March 23, 2010

Why does it have to be all or nothing? Finding a balance and making it work for you.

What does it really take to eat well? People think they have to live this extreme life--no sweets, no alcohol, no eating out, exercise every single day and be "good" all the time. That does not sound fun at all! So many of my clients walk into my office feeling awful about themselves simply because they had an extra slice of bread with dinner or a cookie at a party. It is true--calories do add up and if you eat too much you likely will not achieve the weight loss goals you are striving for. However, "all or nothing" may not be the ideal approach to eating a healthy and balanced diet.

Notice how many times people say "Oh I was so bad yesterday--I ate dessert" or "I have been so good all week--I made it to the gym every day after work." You will be surprised at how often we break life up into "good" and "bad" which really puts a lot of pressure on us. There is no way we can be "good" all the time. Why does the other option mean we are "bad?"

There has to be a balance. Life happens. Enjoy it! If you beat yourself up every time you are "bad" you are never going to get the hang of finding a happy place in the middle. The goal is to find a way to eat well and live well and be at peace doing things in moderation. There are strategies you can use to set yourself up for success.

Here are some ways to get you started:
Eat before going out! You never want to walk into a party or sit down at a restaurant ravenous. It is a recipe for disaster and you will likely overeat. Eat a small balanced snack at home or at the office before you head out. Grab some protein like low fat yogurt or cottage cheese, low fat string cheese, 2 TB almonds or turkey slices paired with a carbohydrate such as a piece of fruit, cut up veggies or a serving of whole grain bread or crackers.

Don't forget your workouts. Workouts always seem like the first thing to go when people fall off the wagon and it mystifies me! Exercise keeps your mood in order, revs up your metabolism, boosts your energy, handles stress and burns calories. Consider exercise part of your mental health regimen--it is a must to keep you focused. Walk around the block with a friend, go to a group exercise class or stretch while watching television--do something! Anything! You always feel better after a workout.

Do the best you can do. When you are out to dinner or in a situation where you do not have much control, simply do your best. Try to pack some snacks with you if able, eat before you go out and order the leanest protein and as many vegetables as you can.

No need to ruin the day. Often times when people are "bad" mid day they decide the whole day is a wash. Take a breath, relax and remind yourself that you are pretty darn great. No need to feel bad or be so hard on yourself. Keep moving forward.

Enjoy it! If you want to indulge in a treat or sleep in instead of working out, please enjoy every single moment of it! That is what it is all about. Finding balance and enjoying the ups, downs and everything in between.

Keep truckin!

February 17, 2010

Yummy quinoa

I just found this recipe online and it looks so good...enjoy!

Greek Quinoa Salad
Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup thinly sliced radicchio
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped English cucumber
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 tablespoon minced shallots

Place quinoa in a large bowl; cover with water. Let stand 5 minutes; rinse well, and drain.
Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan; stir in quinoa. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Uncover; fluff with a fork. Cool to room temperature.
Combine olive oil and next 5 ingredients (through sea salt) in a large bowl. Add cooled quinoa, tomatoes, and the remaining ingredients; toss well.

February 10, 2010

Vivo GS--check it out!

I have been asked to be a nutrition expert for a wonderful new website Vivo GS---you must check it out! The site is completely devoted to girl athletes. Girls have a lot of pressure out there. Between feeling the need to be skinny, be cool, be smart, have the hottest jeans, date the cutest boy AND be a great athlete...well that is a lot on one girl's plate! The site offers all sorts of information from experts in nutrition, sports psychology and fitness to apparel to community support.

Girl power! Check it out!

January 24, 2010

I love airport food? Did I just write that?

I recently flew to NYC to visit my wonderful friends and of course buy a materialistic good that I definitely do not need (but the bag is so cute!). I flew on Jet Blue and got stuck in the JFK airport with a 3 hour delay. Gotta love the San Francisco fog!

Once I accepted the fact that I was going to be in the aiport for hours I decided to wander. I walked through all the duty free shops and spent well over an hour in the book store entertaining myself reading diet books. Weird but true... I then had to figure out what I was going to eat. I took a look at the food court and was disappointed when I saw fast food versions of Mexican, Chinese and Italian food. As I walked around I immediately got frustrated on how difficult it is to eat well when food is out of your control.

As I continued to wander around I literally bumped into the most fantastic salad bar! I am not kidding when I thought it was a mirage! Inside the food court of the Jet Blue JFK terminal is the most wonderful food court full of fresh, delicious food. The salad bar has well over 25 items including non starchy vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. I was thrilled! In addition they have whole grain snacks to munch on, fresh fruit, plain high protein yogurt and small portions of sweets. It just made my day!

I made a salad just how I like it and actually sat in the airport with glee and enjoyed my well...airport food.

Go visit the big apple and get a healthy meal at the airport! Safe travels!

December 14, 2009

Check me out in the Allure blog! Top 5 Beauty Foods.

Allure just used me for a recent article on Beauty Foods. Check it out! Let your skin glow for the holidays!!

November 22, 2009

There just isn't a quick fix

I was recently quoted in a article by Mark Davis, a fellow trainer at The San Francisco Bay Club. Mark has lost weight and kept it off--he learned there is no quick fix. It takes changing your behavior and creating change that is sustainable and realistic. Mark succeeded and uses triathlons to stay motivated and reaching towards a goal.

In the article, he asked me talk about the new book coming out "The 400 Calorie Fix." While I think small frequent meals is the way to create long term behavior change, it is not just about calorie counting. Each meal should have protein and carbohydrate in order to properly provide the body with the nutrients it needs. In addition, the book says you should eat 400 calorie meals, 4 times a day. For a triathlete, who is often up 18 hours a day and works out 2-3 hours a day, one would need more than 1600 calories.

Remember, one plan doesn't work for everyone. Find a plan that WORKS FOR YOU. That is the only way you are going to reach your goals.

Enjoy the article and check out Mark's blog:

November 20, 2009

Spice Up Your Holidays!

I was just quoted in a recent article about adding spices to foods. No calories and tons of flavor. There a bunch of yummy recipes in the article too. Enjoy!