Salt

Thanksgiving Week Survival: Game Day Training Plan

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Huzzah! It's part 2 of your Thanksgiving training plan!

Since self-care is the route of sanity, here are 8 tips to prepare yourself for Thanksgiving with your loved ones. If you missed yesterday’s post on shifting your attitude to gratitude, it isn’t too late! Check it out so you can walk into family time without a loaded gun.

 

1. Start off on the right foot.

Meditate in the morning and go through yesterday’s gratitude list.

 

2. Get at least 20 min of cardio in.

I’m not telling you to do this to create a calorie deficiency so you can justify more pie (though it will do that too!), but it’e essential for elevating your mood.

 

3. Don’t show up on an empty stomach.

Have something beforehand that you can feel good about like green juice or a smoothie. Once your nutrients are in, it’ll be easier to avoid the carb & sugar guilt you may feel at the end of the day. Plus, one good thing leads to another. Starting off healthy sets you up for success.

 

4. Go Green.

Load up on all the green things you want, even if it’s loaded in butter and flavored with bacon. Yummers!

 

5. Drink more water.

This isn’t just a diet tip to get full so you eat less (though it will do that), but your brain needs to be hydrated or you will be anxious, depressed, and moody. Does that sound like a recipe for success? Not so much. As you may know you need half your weight in ounces of water per day.  So if you weigh 140 pounds, you need 70 ounces (or roughly 8 3/4) glasses) Sure, that sounds like a lot, but it’s better than feeling moody all day. Don’t just wait for tomorrow to start doing this, start now!

 

6. Own your shit.

When you feel yourself going from 0-60, remember what’s your shit and what’s their shit. Read here to learn more.

 

7. Stay present.

This applies to everything. We tend to look for patterns to make sense of the world. It’s how we keep ourselves safe. For one day, I invite you to let go of that. Sure, your sister never helps with the cooking, but don’t bring up the past to her or to yourself.  Look at things as an isolated incident. Staying present also means not rehashing old arguments. Let it go for today, even if you haven't truly let it go.

And, when it comes to food, staying present means thinking about your current bite and not the next stuffing-turkey-cranberry pile up bite you are excited to create. Asian cultures say you should chew your food 20 times, that’s nice, but unlikely.  I’m shooting for 10 chews per bite. Not only will you get full faster, but it will aid digestion and ease the inevitable food coma to come.

 

8. Time Out.

On the big day, don’t be afraid to take a time out. Go for a walk, hold a cute baby, play with a puppy, or go to the kids table and make one of those awesome hand-traced turkeys like you did as a kid.

 

Happy Thanksgiving! Let me know how it goes in the Comments section!

 

Q & A Thursday: What are Processed Foods?

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Question:

know processed foods are bad for me, but seriously, what are they?

 

Answer:

We hear a lot about how processed foods are the devil, but we rarely talk about what they ACTUALLY are. So let's take a few minutes and clear this up! To some extent, everything we eat is processed. The difference is how it is processed. Normal food processing is what we do at home when we’re cooking it, and that’s all good. However, the bad kind of processing is the stuff made in large factories that use crazy heating and cooling and chemical alteration to create the product.  Most of these are Frankenstein-like derivatives of corn and soy. They can be found in soda, candy, deli meat, etc. So even though you may think you’re eating something healthy, the nutrition content is severely minimized during this process.  Through the excessive heating and cooling processes, which are required in order to give processed foods extended shelf lives, vital nutrients are greatly diminished.  For example, the excessive blanching of veggies causes water-soluble vitamins like vitamin B to fall out.  Ultimately, over-processed foods aren’t nutritionally dense.

They are like empty calories: You need to eat a lot of it to get any nutritional benefit.

Let’s take a look at an unlikely example:

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The Frozen Veggie bag. Congrats! You decided to eat veggies, mom would be proud! What mom doesn’t know is that when large food corporations distribute massive amounts of veggies, there is a huge risk of food-borne illness. (remember the spinach scare?!) To combat this, they heat the veggies to crazy-high temps to kill bacteria that would cause them to rot. They then add chemicals to make it last even longer and to add “flavor.” 

My advice: reserve that bag of peas for shin splints.

 

Processed foods are bad for two reasons:

1. They are lacking nutritionally. 

2. They have additives.

 

You saw evidence of #1 above. Now lets look at additives.

To add back in the flavor that was lost during the processing, manufacturers add a variety of substances. We’ve all heard of trans-fats (hydrogenated fats) that are used in things like peanut butter and old school Oreos. (Why didn’t they ever think to stuff Oreos with peanut butter?) Anyway, adding transfat helps the product to last longer and maintain a smooth consistency. The downside? Longer shelf life = Higher LDL cholesterol + Higher risk of heart disease. No thanks!

I could go on and on about this forever, but I’ll just leave you with this table instead:

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Perhaps one of the most famous stories of processed food is the infamous “Pink Slime.” Chances are you’ve heard of the fast food scandal and immediately regretted your late night trip to McDonald’s.  Check out awesome video to learn more about how it’s made. Thanks, Jamie Oliver!

In a perfect world where we were constantly full of self-love, we'd never eat anything that's processed this way.

But, we're humans. Nobody expects you to be perfect.

The 3 best solutions to minimize our intake of the bad stuff is to:

1. Meditate- Duh! Connecting with yourself helps everything.

2. Exercise- Connecting with your body makes you want to feed it the good stuff.

3. Crowd-out- Add in enough of the good stuff (greens, veggies, water) and your body will no longer crave the bad stuff. 

But seriously, cut the crap. It makes a big difference :) 

What are ways you've decreased your intake of processed foods?

Share it below!

Cravings Decoded Part 2: Salacious Salt

FACT: If you’re finding potato chip crumbs in your couch cushions, you may be a salt addict (and in need of a vacuum!) Crave salt? Read on-

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As I mentioned yesterday, when our 5 Pillars are off, we compensate with the food on our plate. Our cravings are like an air raid signal saying “system meltdown!” It’s easy to just give in and sometimes you should, but it’s also a great time to tune in and listen to what your body is telling you. A salt craving is often indicative of a mineral deficiency. So what is a mineral and why should you care? As opposed to vitamins that come directly from plants and animals, minerals come from soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. Minerals like sodium, chloride, and potassium are key players in maintaining the proper balance of water in the body. Calcium, phosphorous and magnesium are important for healthy bones. 

In its natural form, salt contains over 60 trace minerals that help the body to transport oxygen, regulate the nervous system and repair tissue. Most people use common table salt that has been refined and stripped of all the trace minerals we need. With most of our food over-processed, it’s no surprise salty snack foods are so popular. We keep searching for the good stuff!

The cure for what you crave?

1. Eat a wider variety of veggies, especially the leafy green kind that is high in mineral content. 

2. Use high-quality sea salt (vs regular table salt) when you cook to tame the inner salt monster and curb the craving before it starts. 

3.Most Important: Tune into what’s going on when you get the craving. Are you stressed? Upset? Emotions are our biggest triggers and teachers. When you’re aligned, cravings dissipate. So make a mental note/write it down and look for patterns. Introspection is the key to happiness, health, a rockin’ bod and life