The Beginner’s Guide To Cooking Up A Healthier Diet

In 2019, healthy eating is the rage and it’s easier than ever to learn about healthy eating.

However, if this is new to you, no worries. The path to a healthier diet involves educating yourself and being willing to make important lifestyle changes. Start your journey to wellness with this beginner’s guide to cooking up a healthier diet.

Get to know what you should be eating

A big problem many people have with healthy eating is that it is loosely defined. Many people’s idea of ‘dieting’ means eating salads, but the truth is that there are a lot of foods you can eat without having to starve yourself.

Healthy eating means giving your body and brain the right amount of nutrients. Nutrients give your body energy, help it to repair itself, as well keep it strong. Finding a balance and not overeating can make a big difference to your health. Keeping your weight at a healthy level is important, as obesity can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more. Figure out how many calories you should eat each day to give you a soft target to aim for and understand how much fuel your body runs on (although all calories are not created equal (eat real food) and our hormones dictate how many calories we burn).

Pledge to eat more veggies

Vegetables are an important part of your diet, but it’s surprising how many people don’t eat enough of them. Vegetables are nutrient-powerhouses, low in calories and provide you with the vitamins/minerals you need to ward off illness. By making fruit and vegetables a key part of your diet, you can benefit from the natural goodness that nature has to offer.

Fill your kitchen with fresh, healthy ingredients

One reason why many people don’t cook for themselves is that it’s easier to choose convenience foods and take out than it is to cook. Could you make much with the ingredients in your cupboard or refrigerator? It’s time to turn that around!

Start filling your kitchen with some basic healthy ingredients. When you’ve got these things to hand, you’ll be able to prepare a number of nutritious dishes. These will not only help you eat healthier, but could save you money too! It might feel like a big expenditure at first, but you’ll find that many of these ingredients will last a long time, changing the way you cook for the better.

Learn to cook

‘I can’t cook’ or ‘I’m a bad cook’ are phrases that many people use an excuse for eating poorly and not cooking for themselves. And it’s no surprise with that attitude! Cooking is mainly following instructions and takes some practice. If you’re unsure of different cooking techniques, you can always get some help through YouTube or my online course and book.

The easiest way to start with cooking healthier is to browse healthy recipes and working out what’s manageable for you to cook. Start off with some simple dishes, repeat the ones you like and gradually add new ones to your repertoire. Every successful dish is another motivator to keep trying new things, and you could soon find yourself with a passion for cooking.

Cook for friends and family

Cooking can be a fantastic way to socialize with your friends and family, It’s also a good way to eat healthier than if you were to meet at a restaurant, for example. Cooking for others gives you the chance to show off your skills and could teach them a thing or two as well. If you have kids and want to get them interested in healthy eating, cooking together as a family can be a fantastic way to teach them how to cook as well as get everyone to share the load.

Get excited about cooking

Being able to cook new and exciting dishes can help you get enthusiastic about cooking. You could invest in a cookery book and work your way through it, or set yourself a theme to follow each day?

A fantastic gift to give yourself is a foodie subscription box. There’s a large choice of monthly subscription boxes that cover everything from special ingredients to recipe boxes. A subscription box could help you to try new dishes and learn to prepare quick and easy healthy treats, making healthy eating exciting and fun.

Learn how to make healthier versions of your favorites

We all enjoy a bit of comfort food now and then, but that doesn’t have to mean jumping back into unhealthy eating habits. By substituting some ingredients, you can make healthy versions of your favorite foods and still enjoy those warming comforts. Make some extra to keep in the freezer to save for those nights where you’re too tired to cook!

Practice food prepping

Food prepping is a tip used by many people to eat healthier. By planning your meals and prepping in advance, you’ll be less likely to succumb to convenience foods and be able to eat food that’s much healthier and homemade. Spend time each week coming up with meal ideas and dedicate some time on a Sunday to prepping your food. This is actually an excellent time-saver, helping you batch cook some dinners, make lunch for the kids and get some healthy snacks together. Make sure you’ve got plenty of food containers and space in the refrigerator/freezer to make it work.

A healthier diet will leave you feeling great inside and out, as well as help you enjoy a healthier future. Could your diet use an overhaul? Start making those changes today.

Affirmations & Weight Loss – The Power of Positivity

Affirmations and Weight-loss - KSW - #weightlosstips #weightlossfacts #nutritionisttips #nutritionfacts #nutritiontips #healthylifestyletips #positivemindset #KSW #kellyschmidt #weightloss #howtoloseweight #mindsetiskey
Infographic designed and edited by Tayler Silfverduk, DTR

While we think our actions create our results, it’s really the thoughts we manage and create that lead us feeling a certain way, priming us to make certain choices and actions, therefore our results.

Our thoughts create our results.

How and what we think is a crucial element to our health and fat loss journey. This is why when I work with clients who want to lose weight, we spend time on the topic of affirmations.

Affirmations:  a statement about ourselves or our situation that’s phrased in the present tense as if the self-focused declaration is already true.

If you read them on a continual basis and stay persistent, combining them with regular physical activities and a real food diet, I guarantee that you WILL achieve your desired results. Pick an affirmation and own it for the next 30 days and see what happens,

Examples of weight loss and confidence affirmations to adopt:

  • I reached my weight loss goal.
  • My past doesn’t defy my future. I am achieving my goals.
  • Age has nothing to do with it. I am releasing this weight in a wise way.
  • I am taking care of myself.
  • I am so happy and grateful I weigh _________.
  • I feel hunger without fear, in fact, I appreciate it.
  • I eat just enough, without overeating.
  • I am showing up for myself and treating myself with respect.
  • I am grateful for my body and where it takes me.
  • I am proving my ability to change my habits and adopt new ones.
  • I am worthy.
  • I am enough.
  • I trust my body and it’s capabilities to heal and thrive.
  • I inhale life and exhale anxiety.
  • I am flexible to change.

How to Use Affirmations

Say them daily, aloud, for a larger impact. Repeat them 1-5x a day, and put them in your calendar, like a post-it on your mirror, in your pantry, on your desk and computer, and say the chosen affirmation with belief.

Our brain doesn’t know reality. It knows what our thoughts tell it, and an affirmation is an easy way to “fake it until I make it,” progressing to the results you want.

Routines

Many, if not all of us, are all struggling to grasp time, the currency of life, and somehow there is less of it to go around each year. From social commitments, work projects, children activities, we are tired, wired and not as efficient as we can or want to be.

As a rebel (per Gretchen Rubins Four Tendency quiz), I find it hard to believe that I am recommending and committing to a routine, but I am starving for time.  When I look at the goal to be more inflow with time and find more purpose with my actions, I question, why has it taken me so long to commit?

Picture @taylersilverduk

While no routine is perfect, they can help us accomplish what we want in life without feeling compressed, stressed, overburdened or hurried. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? In the least, there is little to lose when adopting and committing to a routine.

Where do you begin? Start small and start somewhere in your day where it’s easy to make a small change, so it’s not paralyzing to initiate.

What I do, may not work for everyone nor the majority, but perhaps my personal routines can provide you with inspiration and insight on how to build your own. Here is what I try to practice daily to maximize my time.

Evening

  • Weekly Brain Dump: Before the week begins I dump the numerous things I want to get done for the week including errands, appointments, writing, counseling sessions, social commitments and workouts into my physical planner. My planner is THE anchor for my routine.
  • Daily Brain Dump: Come the work week, I will do a word dump at the end of each day of things I specifically need to accomplish the following morning. For my afternoons, I plan to do errands, have a client session or workout (if I didn’t do one at 9 am) as I do my best critical thinking earlier in the day. With all of this, I set myself up to succeed, and my mind and body can recognize the routine.
  • Elimination of Screen Time Before Bed: In the evening, I am continuously working on turning my phone off 2 hours before bed. The blue light suppresses melatonin and my sleep is already and always has been very fragile.
  • Eat with the Sun: I eat with the sun and strive to avoid eating entirely when the sun is down. This doesn’t always happen on the weekends, but pretty easy to adapt during the week.
  • Honor you Internal Clock: In bed by 10 pm, hopefully, earlier, to support my body’s detox clock and to get the rest I need.
  • Getting Ready for Bed: Adults and children need bedtime routines. I shower in the evening, read a little before bed, catch up with my husband and take a magnesium/sleep supplement as I turn off the lights.

Morning

  • Adopt a consistent wake-up time: Oprah wakes up every day at 6:02 am (without an alarm!). The first thing she does is tell herself, “I am alive! Thank you, God.” She then gets out of bed and does stretches/yoga.
  • “The 3 – 3’s.” Before getting out of bed, take 9 minutes to 1) breath for 3 minutes without judging any thoughts, 2) next 3 minutes go through things you are grateful for, and lastly 3) visualize the day.
  • Delay opening your email until 1-3 hours after waking up. Man, this one is hard!
  • Hydrate. Give your body an inner bath first thing. When we sleep, our bodies repair and recycle old tissues/cells. Water is exactly what is needed to wash these out of our system, preventing the materials from being reabsorbed. 
  • Set your Daily Intentions: I have an affirmation app on my phone I like to use to set the tone for the day. If I do not use the app, I ask myself what intention I want to focus on. I recently got back from London, and for a few days I used the intention to “be grounded,” as I was adjusting back to the time zone, and this intention helped to remind myself to be patient with my inefficiency/fatigue with certain tasks. 
  • Prioritize Growth: Take 5-10 minutes, or more, to educate yourself. Accomplish this by reading or listening to a podcast. When Warren Buffett was asked about his key to success, he advised, “Read 500 pages every day. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” If you think you don’t have time, research shows it’s financially worth it. 
  • Exercise (maybe even overlap the idea of listening to a podcast): Working out and moving is a huge part of building massive success. We need to move our body to move our brain and ideas around. In fact, I come up with my best plans while I workout.
  • Email Blocks: Create a late morning and late afternoon period of 3-60 minutes to address email. This helps me stay in flow of my work, without being tempted to respond to quick emails. As Pedrom Shojai put it, “The key is to get better at what you do by curating your day to serve you and free up your time.”

Daytime

  • Eat Mindfully: On average people eat 2-6 times a day, and with each eating occasion, it’s an opportunity to bring mindfulness to our day with 1 easy enhancement. Before you take your first bite, take 10 seconds to think about all the places, and hands that the food in front of you reached to get the food in front of you. Doing just this, will improve your first bite and help you tap into satiety.
  • Breathe: Make sure you take deep breaths. I do this every time I test my blood sugar (as I have had type 1 diabetes since 1991).
  • Use Spare Time to Meal-Prep: Every few days, I will use pockets of time to make large salads, chop vegetables, fruit for the kids, roast vegetables, make lentils, put together a pressure cooker or slow cooker meal. I always pack lunches as I clean up for dinner.

What routines work well for some of you? Comment below as I’d love to hear.

Picture @taylersilverduk

Lifestyle: Getting Accustomed to Making Your Meals At Home

Eating a balanced diet doesn’t need to be labor-intensive. With planning and being efficient with shopping, you can save your mola and feel good. Here I am highlighting some how-tos on eating home-cooked meals, catered to those looking after blood sugar control, which in a way, relates to everyone. 

“If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” Sketch out 7 days and plot 2-3 meals, based on real food, plus snacks (if needed). Intend to make surplus for the meals so you have leftovers. Looking at your calendar:

  • Do you have plans for meals out this week? Will you need to pack any meals for school/work/appointments? For the latter, can you make things or buy items that can easily be eaten as is, or cooked in the microwave?
  • How many people are you responsible for feeding? 
  • Do you have any long days or night errands to run? You will need something portable
  • Make a grocery list with meals in mind and use ingredients that can come from the freeezer or pantry, in the scenario your schedule changes. No one likes throwing money away. 

A French man once said he walked into a North American grocery store and couldn’t find any food.

What? Well, if you think about and roam the aisles and food labels enough, you will find that this certain man is onto something. A majority of our packaged food is not real food. Just this morning I rant to the grocery and reviewed a dozen products and set them right back down because of cheap, unhealthy ingredients listed on them such as GMO beets (sugar), canola oil (very inflammatory), food colorings, chemicals, HFCS, more sugar, MSG, artificial sweeteners, BHA/BHT, nitrates, sulfates, the list goes on. Yet, my point is, know what is good for you and have an idea of where to get it.

Put together a grocery list before you head out. Ideally capture it on your phone. We often leave home without a list, but rarely forget our phone. Review your list before you go, and make sure the items you plan to buy, reflect the volume of foods you want on your plate. For example, if you intend to have half a plate of vegetables, make sure you buy enough vegetables. Same for protein, make sure your cart is about 25-30% of animal protein and 25-30% of fruit, grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables.

Additional ways to save and simplifiy:

  • Look at ads, use coupon apps available on smartphones
  • Buy ingredients, not products
  • By produce in season, when cheapest
  • Grow your own vegetables/herbs
  • Never overeat and see how the quality of food, not volume, makes you feel satisfied (intuitive eating)
  • Cook in bulk and freeze portions for leftovers
  • Buy in bulk, and choose ingredients that can used in multiple dishes
  • Buy whole, canned wild fish or frozen fish
  • Buy fruits and vegetables frozen (just as healthy, if not more healthy)
  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat and slow-cook it to tenderize it.
  • Don’t major in minor things. Focus on buying real food and don’t stress if you can’t get organic or grass-fed
  • Avoid foods void in nutrition, which can simply just increase appetite. For example, gluten-containing grains, sugar, processed food, granola bars
  • Cut out the extras – bottled water, mints, etc
  • Keep food simple, yet, have variety so your palate doesn’t get bored.

Food prep can be therapeutic; especially when you look at it as a time to unwind and forget about stressors. We need to unplug, to recharge. Set aside time, one time a week, to prep meals so when you come rushing in the door, or out, you have something nutritious to quickly reheat or consume within a short window of time.

Meal Ideas:

  • Frittata – these are great, and can be made in advance, sliced and heated or chilled for a well-rounded breakfast or lunch. The ingredients do not need to be elaborate. Choose some produce, lean meat and spices. 
  • Slow-cooker Chicken Vegetable Soup
  • Salad with Tuna – as simple as it sounds. When I was on the road a lot with work, I would run to the grocery before Monday AM, pick up a bag of lettuce greens, canned tuna, eggs (then hard boil them) and some other type of produce, and throw it all together for 3 lunches or so a week. 
  • Lettuce Tacos – buy some lean meat, mix some spices and throw it over some vegetables or romaine leaves. Leftover meat is great with eggs too. 
  • Grilled Fish and Frozen Veg with spices – buy some frozen fish in bulk, pull out however many filets you need in the morning, thaw in the refrigerator, and cook in a skillet with some lemon, butter and pepper and pair with a vegetable. 
  • No-bread Sandwiches
  • Snack options, including portable food ideas
  • Scrambled Eggs and Ham – simple, cheap and satisfying. 
  • Banana Pancakes – take 2 eggs and one small banana, mash, and make 2 pancakes. 

Real change is not easy, but it is worth it.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kelly

What I’ve Eaten So Far Today – 7/22/13 – 36 wks Pregnant

One thing about logging my food during pregnancy is that I need to plan a bit more on what I am going to eat. Just with the slightest increase in hunger, I find myself more likely to reach and crave foods that I don’t usually snack on, or build in my meals. Indeed, I have added an AM snack on many days since being pregnant. Having a plan of what to eat is one of the things that has helped me gain (thus far!!) a healthy amount of weight. And tracking a food log has helped me to ensure I am getting plenty of variety, color and flavor in my meals.

7:30AM – Breakfast – Blood Sugar 81 mg/dl

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2 over easy eggs, cooked in Kerrygold butter, 1 slice of back bacon and grilled zucchini and onion

Water

Supplements: probiotics, fish oil, catalyn GF, vitamin D (I source these from Standard Process)

Disclaimer: some people may shy away from undercooked eggs when pregnant. This is a choice I knowingly make, having confidence in the high quality eggs used. 

10:30AM – Snack – Blood Sugar 79 mg/dl

1 mini kind bar, 32 ounces of filtered water

By this time, heading into lunch, I had walked about 3 miles.

Lunch – 12:30PM – Blood Sugar 89mg/dl

Romaine (organic) lettuce sandwich

– Columbus brand Herb Roasted Turkey

cheddar cheese and mustard.

Carrots and 1 spoonful of nut butter (not shown)

Soaked chia seeds (overnight in almond milk) with 2 sliced large organic strawberries

Herbal passion tea, chilled

Photo1 (1)3PM – Blood Sugar – 112 mg/dl – corrected to be in the 80s.

3:30PM – SnackGo Raw Chocolate square (raw cacao contains the highest level of anti-oxidants, including magnesium and chromium, of any whole food)

5:30PM – Dinner – 110mg/dl

Homemade Chicken Salad

– organic, free range chicken

– Greek yogurt

– honey

– apple cider vinegar

– almond slivers

– organic raisins

– salt/pepper

1 small orange

Butter lettuce

Extra virgin olive oil

Photo1

Overall, it’s a little hard to eat what I want in the latter part of the day this late in pregnancy. I am very insulin resistant and have to choose my carbs wisely. The resistance is starting to tapper down, and I likely over did it on carbs at dinner. At my 7:30PM check I was 141 mg/dl and I will eat something again before bed.

 

5 Ways to Build a Better Salad

Salads can get boring and if we do not rotate our ingredients, we can ambush the success of enjoying such healthy nutrients. If you are guilty, like me, I used to buy the exact same ingredients, week after week. Not only did this put me at risk for nutritional gaps, but my taste-buds got bored with the same flavors, textures and color. Overall, a good salad should include protein, fat and some carbohydrate and a minimum of 4-5 ingredients. Here are 5 ways to build a better salad.

Shrimp Salad

  • 5 large shrimp, or 3/4 cup of shrimp (cooked then chilled), I prefer using my grill pan and cooking the shrimp with some spice and lemon juice
  • Cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, green onion
  • Seasonings/dressing: combine cilantro, lime juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with a bed of organic greens.

Tuna Caper Salad

  • 6 ounce can of all white tuna in water or pure olive oil (I will admit it’s hard to find tuna in 100% olive oil; read labels and stay away from fillers like soy)
  • Chopped celery and diced tomato
  • Seasonings/dressing: 1 tablespoon of capers (undrained), chopped parsley  dijon mustard, salt and pepper with a bed of organic greens.

Asian Salad

  • 4 ounce chicken breasts, skin on, organic, free-range
  • 1 cups Chinese cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • minced scallion
  • 1/8 cup sliced almonds
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBS toasted sesame seeds
  • Seasoning/dressing: 1/2 TBS extra olive oil, 1/2 TBS tamari sauce, 1/8 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 TBS honey, pinch red pepper flakes

Snag and Kraut Salad

  • 1-2 cooked sausages (as I learned in Australia “snags” is jargon for sausages). Make sure to read the ingredient list on sausage and only buy ones that don’t have chemical nor high fructose corn syrup. I personally love snags sourced from the farmer’s market, US Wellness Meats or when in a pinch Trader Joe’s has a clean Chicken Italian Sausage. Lastly, if you are in the Chicago area, I have recently discovered an awesome butcher in Lincoln Park, Gepperth’s Meat Market on Halstead St. 
  • Chopped romaine lettuce, organic
  • 1-2 chopped carrot
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • 2-3 TBS of fresh sauerkraut (the Green City Market has the best, or make your own)
  • Dressings/seasonings: I either use some mustard or use a little salsa to add some texture/liquid to my salad. The sauerkraut and sausage provide a lot of flavor without a dressing too.  

Homemade Chipotle

  • Slow roast 1-2 pounds of pork tenderloin, overnight with onions and spices (I like chili spices with my pork)
  • Fresh organic salad greens
  • Avocado, 1 small
  • Dressings/seasonings: salsa verde and freshly squeezed lime

Overall don’t limit yourself to ingredients traditionally in a salad. Throw anything in there – and it doesn’t have to be only vegetables. I love using fresh berries or diced apple in my salads. If I don’t have anything raw on hand, I will also put in some dried fruit. Load on herbs too. Such beautiful flavor adding a nice punch of antioxidants.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kelly

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.  

Blood Type – Do I Eat Right?

Do you believe in the idea that we should all eat for our blood type? I think there is some truth to it, but should not be the only thing considered when designing someone’s or your own diet. Most recently I confirmed that I have type O positive blood. According to the literature for a type O positive blood type, I should be doing the following:

  • Avoid gluten containing grains (Check! I avoid gluten like the plague.)
  • Eat dark, leafy greens rich in vitamin K (Check!)
  • Eat lots of animal protein (Check! Bring on the meat.)
  • Restrict legumes and beans (Check! Beans are not the magical fruit.)
  • Restrict cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard green (Ughhh – I love my cauliflower. Perhaps I conduct an n=1 experiment on myself and see how I feel restricting then introducing this vegetable.)
  • Avoid nightshades (I could make a stronger effort here.)
  • Avoid dairy (I go easy on dairy, but again, could make a stronger effort.)
  • Avoid eggs (Oops – I nearly eat these daily. Perhaps I can do another n=1 experiment. I recently did this with nuts, and wow, I am feeling different in a good way.)
  • Restrict heavy consumption of nuts (Check! See above.)
  • Avoid corn (Check! Every so often I will have some corn chips, but avoid corn the best I can; it’s everywhere.)

If my current food intake was graded against these guidelines, I would get, I say, a B. I have a diet clean of gluten and legumes and rich in vegetables but have a few other tweaks to make, if I choose to take this information literally. Overall, it’s something fun to consider. I mean, it is ironic I don’t handle gluten well and apparently this is the norm for someone with type O.

Overall, I am adding nutrigenomics to my lab wish list. Yes, I have a lab wish list. Once I get some true DNA indications, I will take the eat for your blood type to heart (no pun intended). Have you dabbled with nutrigenomics? I predict it is the next big thing for the diet and health industry.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

Monday Movers – Journaling

If you frequent my site, you may be aware of some of the food logs I have posted, predominately in the beginning of 2012. Since sharing my meals on my blog, I often track my food intake and health goals with traditional pencil and paper. What have I realized with both methods? Keeping track of what I eat is a SUPER easy way to stay motivated and it facilitates making the right health decisions.

The best thing about a diary is it does not have to be all about what you eat. Just logging some personal thoughts can go a long way. As mentioned above, I make weekly goals and write them down – if I do not write them down, I find I do not stick to them. Certainly I have learned to phrase my goals in a positive light as self-talk is nearly as important as laying out a personal goal. For example instead of saying, “do not eat nuts this week,” I phrase the goal to say, “seek out meals and snacks that include good protein, vegetables, fruit and good fats.” Other things I jot down include intentions to do some fitness classes during the week or no caffeine for better sleep on school nights.

The benefits of keeping a journal are extensive and can include the following:

–        May help with self-intuition and stress management.

–        You may realize that some of your staple snacks/meals may not be making you feel your best. I just realized this with nuts. I love macadamia nuts but lately I have been making my way around them and found I feel better and have more stable blood sugars.

–        It can help build self-esteem. Once you make goals or write down anything you have overcome, it is as if you are patting yourself on your own back. Start with small goals and slowly make bigger ones, week by week.

–        May help keep optimal health in check. Whether you are looking after your weight or nutrient consumption, logging information is making you attentive and cautious of what you want.

–        If you decide to jot down some notes in a journal or on some scrap paper, make sure you do not stress over keeping a perfect record. This diary is to help you, not to fuel more strain.

What weekly goals do you intend to make for yourself? Do you have any good experiences with journaling?

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

Dear Food Diary – 3/12/11 – Christmas BBQ Party…

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
Fish Oil
Probiotics
CoQ10
Allergy meds

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.

Lunch: 1:35PM
1/2 banana and nutbutter
Ham, deli

Exercise: 4 mile walk with friend

Snack: 4PM
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)

Dinner: 8PM
Wild barramundi
Prawns
Salad, Greek-like

10PM
Bites of my husband flourless chocolate cake (to.die.for.)