Monday, August 22, 2011

Giveaway Time: Win a Trader Joe's Gift Card

I've mentioned in previous posts that I am studying to become certified as a Health and Nutrition Coach.  I'm half-way through my one year program with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  I'm a counselor at a middle school during my day job, however I've always looked for something to do on the side that has nothing to do with school work....that utilizes my skills and interests.....but that ultimately helps people.  While this was no small order to sort out, my path, journey, whatever you want to call it led me to this point.  

You can check out my business website here to learn more about what I do as a Health and Nutrition Coach.

So here's my current offer:  
Schedule a complimentary one-hour health assessment with me between now and Sunday, September 4th, and you will automatically enter your name into a drawing to win a $20 gift card from one of my favorite places to shop....

The winner will be announced Monday, September 5th.

Complimentary health assessments (and health and nutrition coaching services) can be done face-to face, over the phone, Skype, or Facetime, so it does not matter where you live.

So you spend nothing.  You get undivided attention, guidance, and the time you deserve, and you can even get $20 off at Trader Joe's.

What Do We Do in a Complimentary Health Assessment?
We meet for one hour to discuss everything and anything about your health and nutrition free of distractions, noise, or stress.  As a Health and Nutriton Coach I'll help guide you along your path to find the answers you are seeking.  

How Do I Schedule My Complimentary Health Assessment?
Call me:  317.919.3848
Send me a message on Facebook

1.  "Like" me on Facebook at Cspinhealthy and get your name entered an extra time (if you already "Liked" my page, just let me know.)

2.  Follow me on Twitter at @Cspinhealthy and get your name entered an extra time (again...if you already are following me, just let me know.)

3.  Post this offer on your Facebook page and get your name entered an extra time.

4.  Tweet this blog entry on your Twitter account and get your name entered an extra time.

5.  Blog about this opportunity on your blog and get your name entered an extra time.

You can schedule a complimentary health assessment and actually have your name entered 6 TIMES to win a $20 gift card to Trader Joe's! 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Guest Blogger Shares Her Story

Off the grid and long overdue.  Since returning to school after summer break, I've neglected the mess of stuff in my head to blog about (stay tuned!), so here's number one:  

Emily is a dear friend of mine who currently lives in the Middle East (that's not a typo....I mean THE Middle East!).  She has been a blog follower and supporter and recently shared her own story with me.  Given her rich cultural experiences, her zest for great food, and her keen outlook on life, I had to have her share her insights on eating and her path to a sustainable, dietary, lifestyle.  And check out her before and after pics!!!!!!!!  I'm so proud of her!

Here goes....

No Counting? Count Me In!

I currently live in Beirut, one of the world capitals of GOOD FOOD.  Hummus, kefta (barbecued spiced ground lamb), tabbouleh (parsley salad with bulgur and mint), fatouch (garden salad with sumaq and baked bread chips with zaatar [thyme]), tahini salad (tomato, cucumber, and onion salad with thick sesame seed and lemon juice dressing)…..

For the most part, these sound pretty healthy, right? Fresh produce abounds in the Middle East and especially in Lebanon, from the sweetest cucumbers to the juiciest citrus fruits in the South.  You haven’t tasted grapes until you’ve pulled them (and their leaves) directly from the vine growing over your (*cough* or your neighbor’s….) patio.  Those grape leave you can use later to make doualeh (grape leaves stuffed and rolled with rice, tomato, and sometimes ground lamb, and boiled in stock until they melt in your mouth).

While Lebanon entices the tongue with all of its Mediterranean cuisine, Lebanon is also known as the gateway to the West.  That privilege comes with easy access to the heavy Western food that I can’t resist: pizza, hamburgers, pasta, French fries…  And even though I’m not a huge fan, fast food is widely available: McDonald’s, Hardee’s Burger King.  Lebanon’s national motto could be: “You want it?  You got it.”  It’s not hard to find most anything you want here.

Lebanon also specializes in scrumptious sweets: beqlawi (baklava), knafeh (sweet cheese and sugared phyllo dough served on soft, fruity bread drenched with sugared rose water), petit fours, fresh tamar (dates), custard, ice cream, sfouf and basbousa (sweet semolina cakes), maamoul (date cookies)…….  The list could go on for 2 miles.  Sweets? Can’t stay away from them for anything.  If it’s got sugar, it will find its way into my mouth.

So in the past 2 ½ years that I’ve lived overseas in Beirut, I’ve slowly packed on the pounds.  I exercise regularly, so I was able to stave off more pounds that probably should be on my hips.  But when my husband and I traveled to the States this past Christmas, I was at my highest weight ever.  Like a lot of people, I’ve always struggled with my weight, but to be at an all-time high was just shameful.  Unfortunately, nothing stopped me from packing on the usual holiday pounds as well as the “We’re so glad you’re finally back!” pounds from countless dinners with family and friends.

It was definitely time for a change.  In the past, I had done WeightWatchers, sometimes successfully, but more often than not, within days of starting over, I’d just start using the POINTS to eat whatever I wanted within (and without!) my POINTS range.  Cake is 7 points? I shall enjoy!  Three pieces of pizza?  Sure!  In the end, I was feeding my body junk, feeling lethargic, and not losing any weight.  In my opinion, WeightWatchers does not emphasize nearly enough the importance of what kinds of foods to eat; they rely too heavily on sweet substitutes that still aren’t doing your body any good. knew I couldn’t do that cycle again.

I researched some other plans and came across the South Beach Diet.  I had heard of the South Beach Diet, but when it first came out, its name made it seem like such a fad.  After finding the first edition of the book on the clearance rack for $2.00 (thank you, Half Price Books in Indy), I read it within a week.  I was blown away: it made sense.  Maintain an appropriate blood sugar level to keep from binging on sweets and carbs that only tax pretty much every body system.  Make your body work to extract nutrients from the foods you eat instead of serving your body simple sugar.

I decided to go for it.  Eat from the approved food list.  Phase I: Ditch pretty much all carbs and sugar (including fruit) for 2 straight weeks, restoring blood sugar to a normal level. After that first day, by ditching simple carbs, you're teaching your body to reach for long-term satisfaction foods, not sugary fillers that will make you hungry within an hour. Phase II: Reintroduce some carbs slowly, and eat from a new list of approved foods in addition to the other already-approved foods from Phase II.  After reaching goal weight, move to Phase III:  Seemingly all foods are “approved,” within reason.  By that point you'll know what your triggers are and how to manage them.

For me, South Beach is a sustainable diet.  I’ve lost a solid 20 pounds in the last few months, and for the first time, those pounds are staying off.  I'm not kidding when I say that I crave vegetables with my dinner now.

Over the years, cooking has become one of my heart’s passions, and the South Beach book itself comes with tons of recipes.  They’re good; not “out of this world” fantastic dishes, but solid recipes.  My real cooking savior has been Kalyn’s Kitchen, a home-cooking blog that features healthy, low-glycemic recipes.  The blog’s author, Kalyn Denny, had major success with the South Beach Diet, and initially started the blog as a way to keep track of all the recipes she was trading with friends.  Kalyn is one of my cooking heroes.

I don't like too much restriction (like WW POINTS or an all-or-nothing food list like Paleo), but I do need guidance (like the SBD flexible food lists), and I need lots of grace.  I go off plan.  Frequently.  Sorry, but if someone visits us and brings baklava with them, I’m eating it.  Something I love about the South Beach Diet is that when you screw up, or you go off plan for a bit, there's no panicking that you don't have enough POINTS to make it through the week.  You just start over again with the next meal.  Or you go back to Phase I for a week or two.  I'm sure that others can do that with WW, but I never could.  I would just eat whatever I wanted until the next Monday rolled around, and hop on the crazed merry-go-round all over again.  Had I not strayed on the South Beach Diet, I could have probably met close to my goal weight by now, but for now I’m cool with this steady weight loss.

No counting POINTS.  Or calories.  Or carbs.  Or fats. Or portion sizes. Or anything.  As those “Hooked on Phonics” kids might say, “The Sauth Beech Dyat werks fer me!”


Monday, August 8, 2011

Great Crossfit Pub

Even though it's not the Indianapolis Colts, this is great pub for Crossfit and it's benefits.  DO NOT think that just because this is a world class professional athlete that this can not apply to you.  It can.  It does.

If you have never tried Crossfit, you should.  It just might change your life as it has mine.  Thank you CFC.

Gettin' my wallball on

Thursday, August 4, 2011

White Men Can Jump

This is my friend Keith, a friend at Crossfit Carmel.  He's a healthy dude and I just thought this was worth posting.  He's a heck of an athlete and I learn a ton from just being around him.  

Yesterday's Crossfit W.O.D. (Workout of the Day) was the following:

AMRAP (As Many Round as Possible) in 20 minutes of:

10 deadlifts (185 lbs.)
200 meter run
1 max box jump

KEITH:  10 rounds/52 inch box jump!

Backyard Friend

Found this little guy in our backyard finding his healthy food.


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