Eating for Health, Not Weight

This blog was made for personal reference of lifestyle choices and education, it’s not the Bible and not intend to be duplicated or copied.

I often try to explain that eating to lose weight and eating the right foods for your continued good health or to regain good health are not always the same thing.  Counting calories is not the same as making the calories count! Choosing wisely is so important.

In the wake of the Soda Ban in NY City and recent research released about the future of American obesity and diabetes, Dean Ornish published an opinion in the NY Times Sunday Edition, September 12, 2012.  I suggest you and everyone you know take the time to read and understand this point of view.  Being and remaining healthy in our current society takes commitment.  My immediate family is 90% plant based in our nutrition by choice. We are not typical Americans, but we do still struggle with sugar and caffeine moderation like so many others I know.  We thought we were living a “healthful diet” for so many years, until I studied Dean Ornish’s research through the Coronary Health Intervention Program and put some changes into practice about a year and a half ago.

When non-plant based meal portions are selected by our children, my husband and I remind them that the choice is only fine if it is kept to a minimum of their dietary decisions. By minimum I mean FAR LESS than a “daily” or even a weekly indulgence. In the months that followed our proactive lifestyle diet change, my teenager decided, completely on her own, that dairy and milk based products make her sick more than she imagined. This was quite an epiphany for a 17 year old who used to drink a gallon of milk weekly in grade school and eat chocolate any chance she could. I had always thought her milk consumption was the ‘best thing’ in her diet, but as soon as she cut the dairy out, she stopped having reoccurring sinus infections and horrible headaches.  Our other teen age daughter has figured out that her body cannot digest red meat well. This was a kid that loved a good steak once in a while too. She has said although it looks or smells good, “I just don’t feel good, my stomach hurts very badly after I eat it.”  And when we do choose sugary treats, we all recognize that the choice is not “good food,” but should be considered a true treat.

I don’t want to preach, and I am far from perfect…I am the first to admit that fact. But once you read this article, you’ll understand better why this blog even exists for your use.

Eating for Health, Not Weight

Remain in forward motion so that your health risks remain small!

Food Additives

I stumbled across this link to a list with explanations of food additives. So if you munch on bagged items or prepackaged goods, here are some of the items you may see on the ingredients list and note what to avoid. It’s from the Center for Science for the Public Interest website.

Remember that shopping for foods without labels, creating your menu from scratch recipes and eating foods with labels where you recognize all the ingredients in the list is the best advise I can give for the best way to feed your body in order for it to digest what you’ve given it and serve you well as you move in forward motion!

Take care. Be well. Fast foward 5 years: Why did Walgreen’s steel this tag line from me?? Just saying, impact is important. To be consulted would be nice.

Be flexible In Forward Motion

So often my clients make excuses about their health based on something that happened and recently changed their “regular” routine.

“Oh, I broke my leg and haven’t worked out in 2 months” or “I just changed jobs and can’t fit ‘it’ in anymore.” Harder yet, I hear about caring for aging parents and sick children…these changes too soon become the new “routine” for people and will certainly add mental and physical stress! Stress adds to weight gain through sleep interruption in-turn leading to poor nutritional choices and self care if you are not aware of your own wellness when there is significant change. Wellness is 360 degrees of your life, take a few moments and regain perspective; remember, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it!

Anytime you have a condition or a situation that interrupts, or lays the foundation for interruption, lasting more than 2 weeks- you need to adjust yourself to stay on the positive side of your own wellness. After all, if you are breaking down while caring for an ill family member, then that presents a whole other set of problems to compensate for…

It is more important then ever, in the face of challenge or change to your “regular” routine (fitness, nutrition and balance), to find a way to recommit to yourself for your continued health and wellness maintenance. If there is a “change” to your life that lasts longer then 10 days-2 weeks and  takes you far from the opportunity to get to the gym or “shop & cook” the best foods, well, then it is actually your new wellness journey! Pivot and turn in the new direction remaining in forward motion! Keep your eye on the ultimate goal…maintaining your personal wellness for the best health you can achieve given the current circumstance.

Wellness is paramount in the face of uncertainty. You choose your journey to stay as well as you can…for your children, for your aging parents, for your spouse, for continued success in your career, etc.  Unless you are laid up in the hospital with an unforeseen challenge, you can seize the opportunity to be flexible. Remember, if you are not able to maintain your “gym” routine, put effort into staying active with 10 minute bursts of aerobic activities 3 times each day (Boom 10). Walk, do jumping jacks, practice deep breathing with long sustained stretching (there you go, 3-ten minute activities!) which can, at the very least, help maintain aerobic fitness and bust some stress, during times of significant change.

Finding yourself on the road more than usual make sure to grab fruit and hearty grain bars for the car because these are better nutritional choices then fast food or those awful gas station energy drinks! Continue to drink lots of water, staying hydrated adds a better sense of well being; it helps your skin by flushing out toxins released by stress hormones during changes that are tough. Plus recall some positive moments from your life that can bring you better perspective on your current challenge with a five-minute self reflection everyday.

Too often I hear about “falling off the wagon”; however, choosing wellness at all times is less of a wagon ride to fall off of! Plainly speaking, your feet are on the current road and when the road changes direction you shouldn’t be walking backwards- you have to stay in forward motion as you move into the next set of life’s journey. Making better choices often actually helps you stay as balanced as possible during the peak times of life change which are actually your current life-reality.

Lowering your cholesterol with these product swaps!

Yum!How about an opportunity to try something new at the dinner table? Many people begin with nutrition when they are putting better practices into place. I encourage a cholesterol
free diet or as low in added cholesterol as you can get! Less than 50mg of dietary cholesterol daily is considered ideal, so make little changes to simply drop your added cholesterol daily using a swap product like Quorn. In my house this is not a “religion”, so if we are at a party or out somewhere that does not have cholesterol free alternatives, we use the “less is more rule” and go with the flow. Focusing on plant based menu options with variety is not that hard to do, and since I have done enough research and product tasting, you don’t have to do anything but buy the best swaps you can find! These great alternatives are in the grocery stores now mostly found in the “organic” frozen section.

Quorn products are fabulous!
My kids like them (crazy, surprise!),
and I love to eat and cook with them. These are meatless and soy-free products
that are easy substitutes for meat in many family dinner recipes like tacos,
chili, casseroles and soups! The products are made from a plant based protein called
mycoprotein which is cholesterol-free, high in fiber and low in calories and sodium, plus it has all the amino acids an adult needs daily! Quorn products are prepared the same way as ground beef, chicken or turkey in many of your favorite recipes. Simple swap.

I cook like many busy people I know, fast and easy! So many of you know this type of preparation is born out of necessity for quick, nutritious family meals
due to the busy lives we are all leading. I try to make it a point to have a hot,
wholesome, nutritious meal on the stove at least 5-6 nights each week. It’s
easier for me to be a quick cook, a better use of my time then traveling and sitting in fast food lines, and obviously a better choice than those type of options anyway. My stock pot gets good use, and I feel good that I can put some awesome food on the table
with typical planning and shopping methods most days of the week. Great products like Quorn make this much easier!

The Chili Recipe pictured above & other good product suggestions:

Quorn Meatless crumbles, saute with ½ onion in 2 tbs. of olive oil

Add your favorite chili “packet” with extra red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and cup of
water Stir in Del Monte Diced Zesty Chili (1 can) tomatoes and 1 can regular store brand diced tomatoes

Stir in Bush’s Chili Beans (mild or hot, depends on your taste)

1-2 cups frozen corn (depends what you like)

Saute 15 minutes

Serve with jalapeno slices & fresh chopped cilantro

I serve this over Barilla Whole Grain Pasta with Veggie Crumble Cheddar (also available in the organic refrigerated section of the store). An additional fabulous side,
Marie Callender’s Original Cornbread! Typically I avoid Marie Callender foods, they are filled with fat and preservatives, but this one is good…just look at the ingredients.

Eat well tonight!!


Super Bowl Prep: Try my favorite dip recipe!

Black Bean SalsaI love this so much I eat it as a cold soup

1 can Bush’s Black Beans (rinse before
adding, it cuts down on the sodium)

2 cups frozen corn (it will simply thaw out in the bowl)

1 can Ro-Tel Original or with Green Chilies

(Original or Spicy Hot, depends on your taste buds)

1 bunch of fresh Cilantro cleaned & chopped

Awesome Chip Choices! Serve with

Tostitos Artisan Recipe Black Bean Tortilla Chips    or

TostitosArtisan Recipe Fire Roasted Chipotle Chips

Whole pieces of washed Romaine Lettuce
& celery stacks for a veggie

Pre-Game Tip: Take a long walk before the party, this will burn calories early
and decrease any stress brought on by the game excitement. By exercising before
any big game you will have earned the right to enjoy some extra snacks during
the Super Bowl party and you will enjoy the excitement more because your total
stress will have been reduced by the exertion. Activity and exercise always helps
manage your blood pressure during the excitement of any good game or stressful

Enjoy the game!

Water: Every living being on earth needs it!

Water improves your overall health by cleansing your body from waste and toxins all the time. Enough water in your system daily
will improve
the absorption of vitamins and nutrients from food which in turn aids digestion and increases your energy levels. Cleansing your internal organs with water helps prevent certain cancers caused by poor diet and inactivity; it also thins blood naturally which improves your circulation and lowers health risks associated
with high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. Water is your best friend for weight maintenance or loss.


Drinking enough water daily will speed up your metabolism
to burn more calories during and after any workout. Your body needs to
metabolize stored fat into energy which slows considerably when you are even
mildly dehydrated; therefore, you are working against yourself by not giving
your body good amounts of water to use. (Don’t do that!) Water lubricates muscle fibers and adds  “definition” when you’re talking about muscle tone! Oh yeah!

Water improves your skin, the largest organ! Water helps to
prevent sagging skin caused by aging and weight loss. Water plumps the skin
cells, giving you a younger and healthier look. Also, during times
of weight loss, your body will be trying to get rid of a lot of waste because of
stored fat, so giving your body enough water simply helps flush all of that out.
(No pun intended, but honestly, not a bad graphic.)

General rules to follow:  Drink at least 8 “glasses” per day– based on an 8 oz glass, for a total ½ gallon of water each day. Start there and build your water consumption, for example: I work out with moderate intensity at least 30 minutes each day and drink about 1 gallon everyday. (I know, crazy right, but honestly, I feel blah if I don’t have enough water, & I crave more sweets probably because I am looking for energy.)  Your amount may change depending on your medical condition and medication, so ask your doctor for specifics as needed especially if you have kidney or liver issues.

Overweight? Drink 1 glass extra per day for every 20 pounds over “normal weight” because the extra weight creates extra metabolic demand. And when you are working out, you should add 1 glass for every 20 minutes of the workout routine.

Do not count sodas and coffee as part of your daily liquid consumption. Sugary drinks and caffeine, even diet drinks without sugar, are dehydrators and
are not quality liquids! The 8 or more glasses of water daily should come in
addition to other beverages you’re already drinking. You will likely not crave much of anything else once you begin drinking water!

Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit means you are already consuming water through your diet…that’s good, so pat yourself on the back! Check out this great link for more information: Water Content of Fruits and Vegetables provided by the University of Kentucky research.

Water has many advantages over the other goods you consume daily
when you are examining your current lifestyle eating habits. Don’t
underestimate its benefits! Consuming enough water will prevent you from getting
dehydrated which will help your body by not storing unwanted fat. Awesome, right? You may also lower your blood pressure immediately once you become properly hydrated…it’s so good for you!

When you become dehydrated, your body goes into a survival mode
and begins to store any water it gets in all kinds of places that actually look
like unsightly bulges, sort of like a camel’s hump. Yikes. So, consistently drinking enough water, your body will get the idea that it doesn’t need to store it, that’s
. At first you might find yourself heading to the restroom more often;
however, as your body begins “using” the new natural hydration level, those
trips will slow down.

One more advantage, if you or someone you love (spouse, kids or
aging parents) is suffering from headaches, random stomach aches, dry skin,
dizziness, or constipation simply try adding more water everyday because these
are signs of dehydration, which can be chronic and disruptive. (Link at bottom of page for more information.) Think about this- for nearly any hospital stay you’re hooked up to a saline-drip IV, the medical community must know something they’re not communicating effectively. Hydration eliminates many issues & speeds recovery of the rest!

How to get enough-Quick Tips: (so easy)

1. First thing each day fill a mug full of water and drink it. Viola, 8-10oz and you have barely opened your eyes! If you notice this new habit makes you feel better than your first cup o’java let me know, I know it helps me!

2. At the store, pick up a small pack of water bottles to keep in the car (this works most of the year, I wouldn’t recommend this habit in the summer though, the inside car temperature gets too hot for this to be refreshing).

3. Keep a cup specifically for water at your desk or work
station.  Make a pact with you that looking at it means it’s time to fill up!

4. At home: Through the door water on your refrigerator? Use it! Set some cups each facet in the house at all times, I bet your water consumption doubles!! We keep a sharpie and disposable “cups” near the water dispenser in the kitchen; this cuts down on the stack of cups piling up in the sink and makes for easy tracking of consumption. It’s a family game – write Name, Day of the Week and Tally Mark for each fill up!

Put this great habit into your lifestyle and be sure to check the mirror for progress. Notice the difference in your skin as wrinkles will begin disappearing; your hands will be less itchy and your tummy won’t be as round! So simple, so true. (also check out Healthy Nutrition)

Dehydration Symptoms can range from mild to severe, the Mayo Clinic offers an in
depth look at these symptoms and may be very helpful for those suffering on a
daily basis.

Take care to be well

In the pursuit of Wellness, there is the understanding that every person has stories that make up their core being and create their total wellness picture. Health and Wellness are often used together, but more often separated because “health” seems to be a
word that everyone can identify with medically, while “wellness” just simply
seems vague. A lot of “health” information points to negative physical conditions
of the body and does not make the direct connection to the overall wellness
conditions your life. True Wellness looks at the whole picture, bringing into
consideration each aspect that forms your lifestyle: body, mind, spirit and

The current push of Wellness is to ignite a sense of personal “health” responsibility towards physical fitness because lifestyle diseases are popping up in
epidemic proportions across the country. Healthy amounts of physical activity
and proper nutrition are fundamental to your healthy body and help avoid lifestyle
related diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and other Coronary Health Diseases. Understanding that when your body is maintained in good health, your mind and spirit are free to grow and be positive while spilling over into good changes for every part of your life, that is the driving energy of In Forward Motion.

Positive choices for continued good health create your wellness in forward motion.