Set Your Mind The Way You Want To Set Your Body.

Why are you eating? Are you hungry? How about bored, sad, nervous, anxious, stressed, or happy? These are just a few of the reasons you may be reaching for something to eat. But these are all emotions and not actual signs from the body that it needs nourishment.

The Mind Leads the Body

There isn’t anything you can do without thinking it first. So choosing to make healthy decisions isn’t brain surgery….you just have to think it. Sounds pretty easy right? We all know it’s not that simple…..easier said than done. Choosing to eat unhealthy food is a thought you have before you actually do it. Maybe it sounds good or you are short on time and its the easy choice to make. We all have reasons, or should I say excuses, for making those unhealthy decisions. So first things first, changing the way your mind thinks will get you off on the right path. For example if you are tempted by certain foods in your house, get rid of them! When you are stocking up at the grocery store don’t buy those foods that are going to tempt you once you get them home. If you don’t have them, you can’t eat them!

Your Body Feels

Paying attention to your body may seem mindless, but it actually can tell you a lot! After exercising how do you feel? Maybe tired yes, but typically don’t you feel better? So eating right and choosing healthy foods can do the same thing. It’s like taking care of your car. Car washes, oil changes, maintenance…..we want to keep our car running and in tip-top shape right? So why not treat our body that way. Fuel ourselves with good, healthy foods and our body will keep running as we want them to. Eating on the unhealthy side is going to make our bodies tired, no energy, and basically no life. Think of food as fuel for your body, it keeps it running and moving as you want it too. Just like gas to a car. But you aren’t going to put diesel in your car when it needs unleaded. So fuel your body with the right kinds of foods, it’ll work better when you want it to, and for many years to come!

Once you control your mind you can conquer your body! Like I said before first things first, mind then your body.

You are the only one with YOUR mind and the only one that can change the way YOU think. Take the reigns!!!

~ Your Health Dork ~

Dairy: Good or Bad?

So I’m not sure about you, but I have been hearing and reading a lot of things about the “no dairy diets” and going “dairy-free.” But why? And what does this actually entail? Growing up I always had to drink my milk at dinner and many mornings had cereal with milk. Have things changed since then or was I doing something terrible for my body growing up? So many questions…

I wouldn’t say things have changed since back then, but I would say we are more knowledgeable about dairy products and how they are made. One thing about milk that a lot people might not realize is that it is actually a processed product. Milk is filled with growth hormones and antibiotics used to make the cows lactate unnaturally. Even though this helps milk look white and creamy it is also to blame for skin problems, acne, allergies, inflammation in the body, and much more. Anything that the cow eats or is injected with is going to be in the milk as well. Not sure about you, but I personally don’t know what is going into each and every cow every single day. Little scary to tell you the truth.

One thing I was concerned about was calcium and how I was going to get enough without eating dairy. Well of course there is plenty of other ways besides dairy alone. On average 1 cup of milk has 296mg of calcium. Here are a few other ways to get your calcium intake that you need. Sesame Seeds -1/4cup(351mg), Spinach- 1cup(245mg), Collard Greens-1cup(266mg), Kelp -1cup(136mg), Tahini or Sesame Seed Butter-2tsp(126mg), Broccoli-2cups(124mg), Swiss Chard-1cup(102mg), Kale-1cup(94mg), Brazil Nuts – 12 nuts(90mg), Celery-2cups(81mg), Almonds – 23nuts(75mg), Papaya-1md(73mg), Flax Seeds-2Tbs(52mg), and Oranges-1md(52mg). Seeing there are many other ways to get my calcium I guess this is one reason I don’t necessarily NEED dairy in my diet.

Casein, have you ever heard of it? No? Me either until I began doing some research on this topic. Let me tell you it definitely opened my eyes! Casein is proteins that are commonly found in mammals milk with about 300% more in cow’s milk than in human’s milk. Casein has a variety of uses , from being a major component of cheese, to being used as a food additive, and even used as a binder for safety matches. As for food it has amino acids, carbs, calcium and phosphorus. Now for the kicker, here are the major uses of Casein. Paint, glue, cheesemaking, plastics, fiber, and protein supplements. Paint? Glue? Do I really want something in my body that is also used to make glue?

Going dairy-free may sound difficult depending on your lifestyle, but it’s not impossible. There are many substitutes for some of your favorite dairy products. Baking with milk is very common, but simply using equal parts water and juice will work just fine! There are also things like almond milk, oat milk, rice milk, soy milk, soy cheese, and non-dairy frozen desserts. Things have come a long way in our world today as far as organic and health foods available.

This info isn’t meant to draw you away from dairy products, but it is meant for you to take a good look at your lifestyle. Maybe you have discomfort, headaches, asthma, joint pain, bloating, gas, or an array of other symptoms and just aren’t sure why. Something as easy as less dairy or no dairy could be your fix. It might be something to look into.

So now what do you think…. Dairy: Good or Bad?

~ Your Health Dork ~

Raw Food Diet.

If any of you have read any of my previous blogs you know I’m not a fan of the word diet, but here I am using it in my subject line. This isn’t really by choice though…let me tell you why. On Saturday I went to a Raw Food Diet seminar, that’s what they call it! So really they are choosing to live a lifestyle of raw foods. Hey to each their own!

I’m not going to sit here and bash this lifestyle or try to sway you to get on board with it, but I will say that I left with a great deal of information. The gal that did it has been doing it for I belive it was 6 yrs now and had went to an institution to become very knowledgable in the area.

The raw food diet is simply foods that are minimally processed and in their natural state. A lot of people think it’s pink, uncooked meat, and sushi just to mention a few, but really it’s not that at all. Anything cooked above 118 degrees isn’t considered raw because the heating of it takes out all the benefits. Microwaves are a no-no!! Zapping your food for just a few seconds takes out all the benefits of the food.

Leafy greens, fresh fruit, seeds, nuts, good oils, and veggies are just a few of the examples of foods in this diet. These types of foods are high in enzymes which help break down the foods. We have them naturally in our bodies already, but to use the ones we already have uses 30% of our energy to break that food down. Foods that already have enzymes in them break down on their own requiring none of our energy. All living foods have enzymes.

Fruits and veggies are 70% water! That sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Well think about eating a lot of those throughout the day plus your normal intake of water…..you should be hydrated and ready to go!

One of my questions about following this ‘diet’ was “where are the proteins?” I always thought the majority of protein was found in meats. Well the darker the leafy green the more protein it has in it. Also an avocado had a great deal of protein along with good fats. The process of heating meats actually congeals the proteins together.  It turns to a jelly and once consumed that jelly is sitting inside your belly. Yuck!

If The Raw Diet sounds like something you’d be interested in there are tons of books out there about it. I’m just touching on it and sharing the information I received. It’s a very interesting concept so if it’s for you then bring on the Raw Food!

~ Your Health Dork ~

Plan Ahead.

A lifestyle change isn’t going to just happen overnight. There needs to be some planning involved and some mental preparation. Are you ready for it? Of course you are…. If you want it bad enough it’s all up to you! Planning is going to create new habits, better habits! It’s going to make things a lot easier and less stressful. You may be thinking I’m crazy for saying that, but after some time you will see for yourself. Disciplined people are the ones who are successful when losing weight and keeping it off. It takes effort to succeed in a challenge. No one said losing weight was easy, if it was everyone would look like professional athletes or supermodels!

Planning ahead and staying on a schedule can keep your blood sugar steady, which can help keep the hunger headaches away, and keep you from feeling extremely hungry or fatigued. When you experience any of these feelings there is a good chance once you do eat you will overeat. When you deprive your body of food it goes into hunger mode. Once you do eat something it will store it away as fat because it doesn’t know when it will receive food again. Also your metabolism doesn’t work correctly and once you do eat something you will end up gaining weight.

Planning ahead can take a little extra time and preparation, but your life is well worth it. In the evenings plan what your meals and snacks will be for the following day. Especially if you are gone all day you need to pack snacks, meals, ect. so you are able to eat when you want and eat exactly what you want. If you are prepared and end up getting hungry you will just eat anything in sight, healthy or not. Everyone has different schedules so someone who works 8-5 will have to prepare differently than someone who is a stay at home parent or simply just works from home.

Exercise is the same way. If you don’t plan ahead to go to the gym, yoga, fitness class, whatever it is you do then there is a chance you may not go. If someone mentioned going to happy hour would you go? Did you have plans to workout? If you didn’t then you probably would go have a drink or two. But if you had plans to workout you might stick to your guns and go get your sweat on! Again discipline plays a big part in all this, even exercise.

~ Your Health Dork ~

Lift Weights to Lift the Weight Off.

There is quite the misconception when it comes to lifting weights as a way to lose weight. A lot of people think that lifting weights will only bulk you up and for women that is usually something they want to stay far away from! There are a few reasons why pumping some iron can set you up to lose a few pounds.

Metabolic rate increases both short-term and long-term when lifting weights. Even hours after an intense weight workout your metabolic rate will increase. After some time of lifting weights you will achieve lean muscle mass, which in turn creates a permanent increase in your metabolism. Studies show that after an hour-long weight workout, on average, 100 extra calories are burned in the 24 hours after the workout has been completed. Increasing your metabolism is NEVER a bad thing so what are you waiting for?

Cardio is a great way to lose weight, but lifting weights will help you lose fat and in turn change your body composition. The number on the scale isn’t everything. Muscle is more dense than fat, but can compress the same amount of weight into less space. So even if the scale isn’t changing quite as fast as you’d like, if you are successful in a weight training program your body composition will show results. Toned muscles look better than loose fat any day!! Those jeans you never thought you’d get back into will be getting compliments very soon!!!

Weight lifting can also help with some medical issues. The extra belly that some carry around can lead to such diseases as cancer or diabetes, but researchers have found lifting weights is better than cardio when trying to shrink the belly. A little time working your muscles is well worth it versus getting a bad report at the doctors office.

Muscles are amazing little body parts! They can eat up calories even when you aren’t working them out! How great is that to sit at your office desk, on an airplane, or on your couch and know you are shedding calories? Of course you have to put in the work before that’s all going to happen, sorry it’s not magic! Change 10lbs of fat to 10lbs of lean muscle and you’ll additionally burn more calories each day, not to mention your body composition will look phenomenal 🙂

See you at the gym! Or even if you don’t belong to a gym find things in the house that can replace some dumbbells. Trust me I’m sure you have things around that can work….No Excuses!

~ Your Health Dork ~

The Mental Games

You may not want to believe it, but there is a good chance you are playing mental games with yourself when it comes to losing weight. All the negative talk going on inside your head can be a huge distraction and you don’t even know it. I can’t do it, I’ll never be skinny, I give up… ever said those things to yourself? It’s those darn games.

Lets start with accepting the need to change. What do you need to change to get to your goal? It can be different for every one of you. Think about it for a minute, think hard. Do you need to change your food choices, eating patterns, or maybe your relationship with food? Now its the commitment to make those changes and we all know that part can be VERY hard! Commitment sounds so permanent, almost a little scary! But are the changes you want to make permanent changes or short-term? Here is where the mental part can come into play. You may want to drop 10lbs in 2 months, short-term, but then what happens after that? Everything you did to drop those pounds goes out the door and here come the 10lbs back! How about you say you want to drop 10lbs….period. No pressure with time and you may find yourself making a lifestyle change that was totally unexpected. The more pressure you place on yourself the more discouraged you will get and possibly give up.

Now take a look at what you have tried in the past. Did it work? I’m guessing it didn’t else you wouldn’t be here. So leave the past right where it is…..IN THE PAST!! New start, new beginning, new things, new you! Now you need to figure out what is going to work for you. I can’t tell you what that is because I don’t know you 🙂 Everyone has different things going on in their lives. So here is where you have evaluate what is going on with you. Whatever you tried in the past don’t try again. If it didn’t work then why would it work now? There are many tools out there to help you get started. Just a couple of suggestions might be to clean out your kitchen. You know what is right and wrong as far as what you need to eat. And yes I said NEED, not WANT. Also keep yourself busy so you aren’t thinking about food all the time. Go for walk, meet a friend at the gym, read a book, take a yoga class, volunteer, and there are SO many more.

Make small changes as they are going to work better than changing everything in your life at once. Mentally you will be overwhelmed if you change too much too fast. To be honest it might take you some time, days/weeks, to mentally prepare yourself to the changes and commitment you are planning to make. That’s ok, actually its perfect. If you aren’t mentally prepared for these changes then don’t plan on these changes sticking around.

Be honest with yourself. Why cheat yourself from a goal that you are reaching for SO badly? I can’t think of a single reason myself. Make an effort to change the negative talk going on inside your head to positive. Negative thoughts only create a negative vibe and who wants to be around that? Unhappy people will get unhappy results…. end of story.

~ Your Health Dork ~

I had a Bad Day.

No one is prefect…even if sometimes you may think you are pretty close 🙂 If you are starting the change to improve your lifestyle and want to lose weight don’t go into it with thoughts you will never eat another piece of candy, dessert, cheese dip, ect. The minute you tell yourself, for example, sugar is off-limits you will want it even more. Don’t deprive yourself of anything, you need to live your life. Of course moderation is key. Don’t eat the whole bag of M&Ms, take a few, enjoy them, get it out of your system, and move on.

Having a day consisting of poor eating choices can really get you down and in a bad mood. Remember this mood and how you felt. Try not to let yourself go back to that place. Starting your day off with bad choices doesn’t mean you have to end your day the same way. If you start getting into that mood again stop right then and there and make a change. Don’t let the whole day get away from you before you realize you just blew a whole day. You are in control of your day, you will never get that day back, so change it around ASAP!

Need a little boost to get back on track in the middle of the day? Ask a friend to take a walk, go for coffee, read a book….anything to keep you busy and away from the kitchen. Get your mind off the first part of the day and move on. Google a motivational quote, some can really hit close to home for every single one of you. ASK ME! Tell me what’s going on and I’ll do my best to help you through the rest of your day!

When you go to bed that night, once you are at the end of your Bad Day, mentally prepare yourself for tomorrow. You are in control of what’s going to happen, make yourself proud, and kick your bad day to the curb. If you are a planner lay in bed and think of what you will eat for breakfast….even better lunch and dinner, snacks too. Don’t give yourself an option to have another bad day.

Remember we all have bad days. It happens. It’s ok. Hopefully not too often, but don’t give up when you do come across one. Put it in the past and move on to the future.

Bring on many, many GOOD DAYS!!!

~Your Health Dork ~