Fit by 50: Week 32 – Holiday Healthy Eating Guide

In place of my usual FIT BY 50 post, I decided to post this guide to healthy holiday eating. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to proceed with my fitness plan over the holiday. I decided this article was a good reminder for me. This was a post from last year. My plan for the holidays?

  • Eat healthy, while leaving room for holiday treats
  • Eat LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of veggies!
  • Continue to track my calories and diet with my “lazy apps“.
  • Continue to use intermittent fasting (14/10)
  • Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night (I’m a night owl, so this is difficult for me)
  • Exercise 5 days a week.

My ultimate goal for the holidays? Don’t gain weight. A tall order, when looking at my past history. But, as far as I’m concerned, if I make it through the next 3 weeks without gaining weight, I’ve been successful. But, I’m determined to stay on track and any weight loss will be a bonus.

This will be my last FIT BY 50 post for this year. Look for the next one on January 10, 2019.


HERE IS THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE.

As we enter this final month of the year, we also enter the season of eating, drinking and holiday parties. A study done through Cornell University discovered that people gain, on average, around 13 pounds over the holiday season, beginning in October/November and peaking at Christmas. (6) They also discovered that, while half of the weight came off with relative ease, starting in the new year, the other half took nearly 5 months to lose. (6)

So, just what is a health conscious foodie to do? How do you navigate the food, desserts and holiday parties without packing on weight? Is it inevitable to gain weight over the holidays or can a person navigate the season in a health conscious way, without the excess pounds? It is ABSOLUTELY possible to  make it through this beautiful season in one piece: happy, healthy, and the same weight.

Here are my tips for eating healthy during the holiday: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

  1. Don’t start any “diets” right now. Instead, try to maintain your current weight.  It’s hard enough to diet during the rest of the year, under the best circumstances. It’s nearly impossible to diet during the holidays. The holiday season is a happy time, meant to be enjoyed. Have fun….Just don’t go overboard.
  2. Don’t skip meals. It’s tempting to skip meals during the holidays, especially with all the treats, parties and family dinners. This is a big mistake. Skipping meals can lead to binging on unhealthy foods. Try to stick to your usual eating routine. I like the 85/15 method. Eat healthy 85% of the time, and have fun 15% of the time. The 15% can be the parties, cookies and holiday meals. The rest of the time, it should be business as usual. It’s also recommended to eat 5 to 6 small meals a day. This curbs hunger, prevents binging, keeps metabolism buzzing, and stabilizes blood sugar. (7)
  3. Be careful of liquid calories. Not only are the holidays known for the food, but alcohol and sugary beverages as well. These beverages add empty, unwanted calories to your diet. You go to a party, drink one beer and one 20 ounce soda, and you’ve added over 400 calories to your day. Not only does alcohol add extra calories, it lessens inhibitions, which can lead to over eating. What’s your best bet….WATER! I know it’s boring, but it will allow you to indulge in other holiday goodies. 😉
  4. Limit “BIG MEALS” to one per day. In other words, if you have a big family meal coming up, make the other 4 or 5 meals that day light and healthy. This will keep your blood sugar stable and prevent you from over eating at your family meal.
  5. Bring a healthy dish to the party/meal. This way, you ensure there is at least one healthy thing for you to eat.
  6. Keep track of what you eat. This is recommended all year, but is especially helpful during the holidays. Write everything down  (every bite!) or track it with one of the many smart phone apps available. This will help you track your calories, so you can stick to your goals.
  7. Eat BEFORE you go to a party. Have one of your 6 meals prior to going to a party.  Again, this curbs your appetite, stabilizes blood sugar and prevents binging.
  8. Keep healthy snacks at the office. Inevitably, people will bring holiday treats to the office to share. Your healthy snacks will keep you from being tempted by these delicious treats.
  9. Watch portion sizes. This strategy is helpful when you do give into temptation or perhaps during the family meal. You can have the fun food, in the proper portions. 
  10. Keep exercising. Studies show that individuals who lose weight and keep it off exercise 60 to 90 minutes per day, at least 5 days a week. Continuing your exercise routine during the holidays will help keep off that nasty holiday weight. It can be broken up into small segments. For example six 10-minute sessions are just as effective as one 60 minute session.
  11. Choose your “cheat” times. This will allow you to stick to your normal eating routine, without feeling deprived. If you have a party or family meal coming up, work that into your  “cheat” schedule. For example, if you eat 5 meals a day and eat 85/15, as suggested in number 2, you would eat 35 meals a week, and 5 of those meals during the week could be “cheat” meals. This could be used as an entire day, (all 5 meals at once) or 1 meal every few days, which ever works best for you.
  12. Fill your plate with a rainbow of fruit and vegetables. Your plate can be just as fun and colorful as the holiday decorations which surround you. The best way to maintain your weight during this season is to make sure plants form the foundation of your diet, just as they do during the rest of the year. All of these plants have the added benefit of increasing your fiber intake, another necessity of a healthy diet.
  13. Eat your veggies first. By eating your veggies before any other food, you’ll fill your stomach with these high fiber gems, making less room for the fattening foods.
  14. MOST IMPORTANT TIP OF ALL….Don’t feel guilty! Remember, the holiday’s are a time to celebrate, and have fun with family and friends. Go ahead and indulge a bit, just don’t go overboard. If you do go overboard, don’t worry about it. Just go back to your healthy eating as soon as you can. Getting healthy is a journey on the path of life. When you go overboard, it’s just a stumble on the path. Get back up, dust yourself off and keep on going.

Well, there you have it everyone. Being healthy isn’t an all or nothing proposition. That’s no way to live. You can have your cake and eat it too, just be smart about it. The most important thing is you enjoy this special time with your loved ones.

let-us-stop-for-a-moment-to-pray-and-meditate

SOURCES:

  1. http://www.cpmc.org/about/e-health/11-05%20healthy-holidays.html
  2. https://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/healthy-eating/eat-healthy-during-holidays
  3. https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/articles/holidays-healthy-eating-guide
  4. http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/lifestyle/holidays/a-healthy-approach-to-holiday-eating
  5. https://www.self.com/story/13-holiday-healthy-eating-tips-from-a-registered-dietitian
  6. https://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/weight-loss/holiday-weight-gain
  7. https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/6_meals_a_day#1

 

Healthy food tips: TOP 10 BEST FOODS TO BURN BELLY FAT

These foods will help with all aspects of health and weight loss, not just burning belly fat.

God bless!

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Healthy Food Tips: 5 Foods You Should Eat Daily

Are you trying to eat healthier? Do you want to incorporate whole foods but don’t know where to begin? Start by adding these 5 foods into your daily diet.  Here’s a great way to get three of the five in one meal!

Spinach Berry Smoothie

  • 1 banana (frozen) (Or add 4 or 5 ice cubes)
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup liquid (see recipe note below)
  • 1 cup spinach (fresh)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed

Blend together in a good blender and drink up!

Just thought you should know… The top 8 organic MISTAKES most people make – NaturalNews.com

When people are converting from the Standard American Diet, (SAD) to an “organic” diet,  they often go from buying “normal” processed food, to buying “organic” processed food, thinking it’s healthier. What they don’t realize, is…processed food is processed food, even if it’s marked “organic”. It’s still contains refined ingredients, fillers, preservatives and flavorings. Here are 8 mistakes people make, when purchasing “organic” food, from Naturalnews.com.

#1. Buying from organic companies that sold out to Big Food’s evil corporations

You see a nicely labeled organic product, which appears to be from a quaint little, mom and pop owned organic company. What you don’t realize is that Big Food, has gobbled up many of the smaller, family owned, mom and pop organic companies.

Upon purchasing these companies, the “organic” products are filled with canola oil and unfermented soy products. Even in organic forms canola and soy can cause problems in the body, over the long term (1).

Here is a rather confusing looking infographic, which tells you which Big Food companies own the smaller “family” organic foods.

IMAGE COURTESY OF: www.cornucopia.org

 

For a list of family owned organic brands…

Check out this website: gmo-awareness.com – Family Owned. They also have a list of organic companies owned by Big Food: gmo-awareness.com – Big Food owned.

#2. Buying organic foods that contain canola

Big food often replaces coconut or palm oil with cheaper canola oil, made from rapeseeds. Studies indicate that canola oil, even organic oil, can cause degeneration of  the heart, kidneys, thyroid gland and adrenals (1).

Canola is also high in glycosides, which can impede enzyme function and destroy the nerve’s protective coating, causing nerve damage.

#3. Buying organic foods that contain unfermented soy

This one is a bit controversial. Many people say that organic soy is perfectly healthy. However, opponents of soy say that it  “is linked to immune-system malfunctions, thyroid dysfunction and cognitive decline.”  Studies indicate that any soy that is consumed should be fermented. Unfermented soy contains “anti-nutrients”, which block enzymes needed to properly digest protein (1).

#4. Buying anything “certified organic” that was grown in China

In order to cut costs and make products more affordable, Big Food purchases many of the needed ingredients from China. Why is this a problem? In a word…POLLUTION. According to the source article, China has three times more pollution than the USA, with 70% of the water polluted & unsafe for human contact. It also contains such high levels of heavy metals that they sometimes run red. So this means that even organic food from China is still filled with toxins and chemicals (1).

#5. Assuming that “USDA certified organic” means no heavy metal toxins

The USDA does not require inspections or certifications for heavy metals in organic food. This means that heavy metals such as a lead, aluminum, mercury, nickel, copper, tungsten and arsenic, can be found in food certified organic by the USDA. (1) What does this mean? Avoid any food from China.

#6. Putting organic food in the microwave oven

You go through the trouble of going to the farmers market to purchase beautiful, organic, locally grown vegetables. You’re in a hurry and decide to just cook them in the microwave for a quick meal. What could possibly be wrong with that? Well, according to the source article, in just a few seconds, the microwave destroys the nutritive qualities of the food. The microwave radiation changes the food molecules from positive to negative, which deforms the food. This is known as “structural isomerism”. (1)

#7. Cooking organic meat on an outdoor grill

Ok, I know what you’re thinking…” Now I can’t even grill that great grass-fed steak. What’s wrong with grilling?”  Here is a quote from the main article (1):

  • “Even if meat is organic, when you grill it at high temperature and fat drips onto the heat source, potent carcinogens are created called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s). There is also a chemical reaction between the amino acids and creatine in the meat that forms dangerous heterocyclic amines (HCA’s). Lastly, you’re increasing the amount of advanced glycolytic enzymes (AGE’s) already present in the meat, causing inflammation and oxidative damage to tissues in your body.”

#8. Boiling organic vegetables in water you got from the tap

Fluoride can’t be boiled out of water (1) Make sure you are using filtered water. Oh, FYI…steaming your veggies is the best way to cook them.

As I always say, sticking to a locally grown, organic, whole food, plant-based diet is your best bet. When you do purchase processed organic food, make sure it’s from one of the small family owned brands listed here: FAMILY OWNED ORGANIC BRANDS

 

Source:

  1. Top 8 organic MISTAKES most people make because they have not done the research – NaturalNews.com

 

Healthy Cooking Tip…

Do not use oil in the water when boiling pasta: It will keep the sauce from sticking to the cooked pasta.

~ Missy Robbins

Have a wonderful day!

God Bless! Namaste!

#sharethejoy #onesong

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Healthy Cooking Tip…

After working with garlic, rub your hands vigorously on your stainless steel sink for 30 seconds before washing them. It will remove the odor.
~ Gerard Craft

Have a wonderful and peaceful day everyone!

GOD BLESS! NAMASTE!

#sharethejoy #onesong

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How to eat healthy: 40 Foods No One Should Eat…Ever

This is a long post, so I won’t preface it with a lot of superfluous words. As you can see by the source list at the bottom of the page, I’ve searched several lists of foods to avoid, and come up with this list of 40 foods, which includes the “dirty dozen” and a list of 7 oils to avoid. Let me know if I missed something you think should be included.

  • Fruit Juice-This seemingly innocent food is full of vitamins and minerals right? What could be wrong with that? It is just as bad for you as soda. There are approximately 45 grams of fructose per liter of juice, compared to 50 grams per liter in soda. (1) Remember, fructose is useless in the body and has the same affect on the liver as does alcohol, and can cause fatty liver disease and cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Agave Nectar – Think of agave nectar as the high fructose corn syrup of the health food industry. It is worse than both high fructose corn syrup (hfcs) and regular sugar. Sugar and HFCS are approximately 50% fructose. Agave nectar, on the other hand is approximately 85% fructose. (9) Avoid this at all costs.
  • Sports drinks – Unless you’re a college or professional athlete or a marathon runner, you don’t need to drink this stuff.  It was invented to replenish electrolytes in college football players, in other words, very active people who burn LOTS of calories. The average person has no need to drink it. It’s not any healthier than soda or juice. If you’re thirsty, drink water.
    • Gatorade contains 36 grams of sugar (9 teaspoons)/20 oz container.
    • Powerade contains 45 grams of sugar (11 teaspoons)/20 oz container.
  • Farm raised fish – Tilapia and salmon are the biggest culprits, but there are others. Make sure your salmon or any fish is marked “wild caught”. Farm raised salmon will be marked “Atlantic” salmon. Just avoid tilapia all together. I don’t think I’ve ever seen “wild caught” tilapia in the store. Farmed fish contain the following chemicals: (2)
    • Anti-biotics
    • pesticides
    • Chemicasl-dioxin (toxin/pollutant), Dibutyltin (chemical in plastic), Polybrominated Diphenyl (flame retardant), Canthaxanthin (food dye).
    • Environmental contaminants- large fish farms produce the same amount of excrement as a city of 10,000. (2)
  • Microwave popcorn – MMMM, hot popcorn fresh from the microwave, only 100 calories…with some added chemicals! The bags are coated with non-stick chemicals linked to cancer. (1)
  • Factory farm meat (aka-super market meat or corn/grain fed meat) – Cows have developed to eat grass, not grain. They are fed grains instead of grass because it makes them gain weight faster. Grains have a detrimental effect on a  cow’s digestive system. As a result, farmers are forced to give them antibiotics and other medications.   To speed rate of growth even more, the cows are given hormones. Studies indicate that other drugs, such as allergy medication, pain killers and anti-depressants are found in these animals (1). Purchase your beef locally, from a farmer you trust, someone who raised 100% grass fed beef. This type of beef is becoming more common with large grocery chains, as consumers are demanding it more frequently. (4, 1)
  • Margarine – This substance is made from liquid vegetable oil which is processed and transformed into a solid. This changed the fat in the oil from a poly-unsaturated fat to a trans-fat. Studies have proven that trans-fats have a detrimental effect on the cardiovascular system, resulting in approximately 50,000 fatal heart attacks/year. (1)  Instead use grass-fed butter/ghee or organic virgin coconut oil. Flax oil and olive oil are wonderful for salad dressing.
  • Vegetable oil – I consistently discuss the health benefits of whole, unprocessed foods. Vegetable oils DO NOT fall into this category. They are unhealthy, unnatural, highly refined/processeed and filled with inflammatory omege-6 fats. Unfortunately, vegetable oils are still touted by many dietitians as the healthiest oils for your body. These same people, not understanding  health benefits of saturated fats,  preach the old fashioned, out dated notion that saturated fat is bad. Many studies have proven that fat is not the demon it has been made out to be. There are fats to avoid, however, and vegetable oils fall into this category.
    • Avoid inflammatory oils (even organic versions):
      • hydrogenated oil/partially-hydrogenated
      • safflower oil
      • soy bean oil
      • corn oil
      • sunflower oil
      • canola oil
      • grape seed oil
    • Instead eat healthy, whole food or lightly processed sources. make sure any oil is  “cold pressed”:
      • organic coconut oil –
      • grass-fed butter/ghee
      • organic olive oil –
      • organic Flaxseed oil
      • avocados
      • nuts/seeds
      • fatty fish
      • grass-fed meat
    • Listen as Dr. Mark Hyman discusses why vegetable oils are bad:

  • Standard table salt (iodized salt) – Yes salt is essential to the human body, just as glucose is. However, just like glucose, there are healthy sources and bad sources. REAL salt, taken directly from the mine is considered a whole food and VERY healthy. It’s jam packed with dozens upon dozens of mineral your body needs.  However, manufacturers got their hands on it, stripped all these wonderful nutrients from it, and destroy it even further by adding drying chemicals to it. Now, since every ounce of nutrient has been stripped from the salt at this point, toxic levels of potassium iodide are added back in, along with dextrose, and anti-caking agents. It’s then bleached white. (YUM!)  (1)
    • Use pure forms of sea salt/rock salt, such as Celtic or Himalayan Salt
    • Here Dr. Axe talks about Salt:
  • Artificial sweeteners/Anything marked “sugar-free” – We have touched on artificial sweeteners in my Ultimate Guide to Nutrients series. These are just plain nasty, they are excitotoxins which destroy brain cells. Anything marked “sugar free” will contain these dangerous chemicals. If you want a zero-calorie sweetener use stevia or monk fruit. Or, better yet, use manuka honey, a real super food.
  • The dirty dozen– If you can’t afford to eat all organic food, at least eat these 12 foods in organic form. These 12 foods are the fruits and veggies most contaminated with pesticides. (10)
    • Peaches
    • Apples
    • Sweet Bell Peppers
    • Celery
    • Nectarines
    • Strawberries
    • Cherries
    • Pears
    • Grapes (Imported)
    • Spinach
    • Lettuce
    • Potatoes
  • energy bars/protein bars – Just think of these as another sugar disaster, and more like a candy bar than a health bar. For a side by side comparison, visit Alloy.com.
  • bottled salad dressing – Bottled salad dressing is usually made with soy oil, or other refined oil. They also contain high amounts of sugar. 2 tablespoons of your favorite brand has, on average 6 grams of sugar. Light versions aren’t much better.
  • processed meat/cheese – These foods aren’t really food at all, but a series of chemicals masquerading  as food. (3)
    • “American” cheese- a bit of milk fat/solids mixed with whey protein, emulsifiers and food coloring..
    • Processed “deli” meat- This includes deli meat as well as hot dogs, sausages and bacon. – They contain nitrates, nitrites, chemicals and preservatives. They contain 400 % more sodium and 50% more preservatives than unprocessed red meat.
  • Soda-both diet and regular – Simply put, they are very unhealthy. They are filled with either sugar or artificial sweeteners, neither of which you need.
  • Conventional chicken/eggs – Some reports indicate chicken feed contains traces of caffeine, Tylenol, Benadryl, banned antibiotics, and arsenic. (3) Opt for organic pasture raised or free range chicken and eggs.
  • non-organic corn/soy– Corn and soy are the 2 most genetically modified organisms in the country (USA). They are resistant to herbicides. They are also modified to produce a pesticide, which kills bugs that eat it. (Yuk). So, essentially, when you’re eating GMO corn/soy, you are eating a pesticide. You can still enjoy corn/soy, just choose ORGANIC soy and corn instead (7)
  • flavored yogurt (even if it says light) – Flavored yogurts are FILLED with sugar. A 6 ounce container of Yoplait contains 27 grams of sugar. You’re better off eating a Krispy Kreme donut which has 10 grams of sugar. The light version of Yoplait isn’t any better, with 14 grams of sugar. Instead, buy plain yogurt and add fruit, and a bit of Manuka honey or stevia for sweetenerScreen Shot 2017-06-13 at 10.56.04 AM
  • energy drinks – They contain the caffeine equivalent of FOUR cokes and 13 teaspoons of sugar (or 52 grams of sugar!) I think that’s enough said! (15)
  • Swordfish, shark, tilefish, swai, king mackeral – In a word…MERCURY. The larger the fish, the higher the mercury levels. These fish are notoriously high in mercury.
  • Canned tomatoes (or any canned food) – I am just as guilty as anyone for using canned foods. They are just so convenient. Unfortunately,  the cans are lined with bisphenol-A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen. Canned tomatoes are especially vulnerable, because the acid draws the chemical into the tomato. If you love the convenience of canned foods, try glass containers or tera pak boxes, such as Pomi.

Sources:

  1. https://draxe.com/health-foods-you-should-never-eat/
  2. https://draxe.com/the-dangers-of-farmed-fish/
  3. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/advice/a37388/foods-you-should-never-eat/
  4. http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/7-foods-that-should-never-cross-your-lips/slide/3
  5. http://www.eatthis.com/foods-to-stay-young
  6. http://www.eatthis.com/unhealthiest-foods-on-the-planet
  7. https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/food/food-ingredients-avoid%3Fslide%3D1
  8. http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/25-foods-you-shouldnt-eat
  9. http://www.activebeat.com/diet-nutrition/13-healthy-foods-to-avoid-for-weight-loss/7/
  10. https://authoritynutrition.com/agave-nectar-is-even-worse-than-sugar/
  11. http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214
  12. https://www.health.act.gov.au/sites/default/files/Fact%20sheets/Sugar%20Content%20of%20Popular%20Drinks%20-%20Considerations%20for%20Children%20in%20Sport.pdf
  13. http://www.sugarstacks.com/snacks.htm
  14. https://www.krispykreme.com/menu/Doughnuts/Original-Glazed
  15. https://www.greenprophet.com/2012/05/5-reasons-avoid-energy-drinks/