So you've completed a juice fast, sworn off sweets for the month and lost a few pounds, Congratulations! Now keep that good health and weight loss going. Maintain your momentum by incorporating a few of these simple tips into your new healthy lifestyle.
- Eat Lots of Vegetables. Per the FDA, half of every meal should be vegetables and fruits. Perhaps that translates to a big salad for lunch and a mostly-veggie dinner. At restaurants, order a salad before your meal to commit to eating lots of veggies. A good variety of different kinds of seasonal vegetables will ensure you get a broad spectrum of nutrients.
- Consumer Organic & Grass-Fed Meat, Dairy & Eggs. Conventionally raised animal products contain hormones, antibiotics and pesticide residues. These compounds have been linked to weight gain, endocrine/hormone disruption and breast cancer, among other health problems. Grass-fed or pastured animal products have higher levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids so they are more heart-healthy. Finally, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) calls antibiotic resistance one of the world's most pressing health problems, so reducing your exposure to antibiotic-laced animal products may help stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" like MRSA.
- Hunger is the Enemy of Healthy Eating! Always make sure you make a plan and have healthy snacks on hand. Dedicate one day a week to plan, shop and prep your food.
- Read Labels. Even the prepared vegetarian sushi rolls at Whole Foods contain added sugar. Reading labels can help you avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful additives like sugar, MSG, and synthetic fillers. In the words of Michael Pollan, "If you can't say it, don't eat it."
- Avoid Processed & Refined Foods like Sugar & Flour. Choose whole grains in order to consumer fewer calories and keep your blood sugar levels stable. Even flours made from whole grains, while slightly more nutritious, can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes over time. And artificial sweeteners are even worse than real sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, reach for whole fruits, dried fruits, or - if you must - natural sweeteners that are minimally processed (think: honey, maple syrup, or blackstrap molasses).
- Drink Lots of Water. Lots! The solution to pollution is diution. At least 64 oz a day. This will help your liver and kidneys filter out toxins even when you're not cleansing. Get a water bottle, fill it up in the morning, and sip away.
- Cook with Saturated Fats. Butter, lard or coconut oil. Use olive oil for everything else, but don't heat it. Here's why.
- Relax! Stress raises a hormone called cortisol, produced by our adrenal glands. Cortisol can cause weight gain. Taking a few minutes everyday to consciously relax and breathe deeply can help bring cortisol levels back to normal.
- Exercise. People with more muscle burn more calories, even at rest. And, since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, building lean muscle mass is a key factor in any weight loss plan. Do something - anything - to build lean muscle mass daily. 10 push-ups, taking the stairs. Make it easy, fun and just do it.
- Keep a Food Journal. Pay attention to what, when and how much you eat. In one study, women who kept a food journal lost 6 pounds more than those who didn't.
- Sleep! Getting enough good-quality sleep is essential for weight loss. In addition, adequate sleep it crucial to stress reduction.
As you can see, it's not just what you eat that impacts your health and weight. Various nutrition and lifestyle factors influence well-being. A holistic approach can help you continue your journey towards good health even after making changes to your diet.
- Emily Wade Adams, author of Natal Nutrition
There is no better time than while on a cleanse to relax and watch a movie. While it's absolutely ok and encouraged to exercise if you're energized (the skin is the body's largest detox organ, so sweat it out!), it's also a perfect time to invest in your health in another way by relaxing. Take this time to practice slowing down and checking out from the go, go, going that our lives embody - all the time.
If you're like me, sitting down to watch a movie from start to finish can be tough. The movie has to be extremely captivating otherwise I quickly lose interest and fall asleep. You can bet on it. Just shy of the half an hour mark, I'm out. I call it the 28 minute rule.
The 100% exception to the rule is food documentaries. I love them. There are so many out there that deliver powerful, eye-opening messages about the state of our food. They raise awareness and in doing so, further the benefits of a cleanse by offering information that can influence your own life decisions and actions immediately - as well as long after the cleanse has finished.
Here is a list of my recommended docs:
In the mood for lighter viewing? My recent favorite is Portlandia. Hilarious. Laughing is definitely a wonderful stress reliever and very health promoting, too!
Happy Movie Watching!
I've been dying to blog about my New Year's Resolution, but I didn't want to jinx myself. Yesterday marked one week; no ice cream, no desserts. Sayonara sugar!
It's my biggest weakness turned-hobby last year during my pregnancy. Steve and I became best friends and at $6.99 per pint, it's a relationship I'm happy to see go.
How does the CAN CAN girl kick her bad habit? To be honest, I'm not one to go cold-turkey and while I've replaced Steve with Will (power), I'm not swearing off ice cream or sugary desserts for life. That my friends is bound to backfire and life is too short not to indulge - once in awhile.
But, I do feel a sense of accomplishment already. My determination as well as my level of happiness have risen in just one week.
How'd I do it?
Here's my approach:
1. Set one realistic goal
2. Find someone who will share the same goal (strong-willed boyfriend of mine!)
3. Map out a way to measure your goal
4. Put a large sign on your frig with an inspirational quote or a giant red 'X'
5. Healthy alternatives. For me, incorporating fresh juice (beet, carrot, apple for sweet cravings)
5. Snap a photo and blog about it
This photo captures my last near-polished-off pint of ice cream purchased and enjoyed on NYE. I scooped three more spoonfuls on New Year's Day (it's my B-Day after all!), but as a true test, I'm leaving the leftovers in the freezer and I'll post updates throughout the year.
So here I am; sugar clean the first week of the year. Feeling good and in competition mode - with myself!
I'm winning this one!
Best of luck to you and your resolutions this year! You CAN do it!
Today's workout: 25 minutes on the treadmill. Today's news: McDonald's spicy wings hit Chicago (after debuting in Atlanta last year) and worse flu season - delivered in that order. My exercise high turns off. My concern and the monologue in my head take over. More bad news for our nation. I wish I could turn off the TV overhead.
Is there a correlation between what we eat and our health? Yes. I'm not charging McDonald's for causing the widespread flu, but that's just how my mind works. I see two sequential news clips and it seems all too powerful of a message.
I'm very, very fortunate to be able to wake-up in the morning and feel good about the hours I put into my work. CAN CAN is trying to improve health by offering perspective on the detriments of poor food choices, calling out the consequences of food and drink vices & bad habits, bringing awareness to how nutrient-deficient food makes us feel, and - if only for 3 days - trying to remind people what it feels like to feel good and inspire them to give more thought to what they eat after the cleanse.
Amidst the flurry of New Year cleanses, a frenzy for limited time, $2.99 mighty wings.
Imagine what you'd feel like after spicy wings for 3 days?
Hippocrates needs to up his a campaign, "Let food be thy medicine..."
Raise your hand if you've eaten or sipped on kale this week? Once a day? Twice a day?
Post-holidays, my bet is most have upped their intake of greens this week. Good for you! See ya later sugar; 'tis time for more of Nature's candies!
With New Year's resolutions abound, kale is front page news in just about every health and fitness magazine and wellness blog I've read. And you know what, I hope it stays there. Media has a powerful way with words. They create a buzz and the public listens. And this time, I hope you're listening loud and clear. Kale is worth the hype!
photo credit: Amber Kercmar
One of the most highly nutritious vegetables, it is a fantastic source of carotenes (beta-carotene and lutein), vitamin C, B6, B1, B2, E, K, manganese, calcium, copper, and iron. And, as a result offers powerful anticancer benefits. Wow! We all should be eating and sipping kale regularly.
How do you get your kale?
Me? I sneak it into almost every soup, toss it into any salad, high-speed blend it into fruit smoothies and juice it.
Cheers! To health, happiness and more greens in 2013!