What Should You Eat For Breakfast?



 

Many people believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’m not so sure about that. All meals are important. What is important is what we eat for breakfast, and why we eat it when we do.

In this video, I talk about the importance of listening to our body when making the decision to eat any meal and to making sure we listen to our body when deciding what to eat. Some foods associated with breakfast are just horrible choices. Processed foods are not the way to start the day yet many processed foods like pancakes or boxed cereals are considered breakfast foods.

Watch the video for my thoughts on this topic and leave comments below with any questions or thoughts of your own. Let’s keep the conversation going.

If you’d like a free strategy session with me, click on https://www.timetrade.com/book/7KZYH and schedule an appointment. I’d love to see what I can do to help.

Enjoy!

 

Removing the “Can’t”



Limitless-Possibilities

“I could never give up eating cheese.” – A wonderful person said that to me the other day.

What he probably meant to say is that he “doesn’t want” to give up eating cheese.

But let’s say he did want to – I know that he would be right when he said that he can’t. Anytime I say to myself that I can’t do something, even if it is something I want, I know that I’m right too.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t…you’re right” – That was said by Henry Ford and it is true in all areas of our lives.

The words that we use are a reflection of our thoughts. The thoughts we have are a reflection of our beliefs. And the beliefs we hold dear dictate the experience of our life.

It’s easy to argue against this paradigm. It’s easy to say “no, I’ve tried, and I can’t” or to say that a person with seeming limitations can’t do something. It is those words which reflect our thoughts, which dictate the experience of our lives.

But if we were to change those beliefs, the words would change and then so would the experience of what we can or can’t do.

Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf in the nineteenth century learned to talk, write, and read. She became the first deaf/blind person to earn a bachelors degree and went on to inspire generations not only with her story but also with her insightful published works.

Jennifer Bricker, a woman born without legs and because of it given up for adoption, was raised by her adoptive parents to know that “can’t” is not part of her vocabulary. She did not consider herself disabled and she achieved her dream of becoming a gymnastics champion and an acrobat.

So, when people tell me that they can’t lose weight, I know that they are right…at least for now.

When there is something that we want that seems so out of reach that we truly believe we can’t have it, then the task isn’t to focus on the how of of what we want, the task is to examine and dissolve or change that belief  that the word “can’t” represents so that the limitation disappears.

From that point anything is possible.

“If you are never given limits, you can do anything” – Jennifer Bricker

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

New Year’s Resolutions



Keeping Our New Year’s Resolutions

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for this year? Each year at the end of December or on New Year’s Day I am asked this same question by at least one person. My answer is initially “no” but it gets me thinking and I ultimately jump on the bandwagon and start setting my resolutions for the coming year. Some of my resolutions serve to get me back on track after my derailing gluttonous behavior over the holiday season, and some are life changing goals designed to move my life’s mission forward. For the most part, I am able to keep my resolutions but like most people, many die down after even a week. One week! Why is that? And I know I’m not alone. In thinking about this, I realized there are techniques to achieving success on New Year’s resolutions and no, I am not going to suggest that we not make any. After all, I think it feels good to start the year off with some feel-good goals.

According to Wikipedia, a New Year’s resolution is a commitment made to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings. The concept is to annually reflect on self-improvement.[i] According to one survey, of the 80% of respondents who have made resolutions in their lifetime, only 10% said they always keep them. 33% said they have kept some and let some go. 43% said they rarely keep them, but have done so once or twice. And 15% said they have never kept a new year’s resolution.[ii] I’m in the 33%. Where are you?

The main reason it is difficult to keep resolutions is that if it they were easy to accomplish, then they would be accomplished already throughout the year without much more thought. In addition, many resolutions are not planned out very well. The most common resolutions are things that we all know would make our life better if only we would just get them done.

Common New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Lose Weight
  • Eat healthier
  • Quit smoking
  • Quit drinking
  • Watch less TV
  • Manage debt
  • Manage stress
  • Obtain better work-life balance
  • Get a promotion/better job
  • Learn something new
  • Save money
  • Get organized
  • Finish home improvement projects
  • Volunteer / give to charity
  • Enjoy life more
  • Read more
  • Recycle more
  • Exercise more
  • Travel more
  • Get more sleep
  • Have more fun
  • Spend more time with Family and Friends

In general, resolutions are more sustainable when they are approached in one or both of the following ways: By breaking down a goal into manageable and reasonable smaller goals, and by sharing them with a supportive friend or buddy. Here are some other tips to setting and accomplishing our yearly goals.

  • Be specific. If our resolution is to lose weight, we should pick a specific and attainable goal such as: lose 15 pounds by March 15. Then we can set mini specific goals that will help us get there. For example: eat 500 calories less per day by cutting my portion sizes by ¼ and do 30 minutes of cardio three times per week. Or, limit refined sugar or meat consumption to just the weekends. In another example,  if our goal is to obtain better work-life balance, we can be more specific by saying that we will leave work by 5:30 each day and only work late once or twice per week if needed.
  • Be realistic. If we currently eat refined sugar every day and vow to never eat refined sugar again for the rest of our lives, we are likely to get discouraged when that sugar craving hits. But if we resolve to only eat refined sugar on weekends, then having that choice will make it more likely that we will accomplish that goal. Or, if we currently exercise about twice per month or not at all, it is not realistic for the long term to decide to exercise every day for two hours per day. We can make a more realistic goal by hiring a personal trainer to get us started on a workout plan that will work with our fitness level and lifestyle.
  • Be more relaxed about accomplishing our goals. If our goal is to meditate every single day, and we skip a day, having a more relaxed attitude will ensure that skipping one day won’t mean failure and cause us to permanently let go of that goal. We simply pick it back up again tomorrow.
  • See the bigger picture. It’s important to look at the more fundamental reason for choosing to set a goal in the first place. Resolving to save money is not as impactful of a resolution unless we look at the overall picture of why we are resolving to do so. For example, we may be saving money now because it will allow us to invest in something at a later date that will bring in a larger income. Or resolving to get more sleep can come from a fundamental need to be more alert and restful and lead an overall healthier lifestyle.
  • Create accountability. I mentioned before that enrolling a supportive buddy or friend can help us to achieve our goals. It helps if this friend or buddy agrees to keep us accountable for accomplishing our goals. Perhaps we make a bet or agree on a reward. Whatever the agreement, the friend we choose will need to be someone we trust and who is supportive of our well-being. It is a plus if that friend is asking us to keep them accountable for their goals as well.
  • Set up reminders. A great way to remind ourselves is to write our resolutions down and have them delivered in a way that will be pleasing to see or receive and in a frequency which will not cause us to ignore the reminder. We can post them on the wall in a place where we will see them every day or set them up as reminders on our calendar.
  • Reward ourselves. Who doesn’t like a reward? It’s important to choose increments of time throughout our goals to reward ourselves for a job well done. Of course, the reward shouldn’t be something that will sabotage our goals. If our goal is to lose weight, we shouldn’t reward ourselves with a cake after losing 5 pounds. Instead we can schedule an appointment for a massage or schedule that ski trip we’ve been putting off.
  • Play the game. Life is ultimately a game that we all play and we each set up the rules of the game as we go along. Our resolutions can be fun when we choose to look at them as a game rather than a chore. When we think about the recreational games we play in our lives we don’t put so much emphasis on the outcome as we do on each step in the process of the game. In a card game, we play one hand at a time. Football games are played one play at a time. In both games there is an ultimate goal in mind, but the outcome is achieved when we remain focused on the moment and play fully one step at a time. And we would never play if it weren’t ultimately fun!
  • Be thankful. Resolving to say out loud, or write down each day, something that we are thankful for, induces an overall good feeling about life and eventually trickles down to actions that are good for ourselves, making it easier to accomplish our goals.

So good luck to us all with our New Year’s resolutions and have a wonderful 2013!


[i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_resolution

[ii] http://aytm.com/blog/daily-survey-results/new-years-resolution-survey/

Sugar Blues



JUST ABOUT EVERYONE LOVES SUGAR.
candy
There is no doubt about it, sugar tastes good. We like sugar in our coffee, our chocolate, our cereal, and more. Birthdays and other special events are celebrated with cookies, cakes, donuts and other treats laden with sugar. Children are often rewarded with treats made with sugar. When colleagues bring a treat to share, it is usually cookies, cupcakes or the like. Sugar is even considered a term of endearment.

If you are used to eating sugar regularly, try to stop eating it for a week and see what happens…it is a very difficult thing to do. Why do we love sugar so much? Is it just because it tastes good or could it be that we are somehow addicted to it? Why do we crave it? If we crave it, doesn’t that mean that our bodies need it? Since our bodies seem to need it, then why are we always told that it is not good for us? After all, humans have been consuming sugar for thousands of years.

WHAT IS SUGAR?
Sugar falls under the umbrella of carbohydrates. A carbohydrate is an essential macronutrient metabolized in the body to produce glycogen for energy to be used for both internal bodily function and for external physical activity. Carbohydrates are considered complex or simple based on their molecular structure and generally speaking complex carbohydrates metabolize slower than simple carbohydrates. This is not to be confused with carbohydrates that come from whole foods versus those that come from refined foods. For example, whole fruit is a simple carbohydrate but is not refined. For proper function in the body, it is important to consume all carbs in their whole form rather than in their refined form.

The sugar that we add to our food is made by the refinement of sugar cane, beet cane, corn, and other carbohydrates. When a carbohydrate is refined, the minerals, fiber, and other nutrients present are stripped away. This is why sugar is said to contain “empty calories” – when we consume sugar, we are consuming calories but with no nutritional value. What makes this worse is that sugar then needs the missing minerals and other nutrients to metabolize properly so it pulls those from the storage units in the body and this may lead to nutrient deficiency. Most importantly, refined sugar is missing the fiber which will help to slow down its metabolism. This refined sugar that is metabolized quickly in the body can cause a large spike in blood sugar which goes above the normal range followed quickly by a large dip that goes below the normal range. (See accompanying graph.)

chart

These large spikes in blood sugar immediately after the consumption of a refined carbohydrate can cause a short term burst of energy. When the blood sugar then reaches its lowest dip, we feel increasingly less energetic causing us to crave additional sugar to create that more energetic feeling which consequently results in a vicious cycle of highs and lows in both energy and in blood sugar levels. Having the constant cycle of blood sugar that peaks and dips outside of the normal range can have both short term and long term negative effects.

SHORT TERM EFFECTS OF SUGAR IN THE BODY
With the consumption of sugar resulting in the depletion of minerals, fiber, and other nutrients along with the highs and lows of blood sugar levels, the short term expression of sugar consumption is subtle and typically only noticeable when we know what normal feels like. Some short term effects are:
• General lethargy
• Brain fog
• Increased sugar cravings
• Increased appetite
• Acne
• Afternoon sleepy feeling even after a good night’s rest
• A general feeling of not being quite right

LONG TERM EFFECTS OF SUGAR IN THE BODY
In the long term, however, constant sugar consumption can create very serious health problems which in some cases may end up being irreparable. Some long term effects are:
• Inflammation
• Increased LDL cholesterol
• Lowered HDL cholesterol
• Raised triglycerides
• Lowered immune system
• Increased blood pressure
• The removal of calcium from bones and teeth
• Wrinkles
• Diabetes
• Obesity as a result of the body starving of nutrients creating an insatiable appetite
• Contribution to cancer
• Contribution to heart disease
• Contribution to other degenerative diseases

HOW TO ENJOY SUGAR
The best way to enjoy sugar is in its natural, whole state with the consumption of organically grown fruits which are loaded with minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. Refined sugars should be avoided or eaten in moderation. When we feel the need to eat refined sugar, and we do so in moderation, we should take the time to savor it completely and recognize the effect that it will have on our body.

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