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.

 

5 Items on My Grocery List in March/April

Regardless of the snowflakes in the forecast today, I am very excited to inch closer spring. With seasonal changes, comes change with what I am eating and craving. This month, I have a few go-to’s in the grocery store including the below.

1. Wild Cod and Halibut

Protein is a core focus in my meals. Eating a minimum of 30 grams of protein at each meal, especially breakfast, helps control blood sugar and provide satiety. In case you have seen a lot of buzz around high protein diets being as bad as smoking, please read this article to help understand why that is an extreme statement for weak data.

2. Power Deep Green Blend (1.5 lb bag)

I easily go through this blend of kale, spinach and chard within 5 days. Predominately used to pack a blender full for my AM smoothie (along with protein powder, maca powder, green tea (I put in 2 entire sachet’s worth, and a small amount of fruit), and other times I use it as a base for a salad. Delicious and nutritious this purchase serves up vitamin A, C, Iron and fiber. Above all, I try to eat 6-10 servings of non-starchy vegetables a day, and this blend provides an easy way to do just that.

3. Asparagus

Reaching their peak season end of March early April, these spears just make me feel good when I eat them. Whether I roast them, blank them or eat them raw, I am doing my body good eating asparagus. These green guys are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, E, A and folate (B vitamins), prebiotics, fiber and more.  And one more personal health tip to consider – I find I do best by planning a vegetable to go along with my afternoon snack to aid in eating plenty of nutrients (low calorie) while providing volume and satisfaction leading me to a balanced appetite for dinner. While still breastfeeding and now training for the Soldier Field 10 miler, I can tend to get “hangry” if I don’t fill up.

4. Parsley

Feeling a little bloated? It’s nice to know this fresh herb is a natural way to help flush out excess fluid, thus supporting our kidneys. Serving a purpose beyond a decorative plate, I buy a bushel weekly and throw it in any of my meals imaginable – from eggs to salads to meat.  Parsley is also good for our bones, heart, blood pressure and energy levels.

5. Mandarins

One reason I like buying citrus is I don’t need to feel in a hurry to eat it. The “shelf-life” of citrus fruits tends to be longer than other portable fruits like apples, pears, etc due to it’s tough outer-layer. The durability of the peel also makes citrus fruit a nice snack to throw in my purse or gym bag. We can all agree, eating healthy is more than making the right choices; it includes having the right food on hand at the right time and being convenient. Another bonus is the vitamin C content in mandarins keeps us youthful – data suggests mandarins prevent wrinkles and in a separate body of research, adequate vitamin C levels can reduce body fat. 

How to Stay Young

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud Laugh until you gasp for breath and your belly hurts.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your place. Do with it what YOU want…
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help from someone who looks healthy and fit.
9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, and at every opportunity.

… AND ALWAYS REMEMBER

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.

**Dotti’s Newsletter