Did you catch my moment on TV? It’s a wonderful story—Tina has been working so hard and I’m like a proud mom. Also, it’s kind of cool to see myself on TV!
I’ve been enjoying my morning juice so much lately, I thought I’d share an updated summery recipe. Into the Vitamix, I throw:
About 6 oz water
A quarter of a grapefruit
1 whole Clementine orange
A light grating of fresh ginger
A handful of spinach or kale
A sprig of parsley
4-5 baby carrots
About 1/4 cup frozen mango or pineapple (instead of ice)
Add some green powder if you use it (we use Amazing Grass Raw Reserve), but even without, what a blast of nutrients in your glass! I hope you love it like I do.
Does this sound familiar: You head over to your parents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner, hang out a while, and finally sit down to the table for the grand meal… only to find that your mom won’t be fixing herself a plate. Apparently she’s been “nibbling all day” and is no longer hungry. Right? Heard that one?
It happens all the time, not just on holidays, and it might be sabotaging the good moves you’ve made in the diet arena. It’s sampling as you cook, or it’s eating what the kids left over, or it’s munching on the crust of the pizza when the box has long been abandoned. All these little bites—the ones that don’t make it onto your food diary log—add up, and their total calories could be worth noting.
You might be thinking “I totally do that!” but you might also be thinking “Do I do that?” There are people who consciously nibble as they bake or cook, and there are people who do it without realizing they do it. It’s time to start paying attention. If you prepare dinner for your family but find you have little appetite when it’s time to plate the food, you are likely a nibbler. Try to notice what your hands and jaws are doing while you’re cooking.
If you know you’re guilty already, curb the problem by first identifying why you do it—do you feel guilty throwing your kids’ uneaten food away? No problem. Pack it up and put it in the fridge for tomorrow, or add it to the compost bin. You might just consistently cook more than you need to. Prepare less, let your family eat it all, and if they’re still hungry, offer them an apple. Do you hate to leave just one bite (not enough to put in Tupperware)? Pause just long enough to think—is it really worth adding that bite to my midsection? I thought not. Women especially have a tough time tossing out perfectly good food. It’s probably got something to do with starving children in Africa. It’s a good instinct, but it’s not our fault those kids are starving, and adding inches to our midlines is not going to feed anyone else’s kids.
As you nibble while you cook, start writing it down. Don’t make it official—little bites don’t need to be recorded in My Fitness Pal—but keep a notepad by your cutting board, and as you nibble, scribble it down. I think by the fifth time you have to wipe your hands to pick up the pen to note yet another “tiny bite,” you might be cured—for the day anyway!
What this all amounts to is adding some consciousness to your food preparing. Realize that all those little bites of crust add up to calories you absolutely didn’t need that day, and would have been perfectly fine without. Occasional tasting is fine. It’s the habitual nibbling that might be the reason you can’t seem to part with those last couple of unwanted pounds.
Made another batch of my yummy version of energy bars this morning.
It was storming and the whole family was hanging out in the kitchen. What better to do than bake vegan cookies and roll up some energy balls to store in the fridge for the week? These little bite-size treats are made with nothing but real food–dried fruit, nut butter, and honey. The original recipe can be found here.
Reacquaint yourself with these homemade “energy bars.” You can add flaxseeds, chia seeds, even protein powder if you like. Your body (and pocketbook) will thank you for making them yourself.
If you have a desk job, listen up. You know how you’re supposed to stand up and walk around every hour or so to loosen your limbs and get the blood flowing? And you know how you always forget and realize only when you’re physically straightening your back and your knees with your hands at 5:00 that you haven’t moved in hours? Then this might be for you.
Remember pedometers? I do. I bought my dad one once for Father’s Day. It kept count of his steps during the day to guilt him into getting up out of his chair more often. Well, that was maybe 20 years ago, and that’s all that pedometer did—it counted his steps. Today’s pedometer is a whole new breed, and I think you’re gonna like it.
There are many on the market right now, but one I’m seeing my clients succeed with is the Fitbit (http://www.fitbit.com). It clips on under your clothes and discreetly counts your steps, approximates calories burned, and even syncs up with food diaries like My Fitness Pal to give you a final tally for the day. I’m telling you—I am seeing this thing work. When you see you’re at only 2,000 when 10,000 steps is the goal, are you really just going to sit there? No, you’re going to walk instead of drive to pick the kids up from school, or at least run up and down the stairs a couple times.
If you’re more interested in knowing how many calories you’re burning, you might prefer a heart rate monitor. (The Fitbit gives you an estimate of calories burned, but it’s based on steps taken, so if you do a cycling class, it won’t accurately assess your burn.) When you exercise you start the monitor, and it lets you know if you’re in your target training zone or slowing down, and when you’re done it tells you how many calories you shaved off for the day.
These little gadgets are note terribly expensive, and they’ll basically give you some friendly competition—with yourself, which might be just what you need. You know you need to get up and move, but if there’s a number attached to it—or literally attached to you—that might just be the big push you need to get off the couch. There’s no magic about it, just a little tangible guilt! Oh well…whatever it takes!
If you use a gadget that you love, I’d love to hear about it.
I have been asked on occasion to keep my own (public) food diary, so that you all can see what a normal, not superhuman, mostly vegan, highly food-conscious person eats all day. I thought today would be a good day to start because it’s a typical atypical day—we all have them—when work started earlier than usual, I’m a little bit sleep deprived, it’s date/yoga night so we eat dinner out….
Anyway, here’s what has entered my body today, as of 11:30am:
1 cup of coffee with splash of soy creamer
Small bowl of Barbara’s cereal (what’s it called? My son calls it the “hexagon cereal”) with rice milk and blueberries
Trained one client
Almond Dream yogurt
Trained another client
Oatmeal. Finally! This is what I usually start with. ½ cup of oats, sprinkling of raisins and walnuts, some blueberries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, and 1 cup of rice milk.
I also drank my tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (mixed with water), and just made a glass of juice to take with me into my next class.
Juice: About 6 oz diet cranberry juice (less than 1g sugar and only 5 calories) with a splash of Trader Joe’s Beet and Purple Carrot juice (because I’m trying my damnedest to use it up—blech), half a banana, 2 sections of grapefruit (I ate another quarter of it while preparing), 1 tablespoon Amazing Grass Green Superfood. My basic recipe is in an earlier post, which you can find here.
This will take me through till 1pm when class is over.
Small bowl of leftover collards and rice alongside also leftover Moroccan deliciousness that is chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, spinach and spices. I haven’t had it yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll wrap it up in the kitchen with a square—one square—of dark chocolate.
Now it’s 4:00 and I’m heating the water for some tea. Just had a tangerine as I opened to this screen and started typing.
Ain’t gonna lie: About half (small pieces broken off at a time) of a large matzah cracker toasted with a thin spread of peanut butter. While preparing the kids’ dinner I got my evening smoothie ready: almond milk, 1 heaping spoonful of peanut butter, a cup or 2 of spinach, dash of cinnamon, half a banana, half an apple, some ice. That’s it until yoga’s over, around 9:30 tonight.
So we made it home by 9:40 with our standard post-Bikram dinner (since Farm Burger is across the street and it’s WAY too late to cook): Salad of the day (dressing on the side, of course), side of farro and kale with carrots and caramelized onions (this could have been my whole dinner, super yum), and a quinoa burger with arugula, pickled onions, and honey mustard—again, on the side—restaurants highly overdress sandwiches. I put half my sandwich in the fridge to eat for lunch tomorrow.
Mike and Davin make cookies often (and often before Mike goes to work in the morning—there’s sometimes no negotiating with a 3-year-old), so we usually have a cookie for dessert. I feel good about it because we know what went into them, they’re vegan, and they are well-darn-earned.
Life is busy. Put it in perspective.
This is what matters. It matters that you exercise most days of your life. It matters that said exercise is frequently of an intensity that makes you question if it’s perhaps too much. It also matters that some days of the week you perform weight-bearing activities. That matters a lot.
It matters that you enjoy all this exercise, so it also matters that you try different things, never stopping until you land on one or two or three activities that make your heart pound and your brain zing! And it matters that you care. Care enough about yourself that you want to seek out these sorts of activities, think enough of yourself to do them. But, it also matters that you don’t think only of yourself. It must matter to you that you are around a long time for your children, and you must care that you won’t burden them by being sick all the time from things you could prevent right now by caring more about yourself. It is selfish to do otherwise.
Keep a grain of salt nearby.
Are you one of the millions who helped clear store shelves of green coffee beans after Dr. Oz suggested they might help with weight loss? Do you have raspberry ketone in your cabinet now, too? Oh, hold on to your love handles—now it’s capsicum extract that helps you burn more calories during your workout…if you eat something that has it in it before your workout. The miracle weight loss products change almost as fast as the scrolling headlines on Oz’s website. What strikes me is: All these “weight loss” agents require eating. I don’t know…is it just me? Or did weight loss used to mean get out of the kitchen and into the gym?
Oz is a highly intelligent and likeable man. I believe from what I’ve read about him (and from watching him talk) that he truly aims to impart important health information to as many people as possible. So there’s nothing malicious going on here. However… In order to get the masses to watch your show, you have to do a certain amount of kowtowing to what the masses want to see. And therein lies the rub. We can watch Dr. Oz and The Doctors, but we must then do our own research and be educated consumers. When we watch these shows, we have to assume—we MUST assume, it is our responsibility to assume—that some amount of kowtowing has been done. To the product makers, to the sponsors of the program, to the nature of those who watch daytime t.v.
Get out of your head for a minute.
So says my highly motivational spin instructor (who might not have known that gem was working till now…). What I get from that—my spin on it, if you will—is “be in the moment.” That also happens to be one of my resolutions this year.
It’s so simple, really, the idea of just being. Being present. Focusing on what is happening right where you are. Yet we are a multitasking society, so we sort of forget how to just focus on one thing. Now going back to one thing at a time has become my resolution; I bet at one point I resolved to get more things done at once! Oh well….
Jeanee’s fitness story.
At a brunch date in 2005, I listened to Karen’s stories about training clients and teaching classes in her neighbor’s loft. At the time I had a membership at the Y I rarely used, and before that, I belonged to an “artsy” gym where I exercised in spurts. Most of my workouts felt directionless, and no one cared whether I pushed myself or slithered off the elliptical machine a little early. I realized I was missing two elements that are now crucial to my exercise routine: accountability and socializing! I signed up for weekly personal training and group Pilates with Karen, because I knew she would care about me showing up, working hard, and enjoying myself.
I have plenty of body hang-ups and areas I’d like to improve, but envisioning a better figure doesn’t motivate me. The fulfilling relationships with the ladies I work out with are what get me off the couch. I have many good reasons not to blow off my scheduled workout with Karen: I know that she’s hired a sitter, that her free time is precious, and that we’re going to swap stories and laugh while I plank. I also like to attend the same yoga classes each week with teachers who take a spiritual approach. They’re almost like my gurus, so if I ditch, I miss out on wisdom I can use on and off the mat.