Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Week in Florida: Guidelines for Nutritional Success

Good morning my friends. I am coming to the end of my stay in the Florida Keys.  My aunt hired me to spend a week with her to help her cook her way to a healthier life style. I was flattered that she had so much faith in me, and I was also curious as to how successful I would be as an in home wellness coach. For weeks before the trip I spent my time collecting information from her about her dietary habits, her stressors, her food cravings and the times of day that are the hardest for her to keep herself from grazing.

Once I gathered all the information I got to work and created a recipe book and guidelines for keeping her on the right path once I left and went back to Minnesota. In the last week we lived like queens. I tried to find foods that were both nutritious and fl I replaced most of her guilty pleasures with equally as enjoyable but healthier options. Less than a week into our mission she has lost 6 lbs, she is feeling great and is determined to keep this up once I leave. I am going to share with you the guidelines I created for her to follow along with some recipes from the week!



This is a list of simple guidelines that must be followed in order for you to continue this journey once I leave to go home. I understand that is never fun to follow the rules, but I feel as though these are just easy ways to ensure you are staying on track.

STAY HYDRATED!!!  We are all chronically dehydrated. You will need to consume at least 3 liters of water a day to stay properly hydrated. This changes if you consume alcohol, caffeine, sugar or participate in strenuous exercise. For every 8 oz of caffeine or alcohol ingested you need to replace that with 12 oz of water. The best way to keep this up is to carry around a water bottle. I like the ones with straws because you drink the water faster, but it is up to you as to which bottle you like the best.

Always have a cheat day! It is important to indulge yourself. We are from a family that loves to celebrate surrounded by good food and wine. If you do not allow yourself to partake in some of this you will eventually fall off the bandwagon and fill your diet with bad choices. I would evaluate your week, if you know you are going to go out on Friday night, make friday your cheat day. Allow yourself an extra cocktail or a dessert, just don’t make every day your cheat day. Once those cheat days start to add up that is when we start to gain weight.

Plan Ahead.  Make sure you are meal planning for the week. If you know you are going to have a REALLY event filled week, plan our your meals. Go shopping before the busy week starts and try and plan meals that can be prepped a head of time. Sometimes I will make a big pot of chili or soup for those weeks I know will be impossible to find time to cook. This soup can last you the week and you can use it for lunches or dinners. Once you stop planning thats when you start eating our of convenience. “Ohhhh we don’t have any food in the house but this frozen pizza and chocolate cake... I guess thats breakfast and lunch.” I know I am guilty of this, especially during those busy stressful weeks.

Keep “The Basics” in the house... The next page will list out “The Basics”. These are foods I think need to remain stocked in the household. They are simple ingredients that can make those “fast” meals we sometimes seek. They also make great snacks, and quick breakfasts. Stick to these when you are tired and don’t feel like cooking.

Snack Sensibly.  Surround yourself with healthy alternatives to those traditional snack foods. Instead of filling your pantry with processed sugar, carb and salt heavy snacks, keep alternatives that you are attracted to around the house. If you like nuts make a healthy trail mix filled with raw nuts. If you are more a chips and dip type, make some avocado dip and use veggies instead of chips. Just make better choices during those hours that you tend to be hungriest.

Replace your refined carbohydrates with protein carbs. We now have access to some pretty awesome protein filled carbohydrates. Instead of using white rice, choose quinoa or farro. If you want to make pasta and don’t want to use the zucchini noodles find a quinoa or brown rice pasta. They are very similar in flavor and texture but they are high in proteins. Also when buying bread for toast or sandwiches find a sprouted grain bread. The sprouted grains not only pack a lot of protein but they have great active enzymes that help protect the gut during digestion. Typically you can find these breads in the freezer section of your grocery store.

Get rid of all the tempting foods. This should really be number one. To start this whole process you should first evaluate your trigger foods. If you know that your weakness is candy and you keep it around the house, the chances are incredibly high that you will eat the candy. If you only allow yourself candy when you are not at home it makes it a lot harder for you to get your hands on it in the first place and it makes you think before you put it in your mouth. Don’t keep foods in the house that will break your will power, leave those foods for your cheat days.

Replace some of your coffee breaks with tea breaks. You had mentioned that you drink a lot of caffeinated coffee. Coffee although a great antioxidant is also a strong diuretic and it tends to confuse your metabolism. If you can get yourself to replace some of that caffeine with herbal teas, you are still getting those great antioxidants but allowing your metabolism to calm itself down. 

When spending the night alone only allow yourself one alcoholic beverage. If you are not going out, or spending a night in with friends try to limit your alcohol intake. I struggle with this piece. I really like wine.... ALOT! Almost as much as cheese... but thats a whole different story. I don’t think there is any harm in having one small glass of wine a day, but make sure you aren’t drinking multiples. In one 5 oz glass of wine (and lets be honest... we never stop at 5.) there is around 123 calories. Alcohol quickly becomes sugar in the body, spikes the blood sugar and then eventually turns into fat.... this is why that cortisol looking belly fat is called a “beer belly”. As I said before allow yourself cheat days...

 Find Outlets other than food that are relaxing.  If you notice the more your brain is focused typically the less time you spend thinking about food. Try and find some hobbies that allow you to keep your mind off eating. 


I know what you are thinking, "Sure... These all seem like common sense". These guidelines can be tough to follow, I even have troubles sticking to all of them. But once you follow these simple rules you now own the key to your own success. They are easy solutions and if you are looking to make some small changes that can keep you on the path to a healthier lifestyle, print these out and start following them today!

Below is the list of "The Basics" that I find important in every nutritious household.

The Basics

These are foods I find are always good to keep on hand...

  • Pineapple
  • Spinach
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Whole milk greek yogurt
  • Sprouted Bread
  • Quinoa
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Raw Nuts
  • Can of tuna
  • Avocado
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Herbal Tea
  • Greens
  • Limes & Lemons
  • Nut Butter (almond)
  • Flavored Sparkling water
  • Dark Chocolate chips
  • Eggs
  • Almond Milk
  • Brown Rice noodles
  • Granola
  • Oats

Check back later this week for some awesome recipes!

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