Friday, January 27, 2017

Canyon Ranch told my friend to do this, here’s what I suggested

My friend mentioned, in a text, that she had been to Canyon Ranch last weekend. I expressed my jealousy, she then asked “do I really need 30 grams of fiber every ding dong day?”
I told her what I’m about to tell you and that’s that normal people don’t count their food in grams. They don’t. I love fiber, fiber helps with digestion and satiety. Fiber feeds those good bacteria we’re so fascinated by. Fiber helps your weight loss efforts. Fiber and I have no issues. I just prefer a common sense, tedium-free approach.

SO here we go

Let’s say you had yogurt and raspberries or eggs with avocado this morning (or perhaps you followed Carolyn’s advice with Breggie).
Raspberries- the fruity, fiber queen give you 8 g of fiber per cup.
Eggs/avo 4.5 grams in ½ a Haas (better eat those avos before they’re taxed).

Hit up Sweetgreen for lunch and have everyone’s fave Rad Thai  salad (personally I adore the Omg salmon offering).
No fiber facts are listed on Sweetgreen’s website so I had to friggin’ count.
I’ll say 15 grams of fiber (even though 16.7 by my calculations)
Conservatively you’re over 20 grams at this point; it could be over 24.

In the afternoon, I’d suggest our Foodtrainers' nutcase (pictured above) fill it with almonds for another 4 grams of fiber.

Maybe for dinner you have some chicken and broccoli (I’m into roasting broccoli lately),
7.5 grams for the broccoli (Brussels and cauliflower also high in fiber).
Go wild and add in a sweet potato for 31 total fiber grams (lowballing).

So, the morals of the fiber story are:
You get a big fiber bang for your buck with a veggie-filled salad in your day.
OR if you’re not into salads have vegetables 2-3 time daily.
Consume nuts or seeds once a day in some form.
And any time an expert gives you annoying advice, ask them if they do what they’re suggesting.
Finally, life is too short to count fiber grams.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Breggie is the new Breakfast

CB Collagen Smoothie
It’s officially our second Whipping Week! If you’ve missed our incessant posting, Whipping Week is one of our programs/resets that we offer three times a year. Pre and post summer, we call it The Squeeze but after the holidays, we all need to be whipped into shape. Participants receive a packet with Whipping rules, a sample Whipping meal plan and recipes. Every day, for seven days, there is a Whipping tip of the day and personalized food journal feedback. Week 1 was a breeze, with Whippers reporting they felt “rejuvenated, in control, on track, mentally and physically clear, lighter” and much more. The average participant lost 4-6 lbs, pretty damn good! Most importantly, they all felt they had made changes to their habits that they will stick with.

We can’t give away all our Whipping secrets (but we’d love to have you in our next program: The Pre-Summer Squeeze in May), so we’ll give you a taste and let you in on one of our favorite Whipping tip. This is what we sent participants:

Breggie Is the New Breakfast
You know we love veggies at lunch and dinner, this week we would love you to veg at breakfast too. Enter: BREGGIE. Yup, add veggies or fermented veggies to eggs, greens to smoothies or mint leaves or basil to yogurt. Have a salad for breakfast and you will be an all-star Whipper. Fiber in vegetables helps you excrete fat and keeps you full. Plus, we need vegetable action for that healthy glow. So, how veg can you go?  

Regardless of your personal, wellness goals, you too can benefit from BREGGIE-ing it up. One of my fave fast breggies is a smoothie, of course.

CB’s Collagen Breggie Smoothie
*This isn’t a Whipping recipe

·      1 scoop of Vital Proteins beauty greens collagen
·      handful of spinach
·      ½ banana
·      almond milk
·      ½ avocado
·      a splash of almond extract
·      ice

Blend and sip! (you could absolutely add frozen blueberries or strawberries in here too. Just might not come out as breggie-beautiful).

The collagen in Vital Proteins is SO good for your skin, hair and nails.  It’s also great for your GI system and helps increase strength gains from exercise programs. This beauty greens blend also raw organic greens, hyaluronic acid and probiotics. OK that might not sound so yummy but I promise it is.
What’s your best way to breggie? Can you commit to it for the rest of January?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How to Kill Carb and Sweet Cravings

We tend to draw a line between foods we’ll try (anything) and what we’ll suggest to clients and readers. It’s affirming, that we’re headed in a healthier direction, when foods we previously felt were offbeat become mainstream. One such category of foods is fermented vegetables. Consumer Reports, Eating Well Magazine and Foodtrainers’ friend Max Goldberg, of the Living Maxwell blog, all list fermented foods as a trend for 2017.
 If sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles come to mind, you’re on the right track. I realize kimchi isn’t for everyone; there are also carrots, beets and other, slightly more user-friendly, fermented veggies available. As you may know, we’re also partial to shots. I mean, why beat around the bush? Our favorite, fermented food folks at Farmhouse Culture have “gut shots” (see photo). And, just yesterday NYC-based Lulitonix sent us their super shots too.
If being trendy is not a draw (and trust me, food trends are the only trends that interest me), there are still convincing reasons you should have fermented or “ferm”, as we affectionately call them, vegetables in your diet. First, ferm veggies have a staggering probiotic count. One tablespoon has as high a count as many supplements. And if you’re not already obsessed with your microbiome (the state of real estate in your gut), you should be. 
Fermented foods help with mood. The majority of our serotonin is produced in your gut. I got a kick of this study which connects fermented foods to lower social anxiety, specifically “neuroticism”. Fermented foods also play a role in reducing food cravings, specifically for carbs and sugar. They have beneficial effects on your weight via glucose metabolism. Bacteria-free mice were found to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And higher cortisol leads to weight gain. If mood, cravings and weight aren’t a draw (not sure why you’re reading this blog) it’s worth a reminder that fermented foods help us combat pathogens. They can knock out h pylori, that leads to ulcers, and even eradicate some forms of e coli…yum yum.

There are kits galore if you want to be a home fermenter. I’m less of a DIY-er. Personally, I’d prefer SEDI (someone else do it). As I said above, check out Farmhouse Culture (I’m already babbling but the kraut explosion that occurred, with a package from them, is a sour story for another day).  I mentioned their gut shots but their fermented orange, ginger carrots are delicious too. We also love Bubbies Pickles, Mother in Law's Kimchi and Hawthorne Farm's red cabbage. Look for these foods in the refrigerated section of your health food stores or Whole Foods.We featured ferm veggies as one of our “secret weapons” in our New Year’s Whipping Weeks but we have other ferm friends. Kombucha, kefir and miso are worth checking out. Your goal should be to have 1 “ferm” food daily but when it comes to good bacteria, the more the merrier…or less neurotic. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Would you tell someone they’re overweight?

Last week, I was bargaining with myself to get on the treadmill. I was sick of my playlists and glanced at my podcast roster. I saw a Dear Sugar podcast on body image. It was 40-something minutes on what sounded like a juicy topic. I chose this over Adele for the thousandth time. If you’re unfamiliar with Dear Sugar, it’s Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild and my favorite BraveEnough). Cheryl and her podcast partner Steve Almond (best last name ever) tackle all things interpersonal and touchy. If you’re not familiar with podcasts, I’d resolve to change that this year.
This podcast was called “The Weight of Love”. Cheryl opened by sharing about her own weight fluctuations. She admitted she felt better when her weight was toward the low end of her range but appreciated that her husband told her she was beautiful regardless of her weight.
I’m summarizing as the podcast really focused on two letters written by listeners. The first letter writer was a guy in his twenties. This guy was in a relationship with a “terrific woman”. He said she was a little overweight and this was an issue for him. He deliberated whether or not to say something. He ended up saying something in a casual, less than sensitive, way and “she didn’t take it well.” Cheryl reacted strongly, she didn’t feel he should’ve said anything and even suggested he break up with her if size mattered. Steve asked Cheryl if withholding his opinion was honest. My view is our words need to be chosen very carefully in these situations; however, they’re legit and shouldn’t be closeted.  
I’ve written before about a conversation I had with Marc. I was writing about couples and weight and said “if I gained 100 pounds would you still be attracted to me” or something like that. He, never one to be politically correct, said “no”. As we talked, he said that being active and in shape was a big part of our relationship.  I totally get that even if it’s not what I’d like him to think. And I think Cheryl’s advice for this young man is what she’d like men to think. While it’s nice to imagine our partners love us 100% as is, if you are in a relationship there are changes you’d like to see, whether they are physical or no.t As I discussed Monday, I’m pro change.
Why should we be open with conversations about sex, money, in-laws and children but bite our tongues about weight?. Our weight affects our confidence which affects how we interact with others and especially how you feel in an intimate relationship. There’s a shift in the ethos; it’s taboo to focus on weight. I was castigated in certain circles for the title The Little Book of Thin. The Little Book of Wellness would’ve been OK. I’m the last person to rank size above other, more meaningful topics like health and gratitude but it’s part of the picture and shouldn’t be ignored.
What advice would you give the letter writer? Would you talk to a partner about weight or be ok if they brought it up to you? And what are your favorite workout songs or podcasts?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Be a creature of freshness

Last night, on Instagram, I read a blogger’s caption for her photo. It read “New year, same food.  My eating doesn't change just because it's January first.” I say, good for her. She’s probably one of those people who says “I’m thankful every day” on Thanksgiving. Call me a cliché’ (I’ve been called worse) but I love a clean slate; I'm not shy about my glee when goal setting.  I’m not suggesting “whole new you” type aspirations.   I like the majority of myself; however, I am perpetually tweaking. If you’re feeling resolutiony, here’s how I’d channel your newfound motivation.

Be a creature of freshness
I can’t find the right, uplifting word that’s the opposite of habit. Habits and routines are great but monotony is not. Especially in the wellness realm, mixing it up is vital. Kale all day and night would make me find a new profession. What do you want to try in 2017? You can experiment anywhere. Maybe it’s a new form of self-care. I believe I’ve written about my adoration for infrared saunas but cryotherapy, acupuncture and magnesium baths are other options. Or, perhaps there’s a bucket list place you want to see this year. I have New Orleans, Hawaii, San Miguel de Allende (with my mom who is in her 70s and always seeking newness), Portugal and the Canadian Rockies planned or germinating. Do you want to acquire a new skill? Learn a language, try a certain type of cooking? Freshness can be anything but it’s key that it’s appealing to you versus something you feel you must do.

Trim the fat
When I was about to turn forty I had dinner with my friend Allyson. Allyson is a year older and told me 40 was when you “trim the fat”. She wasn’t referring to what bulges over my bra. She explained that certain people weren’t worth my time. Weeding out is good. We can also “trim” behaviors. I hate talking on the phone, especially for things that can be accomplished via email. This year, I’m going on record (I did that with hugging and people are now afraid to touch me- that’s fine). I’m not a phone person, I am going to add this to my voicemail. What do you want to trim?

Out yourself
New Year’s Eve, I was at dinner with my family. I asked if anyone had resolutions. Marc, my husband, and one of my sons were adamant about goals and resolutions being private. I understand that thinking. However, the very thing that makes going on record scary is why we should do it. We all like to succeed or win or don’t want to be shown up. So…here we go. My New Orleans trip? I’m running a half marathon. This race is not about getting a certain time. Signing up for this race got me back to running. Even in Vermont, when I wanted to be lazy, I got on that treadmill solely because of the race. I also want to put it out there that I’d like to fuse my interests in travel and nutrition (this is a joint goal with Carolyn). If you have any contacts or ideas, send them our way. And finally, I have a book idea. I may have said this before as there was a book two I was attempting, My agent says sometimes being unproductive is a sign it’s not the right project. I believe my new concept is.

Focus and fine-tune
It’s impossible to focus on everything that needs fixing. When I run more, I may read less and so goes the wellness juggle. This year I want to focus on home hydration (I am so much better at work), carving out writing time and starting a better strength routine (after the half).

I don't know if people are being more forthcoming or if many had a shitty 2016. Either way, I get that. For me, 2015 was the year of shit. This led to dusting myself off in 2016. I think that's why I feel shot out of a cannon this year. It feels extra special when the shit isn't too far in your rearview. If you're struggling, I hope 2017 is a step in the right direction. If you're ready to experiment, trim the fat and out yourself, let's do it together.
Are you pro or anti resolutions? What do you want to try this year? Anything you want to "trim"? Any goals you'd like to go public with (comment below)?