-friendly, refreshing treat that’s under 100 calories. Simple and delicious!
  10. Tabouleh Tabouleh. This classic Middle Eastern salad is made from bulgur, tomato, parsley, lemon juice, mint, garlic, and salt. Make your own or pick up some from your local deli. A cup is approximately 150 calories or less.
  11. Gazpacho. This tomato-based soup is like a soup version of V8, only without the preservatives and sodium. It’s jam-packed with tons of vegetables and will help you feel hydrated even on the hottest of days. Follow this recipe and you’ll have a low-cal soup in less than 30 minutes.
  12. Pickles. Want a practically calorie-free snack? Munch on some pickles! They’re sweet and salty, and their delectable crunch makes them a fun snack to eat while you’re sitting on the shore or lounging poolside.
  13. Gelatin dessert. For a sweet treat, enjoy the jiggle of a gelatin-based dessert like JELL-O without adding extra jiggle to you at 80 calories or less. Though many products on the market have artificial ingredients, you can find better versions at natural food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Going cooler-free? These snacks will keep your hunger at bay for when you’re not planning to bring a cooler.

  1. Summer FruitCinnamon apple. Sprinkle an apple with cinnamon for a treat that tastes like apple pie, but with only 70 tiny calories and no added sugar.
  2. Juicy fruit. Try 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce with a hint of cinnamon for a 100-calorie snack. Just make sure to read the ingredients, as many applesauce brands contain added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.
  3. Nuts. A handful of 40 pistachios or 20 raw almonds will provide you with the protein and fat your body needs to fuel your fun in the sun.
  4. Olives. Get some healthy fats into your system by munching on 16 olives! Choose pitted ones to leave yourself with less to clean up.
  5. Peanut, almond, or cashew butter. For a super quick snack, grab a spoonful of nut butter. This protein-rich treat will give you energy. Even the all-natural versions have that great blend of salty and sweet for just 95 calories.
  6. Roasted chickpeas. Mix together olive oil, spices, and chickpeas on a baking sheet, roast them in your oven for 35 minutes, and you’ll have a guilt-free snack high in fiber and antioxidants that’s approximately 150 calories per quarter-cup serving.
  7. Bell pepper with balsamic vinegar. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar over sliced bell peppers for a treat high in vitamin C and low in calories. 1 marinated bell pepper is equal to about 40 calories.
  8. Avocado toast. Mash 1/4 of an avocado onto 1 slice of whole wheat or sprouted-grain toast and sprinkle it with Espellete pepper for a 120-calorie omega-3 friendly snack.
  9. Water Water. Don’t forget about hydration! If you’re going to be in the sun, it’s critical to make sure you’re replenishing your water supply whether or not you’re splashing around in the waves. Unless you want a midday headache, that is. Drink iced cold water, iced tea, coconut water, or sparkling water to rehydrate.


10 Reasons to Try Vegan Shakeology

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10 Reasons to Try Vegan Shakeology

  • . It’s like your own personal cheat sheet. Get the benefits of a vegan diet without fully going vegan or even trying! The health benefits of a plant-based diet are well documented—from lower cholesterol and lower risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, to easier weight management and fewer digestive issues. But you don’t have to follow a 100% vegan diet to enjoy some of these health benefits. One vegan meal a day will put you well on your way to a healthier you!
  • 2. No animals allowed. Chocolate Vegan is a completely plant-based formula with NO animal products. Give your system a break from heavy animal proteins by replacing one meal a day with Chocolate Vegan Shakeology®.
  • 3. Superfoods to the rescue! Chocolate Vegan includes 5 new superfoods: moringa, coconut flower nectar, luo han guo, Himalayan salt, and konjac root. All of the key nutrients come from natural whole foods. There are no added vitamin or mineral isolates and no fortification.
  • 4. Try all-natural chocolate for the first time. Ever wonder what cacao tastes like right out of the pod from the cacao tree? This shake is the way nature intended chocolate to taste. It’s rich, earthy chocolate taste is derived solely from whole-food ingredients with no additional flavoring agents.

  • 5. It’s FREE . . . lactose free and dairy free that is! If you’re lactose intolerant or have trouble digesting whey protein, then this is the shake for you. Most people have trouble digesting dairy, whey protein, or animal proteins and don’t even know it—until they try a plant-based protein meal and they just feel the difference!
  • 6. Fructose is a thing of the past. It takes all kinds of sugars to make the sweet world go round, but there are a lot of fructose haters out there. Chocolate Vegan is made with coconut flower nectar and luo han guo—two whole-food superfoods that are so naturally sweet, there’s no need to add fructose! We won’t get into the pros and cons of fructose, but suffice it to say that if you’re anti-fructose, then Chocolate Vegan or Tropical Strawberry are for you!
  • 7. Protein PACKED. One of the first questions vegans get is “Where do you get your protein from?” Well, plants have protein in them too! And so does vegan Shakeology. 16 grams in fact. Chocolate Vegan and Tropical Strawberry are crafted from an easy-to-assimilate blend of whole, plant-based proteins including sprouted brown rice, pea, sacha inchi, chia, flax, quinoa, amaranth, and spirulina. Not only do they offer 9 essential amino acids, but together they are a complete protein source with sufficiently high levels of lysine and methionine, two important amino acids that are often a limiting factor in plant-based diets.
  • 8. Kiss cravings goodbye. The new ingredient konjac root, in both Chocolate Vegan and Tropical Strawberry Shakeology, will help your cravings disappear! The fiber in this new wonder-food absorbs up to 200 times its weight in water, making you feel fuller, longer. No wonder places like Japan and China have been using it for centuries! Other perks include: help with regularity and healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • 9. Take a bite out of the “Tree of Life.” Chocolate Vegan’s new ingredient moringa is called the “Tree of Life,” because it is one of nature’s most nutritious foods. This superfood contains 90 nutrients and 46 antioxidants along with ALL of the essential amino acids. Plus, according to some studies, moringa can help boost energy, lead to faster recovery, and balance out blood sugar levels.
  • 10. It’s got the stamp of approval. Chocolate Vegan Shakeology is another addition to the Beachbody Ultimate™ line—a collection of the highest-quality products Beachbody has to offer. We are committed to putting the most perfect whole-food ingredients at your fingertips so you can operate at your highest level of nutrition, health, and well-being!

=> CLICK HERE to order Vegan Shakeology <=

Make sure to order it on Home Direct (Auto Shipment) to get FREE shipping!

Proportion is Everything!

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When it comes to health and weight control, the foods you eat are important, but the proportion in which you eat them is vital as well!

I know it may seem silly – but we have STOPPED using our big nice plates and have STARTED use those cheap plastic KID plates you can buy at Walmart.  My philosophy is if you use a big plate you’re going to fill it up and overeat!

So my quick and simply tip for today is to USE A SMALLER PLATE!  You will put less food on your plate and trick your mind into thinking you had PLENTY to eat because your plate was full.

 

***Follow me on Facebook for more healthy tips and advice.  Have a healthy happy day!

Beware of the Beverage

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Rethink Your Drink

When it comes to weight loss, there’s no lack of diets promising fast results. There are low-carb diets, high-carb diets, low-fat diets, grapefruit diets, cabbage soup diets, and blood type diets, to name a few. But no matter what diet you may try, to lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than your body uses. Most people try to reduce their calorie intake by focusing on food, but another way to cut calories may be to think about what you drink.

What Do You Drink? It Makes More Difference Than You Think!

Calories in drinks are not hidden (they’re listed right on the Nutrition Facts label), but many people don’t realize just how many calories beverages can contribute to their daily intake. As you can see in the example below, calories from drinks can really add up. But there is good news: you have plenty of options for reducing the number of calories in what you drink.

 

Better Beverage Choices Made Easy

Now that you know how much difference a drink can make, here are some ways to make smart beverage choices:

  • Choose water, diet, or low-calorie beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • For a quick, easy, and inexpensive thirst-quencher, carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
  • Don’t “stock the fridge” with sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge.
  • Serve water with meals.
  • Make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water.
  • Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
  • When you do opt for a sugar-sweetened beverage, go for the small size. Some companies are now selling 8-oz. cans and bottles of soda, which contain about 100 calories.
  • Be a role model for your friends and family by choosing healthy, low-calorie beverages.

 

 

=>Make me your FREE BEACHBODY COACH!  I send out a weekly newsletter with health tips, nutritional facts and healthy recipes that are not shared here on my website.<=

Eat SMART!

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Hate to break it to ya- but you can’t starve yourself, lose weight and think that weight will stay off! You need to eat. But you need to eat the RIGHT foods, not just fill your body with empty calories.

 

If you are struggling with knowing WHAT foods to eat, or how MUCH to eat – there’s a great online tool that I discovered that is fabulous!  For me and Jayson we struggled with not having healthy recipes and when I did find something that I THOUGHT was healthy I had NO CLUE what the calories were!  And let’s be honest, I’m not going to add up all the calories from the different ingredients.  I don’t have time for that!

I’m sure everyone has heard of MyFitnessPal. It’s an app you can download for free on your iPhone that keeps track of your calories and exercise.  Jayson and I tried that a few years ago and it was great if you were eating lots of packaged meals.  But if you make something from scratch you have no idea the calorie count unless YOU add it in!

So we are now using an online meal planner to find all our healthy recipes.  It break everything down by nutritional facts, gives you ALL the recipes you need, and it is completely customizable!  You put in how many calories you want to consume eat day and it tells breaks it down into five different meals that stay within your goal.  No more counting calories!  No more inputting my meals into that stupid little iPhone app!  My favorite part is that it prints out a shopping list with all your ingredients in categories.  All the produce together, all the dairy, meat, spices, etc.  BEST TOOL EVER!!

=>"YES!  I Want An Online Meal Planner & Club Membership! <=

Okay I take that back, my FAVORITE part of the meal planner is that you can modify EVERY SINGLE MEAL.  I am SO picky and I can name off more things I will NOT eat than things I WILL eat.  So when the meal planner tells me I should have codfish that night, well, I’ll just tell you THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.  EVER.  haha.  But I can switch that meal out for a different recipe that I LIKE.  The planner is SMART and will remember the meals I am deleting and liking and modify future meals based off what I like.  Cool huh?!

To get access to that meal planner you can sign up with on Team BeachBody with a Club Membership.  It’s 34.95 for every 3 months.  That’s just over 11 bucks a month and even though I am CHEAP – we will be using that thing for the rest of our lives!  So worth the money.  I suggest this to all my friends so go check it out!  You can try it out and if you don’t LOVE the meal planner and all the perks of that club membership you can cancel within 30 days and get your money back.

So that my friends is my tip of the day – USE THE ONLINE MEAL PLANNER and take the guess work out of losing weight!

To get started today with YOUR Club Membership click the link below.

=>"YES!  I Want An Online Meal Planner!  Thank You Brigitte - You ROCK!"<=

(I know this is what you are ALL thinking.  I just put it down in words for ya.  And I must say – you’re welcome my friend.  You rock too.)

 

The Economic Cost Of An Unhealthy Lifestyle

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I came across this article on YAHOO the other day and felt it was worth reposting here.
I have heard a lot of people give the excuse that they don’t have the money to be healthy.  Really??  From what I’m seeing here- it looks like you can’t afford to be UNHEALTHY!!

I guess it’s just a matter of priorties.  For me – I would much rather spend my money on something that will bring me more happiness and peace.  I feel I am definitely WORTH the investment.

 

=>If you feel YOU are worth the invest too - FIND ME ON FACEBOOK and send me a message.  I will do my best to help you get started on that path for a healthy lifestyle!<=

The chart was originally posted on YAHOO Finance.  The article can be found HERE

Climb Michi's Ladder

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Michi’s Ladder is not a diet. It’s a simple substitution plan. To lose weight, try swapping the foods you eat for similar foods in tiers 1 and 2. The more you eat in tiers 1 and 2, the more you’ll increase your chances of losing weight.
There are some healthy foods in lower tiers, but they’re either calorie dense or nutrient deficient. To lose weight, you want to maximize the nutrients in every calorie you consume.

Note on frying: Foods should be eaten raw, steamed, grilled, poached, baked, or broiled. Frying automatically drops even the best foods into tier 5.

michis ladder legend

pious tier

 

happy tier

Swiss tier

Dodgy tier

 

New Bug tier

 

If you enjoy my fitness tips, make sure to sign up to have me as your FREE BEACHBODY COACH.  I will help keep you motivated, offer support, and give you access to free tools to keep you on track with your fitness & health goals.

Cheese & Crackers Gone Healthy

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You may have gotten away with Squeeze Cheese & Ritz crackers as a child, but you’re lucky.

You dig your grave with your teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next time, try out my healthy alternative to the classic cheese and cracker combo and save yourself some calories.


Ingredients:

  • 2 Wasa Multi Grain Crispbread
  • The Laughing Cow Cheese Spread: Light Garlic & Herb

Total Calories: 125

You only need one cheese wedge to cover two crackers.  So spread the cheesy love and you’re ready to go!

 

 

 

If you enjoy my fitness tips, make sure to sign up to have me as your FREE BEACHBODY COACH.  I will help keep you motivated, offer support, and give you access to free tools to keep you on track with your fitness & health goals.

Pass the popcorn please!

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If we are out of toilet paper it’s not a big deal.  Just rip a few pages from Better Homes & Gardens and call it good.

Out of milk?  Not a biggie – there’s some powdered milk in food storage.

But if there’s NO POPCORN in the house?  You better believe I’ll be at the grocery store within 5 minutes clearing the shelves because HEAVEN FORBID – we can’t live without our popcorn!!

Seriously guys – this is the BEST SNACK EVER!

It’s low calories in calories, and it’s a great option when you NEED to satisfy those munchies. Plus it’s not like the typical low calorie snack – it actually tastes good.

So that’s my fitness tip for the day:

Stock up on popcorn.

(That is unless you shop at the same store as me.  In that case, please don’t clear the shelves completely because when I need my popcorn, I need my popcorn. Thank you fellow spud buds.)

If you enjoy my fitness tips, make sure to sign up to have me as your FREE BEACHBODY COACH.  I will help keep you motivated, offer support, and give you access to free tools to keep you on track with your fitness & health goals.