Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Breakdown or Trying to put it all together without loosing your mind

Hi Again Everyone,
Can you believe it, the week of Thanksgiving. You can feel the excitement of the holidays in the air. 
We have talked about dieting  in part one of this series, and exercise or movement in part two. 
Today, let's try to put them into a plan that can work for anyone who wants to enjoy, indulge, and not feel guilty later.
The first thing I think we must stress is that this may be the worst time of the year to try and diet!! Holiday temptations are around everywhere, but if you feel you must, DON"T BE A DEBBIE DOWNER! 
I mentioned this  in  part two of this blog series "The Big E", no one wants to hear about your weight, diet, or how many calories are in that piece of pie on my plate!
Holidays should be focused on blessings and family, so with that in mind... GIVE YOUR SELF A BREAK, AND POSSIBLY EVERYONE ELSE, by realizing it probably took a lot of time to gain the weight and this meal will not sabotage everything, just eat THOUGHTFULLY! 
What I mean by thoughtfully is this, have a plan on how you will ENJOY the day. 
I think far to many people start out the day, myself included, without being truly grateful for what we have. Remember the old hymn "Count your blessings name them one by one", this holiday season could use more of this don't you think? 
O.k. we have rolled out of bed, counted our blessings, we are dressed and ready to get productive. 
What is the first thing you should do? 
Yes, eat breakfast. 
You must take time for this, in whatever form it is, hopefully something that is not full of sugar, remember there will be dessert and you want some, so try to be a bit more calculated in your choice, so you can indulge later. Make sure you eat enough to be full, but not stuffed, because you may not be able to control when the next time you eat is.

I find that no matter whether I am cooking or a guest at someone's house, I get hungry between breakfast and "Dinner" no matter what time the grand meal hits the table, I mean I do eat lunch as most of us do, so snacking tends to be a problem. This is where you really may need to think, that spinach dip looks fantastic, but If I get started it may be hard to stop.
 One of my tricks here is to stay hydrated! The more liquid I drink the less I eat, and as we all know it may be that you are really thirsty in some cases. Water, tea, fruit infused water, coffee, pretty much anything without sugar, but NEVER DIET SODA! 
I could and probably will write an entire blog on this, but in short not only does it not quench your thirst, the Aspartame in it can cause symptoms for people that mask Multiple Scleroses as well as many others. It also has been shown to turn into Formaldehyde if it's temperature drops to below 72 degrees, but I digress, making good choices will pay off later. 
Try to go for the protein if there is a tray or something to snack from. 
A deviled egg, a few slices of cheese, a few nuts, celery or apples with peanut butter, protein has staying power and a little can go along way to help you from wanting to eating EVERYTHING later. 
Celery, carrots, olives, pickles, bell peppers, all great choices too, but they are mostly water and are usually served with a dip which is generally made from all kinds of junk. If you must have the dip, take a small amount and really stretch it between all the vegis you loaded up on. This will curb your appetite and you should now be able to make it to dinner safely.
Well, now you have snacked and hydrated so it must be time to move! 
Whether you are cooking or visiting, you should try to get outside for some fresh air. 
If you have the time for a short walk, game of family tag football, maybe if you're  cooking, do a few stretches, whatever it takes to get the blood circulating. The more time outside with the fresh air and sunshine the better, even if it's cold it will do wonders for you and the movement will keep you from feeling guilty later.

Dinner time finally arrives, Woo Hoo...The good stuff!!
Now don't start fretting about what you think you shouldn't eat, if you eat thoughtfully you can taste it all, even the gravy, just have it on the side. 
Generally, there is a ton of food for the holidays and far more than any other regular meal, that being said, take smaller portions of what you want and what you have waited for all year and maybe even skip some of the everyday type of foods. I love bread, but at Thanksgiving I skip the rolls and eat the stuffing, I can have rolls any day, but there is only so much room in my stomach. 
My friend always invites us for the holidays and she makes this pink whipped cranberry thing that I am sure if I remembered what goes into it I would never eat it, yet every year it finds it's way onto my plate, as does the whipped cream fruit salad, and a host of other things that I would not eat normally. 
When plating your food, taking smaller portions allows you to get a little of everything and you can really zoom in on what you liked and get that for a small portion of seconds, because really most of us go back for seconds anyways, so this gives us the ability to really think before we get back in line. 
If you have a habit of eating so fast that you hardly had a moment to actually taste your food, here is your chance to appreciate the cook and really focus on enjoying the food in your mouth. 
Whether you or your host got up really early to prepare the food before you, it took literally hours for them to cook and it should be savored! 
Slow down and taste the love that was put into this meal that was prepared just for you, what an honor that it was done, a feast, ENJOY it! 
Ah, the art of desert... I love it, all of it, but I must confess two things before we go much further and you freak out knowing I'm a Health Coach. One: I LOVE PIE!  Two: I have been known to make several different pies when there are only two or three of us to actually eat them, and as a bonus... I have been known on occasion, to have been seen holding a piece of Pumpkin Pie in my hand and eating it for breakfast! So now that we are clear, I believe in the 90/10 rule, we eat cleanly and healthfully 90% of the time allowing us to have 10% of eating what we want, those things that may stumble us if we were told we couldn't have them, because I AM having dessert! 
Whatever is served is o.k. for you to eat, just have a smaller portion and enjoy every bite! 
I'm not really a whipped cream kind of girl, so none at all or just a bit on the side is all I do, because I want to taste the dessert. 
We usually end up with three desserts at these types of dinners, so my husband and I  takes a piece from each and then slices that in half so we both get to taste each one, but didn't actually have three full pieces.
** A QUICK TIP: Eating to satisfaction here is the key. Eat slowly, thoughtfully, and your body will say "You know what, I'm satisfied. I could eat more, but I'm good, not stuffed, yet I ate what I wanted to with out someone telling me I couldn't. I'm good, I am satisfied".**

I heard Richard Simmons once say that he is always hungry. I found that so sad. He lives in America, he is hungry because  he wants so badly to be thin that he deprives himself of foods he grew up eating and loving. Is deprivation really the answer? I know if you tell most people they can't have something that they will eventually do just about anything to get it! 

 I don't want to go through life knowing there is a better way and not share it with you. We can be happy, healthy, and eat a 90/10 lifestyle without always being hungry!

If you are thankful for your blessings, thoughtful in your food choices, keep hydrated, incorporate some type of movement into your day and eat until you are satisfied, I believe you will wake up Friday morning with a smile on your face proud of yourself and fully capable of applying all these points into your life and starting to live a successful 90/10 lifestyle if you choose.

HAVE A GREAT AND GUILT FREE HOLIDAY, and thank you for allowing me to count you, as one of my many blessings 
~ Toni

For more information about me or other blogs I have written you can follow me on Twitter @TC_HealthCoach or our Face Book Page: Cummings Health & Vitality Center

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Big "E" ..... Yes, I mean EXERCISE

Hi Everyone,
Well it's fast approaching my favorite time of the year, Fall.
The cool air starts to set in, the leaves start to change color and our desire for less salads and more warming substantial food starts to really come alive.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are always meals that are looked forward to all year long, and now they are right around the corner. Yummy food or not, for some, this is when they have decided to diet. You didn't really like the way you looked all summer, so now is the time.
You decide you are only going to eat celery sticks and dry turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. The smells wafting through the house start to take their tole, and in your misery you decide to share with others how many calories are in that gravy, those mashed potatoes, and don't even get me started on all those different kinds of pie you just put on your plate.
Oh the joy of the holidays??
O.k., so some of you have decided rather than be a buzz kill, and dieting is not your forte, you decide you are just going to exercise the dickens out of yourself. Today is the day, so off to the gym after work, but it was late and cold so you'll go tomorrow, but wait, I have a meeting to go to, I had to get the kids stuff ready for school, and the excuses continue until you realize this isn't working and now you are really unhappy with yourself.
Most people if the truth be told don't like to exercise, and feel guilty about spending the time on themselves.
What if we could think of the Big "E"as something else?
Did you know that even Dr. Andrew Weil calls exercise... movement?
 In his classes that he teaches to other practitioners, he states that people need to understand that daily movement can not be discounted towards exercise.
Taking your dog for a walk, he suggests is movement, think about it, are you walking along side your dog? You may say well, we have a big yard so I just let them roam around. What if you grabbed a ball or stick and played fetch, or you walked around the yard with them, or even ran and they chased after you.
 You can take the kids to the park, walk down and back, push them on the swing, play tag, kick the can whatever, have fun, these are great for the others involved and you are building love and memories.
No kids, alright we all have shopping to do this season, whether it is for food or gifts, how about parking in the back of the lot and walking in? There are always spots available further out and the people who really may need that closer spot has to fight with one less person to get it. Mall shopper? You walk up and down that sucker at least one complete time if not more... Do you see the point....MOVEMENT!
We need to be able to see that The Big "E" is just a buzz word that has almost become a dirty word for some of us, so rather than becoming the buzz kill at your next holiday gathering get up and move!

In my next blog I will try to wrap this up with a bow. This has become a three part series without me even realizing it, Diets, Exercise, and next, how to put them together for the holidays so you can at least try to enjoy yourself with out self sabotage or feeling guilty!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Diets ~ What I have learned as a Health Coach

October 5, 2013 at 5:06pm
Hi Everyone,
I have noticed recently that a lot of you out there are saying you are going to go on a diet, Reader's Digest, Atkins, Nutra Systems etc. I think that we are never really satisfied with how we look no matter what and we all seem to have a pound or two or twenty that we want to loose. We want to loose it for bathing suit season, before Christmas, as a New Year's resolution etc. We are faithful until, well, we aren't. For what ever the reason we still seem to sabotage our selves one way or the other and then we get down on our selves and often in our bummed out state we eat to make us feel better... Thus the cycle will start again.
Most of the diets are good in one way or another and after studying over 100 of them in school I will state the obvious here and say that not every body is the same, what works for Susie may not work for her sister Connie, why, different circumstances in her life. Let's take the no carb diet as an example. You start on a very strict no carbs, high protein only diet and you loose weight on phase one, great you are excited and you move on to step two.  Step two you add a few carbs and continue to do well, but now you are starting to feel out of balance so you go back to step one. Ahh now you loose some more weight and either reach your goal and go off the diet, or you go back to step two and plateau. The plateauing makes you frustrated and go off the diet.
My point is that you never finished out the diet.
Did you know that the Atkin's diet actually has four steps?
Collette Heimowitz, M.S. Vice President of Education and Research for Atkins Health and Medical Information Services stated, that most people don't ever do steps 3 and 4.
These steps are where the program introduces carbs back into your diet and shows you how to eat real food and be sucessful for maintaining this for life.
My point is this, simple diet is not the whole picture and neither is exercise. Often you need to look at your relationships, your spirituality, your work surroundings etc.
Are you nourishing yourself in every aspect or only looking at those pounds?
Are you frustrated at work so you come home and compensate by making a yummy, maybe not so healthy dinner and overeating, topping it off with a huge dessert, or maybe just a "simple smoothie" with tons of fruit and coconut milk that is totally full of sugar and fat?
Are you not giving your body time to digest your yummy food and going to bed, not sleeping well, and not for a full 8 hours?
Could you have maybe just needed a hug from someone you love and a few minutes to chill, cooking a more balanced, healthful yummy dinner thus possibly avoiding the whole thing? Sounds silly, but it could be just the tip of the iceberg.

I Love You all and want you to be healthy, happy, and wise.
If you want to talk more I am here for you. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Leftovers, Lunches, & Hamburger, Rice and Cheese

Hi Everyone!
I hope this finds you well, I have been going a bit crazy lately, but I have been thinking about this blog a lot.
I wanted to post videos and pictures which I still will as I continue to write and expand this blog.
As a Health Coach I find that most of us want to eat right but we often don't because of time.
Most people are in a hurry, stressed and often exhausted. I find that lunches for the week seem to be one problem that I was facing with my husband.  Because he doesn't like sandwiches for lunch and I am not a fan of processed food if I can help it, I make sure that I always make just a little more at dinner time so he can have it for lunch the next day. The problem with that is when he is in the field there is no way to heat it. I started searching and came across a really cool item on Amazon that was brand new at the time. For $19.99 plus shipping I  bought a Crock Pot Lunch Warmer for my husband to take to work.
What a cool tool, you can take it to the office and plug it in and it heats your lunch for you so when you're ready to eat it's warm and inviting.  My husband, being the genius man of action he is, went to the hardware store and got a power-inverter so he can plug it into the cigarette lighter in his work truck and it has worked like a charm!
Imagine the stories he came home with when he cracked opened his Crock for a warm lunch when everyone else on the crew had a cold ham sandwich.
 We load the Crock insert right after dinner with what will become his lunch the next day and pop it into the refrigerator. Then in the morning just pop it into the shell of the Crock and Voila!
I recently saw these at Target and got a second one in case he needs two crocks for things that won't fit into just one, and having a spare never hurts.
Well, we have talked Blog and tips, now lets get to the FOOD!
I love food and I LOVE TO COOK, but I know we have time constraints and need to feed our families on a budget and in a shorter period of time so here are two tried and true recipes form my kitchen that are cheap, filling, and can be for one adult or a family.

 Let's start with a recipe my husband Wayne created when we had 8 people to feed on a budget.

Hamburger, Rice and Cheese

1 lb. of hamburger
1 C. uncooked Rice
2 C. water
1 C. or more of shredded Cheese - we use mild cheddar

Bring water to boil and add rice, cook until done about 20 minutes, let set 5 minutes, fluff with fork
While rice is cooking, brown hamburger and season to taste - we use garlic salt and pepper.
Plate a bed of rice, then hamburger, and top with cheddar.
EAT! - Should feed 4

Vegetarian or Vegan, No Meat Defrosted??

*I came up with this because I was tired and didn't have any sauce in the house. - I'll share my sauce recipe with you next time- SUPER EASY

 Garlic Butter Noodles

Take a Dime's width of Spaghetti for each person
Add to boiling water cook approx. 4-5 minutes until al dante'
While the noodles are cooking heat either 1-2 TBS. of Butter per person or EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and 2 cloves of garlic- or more, add to a pan and just melt the butter with low to medium heat with the garlic for 1-2 minutes until garlic is aromatic.
Add to drained noodles with a pinch of Salt and Pepper,
* Garlic can be mashed, chopped, minced, fresh, or out of the jar it all works.*
* If you have kids, add cheese, they love cheese on top parmigiana is always a good choice

I hope you have a great week and you try these recipes.
 I will  work on pictures and "How to videos" to post soon,


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Why I chose this title for my blog

I am a Health Coach,
I want to help women understand that we are in such a rush in our lives we take no time for ourselves. We try to be SUPERWOMAN to our partners, children, friends, extended family, and everyone at work.
 We are exhausted, and come to the point everyday, whether you work outside the home or not, you have someone wondering what you are going to pull out of your bag of tricks to feed them.
I mean come on, they have been busy all day and it is your job right??
We tend to make choices that we might not have made if we could have just had the time, money or energy, to bust out that homemade Lasagna that takes 3 hours to make, and yet the frozen one is just as good right?
I totally understand this, as a wife, mom, blended family mom, and home-school mom, I get it.
When I worked outside of the home it was still the same... "What is for dinner, I'm starved"?
The time honored question that brings at times, that silent scream that all of us want to let rip and yet, we say "Well, let's see" and proceed to work what little magic we seem to have left before the homework, baths and bedtime stories. Then as everyone settles down we get to clean up the kitchen, pack lunches, and fall into bed  to repeat the process again tomorrow.
 I realize that I am preaching to the choir here for most of you, but with a bit of humor along the way, and a few recipes that can help to transform you into a happier, healthier person, who may be able to be a bit more organized. You may even be able to take an occasional breath remembering how awesome you really are!
 The kids in this house are raised, no one died, is in jail - that I know of- and I have had time to go back to school to learn how to help other women who struggle with the same stuff I did.
Oh, and the reason for the name of the blog is this...
After all is said and done- If we as women have great food and cool shoes life really is a whole lot better!!!