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An Easy Detox for the New Year

Friday, January 16th, 2015

With all the emphasis on clean eating, let’s talk about an easy detox for the New Year that any of us can do. Many people use the yearly calendar change to set goals. Many of these are centered around weight loss. By the middle of January, frustration begins to set in. Once you’ve blown your diet, don’t give up. Just try a different approach.

First of all, you’ve got to break the sugar cycle. Personally, I don’t even like sugary snacks however, I am addicted to them. Once I eat a little, I eat a lot at regular intervals throughout the day. If you are anything like me, the key is simply to avoid sugar all together versus use the moderation method. Sugar stimulates cravings which cause consumption which cause more cravings. Got that? If you can avoid sugar for three full days, I promise you that your cravings will improve and settle down. Three days! That isn’t an eternity. Once you can make it three days with no sugar, check your alcohol consumption. Mine almost always goes up. That nightly gin and tonic you’ve been drinking more for the sugar than anything? Switch to something with less sugar and calories or eliminate it all together. As long as you can keep it in very good control, I don’t think a couple glasses of wine a week will kill you or cause you to gain weight. Note that I said a couple glasses NOT bottles. That will definitely pack on the lbs.

Once you deal with the sugar cravings, now it is time to deal with the salt. Most people find that with the sugar under control, salt cravings are more manageable. I am a popcorn-a-holic. There is nothing I enjoy more than a bag of artificially flavored popcorn. A bag of it makes my day! At this point in our detox, it is time to get rid of the salty snacks for a few weeks. Again, the whole point of this detox is to get your cravings under control so they don’t drive you and you can make good choices. On top of this, once you break the salt/sugar cycle, real food tastes good. If you don’t believe me, head off to the grocery store and smell a grapefruit. It’s hard to crave the natural flavors of grapefruit when you pollute yourself with straight corn syrup several times a day.

Now that the sugar and salt cravings are out of your system or at least manageable, let’s get to the hard part. For me, that involves adding in a lot more salads, soups and veggies and decreasing the bread. I would still recommend bread over sugar snacks. A loaf of bread used to be my favorite snack however middle aged ladies like myself simply can’t eat so much bread anymore. Also, bread cravings are just sugar cravings in disguise so if you are really looking to tame the beast, you have to handle these too.

Once you have the cravings under control, if you are trying to drop a few pounds you won’t feel like you are tormenting yourself as you try to reduce your portions and eat more healthfully. If you can load up your meals with fruits and vegetables, lean meats and a bit of whole grains and an even smaller portion of dairy, you will be well on your way to meeting your health goals and getting your eating under control.

Slow and steady wins the race every time versus crazy crash diets.

Mid Summer Weight Loss

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Time for a mid-summer weight loss and nutrition check. I am always amazed by people who lose weight in the summer. I find it nearly impossible without a ton of intention. Here are a few tips to help you realize your summer weight loss goals.

First, sugary and salty snacks….. Packaged snacks are engineered with chemicals to stimulate your brain and make you crave more.   Stop eating them. You get no nutritive value from them.  NOTHING.  For those scarfing down a higher quality of snacks; bakery snacks….stop those too. Layer upon layer of sugar and salt stimulates cravings making you want more and more. Find a buddy that has been whining about weight loss and hold each other accountable even if it is just 24 hours with no sugary or salty snacks. If you can make it 72 hours, you can make it an entire week. Breaking the craving cycle is vital to getting your eating back on track.

Second, stop drinking so much. Again, empty calories. I didn’t say don’t drink at all just not so much. Summer brings lots of time for socializing, boating, and enjoying a glass of wine on your deck. You don’t need to give it up completely, just cut back. At 250 calories a mixed drink, 150 calories a beer or 125 calories a glass of wine, in a quantity of 3 or more, no wonder you feel bloated and that you’ve gained weight. Easy? It’s not. It’s a lot more fun to party on but it’s also a lot more fun to fit into your clothes and not huff and puff with every physical exertion.

Third, eat less. Use smaller plates or bowls to cut down on your portions. That beautiful set of plates in your cupboard, the great big ones? They are the enemy. You don’t need to replace them, just use a smaller one. You will put less on it and still feel full. Trust me on this.

Again, eat less, drink less, no snacks. Those seem like very obvious tips so there is no reason not to do them, starting today! At Active Family Chiropractic, we are here to help you reach all of your health goals. Give our Plymouth office a call today.

Exercise and Weight Loss Minus the Excuses

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

So-you made those New Year’s exercise and weight loss resolutions how many months ago? How are they going? Before BBQ, beer and boating season starts, let’s take a quick inventory. Are you feeling healthier than you did on January 1st? Are your pants still trying to kill you by strangulation? Are you leaving some desert on the table at the end of the meal or are you still a member of the clean plate club? More vegetables in your meal and less sugar, or the other way around? Before another year and five pounds go by, let’s take a notice of whether or not your habits are working for you and helping you accomplish your goals or are you just sabotoging yourself yet again.

Before we get into the exercise piece, a word of advice….You Can’t Out Run Your Fork! What are you eating? Which foods or drinks are strictly empty calories going to waste and hindering your weight loss? I would personally rather eat than drink my calories so when I am feeling pudgy the first things that I cut out are liquor, wine and sweets. After that any snacks in a bag takes a hiatus and when I begin to need emergency measures, it’s an extra dose of vegetables and I skip the bread. (I really hate when that happens!)

Once I get a handle on my nutrition and the cravings start to subside and I am actually eating really well, then I start to retool the exercise program. This time of year is always the toughest for me. It isn’t consistently nice enough to be able to get on my bike every day and it isn’t cold enough to allow me to feel good about spending an hour in the gym when I could be outside. My typical strategy is; if it is nice out, I am on my bike and crummy days are spent in the weight room. Minimum of two weight lifting days per week. What is the best exercise to lose weight and reshape your body? It’s not endless hours of cardio. It’s the weight training. If hours of sitting on my bike could make my butt smaller, I would be a toothpick. It doesn’t work. Cardiovascular exercise is great for your heart, but it typically just makes you hungrier. Building your muscles is the best way to lean out. No…it doesn’t make you bulkier. Lifting weights prevents osteoporosis, strengthens your muscles, prevents injuries and makes you look great so stop with the multitude of exuses and get to the gym.

Before another year gets away from you and you move up a pants size, get your diet and exercise program under control. If you keep telling yourself, I’ve only gained three pounds over the last three months, just be prepared to weigh 12 pounds more by the end of the year.

Workout Snacks by Health Guru Jina Schaefer

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Discover Health

Looking for healthy workout snacks?  More and more of my clients struggle to find more natural food choices to keep them fueled during or after an endurance event or longer training sessions (over 60 minutes) since most of the options seem pretty processed. When it comes to endurance events or longer training sessions, it’s best to stay hydrated and fueled. Think replenish instead of replace. Below are some ideas for you to stay fueled and hydrated during and right after your endurance event:
• Frozen grapes are sweet and refreshing and can easily be carried with you in a small sandwich bag. They are also easy to eat on the go. To prepare the grapes, cut them in half and then freeze. During the event or training session when you are ready for a snack, pop one in your mouth and slowly eat. It’s like a snack and a bit of water rolled into one!
• If you like to use energy gels an alternative would be some local, natural honey. Not only will it help you refuel, but it will also give your immunity a boost.
• To replace electrolytes after a longer training session or event, replenish your body with 100% natural coconut water Instead of Gatorade, Powerade or other juice. These drinks can be loaded with artificial sweeteners among other questionable things.
Your body can process about 200-300 calories into energy per hour. Think of this when determining portion sizes and how often you should eat during the event or training session.

Jina Schaefer, founder of Discover Health, has been helping people reach their wellness and weight loss goals since 2002. Check out her company’s website for more information on Jina and her programs.

Breakfast Tips for Kids

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

With the decreasing ability of children to concentrate throughout the day, parents are searching for solutions. Many parents want to go the natural route and do what they can without the use of drugs to help their children. Children’s diets are critical to giving them sustained calm energy throughout the day.

I see too many 10 year old kids in the line at Starbucks before school grabbing their iced coffee cooler or mocha lattes. I am always shocked that any parent would allow their kid to eat something like this-EVER. It is especially shocking considering that this is supposed to fuel them until lunchtime and they are expected to concentrate and behave throughout the day.

For kids to concentrate they need good quality whole foods, a balance of carbohydrates and protein and very little sugar. Here are a few do’s and don’t for breakfast with your kids.

Do Try to get some protein in them before they leave their house in the morning. If they like yogurt, try mixing a scoop of protein powder into the yogurt. A good quality protein powder makes the yogurt taste like pudding. Lots of kids like it.

Do Get creative and try to make they a fruit smoothie with the protein powder as well. If you leave it with just fruit it is very sugary so adding the protein powder to balance it is virtually tasteless, helps make it a bit thicker and shake like and is healthier.

Do Use whole foods. While these ideas with protein powder added are better than their average breakfast, whole foods are better. How about a vegetable omelet? Cut up veggies they like ahead of time and add them to the eggs each morning. It won’t take more than 5-7 minutes to make and your kid is out the door with a healthy breakfast. If you can’t find veggies they like, you need to start improving your cooking skills now and model healthy eating for them. Kids usually won’t eat what parents themselves don’t enjoy.

Don’t Start the day with a sugary cereal or really any kind of cereal. Most are very high in sugar, take minutes to break down in their bodies and send their blood sugar spiking and then dropping very quickly. Also-they have very little protein and….the vitamin fortified cereals….hate to break it to you…I’d love to test the bioavailability of the vitamins added to the cereal. I’m guessing there isn’t a lot of nutritional value coming through. Empty calories.

Don’t Allow them to start their day with a pop or coffee or any other sugar and caffeine laden beverage. Adding all those chemicals to their little bodies at a young age isn’t good for them.

Don’t This should go without saying but the energy drinks that are so prevalent today…not good for you…not good for your kids. This is just good common sense. The amount of sugar and caffeine and chemicals in these beverages make the kids in the line at Starbucks look like they are getting health food.

Healthy Detox Diets–LifeTime Fitness Article

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

11 Day Detox Diet From Experience Life Magazine

As a chiropractor, I am frequently asked about fad diets, my dietary preferences and supplements. This field is changing constantly and I feel that to be an expert in nutrition, it has to be a full time job. None the less, I’d like to share an article today about an 11 day detox program that I recently tried.

The article I read was in Experience Life Magazine, put out by Life Time Fitness that gave me a very clear and concise game plan to follow.

For the last ten years, I have done a detox plan at least once a year. It seems that sometimes no matter how hard I try, once off track with my diet, I can’t get back on. I end up feeling bloated, gaining a couple pounds and have irresistible cravings. Salt, sugar, fat, salt…sugar…fat…repeat. You get the idea! This is when I know that I need to do a detox diet. Typically, I start off by eliminating either sugar or alcohol since my sugar cravings are the worst. I then eliminate all bread, white rice, pasta, all products made from white flour and simple carbs of any kind. After about a week of this, I do a one day juice fast and then typically eat with a lot more intention for awhile until my diet all goes to hell again.

What was different about this detox, is that I felt so good when I was on it, weeks later I still am sticking to parts of the program. Though I have given many workshops on nutrition, I am the quintessential “do as I say, not as I do” when it comes to nutrition. I knew logically why you should eat small meals, but didn’t really understand how that was possible. After a couple weeks on this detox plan, I felt great by constantly and consistently fueling myself with small meals throughout the day. I would highly recommend taking a look at this article and trying it yourself.

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