This is another video I put together to show you the kinds of staples I like to keep in my freezer and fridge. I have multiple objectives here.
1. Foods that fill me up and help me lose weight
2. Things that I can give the kids easily and quickly that are also good for them
3. Foods that are nutrient dense and help my family get as many micronutrients as they can.
I only featured five foods- another staple of our fridge is Bolthouse Farms Vedge Juice. It tastes great, is packed with micronutrients and phytochemicals and makes it really easy for members of my family to consume high doses of nutrients, quickly.
We were just in a Whole Foods with the kids, and we met a woman who was giving out samples of a new line of almond butter and peanut butter called Justin's Nut Butter. It is a new company started by someone named Justin. As it turned out, his mom was the woman giving out the samples. Nice mom!
There are a lot of makers of various nut butters, and we buy the Whole Foods brand cashew butter regularly. It tastes great and it is cheap. But what struck us about Justin's Nut Butter is that they make 100 calorie squeeze packs that are flavored with things like organic maple sugar and organic honey. So they taste really good, and it is sometimes hard to get peanut butter to taste good without a ton of jelly.
The Maple Almond Butter was particularly good. (Almond butter is relatively high in calcium, so for people who are allergic to dairy and are looking for added sources of calcium, Almonds and almond butter are something to always keep in mind.)
I always tell people to always have healthy snacks handy, to prepare ahead of time for emergencies. These little packs seem like a great idea to keep in your desk or purse or glove compartment. If you can get your hands on an apple or a banana, squeeze one of these packs on the apple or banana and you have a great healthy snack. It will give you energy, you know exactly what the portion is, you get the benefit of an organic product, you get a piece of fruit in.
I think Justin's mom mentioned that each pack was about .59 cents. Add that to the cost of a banana or an apple and you have a pretty cheap snack as well. People always want to know how to eat healthy for cheap and eat organic for cheap. If you know where to look you can always find things that fit this requirement.
Getting a portion controlled product that tastes great and is super healthy can be one of those nice small wins I always talk about. So next time you are in Whole Foods or near one, get some of Justin's squeeze packs and add them to your emergency food stash. It is also a way to support a small business owner and kudos to the people at Whole Foods who brought Justin and his products in.
I also broke out my copy of Joel Fuhrman's Eat For Health to look up what he thinks about nut products. He pointed out that you don't want to overeat them, but that there are studies that show an inverse relationship between nut consumption and body weight, and that nuts and seeds help suppress the appetite.
Making sure to add an apple or a banana to the mix in the snack makes it taste great. Fruit in the morning for energy and then fruit with a little nut butter in the afternoon to help keep you full and energized is a great strategy. The squeeze packs themselves are 2 Weight Watchers points even with the added oil and fruit is minimal points impact. So this could be one of those things that you incorporate on a regular basis.
I'll keep an eye out for things like this, and if you see something, let me know in the comments section or email me if you are getting the Tip Of The Day newsletter
We continually are looking for ideas that work and also are looking to communicate those ideas. This post features an experiment with the You Tube video format. This clip was shot for the Tip Of The Day free coaching series. I'd love to know what you think of the clip, the format, because we want to present these in the way that you like.
Do you like the informality- do you want it more formal? Does it resonate? Is it too long or too short? What other clips would you like to see. Feel free to email me if you get the Tip Of The Day Newsletter, or you can comment on the You Tube clip itself or on this blog post. As you know, we tend to respond to most of our email quickly. The feedback and interaction helps us all.
The idea or "Tip Of The Day" is that whether you are getting started or restarted on your diet, you might want to think about finding the one thing that is getting you off track, and just focus on that one thing. There are two other key ideas presented, that we think will really help you start your diet or get back on track:
Someone asked me this question since we have been advocating the Points system as part of our Diet Fusion approach.
Here is the thread, and I will post the responses. While it is great to get our daily tips via email, it also helps to walk in and have to get weighed each week.
"You can learn a lot: - How to estimate portions when you can't measure
- How to plan for specially occasions
- How to choose more healthy options
- How not to deprive yourself, but instead control yourself
- Great recipes
- Tips for cooking lighter
- Strategies for changing your behaviors to be more healthy
"I learned a lot with WW but ultimately it taught me the importance of portion control. It was my downfall when I was heavy - now I've learned to eat everything I like, in moderation of course!!"
Books can be tedious, especially diet and health books. I'm more of a fan of doing than reading. I've learned a lot more about myself just through general logging of my food and thoughts than most books but that said, I don't know everything, right!?
I have a general set of guides to refer back to and learn from when I get down or I need ideas. More importantly, if I'm in a plateau or have been off track and could use the reminders, I have them on hand without much effort. This set changes depending on my life stage so you'll see it morph over time but here is my current set and the amazon/affiliate link:
Eight Weeks to Optimal Health:
Dr. Andrew Weil This was my first "bible" into the world of health and fitness. I still refer back to it often and I get inspired by his weekly tasks of buying flowers and experiencing forgiveness
Eat To Live/Eat For Health: Dr. Joel Fuhrman: His "prescription" of intense greens changed my husband's health. They have this really neat MANDI scoring guide, a quick guide to help you understand foods and their nutrient content at a glance. The link goes to a special PEERtrainer discount.
Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom:
Dr. Christiane Northrup I read this years before she went on Oprah and I experienced my early 30's in a much different way than many of my friends just based on her writings. Highly recommend this specific book
The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People
Stephen R. Covey This book dives into discipline which I believe is the cornerstone of health and fitness. I'm not especially passionate about his writing style but the content is a must read.
Health Magazine: This health and diet lifestyle mags is the one that I most relate to - it isn't about how to get the body to get a guy or nicely posed pictures of fitness routines. The editorial perspective is a bit more focused on health and diet information
I was reading an article on food allergies in the New York Times just now and came across a great article on Cabbage that serves as nice summary of why it is good for you. They are doing an excellent job covering nutrition overall btw.
"The family of vegetables that cabbage belongs to is called the Cruciferae family or the Brassica family and related vegetables include kale, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts. Johnny Bowden, a nutritionist, calls cabbage “the most important [vegetable] in the world from the point of view of nutritional benefits and cancer-fighting ability.”
Cabbage possesses phytochemicals including sulforaphane, which studies suggest protects the body against cancer-causing free radicals, and indoles, which help metabolize estrogens. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins K and C, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, folate, manganese and Omega 3 fatty acids. "
Basically every vegetable you read about has different health promoting properties, different weight loss promoting properties.
We just had a long time PEERtrainer member email us about some comments in a thread in the community. We all need to work to keep them clean, so if you see something, say something. We keep the forums anonymous because people sometimes express some painful or embarrassing things. And we want people to feel like they can express themselves in a positive way.
Interestingly, the thread in question had to do with wondering if one can lose 100 pounds in a year in a healthy way. This is a very interesting question and discussion among people who were on the path to lose 100 pounds. So we had to clean it up a little. But it brought up a very interesting question, something that we are thinking about here internally.
When we started PEERtrainer, we came to this with a "diet neutral" philosophy, meaning we just wanted to provide a place for people to follow through on what they already knew, and were already working on. Over time we started to see different things working, some things not working.
So we started to develop some observations, maybe some opinions. We started to write some articles, basically sharing what we saw working. The Fat Smash Diet was one of these things, we saw people talk about it, form groups and teams about it. We started to see people eat lots of fruits and vegetables, much more than was commonly recommended by the run of the mill nutritionists out there. So we wrote about it and started to feature it on the PEERtrainer site.
And it was helping people lose weight, we were seeing this. We were then introduced to Dr Joel Fuhrman by a business colleague and friend of ours. This person had helped start Oxford Health Plans, and had a real passion for health. And passion in a real way that got our attention. He had served as Chairman of the company during some hard times (ended up engineering a $6 billion deal with United Health Care).
In this role he had a birdseye view of how screwed up our whole health care system is, with a total focus on acute care, and a major lack of focus on prevention. Anyway, he gave us a copy of Eat To Live, and introduced us to Joel. And what we found was a person with a record of excellence in helping people lose major amounts of weight, safely.
If you get a copy of Eat To Live or his newer book, Eat For Health (click here to read our take on it) you will see comments from his friend, Dr Mehmet Oz. So you can see that Joel has made some very good friends over the years of his work.
Which brings me back to the original question. And I think the answer to the question to losing 100 pounds is of course a complex one, but that it involves going on a diet that radically increases vegetables, fruits, raw foods, blended foods. And it involves exploring the ideas that Ian Smith, Joel Fuhrman are putting forth. The greens, veggies etc have to go to 80%. There is also this great clip on YouTube that I will dig up (or somebody please post) of a guy who went on a raw food diet and did a timelapse of himself.
So be open to these new ideas and approaches. And this is also permanent weight loss. When you change your diet- over time- to do mainly plant based foods, you are going to lose weight. There will be no more of this starving yourself and eating 100 calorie snack pack kind of deals. In fact, a sure way to know that you are going to gain the weight back is if you are eating 100 calorie snack packs each day.
Now if you are just beginning the journey, these snack packs are a great way to get portion control under your belt and transition. But over time they have to go, along with all the other fake foods. What our business friend taught us was that people might be thin but they are not healthy eating these foods.
We tend to shy away from the "health" aspect of weight, because who wants to be lectured. But know that diets advocated by people like Joel also help people massively improve their health profile.
One thing we like to do on PEERtrainer is focus on different needs. Needing to lose ten pounds for a woman needs a different approach than a guy needing to lose 45 pounds. What I want to do with this article is focus on some steps people can take if they need to lose 100 pounds or more. Here are some ideas and site resources in no order. My only advice is tackle one at a time.
1. You might want to start thinking about what you gain by being at your weight. This might sound odd, and have published an article on this entitled "What Is Beneath The Weight?"
2. Do a little digging and see how "ready" you are to commit to the weight loss process. PEERtrainer has developed a quick "Coaching Quiz" that will help you understand what your odds are of losing weight based on your current mindset.
If you want to take some baby steps and have some ideas pushed to you as you get ready, please feel free to join our PEERtrainer Tip Of The Day coaching newsletter. If you go to the page you can learn a little more about this free program.
3. Talk to your doctor and learn what diets and diet approaches doctors recommend. It also helps to learn what approaches are not recommended and why. But developing a relationship with your doctor, or finding a very compassionate one is an excellent start. If you had a bad experience with doctors, don't be turned off. There are many many doctors out there who care deeply.
4. Know that weight loss is possible. Do not get talked into thinking that bypass surgery is the only route for you if you have not made the progress that you want. Fruits and vegetables are very powerful, especially greens. They can be magic.
5. Weight Watchers is a great program to learn portion control. No matter what, you need to master the Weight Watchers points system so that you learn to how to make good decisions each day. They also give you three free online assessments which allow you quickly assess if you are ready to lose weight and what some of the specific health risks are.
6. PEERtrainer offers a free "Weightloss Bootcamp"- it is a series of 4 free calls that go over some proven approaches.
7. Really think about the impact the people around you on a daily basis have, and work over time to build a broad support network. Know that people you never expected are there to help you with an array of services- some free, some paid. But there are fundamental approaches that work, and will change how you think about everything.
-Can I Lose 100 Pounds In 100 Days?
People write about this, and the Biggest Loser mentality has made extreme weight loss fashionable. But those people are under intense medical supervision. You can absolutely lose 100 pounds, but it is going to take a consistent effort and a real focus on the negative influences of those around you.
-What If I Really Don't Want To Lose Weight?
This is very common and one of the things Joshua Wayne talks about in the weight loss bootcamp is the idea of "secondary gain" where you get a benefit of a certain behavior. There are all sorts of situations where fat is actually the solution for people, rather than the problem. This is mental of course, which is why a psychotherapy approach to weight loss is needed along with an MD and a solid diet like Eat For Health or Weight Watchers. This is the focus of the PEERtrainer Coaching/Training Intensive.
What If I Really Like To Eat?
There is really nothing wrong with enjoying food. And you would be surprised how MUCH you can eat of certain foods. This blog post discusses recipes to help you lose weight. They really work!
I get some great questions and great feedback in my "Tip of The Day" newsletter, and some of the emails that I respond to end up being tips themselves! In this post, I was asked by a 44 year old, physically active man, what nutrition advice I had. This is very general advice, and what I did was just try to give him one thing to focus on, one big idea. In this Tip Of The Day series we focus a lot on that, and we have some opinions on the subject.
We tend to really be open minded, but the #1 thing to communicate on the nutrition front is that you have to focus on greens each day- spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts. And you have to eat this stuff in quantity. Most guys (the ones I know) have no problem drinking a ton of beer, eating a huge steak- so they should also have no problem eating a ton of greens.
This can also be easy and cheap. For example- go to the grocery store, buy a one pound bag of frozen spinach. $1.75 approx. Buy 4. Throw them in the freezer. At dinner time fire up a frying pan, sautee them in 5 minutes. Flavor it- maybe with some garlic sauteed in a couple spoonfuls of olive oil. Make it easy, but just do it.
What if you are out at a restaurant? Lets take a real world example- you go to PF Changs at the local mall or some other restaurant. The first thing you do is order a Large side of spinach. It is $5. $3 for the small. Add a side of brown rice and you basically have a meal.
Another way to get the greens in is to always order a salad and get in the habit of buying salad bags.
The idea is you start to focus on making this a habit of yours. Black beans are also a great source of protein- they are cheap and easy to make. Get in the habit of buying them in cans- usually less than buck even for the organic ones at Whole Foods.
If you do physical work, you probably get what I call "insane man hunger", and maybe after a tough day you grab some beers, some taco bell, Wendy's etc. Go easy on it, but know even here you have options to Always order a salad, and make sure you get your daily greens in.
Nutrition overall is complex and there is much that the experts don't know. But one idea that is rock solid is the idea of "nutrient density" which loosely translated means a PILE of fruits and veggies each day. Study after study shows how fruits and vegetables are very good for you.
Again, not to be patronizing, but if you are a guy you know how to go overboard on stuff. Make that work for you.
Go overboard on the fruits and veggies and salads. The health implications are also huge. As you begin to consume massive amounts of greens, you health will likely improve, your energy will likely improve, even your mood perhaps!"
For other guys reading this and who have the same questions, approaches we see working include The Fat Smash Diet, Eat To Live and Skinny Bitch. Basically every new diet approach out there focuses on fruits and vegetables heavily. But the real question is not what to do, it is how!!
Thought I'd jot down my sample menu when I was just starting to log my food with my friends. This was directly copied from my log in 2005. I'm somewhat disgusted by my choices that include fried foods, coke and ice cream and I don't see a vegetable unless you consider the avocado in the salmon avocado roll.
dinner 4 slices salmon sashimi shrimp tempura roll salmon avocado roll little mochi ice cream Workout: Usually walking but not really anything cardio or strength based.
NOW: I'm about 125 pounds, sometimes a little less, sometimes more and here's a current typical day:
Breakfast: 1 kind bar (It's macadamia and apricot) About 170 calories and a little high in fat so I make up for it by having lower fat throughout the rest of the day, or I have a smoothie made with frozen fruits. Takes me about 2 minutes.
lunch: Depending. If I can get to the grocery store, I make a salad at the salad bar. If it's sushi, I always have 2 slices of sashimi, small salad with dressing on side and 1 salmon avocado roll. If I'm in the house, I have a mishmash such as a banana, a tomato, a little avocado, maybe an egg.
Snack: Usually blueberries or an orange or a tomato or grapes
Dinner: my "bean" chili which is ginger, onions, 1/2 pound of frozen spinach, black beans, white garbanzo beans, cilantro, red peppers, a little bit of olive oil. I might throw a quarter of avocado if it's in the house and I usually have a small serving of rice.
The title of this post should read, "How to Make Vegetables You Don't Like Taste Extraordinary without Butter and Cheese but that was too long. Butter and Cheese make everything taste extraordinary. The real challenge is how to make green beans taste good without it.
I was with a friend of mine the other day and she mentioned that her two boys ate an entire plate of green beans. I can't even eat an entire plate of green beans, no matter how good they are for you. I don't like the taste.
Then, as I was eating dinner with her family, I watched exactly what she did: She placed a bowl of soy sauce next to the plate for one son and a small bowl of freshly squeezed lemon for the other. Brilliant.
She chose the condiment that they loved the most and her boys, with their new "finger" food, started dipping away. I had never thought of it. I've always dipped fresh broccoli in mustard; it tastes like you're eating hot dogs. It does! Try it and let me know if you agree. The trouble with mustard is that my daughter still likes it, but when my 5 year old decided that he didn't like mustard, there went my vegetable strategy.
My friend Laurie helped me rediscover all the ways that you can make food you don't love, taste like food you can love. Since I'm no different than my children, this was a great realization for me - what other condiments do I like so I can eat green beans and like them? I thought I'd list a few here to give us all some ideas:
- Low sodium soy sauce with wasabi: I happen to love this stuff in my sushi, but I haven't tried it on it's own. If you're allergic to wheat, stay away. My friend's 7 year old loves it.
- Ketchup: They have organic ketchup now, heinz makes it without the corn syrup. Warning - it doesn't taste as good but if you're children don't know the difference yet, it might be perfect.
- Mustard - my favorite standby: There are so many varieties now that you can most likely find one you like. I love the standard Dijon but honey mustard might be a great dip.
- Chutney: my friend used to be addicted to this stuff. It is an acquired taste.
- Salsa - You can get some great tomatoes and just great taste in general. There are also some mild kinds without all the onions and peppers for the children.
- Fresh squeezed lemon and wasabi: my husband has a wheat allergy so he invented this. It tastes amazing and really "fresh".
- Mashed up avocado with lemon: takes a little more preparation but kids usually love avocado and you're getting a huge extra dose of vitamin C. If you have an extra 5 minutes, it's totally worth it.
- Lemon/mustard/garlic dressing: again, takes a little extra time so this isn't necessarily the best standby but you might want to try it when you're having a big sit down dinner.
- Strawberry with soy milk: mix it up in the blender and make sure you use frozen strawberries. It becomes a strawberry sauce and it's excellent with fruit.
March 1, 2011 Update: We probably need to drop the low sodium soy sauce suggestion here, or change it to a wheat free option. Since I wrote this I have discovered that many people will benefit from a serious reduction in wheat in their diets. In fact, all gluten products are on the right side of the new PEERtrainer Cheat System. If you have not yet downloaded your free copy, you can still do so here.