Archive | September, 2013

“When I lose weight, I will…”

29 Sep
Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson

Have you ever said, “When I lose weight, I will…”

  • ask for a raise
  • leave my unhealthy relationship
  • buy new clothes
  • socialize more

Or maybe you’ve said, “When I have more money, I will…”

  • join a gym
  • eat healthier
  • travel more
  • pursue my dream job

Whatever it is, we’ve all said the “When I’m…” statements before. We think there is something wrong with our physical being (not attractive enough, not thin enough, not wealthy enough) or our mental and emotional being (not smart enough, not talented enough). We believe we need to be a photoshopped version of ourselves to achieve happiness. Well, that is just a brown paper bag of poo set ablaze and left at our feet by the negative voice in our head.

We aren’t that voice.

I use to think that if I was prettier, smarter, wealthier, life would be better. I’d travel more, meet a wonderful man, pursue my dream job and have a life full of butterfly-colored unicorns dancing on rainbows. I finally realized the list I made about all the things I’d do if I were prettier, smarter or had more money was the root to my happiness. If I wanted to pursue my dream job, then I better start doing what I love and if I wanted to be in a loving relationship with an amazing man, I better get off my couch and get out there. I finally realized that waiting to be those things was costing me those exact things I wanted—it was costing me happiness NOW. And what if (*gasp*) I already was enough? How freeing would it be to believe you are enough?

Guess what my hot-to-trot friend? You are enough. We all are. It’s time for all of us to re-write our message and kick that negative Nancy or Ned out of our head. What is more true: (1) Losing weight will turn your significant other into the person of your dreams who treats you with love and kindness or (2) Leaving your unhealthy relationship will free you to meet other people who bring joy and support to your life so you find yourself stressing less, choosing to treat yourself better and the pounds begin to fall off? I encourage you to insert your own personal scenario into that statement. Change is difficult and it’s okay to be scared of the unknown. It’s okay to have real, human feelings. But realize this, you have the choice to change your life and be happy NOW. You don’t have to wait to live. What if you asked for that raise you deserve? You joined that gym? You decided you’d rather be single and happy than dating and miserable? Ooooh!!! I get goosebumps just thinking about all of the amazing talents you bring to the world and the joy you can create for yourself if you choose to believe and take action. I know from experience that the first step always takes the most courage, but it offers the most growth as well.

So, what’s buzzing in that beautiful brain of yours? What is it costing you to hold on to things/relationships that bring unhappiness? How is it serving you? What is one thing you can do to step into your happiness? I ask you these questions, because these are the questions I needed to answer myself… and it ain’t always pretty. My rock bottom was illness and a controlling environment… and while the journey isn’t always easy, the opportunity to reinvent yourself and step into happiness is worth it. Is that a butterfly-colored unicorn salsa dancing on a rainbow? Yes. Yes it is.

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Fresh Herbs Any Thyme

23 Sep
My very own green goddesses.

My very own green goddesses.

I love going out to my garden and picking fresh cilantro for guacamole or basil for homemade pizza sauce. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have fresh herbs all year long to dress up your favorite dish? Here are some tips for year round herbs that trump grocery store dried varieties any day of the week.

Indoor Garden. Many herbs like oregano, marjoram, chives, basil, cilantro, thyme, mint, rosemary and lavender do wonderful indoors if started from seed or a starter plant. Invest in good potting soil and a nice clay pot (plastic doesn’t work well). Keep these green beauties trimmed, well watered and cozy in bright direct light and warm temps above 60°. If you are looking at bringing the outdoors in, it is best to transplant your herbs in September before the first frost hits. Cilantro and basil do not work well as transplant herbs, but the others do just fine. Again, place them in clay pots with good potting soil and slowly acclimate them to lower light levels before moving them indoors for good.

Dry Out. My dad dried basil last winter and it worked beautifully! All you need is some string and brown paper bags. First, clean and pat dry the herbs keeping leaves on the stems. Once herbs are dry, tie the stems together, place them in a paper bag and hang them upside down to dry for 4-6 weeks. Pick the dried leaves off the stem and place them in a tightly sealed container. Do not crush the leaves until you are ready to use them in your recipe. Crushing them will release their aromatic oils which adds all of the flavor and aroma to your tasty dishes.

Freeze In Fat. Freezing your herbs in a fat such as olive oil helps preserve the lovely oils that add so much flavor to your wintry stews. For this method, you’ll want to pick the leaves off the stems, wash and dry them in a salad spinner or pat dry with a paper towel. Place the leaves in a food processor with olive oil (1/3 cup olive oil for every 2 cups of leaves). Process the herbs until they are finely chopped and place 1 cup of the herb-oil mixture into a 1-quart zip-top bag and lay the bag flat in the freezer so the mixture will freeze in a nice, even layer. Use within 6 months by cutting off as much of the herb oil you need for pestos, soups, stews, salad dressings, hummus and more.

Top 3 Tips for Fat Loss

15 Sep

Vegetables

Losing fat doesn’t mean exercising hours per day or eating celery sticks with oatmeal. Amen! Serve yourself a guacamole topped taco salad and let’s chat fat.

1. Make Muscle. Most of us seek the fat loss train on the treadmill, but muscle mass is the true engine to your fat burning bliss. So step off the treadmill at least three times per week and dedicate that time towards strength training instead. More lean muscle mass = less body fat, more energy, higher metabolism, increased strength and bone density, healthy hormones and better overall health.

2. Pack in the Protein and Vegetables. Protein and vegetables are the special sauce in your daily nutrition routine. In Geek Speak, protein is the building block of all of our tissues and enzymes, while vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals–key components for healthy physiological function. Both of these powerhouses help us stay full and keep our blood sugar levels stable.

3. Eat to Lose. Well, I don’t mind if I do! Many times we think we need to drastically cut calories to lose weight. You might lose weight at first, but it is at the cost of your lean muscle mass, not fat. Plus, very low caloric intake will put your body on high alert starvation mode, helping you hold on to fat for energy and not burn it. Instead, eat reasonable portions every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism revved, your blood sugar levels balanced and your body a fat-burning machine.

Let’s put this into action now. What tip can you incorporate today? What small step can you take to be your best, healthy self?

For more great exercise and nutrition tips, visit this blog or my Facebook page.

Cilantro Lime Scallops with Mango Salsa

9 Sep

So, I originally created this recipe for a guy I was interested in. Of course I had a “trial run” with my friend, Lynn, to make sure it was as delicious as it sounded in my head. The recipe was a success! (The guy? Not the right one.)

IMG_1524

Ingredients:

Scallops:

1 lb sea scallops

1 lime, juiced

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 tsp crushed dried red chile flakes

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Mango Salsa:

1 mango, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 lime, juiced

pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)

salt to taste

Salad:

4 cups romaine lettuce, spinach or arugula

2 avocados, chopped

8 slices of nitrate free turkey bacon

1 bunch asparagus, steamed and cut into 2 in. lengths

6 carrots, chopped

1/8 cup macadamia nuts, crushed

Directions:

1. Chop asparagus into 2-inch pieces, steam for 3-5 minutes, blanch with cold water, pat dry and set aside for salad.

2. Place scallops in sauté pan with olive oil, lime juice, red chili flakes, cilantro, salt and pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes. Cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes each side or until scallops are opaque.

3. While scallops are sitting and marinading, bake bacon for 20 minutes at 350°. Drain grease or pat dry with a towel. Chop and set aside.

4. To make salsa, combine all salsa ingredients in a dish and mix well.

5. Combine all salad ingredients together and top with scallops and salsa.

Serves 4-5

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Bell

For more great recipes and tips, follow me on my blog, Facebook or Twitter. If you’d like to work with me on fitness, nutrition and life coaching, schedule a VIP Day or schedule a workshop, please contact me on Facebook or call 402-819-8970.

Pre-, Intra- and Post-Exercise Nutrition

2 Sep
Post-Workout Bliss: 1/4 lb grass fed beef, sauteed green beans and sweet potato hash.

Post-Workout Bliss: 1/4 lb grass fed beef, sauteed green beans and sweet potato hash.

I love my post-workout meal. I literally dream about it the night before, finalizing every last detail until it sounds a-ma-zing. That is not an exaggeration. In fact, I’m writing this blog in a post-workout meal induced haze of satisfaction and muscle fatigue. Bliss, baby…

… and I want to share it with you! Join me on my nutrition caravan for tips on how to properly ensure you have fuel in the tank, how to refuel for long trips and how to ensure your tank is properly fueled so you can continue on your journey of energy, strength and confidence. Cue the road trippin’ music.

1. Hydrate. Drinking water is always key to great performance and recovery. Your daily goal should be to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water daily plus more when you are sweating. For example, a 150 lb individual should drink a minimum of 75 oz of water spread throughout the day.

2. Pre-Workout: Start with Fuel in Your Tank. Whether you exercise at 5am or 5pm, you need to make sure you eat a little bit of protein and carbs 30-60 minutes before your workout. This can be as simple as a banana with almond butter or a protein shake. The most important thing is that you choose foods that digest easily, settle in your stomach and give you enough energy so you don’t bonk during your 45-60 minute workout. If you’ve ever felt weak, faint, nauseous, etc. during a workout and you don’t have the flu/illness, you better get your pre-party on and investigate what you are or aren’t eating.

3. Intra-Workout: Refuel for Duration. This truly applies to those endurance athletes who are exercising for 60+ minutes. Your body can only maintain certain intensities for so long before you are completely depleted. Again, opt for foods that settle well in your stomach, but give you quick energy. Fresh fruit and GU packets work well along with energy bars and peanut butter sandwiches for longer events. Refuel every 45-50 minutes.

4. Post-Workout: Refuel for Life. Immediately to 30 minutes following your workout, refuel with a healthy mix of protein, vegetables and starches. Choose a clean protein source of poultry, fish, eggs, beef/bison or protein powder (no antibiotic or hormone treated animals please), 1-2 cups of vegetables and a nutrient packed starch like yams, quinoa, rice, etc. The protein will help repair all tissues, the vegetables will add vitamins, minerals and fiber and the starch will help transport the protein while replenishing energy stores.

5. Use the Correct Fuel. You wouldn’t refuel your car with the wrong type of fuel would you? Your body is no different. Choose real food over processed foods like pastries and instant meals. Your body’s performance, energy and aesthetics are directly related to the quality of food you are feeding it. Be good to your bod.

This is a simplified guideline for exercise nutrition. If you are experiencing issues with recovery, injuries, dehydration, performance, etc. or want to learn more, please contact me for a specific nutrition plan tailored for your unique needs.