Sunday, July 29, 2012

Speaking Volumes!

Two years ago I set out on a mission.  I was looking to do something away from my full time job as a school counselor.  I knew I wanted this to be something that had nothing to do with my school job and it had to be something I had a passion for.  

Today, two years later.....MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  

The following reflection from my latest client SPEAKS VOLUMES as to why I chose to become a Certified Health and Nutrition Coach.  
For the past 3 months, in the wake of moving and losing control over my home environment, I decided to take back some control where I could: my body, and in particular, what I put into it.  I started with wanting to eat fewer processed foods; however, I also wanted to lose 15 pounds this summer, which would involve also limiting processed carbohydrates and sugars in my diet.  I took up the challenge.  So far I have lost around 10 pounds, and it's been surprisingly easy.

When I hear someone lost weight, the first thing I ask is "What did you eat?" Sure, I ate Brussels sprouts, kale, Swiss chard, green beans, lettuce, asparagus, cauliflower, and broccoli, among other things.  Lots of broccoli.  Spaghetti squash instead of pasta.  I skipped the chips.  No buns during a cookout.  All my burritos "naked" and without rice.  BUT.  What else did I eat?  While certainly not all-inclusive, I'll give you a list:

cupcakes (I baked 'em . . . )
cake (Yep, I baked this too.)
dinner rolls
cheesecake (The awesome chocolate mousse cheesecake at Ruth's Chris.)
beer (Light and not-so-light . . . )
margaritas (I make the very best.)
pie: peanut butter, peach, sugar cream
strawberry shortcake (Especially the AMAZING one at Ted's.)
fig newtons
s'mores (Another specialty -- chocolate graham crackers with strawberry marshmallows.)
frozen yogurt with oreos, cookie dough and hot peanut butter . . .
funnel cake
spiral spuds

In writing this list, I am actually shocked.  Mostly because I'm sure there's more. 

So, how did I do that?  I managed to eat well and follow my "plan" 90% of the time, but didn't get completely hung up on being perfect.  You only go through life once, and if there's good peanut butter pie, well, you have to try it.  So did I eat *all* of each of these?  Usually not.  Food is so much a part of our social experience that many times, you wouldn't even consider eating something if you were by yourself.  But if the dessert comes out with 4 spoons, you can do that.  By making no foods overly forbidden, then you can get by with sharing or having just a sliver.  Especially if your dinner plate was mostly greens with some lean protein and good fats.  And before that your lunch was a mixed greens salad with grilled chicken.  And before that your breakfast was Kashi Go Lean with blueberries and unsweetened almond milk.

Mostly, for me it is about trying to limit sugars in foods that really shouldn't have sugar, like a salad (the dressing) or yogurt (especially flavored).  If I'm going to have sugar, it should be intentional and deliberate, not the sugar that sneaks in when you're not vigilant. It's also a matter of frequently making a choice that perhaps has more calories, but is *real food* rather than a science experiment, as in the case of Sugar Free Syrup versus Maple Agave Nectar.  Or commercially prepared "low fat" peanut butter versus the natural foods peanut butter that is nothing but peanuts.  I'd rather take in a few more calories than hear 10 years from now that the mystery syrup ingredients cause cancer.  Also, if you're going to take in a splurge, make sure it's intentional and actually tasty.  If it's camoflage, e.g. looks great but tastes anywhere from so-so to terrible, that gets a fail.

I'm thrilled to have a better relationship with food and to feel nourished and well rather than hungry and out of control.  I hope that you too can figure out how to eat food without your food eating you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My "Ah-ha" Moment(s)

As human beings, we often look to fit in, belong, and feel satisfied.  Two-hundred days per year, I'm a school counselor often helping budding adolescents solve their problems and learn to take school seriously.  

Talk about wanting to fit in!  Dr. William Glasser, a renowned psychologist, founded two major theories that I subscribe to when working with kids.  Glasser's "Choice Theory" asserts that human beings behave to satisfy 5 basic needs.  One of those basic needs is "belonging".   Who doesn't want to feel like they fit in?  Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs addresses this as well.
In my work as a Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach, these issues come up with clients all the time.  This is why I chose the training I did.  It focuses on working with "the whole client".  I talk with clients about who they are as human beings before we ever address who they are as eaters.  

When I think about who I am as an eater, I zone in on one need:  I love eating because it gives me immediate satisfaction.  I think about what will taste good and what will feel good going down (i.e. crunchy food, cool food in the summer, savory food, etc.).  Never more has this come to my conscious than the last month.

  I've shared in a previous post that my family is experimenting with the GAPS Diet this summer.  In a nutshell, the first phase is a bone broth fast where you help repair your gut lining.  As you move into the next phases, you introduce foods back into your diet while you stay away from sugar, processed foods, and grains.  I will also remind you that my children are nine and seven years old.  They have opinions.  Needs.  

However, we have stayed the course. Well, I'd say 99% of the time.  No one is perfect, but persistence is paying off as it's rewarding to see our kids articulate they can not have something (like sweets) because it's not healthy for them.  But being a good role model is not easy.  I have needs.  Opinions!!  And so I arrive at what I came here to share with you:

I found myself looking through the cabinet a few days ago at my "witching hour" of 7:30 p.m. looking for something to snack on.  I could not find the bags of chip-like treats from Trader Joe's we used to keep.  No protein bars.  Nothing sweet!  Anywhere!!!  I wasn't terribly hungry.  Probably was just bored looking back, however eating sounded good.  The thought FELT good.  While I wanted to feel satisfied, I also had to make sure what I put in my body was something my kids, who seem to be programmed with a chip in their brain to flock to me at the crack of the cabinet door, would approve as "on our diet".  So I grabbed a small handful of almonds and took a swig of water, shut the door, and it hit me.  Removing the "stuff" that we were eliminating from our diets made me think and remember:

I have goals I'm trying to meet:  I want to lean out, lose some weight, and perform better at the gym.

If I want to meet my goals and continue to support the purpose of my wife and kids being on the GAPS Diet, THEN I DO NOT NEED TO ALWAYS EAT FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF EATING.


I HAVE TO KEEP CHANGING MY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD.  This is not always easy, fun, and sometimes it's just downright difficult. But......just realizing this has made a huge difference in my life.  It's brought to my conscious something that sounds so simple.  

And so today, I woke up, went for a short run on my off day from my Crossfit training, made an omelette with sausage from our farmer, onions and fresh kale we bought Friday at a local farmer's market.  After some errands, I came home and it hit me as I finished my lunch:  one slice of kielbasa sausage from our local farmer, cucumber slices, and some hummus from Trader Joe's.  Months ago, years ago when I was 279 lbs., this would merely have been my appetizer, my warm up course.  Today, not only was it tasty, but the portion size completely filled me up.  As I type an hour later, my stomach is not asking me for more food, and the thought of eating does not appeal to me to eat more.  

So I offer a few pieces of advice:

Get in touch with your needs as a human being.

Tap into your needs as an eater.

Try to identify what your relationship(s) is/are with food.

Establish long/short term health goals for yourself, and make them manageable.

Remove the food you consider "toxic" from your home if you can not mange portions.

Be your kids' dietary role model.
Keep in mind that it is ok to sometimes eat for sustenance.  Not every meal has to provide you with immediate joy and satisfaction.
By changing your eating habits, be open to the idea that new foods can eventually bring you the joy that old, more "toxic" foods did.
My journey with food and fitness is no different than anyone else's.  It has had peaks and valleys.  Still does.  It's not always easy.  I have days when I want to gorge myself with pizza, wings, and chips.  I fight cravings.  But I immerse myself in information, accountability, and I want to be as healthy as I can.  My family has been my food accountability system most recently.  Stay tuned for an upcoming post on my latest fitness accountability partner in an upcoming post.  

P.S.  One more piece of advice:  Find an accountability partner.  It works.  

Friday, June 22, 2012


Time to give something away!

Made veggie stir fry yesterday with the following:  

Trader Joe's Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce


one mystery noodle ingredient that is gluten free, wheat free, soy free, and zero calories.  

Guess what this noodle is made from, and I will ship some to you directly.  Just do the following:

1.  Click on this link to my Facebook page and give the page a LIKE.

2.  Post your answer underneath the same picture that you will find there.  

If a tie exists, I will randomly select one winner and announce in the next 48 hours.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

May Your Skin Be with You

For two-hundred days a year I work around budding adolescents who are more plugged in, connected, and mobile than one could ever imagine back in 1984.  Back when I cared more about fitting in, I remember a trip to the dermatologist, an old, overweight man in a long white coat with a helmet light that looked like it belonged here....

I remember leaving school to go see this clown whose diligent bedside manner left me with more than acne scars when he proclaimed in his best James Earl Jones voice to my mother in what sounded like slow motion.....

"Yoooooooooooooooouuuuuurrrr soooooooooooooooooooon haaaaaas SEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE AAAAAAAAAAACNEEEEEEEEEEEE."

I was prescribed Accutane.  It dried me out, made my nose bleed, and gave me headaches.  Great.

Nothing like returning to my locker at age 15 just wanting to fit in with SEVERE ACNE and then having to return to see Darth Dumbass Bedside Manner and all he ever asked me was, "So....seen any good movies lately?"  

"No asshole.  Seen any good, juicy boils lately?!?"  

I didn't.  But I always wanted to. 

It's memories like these that come back as I sit here attacked by different, evil skin attacking dots.....

Really???!?!  ME??!?!!  CHICKEN POX??!??!  I eat healthy.  I exercise vigorously 5-6x/week.  I eat more veggies than the average person.  I'm a damn health coach for Luke Skywalker sakes!!!  

Here we go again.  Twenty-five years later and it's time to put more scars on top of the ones that healed back when jean jackets and tape deck Walkmen ruled the world and MTV played music.  

It's been almost a week.  The itching has subsided.  The pox are crusting over, and now I look to fight the good fight.  


So what am I doing?  

Using Oatmeal Baths:  Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that helps soothe inflamed skin.  It's been huge to say the least.  

Drinking Plenty of Water Especially Coconut Water:  The nutrients in coconut water help repair damaged skin caused by chicken pox. 

Ramping Up My Leafy Greens and Fruits That are Good for the Skin:  Leafy green have beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant that helps repair the skin, and the nutrients in certain fruits can act the same.

Here's my meal plan the past several days thanks to my health coaching colleague, Teresa!


-4 apples
-1 cucumber
-handful of fresh kale

Run the above through my juicer

Add the juice into my blender and mix in the following:

-1 avocado
-3 cups of blueberries
-coconut water
-Protein Powder (optional, but I use SunWarrior)

Oh.........and I have seen some good movies lately as I have nothing better to do with so much time, but I'd never let that crusty, antiquated dermatologist know that!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Real Killer

When I was a kid, I used to be afraid this guy was going to get me

The reality is....

 THIS is going to get me.

Find out how......

Monday, June 11, 2012


I believe I've found my focus. Here's why:

Got my body fat measured at The National Institute of Fitness and Sport:  28.9%

My family started The G.A.P.S. Diet, a modified approach.  The kids have been doing great, and it's much easier to be mindful of my food when the whole family is invested.  

I've zeroed on my portion control and being mindful of what a full portion of something should be.  

I'm trying to slow down when I eat.  Never easy.

I've stared another blog with a close friend of mine as an accountability measure with working out.  

In three months, I'll return to the Bod Pod and get my body fat retested.  


Monday, June 4, 2012

The 2 Step

I'm doing a 2 step this week, but I'm no dancer.

Step 1:  I'm starting the GAPS Diet with my family.  We need a good cleanse, and we are also searching for a holistic way to treat our daughter's skin issues.  I also need a jumpstart for buckling down on my diet as I enter the summer months.  (I'm a school counselor during the day and have a fair amount of time in the summer.  This is when I refocus my dietary habits as I have more time to plan, cook, etc.)  

For more information, here is part 1 of 7 of a GAPS Diet lecture.

Step 2:  I'm going to sit in this on Saturday:

I'm not Mork from Ork summoning Orson, however I miss those good wholesome shows!  I want to get my body fat composition measured and this is the best way I've heard to do it.  It's a Bod Pod, and I'll be heading to the National Institute for Fitness and Sport here in Indianapolis.  As I tell my health coaching clients, "I am your accountability measure."  Well, I need my own accountability as I want to lean out and lower my body fat.  I figure this is the first step.

Nanu Nanu!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...