Keto is trending and I am enjoying the ride. I’ve always been low carb, but in the last year I have been increasing my fat and moderating my carbohydrates and protein intake. Why? I want and deserve steady blood sugar control and this way of eating is proving to work for me, and as an added bonus I am leaning out. As someone with type 1 diabetes, I have to calculate everything that goes into my mouth and marry it with insulin. It’s a challenge, some days breezier than others, but since eating a fat dominant diet and toying with intermittent fasting (usually just 13 hours overnight) it’s been even easier to go about my life without blood sugar spikes or drops getting in my way. This path isn’t for everyone, but if a ketogenic diet is something you are interested in, make blood sugar control the target and goal. Above all, listen to your body and intuition to decide if it’s fitting or not.
This month I have been whipping up the below recipe and pairing it with my lunch or dinner. It’s delicious and my toddler Declan has been asking for “coconut balls” daily. This recipe was inspired by the blogger over at Empowered Sustenance.
On average, can you guess how much we tend to gain this time of year? MedPage Today has the details, and while I can layout all the calculated percentages, the gist is, people gain. Above all, the time it takes to put weight on, is nothing compared to the time it takes to shake it off.
So this season, aim to maintain. Yes, don’t try to lose weight, just maintain your weight. By New Years, you will be 1-5 pounds ahead of the average. A few tips on how to maintain:
Solidify your ongoing good habits. While eating predominately healthy, real food, we need to have a casual plan for meals throughout the week. Don’t skip meals, and stick to a meal routine. Meals should include fat (yes, we need more fat than most people think), protein and moderate carbohydrates. The golden rule I provide to clients is start the 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 palm-sized portion of protein, 1/4 of the plate coming from fruit or ancient grains, and the other half of the plate being vegetables, starchy (potatoes, parsnips, plantains) and non-starchy kinds. Have more of the starchy vegetables if you are active.
Eat breakfast. Even if you wake-up some mornings and decide you are not hungry, go about eating around the brunch hour and assess how much more you eat in the evening. I am not saying everyone carries their highest calorie intake into the few hours before bed, but more often my non-breakfast eaters do, and this time of day is the hardest to make the cleanest and healthiest choices.
Cap your time on Snapchat and Instagram and start organizing your kitchen, recipes and grocery list. The more organized and prepared we are with easy to grab snacks and batch-cooked meals, healthy eating is the obvious choice. Don’t overhaul your diet, just take one step closer to the farm. Instead of chips and granola bars, have nutsand fruit or vegetable. Instead of a protein bars, have hard boiled eggs or grassfed jerky.
Grocery shop every week. Even if there are more social gatherings this month, still purchase plenty of produce. When I am busy I am the queen of buying frozen items like berries, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, mango, etc. This season is a great time to enjoy warm food, and warm berries in the evening is a great treat, and roasted vegetables (from frozen) can go a long way for a healthy dinner and leftovers.
If you are not getting 60 ounces of water a day by the afternoon, up your game. Being hydrated is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And it’s cheap!
Buddy up. Find a partner who has a similar health goal, and communicate daily with food ideas and challenges, using each other for support.
When reaching for a treat at a party, opt for something you are honestly and truly going to enjoy and have time to chew and taste. Additionally, contribute to the party and bring a healthy app and dessert.
Indulge in the memories at holiday parties verse food. Not often do we think back on a memory and say, “I was so glad I ate all that food.” Keep portions in check, but also see how much you can laugh.
If you have a day of baking on the calendar, be sure to taste only what you need to. A teaspoon should be more than enough. If you need a distraction for your mouth while the house begins to smell like chocolate, write down your goal, pour yourself some tea, and pop in a piece of gum.
Secondly, the holidays are so much fun. Keep your perspective positive during this busy time of year and take care of yourself inside and out. Above we touched on food, yet, prioritize mental health too.
Pencil in a few extra sessions of yoga, briefly write up a gratitude list each morning, download a meditation app (Calm, HeadSpace, 10% Happier, etc) and or enjoy a good book.
Be sure to clock in enough sleep. Strive for at least 8 hours. When we are sleep deprived we tend to eat more food, make poorer food choices and move less overall.
Happy holidays, and cheers to the New Year in good health!
Who is going to a Super Bowl party this Sunday? If you are nervous of the tempting dips, calzones and diet wreckers, manage the situation and bring something that is just as good and won’t derail your health goals.
As of June 1 it turned winter here in Melbourne and with cold weather I am craving comfort food.
Let health remain on the horizon with some out-of-the-box ideas for meals. Mashed cauliflower hit the spot tonight and it was so so easy to make.
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
Himalayan sea salt, to taste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon of gluten free soup stock
Boil water and soup paste to a boil and add in the chopped cauliflower. Once all the cauliflower is added, turn temperature down to medium and let cook while stirring occasionally for 25 minutes. You want the cauliflower to get so tender that you can mash it easily with a fork. Strain the cauliflower and toss in a food processor until the consistency you desire. Top with salt and butter (optional).
Cauliflower is a good source of fiber, an excellent source of Vitamin C, a good source of Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin B6 and potassium. Talk about nutrient density mate!
Today, Saturday, I am prepping for a gathering of friends to celebrate Christmas. Let’s see how I behaved at the BBQ, keeping in mind these few goals:
1. Avoid all dairy and grains
2. Drink plenty of water and do not over eat on anything
3. Avoid all dairy
Breakfast: 9AM Long black
I was not hungry when I first woke up so I waited an hour or so. I also had rubbish sleep last night, so I will be interested in how my cravings run today.
Protein, Coconut oil smoothie
Exercise: I have graduated from my walks and am back in the gym! Do not get me wrong, I love walking the parks but I am beyond ready to get my heart rate up and to life some weights. 11AM: Kettlebell workout – wow, I am out of shape.
12noon: met Schmidtty at the market and picked up some wild barramundi for tonight’s barbie! Enjoyed some preservative free sausage samples.
1/2 banana and nutbutter
Exercise: 4 mile walk with friend
Blueberries and Glutamine fortified jelly (Jell-O)
Party begins 6PM
Grazed in sweet potato chips, sliced pears and apples, hard boiled egg, wine and some tuna-like dip (gfree no doubt)
The question is not how many calories you should have per day, it’s how should you eat your allocated calories throughout the day. Think of it like this: Say you get 2,000 calories for the day and you have to swim for for 10 hours straight besides eating times. This is very unrealistic but imagine if you ate 1,000 calories in your first sitting and then another 1,000 calories at the second. I bet you felt sick while swimming. Point being: You want to feed you metabolism evenly throughout the day and you should not wait hours after waking up for your first meal. So here are my 5 food tips on making the most of what you eat.
1. Start your day right with a balanced meal. Don’t cut the calories short at breakfast because you think it’s the easiest meal to do it at. Eat at least 2-3 food groups. For example, make a whole-grain English muffin with natural peanut butter and banana sliced on top. Finish the meal with a tall glass of water.
2. Eat a meal with the next meal or snack in mind. With this thinking, you should not gorge yourself with the present meal and should finish the last bite by being satisfied; not full. Plan what your next snack is (should be within 3 hours or so) and make it a food choice you’ll enjoy.
3. Use online tools or notebooks to track what you are eating. Better yet, text yourself what you eat at each meal and look at it the next time you go to eat. Take this practice a step further and analyze your food log at the end of the week. Look for holes where you did not eat for hours, look at the foods you consistently eat and look at where improvements can be made. For example, did you go 6 hours between meals? Can you fit in some lean protein and fruit between those times? Use tools such as mypyramid.gov to log what you eat.
4. Have planned indulgences. Yes, you read that correctly. You should have an indulgence every now and then. Yet, indulgences should be completely understood that they are not consumed daily and don’t cap at 500 plus calories. Food is a great pleasure and should be thoroughly enjoyed in moderation.
5. Chug-a-lug some water and have a good bottle to do so. I recently purchased a water bottle that has a straw in it and I quickly learned that I significantly guzzle down more water while sitting at my desk and at home with the convenience of a straw. Figure out what works best for you to drink plenty of water. Being fully hydrated is great for your body and can help prevent the mistake of hunger when you are really thirsty.