5 THINGS YOU NEED TO START DOING-TODAY

5 Things You Need To Start Doing—Today

• Consume complex carbohydrates throughout the day. Our bodies are extremely efficient at metabolizing carbohydrates for energy. Thus, it makes sense to consume complex carbohydrates (fiber and starches) throughout the day so that we have the energy we need to perform optimally as opposed to at night when we are most sedentary.

• Plan, plan, plan. Whether it’s planning and preparing meals ahead of time or planning workouts, planning is KEY to achieving our health goals. When we don’t plan, we set ourselves up to fail. Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. associate director for the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia University Business School and author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently emphasizes focusing on what you will do rather than what you will not. Rather than focusing on what behavior needs to change, create a plan to replace that behavior.

• Choose whole foods. Avoid consuming processed foods whenever possible. Processed foods are packed with manmade chemicals and preservatives that are not natural to our body’s digestive and metabolic systems. Many digestive disorders, such as Irritable Bowl Syndromes, can be treated simply by consuming a whole foods diet.

• Avoid labeling foods as good or bad. Are you really going to never eat a slice of pizza again or be the person who refuses to eat their own birthday cake? Rather than putting foods off limit, consider what they do for your body. If they don’t do much aside from pleasuring the taste buds, limit them. Moderation is key. In fact, restrictive dieters are more at risk to develop binging habits.

• Reward yourself (but not with food, you aren’t a dog). Rewarding yourself for your accomplishments, big or small, helps to reinforce positive behavior. However, those rewards should not involve food which can counteract hard work. Treat yourself to a new workout shirt, a pair of dope kicks, a magazine subscription, etc. 

 

LUNCHBOX WORKSHOPS

Hosted my first lunchbox workshop tonight with the help of a fellow health enthusiast who has two of her own munchkins that she aims to constantly nourish. More recently I have begun combining my two biggest passions-children and holistic health! I could not be more excited to share the projects I am working on as I strive to create my brand, Lean Life Inspire. 

Parents and caregivers are invited to come assemble balanced, wholesome and creative lunches once a month at Holisitcally Well in Guilford, CT. Packing healthful foods for fussy eaters is not an easy task. We offer tips and tricks to energize your child(ren) through their summer activities and conintue building healthy habits!

Register for the next workshop by emailing info@leanlifeinspire.com! 

  

ALTERED PERCEPTION: Primary foods and Flexible Dieting

Over the last two months, my perception of nutrition has altered in two ways.  The first being that while food certainly is necessary to thrive, it is not the only thing that nourishes us. In fact, through the foundations of the Institute for Integrated Nutrition I have disocvered the term primary food, coined by Joshua Rosenthal. Primary food is composed of four things: Relationships, Career, Physical Activity, and Spirituality. The example Rosenthal gives is that as a child, we are constantly reminded that it is time to eat. We find ourselves so engaged in play, that we forget to eat. At 24, this seems quite foreign to me as I pretty much plan my entire day around the foods I am eating. Partly because I am health foodie, but also because society encourages us to “live to eat.” However, it is significant to understand that when we are engaged and fulfilled in these 4 areas, we eat to live. We eat because we know that if we don’t we cannot fully participate in our primary food. Thus, the actual act of consuming energy (calories) is considered secondary food.

The second alternation comes from a nutritional concept called Flexible Dieting. I became intrigued by FD in January, however I remained skeptical. I spent about a month reading articles that both supported and opposed FD and looking at FD athletes and their stories. While the concepts has a bad rep, I have found it to be extremely beneficial for me both physically and mentally. The assumption is that Flexible Dieters eat whatever they want as long as it fits within their macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats). However, athletes know that when they consume a diet rich in whole foods they feel better and they perform better. The exception is that Flexible Dieters are given the freedom to incorporate foods that a “clean eater” has deemed off-limits. I consumed a clean diet for the last two years. However, I definitely developed binging habits. I would eat perfectly all week and then would consume an entire small pizza, a row of Oreos, and a plate of nachos on my “cheat day.” My body would be so caught off guard that I would not only be depressed the next day, but physically ill…and the cycle continued. This is something that is very common for our extremist society. We do not know how to do things in moderation. Over the last month, I have lost 7 pounds while consuming 200-300 more calories a day, doing less cardio, and incorporating foods like poptarts and Oreos along with whole foods. I know that immediately before and after my workout, my body benefits from consuming simple carbohydrates like a Poptart. However, I also know that I feel fuller and have more prolonged energy after consuming a meal that consists of sweet potato, chicken, and asparagus.

The human body is an amazing organism. When we are sick, our bodies purge the toxins and create antibodies to defend against the illnesses’ return. When we lift weights and tear apart our muscles, our bodies repair them and adapt them so that they are stronger for the next workout. On a daily basis our bodies heal themselve. 

Until we learn to nourish them physically, emotionally, and mentally instead of punish them, we will never  discover our full potential. Eat to live. Do not live to eat. 

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Organic Pumpkin Pure
  • ½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 cups Almond Butter
  • 1 cup Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Baking Sheet
  • Olive Oil Spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray baking sheet with olive oil spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine pumpkin puree and almond butter. Mix well.
  4. Add pumpkin pie spice, sea salt, pure maple syrup, vanilla, and chocolate chips (if desired). Mix until batter is a consistent paste.
  5. Place teaspoons of batter onto baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Servings vary

IMG_7345

MAPLE SUGAR ACORN SQUASH

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of Water
  • 2 tsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Ginger
  • 1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Acorn Squash
  • Glass Baking Dish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse squash, cut in half, and scoop seeds.
  3. Place face down in 1½ cups of water
  4. Bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Combine butter, cinnamon, ginger, and pure maple syrup in a small bowl.
  6. Remove from oven, drain water, and flip squash.
  7. Pour combined ingredients into the center of each half, dividing them evenly.
  8. Bake 10 minutes.

2 Servings

IMG_7398

CHICKEN SAUSAGE VEGGIE “SPAGHETTI”

2015/01/img_0926.jpg
Ingredients:

  • 1 large Spaghetti Squash
  • EVOO
  • 1 medium Zucchini
  • 1-2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • Sea Salt and Pepper
  • 3 Applegate Organic Chicken Sausage Links
  • Organic Garlic cloves
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Baking Dish
  • Frying Pan
  • Large Bowl

Directions:

  1. Rinse spaghetti squash and carefully stab with a knife to allow heat to escape.
  2. Cook spaghetti squash in the microwave (cuts cooking time in 1/2). Approximately 6 minutes on each side. The squash will be soft when cooked.
  3. Once squash is done, carefully remove from microwave, cut in half, and let cool (15-20minutes). Squash will be extremely hot. I would recommend using oven mitts.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Heat a teaspoon of EVOO and garlic, add chicken sausage, and cook until brown.
  6. Rinse zucchini and tomatoes. Slice Zucchini (1/2 inch thick) and cut tomatoes into halves. Finely slice onion. Roast in baking dish with 1 tbs of EVOO for 20 minutes.
  7. Scoop seeds from spaghetti squash and fork into large bowl.
  8. Once veggies are done add to spaghetti squash with 1tbs of EVOO and sea salt & pepper to taste. Toss dish.
  9. Slice chicken sausage and add to dish.
  10. Enjoy!

2-3 servings

ALMOND CRUSTED CHICKEN

Ingredients:

  • Organic Chicken Tenders
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Non-fat Greek Yogurt
  • Sliced Almonds Garlic
  • Sea salt and Pepper
  • Baking Sheet

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray baking sheet with Olive Oil spray.
  3. Spoon greek yogurt into a medium sized bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. On a clean flat surface (I like to use a cutting board) evenly spread sliced almonds.
  5. Dip chicken into greek yogurt and roll in almonds.
  6. Place onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

2 servings

 

2015/01/img_6028.jpg