Category Archives for "Healthy Habits"

Food Journaling is Like The Worst Cleaning Job Ever

I've been talking to a lot of people about food journaling. While I dislike food journaling as much as I dislike cleaning out the drainage bin under my fridge there are some compelling reasons to do it. Actually there are great benefits to cleaning out the catch all bin under my fridge as well as food journaling. 

A while back we had company and they had a toddler. Wouldn't you know one of their toys rolled under my fridge. I actually thought I'd rather hear the horrified screaming of the toddler thinking they'd never see their toy again than rolling my fridge back at that moment. I couldn't remember the last time I had cleaned under there. It wasn't pretty. Dust balls and dog hair in abundance and I am not sure what some of that other stuff was. I was embarrassed I had let it go that long. Of course I had reasons and excuses and my friends said they were just like me. But it wasn't okay. That mess under my fridge taught me to keep things under control. I needed to expect someone checking up on me to hold me accountable to my cleaning routine. The same holds true of my eating. Food journaling can remind me to stay accountable to my plan. By logging food for just a few days or a week I can see where things have crept in and where the dirt is. Food journaling keeps me accountable to what I expect from myself.

- Food Journaling -

  •  If you know that you are going to have to write down and document everything that you put in your mouth, do you think you might think twice about eating 8 chocolate chip cookies along with a diet coke? It's kind of like allowing someone else to see under your fridge.  

Accountability will help keep you on track with your food choices.

At the same time food journaling brings awareness. Moving my fridge that day and every time since brings awareness. I see what I have let happen over time but it also reminds me to keep things from getting that dirty in the first place. Food journaling does the same thing. Knowing I have to write something down or snapping a picture of my food keeps me aware to make a great choice instead of just eating. 

  • If you know you are going to write down what you will eat at lunch, it will help to steer you towards a colorful salad instead of a hamburger and fries. 

Awareness will help keep you on track with your food choices. 

Next time you are in my house, please don't expect perfection under my fridge, I am only human. The accountability and awareness has created a happier and more efficient fridge and fridge owner. Surprise surprise, food journaling can help to increase your weight loss. A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that keeping a "food diary" may double your weight loss efforts. This was based off of a group of over 1,600 people. Those who tracked their food choices lost almost 10 more pounds following the same advice as the control group. 

Next time you see your fridge, don't just see all the food contained inside those doors, Remember to look under your fridge and see the benefits of keeping it clean. Then grab your pen and paper to journal your food choices. 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Journalism 101

What to do next?

We already talked yesterday about the importance of tracking your food and beverage choices consistently and accurately. One of the big keys right now is to try to not drastically change your eating habits. Remember, this is a process and changing too much at once will never last.

This does not mean we are giving you the green light to go out and eat McDonalds all the time! If this was what you were doing in the past, it will be beneficial for you to start slowly cutting that out right away!

Instead of trying to eat perfect all the time, just make a very concerted effort to track everything. This is going to give us the data and information we need in order to make good, sustainable changes.

If you make a big change in what you are eating right now while you are tracking it, only to go back to eating exactly what you used to after this week is over, then we really did not make any progress at all.

With that in mind, just write down what you eat and drink for every meal as well as how you felt afterward. If you feel lethargic after a certain meal, make note of it. If you feel like you pepped up after lunch one day, make sure to jot it down. This will help us later on when we look at how to analyze your food journal.

 

How to do it?

This might seem like a useless section at first right? How to keep a food journal?
 

“I just write down what I eat! Sheesh, next section please!”

 

Yes it can be this simple! If you are someone who likes using pen and paper and eat the majority of your meals at home, this will be the best and simplest solution for you.

However, if you are someone who does not eat at home very often and would have a hard time remembering exactly what you ate earlier in the day when you get home, there might be a better solution for you.

If this sounds like you, I am guessing that you have some sort of smartphone in your possession at all times. If you prefer, you can use this as your food journal. Whether it is in a note section on your phone or an app that allows you to track your food choices. The way you do it doesn’t matter, as long as you do it!

You could even just take a picture of everything that you eat so you can write it down later!

The only thing we would like to steer you away from is getting consumed by and analyzing calories and macronutrient percentages (carbs, fats, and protein). There is a time and place for all of this but right now, we are trying to make it simple and sustainable. Keep track of what you eat, not the specific breakdown of what macros it contains. 

If you would like to go the smartphone route, here are a couple apps that we recommend:

  • Calorific
  • My Fitness Pal
  • Evernote
  • MyPlate
  • Lose It!

Find one that works well for you and your needs!

---

Review:

  1. Make sure you are tracking everything you eat and drink.

  2. This can be done on paper or with a smartphone app or by taking pictures for later recording.

  3. Find the best method for you and keep at it.

  4. Don't worry about analyzing calories or food for right now. Just make sure to track!

Follow Along with our Fall Fat Loss Challenge

Today is the start of our 28-Day Fall Fat Loss Challenge, and even if for some crazy reason you didn't sign up for it (it was free, after all), I thought over the next 4 Mondays I'd tell you what we are doing so you can follow along at home.

Here's the habit (or skill if you like) we are working on this week:

Keep a Food Journal Everyday

This habit is nothing revolutionary, but can and will make a big impact.

A lot of us think that we eat pretty healthy and only cheat once in a while. However, if we actually tracked everything that we put into our mouths on a daily basis, we might change our tune just a bit.

Documenting what you eat and drink at every meal will give you a much better look into your true eating habits and not just what you perceive you eat. This can be a very beneficial process.

It usually goes one of two ways:

#1 – “My current eating habits are pretty much on par with what my assumptions were.”

#2 – “I always thought of myself as making decent food choices, but after looking at it for 7 days, I definitely have room for improvement.”

While these two scenarios don't encompass everyone, they are the most common conclusions we see from our clients.

In situation #1, this process helped you focus in on what exactly you were eating and when. It gave you more concrete data than just, “Yeah I think I eat pretty well.”

In situation #2, this process might have opened your eyes to your true eating habits. Maybe before this you thought you only ate dessert once in a great while, when in reality you have 2-3 desserts per week! Now this might be an extreme example but you never quite know what you are going to find out until you actually track something.

Today you need to get a notebook, download an app like MyFitnessPal, or grab a copy of this template and start recording what you ate today.  The process isn't hard and you might need a few reminders today.  Also right now, set a few reminders on your phone to record your food.  

Got it?  

Good!

Have a great day. 

DC & The Fall Fat Loss Challenge Team

When Everything is Turned UpSide Down

Ok, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but I felt like life was turned upside down today, just a little bit anyway.

You see the unthinkable happened today. The weather was supposed to be warm and sunny and I woke up to rain. 

Now lest you think I am a bit off my rocker and starting to whine. Remember the last time, you hit a bump in the road that threw you for a loop, was it really the end of the world? Did you manage to work your way around it? 

But still, since this post is all about me, let’s get back to it.

This might come as a news flash, but I like routine. Don’t upset the apple cart. Keep my ducks in a row.

So when I came downstairs this morning and saw rain it set my mind into overdrive, trying to figure out how I was going to rearrange my entire day.

How was I going to function in all this dreariness? How was I going to get my outside work done? I was now going to have to go back upstairs to change from shorts and a t-shirt to pants and a long sleeve sweatshirt. 

Now THAT is high drama!

Of course in reality it wasn’t really that bad at all.

Take a deep breath, one thing at a time, double check the weather, and after a small amount of whining to Coach Dean, bam it was over. The whole episode got me to thinking what fickle, fragile creatures we humans can be.

We talk ourselves really quickly into imagining all the worst things that can possibly happen.

Why do we do that? (That is a rhetorical question :))

So here’s the take home:

We are going to have curveballs thrown at us – a lot of them.

How we react makes all the difference.

We have the choice whether or not to let the sick kid, or sick dog, or bad weather propel us into a downward spiral.

We missed a couple days training, so there’s no point to going back until next week, right?

Or someone has to eat that BOX of girl scout cookies to get it out of the house, right?

Or my boss was being a (fill in the blank), so eating this pint of Haagen-Daaz will show HIM who is really boss, right?

I think it was Emerson who said:

“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

This works both ways.

We can dwell on the negative or focus on the positive.

Both lead us down different paths, different destinations, even different destiny’s.

Where is your mind going to lead you today?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

(By the way the sun did come out so why oh why did I waste time complaining and allowing it to get me down?)

Your Private Chauffeur

I have a personal, private chauffeur. He drives me around a lot. Usually it's to places I don't really want to go. I can't seem to fire him. Every time I "let him go" he comes back, ready to "serve" me, happily ready to carry me to new, and all too often ugly, places.

My chauffeur is like a chameleon, and he goes by many names.

Anger. Irritation. Loneliness. Sadness. Disgust. Shame. Envy. Despair.

This driver I can't seem to get rid of?

You probably know him by this name.

Emotion.

You know the sad thing (no pun intended) is that emotions are really a big part of what makes us human. Indignation at injustice prompts us to action, sadness for others causes us to reach out and be a friend. We seek love and joy.

And yet it seems to be part of human nature to focus more on the negative emotions than the positive ones. It's easier for me to get irritated by something or someone and let it fester than reach out and try to make it right. Fear can be paralyzing. Contempt for others is more natural than seeking to understand and be part of their solution.

And the result of all this negativity? Usually no good. When I am anxious, or depressed, or angry I often reach for food. It's my "drug". It's so easy for me to criticize those who abuse drugs and alcohol, but am I any better when I stuff myself with sugar and fat? It is an attempt to feel better, and the problem is that it often works, at least temporarily. Just like drugs and alcohol. 

And in a very short time I don't feel good. Especially about myself.

Look I am just being real here. Just because I am a "fitness pro" doesn't mean I am a robot. Emotional stress can weaken even the most resolved and disciplined among us. 

Which is why I am looking forward to being part of our Fall Fitness Challenge, starting one week from today, Monday September 16, 2019.

Because it's going to give me an opportunity to "re-center" and practice some skills to help me give my "chauffeur" - my emotional eating - an extended vacation.

We humans ARE emotional beings. Which is why we need to learn to recognize which emotions drive us toward making poor decisions revolving around food and drink, and build the skills necessary to process and respond to them in better ways.

If you are not an emotional eater, I envy you. 🙂

If you are, join me for the challenge. Signup ends on Tuesday Sept. 10th, so please don't delay.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

- DC

Give Up This Bad Habit

In the past I used “bad” language when describing some food choices.

No, I didn’t swear about it.

Language as in – “x is a good food” and “y is a bad food”.

In reality food does not have morals, it is not “good” or “bad”.

And what I learned is it really is not helpful to me personally or people I talk nutrition with to think of it that way.

You know it’s true. Calling something  a “bad food” usually just makes us want more of it. In reality there is no single food that we eat (or don’t eat) that by itself is going to make us gain or lose weight. It’s the decision made over and over again that lead to one of those results, and studies have shown over and over that when we do eat what is “forbidden” we eat more of it than if we think of it like we do any other food.

I admit it took me a long time to get comfortable with this. But now it is actually easier to make good choices, because I am not constantly thinking about food and what I do or don’t get to eat.

Now you know that I am not saying that all food is equal. Making a decision to eat a bunch of junk all the time is not going to help you lose fat, get lean and look and feel better.

What I am saying is I needed to change my mind about how I thought about food, so I didn’t obsess and stress about it all the time.

Would that help you too?

Coach Nancy

Want to Gain Weight? Do This.

To gain weight fast: Eat as much and as fast as you can.
 ​

To lose weight, try the Opposite: Eat slowly and deliberately without distractions.

Quickly devour everything and gain weight. 

Our “satiety mechanisms” kick in about 20 minutes after we start eating a meal. No matter how much we eat during the first 20 minutes, our bodies don't feel satisfied or even full until we hit the magical satiety time.

That’s why many people overeat: they eat too much during the first 20 minutes, thinking they’re not full. Then, 20 minutes later, they feel “overfull” and guilty.

Why not do the Opposite?

Slow down. Enjoy your food. Stay "checked in". Nibble for the first 20 minutes of your meal until your satiety mechanism kicks in.

You’ll feel more physically and mentally satisfied with less food. Your stomach will thank you. And your waist line will reward you. 

Eating slowly can improve our digestion. Calm us down. And help us feel more satisfied with less food.

Which means we lose weight while enjoying life more. Win. Win! I find this is a battle not easily won in one meal. I need to work at it. If you're like me and need a bit more help, sign up for our Fall Fat Loss Challenge.

You chose. Eat Fast- helps you to gain weight OR Eat Slowly and see what happens.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Living Long, Living Well. I’ll Take Both (if I can get it)

I just finished listening to the audio version of "Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (or die trying)", by . author Bill Gifford. The book is an interesting history and exploration of all the different (and sometimes downright weird) ways people try to add years to their life. 

I think we have it all backwards anyway. Sure, I am not in any hurry to die, but I don't want to live longer just for the sake of adding birthdays. 

Instead of adding years to my life, I'd rather add some more life to my years, no matter how many I have left.

Instead of being obsessed with (not) dying, I think it's more productive to be some more effort into really living.

Of all the different things that Gifford explored in his book, from vitamins and supplements, drugs, cold therapy, transfusions, the lot of it, there were two things that stood out as credible and evidence based that really seem to add both longevity and better health:

  • Caloric restriction of some kind. Intermittent fasting seems to be the easiest and most sustainable way.
  • Exercising 100 minutes a WEEK adds 7 years to life.

It really is that simple, noting that simple and easy are not the same thing.

There is also good evidence that coffee and red wine are helpful, and maybe a few select supplements and a medication or two. 

Sooo....

Skip a meal once in awhile.

Get moving.

And I am not just being a homer for these things, even though I have long advocated both. I am not interested in doing things that don't matter, but when I find out they do, well then let's get on it!

Nancy and I really do love what we do. Most people know what a healthy meal looks like. But fitting it in to their crazy life? That's a whole 'nother thing. We can help with that.

And the moving part? We believe there is absolutely no reason why men and women in their forties, fifties, sixties and beyond shouldn't have access to professional fitness coaching that is challenging and fun, yet appropriate for the realities of aging. PROactively aging is a whole lot better than just, well, getting old. 

Fall is upon us. The older I get the faster the years go by. September is a perfect time to commit (or recommit) to being the healthiest you can be for as long as you can be.

Ready to get started? Click the button below and let's talk about it. We'll even give you Two Weeks of our multiple-time award winning training for FREE. 

Don't just let life happen, around here we Make It Happen!

See you soon,

- DC

Take a Chill Pill

Recovery week is almost here. September 2- September 6 is a scheduled time off from your training at the gym. Most of us take planned vacations from work where your mind can take a break from the routine of all that you do each day at work. We look forward to them, enjoy them, and feel better when we do get back to work. It's refreshing. The same is true for your physical training at Cr8 Fitness. 

If you've been with us for a length of time, your body is giving you a few signals that you are ready for a time away. If this is your first time taking a recovery week here are 5 reasons why it is important. 

C- Confidence. Physical training and the health it brings is what Dean and I specialize in. The trust you place in us continually inspires us to be the best and do the best for you. We design in hour in the gym as part of our plan through the week, the month, and the year. Through the whole process we work at keeping the confidence you placed in us. Check out this great article written by Coach Dean covering the ins and out of "Why Recovery Weeks?"

H- Health, your health is our primary concern. Each day as you give your all it takes a toll. Remember you train like athletes because life is an event you want to do very well. Every sport has its season and it's off season. Even during a sport season there are weeks off or longer breaks in between games. It's on purpose to keep you training longer and staying healthy for it all. Same goes for you and your training at Cr8 Fitness.

I- Injury prevention. If you are hurt you can't train. (or at least you can't train as hard as you want) Ignoring those little aches and over tired body muscles can be a precursor to injury. 

L- Longevity. Dying is just not on my To Do list- EVER. I'm not in control of all that is going to happen to me and you aren't either. Yet, we can choose to live the best life possible. You've chosen to have a coach(es). Trust us when we say you need a week just to do something a bit different. 

L- Love yourself. Be good to yourself during this week. It might mean extra sleep, or chilling with a friend, or kicking your feet up to read a book or starting to create a better eating routine. If you haven't signed up for the Fall Fat Loss Challenge, you should do that now. You will love how it makes me you feel. 

What are some good things to do while on recovery?

P- Prepare. "Before anything else, Preparation is the key to success." - Alexander Bell, He's a pretty smart guy. Think of how good you'll feel and how much less stress you'll create for yourself if you have your meals planned and prepared for the week. What about a meal ready to go in the freezer for those crazy days you will encounter? How about making your shopping list so your grocery trip is easier? Spend some time checking out some ways we can help you with that too, right here

I- Be Idle. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Seriously when is the last time you could just sit and do whatever came to mind for an hour. My days are filled with rush rush, so this is a true gift. Better yet spend that hour with your spouse, a friend, or someone who needs encouragement. Win/win for both of you. 

L- Lighten your work load. Take the hour you would have trained to tackle that nagging item off your To Do list. Cleaning out a closet is one of my favorite ways to feel like I've completed a monumental task. It takes time but I love the organization it gives me. I often have items to donate or give away. And I often find a treasure I had forgotten about. All wins

L- Leisure. That's a fancy word for do what makes you feel good. Hiking, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, walking, shopping, whale watching, camping, or any other leisurely activity that brings out those happy feelings. Remember the world needs a lot more happy. 

Take it from me- Take a Chill Pill this recovery week. (September 2 - 6) We'll be back at training on September 9th. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy



Eating Fat Does Not Make You Fat

Let's focus on fat.  No, not the fluffy stuff around your midsection but the foods you put in your body. 

Most of us have been conditioned to think that fat is bad.  All over the media and plastered in our supermarkets, we see reduced fat this or low fat that.  The idea that all fat is bad or fat in our diet equals fat on our body is very far from the truth. 

Eating the right types of fats in the appropriate amounts is going to help you be healthier and as crazy as it sounds lose fat too.  

To do this the right way, you'll need to start making conscious and informed decisions about the types of fat you consume on a daily basis.  Before you can be successful with that it's important to make sure you have a strong understanding of what fat really is.   

Fats are one of the 3 main macronutrients, things that provide calories, that make up all of our food. Protein and carbs are the other two. They provide us with calories, 9 calories per gram, as opposed to carbs and protein which give us only 4 calories per gram.  This means they provide over twice the calories as the other macronutrients of the same weight.  Since fats have twice the calories, it's even more important for us to be aware of amounts. 

Examples of Fats:

  • All oils (olive oil, coconut oil, soybean oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, etc)
  • Butter
  • Animal Fat
  • Seafood
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Coconuts
  • Nuts and Seeds (these have protein and carbs too)

There are actually 3 different kinds of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated. You will get more info on those later, so for now just keep in mind that fatty foods differ in their molecular structure and how they react in our body.  This is why some are called “good fats” and others are called “bad fats”.

 Best Sources to include in your diet:

  • Seeds (chia, flax, sunflower, etc….)
  • Nut butters (almond butter)
  • Salmon
  • Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Cage-Free Whole Eggs (pastured or free-range if possible)
  • Lean Beef (grass fed or grass finished if possible)
  • Fish Oil (or krill oil)
  • Grass Fed Butter
  • Nuts (Almond, Macadamia, Walnuts etc)

This is not an all-encompassing list, but it's a good place to start.  You will notice a common theme about all these items. Almost all occur in nature and require very little processing.  If you don’t know what to do, eat as close to nature as possible.

A serving of fat equals about the size of 1 of your thumbs for women, ​​​​​2 thumbs for men.

Strive to get good healthy fats at each meal and you can always adjust from there. 

Your goal is going to be to get your fats from real, whole food sources: healthy oils; avocados, coconuts, olives, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.

To begin with, don't over complicate things. Be aware of the different types of fats you are already consuming. Remember taking a fish oil supplement will help you ensure you have the right healthy fats everyday.

 To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

1 2 3 6
>