Change Your Eating Habits

What’s your eating style? Are you a stress eater, a convenience eater, or do you simply just have a difficult time with balanced portions? Most of us would answer “YES to the above.” There’s no guilt or shame in recognizing that you may be an emotional eater. We live under chronic stress in a food-abundant culture. As I always say, food is cheap, available and socially accepted as a way to enhance or soothe your emotions. The first step to changing any unwanted habits is to recognize the patterns.

Chronic Dieter

This person tends toward all or nothing thinking. They are either on the diet, or off the diet. They may use words like “bad” or “good” to describe their eating. “I’ll get back on track tomorrow… Or Monday.. Or after the holidays… Or once the kids go back to school… or when things settle down.” The reality is that we are all on the journey all the time. There is never a time when we are off track, and mistakes can be excellent teachers. Create a vision of yourself for next year, or 10 years from now. What do you see? If you desire health and quality of life, then make adjustments to your daily habits so that you will be healthy. If your goal is weight loss, then set your mind to it and make it happen. It’s not easy, but it’s not rocket science either.

Tips for the chronic dieter:

Get rid of the all or nothing, black and white thinking because it will weigh you down. Banish the word “diet” from your lexicon and instead focus on a tiny habits approach. Don’t major in the minors, but get serious about going after the low-lying fruit, e.g., worrying about gmo’s and gluten doesn’t matter much if you are overeating and not exercising.  Focus your energies instead on eating more vegetables, lean proteins and reducing intake of sugar in all of its forms (sugar, maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, etc).  Stay involved with Nutrition Solutions by coming to classes so you can continue to learn how to lose weight without being on a never-ending diet. The word for you is CONSISTENCY!

Emotional eater

This person uses food to cope with emotions. Whether happy or sad, stressed or angry, this person has learned that food can be a powerful way to alter their emotional state. Simply saying “no” to food without addressing the underlying emotion isn’t very helpful.  It’s not for a lack of willpower that these individuals stay stuck in unhealthy habits.  Eating habits start very early in life and so it’s likely that a person’s eating style has been ingrained for decades. Think about the way in which adults reward a toddler’s good behavior with a sweet treat. That child’s brain learns early on that savory foods are associated with feeling good.  The answer for emotional eating is to go after the root and address the underlying emotional source of overeating.

Tips for emotional eaters:

Identify alternative ways to cope with strong emotions. Instead of using food, try walking or exercise. Prayer, meditation, yoga and breathing exercises can be very helpful at reducing stress hormones. More than likely, a person will have to go deeper by restructuring their entire schedules so that they can live a more balanced life. You are in charge of creating the life you want and need. Come to the lifestyle group classes at Nutrition Solutions and draw strength from others by being supported.

Convenience Eater

This person’s eating habits are driven by a need for convenience. They have not created a space in their schedule for planning meals and snacks and so they rely on fast food and processed food products. They’ve outsourced the responsibility of deciding what to eat to corporations and as a result they eat high-calorie, heavily processed foods that ultimately makes them feel tired and sluggish.  Often times they skip meals or snacks and may eat only once or twice per day.

Tips for convenience eaters:

Plan ahead. Take pride in your body and all the ways it works for you.  Make the commitment to fuel it with high-quality foods. No one would think about putting economy-grade fuel into a Ferrari so don’t fuel your bodies with junk food.  Come to lifestyle group classes, particularly the ones pertaining to nutrition and meal prep. Attend as many grocery tours and cooking classes as you can so that you can develop skills necessary for meal planning.

The overeating health foodie

This person is knowledgeable about nutritious foods and they might describe themselves as eating very healthy. They tend to be well-read on recent trends in nutrition and they may even take pride in their meal planning and cooking skills, however, they simply just eat too much. This person also may not realize that even extremely “healthy” energy-dense foods must be eaten in moderation (olive oil, nut butters, and avocados for example).

Tips for the overeating foodie:

Practice using measuring tools and sticking to recommended serving sizes initially so that you can retrain your brain to understand what a balanced portion size is.  One tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil has 120 Calories. Two measly tablespoons of hummus contain about 50-60 calories.  Be aware of foods with health halo’s and nutritional buzzwords such as organic, gluten-free, natural, coconut oil, superfood, etc. Be on guard against marketing buzzwords and don’t assume it’s a free food just because you think it’s healthy.  In my opinion, raw and lightly steamed vegetables can be eaten without limitations, and in fact, it’s a good strategy to increase intake of fiber-rich foods due its effect on satiety (not to mention for the nutrition).

In general, changing eating habits is a process that occurs over time. It’s important to understand the internal and external factors that influence your eating decisions.  Healing your relationship with food requires planning, intention and mindfulness.  Put thought into what you will eat, how you will eat and with whom you will eat, but also make sure to employ balance.  Eating should be a pleasurable experience, but it should not feel out of control.  Check out thecenterformindfuleating.org and use some of their resources and tips to get you started.

 

Eat More Plants!

It seems we love our dietary extremes.

Contrary to what you may have heard, plant-based eating is not radical. In fact, eating plant-based doesn’t even necessarily mean you give up eating meat or animal products. My definition of plant-based eating is a diet that is centered around plant foods that may or may not be seasoned with meat or animal products.

A plant-based diet is one that focuses on plants–one that is plant-centric.  It’s exciting, colorful, tasty and with lots of texture.  It does not necessarily mean that someone adopting a more plant-based diet abstains from meat all together.  There are different types of plant-based diets ranging from Vegan (no animal products), to a more flexible approach such as the Flexitarian diet.  Often times I promote a Flexitarian pattern which seeks to incorporate more plant-based foods into your existing diet.  So instead of subtracting or cutting out, we focused on foods to add—a concept known as crowding out.

Benefits associated with plant-based diets are too many to mention, but here are the most notable:

  • Lower body weight, weight loss
  • Eat more, weigh less (plant-based diets are typically lower in calories)
  • Decrease risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases
  • Reversal of atherosclerosis
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Healthy gut microbiome
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of cancer
  • Better brain health
  • Increased intake of important nutrients and fiber
  • Cost-saving

If you would like to learn more about the benefits associated with plant-based eating, visit http://www.nutritionfacts.org which is a website dedicated to providing evidence-based nutrition advice. Adopting a more plant-based diet is exciting and fun, but can undoubtedly be intimidating to some. Below are some practical and simple suggestions.  I’d encourage you to start gradually and build your culinary skills as you go.

 

 

 

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Body Image and Self Esteem

Body image is the way you think or feel about your body—not necessarily how you look, but how you feel about the way you look or move in your body and it can be positive or negative.  Everyone has one.  It’s developed over time by many influences such as cultural beauty standards, life experiences, comments, media pressures and so on. If you struggle with maintaining a healthy body image, here are some practical ways to help:

  • Understand the difference between health and size. Health is not necessary about a number on a scale. Some people with a “normal” BMI are, in fact, unhealthy whereas others with an “overweight” BMI can be healthy.  Health and appearance are two difference things
  • Recognize true beauty, which is timeless. Health and confidence radiates beauty
  • Keep a list of your positive qualities that have nothing to do with your appearance. Perhaps you are kind, perhaps you are assertive, perhaps you have strong legs. Start a list and keep adding to that list
  • Get moving. Find creative ways to move your body in a way that makes you feel good
  • Always treat your body with respect and kindness. Always
  • Understand that your worth is not measured by the size of your waist or the number on the scale. If you are human, you are worthy and entitled to love
  • Honor your body for what it does
  • Talk through your issues with a trusted friend, a professional counselor or therapist
  • Commit to making positive health choices that will improve your self-confidence and feelings of empowerment
  • Understand that you are unique, with unique abilities, talents and a unique shape

Unfortunately, many individuals have struggled with a negative body image for so long that it’s hard to even know where to start. You may find it helpful to think back to a time in your youth when you were fearless and moved with ease, long before you had suffered any blows to your developing self-esteem.  Find ways to support this vision of the new, “old” you.  Regardless of how you feel, the real you is strong, healthy, beautiful and talented.  Connect with that and let it sink in deep.

At Nutrition Solutions, we believe in long-term support and comprehensive approaches.  If you’d like help with improving your body image and self-esteem, reach out and we’d love to connect you with a licensed professional counselor.

Nutrition Solutions

Need More Motivation?

If Motivation were a person, I think he or she would feel highly misunderstood.  I have the privilege of working with men and women who are trying to lose weight.  Of course, weight loss isn’t just about losing weight and hitting a magic number. Weight gain, and specifically obesity, is complex and highly inter-related to stress, sleep, social and environmental factors, in addition to diet and exercise. One of the things I here so often is a version of, “I need more motivation and more willpower.”  But motivation waxes and wanes, and willpower is limited.  The problem really isn’t about have MORE, but HOW to harness the power of motivation and use willpower wisely.

Intrinsic motivation is the type of motivation needed to sustain change.  Ironically, extrinsic motivation is the type that most health professionals are fluent in using. Extrinsic motivation is driven by external rewards such as accolades or can be fear-based.  It could be some version of, “if you don’t follow the advice I give, you will not achieve your desired results.”  With weight loss, I believe it’s essential to take a holistic approach where the patient is an active participant in designing and planning their treatment.

DO YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT?
WHY do you want to lose weight? And don’t give a simple answer of “better health,” or to “feel better.” I promise that those answers won’t motivate you to change deeply ingrained habits. Change is hard. Of course, staying the same is also hard.  As the saying goes, choose your hard.  When you work hard to change behaviors (so that you can be the best, most vibrant version of your true self), then you feel empowered and strong.

Motivation comes from realizing that there is no one else on the planet that lives, breathes, eats, thinks and moves just like you. None of us are the same, and yet all of us are really the same. We struggle with the same basic challenges and insecurities.  If you know you need to lose weight, your first step will be to admit that it’s really not just about the weight.  It’s about the habits, choices and circumstances that caused you to gain weight. Let me be emphatic:  there are bodies that are large, beautiful and healthy, just as there are slender and fit-looking bodies that are unhealthy.  If you have let your health take a backseat and  you want to reclaim it, then you’ll need to find your motivation.  Motivation can come from external sources, but the kind that keeps you going is intrinsic motivation and only you can make it happen.  Here’s the thing though, you don’t have to do it alone.  You should surround yourself with people and professionals who will challenge you to grow and expand.  If you want more motivation, start with doing a thorough self-assessment and be honest with yourself.  And then put that bad boy on repeat!  And along the way, reach out for support.  We’d love to come along side you and help.

Nutrition Solutions

Getting Active & Staying Active

Monday Lifestyle Education Discussion:
“Getting Active & Staying Active”
Is there anyone who DOESN’T know that exercise and physical activity is great for your health? I am confident that everyone reading this post believes in the healing power of exercise. But knowing something is good for you doesn’t naturally evolve into you ACTUALLY doing something about it. People engage in risky health behaviors all of the time. There are the obvious ones like smoking, excessive drinking and not wearing seat belts, to less obvious ones like sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy food choices. What motivates one person to change, may not motivate another to change. The phrase “exercise is good for you” is overused and rarely inspires the listener to take action. It’s one of the great mysteries–why the most intelligent beings on earth still can’t get nutrition and exercise right.

So let me ask you: Do you engage in regular physical activity that improves your health? If yes, then why? If no, then why not? This is a simple question, but many of you had a very difficult time answering this question yesterday. I’ll admit that the answers are often out of reach from our consciousness. We say we want health, but somehow our actions contradict our wishes. So what’s the solution? Let’s figure that out!

– Determine the WHY behind your exercise habits. What do you want it to accomplish for you? Improved energy, weight loss, alleviate anxiety/depression, improved strength, functional ability (aging)?
– What are the pros and cons of adopting the exercise behavior? (An initial investment in time and energy is required but it pays off)
– What demotivates you? Lack of quick results? Injuries?

Some tips that help motivate and maintain motivation:
– Be clear about what you want to get out of exercise
– Get clear about what your intrinsic motivators are as well as demotivaters
– Closely look at the pros and cons of adopting the exercise behavior
– Jump right in! Don’t wait until everything is perfect or you will never get anywhere. Start with baby steps so that you can establish habits
– Find friends. Keep it social. You’re much more likely to stick with behavior, especially in the beginning, if you can join others
– schedule it in. No one has the excuse of saying “there’s not enough time.” Make it a priority and fit it in with your schedule. You may have to get creative
– Get creative with exercise. Think outside the box. No equipment necessary for workouts
– identify ways to increase movement throughout the day. Park far away. Walk or bike to the grocery, etc
– Aim for 30-60 minutes on most days. Include some strength training exercises

Why do you engage in regular physical activity?

Meal planning hacks for the rest of us

What’s the secret to meal planning? The secret is…. there is no secret.  You just do it.  MEAL. PLAN. EVERY. DAY.  There’s nothing inherently “sexy” about it, despite what those flashy instagram posts or blogs lead you to believe, but there are a few tricks to save you time and money. Eventually, you will get to the point where meal prep is just another chore like bathing or brushing your teeth (Am I inspiring you yet!)

IS MEAL PLANNING RIGHT FOR YOU?
You have to get to the point where you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.  The right nutrition will go a long way to improving your energy and health.  Great nutrition nourishes and heals the body.

HERE’S SOME TIPS TO SAVE YOU TIME:

  • Limit Variety During The Week To Save Time And Money. This means the core of what you eat everyday remains the same, but you can make changes to the seasonings or sides.  Core items in my diet include eggs, egg whites, wild Alaskan salmon, cod, chunk light tuna, sardines, or Tempeh. With every meal, I try and have a heaping of leafy greens or cruciferous vegetables. This could be anything from arugula and spinach salad, to roasted cauliflower and broccoli. Steamed kale and sautéed riced cauliflower is another great option.
  • Prep And Cook In Bulk On The Weekends.(or your least busy day). If Sunday is your meal prep day, then you’ll have to make sure your grocery shopping is done by the day before.  For me, this means I have to put the frozen fish in the refrigerator on Friday or Saturday in order for it to be thawed when I’m ready to cook it.
  • Have The Right Tools For The Right Job. You’ll need make sure your kitchen tools are easily accessible.  Tools that I use each week include a vegetable steamer, a toaster oven, an iron skillet, a large skillet, a baking stone, a Nutribullet and of course, a coffee maker.  Everything I use is stored strategically close to my cooking area.  In addition to cookware, an often neglected aspect of meal prep is Tupperware and a large insulated lunch bag.  Remember, you’ll be cooking anywhere from 2-5 servings to last you throughout the week and most of your meals won’t be eaten at home.  You’ll have to find a system that works for you.  For me this means I cook on Sundays and Tuesday evenings since I work Monday through Thursday.
  • Know your grocery store and get in and get out. Stick to your grocery list and try to avoid impulse purchases.  If you can limit variety, then your grocery shopping experience will be quick and easy because you’ll be eating the same core foods each week.  This recommendation is not a popular one, but unless you have extra time to plan, purchase and prepare a new menu each week, it’s really your best option.  The number one reason people don’t prepare their own meals is because of perceived lack of time.

SOME FINAL POINTERS—
The core of a healthy eating plan is one that emphasizes whole foods in their mostly natural state.  It should be low in added sugars, refined carbohydrates and saturated fat.  Feel free to go sugar-free, but don’t replace it with artificial sweeteners.  It’s worth mentioning that your meal plan should also be calorically balanced with the appropriate macro and micronutrients for your individual needs. This is your meal plan!

Don’t have time to cook?  No problem. Save time, energy and money and let our team of culinary professionals prepare your meals for you and your family.  Click here to order fresh, chef-prepared meals.  Order them just the way you like by visiting our website.

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Losing Weight.. And Keeping It Off

Weekly Class Overview:  “Ongoing Weight Management”

Losing weight is challenging; Keeping it off is even harder.
Most diets will work for short-term weight loss, and really you have so many options to choose from. Evidence to date supports that many different types of diets can work for weight loss, but regardless of the type of diet used, a negative energy balance must be present for fat loss to occur.  In other words, caloric deficit is still the foundation for weight loss.  The bigger question remains:  how do people maintain that weight loss long-term?  The answer lies somewhere between, “it’s personal” and “it’s extremely nuanced.”

Losing weight and keeping it off requires nothing less than a complete lifestyle transformation.  Losing weight sustainably involves managing stress, getting quality sleep, and creating new habits around diet and exercise.  This proves easier said than done considering many of our existing habits began in early childhood. We live in a culture that promotes sedentary behavior–a culture where it’s often cheaper to eat junk food than it is whole, natural foods.  We live in a culture where it’s OK, and even encouraged to medicate strong emotions with junk food.

Individuals looking to lose or maintain weight MUST arrange their world for success.  Meal planning must become priority.  Physical activity must become a priority.  Managing stress and sleeping well must become a priority.  First, a person must recognize the extreme importance of self-care and arrange their environment in a way that supports the health behaviors they need to succeed.

Finally, any good plan must be supported.  Build your team with expert nutritionists, fitness trainers, counselors or psychologists and culinary experts.  Build your friend base to include friends who want to do active things, and friends that are making health and nutrition choices that you wish to emulate.  What are the health habits of those around you?  Do these people have health, vibrancy and energy?  Do they live to eat, or eat to live?  You are a product of those people you spend the most time with.  Don’t believe me? Test it out.  Look at the 5 people that you spend the most time with.  If you are struggling to maintain your healthy habits, look no further than your peers, friends, family and coworkers.  Either you must be the change you wish to see, or you will have to set appropriate boundaries.

Check back often.  We love to do cooking classes and we love to be out at grocery stores, teaching people how to shop smart.  Here’s our schedule:  Nutrition Solutions Schedule

 

Creating a Wellness Vision & Goal Setting

I have the privilege of working with a diverse group of people who have this one thing in common—they want to lose weight and get healthy.  They know where they want to be, they set a goal, and they see the value in getting support to help them reach those goals.  Most people are quite familiar with goals.  It’s drilled into our brain from an early age to set and achieve goals.  Some may even be familiar with setting “SMART” goals—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.  What is poorly understood, however, is how to set process goals, short-term goals and how to create systems that enable them to reach their long-term goals.  The problem with outcome, or long-term goals is that they merely provide direction, but do not by themselves lead to actionable steps.  In fact, I have seen long-term goals have the opposite of the intended effect on a person’s behavior and motivation.  It’s easy to get discouraged when a long-term goal is so far away that it seems nearly impossible to reach.  That’s why it’s important to understand the detailed steps involved in helping a person reach their goals. We call this the process.

Convincing yourself to change

Before embarking on a life-changing journey, it’s necessary to reflect on WHY you want to do it.  Dig deep and take time to reflect on why you want what you want, and how you will get there. Some common goals such as “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to get healthy” are too vague and generic.  This is where I might probe a little further and encourage the client to reflect on specific reasons why they want to be healthier or lose weight.  Change is hard.  When the going gets tough, it’s too easy to stay the same.  Of course, “easy” is a relative term.  Even if a person knows that their health is suffering, staying the same is at least familiar.

 Focus on the process and the outcome will follow.

Process goals are steps you take to reach your long-term goal.  If you want to get fit, your process goal might be to walk every day, but even that’s too vague.  How long will you walk?  What will your intensity be? What are the barriers involved in this process—time, energy, weather?  Process goals aren’t mysterious, but in order to set achievable goals, it’s imperative that a person understands all of the details involved.  For example, if you set a goal of running 3 times a week, you need to know that your mind and body might not be thrilled to follow through on that just because you made the decision.  You will need to arrange your world (set up a system) so that the behavior occurs without much thought.  That behavior needs to be encouraged by a system that allows it to occur through automation, rather than willpower.  The body prefers to be lazy.  Being lazy (conserving energy) was an evolutionary advantage at one time.  We know that we will feel better and reap the rewards of the exercise once it’s completed, but that does little to motivate us initially.

Set yourself up for success by creating a system.

If you have a goal of exercising 3 times a week, here’s an example of how to set up a system to ensure that actually happens:

  • First, you prepare by getting everything ready the day before. If you are working during the week, as I do, you will make sure that all your meals, snacks and water bottles are prepared and ready to go.  You will make sure that your gym bag is packed with your work clothes, shoes and any necessary toiletries.
  • You will set out your workout clothes for quick grab and go.
  • You will set out your running shoes, as well as socks so that you can put them on in a hurry.
  • You will avoid any stimulants that night such as caffeine, large meals, social media or television so that you can get quality zzzzzzz’s
  • You will go to bed on time so that you get 7-9 hours of sleep.

When the morning arrives, the only decision you need to make is to start the first step of the process.  If you set yourself up correctly, everything falls into plan because you created the system to work that way.  When you do this enough times, it becomes a habit, and then eventually, hopefully, a ritual.  Everything hinges on how the previous day goes and that’s where many people neglect to plan.  Having a workout routine does not just happen on the day you decide to workout.  The routine begins in the 24 hours prior to that.  The other caveat to making this system work is that you must manage other aspects of your life so that stress and lack of sleep do not interfere with your process.  The number one challenge for most people is time management.  Most people I know suffer from chronic stress and sleep deprivation and therefore, the above system seems like such an enormous feat.  It’s all about choices and we all have the same 24 hours in the day. How do you manage it? That’s a good question for each one of us to reflect on.

Controlling the future?

Placing too heavy of a focus on the outcome can delay action (not to mention happiness) by causing a person to focus only on some future event.  Although long-term goals are helpful at directing, they may also prevent people from focusing their energies on factors that are entirely within their control.  If you were to sign up for a 26.2 mile marathon, you would hold that goal in your mind, but the real control lies in your training schedule.  You plan to finish, but the fact is that you have little control over that outcome; however, the months and months of physical training and nutrition are almost certainly within your control.

Commit to a process and surround yourself with the right people.

Systems and processes work.  Focus on your daily habits and rituals and the desired outcome will follow.  You may not see the whole staircase, but you can deliberately choose to put one foot in front of the other and adjust your steps as needed.  Another often neglected aspect in goal-setting is that of support.  Weight loss should never be a solo sport.  It’s an endurance event, without a finish line and it’s important to surround yourself with others who have behaviors you wish to emulate.  Support may mean that you have to develop new friendships and relationships, and let go of ones that hinder your growth.  It’s a painful reality, but your behaviors are a sum of the behaviors of the people you share your time with.  Are your friends and family inviting you for walks, yoga or bike rides?  Or are they pushing you for margarita’s and Mexican because it’s been a hard day?  Who you spend your time with most certainly determines how successful you will be, unless you are lucky to be one of those magnificently stubborn people—a born leader.  Most people tend to conform to the behaviors of those around them and that’s why I encourage my clients to build a robust support system.

There are so many wonderful articles on this subject, but I pulled a lot of idea’s for this post from James Clear http://jamesclear.com/goals-systems.  I highly encourage visiting his website for wonderful information about habits and goal-setting.

Smart, Savvy Grocery Shopping

How much thought and planning goes into your grocery store experience? Do you stick to a grocery list or do you just “wing” it every time and hope for the best? I get the pleasure of working with many of you on an ongoing basis and I get really good at understanding what fuels your lifestyle. There are several areas that almost everyone needs guidance in. One is how to handle the obesogenic environment and the other relates to lack of skills related to planning and preparing your own food. In America, the art and skill of cooking meals at home is virtually nonexistent for the typical family. We’ve outsourced that responsibility to corporations and as a result, our health has greatly suffered.  The good news is that with a little understanding and planning, you can transform your health completely by stocking your kitchen with wholesome, nourishing foods. The opposite is also true; If you stock your kitchen with junk food and give no thought to what you eat, your health will suffer.

Let’s talk about confusion for a moment. Think about catchy buzzwords or phrases that grab your attention–  “High protein, low-carb, gluten-free, non-gmo, organic, made with whole grains, 100% natural, immune support.” What do all these terms really mean? Well, not much. They are just words that have been glossed up so you’ll by their product. The first step to becoming a savvy and smart shopper is simply an awareness that your food purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by external factors such as marketing, product placement, consumer trends, etc. Buyer Beware and be on the lookout for marketing ploys. Even the layout, the lighting and the smells at grocery stores may have been manufactured to encourage increased spending on junk food.

The second step involves sticking to a plan, or a shopping list, but how do you determine if a food is healthy or worthy to be in your cart? There are some general rules to follow:

  • Eat real food. Begin the process of incorporating whole, REAL foods into your diet and phase out “food-like substances.” As a general rule, the majority of your food should have less than 5 ingredients.
  • Forget the packaging and look deeper. Peek at the Nutrition Facts Label and thoroughly read the ingredient list. Are the ingredients substances that you want in your body? You better bring your google machine, aka smart phone, to look up food additives for which you can’t pronounce.
  • Is this food satisfying and nourishing, or is it overly stimulating? (Google Hyperpalatable foods and food addiction)
  • Is this food high in sugar and salt? Hint: there are over 50 names for sugar. If you struggle with portion control or binge eating, engineered foods with the fat-salt-sugar combo may be nearly impossible to eat mindfully
  • Is this food a good investment for my health? Does it fit within my budget?

I’m very careful not to give specific dietary advice to the general population because everyone’s nutrition needs are different.  There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to meeting your nutrition needs and it’s important to consider your goals, preferences, genetics and lifestyle factors. So although I wholly believe in eating natural, REAL foods, keep this in mind when preparing your nutrition plan and most importantly, seek the support and advice of your registered dietitian or nutrition coach.  He or she can provide advice, as well as offer suggestions on tools and apps that may help with your grocery planning.

Smart Buys for Convenience:

Proteins

  • Chicken, Fish, Shrimp
  • Tuna, Salmon packages/cans
  • Tofu/Tempeh
  • Protein powder of choice
  • Egg whites
  • Eggs
  • Natural Nut Butters/Natural Peanut Butter
  • Protein bar of choice, low in sugar

Starches

  • Canned beans/lentils
  • Frozen Quinoa/Brown Rice
  • Steel Cut Oats

Vegetables/Fruits

  • Frozen or Fresh Vegetables
  • Fresh or Frozen Fruit

Dairy

  • Plain, Lowfat yogurt
  • Lowfat dairy or unsweetened Almond or Soymilk
  • Low-fat Cheese Sticks

Miscellaneous

  • Sparkling water, La Croix, Club Soda or Unsweetened Tea
  • Herbs and Seasoning
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low sodium Tamari
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Nutritional Yeast

When you get home from the grocery store, make sure to set yourself up for success by prepping vegetables, fruits and healthy snacks for easy access. If you have the opportunity, try to attend a grocery shopping tour that’s held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 12pm and 6pm.

Metabolic Testing: Key For Weight Loss?

by Christy Strouse, RDN, CPT  

How Metabolic Testing Can Help You To Lose Weight

Metabolic testing is an important first step when deciding to lose weight.  It can also help with overcoming the dreaded weight loss plateau.  Instead of estimating calorie needs (guessing), metabolic testing allows the practitioner to measure the RMR, also known as Resting Metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy (calories) the body consumes at rest.  This is accomplished by having the client rest comfortably while having them breath through a tube connected to the metabolic analyzer.  The machine measures the amount of oxygen the person is burning at rest and this is directly related to the amount of calories they are burning.  From there, it determines calorie ranges for weight loss, weight maintenance and weight gain.

More Than A Tool

Having the right calorie prescription for weight loss is the critical first step in providing individualized nutrition programming.  If your goal is weight loss, ideally you will be using this information while working with a registered dietitian in a comprehensive program designed for YOU.  We can’t stress enough the importance of having the right support as you embark on these new changes.  Simply having your metabolic numbers won’t automatically translate into actionable steps.  It’s not for a lack of information that people struggle to lose weight and keep it off.  Weight loss that is sustainable requires the right info (calorie and individualized program), with the right support and the right strategies.  Combine all of that with the person’s intrinsic motivation for change and that is the recipe for a transformed life.

We at Nutrition Solutions love what we do and we partner with people ready for lifestyle change.  If that’s you and you are interested in finding out who we are and what we do, click here and we’ll have someone reach out to you.