We got a lot of great feedback to our vegetable soup video by readers of the Tip Of The Day. And we were asked for more! This is a video we quickly made that shows the step by step process of making Carrot Ginger soup. This is a very tasty, zesty and slightly spicy recipe. It is also vegan friendly in that there is no dairy of any kind.
Most importantly- this soup TURNS MY HUNGER OFF! No idea why. When I eat a bowl I don't want to eat anything else. I think the combination of intense nutrients, plus a small amount of fat helps me feel satiated. Very interested to see how you all react to this recipe. And please leave comments on this blog post if you can.
I saw this in the community and couldn't help but repost some of the responses here: 1) Bake pita chips with Picante medium salsa. I eat just 5-6 chips and it gets rid of my craving to eat potato chips.
2) Dried fruit bars at Traders joe. I love the passion fruit one.
3) Yoplait yogurt original with blueberries.
My mom swears by trader joe's popcorn. It's one point if you're on counting Weight Watchers Points and it's a HUGE bag. She says it takes her such a long time to eat that by the time she's done, she's ready to go to bed.
I personally like to get a combo of fat/protein/carbs and anything that fits within what I call "diet fusion" (Here's what diet fusion means.) My favorite is a table spoon of peanut butter spread on each bite of a banana. A friend of mine has cashew butter on celery. Black beans and salsa. Yum!!
Your best bet is to get something you like, that is satisfying, and gives you the energy to turn away from the food and back to something that is engaging. Let me know your favorites.
In our Tip Of The Day program I often show you what we do in our own life. Avocados are something that I have as a staple in my diet and life and I wanted to take a second to sort of outline in a very practical sense why I do this and how I do this. I will make sure to prepare some specific recipe ideas as well.
(After the introduction of the new PEERtrainer Cheat System, we have further refined this advice. A small amount of avocado, especially in a salad is tasty and also helps your body absorb the nutrients in the other ingredients in the salad. Most vegetables do not contain fat, yet they need some for optimal absorption of nutrients in the digestion process.)
Reasons To Eat Avocados
1. For me they are one of the most satisfying foods out there.
They are high in good fat, and they take the edge off when I feel like I could eat 5 large pizzas. For me, the edge is gone immediately
If I eat a normal size portion of pasta, and I cover it with butter and parmesean, it will take me three more servings like that to take the edge off that hunger feeling of wanting to eat everything in sight.
If I eat 1/2 of an avocado (or a tablespoon of peanut butter or cashew butter) it 100% takes the edge off so that I can make a healthier choice. I have found nothing to take the edge off. Especially after a workout.
2. They Make Food Taste Great
It is like putting sour cream or cheese sauce over everything you are eating for me. Anything you can think of that "this needs sour cream or cheese sauce" put avocado on it. Even a portion of vegetables. Put a portion of avocado and lemon juice over a plate of spinach and it tastes great.
Instead of eggs and cheese, have eggs and avocado. A block of cheese will never satisfy you like an avocado will.
3. Avocado Is A Transition And Replacement Food Into Your Thin Lifestyle
I used to use it to make the transition from cheese, sour cream and bacon, and now that I have transitioned into a healthier lifestyle it takes the edge off. But I found it a great transition food.
It helps you cope when you can't do the vegetable thing all the time. For me it has been a savior.
My 3 Rules For Eating Avocados
1. Never Eat Them Alone
Use them to make other healthy food taste good. If you don't like the taste of spinach, try the avocado and lemon. Like tomato sauce, they can make anything taste good. If you want a "satisfying salad" blend avocado into dijon mustard and lemon juice, throw a cup of beans in the mix and you have something that tastes great and really helps you feel full.
2. Always Squeeze Lemon Juice On Them
I make it a habit to always have lemons handy. For me, the combination of avocado and lemon really makes so many other foods taste good. It is also very quick and easy to prepare.
3. I only eat 1/2 avocado at a time.
There are 380 calories in a hass avocado or 6 weight watchers points. So don't go crazy and use half which is 3 points and 190 calories or so in the avocado. But if you do go overboard know that Avocados are also an extremely healthy food and have been proven to help with your heart, overall health and also help fight breast cancer.
If you want some more "why" some specific health reasons, check out WHFoods page on all the research that is showing benefit after benefit. We have a quick summary here. They really are insanely good for you and really help you in the process of transitioning to a new lifestyle, something that is a huge focus for us in the Tip of The Day and Coaching programs.
In the current version of the PEERtrainer Cheat System, your first 1/2 avocado is a free food. Important to note that we are always refining that document.
This was part of the diet fusion article I posted yesterday and I realized it was also a great standalone piece.
One thing that Dr. Fuhrman teaches, and I just saw this talked about in the PEERtrainer community, is the idea of "true hunger".
What this simply means is that real hunger is something you feel in
your throat and mouth. It is not a panicky feeling, it is your mouth
watering. If you are between meals and feel like you have to snack on
something, reach for a piece of fruit, or a Lara bar or Kind bar. Nut
bars are great diet tools. Very practical things you can keep with you.
this idea of "Diet Fusion" is really finding what works for you, and
making it a practical habit. Diets fail when we feel hungry, they fail
when we don't correctly control our portions, and they fail when we
feel like we can't do them. How often have you felt that "losing weight
is just not possible", or that "gaining weight is just something that
happens when we get older." It truly does not have to be this way.
So instead of simply restricting calories, focus on a gradual transition to more plant based stuff. And this does not
mean that you be a vegetarian- although some people do that for many
reasons. I don't. But I keep reading more and more research that
indicates that you don't want more than 10% of your diet to be animal
based. Again, this is very general and there is a lot of conflicting
information out there. You have to find what works for you.
hardest part of all of this is developing these good habits in the face
of overwhelming societal pressure. Maybe you are a mom struggling to
feed healthy foods to your kids. Then the grandparents come to town and
their version of love is force feeding them cheeseburgers. Maybe you
are a guy who works in a stressful environment, job and the only
choices seem to be sweets in the vending machine. Or you go to a
restaurant and want to make some good habits, only to feel subtle but
strong pressure from the waiter or waitress. One thing we focus on in
our intensive coaching/training program
is literally training you, ingraining in you a set of habits that help
you get what you want. We do this with the help of a trained
psychotherapist, because it is that hard!!
I will close
this note with a simple idea- everyone talks about the importance of a
"balanced diet". But what if you body is out of balance? Hitting the
salads hard, and keeping the fat out of them, might be a great way to
get back into balance.
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
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!!"
I eat out frequently so over the years I've had to figure out how to resist high calorie/low nutrient foods when I can't control the environment. It's took me a while to figure it out but I had to do it; otherwise the scale would never show results. So I created a segment: The 5 Golden Rules: How To Eat At A Restaurant And Still Lose Weight and it was a hit. I stick to these rules every time except for Sushi and Indian Food dinners (and I've made up my own little rule set for that which I'll post separately).
The 5 Golden Rules: How To Eat Out, At A Restaurant And Still Lose Weight
1. Say No To The Welcome Food. No bread basket, No Chips, No Exceptions. Do not let it hit the table no matter how hungry you are.
2. Learn to See Water As A Drink Choice. If you don't like it, try some squeezed lemon. Sodas, sweetened teas and juice all add sugar and calories.
3. Order An Appetizer As Your Entree. Appetizers help you keep control over your portions. If you're craving pasta or something in particular, find the appetizer size.
4. If You Want To Order An Entree, Always Make It A Salad. Make sure the dressing is on the side and your spoon to drizzle. You must stop at 2 spoonfuls. Say No to the croutons, crunchy things.
5. Use the 3 Bite Rule For Dessert. It's better to pass on Dessert or have tea or frozen berries but if you must, only take 3 bites.
One of the most commonly asked questions that we get asked from Tip Of The Day subscribers is about hunger.
It doesn't matter whether you've been restricting yourself on a diet, or not even watching what you eat at all, there are times that you suddenly feel so hungry you don't even know how it hit you.
Often you find yourself in a situation where you didn't eat a proper breakfast, or you went too late until lunch came around and the hunger hits you like a ton of bricks. You feel like you could eat a house and if someone put a large pizza in front of you at that exact moment, you could probably scarf down 3/4 of it, maybe almost the whole thing.
What's interesting is that Dr. Fuhrman, in his book Eat for Health, says that actual hunger is felt in your throat. Symptoms include salivating and light interest. Actual "hunger" is when your body is ready for more nutrients.
Often that "starving" feeling are withdrawal symptoms from the caffeine, sugar or other "nutrient-poor" foods you consume. These feeling that we confuse for "real hunger" are usually felt in the stomach as growling, light headedness, little dizzy, the general sensations we feel when we say we are hungry.
But at the time when you're "starving", the logic behind what's really going on doesn't matter. You just want food and you want it now.
When you get to this point, how do you satiate yourself without destroying all of your efforts towards your weight loss for the week?
Here are a few tips:
1. Keep one of your favorite snacks in your purse or in your desk at all times.
That doesn't mean healthy if you don't like the taste. If you throw an apple in your purse but you don't particularly love apples, when that overwhelm comes on, you will not eat that apple. You will think you are starving and way too "hungry" for that apple to even begin to have an effect. You'll head to your nearest "favorite food" place that will satisfy the hunger.
Pick a snack that you really love the taste of: maybe it's a fruit/nut power bar - maybe a banana or maybe something else. Pick a snack that works for you, that you really like, and next time the starving feeling comes on you'll have something right there, and once you've eaten it, the binge feeling has come and gone.
2. Check if that hunger feeling really means you're thirsty
Most of the time when you feel hungry, you are dehydrated. Get a large glass of water full of ice with Fresh squeezed lemon and see how you feel afterwards.
3. If you didn't put your favorite snack in your purse?
Instead of using the starving excuse as a chance to stop at Starbucks for a large muffin, croissant and moccachino, go find your favorite snack immediately!! Think of what you would have put in your desk or purse and simply go purchase that to eat now.
4. What if you give in anyway?
Lastly, if you are starving and you do head to the nearest pizza place and scarf down 4 times as much as you usually do, don't make it the end of the world. Don't use that incident as the reason for saying, well, I messed up, might as well have pasta and that hot fudge sundae I've been craving as well.
Don't stack it with all the other things you were disappointed with in yourself that day. You were "starving", you ate a lot, and that's all it is. Commit to making just the next meal, just one meal one that follows your regimen and makes you have energy and feel great and don't look back.