Let’s Make This Year (2018) Different

How many people do you think made a weight loss wish when the ball dropped this year? Chances are, quite a few.

With two-thirds of Americans overweight, there are an estimated 45 million people on a diet right now, chalking up $33 billion per year on weight loss products.

Yet, times are changing, and so are the approaches to improving our health. The dogma of calories in, equal calories out has been exploited. There is far more involved with wellness and weight loss than the obsession with eating perfect portions of perfectly healthy food.

Make this year different by relaxing the efforts on dieting, and create a balance between the mind, body, and spirit, emphasizing how you feel, how, what and when you eat, and what you believe makes you healthy. I’ve included a few items to focus on below:

1. Hydrate

The goal is to drink half your weight in ounces, and more if you are exercising or traveling. Start the day with an inner bath and drink 20 ounces first thing. In the winter, I fulfill this need by carrying a water bottle with me wherever I go, or more often you will see me with my Continga containing hot water with lemon.

2. Don’t Major in Minor Things

Sometimes eating “perfectly” can do us more harm than good. Relax and don’t give up 95% of your life to drop 5% of your weight (or fill in the blank of what you are trying to achieve). The healthiest version of yourself isn’t how good you look in a swimsuit. The healthiest version of yourself is when hormones are balanced, your body and mind are strong and you have the energy to do what you love. When you push your body to extremes, including talking to yourself in a negative way, you’re giving up more than calories. You miss out on life.

3. Avoid Vegetable Oils and Man-Made Oils (Canola. Corn, Sunflower, Soybean oil, Safflower and Cottonseed oil)

These oils have large amounts of biologically active fats called Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful to our health.  The more Omega-6s you eat, the more systemic inflammation you will have. Opt for better fats such as coconut oil, avocado oil. palm oil, grass-fed butter or ghee for cooking, and olive oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, walnut oil for cold uses. Make sure to have some sort of fat on your plate at each meal, and the right kind of fat.

4. Know Hunger is the Best Sauce

Master hunger and feel comfortable being hungry 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. Eat when you’re hungry – but only when you’re hungry. Forget the clock and listen to your body instead. 

5. Moderate

Perhaps my favorite tip: moderation (and I am not talking food). While working hard in your career, parenthood, friendships, life, find a balance in enjoying things like make you happy. Being healthy is a balancing act, and not about deprivation nor perfection.

6.  Stress Less – Sleep More

Sleep is the backbone of good health. Guard your bedtime as sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.

 

Come Detox With Us 2017

If you are thinking of a few health goals for the New Year, join us in a 21 Day Cleanse program kicking off January 9th! More details to come, but program will include:

  • a weight loss cleanse that can only be hosted by a health professional,
  • supplements/phytonutrients and herbs to support liver detox and fat metabolism. Specifically these supplements enhance your body’s ability to release toxins.
  • private forum, accessing a dietitian 24/7 for support, and 30 minute weekly webinars,
  • a smoothie (with real food ingredients) and real food based menu, and more.

If you are wondering if this program could be helpful, these questions can assist:

  • How often do you eat out?
  • How often do you consume vegetable oils? Whether it’s from your pantry or Chipotle, it’s impairing your body’s ability to detox.
  • How often do you consume artificial sweeteners or coloring?
  • Do you wear perfume/cologne or makeup?
  • Do you eat out of plastic containers? Or store leftovers in plastic?
  • Do you burn candles in the house?
  • What household cleaners are used in your office or home?
  • Do you eat all organic foods? What’s your exposure to pesticides?
  • Is your vehicle parked in a garage attached to you home?

If you answered yes to many of the above, there is a good chance you can benefit from a detox (especially a detox that supports all 3 phases of the liver detox) such as the one we will be hosting January 30th.

If you want to do a more thorough questionnaire to determine your toxic load, email Kelly. I hope you find the right tools to help you be your healthiest, and if this program is one of them, I can’t wait to have you.

Cheers to you and health!

[email protected]

Enjoy Food, the Right Amount & Satisfy Your Cravings

Yes, easier said than done.

Put a homemade meal in front of most people, and suggest they will not have an extra bite, let alone an extra serving – I think we can agree, that would be wishful thinking.

It is clear we live in an obesogenic world – food is readily available, cheap and tasty and there are plenty of commercials, ads, billboards and advertisements telling us we need their meal/snack.

However, we need to be able to moderate our portions and be attentive to what we are choosing to eat. Observed practices which have helped clients and myself include:

  1. Eat on smaller plates and eat most foods at home, composed of real food (i.e. meals don’t come out of a box). “For the average consumer, eating one meal away from home each week translates to roughly two extra pounds a year,” said Lisa Mancino, a food economist for the USDA. How many more calories a diner consumes out depends on the meal. Eating lunch out has the largest effect, adding 158 calories to daily caloric intake, compared to lunch prepared at home. Dinner out increases intake by 144 calories, and breakfast out adds 74 calories, according to the USDA.
  2. Eat a variety of foods. Our bodies require more than 40 nutrients and if we are deficient in one, guess what happens? We get hungry and we get cravings. Diversify your meals day to day and season from season. Most importantly, eat real, clean food. Need assistance understanding what that is, let me know.
  3. Attend to your gut. Yes that’s right. A healthy intestines, housing good gut bacteria, allows for an optimal and controlled appetite. With most clients I recommend a quality probiotic. When our digestion is off and you large intestines doesn’t have support from good bacteria, we can become at risk for infections and inflammation. With both, we get an increased appetite. A healthy gut also entails a good diet avoiding gluten, corny syrup, soy and in some cases dairy.
  4. Eat slowly, focus on the flavors, savor the food, chew your food, chew your food. Also be sure to chew your food (hopefully you got that). The digestion process begins in the mouth and helps you to be in-tune with your hunger/satiety. Data from a study out of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who took smaller bites and chewed for an average of 9 seconds vs 3 seconds before swallowing ate significantly less food.
  5. Do not stock your kitchen with nutrient-deficient “domino foods.” This can be a two part recommendation too; domino foods can be something that is good for us like dark chocolate, nuts, dried fruit. For example, I have a hard time moderating my portions of nut butters. Therefore, I make nut butter fresh with raw nuts, when I want it. Yes, nuts are nutrient dense, but I easily eat too much of it (too much of a good thing is bad) and therefore I control portions by making small amounts when I want and involve labor in fulfilling my desire thus reducing the likeliness of going for seconds. As for avoiding nutrient-deficient foods in your kitchen, no need to have goldfish, chips, candy, sub-par chocolate, etc in your house. Let those foods be eaten on an occasion and when socializing with friends. These are the type of things you will want late in the evening. Out of site, out of mind, out of kitchen, out of luck.
  6. Write what you bite. A food log/journal is such a cheap and useful tool. It keeps us accountable and aware of what we are eating on a daily basis. Starting each day, or do this the night before, jot down what your 3 meals and snacks will look like. I find writing my snacks down is very helpful, especially for the latter part of the day.
  7. Drink tea. Tea is great for us (especially herbal caffeine free versions and the process of heating water and seeping a tea bag, can be therapeutic. let along enjoying the flavors.
  8. Learn how to cope with stress. Since stress can be the biggest trigger for cravings and learning to cope with what you have at hand rather than turning to food, is the best thing for your health overall.
  9. Fulfill your craving with quality food. I often tell clients to make some treats out of clean food options. Examples of this is a frozen banana, Lindt dark chocolate, coconut cocoa treats and more.
  10. Eat square meals with plenty of fat (yes, we need more fat than most people think), protein and moderate carbohydrates. The golden rule I provide to clients is starting their day off with protein (20-30 grams) to prevent cravings and snacking later in the day and then follow-up lunch and dinner with a third of calories coming from healthy fat, a third from protein and a third from carbs. The other 10 percent = wiggle room.
  11. Get up and move. Activity can curb cravings and appetite up to two hours. Sometimes boredom and fatigue can be the reason we are hungry and some movement is the solution. This does not mean to skip your meals, but make activity a priority.
  12. Lastly, make your health a priority. Get up earlier to make a healthy breakfast, make homemade meals in bulk, be efficient with grocery shopping, errands, doctor/dietitian appointments, weave movement naturally into your day, etc. You know what you need to do and just do it. You deserve good health.

References:

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES RELATED TO MENU LABELING. YALE UNIVERSITY RUDD CENTER FOR FOOD POLICY AND OBESITY

Gut Hormones and Appetite Control. Gastroenterology.  

Client FAQ: When Traveling What Can I Prep/Eat?

I easily answer this question once a week. Regardless if I have a client traveling for the week for work, on the road daily for sales meetings, or just plain busy, people always want to know what to pack/snack and eat for their meals.

Client Question: Kelly, I’m on the road this week, what would you pack to keep things healthy and satisfying for all 3 meals?

Kelly: I know this gig well. The last 2 years I was on the road weekly and sometimes weeks at a time. Depending on what your travel looks like, here are some ideas:

hard boiled eggs are great for early morning flights. Even better, pair 2-3 eggs with some raw veggies. Get a coffee at the airport and you are good to go.

In your handbag/briefcase have macadamia nuts, dark chocolate, fresh fruit, even canned tuna or canned salmon. You can pick up a plain salad from about anywhere and top it with some solid protein.

If you are staying somewhere overnight, don’t hesitate to go to the grocery store and a gourmet gas station and get a few items for your mini fridge. I’ve bough large bags of dark leafy greens, guacamole, deli meat, olives, etc to have for dinner after a long day. I may have paired this with a glass of red wine, but I was saving money, managing what I was eating and I didn’t feel exhausted after a long week.

No doubt though, eating in on the road is not always realistic. My go-to’s are Chipotle (bowl with pork, all 3 salsas, lettuce and guacamole), Jimmy Johns (an unwich with extra meat and avocado) or a non-chain restaurant and build/choose a meal based on protein and vegetables. Of course. always gluten free.

While traveling, sleep can be rough and the travel can dehydrate you. Always have some water on hand and bring along some herb teas to help you wind down in the evening.

More snack ideas can be found here.

What are your go-to foods while traveling?

Client’s Paleo Transition – Becky Schlageter

Please paint a picture of who you are:

Becky is an Ohio native who moved to Chicago 6 years ago. She has always been passionate about health and wellness. She graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Exercise Physiology and Pre-Physical Therapy. After college she worked in the corporate world for several years, but is now back doing what she loves! She received her NASM Personal Training Certification last year and is now spending most of her time helping others achieve their fitness goals with one-on-one personal training. As well, Becky most recently partnered with Kelly Schmidt, RD, LDN on some health programs/bootcamps. Stay tuned.

What inspired you want to do Paleo?

I was in a rut and bored with my eating habits. I had also read a lot of literature on this diet and many positive reviews, and thought it was worth trying first-hand. So I put myself on Kelly’s Paleo Infused Nutrition Pledge food challenge to see if I could stick the program for 4 weeks; I did! I also wanted to speak intelligently about intuitive nutrition and more easily empathize with my clients who were participating in other food challenges, diets or cleanses.

What is your health goal/objective?

I want to improve digestion and nutrient absorption, as I now know good digestion equals good health. I have always been a healthy eater, but never really noticed my energy levels or regularity being where they should be. I didn’t feel my healthy eating efforts were paying off either. I am always interested in learning more about nutrition and food labels. Lastly, I wanted to drop those 5 lbs clinging to my thighs, which have fallen off eating a real food diet. Success!

What was the most challenging thing in following a paleo diet? How did you overcome this challenge; if you did?

At first, eliminating dairy was the biggest challenge for me. I had been eating greek yogurt, cheese and ice cream regularly for the past few years. First and foremost, I got rid of all the dairy products in my fridge. This helped me stay on track and avoid any temptations. I also did some research and came up with some “dairy alternatives”. I am now borderline obsessed with coconut milk and can’t image going back to drinking regular milk. I also was able to make an amazing non-dairy cheesecake that left me just as satisfied as if I were eating the real thing. My second biggest challenge was not drinking beer. I am an avid beer drinker and love hoppy, craft beers. I was able to completely eliminate beer for the entire month. However, there are some tasty gluten free beer options that I have recently discovered. They don’t leave you feeling as bloated and full. For you Chicagoans-Binny’s, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as well as lots of restaurants have a decent gluten free selection.

What was your overall impression of the diet? Do you still follow it?

I honestly loved the diet. I learned a ton about nutrition and how misleading some food labels can be. I also felt better (increased energy, better digestion and healthy skin). Experimenting with all the different recipes was also really fun. If anyone needs any recipes-I have a ton I’ve collected over the past few months. www.paleoomg.com is also an awesome resource for great recipes and fun commentary.

Since completing the challenge, my motto has been “80/20”. I try and stick with it 80% of the time and I give myself a little wiggle room with the other 20%. For example, I was just home for Christmas and there was NO WAY I was not going to have JUST ONE piece of my mom’s homemade fudge. I also think the “80/20” mindset is very healthy. You don’t feel totally defeated if you cheat one day…so be it, just get yourself back on track!

What changes did you see after doing one of Kelly’s Paleo Infused Nutrition Pledges?

As I mentioned above, my digestion, energy and skin were better than before. I also slept better. And, lost those stubborn 5 lbs on my thighs. My awareness of all the crappy food options out there is also worth noting. Every time I go to the store or go out to eat I find myself really scrutinizing the labels and menus. I deem this as a really positive thing and really believe “you are what you eat”.

What advice would you tell someone considering the Pledge?

I would highly recommend the pledge. Go into the pledge and challenge yourself to stick to it 100% for the 4 weeks. Thereafter, you can decide if it’s right for you. I would also recommend anyone considering the pledge to plan ahead. Researching recipes and literature surrounding the premise of the pledge ahead of time will really help you mentally prepare for what lies ahead, ultimately leading to a successful pledge.

What were/are your favorite snacks and meals?

I loved making sweet potato fries. Super cheap and easy. I also made egg “muffins” as a fun breakfast alternative (basically eggs with whatever fixings you want, baked in muffin tins). Homemade nut butter was also a god send. I would eat this along with carrots, celery or an apple for a snack. Beware though-it’s addicting! I also made a lot of smoothies for lunch with fresh fruit and veggies. Adding an avocado to the smoothies gives it an awesome creamy flavor. Spaghetti squash with homemade marinara and chicken sausage, butternut squash with bacon and onions…the list goes on and on.

Any other comments?

Just try it! You have nothing to lose….besides 10 lbs, better sleep and better skin!

 

Becky Schlageter is an excellent Certified Personal Trainer and is passionate about her client’s success. Email Becky at [email protected] if you are in the Chicago area and want some fitness coaching. 

FAQ – Breastfeeding & (Paleo) Diet Change

If you are a new mother, breastfeeding and wanting to shed some weight, you may enjoy this common FAQ. If you have any experiences to add, please comment; we would love to hear from you.

My sweet nephew Beau

Client FAQ:

“I’m looking to jump start losing the rest of my baby weight and was thinking of going paleo, as I have before with significant other. However, I do have some concerns about changing my diet THAT much since I am breastfeeding. My question is: do you have any info on the affects of paleo while breastfeeding? Is there a way to ease into it so that it won’t affect my milk supply? Any info you can find would be so helpful.”

Answer:

While my response is not black and white everyone, hence I do not know exactly what foods are currently being consumed, I believe it is advisable and surely should not negatively impact milk supply switching to a whole food diet, such as a paleo diet. Yet, it is crucial to keep calories adequate. With breastfeeding calorie needs can increase by 200-500 calories. Keeping hydration up is almost, if not more important too. Drink that H2O.

While I am not yet a mother, there are testimonials of moms who have breastfeed their children on both a paleo diet and a Standard American Diets and have found these observations:

  • Paleo breastfeed babies (meaning mother ate a paleo diet) had better sleep, fewer spit ups, less gas and few to no rashes on the bum or face.

Of course this is not scientific data, and all babies are different, but do a Google search and see what you find. I think there is some truth in the consistency of the above noted trends.

Overall, making the change to paleo or to a cleaner diet, you need support. Whether it’s your significant other helping you, family or frineds, I too am happy to coach you along. Please don’t hesistate to ask.

Hands down, you are a wonder woman. Having a baby is not a piece of cake and these breastfeeding months are not a bed of roses either. Changing a diet, and setting standards for yourself can be stressful. Go at a pace of making change that works for you and if you slip-up, no stress. There is tomorrow and the next, wide open for you to be successful with this goal.

Overall some suggestions of transitioning to a paleo diet is to be sure to get good fats (coconut oil, avocado, grass fed butter, etc) in along with some solid protein sources, such as wild fish, grass fed meat, free range, organic eggs. Fill up on vegetables and some fruit. The amount of fat recommended is likely more than you have been eating. Do not be afraid of fat  it is good for you, good for weight loss and good for your baby.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

 

Corn Syrup in Soy Sauce?!

Getting comfortable upon our return to the US, post living in Australia for two years, I cannot help but find myself feeling “culture shock.” Maybe, “food shock” is a better term.

No doubt, I love America and the lifestyle it offers, yet, since being accustomed to daily food markets, butchers with fresh, free range meat and eggs, it is overwhelming walking into a Giant Eagle, let alone Costco these last few days.

Goodness, I bet my bank account I found a kiwi in Costco the size of a mango. How is this natural? And wow, I could literally get any cuisine I wanted in one store, regardless of the season. They had seaweed salad in Ohio! I mean this is great, but is it that great? The salad was delish but after reading the food ingredients, it lost it’s appeal seeing there were at least 3 food coloring’s in it. Why would my seaweed need to be more green? I wish we had an option.

And whereas it’s lovely to get any ingredient you want, it makes it tough to know what is truly in season. In Australia I literally bought produce by the season and made recipes accordingly. I remember one day I wanted red grapes (out of season) and the supermarket clerk looked at me like I had two heads.

Also, whilst visiting with family, my mom asked I help point out some healthier choices for her to eat/prepare for meals and I was/am more than keen to do so. This morning I began helping her by proofing her cabinet and found science experiments of ingredients. What do I mean? Some of the items in the pantry would never pass as food if it weren’t for the label or food container. I nearly fell over when I saw corn syrup in soy sauce! Why? I mean really, why? I know corn is cheap and before you know it, it is going to be found in our chewing gum. Oh wait…

I am probably coming off in this post as harsh, but the point I want to make is it’s not anyone’s fault for not knowing what is best for them to eat or feed their family with. There are so so so many mixed messages in the media and heaps of information to sort through. Most recently I had forgotten how hard marketing makes it on the regular consumer in knowing what foods to choose for health.  If you need some clarifying, I am happy to help. Send me an email and I will do my best to reply within 48 hours.

A pointer to start you off with is a line by Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Not too much. Most plants.” And sure as heck eat real butter!

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

Client FAQ – Rice

I had a question – I saw on your latest post that one of the foods you eat is white rice. I thought brown rice is better for you?

The difference between brown and white rice is minimal but big enough to make a fuss over. On the outside looking in, brown rice’s nutrient profile looks better (fiber, etc) but brown rice more antinutrients, which come from the bran and germ part of the seed.

If you are aware of the process of how white rice is made, the bran and germ is mostly removed, making it a less allergenic food source. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, approximately 84-99% of the dry weight of brown rice is phytic acid. This is where white rice measures up more in our favor. Bottom line, if you are looking for nutritious food seek out ingredients, produce, protein that are more dense in vitamins and minerals per calorie. Nonetheless, rice can be a good vehicle for healthy fats such as ghee, butter and/or coconut oil and above all, if you do not need the carbs, opt for cauliflower rice.

For more reading on antinutrients, check out a post on Marks Blog by clicking here.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel