Healthy eating

Lessons from a crepe myrtle (weird, but worth the read)

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All fun and games until they are viciously attacking your sidewalk

It's been a life long dream of mine to write a fitness post crepe myrtles. Today that dream comes true.

 

There is a crepe myrtle in my backyard that has been plaguing me. It looks awesome, but it drops its petals on my sidewalk, they stick to the bottom of my shoe, and then I track them into my gym.

 

So I started off solving this problem by continually sweeping out my gym. Take that myrtle! As you can guess, that didn’t really solve the problem. I was sweeping those petals out every day.

 

So I really got smart and swept the sidewalk where the petals were sticking to shoes. Listen I didn’t graduate high school with a 2.3 GPA by being a dummy. But guess what? The petals just kept acomin down and that became my new daily sweeping chore.

 

But if I really wanted to solve the problem, I should the sweet spot where all this is coming from right? By trimming up the branches that hang over the sidewalk I could prevent all this from happening.

 

There is one caveat for that though. It is not my crepe myrtle. I can trim the ones that I can get to, but there are some that I can’t. I will just have to make it work.

 

I am a little slow in learning this stuff, but I see the same thing with people with their nutrition and exercise habits. People that try to exercise like crazy to overcome a poor diet.

 

Then they switch to strict nutrition habits, but then the exercise habit starts to fall off. It becomes too much to handle.

 

So how do you get to the sweet spot of exercise and nutrition? By changing your mindset.

 

Don’t try to outexercise a bad diet. That is impossible.

 

Don’t put yourself on some crazy, restrictive diet that makes you miserable. The sort term results you get are not worth it because it is not sustainable and you will gain all the weight back.

 

The sweet spot is found where you find some form of movement that you enjoy and you can stick to. Then you find a way of eating that nourishes your body, makes you feel good, and actually tastes good! When you add consistent, effective exercise to consistent, effective nutrition you start seeing tremendous results. And these are long term changes that will stick around.

 

Then there is the things that are out of your control, like rogue crepe myrtles, thyroid issues, or genetics. If you can’t control it and nothing you can do will change it, then it is time to let that go. You just do the best you can with what you got.

  Don’t get down on yourself and don’t use it as an excuse to quit. Just do your best and keep your focus on what you have the power to change.

Skin in the game

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Are you familiar with the term “having skin in the game”? Most sources credit Warren Buffett for making it popular. He was talking about investing his own money into the first fund he started.

It basically means you are invested and committed to the process.  Because, let’s be honest, when something is free we do not place the same value on it as we do on the things that we pay for.

It is why I can’t go to buffets. Because I WILL get my money’s worth. No way would I eat that much if I went over to someone’s house for dinner.

That is why I put a price on the 28 Day Vegetable Challenge. Nothing crazy, just $15, but enough that the people participating in the challenge will take it seriously and really commit to it.

Committing to consistency is the main thing I am looking for. Consistently is the key whether you are eating vegetables, exercising, or any number of things you might want to improve.

28 days, 28 different vegetables and how to prepare them, why you should eat that particular one, how to prepare them, store them, and a daily recipe for each vegetable. The goal is to make it fun, add the accountability, and get you at least one new vegetable that you will eat on a consistent basis.

The challenge starts on Wednesday, June 28th. I would love for you to be a part of it. You can reserve your spot below:

 

28 Day Vegetable Challenge 

“You should eat more vegetable.” -Captain Obvious

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How many times have you heard someone say you should eat more vegetables? How many times have you read it from me? Guilty.

 

Vegetables are awesome for you! But a lot of us do not like them, so we avoid them. There are lots of grownups out there that that flat out refuse to even try vegetables. They were probably scarred by a well meaning parent making them clean their plate.

Some people can't wait to grow up so they can leave all the lights on in the house, open the doors to air condition the world, run with scissors, keep the fridge door open for hours at a time, and never touch a vegetable again.

I'm making it my mission to reach the unvegetabled.

Introducing the 28 Day Vegetable Challenge. 28 vegetables over 28 days. Each one will list the health benefits, how to select the best ones at the store, how to store them when you get home, how to prepare them when you cook, and how to eventually eat them.  Then I threw in any notes I thought you might need, as well as a recipe for each vegetable.

Here is an example for the orange bell pepper:

 

Your goal every day is to get 5 servings of vegetables. And as you can see, I'm not asking you to eat a bunch of raw vegetables! These are delicious recipes that are not complicated. Even I can make them 🙂

 

And at the end of the challenge you can download the crime book with all of the recipes you have been trying throughout the challenge.

 

The 28 Day Vegetable Challenge will start on Wednesday, June 28th. You will get the accountability you need, the resources it takes, and the help you require to make you successful.

 

It is only $15 to participate in the challenge. About what you would pay for a recipe book alone. And if for any reason this challenge does not work for you, I will give you your money back. You reserve your spot at the Pay Now button below:

 

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You will feel better, look better and be healthier at the end of the four weeks. I guarantee it!

“Change your life in 8 minutes”

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Meal planning may seem monotonous (because it is), but the pay off is worth it. Think about what happens when you do not have anything planned a meal, time gets short, and you are hungry?

Fast food, pizza deliveries, microwave salt licks. (No Lean Cuisines are not good for you).

What if instead of spending 8 minutes a week looking into a fridge hoping healthy food would magically appear, you spent that time productively? Take some advice from dietitian Keri Glassman's article "Change Your Life in 8 Minutes".

Here is what she suggests doing with your 8 minutes:

-Write out your challenges for the week (birthday celebration, busy kid's schedule, girls' night out, etc.) and then write down a plan to overcome the challenges.

 

-Plan your dinners at home around your schedule for the week and then create a grocery list to go with them.

 

-Write a list for work snacks, and add them to your grocery list.

 

-Schedule exactly when you are going to go to the grocery store and then follow through.

 

I would add, you could spend your time ordering groceries on-line.

If you notice, not one of those is the actual food prep or cooking we all dread so much. This is formulating a food game plan for the week. It will save you time, money, and calories just by having some kind of plan.

If you do have time left in your 8 minutes, Glassman suggests you could:

  • Make a pitcher of iced lemon water to store in the fridge.

  • Chop the veggies you have around.

  • Mix a healthy salad dressing to keep in your fridge.

  • Portion out healthy snacks, like nuts, into little bags.

Nutrition is just like working out. When you have a game plan of what you are going to do, you get much quicker results without wasting your time. Make that plan today!

Next time you mess up…

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We are wrapping up our Lean and Clean Challenge this week and I wanted to share something with you. It is about how to keep perspective when you "mess up".

The object of the Lean and Clean Challenge was to eat whole, natural foods with no additives all day, every day. As you can imagine that is very hard, so people would sometimes find themselves feeling like a failure. That is not the case at all! It is about progress not perfection.

See if the Popped Tire Image can help you keep some perspective next time you aren't feeling so perfect.

 

Imagine you are riding down the road, you lose control of the car, hit a curb, and pop a tire. You get out, inspect the damage, and then pull out a knife and pop the remaining tires. I mean one got popped, why not pop the rest of them???

That sounds really silly doesn't it? But what about when you find yourself eating a fast food meal that was nowhere near your eating plan. Then you tell yourself you screwed that up, so what's the use? I might as well just eat terrible the rest of the day.

Don't slip into that mindset. If you have one bad meal, one bad day, one bad week even, it is not the end of the world. Assess why it happened (usually a like of time and/or planning), make a plan to prevent it in the future, and get on with your life. This does not mean beating up on yourself and feeling bad. It means you are human and still a work in progress like the rest of us.

This will be a life long journey where you will make tons of mistakes, that is a given. The important part is how you respond. Skip the pity party, have a planning party, and enjoy the "bad" foods that cause us to think we are messing up.

Just make sure those "bad" foods are something you truly enjoy, not just the "last person at the bar at last call" kind of foods that hang around until you have a weak moment. Food is meant to be enjoyed and healthy foods are not meant to be punishment.

Find the healthy balance that works for you and keep on keeping on.

The dangers of that peanut butter life

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Most of these posts I write are lessons I am trying to teach myself and I think others could benefit from. Today’s post is no different.

I have two examples of how hidden calories can become a problem. The first one is one I did to myself, the second was one that I did to my wife.

Both of them involve... peanut butter.

Did that sound really dramatic? I hope so.

I noticed this week that I have a habit that could be dangerous if I was trying to cut down on my caloric intake. Every time I make my son a peanut butter sandwich I give myself a bite of peanut butter for the effort. That can add up considering that 2 tablespoons of peanut butter is 200 calories.

I also make my wife protein shakes on a regular basis. She asked me how much peanut butter I used and I realized it was way more than she does when she makes her own.

Maybe an added 100-150 calories here and there does not sound like a big deal, but it can add up. Especially if you do it consistently over time. An extra 150 calories per day would lead to a 15.6 pound weight gain in a year.

Three things to learn from my mistakes.

First, is to watch out for the BLTs. The Bites, Licks, and Tastes that you put into your body. All the little bites you take when cooking, licking spoons, and other taste tests you do count.

Second, is that it matters who prepares your food. That is why it is crucial to prepare your food as often as you can. Restaurants do not have your waistline in mind when they prepare your food. Their main mission is taste, so calories can pile up pretty quick.

Third, is that small changes can work for you or against you. I mentioned above about how they can work against you. But those same pounds you put on, can be taken off by eliminating 150 calories/day. You could eat 150 calories less, burn 150 off, or a do a combo of the two.

PS- Peanut butter is still delicious, I regret nothing.

Too Much Information (TMI)

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There is a phenomenon called information blindness that is caused by too much information. When people are faces with too much information, they just shut down and will now act.

 

Think about a restaurant with an overwhelming menu. What do you do? I just choose something that has a picture.

 

Or have you ever walked into a library or got onto Netflix with no idea what you wanted to choose? It can cause you to just give up.

 

Information blindness often happens with diet plans as well. People get presented with all the information for the whole plan up front, they get overwhelmed, and it paralyzes them. I've been there myself.

 

The idea behind the Lean and Clean Challenge is to give you the information slowly and help you build habits. All of the information is there for people who like a peak ahead, but it is not necessary.

 

Build the habit, make it stick, and then you will have it long term. There are still spots available if you want to join.

 

You can join here -->Lean and Clean Challenge

 

The challenge starts on Monday, February 20 and I would love for you to be a part of it. Join us today!

2017 Lean and Clean Challenge

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“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” -Jim Rohn

“I can predict the long-term outcome of your success if you show me your daily habit.” -John Maxwell

If you can’t tell, I’m a quote guy. I believe they can motivate and inspire, but like the first quote hints at, it is temporary. To be successful, we have to develop good habits. That is especially true with exercise and eating right.

That is why I am so excited to launch the 2017 HABC Lean and Clean Challenge. Fancy name, awesome program.

It is a 6-week program that will give you all the resources you need to develop the habit of eating clean and healthy foods.

Here is what is included:

-Weekly Check-Ins/Progress Tracking to keep you accountable

-Clean Eating Guide (everything you need to know)

-Meal Mapping Template (teaches you how to create healthy meals)

-Ultimate Shake Guide

-Ultimate Breakfast Guide

-Bulk Cooking Guide (great for busy people)

-Facebook Challenges

-Movement Challenges

-Meal Portion Guide

-Access to a free app so all the info can come straight to your phone

-Access to the Private Facebook group specifically created for this challenge to give you extra support and accountability

-Pinterest recipe page

 

I truly think this has included everything you need physically, mentally, and emotionally to form those all-important habits for long-term success. Two hyphens in one sentence, crazy!

The challenge will start on Monday, February 20, 2017. The cost for everything I’ve listed above is only $39. I guarantee your results or you get a full refund.

Reserve your spot here -->Lean and Clean

PS-The challenge is actually 7 weeks. The first week is to give you the tools and training to prep you for the challenge.

Diet vs healthy habits. Which is more important?

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One of my awesome clients Lesley gave me a really interesting article to read the other day from The Costco Connection. Yep, I didn’t know Costco had a magazine either.

The article was titled “Dieting versus healthy habits” by Dr. Sandra Aamodt. The main idea was questioning why doctors always recommend dieting for their patients when it has not been proven to improve health in the long term.

The most telling quote in the article is where Dr. Aamodt says, “For health, the most important habit is daily exercise. No matter how much people weigh, physical activity predicts better health. People who rarely get off the couch are more than twice as likely to die prematurely as people who exercise moderately, whether they are normal weight, overweight or obese.”

Two stats that stood out to me are: low fitness is responsible for 16-17% of deaths in the US. Obesity is responsible for 2-3% once fitness is factored out.

That’s not to say you should not watch what you eat. Healthy eating will make you look, feel, and perform better so it is always a good idea!

The main point is to choose a lifestyle change over a diet. It is a clue that diet has die right in the name!

Become more active more often. Ditch processed foods, practice portion control, and cook/prepare more whole foods rather than going on a diet.

Star Wars and Weight Loss

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I went to go see the new Star Wars movie yesterday. Spoiler alert- it’s really good, if you are into that sort of thing. Ties some parts of other movies together for you.

While I was there I made a big mistake. I ordered a large popcorn and large drink. Not sure what happened but it just kind of appeared in my hands. They were running some sort of special I think, it was all a blur.

My son and I were going to split it, so I guess I thought it would be ok. The popcorn was the size of a pillowcase and the drink was the size of a bazooka.

legalize-bazookas-compressed

Then my next mistake was letting my son pick the drink. The movie theater had one of those machines where you can get any kind of drink you want. Hundreds of combinations. I think we wound up with a Sprite, Grape, Root Beer mixture that was pretty terrible.

30 minutes of straight eating popcorn and drinking the toilet water drink later it was all gone. All of it! It was pretty amazing/depressing.

The moral of the story- portion control matters.

There is a ton of research out there that backs it up. Did you know that people clean their plate 91% of the time? And that is no matter how much food was offered and how hungry they were. At least we aren’t quitters…

So if you are trying to lose weight your first move should be to start using smaller plates and bowls. The super brains at Google introduced smaller plates in their cafeteria and the employees lost an average 10-15 pounds. With no other dietary changes!

In a study in the journal Appetite showed the dramatic difference switching from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate can do for you. Participants in the study were able to cut their calories by 48% (up to 275-350 calories per meal). If you used the smaller plates for just 2 meals a day, that would result in a 14-18 pound weight loss over a 3 month period.

If you’ve been unsuccessful in the past trying to lose weight, give the smaller plates and bowls a try. It might be just what you need to be successful.

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