We've all been there before... "It's the new year for a new me!" It's no surprise that the number one New Year's Resolution is to lose weight according to statistics from statisticbrain.com. What was surprising to me is that "Staying Fit and Healthy" was number 5 of this top 10 list.
But did you know that your resolution might be setting yourself up for weight-GAIN instead of weight-LOSS? For most, weight-loss is approached through going on a calorie restricted diet or through dreaded workouts or both. But let me propsose to you that this mindset sets yourself up for failure.
Having the mindset that every time you need to lose a few pounds (or a lot of pounds) means you need to hit the gym 5 days a week and eat healthy, taste-less food is setting yourself up for failure. Yo-yo dieting, which is the notion of losing and then gaining weight through irregular diets, is actually making people heavier and contributing to increased risk of diseases and stress. This is because people have an “all-or nothing” mindset. Yes, most people can go on a diet and drastically change their eating habits for a couple weeks and lose weight, but this isn’t sustainable. Overtime, they return to their old way of eating and gain their weight back. The added stress and feeling of failure coupled by metabolic changes, may even cause more weight gain than what was originally lost.
Instead, successful weight loss is achieved through the mindset of small, additive lifestyle changes. This is a marathon - not a sprint! You are the tortoise, not the hare to put it in popular fable terms.
Here are 3 weight loss tips without the "diet":
1) Don’t do anything or eat anything you don’t like! One reason why diets don’t work is that they force people to eat things they don’t like. If the kale smoothie didn’t go down so well the first time, what makes you think that the 10th day of it is going to be any different? You want your food to be enjoyable. So if they kale smoothie isn’t working out for you, try sautéed kale, kale chips, or better yet, ditch the kale and try spinach, collared greens, swiss chard, or another vegetable. Don’t be afraid to try different seasonings or ways of cooking - you’ll be sure to find something you like to eat that is healthy for you too. Need inspiration? Subscribe to a healthy foodie blog or plan a healthy cookbook rotation with your friends. Don’t like to go to the gym or running on a treadmill? No problem. Sign up for a Zumba class or better yet, grab a friend or your kids and start a dance party!
2) Nutritious Superswaps! Make nutritious superswaps, which is substituting something of lesser nutritional value, for something of greater. Now I don’t mean substituting cookies for organic cookies, but rather every day at every meal ask yourself, “How can I make this a little bit healthier." This could be substituting spaghetti squash for spaghetti (42 vs 221 calories per cup), cauliflower mash for mashed potatoes (70 vs 120 calories per cup), kale chips for chips (50 vs 160 calories/cup), or collards/lettuce wrap for a tortillas (30 vs 300 calories per 2 wraps). The list is endless as pureed fruit makes (9 calories per 2 tbs) a good substitute for pancake syrup (104 calories/2 tbs) and brewed chai tea (0 calories) or turmeric golden milk (127 calories) makes a good substitute for an overly sweetened chai latte from Starbucks (240 calories). Not only are these swaps lower in calories, they have nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that your body needs. In addition, they may be higher in protein or fiber that keeps you satiated for longer and improves your mood and energy - goodbye diet angst!
3) Bridge your willpower gap. The average person makes over 200 decisions about food each and every day! Even the non-food related decisions adds to decision fatigue, making it difficult to eat the healthy choice. Planning your meals ahead of time or establishing a prep day can mean the difference between failed good intentions and lasting behavior change.
A prep-day can look differently for different people:
Using your high-willpower moments to power your low-willpower moments takes the guesswork out of "What's for dinner?" and helps you stay on track. Take a minute or two each week to plan out healthy meals before your stomach makes the decision for you. Don't have time to plan? There are several food services that do the planning for you. Checkout The Dinner Daily, for as little as $4 a month, you will be sent customized recipies, shopping list, and coupons for your local grocery store based on what's on sale each week. So you end up saving money, time, and eating healthy each week - win, win, win!
Perhaps this New Year, you will rank "Staying Healthy and Fit" higher and let weight loss be a biproduct of living your exciting, energized life!
This easy, yet eye-catching and mouthwatering dinner is the perfect dish to make on a hectic mid-week night or to impress your in-laws. Salmon provides a great source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Choose wild caught salmon when possible to optimize the Omega-3 and vitamin D content. Incorporating fish into your diet 2-3 times per week is very healthy and could reduce your risk of stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic conditions.
Side recommendations: Serve salmon with 1/2 cup of whole grains, such as wild rice, or roasted sweet potato. Don’t forget your veggies! This Moroccan Salmon tastes great with steamed broccoli, sauteed spinach, or roasted asparagus.
Serves 4 | Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 15-20 minutes
Per serving: 316 Calories, 5.1g sugar, 2.2g fiber, 26.3g protein, 720mg sodium
To make your own Moroccan seasoning, mix the following ingredients together and store in an air-tight container. Yields 8 tablespoons.
Nutmeg is known to lower blood pressure, soothe digestive upset, arthritis, and help detoxify the body. The anti-inflammatory properties can be used to treat joint and muscle pain.
Coriander has been a favorite remedy for anxiety and insomnia. Now research has confirmed its tension-taming properties. Like cinnamon, coriander aids digestion. It has also shown promise in reducing blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It is also a chelator of heavy metals such as mercury stored in the liver. It is also effective when combating stress.
Ginger is s common ingredient in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines, ginger boasts an antioxidant power equal to vitamin C. The spice’s reported health benefits include: easing arthritis pain, improving digestion and treating colds, coughs, and flu. In addition, research has shown that ginger is more effective at combating motion sickness than Dramamine. It is also very useful for arthritis and IBS.
Turmeric is a common ingredient in curries, turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that protects against cancer, lowers cholesterol and eases arthritic aches and pains by reducing inflammation, which is extremely helpful with arthritis and high cholesterol. It has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity by 300 percent. More good news: Researchers at UCLA found that curcumin, a compound in turmeric, was more effective at preventing the development of brain-damaging placques seen in Alzheimer's disease than any other drug being tested. Is it coincidence that India has the lowest rate of Alzheimer's in the world - and a diet rich in turmeric? Probably not! FYI: piperine, a compound found in black pepper, is thought to increase the effects of curcumin in turmeric by 1,000 times!
Cinnamon is one of the most versatile spices, cinnamon can be used to flavor everything from cookies to soups. Using cinnamon in cooking is a wise choice because cinnamon has plenty to offer. Not only does it ease common tummy troubles such as gas and bloating, but in a recent clinical trial, cinnamon significantly lowered fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels in diabetics. Worried about E.coli? New research shows that cinnamon can wipe out bacteria. When a teaspoon of cinnamon was added to highly contaminated apple juice, the E. coli was reduced by 99.5 percent after three day.
Cayenne is a popular spice in chili and it’s beneficial properties comes from its compound capsaicin, a popular ingredient in pain-relieving creams. Cayenne may also have additional health benefits. One study found that a diet rich in cayenne spiced chili protected against the formation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and another study showed that chili helped keep insulin levels low after meals.
Cloves contain a significant amount of eugenol, which is found to be effective in blocking the inflammation associated with osteoporosis, arthritis and IBS. Cloves are also a significant source of manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Source: My Foundation Diet by Kathie Madonna Swift
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out!
While people may think lesser of frozen fruits and vegetables, they can be a great option and alternative to keep in stock in your freezer especially when time is tight or when there's nothing left in the refrigerator. In fact, frozen may even be healthier during certain months!
First, a bit about frozen....
Frozen fruits and vegetables are frozen right at their nutritional peak, so they can actually be a healthier option when the fruit or vegetable is out of season as they have a higher vitamin content.
Frozen vegetables are first blanched (scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time), which stops their enzymes from degrading the vegetables that would normally cause loss of flavor, color, and texture over time. Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt, brightens the color, and helps retard the loss of vitamins. These vegetables are then frozen, further slowing down these produce-degrading enzymes.
Nutrient Quality of Frozen: Although some of the water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and the B vitamins, found in all fruits and vegetables are lost in the freezing process. This amount is often much less than that lost from fresh fruit and vegetable transportation and storage. Furthermore, frozen vegetables take less time to cook, which decreases the vitamin losses from cooking.
Note: over many months, nutrients in frozen vegetables do inevitably degrade. For best nutritional quality, still eat frozen produce a couple weeks after purchase for optimal nutrition quality.
A bit about fresh...
When fresh fruit or vegetables are out of season, they need to be imported from other states or even other countries. In order for them to be ripe by the time they get to you, they are often picked in their pre-ripe form before the nutrients have time to develop fully. They further lose some of their nutrients during their long travel to your grocery store.
Nutrient Quality of Fresh: Any fruit or vegetable that is allowed to sit (either during travel to the supermarket, on the store shelves, or in your refrigerator) will lose nutrients and vitamins and will most likely be inferior to their frozen counterparts in terms of nutrient quality and quantity. This is why buying local produce is so great! But buying local isn’t always possible for most produce that is out of season.
Enter frozen fruits and veggies!
For those situations, its best to buy frozen. Plus frozen are often a lot cheaper, which is a plus! Similarly, the process of freezing the vegetables softens the starch and, thereby, decreasing the time it takes to cook them and making them a quicker option. The only ingredient in your frozen produce should be the fruit or veggie itself - beware of added salt or sugar on the nutrition label!
Fruits and Vegetables can be cheaper frozen:*
Broccoli $0.09 / oz vs $0.29 / oz fresh
Raspberries $0.29/oz vs $0.50/oz fresh
Blueberries $0.28/oz vs $0.50/oz fresh
Peppers $0.09/oz vs $0.12/oz fresh
Brussels sprouts $0.09/oz vs $0.25/oz fresh
Green beans $0.06/oz vs $0.22/oz fresh
Strawberries $0.20/oz vs $0.25/oz fresh
Spinach $0.11/oz vs $0.25/oz fresh
Peas $0.09/oz vs $0.56/oz fresh
Kale $0.09/oz vs $0.19/oz fresh
Especially if you want vegetables already cut, frozen veggies in their pre-cut form are almost always cheaper than their fresh pre-cut competitors.
*Prices taken from PeaPod in November (Prices of fresh vary by month depending on what's in season - so make sure to check the price regularly).
Having frozen fruit or veggies on hand (even if you don’t eat them on a regular basis) may save you when your fresh supply is eaten and your alternative is going out to eat or a veggie-less dinner. Always keep in mind that eating any type of vegetable or fruit - either fresh, frozen, or even canned (look for BPA free) - is very healthy and important for a healthy diet. Better to eat a fruit or vegetable of lesser nutritional value than not at all.
Bottom line: Unless the fruit or vegetable is in season and you are eating it within a day or two of it being picked, frozen produce will have a higher nutrient and vitamin content and be kinder to your wallet.