Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle

Monday Lifestyle Education Discussion:
“Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle”
Low-grade chronic inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and auto-immune disorders. One of the most powerful ways to combat inflammation in the body is to adjust your diet. The Western-style diet which is high in sugar, fat and calories, while low in micronutrients and phytochemicals is surely a slow form of poison. Many of the chronic diseases above take years and even decades before any symptoms are realized, so early intervention/prevention is best. Do I have your attention now ☺ ?

Here’s the good news: You. Can. Do. Something. NOW! Many of you who come to the classes are enrolled in the optifast meal replacement program. This is smart. Starting in this way gives you a fresh start by allowing you to detox your palate and to get rid of habits that don’t serve you. At it’s core, the Optifast program is a behavior modification program. The goal is to help a person transition to a whole-foods based nutrition plan that is right for that person, but this often takes time, dedication and much patience. Others choose not to use meal replacements and that’s ok too! Everyone is heading towards the same goals. You all want to get healthy, avoid diseases and live a full, rich life. This means embracing the Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle.

The Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle involves managing stress, sleeping well, eating nourishing foods (get rid of toxic foods), maintaining your healthy weight and getting plenty of exercise.

Foods that calm inflammation:
– Vegetables and Fruits
– Nuts, Seeds
– Beans and lentils
– Heart healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil & avocado
– Fish such as salmon, sardines, anchovies
– Whole grains/seeds such as brown rice and quinoa
– Herbs such as ginger and turmeric

Foods that can promote inflammation:
– Refined carbs (chips, cookies, fries, pastries, cakes, etc)
– Excess sugar intake
– trans fat and saturated fat

Some specific anti-inflammatory foods to include: Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collards… Tomatoes (lycopene), Organic berries (frozen works well when out of season), extra virgin olive oil, almonds, walnuts, wild caught fish such as salmon, sardines and anchovies (but less common fish good too). Now is the perfect time to take advantage of the fresh produce. Visit local farmers markets and get to know where your food is grown. In South Carolina, we are very fortunate to have such a long growing season!

Read more by clicking on the article below and remember, it’s a process:

Motivation: Do you have the drive to change your life?

Monday Lifestyle Education Discussion
“Motivation: Do you have the drive to change your life?”
Motivation is the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. High motivation is necessary, not just for losing weight, but for keeping it off. This does not mean that you won’t stumble, or fall along the way, but it means you dust yourself off and get back up again. Motivation is more like a never-ending marathon rather than a sprint. Habits are deeply ingrained and unless you have that spirit of perseverance, you won’t be successful at maintaining healthy behaviors. Sometimes you fly, sometimes you run, and at other times you may crawl, but whatever you do, just keep moving.

The “Grind.”
The grind represents the stage in the weight loss journey when you want to give up. Being able to persevere in spite of obstacles in this stage is what separates those who will lose weight and regain it, and those who will lose weight and keep it off. During the grind, you may not be losing weight. You may feel like you are failing. You may wonder if you have motivation. You may feel alone in your journey and you may be facing a mountain of challenges. BUT, if you keep sight of your motivation, you won’t simply turn your back on your goals. A victory in this stage may just be showing up for class… or a weigh-in, or picking up the phone to schedule a dietitian appt. Reaching out during these difficult times is humbling, but it’s the bravest thing you can do.

Do you know what motivates you? Get serious about “why” you want what you want. As always, I encourage you to journal about why you want to lose weight. Please share your thoughts below.

Planning Meals: Just Keep It Simple

Monday Lifestyle Education Discussion
“Planning Meals: Just Keep It Simple”
This week is great. We had our lifestyle classes yesterday, followed by our cooking class with chef James last night (thank you.. informative/delicious) and this Wednesday we have our Grocery tours at Trader Joe’s. All of this to help you learn how to eat properly!

The truth, as I’ve said many times on here, is that eating should not be complicated. It SHOULD NOT be complicated, but it HAS BECOME COMPLICATED. Let me simplify this for you: “Eat food, not too much and mostly plants.” Those words come from speaker, author and lecturer Michael Pollan. It just means that we should eat a mostly plant-based diet without obsessing over it. Food can provide nourishment to the body and soul, or it can be a slow form of poison. The food you eat now will have a profound effect on your health in the years to come, but guess what? You actually don’t need an expert to tell you how to eat. You already know what you should do, so just come up with a plan and make it happen. With that being said, I wholeheartedly believe in choosing a coach (like a dietitian ???? ) to help you get and stay on track. If you commit to planning your own healthy meals, you will quickly find that you are going against the grain in this obesogenic culture. Eating healthy is not convenient and easy, BUT it’s worth the effort. Here’s a tip: Stop focusing on what you can’t eat and instead FOCUS ON EATING MORE OF WHAT YOU SHOULD BE EATING. This concept is called “crowding out” and if you increase your intake of lean proteins, vegetables, beans/lentils, fiber-rich foods and some fruit, then you will have less room in your diet for junk food. It’s simple, but requires a plan. I encourage you to write it out.

Here it is in a nutshell:

– Eat lean proteins with meals. Fish, eggs, lean meats, tofu, beans and lentils are all good options
– Eat a LOT more vegetables and find sneaky, creative ways to fit vegetables into your recipes
– Drink a lot of fresh, pure water
– Go ahead and snack on some unsalted nuts or peanuts. These are packed with nutrition and help stave off cravings/hunger
– Go ahead and enjoy some fruit–fresh or frozen, but don’t overdo it. Use it in place of desserts
– Enjoy lowfat dairy which is also nutrient dense, but stay away from added sugars

Now for the foods to crowd out:

– added sugars (sweat tea, soda’s gatorades, candy, yogurt, etc). Start reading ingredients labels and look for sugar by any of its 100 different names
– refined carbohydrates (white flours, pasta’s, crackers, pastries, etc)
– highly processed foods. Hint: read the ingredients labels
– saturated fats from animal products like meats, dairy and cheese
– fast food and restaurant foods

Some specific foods to consider:

– veg omelet (Load up on the veggies!)
– Egg whites in a carton
– Hard boiled eggs
– Turkey breast slices (zero nitrates, low sodium)
– Lowfat plain yogurt (wean yourself off the high sugar stuff–can add 1/2 c berries or 1 tsp honey)
– Ezekial bread toast + 1 tsp natural nut butter
– Roasted cauliflower and broccoli
– baked sweet potato, plain
– individual frozen salmon filet’s or wild-caught fish/shrimp
– Dr Kracker Crackers
– Laughing cow light cheese
– String cheese
– Babybel cheese
– Think Thin Protein Bars
– Quest Banana Nut bar
– Nectar Natural Whey Protein Isolate
– La croix or club soda
– Green tea–the kind you brew yourself!

This is a list to get you started, but you’ll have to experiment with your own diet to find what truly works for you. I encourage you to come out to some of the grocery tours to get hands on experience. Tomorrow we’ll be at Trader Joe’s at 12p and at 6p Also visit our Nutrition Solutions Pinterest page:

Ongoing Weight Management

Monday Lifestyle Discussion:
“Ongoing Weight Management”
Happy Tuesday ladies and gents! Yesterday we discussed what it looks like to lose weight and keep it off for life. Weight loss is hard. Let’s go ahead and state the obvious instead of pretending that it’s just a matter of “eating less and exercising more.”
That statement “eat less, exercise more” has been overstated over the years. It falls short of being practical and is certainly not helpful to anyone who has struggled to lose weight. Let me clarify to say that weight loss (and keeping it off) can be done–absolutely! But are you committed to the daily grind when the going gets tough? Most experts today consider a 5-10% weight loss the gold standard for a successful weight loss. For example, if a person who is overweight weighs 300#, their doctor might help them aim for a 30# weight loss and maintaining a weight of 270# would be considered a success. I know that most of you have set and achieved much greater goals so why do they set the bar so low? For one, the body experiences tremendous metabolic benefits from a seemingly small amount of weight loss and experts now know that losing weight isn’t the only battle. The real battle is keeping it off.
So what’s the secret? The secret is there’s no secret, but it’s hard work. We can look at the habits of those thousands of men and women who have lost weight and kept it off at the National Weight Control Registry. Here’s the formula for losing weight and keeping it off:
– Exercise daily for at least 1 hour (and prevent sarcopenia)
– Eat a low-calorie, low-sugar and low-fat diet. Simply put, this is done by reducing processed foods and eating more vegetables, beans/lentils, lean proteins and fiber-rich foods.
– Decrease TV viewing
– Eat breakfast

In addition, we could add the following:
– Manage stress
– Get adequate sleep
– Maintain healthy and supportive relationships
– Plan ahead
– Manage your schedule/Time Management
– Take charge of your environment and arrange your world for success

Here’s the thing: You already know what to do. That’s good news! It’s just a matter of coming up with a plan (that’s the challenging part). We always suggest writing your plans out so that you can identify strategies and barriers to your goals. Journaling is an especially helpful tool in regards to self-discovery and behavior change.

Many of you have success with weight loss. What advice can you share with the group?

Creating a Wellness Vision

Monday Lifestyle Discussion:
“Creating a Wellness Vision”
Setting goals—you’ve been doing it all wrong
At some point in the weight loss journey, everyone gets discouraged and wants to give up. In fact, many people do give up. Some research states that up to 95% of individuals who lose weight will regain that weight within 5 years. Weight loss is hard. Losing weight for life would seem almost impossible, but it’s not. It’s important to know that. Losing weight and keeping it off just might be the hardest journey you’ve ever navigated. Why do so many individuals fail to keep the weight off? I believe it has to do with goals, reward and motivation. Notice I didn’t say lack of willpower.

Losing weight is not complicated. It involves completely rearranging your life (think social and environmental changes in addition to the diet and exercise), but it’s not rocket science. It’s about developing the discipline muscle and putting off instant gratification/pleasure for the longer-term reward of great health and vibrancy. Awareness of the need to lose weight does not naturally translate to changing behaviors. You really have to DIG DEEP to understand WHY you want to change. Essentially, the reward of weight loss has to be greater than the reward of your current lifestyle, and until you have revelation of that, you will continue old habits. There’s definitely a certain amount of gratification that comes from eating, drinking and living like most Americans do. Only 6% of Americans engage in the 5 key health behaviors that prevent chronic diseases. Those behaviors: not smoking, regular exercise, avoiding excessive alcohol, maintaining a healthy body weight and sufficient sleep. Again, this is not new information, but no doubt it’s hard work.

Short-term and long-term goals are good. Specific and measurable goals are even better, but what may work better for you is to create a wellness vision of yourself in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years and so on. Think of it as a beacon in the ocean. You may have to navigate rough waters, re-calibrate your direction, but you will get there because you can always see the vision. Although storms and setbacks, nothing will stop you from the ultimate goal. By the way, did I mention that there is no finish line? When you reach your personal weight loss goal, that really is just the starting line. This is the difference between people losing weight, and people who make the lifestyle changes necessary to sustain the weight loss. When someone speaks of weight loss, always ask the question, “Does this plan include sustainability over the long-term?” In our programs, we always emphasize the long-term engagement because we know how challenging the weight loss journey is and we stand by our commitment to support you through the storms and rough waters.

So, dig deep. Find your intrinsic motivation and enlist the support of others. Let go of the ones who hold you back. They’ll catch up when they’re ready.

Shout out to the ladies of the 10am class for the very thoughtful discussion. Pat, Marye, Fred N Berenice McWhorter who have been coming for years. You all are inspirational to me.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” –Martin Luther King