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healthy eating

10 tips for eating out and staying fit

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10 tips for eating out and staying fit

For today's post, I'm bringing you a little collaboration with my friend and fellow Fitness loving Foodie, Chandler. She's the brains behind the go to food blog and instagram of Spokane, SpokaneEats. One major mutual belief - Life is too short for mediocre food! 

As a fitness coach and personal trainer, a few of the common question I get asked are “what do you eat? How do you eat perfect all the time? What should I eat? How can I eat healthy if I don’t like to cook?” And on the flip side, some of the questions that Chandler gets are “how do you eat out all the time and stay in shape? How often do you work out to balance out all the good meals? What’s your secret to staying fit with a food blog??”

Well I’ve come up with 10 tips to help you out. Whether you’re a food lover, fitness lover, or both, there’s a way to have your cake and eat it too.

1) Decide on a healthy lifestyle.

This means leave the “Diet” mentality behind. Healthy eating is not something you start on Monday and end on Friday. It’s balance. It’s something that is easy to maintain if you’re doing it right. If you’re on a “Diet” that makes you miserable and you can’t wait until the 30 days are over so you can end it, then something’s not right. The advice I give my clients is to start where currently are and make baby steps towards a healthier you. Don’t jump into anything extreme that seems daunting. By taking smaller, manageable steps, you’ll create a healthy lifestyle overtime.

2) Prioritize what’s worth it

This is about learning to pass up on mediocre food just because it’s there and enjoying the whole experience when you do splurge on a meal out. For me, part of what makes a splurge worth it comes down to what I like to call a “foodie experience” (which my husband loves to tease me about). This includes the good company I’m with, the location we’re eating, if it is something unique on the menu, or that you can’t find anywhere else (like voodoo donuts in Oregon), if it’s a special occasion or holiday, and how satisfied I’ll feel after eating it. If I don’t find at least one of these factors, it is NOT WORTH IT, and I’ll move on. (Read more about prioritizing your plate here, and when to splurge here)


3) Learn to cook healthy from home

As fun and convenient as eating out is, part of eating out and staying fit is not eating out for every meal! If you’re passing up on mediocre, not worth it food, then you better learn some kitchen skills. Nowadays it’s so easy to cook quick, healthy meals from home. With things like riced-cauliflower and spriralized veggies, you’ll be well on your way! (If you need some more guidance in the area of meal planning, cooking, and prepping I got you covered. Check out my Meal Guide services here. Need some healthy recipe swaps? Find them here)

 

4) Eat extra healthy for Non-social meals

When you prioritize what’s worth it, and learn some basic skills in the kitchen, you’ll be able to enjoy the meals out and eat extra healthy when you’re on your own. This becomes a bit of a balancing skill. If you know you’re going out for a friend’s birthday Thursday night, and your favorite ice-cream shop is involved, keep the sugar content down for your other meals throughout the day. Try a two egg veggie scramble, or a green smoothie for breakfast. For lunch, lighten things up with a salad and leave out the big sandwich, and definitely limit the processed carbohydrates in your daily diet. I talk more on this subject in my “all you can eat” blog post here.

 

5) Schedule in your workout

You’ll feel awesome, and your body will respond to a few extra calories so much better if you’ve had a good sweat session in your day. It can be hard to make our way to the gym or get in any form of exercise if we haven’t actually planned it in as part of our day. I tell all my clients that the best way to make exercise a part of your life is to schedule it in, just like you would a hair appointment (but hopefully much more often than a hair appointment!) We all have time for at least 20 minutes of exercise each day, we just have to make it a priority and plan for it. (for more tips for sticking to a workout plan click here!)

 

6) Sharing is Caring

I would say 90% of the time I eat out, I have enough food for two. If I don’t split my meal with someone, I end up saying “wow, I’m stuffed, I totally could’ve shared that!” So I’ve learned to listen to that. Remember that you can always order more food, but the chances of you needing to are slim. Restaurants typically have large portions. Especially when ordering a dessert, usually a few bites will do the trick! You can also try going halfsies with someone on a splurge & something lighter like a salad. Splitting something like a burger or pizza with a salad is always a good choice. That way, you can try more things, but not over stuff yourself with the indulgent dish all to yourself.

 

7) Don’t forget you can customize your plate!

Usually when I eat out, I like to enjoy the dish the way the brilliant chef designed it to be. However, there are times when I don’t want chips or fries on the side, and I would rather splurge somewhere else. In those instances I always ask for a different side option and most restaurants are accommodating! You can always get some sort of vegetable or salad instead of the chips, French fries, or mashed potatoes. Don’t forget you have control when it comes to whether your meat is grilled, fried, breaded, etc. Opt for grilled when that is available. You can also ask for extra greens instead of a grain base if you’re feeling like really lightening it up. Go into the situation with a game plan, knowing you always have options to “healthify” your meal!

 

8) Walk more, sit less

This one may seem super simple, but I find it makes a big difference! As this directly ties in to eating out, try parking far away from the restaurant so that you get a little walk in before and after your meal. If there’s a wait at the restaurant, walk around while you wait rather than sitting on the waiting bench. If you have a lunch break at work, take a walk! These are just good healthy habits to incorporate into your daily life. Train yourself to walk more, stand more, and sit less, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you. (Get my tips for more daily activity here)

 

9) Cut out the Extra - Unnecessary Calories

When dining out, most of us will end up eating more calories than we anticipate. These sneaky calories come from the bread basket, the basket of chips, the bottomless fries, the extra sauce, the drink, the loaded dressing… the list goes on. Most of these “extras” aren’t going to make or break our eating out experience, but it’s just there so we eat it. Unless it’s a restaurant that’s known for its fresh, homemade bread, then I'm passing on the bread basket. The bottomless chips & salsa at Mexican restaurants is one of my down falls for sure. I try to drink lots of water and wait until my meal gets there at least before I go to town on the chips. When ordering a salad, always ask for your dressing on the side (they typically put double the dressing than I would ever put on my own). Also, avoid the tasteless liquid calories. One glass of lemonade has over 50 g of sugar!! By cutting out these unnecessary extras, you can focus on the good stuff and still leave feeling satisfied.

 

10) Learn to Live the Moderation Life

For me, the key to living a healthy lifestyle and staying fit while eating out comes down to moderation. I know this word may seem a bit overused, but just hear me out. I often have clients tell me that they are “all or nothing” and they could never just stop at 2 bites, but I’m not buying it. I believe you can train yourself to be a moderator. It may take some practice at first, training yourself to stop when you may want to mindlessly keep going. When we master moderation, we can enjoy a night out on occasion, we can have a few bites of dessert, we exercise a healthy amount, we have the desire to move more, and we don’t have to feel guilty or depressed after a little indulgence. (read more on my views about moderation here)

 

Food shouldn’t be feared, it should be enjoyed. It is fuel for our body to do all of the amazing things it’s capable of doing! The more we embrace this perspective, the easier it is to adapt to a life of healthy moderation.

 

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MY "NON-DIET" SKILLS FOR HEALTHY EATING

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MY "NON-DIET" SKILLS FOR HEALTHY EATING

Well I’m back with a Wednesday wisdom for you all, and I’m excited about the topic. Lately I’ve been full of so much I want to share that it’s been hard to pick! So you may be getting more than just Wednesday Wisdom this week :)

Anyways, on to the subject, I’m giving you 4 skills to master that will help you on your healthy eating journey. I’m calling them “non-diet” skills because they are skills that will help you create a healthy relationship with food, and are skills to use long term. I’m all about getting to the root of the problem, rather than shedding some quick water weight with a detox diet. Good things take time and effort! Don’t think you have to master all of these at once, but lets try 1 at a time, each week taking on a new skill to practice. 

Skill #1: The PAUSE.

This may seem simple but it can have a huge effect! At your next meal, practice taking a moment to pause, evaluate your hunger. If you feel like you could eat more without reaching your max fullness, but remain at a comfortable state, then continue with a few more bites. If during that pause you feel at a comfortable spot, satisfied, and if you were to eat more your clothes would start feeling tighter, or you may start feeling overly stuffed and uncomfortable, then put down your fork and be done. This moment of pause is so important and we hardly ever stop during a meal to evaluate our hunger. This typically leads us to overeating and feeling stuffed. We want to fill satisfied and energized after we eat!

Skill #2: Healthy Swaps.

This skill is relative to where you are in your own healthy eating journey (yes we’re calling it a journey again). The idea is to see what ingredients you could swap for slightly healthier ones. For example, maybe right now you love sugary toasted nuts as a salad topper. Try swapping out the sugary roasted nuts for some plain toasted nuts. Or maybe you use a sugary dressing from the grocery store, try swapping that out with a simpler, homemade dressing with less sugar. Little baby steps towards healthy choices make a big difference in the long run. Check out some other healthy swaps with this free print out I put together.

Skill #3: Determining worth it vs. NOT worth it.

This skill comes with being honest with yourself. You may have to stop and ask yourself why you’re eating something. Are you eating that cookie because someone put it in front of you and you just reached for it out of habit, and it doesn’t even taste that great? Or is it because it’s your favorite homemade cookie that your grandma makes once a year and you enjoy every last crumb because its that good? Its making those occasional treats really worth it and delicious, and learning to pass on the stuff that we don’t love, and typically eat solely because it’s in front of us, or because we’re bored, or whatever the non logical reason is. 

Skill #4: Finding your ‘Sanity Keeper’ indulgence.

So you’re trying to eat better, stay on track. But you’re finding that you can’t be perfect ALL the time, you’re human! Welcome to the club. My suggestion is to find you ‘sanity keeper’ indulgence, which is something you know will satisfy you with just one or two bites to take the edge off. It will give you a sense of satisfaction when you need a little somethin somethin, but you know you won’t go overboard on. For example, when I’m craving something sweet, and dreaming of desserts, I’ve found that if I have a little piece of dark chocolate this will do the trick for me! When its a good rich chocolate, one little square is all I need. It’s low in sugar, and doesn’t leave me craving more. Some nights I don’t crave anything, but when I do, I have some chocolate ready to go. Find what works for you.

So there you have it! Which skill are you going to work on this week? Let me know, lets chat, I want to hear all about your successes! And struggles, we all of them! Have a happy, healthy, awesome week!

 

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What's the best Diet???

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What's the best Diet???

WEDNESDAY WISDOM HERE! Hot topic, especially as we start off this new year. All of our social media feeds being flooded with New Years Resolutions, Cleanses, Detoxes, workout Trends, etc. How do we know what diet to choose? What's the secret?? Well I'm here with some words of wisdom. I'll tell you the secret....The best "diet" is the one we can maintain and helps us feel our best! That's it! Suprised? I'll teach you my simple guidelines later, but lets start with this No Diet Approach.

Let me explain.

You can have the most calculated, scientifically tested, measured out meal plan in the world, created by the smartest dietitians, but what good will it do you if it's too complicated to keep track of and stick with once reality sets in. The reason most diets fail is because people get sick of tracking stuff, its unrealistic with their lifestyle, and they quite. We want to go out with our friends and enjoy a meal without thinking of all the numbers throughout the night. We want to be able to make one meal for the family rather then individual orders for each member, leaving us feeling deprived in our corner as we eat our low-calorie diet food. We want to go to the grocery store without our heads almost exploding from reading all these labels, trying to remember what we should or shouldn't eat. This isn't to say you shouldn't even bother in trying to eat healthier, but my advice is to forget the diet rules and make one simple step towards a healthier YOU. Start where you're at, and small and simple changes in the right direction will end up making a huge difference over time!

The thing is, there's always a fad diet. Remember when the Atkins diet was the thing? or the Gluten Free Ban Wagon? Most popular now is the Paleo Diet, is this finally the answer we've been looking for??  In a recent article I read about the current hype on the Paleo diet, anthropologist Dr. William Leonard shared his research findings, “Our species was not designed to subsist on a single, optimal diet. What is remarkable about human beings is the extraordinary variety of what we eat. We have been able to thrive in almost every ecosystem on the Earth, consuming diets ranging from almost all animal foods among populations of the Arctic to primarily tubers and cereal grains among populations in the high Andes.” This to me, explains that we are all going to react differently to different foods, but as a whole, we are capable of utilizing a wide variety of foods. So when a diet plan calls to cut out whole food groups because we aren't supposed to be eating those foods in the first place, I don't fully agree (unless its processed junk your cutting out). Of course we should all listen to our bodies, and if we have a certain sensitivity that's totally different. For example, some people have a dairy or gluten sensitivity, but that doesn't necessarily mean these foods are harmful to everyone.

So want to hear my plan for the simplest diet ever?! Start where you're at and work towards the following:

  1. Eat whole foods, avoid labels
  2. If you do have a label, you want the shortest ingredient list as possible
  3. Have a vegetable (or more) at every meal
  4. Eat less sugar (especially processed sugar)

And there you have it! SIMPLICITY 

So when I say start where you're at and work towards healthy, here's what it may look like for you. 

  • If you always eat out, try cooking two meals at home this week, and then work your way up to 3 meals, 4, 5, and then maybe you only go out to eat 1x per week!
  • If you always have a bowl of cereal for breakfast, try a bowl of oats with fruit instead (fewer ingredients). And then maybe you add in some nuts or seeds to your oats, and some zucchini for your vegetable! Try throwing in spinach to your smoothies as well.
  • If you love pasta for dinner, try swapping out your noodles one night for zucchini noodles, or adding vegetables to the sauce. 
  • If drink fruit juice, try having a whole piece of fruit in stead, you will consume about 1/3 of the sugar that way. 

Don't try to be a perfect healthy eater all at once. By taking these baby steps, the habits will stick and you will transform your way of eating over time! If you try to do it all at once it will become frustrating and you'll be right back on the diet roller coaster. 

I hope this helps and please let me know if you have ANY other questions at all. Feel free to comment below or send me an email! If you're interested in some healthy recipes to get you started you can check out some of my fitness & meal plans here. Also I'll be doing my 2nd annual Resolution Revival again this February. A 4 week challenge to keep the New Year momentum going, full of daily workouts and meal guide. This year I'm adding an exclusive video page that will have the full workouts you can follow along and do them with me!! Exciting stuff :)

In the mean time, here's a sneak peak recipe that will be on the guide that you can try out this week!

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My 3 S's to avoid the "All or Nothing" mindset trap

We’ve all been there, “well I already had a donut for breakfast, the rest of the day is shot. I’ll eat whatever crap I want for the rest of the day” or “I don’t have time to do my full workout today so I mine as well not even do anything” or “If I’m going to eat healthy I can’t have ANY sugar or ANY fatty foods for the entire month” or “I’ve already had one cookie, mine as well finish the whole bag!” Sound familiar??

Today I want to talk about a common state of mind that I see with clients, and have experienced myself. I’ve been reading about it in my book “the rules of Normal eating” as well. This is the trap of the “All or Nothing" mentality. The thought that there’s no middle ground with health. You’re either extremely healthy, chewing on organic kale, or extreme on the side of sweets and treats and couch sitting. 

In the book I’m reading ‘The rules of “normal” Eating’ (you can follow along with my book club here) she talks about how changing our beliefs towards food will change our behavior with food. When changing our beliefs we want to take a look at which of our beliefs are irrational vs. rational, and get rid of those irrational beliefs. For example, the belief that eating 1 cookie is just as bad as eating the whole bag so you mine as well eat the whole bag, is totally irrational! A more rational thought would be, ok I allowed myself 1 cookie, I’ll feel much better if I stop there rather than eating the whole bag. 

The problem with the “All or Nothing” mindset is that it becomes hard to maintain these extremes long term and we end up riding this up and down roller coaster. We’re either feeling pressure to be “perfectly healthy”, or feeling bad about ourselves for falling off the wagon. But the truth is we can be healthy in the middle! It's called MODERATION, and not viewing food as the enemy!

I think a big part of this for most people is over complicating it. We have so many voices around us saying “you have to count calories and macros” or “weighing your food is the way to go” and the chatter goes on and on. We think we have to do all this extra stuff if we want to be healthy and it becomes overwhelming and time consuming! What if I told you there’s a simpler way? I never teach calorie counting or macro counting to clients because I want to give you tools you will use for long term success. Who wants to be crunching numbers every time they eat for the rest of their lives? We’ll learn more about how to simplify below. 

Alright, now that we’re more aware of what the “All or Nothing” mindset is, how can we avoid it?? Here are my 3 S’s for avoiding this mindset that I’ve had success with in my life and want to share with you.

  1. Simplify. Forget the measuring and counting, and use your built in portion control kit, your hands! This is an easy way to control your portions that I’ve adopted from Precision Nutrition. They’ve made this awesome infographic that I’ve attached to share with you.
  2. Have a “Sanity Keeper”. What is this you might ask? Well its a food that you love, and can’t see yourself every living without, that you allow yourself. It’s just enough to take the edge off when you get that naughty food craving. You know that you are never going to give this up. At times when you need to cut back on sugar, or lower your carb intake, you may need to avoid certain foods, but this Sanity Keeper food you’ve chosen can always be in your life. The key is to allow it in moderation. This will help you avoid feeling deprived which usually results in a binge. For me its chocolate. I know I can have a little square of dark chocolate if I’m craving dessert and it will take care of that craving for me. I feel satisfied without feeling guilty, it’s a win win!
  3. Just Start. the final S is for Start. You may feel overwhelmed thinking that you have to be this extreme healthy person and go on some crazy diet, so you never start. This will never get you to where you want to be. Just start with baby steps. You don’t have to change your life in 1 week. Start with going to the gym once that week. Then add in 2 days a week. Then maybe you start drinking more water and less soda, and then slowly these healthy habits will get easier and become natural to you! 

Well there you have it, my quick and dirty guide on how to avoid the trap of the “All or Nothing” mindset. Remember the 3 S’s: Simplify, Sanity Keeper, and just Start. Leave your comments below on how these strategies have worked in your own life or what other brilliant ideas you’ve come up with on your own! I’d love to hear :)

And as always, your questions are welcome here anytime!

Feel free to share this post along to your friends and family who may be interested in the information. Thanks you guys rock

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WEDNESDAY WISDOM: Cracking the Craving Code

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Think of the last time you had a strong craving to eat something. Whether it was a tub of haagen daz, or a basket of french fries, you wanted it, and you wanted it bad. We all have cravings. Cravings aren’t always bad. Sometimes we crave what our bodies are truly in need of. For example, Chocolate Cravings are for real! Ok maybe not ALL the time, but there are several components in chocolate that the body may become deficient in, especially magnesium and antioxidants. We’re often told to avoid cravings, suppress our cravings, have will power! But what about the concept of satisfying a craving, in a healthy way, which will then allow us to avoid the deprivation and binge cycle that so many of us fall into. Interesting….   

So today I want to talk about figuring out why we’re craving certain foods, checking in with our selves, and satisfying that craving in a healthy way. I’ve been trying to tune in to my own cravings and figure out what it is that I need emotionally or physically, rather than the tub of ice-cream or whatever it may be on my radar. 

  • First step: Decide what your mood is when you get the craving. For me I’m more of a happy eater than a depressed eater. In the past, I typically associate good times and happiness with eating treats & desserts. When I’m sad or down I don’t really feel like eating. This differs from person to person depending on experiences you’ve had. If you get home from a long day of work and all you want to do is pound a whole Pizza, thats most likely linked to emotions from work, rather then your body really needing that pizza, and chances are you won’t really feel better after eating the pizza.  
  • Second step: Find an alternative fix to satisfy the root of the craving. If you’re craving a Pizza binge when you get home from work, you’re probably feeling a little stressed out from the day. Try the healthy alternative of going for a quick run when you get home, or calling a good friend to talk or vent, or whatever you need to release that work load. Or sometimes for me, I’m with family & friends, and playing games, just having a great time, and I want to eat the whole bowl of peanut butter m&m’s in front of me because I’m just happy! Well if I’m aware of this, I can make sure I’m not putting a bowl of “happy” m&m’s in front of me and replacing that with a veggie tray or something along those lines. This step is basically just weeding out the emotional cravings from the physiological cravings. 
  • Third step: Find the healthiest option for what you’re craving and satisfy it. Sometimes it’s a taste, or a smell, or just a texture that we crave. Here’s a list of some that I’ve experienced and my recommended cures:
currently my favorite flavor! just in time for the holidays :) 

currently my favorite flavor! just in time for the holidays :) 

  1. Something Warm (Hot chocolate, Molten Cake, Cider) —> Herbal Tea! this has been my favorite lately. They have amazing holiday flavors right now that smell and taste delicious, and I don’t crave the sugar loaded hot chocolate anymore!
  2. Something Cold (icecream, shake, pudding, popsicle) —>  Frozen Grapes or blueberries, Protein shake, Frozen Banana icecream, Homemade fruit popsicles
  3. Something Creamy (pudding, frosting, icecream, creamy soup) —> Avocado, spoon of natural nut butter, healthified mashed potatoes recipe) 
  4. Something Salty (potato chips, french fries, crackers) —> Homemade baked french fries, dry roasted nuts (in moderate portion), stove popped popcorn
  5. Something Chocolatey —> a small square of rich dark chocolate
  6. Stressful eating —> Do 10 burpees and see how you feel!
  7. Eating out of Boredom —> Drink a large glass of water & Pick up a good book to start reading (its hard to eat when your hands are holding a book! or do 10 burpees and see how you feel :)

These are just a few tips I thought of and that have worked for me! There’s lots of healthy ways to satisfy cravings, so find what works for you, and I would love to hear your ideas! Remember, cravings aren't always bad. Determine the root, healthify your options, and honor your body!

 

 

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WEDNESDAY WISDOM: Are some fruits better than others? Breaking down High Sugar VS. Low Sugar Fruits

Since its summer time, I thought I'd write a little bit about my favorite summer treat, FRUIT! So many good fruits are in season this time of year, I love it! But fruit definitely fits in the category of "moderation is key". Fruit is healthy, of course, but it contains sugar. Sugar is the main cause of weight gain, and by controlling our sugar intake, we can better reach goals of weight loss if that's what we're aiming towards. With my clients I suggest sticking around 35g or less of sugar per day for weight loss. This adds up quicker than you think! I typically recommend 1-2 pieces of fruit per day. Sugar from fruit is much better than reaching for a bag of skittles or a donut because you're getting the fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc, that comes with a piece of fruit. But I was curious, what fruits should I be more cautious about with my sugar intake?

Here's a list of 5 low sugar fruits to keep around this summer, and also my favorite way to eat them! I have also included the top 5 highest sugar fruit which you should try to limit in your diet. 

Hope you enjoy this Wednesday wisdom!

Lowest sugar fruit:

  1. Avocado: only 1 gram of sugar per avocado! Basically my favorite food ever, I can eat it any way! But I really love it in a smoothie or with cottage cheese and salt and pepper, simple and delicious!
  2. Raspberries: only 5 grams of sugar per cup. I love raspberries fresh like candy, or stirred into plain yogurt and made into a healthy Popsicle! 
  3. Blackberries: only 7 grams of sugar per cup. I love black berries stirred into some plain yogurt and granola for a light pre workout breakfast.
  4. Strawberries: only 7 grams of sugar per cup. I love strawberries dipped in melted dark chocolate for a guilt free sweet treat to end the night. Or in my favorite summer salads {spinach, strawberries, avocado, red onion, slivered almonds, feta cheese, vinaigrette dressing}
  5. Casaba Melon: That bright yellow, round fruit about the size of a cantelope, with slightly wrinkly skin. It is the lowest sugar melon with 5 grams sugar for 1/2 cup. Try one sliced with cottage cheese, or sliced with a drizzle of lemon juice.

Highest Sugar Fruits

  1. Lychee: 29 grams of sugar per cup! Yikes! But loaded with calcium, so moderation is key. They take so long to peel open that you probably couldn't get to a full cup unless you have all day ;)
  2. Figs: 27 grams of sugar per cup. However, they are packed with healthy fiber, so maybe just don't eat a whole cup at once :)
  3. Mango: 23 grams of sugar per cup. Mangos are my favorite, so I had a hard time putting them on the list, buuuut I always split the mango with my husband, or put just a few frozen cubes in my smoothie, so it's never quite a full cup ;) For your next date night, instead of buying a tub of ice cream, split a mango! It's very romantic, and healthy!
  4. Cherries: 18 grams of sugar per cup. No wonder they taste like candy! If eating cherries, only grab a few, avoid sitting next to a bottomless bag.
  5. Grapes: with 15 grams of sugar per cup, be careful. a cup can go pretty quick with these convenient little poppers. If I eat grapes I have them as a frozen sweet treat when I'm craving a Popsicle. Simply stick a bundle of fresh grapes in your freezer for an hour or two. Great poolside summer snack, just watch your portions! 

Enjoy some fresh in season fruit this summer, try new recipes or keep it simple, just remember portion control. HAGS :)

-Britt

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COMBATTING THE CRAVE ZONE

Its 2:30, you ate your healthy salad lunch 2 hours ago, and your not planning on dinner for another 4 hours, and you're STARVING. You’ll eat anything, especially that chocolate bar you know you have stashed under your desk. You start fantasizing about all the things you want to eat. That chocolate donut, a giant startbucks Muffin, the bag of dorritos from the vending machine, the list gets worse and worse. Can you relate? It happens to the best of us. That time of day, in between meals, when the hunger and cravings hit. I call this the Crave Zone. It's a common thing, and I see it in my clients. They’ll send me their food logs and it's awesome, and then they write “I was so hungry around 3:00 so I just grabbed the first thing I could” which is usually a cookie sitting on the counter or something along those lines. Some simple changes in our day can turn the Crave Zone into a metabolism boosting-hunger curbing awesome zone if we play our cards right. Here are my tips:

 

1)    Start your day right. A big contributor to hunger throughout the day is what we have for breakfast. Make sure you have some protein and some healthy fat in your breakfast so that you have something for your body to burn throughout the day. (check out more awesome breakfast recipes in my Sculpted for Summer program here).

 

2)    Be prepared. Always have a healthy snack easy access for that time of day. It takes a little prep and planning in advanced, but it will be a game changer for you. If you know you are going to be out and about, pack something in your purse. Or if you are home, stock your fridge with go to healthy snacks. Some of my favorites are dry roasted nuts, peanut butter and an apple, String cheese, veggies and hummus. There are a ton of more ideas in my meal plans hear.

 

3)    Remove the Junk. When hunger and cravings strike, our sub conscience tells us to reach for the easiest, closest thing. If we leave junk food and treats out on the counter, that's what we're going to reach for! Throw out the candy bowls and the cupcake stand. Instead, chop up a veggie tray with a homemade dip ready to go in your fridge, or have a bowl of fruit on the counter to suggest a healthy snack. 

 

Don’t think you have to persevere through 5 hours of hunger until dinner, you should listen to your body and have a snack. The important part is to make it a good snack and to be prepared! Now that Crave Zone doesn’t stand a chance against your combatting skills. 

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Food as our Medicine: a podcast review

I’ve been listening to the school of greatness podcast for a couple of years now and absolutely love it. I look forward to long commutes, long runs, bike rides, etc, because its my time to listen to my Podcasts! Lewis interviews amazing people from all different walks of life. He provides a good variety of information from creating a business, being successful in relationships, and also health and wellness topics. 

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Why I don't believe in "Cheat Meals"

If you haven’t noticed already, there’s a little buzz word in the fitness industry. It takes on many forms that include: Cheat Meal, Cheat Day, Free day, etc. The idea is that you are super strict through the week with your eating, and then typically on a Friday or Saturday You can eat whatever you want. This does work for some people, but I’m just going to share with you why I don’t think its the best thing for our minds and bodies and my counter approach on the subject. 

First of all, the only reason we would feel like we need a “cheat meal” is if we are feeling deprived from certain foods. No one wants to feel deprived. This creates a negative relationship with food over time. In my experience with training and working with different clients and in my own experience, I have learned that the more we stress about what we CAN’T have or what foods we need to CUT OUT from our diet, the harder it is to actually stick to healthy eating and maintain or lose weight. It typically back fires, and ALL WE THINK ABOUT is the foods we’ve told ourselves we CAN’T HAVE. Also, those stress levels release fat storing hormones in our body, and that definitely doesn’t help!

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Top 5 Sneaky Sugar Culprits

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Top 5 Sneaky Sugar Culprits

I’m sure somewhere on your list of New Years resolutions there’s something in there about eating healthier. This can get tricky with all the false advertising out there, so I wanted to help you out. Ideally, I recommend filling your diet with whole foods and avoiding packaged foods all together, but if you’re in need of something convenient, or are slowly transitioning off packaged foods, there’s some misleading labels you may come across. I’ve picked 5 foods on my list of sneaky sugar culprits. These are foods that claim to be “healthy” foods, but are secretly packed with sugar. Here’s the list and how to out smart the sneaky food industry. 

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