Tag Archives: Stephanie Bell Wellness

Q and A: Calories In Vs. Calories Out

9 Mar
My perfect portion plate.

My perfect portion plate.

“Is eating healthy truly as simple as calories in verses calories out?” No… and a smidgen yes. Sometimes as a health coach, I feel that I’m unintentionally giving a Glomar response to nutritional questions, a “we can neither confirm nor deny” answer. The simple truth is that nothing is black or white, and we tend to ask questions that lead to a response that will either 1) justify our old habits or 2) justify fad habits. However, I also think that these questions are incredibly valid. So, once per month we’re going to dive into the tasty, thick and sometimes heated guacamole waters of nutritional enigmas. Shall we?

 

Calories In Vs. Calories Out

The “smidgen yes” part is easy to answer. If we eat too much in relation to our body’s needs (size, metabolism, etc.) and our activity level, then of course we will gain weight. This line is different for everyone, but your body is a smarty-pants and will tell you whether you’ve eaten too much or too little (or if the ratio of protein to fat to carbohydrates isn’t right). Feel bloated, stuffed, sick or aren’t hungry for the next 5 hours? Too much. Feel hungry or light-headed 30 minutes after eating? Too little.

 

The reason why I like to emphasize visual portion sizes and mind-body awareness over counting calories is because I think counting calories (or measuring food) for life isn’t realistic and can make one neurotic (hmm… does my sudden switch to third person signify that I’m speaking from personal experience?), that listening to our body’s signals develops a much healthier relationship to food and that calories do not differentiate quality of food. Eating 100 calories of almonds compared to a 100-calorie snack pack of mini-chocolate chip cookies is like comparing Stevie Wonder to a beta fish trying to play the banjo. Sure, it’s great at first, but then you realize how freakishly genetically altered it is and that you have a massive headache because of how awful it sounds. Stevie Wonder on the other hand? Never awful, always makes you feel satisfied, energized and wanting the best quality of music… err, food. What are we talking about?

 

Since our nutritional needs are as unique as our body, it makes sense to use our body as a portion tool. A healthy plate of food, generally speaking, will contain your unique palm size portion of protein (whether vegetarian or meat options), 2 fist size portions of vegetables and a thumblength of fat (including the fat in your protein; this one is a bit trickier so to put it in perspective: ¼ to ½ avocado, 6-10 pecans on your roasted Brussels’ Sprouts or 2 tsp of olive oil based dressing on your salad).

 

Put It Into Action

1. Listen to your body and write notes on how you feel (bloated, still hungry, stuffed, etc.) after eating.

2. Start serving your portions in relation to your body (fist and handful). Let’s start with dinner. Include a source of protein, vegetables and fat.

 

3. Leave a comment and let me know how it’s going.

 

To develop more behaviors for the health you deserve, contact me at 402-819-8970 or stephsbell@yahoo.com.

Top 3 Workout Mistakes That Hinder Results

12 Aug

If yofruit dumbbellsu are exercising daily, but not seeing the results you want, then you might be making these common workout mistakes.

1. Performing Long Duration Cardio for Fat Loss. Running has always been perceived as the Holy Grail for fat loss, but it may very well be one of the biggest factors as to why you ARE NOT burning fat. Say what?! While cardiovascular exercise is an important part of a well-rounded exercise program, pounding the pavement or doing any repetitive movement consistently for 60 minutes will actually make you an efficient fat burner. Less energy needed to do an activity = fewer calories burned. Long duration cardio also produces more cortisol which makes a nice, squishy home around your mid-section. Not cool. Rather than kickin’ it on the treadmill for 60 minutes every day, opt for strength training and interval training instead. Strength training builds muscle for an around-the-clock fat burning party and interval training improves cardiovascular health without boring the body. A perfect pairing is 3 days of strength training and 2 days of intervals. Add in stress-reducing walks or yoga on your recovery days.

2. Skipping Your Post-Workout Meal. Not eating within 30-45 minutes after your workout is like Daniel Craig keeping his shirt on throughout an entire movie–a complete muscle waster! Resistance training breaks down muscle fibers so we can rebuild them and gain strength. The only way we can repair our bodies is through proper nutrition and recovery. So after you finish your challenging weight training session or metabolic intervals, grab some grub. An ideal recovery meal consists of clean and lean protein, vegetables, fruit and a healthy starch like a yam. If the thought of a full meal after your sweatfest makes your stomach churn, blend a protein shake with pea protein, fresh and frozen fruit, raw unsweetened cacao, kale/ spinach and 6 oz of water/ coconut water/ almond milk.

3. Staying in Your Comfort Zone. Change happens when you push yourself out of your comfort zone. This can be accomplished by increasing weights in small intervals, switching your exercise program every 4-6 weeks and putting forth 100% effort. If you are squatting for 10 reps and feel like you could do 10 more reps, then the weight isn’t heavy enough–challenge yourself and increase it so you can only do 1-2 more reps with good form. Not tired after your 20 second interval and feel like 30 seconds is too long of a break–push yourself and go faster (without sacrificing form). Going out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean entering your pain zone. “No pain, no gain” is lame. Challenge yourself to be your best. You are your greatest competition.

Incorporating these 3 tips along with healthy eating (you can’t out-train a poor diet) will help you achieve the life you deserve. After all, a little daily sweat equity and optimal nutrition is well worth a lifetime of happiness.

For more health and fitness tips, visit Stephanie Bell Wellness on Facebook.

Tuna Salad with Cashew Mayonnaise

9 Jul

IMG_1609

Summer is the perfect time to give your oven and stovetop a break and enjoy a lovely picnic with family and friends. The vegan Cashew Mayonnaise is a healthy dairy and egg-free alternative for this easy summer dish.

Ingredients for Tuna Salad:

2 5 oz cans no sodium added albacore tuna packed in water, drained

5 celery stalks, chopped

2 cups red grapes, cut in half

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half

1/4 cup raw pecan pieces

sea salt to taste

black pepper to taste

fresh dill to taste

1 bunch collard greens, stems removed

Ingredients for Cashew Mayonnaise:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours

1/4 cup water

1 large lemon or 2 T lemon juice

1/4 t sea salt

1/2 t garlic powder

black pepper to taste

2 T extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Place all of the Tuna Salad ingredients (except for the collard greens) in a large mixing bowl.

2. To make the Cashew Mayonnaise, place all Cashew Mayonnaise ingredients (except for olive oil) in a food processor. Blend ingredients and slowly add in the olive oil to form a creamy mayonnaise consistency.

3. Place the Cashew Mayonnaise into the Tuna Salad and mix until coated.

4. Wash and dry collard greens. Cut stem out with a knife. Overlap leaves slightly. Place tuna salad on bottom third of collard green, cold bottom portion over, fold sides in and continuing rolling until wrap is formed.

Serves 4-6 individuals