Thursday, November 15, 2012

Eating Your Emotions

We all know the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, and how many people seem to struggle with it. One of the reasons people gain too much or too little weight is because they eat (or don’t eat) to cope with their emotions rather than their hunger. This is called “Emotional Eating”. Eating comfort foods such as cookies, ice cream, or unhealthy snacks, or for some people skipping meals, may be satisfying for the moment, but they are just a temporary fix. The unresolved feelings such as anger, fear, anxieties and sadness are still there.

There is a physiological reason that our emotions, sense of taste and smell are so closely linked. They are mainly located in the limbic system of our brain. The limbic system is focused on ensuring survival. Our survival instincts cause us to have strong negative feelings towards foods that have made us sick in the past. Similarly, our survival instincts cause us to have positive feelings and/or cravings for foods that are high in fats and sugars in times of stress. These high calorie foods helped our ancestors when survival was dependent on physical activities such as hunting, or escaping from wild animals, rival tribes or bad weather. This is why certain smells can instantly make us feel sick, or take us back to feelings of comfort and security that we got when eating grandma’s cookies or a favorite dish that mother used to make.

We all eat foods for emotional comfort. In moderation, emotional eating is not a problem. It can be a coping mechanism that helps us manage our response to stress, disappointments, and pain, which we all experience from time to time. However, if we turn to emotional eating too often, it becomes an escape from dealing with life’s issues and concerns. Problems rarely improve if we avoid them through emotional eating. Any behavior such as abuse of alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, spending, or eating, may provide temporary comfort, but over time can be harmful. Unhealthy eating can lead to obesity and other serious health issues as well as low self-esteem.
The unintended consequences of escaping negative feelings by consuming unhealthy foods, or by restricting food intake are often guilt and shame. The temporary gain of escaping negative feelings will not resolve the underlying issue that caused the emotional distress. In fact, the guilt and shame of emotional eating adds an additional layer to it. In addition, if we become overweight or dangerously underweight, this may impact how others view us and how we view ourselves.
If you find yourself turning to food, or away from food, when you are sad, angry, disappointed, or scared, then it may be time to take a closer look at your behavior and consider making changes.
Tips for emotional eaters:
· The first step is awareness. Keep a diary or log to track your eating. When you make an entry decide if you are eating for emotional reasons or for genuine hunger. If it is for emotional reasons, try to identify what you were thinking about before you had the sudden urge to eat your favorite comfort foods.
· Identify your triggers (times when you have the urge to emotionally eat) and create a plan for what you will do such as: take a walk, talk to a friend, or find another productive activity that you enjoy.
· Change your thinking. If you are upset or anxious about something, try to put it into a different perspective. No matter how bad things are, there are always positive aspects that you can focus on. This will help you get past the urge to eat for emotional reasons.
· Consider enlisting other professional help from a nutritionist, personal trainer, and/or mental health counselor for additional assistance in creating a wellness plan. The plan may include healthy eating, managing thoughts and emotions, and exercise.

· If you are ready to make positive changes in your eating habits, it is important to simultaneously develop healthier ways of coping with your feelings and the ups and downs of life. If you take away a key coping mechanism (even an unhealthy one) without replacing it with something better, you are left with a void. That's when a counselor can help.

It is easy to find ourselves slipping into unhealthy responses to difficult situations. For some it is tempting to seek comfort through food which often leads to other health and personal problems. The good news is that people change everyday. Is this your day to make a change?

Additional articles on emotional eating:

Support group – Overeaters anonymous:

Source: ConocoPhillips Health Moment

Monday, October 29, 2012

Challenges of Being a Single Mother

This month has been a challenging to say the least. I've faced financial set backs last month and this month. I've had an injury due to overtraining. I've had a stomach virus. To say I've been stressed is an understatement.

I did allow myself some slack in tracking my nutrition for a couple of weeks. I did not completely stop working out but I did cut back quite a bit. Fortunately, I did not gain weight but I certainly did not lose any. I did lose a good deal of muscle tone and strength, sadly.

Was this the best way to go about things considering I do still have goals to accomplish? Some may say it wasn't. I should have stayed the course & trudged through. However, for me, I feel it was best. I felt myself on the verge of a mental breakdown due to the stress. Being a single mother of three teenagers, this was not an option but something did have to give. I couldn't not go to work. I couldn't stop mentoring youth who had come to depend on me. I couldn't ignore my children. I certainly didn't want to completely stop working out because I knew I needed that time to manage the stress I was enduring. I chose to allow myself to not put so much thought into what I ate & how much. I remained conscious of it but just did't plan ahead and count calories.

Here it is the end of the month and I find myself healthy, healed, and more productive than I had been in two months. I feel centered and focused and ready to jump back into working toward all my goals.

Today, alone, I've promoted new fitness challenges, communicated with my mentor, put in 6.5 hours at work until I had to pick up a sick child from school, made chicken noodle soup for him, cooked dinner & two more meals ahead, studied for my fitness certification, worked out, & stayed on point in my nutrition. I'm now waiting to pick up my daughter from work.

I'd say I'm back! :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gluten Free Greek Pizza

Serves 4 (1/4 pizza each)

1/2 prepared Red Mills Gluten free Pizza crust
Best Life spray butter
1/2 c. Reese artichoke hearts (in water)
6 kalamata olives, quartered
1 small tomato, cut into eighths
6 oz. grilled chicken breast, boneless, skinless, diced
1/2 c. fat free shredded mozzerella cheese

Prepare crust to package directions for 2-12" pizzas.  Use only one crust.
Spray with butter spray
Top with all toppings, except cheese.
Spray toppings with butter spray.
Top off with cheese.
Bake according to package directions.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Post Beachbody Ultimate Reset: Day 2

This is my second day off of the Ultimate Reset.  I have continued to do as instructed and eat the same types of foods I had in Weeks 2 & 3.  I still have not "cheated."  I've had no sugar, artificial sweeteners, or processed foods.  I have had zero desire to eat those things.  I have ZERO cravings for them like I did before & which caused me to sabotage my nutrition...& ultimately my goals.  Today, I made one exception to test my body's reaction to gluten.  I haven't eaten wheat products in almost a month.

I had a serving of baked pita chips with humus.  Almost immediately my stomach began to ache.  I haven't felt that ache in a month.  I never really noticed before doing the Ultimate Reset that my stomach would ache from eating wheat products.  I always thought it was because I was too full.  That was not the case today, for sure!

This just validated my decision to remain gluten-free.  As much as I love pasta & baked goods, it isn't worth being uncomfortable...and sometimes in pain when my IBS flares.  I've been looking at gluten-free products the last couple of weeks.  There are gluten-free alternatives for nearly everything, including pasta, pizza crust, chips, cookie mixes, pancake mix, etc..

The Beachbody Ultimate Reset has done far more for me than just help me lose some weight & inches.  It made me more aware of how my body reacts to the food I eat & made me look for better options.  Most importantly, it renewed the confidence in myself that I CAN be consistent & not give up on the things that are the best for me & my family.

It would have been very easy to fall back to old habits.  I could have stopped at the convience store yesterday & got a soda & candy, but I chose to come home to the food I had prepared.  It was not a hard decision.  I'm happy with my results & want more.  I'm ecstatic that I saw something through to the stopping & restarting...which had been my pattern for the last year and a half.  I'm more determined than ever to complete a round of P90X2.  I've scheduled my workouts to help hold me accountable to that goal.  I've even scheduled workouts beyond my completion of P90X2...through the end of this year.

If you would like help gaining this same confidence in yourself, please message me.  It is my honor to help you be confident in yourself and your abilities.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: RESULTS

I wanted to summarize my thoughts on the Beachbody Ultimate Reset

Week 1: I can and WILL do this.  I will NOT cheat!  I will not quit short of the 21 days!  Holy crapola that's a butt ton of produce!  What the hell is tempeh and miso paste?  Alkalinize = liquid spinach = please God don't make me drink that green goo again!!! Kale...can't be that bad, right? Cheese & crackers that SHIT is nasty! *whole big bunch in the garbage and never to enter my home again*

Week 2: OMG! I want a cheeseburger...sundae...french fries...that steak smells A-mazing!  More Alkalinize AND now Detox!  Surprisingly the Detox isn't as bad tasting as the Alkalinize, but dear Lord that texture!  Shake like a mad woman & chug! These microgreen salads really are wonderful!  Love, love, love the sweet potato & roasted red pepper bisque! Asparagus...okay, not so bad after all...must be thin spears & roasted with cashews is heaven!  FINALLY! I found Brag Amino Acids...THAT's miso paste?...oh, now I find the seaweed....go ahead and get it and we will try those Nori rolls post-Reset...gotta eat the same sorts of foods for 3 weeks post anyway.  Getting really tired of making 21 different meals for 7 days in 4-6 hours on Sunday!

Week 3: The home stretch! I got this!  Holy crap 7.6 lbs & 6.5" gone!  This is awesome....holy shit my abs coming through & my tummy is flat!  Somebody slap me & call me happy!  Yup can definitely see results in the pics! Sad face...cellulite is still hanging onto my worries...will be obliterated once I resume P90X2!  Don't really like that Miso soup after leaving it out for 2 weeks...don't think I'll be making that again!  Hmm...avocado-cucumber soup...chilled...could be interesting...I like avocado & cucumber.  Dear God...who was I kidding thinking I could travel with food & keep it fresh....must work on plan in the works.  Super proud of myself for sticking it out, not giving up, & not sabbotaging with foods any worse than dried pineapple & banana chips!  I'm totally going to get those extreme results from P90X2 now! I'm never missing a workout again!

Now for the moment you've all been waiting for...drum roll please....

The final results are

                                           Day 1                      Day 21
                      Body Fat %:   23.4%                     21.5%
                      Weight:         159.8                       150
                      Chest:           31"                          29"
                      Waist:           29"                          27.5"
                      Hips:             36.5"                       35"
                      Right Thigh:   23.75"                     22.5"
                      Left Thigh:     24"                          23"
                      Right Bicep:   11"                          11"
                      Left Bicep:     11.5"                       11"
Net Loss:    9.8lbs & 7.75" Total

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Days 18-21

Week 3 Days 4-7

I really wanted to workout today, but the wisdom of the creators of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset & other users of it keeps ringing in my head...don't workout...give your body the time to soak up what the Reset has to offer.  Also, my calories were pretty low today & I'm running on little sleep.  The two combined means exhaustion & I can't afford for that to hit me at any time!  Therefore, I digress.  I will workout first thing in the AM!  What's a few more hours, right?  Especially, if I'm sleeping through them!

Progress measurements, along with before & after photos, will be posted tomorrow evening.  Please do check back to see how I fared.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 17

Week 3 Day 3

Find out how I liked the Moroccan Carrot dish for me.

Dinner: Baked Butternut squash, Lemony green beans, & toasted millet.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 16

Week 3 Day 2

Another good day.  The only downside was getting hungry well before time to eat.  I was also quite hungry after I ate dinner, but within about an hour the hunger subsided.

Curried Cauliflower, brown rice, & steamed spinach

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 15

Wahoo! No more Detox!  Seven more days & I'm back to my P90X2.

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 14

Week 2 Day 7

Wow! Day 14 already.  It seems like it has taken a long time to get here, but at the same time, it seems like it has gone by fast.  No video.  I was so exhausted that I went to bed early.  It has nothing to do with BUR.  I had two short nights in a row & sleep interrupted by storms through the night.  I'm a light sleeper, so it doesn't take much to wake me.

Breakfast was fruit plate.  I honestly don't mind this at all.  I love fruit.  The only thing I would like to be able to add is my Shakeology.  I really miss it!

Lunch was a microgreen salad with soup made from the same squash as Day 13 dinner.  I think I like the squash better as a soup.  I did have to double the amount of coconut water & even added a little more water because there wasn't enough volume for my blender to blend.

Dinner was a Roasted Corn & Edamame soucatash.  Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I definitely wasn't horrible.  I liked it.  I'm just not sure I would make it again.  Although, it would make a great dish to take & expose to something like a family reunion.  Maybe I will make it again & take it to our reunion next year.

I am down another 2.8 lbs and 4" total.  That is a total of 7.4 lbs & 6.5" in 14 days!

PS: Another confession...I had dried pineapple & banana chips again last night.  Not because I was hungry, I just did.  When I get really tired, I get into what I call "grazing" mode.  I want to eat for no reason at all.  This is what happened last night.  I should have just gone to bed but it was only 6pm & I was trying to stay awake at least another hour.  The positive thing to come of this is that I am fully aware of what I do when I am tired & know what I SHOULD do instead of eat.  Also, I know I cannot no longer eat the packaged dried fruit.  I caused my belly to ache & bloat.  Therefore, I will be investing in a food dehydrator.  They are only $30-$40.  It would pay for itself in about 5-6 uses max because one package of store bought dried fruit is an average of $5.  Lessons learned.

PPS: We will also be investing the $100 to buy a juicer.  Most store bought juices have added sugar & are crazy expensive.  I mentioned the idea to my kids & they were actually excited about being able to make their own juice on demand.  Again, it will pay for itself quickly because we will no longer have fruit rotting & being thrown away because it isn't being eaten & we won't be consuming additives that just aren't necessary.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 13

Week 2 Day 6

I'm feeling quite confident & definitely ready to get back to my workout schedule!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 12

Today was wonderful but busy. Breakfast was a fruit plate again. Lunch was Sweet Potato Roasted Red Pepper Bisque & Microgreen salad. Dinner was roasted Mediterranean Beets, quinoa, & coconut collard greens. I wasn't sure how I would like the collard greens after my experience with kale. It was a little bitter but the coconut juice & sautéed onions helped sweeten it. I did like it. The beets were good but would have been far better had I not over cooked them. One must be sure to stir the vegetables when roasting them!

On another note, I went back to Whole Foods today to get the rest of the ingredients I need for Week 3. While there, I found some ingredients I've needed the whole time...miso paste, liquid Amino Acids, tempeh, Nori sheets. I won't new the Nori again but since I found it I bought it to have on hand to attempt to make Nori rolls after I finish the Reset.

It was a good day!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 9-10

Week 2 Day 2-3

These have been the most challenging days on the reset yet. Not because of the reset but because of things going on in my life.

Yesterday was Day 9. I had a commercial shoot late in the day, three hours from home. My call time was also dinner time. I had no idea when I would get to eat so I bought dried apples & low sodium cashews for a snack. It was as close to the approved snacks as I could get & not be too messy. As it turned out, this shoot was out of the ordinary & I was sent home 3 hours later. I packed my dinner & the next days meals so I had those with me. I was able to enjoy my Sweet potato & Roasted Red Pepper Bisque & Roasted Asparagus! Lunch was a repeat of the dinner from day 1. Breakfast was a fresh fruit plate.

Day 10 has been far more challenging! I have another commercial shoot. This one is all day, starting at 7 am & ending around 5:30 pm (hopefully). Breakfast was on point with fresh fruit again. However, lunch was a challenge. I was not able to keep my salad & soup (same as last night's dinner) cold. The fridge in the hotel was barely above room temp & the freezer didn't work so I couldn't refreeze my ice packs. I had no choice but to eat whatever the production company was providing. I still had dried apples & cashews left over. By noon, we still hadn't broke for lunch so I had to snack on those. We broke for lunch after 1pm. Here's the tricky part.

The shoot is in a casino. The options were to buy my own food from vending machines, fast food in the food court, or take advantage of the paid meal in the buffet. I went for the buffet hoping for a decent salad at best. I did get a salad but the selections were slim at best. I made the most of it. I went back to see if I could find a suitable replacement for the soup & lucked upon a plain baked sweet potato! I went for that. The worst part of it was I couldn't take my Reset supplements because I didn't have the requisite 30 lead time. We were told lunch was only 45 minutes altogether.

I'm going to go ahead & take my lunch supplements at the 2 hour post-lunch mark. Hopefully, we wrap in time for me to take the Alkalinize another 2 hours later. I'll then be able to take my dinner supplements on the trip back home & have my Reset dinner.

I haven't been able to get in near enough water & have felt a headache twinge a few times as a result. I've been tempted by sugary snack foods provided by the production company but have avoided them. The buffet wasn't difficult to avoid because I've never been a fan of buffets.
Day 10 Dinner: Quinoa Lentil Pilaf & steamed broccoli
I'm afraid Week 2 won't be as successful as it could have been, but it is only half done. I am officially half way through the reset!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 8

Week 2 Day 1

This is the Release phase. With it comes a new supplement: Detox.
Detox helps your body move from the inside. makes you poop!

I had a fruit plate this morning which I loved! I had cherries, strawberries, & seedless watermelon. Lunch was a microgreen salad. Dinner was beans with brown rice & steamed green beans. Again, it filled my whole dinner plate. It was wonderful! I'm looking forward to lunch tomorrow when I get the beans & rice again! I'm loving this Reset!!!

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 7

No video for day 7. This week I'm all over the place & won't have a chance to post videos.

Week 1 ended with Day 7. Loved the Roasted Root Vegetable medly again for dinner. I also had steamed veggies & brown rice. Lunch was a microgreen salad with avocado. Breakfast was quinoa as I wasn't fond of what was on the menu for breakfast.

The day was great. Energy level was up again. I ended the week down 4.6 lbs & 2.5". I'm pretty happy with that!

On the the Release phase!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 5 & 6

Check out my confession!

Here is what I had for lunch on Day 6.
That is a full size dinner plate.  This cleanse isn't about starving yourself AND you eat REAL food!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Days 1-3

Since the audio quality of my videos was so bad, I wanted to also post a written review of my first 3 days on the Beachbody Ultimate Reset (BUR).

I want to preface this by saying I had been weaning myself of off caffeine for a couple of months.  In the two weeks prior to start the BUR, I was down to only one caffeinated beverage per day.  The day before I began the BUR was my first day of ZERO caffeine.

The first day I felt fine.  The food was good.  It wasn't so out of the ordinary for what I am used to eating.  I do NOT like fish, so I subbed boneless, skinless chicken breast for the salmon.  I was hungry at each of the times I'm used to having a snack.  I'm used to eating 5 times a day, so my body had to adjust back to the 3 times a day.  I haven't eaten only 3 times a day in about 5 years!  The second worst thing about this day was the Alkalinize.  It is one of four supplements taken during the first phase.  It smells like dried spinach.  Mind you, I like spinach.  I do NOT like the Alkalinize!  It is quite possibly one of the worst things I've ever tasted!  I did not get it mixed well, either, which did not help.  I was given suggestions of sucking on a lemon immediately after drinking it & mixing it with only about 2 ounces of water.  Definitely trying that the next day.

The second day was by far the worst.  This was my third day off of caffeine.  In the many times past in which I have tried to quit caffeine, day 3 is always the day that made me give up due to the excruciating headache.  I am prone to migraines, so getting a bad headache is terrifying to me.  I cannot function with a migraine.  I spent this day laying down & sleeping because it hurt too bad to even walk across the room.  I even had an acting audition that I missed due to this.  I made it half to the audition & had to come home.  NOTE: The audition was 3 hours away from home.  I tried the previous day's suggestions with the Alkalinize.  While still quite disgusting, it certainly help get rid of the awful aftertaste to suck on a lemon & not have so much liquid to swallow!!  The food, again, was good.  LOVED the black beans & rice!!

The third day was markedly better than the last.  I still had a headache but it was manageable.  I felt better when I was up & moving around.  This was a good thing because I had my daughter's birthday party to prepare for the next day.  This is the day that Nori rolls are supposed to be for dinner.  First off, I couldn't find Miso paste to make Miso soup.  Then I couldn't find Nori sheets to make the Nori rolls.  I also could not find Tempeh.  I understand all these things are supposed to be available at Whole Foods.  I was unable to find them there.  Had I had more time, I would have asked for help.  I wasn't too concerned about it because I feared I wouldn't like the stuff anyway.  I was able to find dried Wakame sheets at Walmart.  This is used to make a seasoning.  I opened the package to begin prepping my dinner.  The stuff smells just like the Alkalinize!  I couldn't make myself eat it!!  YUCK! I opted for a rice bowl instead.

So, there you have it.  The first 3 days of my experience on the BUR.  My experience has been quite different than many others.  Some do not experience the headaches.  Most common are the headaches, along with body aches, muscle soreness, joint soreness, etc.  Some even experience flu-like symptoms.  All these are associated with the toxins leaving the body.  The BUR is an internal workout for your body.  I believe those with the poorest nutritional practices going in experience the worst symptoms. 

Before starting the BUR, I strongly encourage you to see your physician & allow plenty of time to wean yourself off of caffeine, being caffeine-free at least one week prior to beginning the BUR.

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Review: Day 4

We had a cookout for my daughter's birthday party.  I made grilled hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans, & deviled eggs.  She also had strawberry cake & chocolate ice cream cake (think death by chocolate).  I held to my meal plan & did not cheat.  My parents were even asking me what the Reset is supposed to do for me.  They seemed very interested & supportive!

I'm told the audio quality is lacking on the video.  I will have that fixed for Day 5.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Apple Protein Pancakes

Serves 1 (4 pancakes)

1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
1/4 t. cinnamon
2 egg whites

Mix ingredients thoroughly.
Spray skillet with non-stick spray.
Add 1/4 c. batter to hot skillet. Cook until the edges are bubbly and the pancake is nearly set. Gently slide a spatula under the pancake and flip. Cook just until brown.
Cal. 214; Protein 29g; Carbs 20g; Fat 2g; Sodium 206 mg

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Greek Frittata

Simple, high protein, & tastes amazing.  This recipe made me love eggs again.

Serves 1
Cal   Protein Carbs    Fat   Sodium

Nonstick cooking spray
5 egg whites
1 whole egg
1 T. lowfat/fat free milk
1/2 t. Mrs. Dash Salt Free Tomato Basil seasoning blend
4 kalamata olives, diced
4 quarters artichoke hearts, diced
1 T. feta cheese with sun-dried tomato & basil
Preheat oven to 350 F.

1) Coat a medium size, oven-safe, non-stick skillet with cooking spray & heat on low setting.
2) Beat together egg, egg whites, milk, & seasoning.
3) Pour into heated skillet.
4) Cook, without stirring, until bottom begins to set & turn white.
5) Add olives, artichoke, & cheese.
6) Cook until the bottom is completely set.
7) Transfer to oven & bake 5-7 minutes, until completely set.
8) Remove from oven & slide out of skillet onto a warm plate & serve.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Turkey Bacon Wrapped Quiche Cups

Serves 3: 2 cups each
336 calories, 23g. protein, 11g carbs
9 slices Reduced Sodium Turkey Bacon
1 c. fat free half & half
6 eggs
1/4 t. sea salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 c. reduced sodium shredded cheese

1) Using a 6 cup muffin tin, line each cup with 1.5 slices of bacon and set aside.
2) In a medium-sized bowl, beat together eggs, half & half, sea salt, and pepper.
3) Mix in bell pepper, onion, & cheese.
4) Fill muffin tin with egg mixture, divided evenly among the cups.
5) Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees & bake for 25-30 minutes, or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.