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April 5, 2017

Get more protein in your diet

Here are some high protein foods that will not only help you feel fuller, LONGER, but may also help you win the war vs. body-fat. Protein helps the body to ‘repair and recover’ from strenuous activity, but can aid in weight loss, building lean muscle, and getting you stronger.

Almonds

Packed with vital nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin E, fiber, and manganese.

Chicken breast

This is packed with protein. You can bake, crock pot, BBQ, cook in coconut oil, etc.

Greek Yogurt

Thick and creamy, this can satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth and it is high in protein and fiber (depending on brand).

Lean cuts of beef

Packed with iron and B12, and it taste great.

Fish (salmon/tuna)

High in nutrients and Omega 3’s, a healthy fat.

Oats

Chock full of fiber, manganese, magnesium, and other nutrients. This can help you feel full for hours.

Whey protein

This is a protein source taken from dairy. The body can easily utilize it to help build muscle and may help weight loss.

Hemp protein

High in fiber, Omega 3’s, and protein. This is a great option for Vegans or those who need help getting in daily fiber.

Lentils

A great source for plant based protein. They are high in potassium, iron, folate, magnesium, and other essential nutrients.

Broccoli

Loaded with Vitamin C and K, fiber, and potassium. It may also help in warding off cancer.

Pumpkin seeds

High in nutrients like iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Ezekiel bread 

This bread is made with organic and sprouted whole grains and legumes. It is high in protein and fiber.

There you have it! Some foods that you can add to your current diet to get your protein in, build muscle, lose fat, and feel great. I bet there were some on here that never crossed your mind when you thought of moderate to high protein foods.

Which ones do you have heavy in your rotation right now? Which will you add? What are some of your favorites?

March 27, 2017

9 easy ways to avoid a weight loss plateau

Here are 9 simple things that you can do to get your weight loss moving in the right direction if you’ve hit a plateau.
Exercise more.
This seems obvious enough, but many don’t do it. If you’re training 2x a week, then try adding in another 2 days of activity to your training program. You may also need to increase the intensity of your training as well. The benefits of strength training are many, but some of the most important are they negate a metabolic decline as you diet, and help you to retain lean muscle mass. Both are important for weight loss.
Be aware of what you are eating.
Track your food. It can prove to be invaluable if you’re struggling to lose weight. We can forget what we had at breakfast, grazed on before lunch, and what we had after dinner. If you track what you’re eating (calories/macros) then you will start to see a pattern of why you’re not losing weight. You are most likely still eating too much if the scale won’t budge. I use the Nutritionist app myself to track, but there are others out there. Most people tend to under-report what they are eating so this is a good thing for many of you to try.
Chill out, bro.
No, seriously. You need to learn to relax. Being stressed out all the time will wreak havoc within your body. Being stressed out will cause the body to release cortisol, which can help to manage stress, but also lead to a bigger belly. If you’re constantly stressed out, you’ll be producing more cortisol which will make fat loss hard. You’ll also notice you don’t sleep as well, crave sugar more and pretty much suck to be around. Try to find some ways in which you can reduce your overall level of stress. You can walk, meditate, volunteer at a local shelter, etc.
Ditch the alcohol.
Who doesn’t like a nice cocktail from time to time? If your goals are to decrease body-fat you may want to abstain if you can’t limit yourself to just 1 or 2. Not only is there no nutritional value in alcohol, but many who drink end up consuming more calories than if they were not to drink at all. Alcohol lowers inhibition and all the sudden you don’t care about your diet and that hunk of chocolate looks pretty dang good! Alcohol may also suppress fat burning. If you’re going to drink you need to know what a serving is. Those wine glasses of yours hold more than one…I’m just saying.
Eat more protein.
This seems to be a hard one for people, especially women, to do. Not only does protein help keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time, it can also help you to retain lean muscle mass as you diet down. The thermic effect for protein is also higher, so this may give your metabolism a little boost. Eat a little bit of protein at each meal, aiming for 15-25 grams.
Go to bed.
Unless you want to look and feel like an extra in the Walking Dead you need to get your sleep. Studies have shown that those who don’t get enough sleep can experience metabolic decline, weight gain, crave high sugar/fat foods, and hormonal issues within the body. I do well with 7-9 hours of sleep as do many of my clients. Turn off your smart phone, TV, and iPod and go to sleep!
Eat more fiber.
Getting enough fiber (soluble/insoluble) in your diet can help you to lose weight because you feel fuller longer. It slows the rate at which the food moves through your digestive tract. It also helps to keep you regular so you don’t feel like a bloated whale. Most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diets and that is due to the over-consumption of too many processed foods. Try to get 20-30 grams in daily. I like to use hemp protein to help in this area.
Eat your veggies.
Vegetables are an amazing way to help facilitate weight loss. Not only are they packed with vitamins and minerals, they are typically low in calories, high in fiber, and fill you up. When I sit down to eat my major meals, half of my plate is loaded with veggies. Get in mah belly!
Keep moving.
Don’t expect to lose much weight if you only go to the gym for an hour, but spend the rest of the day sitting on your gluteus maximus. You need to stay active! You can do this by just doing regular household chores, stand at your job for 5-10 minutes for every hour you sit, walk on your lunch break, etc. Find creative ways in which you can add more activity into your day.
There you have it folks, 9 simple ways in which you can help to keep the weight loss train moving, choo! choo!
February 21, 2017

4 Fitness Myths That Must Die

There are a lot of fitness myths out there that really need to go away. There is no legitimate basis for these and they are continuing to be spread by folks who may have good intentions, but are misinformed.

  1. Eating eggs are bad for you: People believe that eating eggs, or the yolk for that matter, will drive up your cholesterol. This simply isn’t true as the body has its own natural “checks and balances.” The more cholesterol you eat, the less your body (liver) will produce. The vast majority vitamins and nutrients are in the yolk, so eat it!
  2. Eating smaller, frequent meals daily, stokes the metabolism: This is absolute rubbish and I wish it would go away. The amount of meals you eat per day is as unique as you are, but it will not have an impact on your metabolism or help you magically burn more body-fat. If you prefer to eat 4-5 meals per day as it helps you adhere to your diet, go for it, but it isn’t necessary. The thermic effect is the same if you were to eat 3 meals @500 calories for a total of 1500  calories or 5 meals @300 calories for again, a total of 1500 calories. Many studies have shown that there is little to no effect on metabolic rate or calories lost.
  3. High protein diets are bad for you: Most research shows that there is no real evidence to show that high protein diets are harmful. In fact, diets higher in protein help people to feel fuller longer. lose weight and give the muscles what they need to repair and rebuild.
  4. Eat less and move more to lose weight: While this sounds great, it isn’t very helpful for long term weight loss. There are many factors that will help one to lose weight and keep it off. The foods we eat will influence how and what we eat. If you’re eating a bunch of processed junk, don’t be shocked if that is what you are constantly reaching for. Drastically reducing your calories and exercising more can only be sustained for so long. Eventually, you will find yourself gorging on your favorite treat and giving up exercise altogether. Cutting calories can also have a negative impact on your metabolism (metabolic rate), making it very difficult to lose any weight. You need to eat for your specific fitness goals and this means fueling your body with the right amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

 

January 16, 2017

How to avoid a plateau

You start a new diet. You see some fantastic results pretty quickly. The struggle, of course, is then maintaining this weight loss. Changing eating patterns for a short period is different than sustaining them. This is the area people seem to have the most problems with. Once frustration and boredom sets in, once dieters have reached that plateau, it becomes so easy to just give up in disappointment.

Dig Down Deep

When you are in a rut, don’t give up! That’s the worst thing you can do. Boredom might be leading you back towards your old habits, but fight back! What’s vital to overcoming this sense of apathy is to set goals. Not just in the beginning of your diet, but throughout it. Goals should be specific, yet flexible. They should allow for some minor setbacks, and yet encourage you to keep moving forward.

As an example, say your goal is to lose 50 pounds. Great! But how are you going to get there? Is it by eating a specific amount of calories? Perhaps by eating enough servings of fruits and vegetables? Are you going to try to work out a few times a week? Be accommodating to yourself. Realize that you are not perfect and you might splurge on something tasty every now and again. Don’t view this as diet failure.

Be sure to set S.M.A.R.T goals. Make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Based. This will help you to have very clear, detailed goals.

Keep it Fresh

One of the biggest things that can be seen as contributing to diet boredom is a regimen that is so specific; it eliminates certain things from your diet, such as a low carbohydrate diet. These diets are not inherently bad, but it limits the variety of food options. So do your best to keep it fresh.

When struggles of tediousness come, counterattack! Change the types of food you eat. Don’t have the same dinners every week. Try new things out. It might take a little extra effort in the kitchen, but creativity in the kitchen can be fun. One way to do this is to splurge on a new healthy cookbook. Try out a new recipe once a week. Also, get your family involved in healthy cooking. Perhaps each family member can have a night of the week, not only to help cook, but to help pick out a recipe. You can also do a healthy recipe exchange with friends.

Choose variety
Above all else, a diet is nothing without combining other aspects of healthy living. Drink plenty of water, as always. This will keep you from munching throughout the day. Also, eat more fruit, veggies and protein. Be sure to find something outside of the gym that also brings you joy.
Finally, concentrate on fitness aspects as well. You won’t lose weight effectively if you do nothing to train your body. Hit the weights, start walking, and find activities that you like doing. You’ll be more inclined to stick with it if you do.
October 26, 2016

How to begin training again after a layoff

If you haven’t trained since George Bush was in office, you will want to be smart about how you approach training this go around. If you rush into things, and go too hard, too soon, you may end up injured, burned out, and back on the couch feeling defeated.

Here are some simple, no nonsense ways in which I help my clients who haven’t moved in a long time to ease back into training. This ensures that they can allow their body to adapt to the new stress, wrap their mind around the new changes, don’t injure themselves, and ensure that this becomes a lifestyle change.

It’s time to stop beating yourself up for being inactive, eating junk, abusing yourself and your body, and focus on getting started.

Born Again Fitness

Focus on making one change at a time

Research shows that you will be more successful if you focus on making one change at a time vs trying to change a million things at once. Instead of trying to eliminate all foods you like from your diet, try adding one healthy food per week to your diet. Focus on eating more veggies, fruit, and lean protein choices. Once you have mastered this you can move on to the next thing. That could be meal prep, a consistent exercise routine, etc. This way you don’t stress yourself out, and quit, if you don’t live up to those lofty expectations you used to set for yourself.

Plan to fail

Look, it is going to happen. At some point, you will binge, stress eat, or miss a work out or two. Changing behavior and creating new habits will take time. You must be kind, and patient with yourself during this time. I tell my clients all the time that, “failure is nothing more than feedback.” There is no need to shame or judge yourself when you hit a bump in the road. You just need to look at what occurred before you fell off the wagon, and see what you can do differently the next time you are in a similar situation.

Shift your focus from solely weight loss

Losing weight is an amazing thing, but it isn’t the only thing; keep that in mind. Far too many of us just focus on what the scale says to our own detriment. You may not have lost those 10 pounds you set out to lose in the first 4 weeks, but you can walk further, not get winded going up a flight of stairs, are stronger in the gym, feeling better, sleeping better, and the list goes on. The only problem is many of us focus on the weight we haven’t lost and miss sight of all the other things you have accomplished. Just be sure to not lose sight of the bigger picture. Health and wellness isn’t just about a number on the scale.

Break past your fear of the gym

I know many of you have a fear of the gym. You don’t want to stand out, look stupid because you don’t know what to do, and fear being judged. Look, I get all of that, I do, but you must most past that. You can’t allow the thoughts of what another person might think to get in the way of you achieving your goals. You need to take back that power and stop giving it to other people. If you’re unsure of what to do you can hire ME! or a trainer in your area to show you what to do. At some point, you are going to have to financially invest in yourself if you want to learn how to take care of your temple.

Take baby steps

If you haven’t trained in the last 6 months or longer, ease back into it. Don’t set these unrealistic expectations of working out 5 days a week, only to fall short. As you know, this will cause you to feel defeated, shamed, and cause you to quit. Instead, set a realistic goal of 1 training session per week. If you get in more than that, it is to be considered a bonus. Then the following week you can set a goal of 2x per week, and so on. Set yourself up for success and not failure.

Track your progress

To know if you’re making progress or not, you need to track it. I suggest you take measurements in bust, waist, thighs, arms, etc. Then in another 4 weeks you can measure again and you’ll see a reduction in inches, this will reflect fat loss. You can also take some selfies as well. As you know, a picture is worth a thousand words. It will be nice to do a side by side after 4 weeks and show how much your hard work is paying off.

Find an activity that you enjoy

Don’t follow the latest fitness fad in hopes of losing weight, especially if you hate it. You need to seek out those activities that you enjoy and can see yourself doing long term. If you hate running, don’t do it! You don’t have to kill yourself to get in shape. You just need to move your body daily, be consistent, and you’ll be successful.

Focus on creating new habits

We can’t eliminate old habits, but we can create new ones. I want you to put your energy into creating new habits vs. trying to eliminate the old ones. This could be you getting up 10 minutes earlier and doing a Bible devotion, stretching, meditation, etc. It could be taking the stairs at work over the elevator, drinking a protein shake for breakfast vs eating a doughnut. If you can begin to do this daily and remain consistent, eventually this new behavior will overrule the old, and you’ll have created a new habit.

Be patient with yourself

This journey is a marathon, not a sprint. You didn’t put the weight on in 4 weeks and you certainly won’t lose it in that short amount of time. You will be successful if you set realistic goals, seek out activities that you enjoy, get adequate rest, eat enough protein, try to eliminate unnecessary stress from your life, and are consistent. Keep in mind that the lessons you need to learn about yourself can only be found on this journey. Don’t be in a hurry to rush the process.

October 21, 2016

I want to work with you: how my coaching program works

I’ve gotten some questions on what I do exactly and how my coaching program works.
 Am I a fitness coach? life coach? psychologist (No, but working towards my LCSW)? wizard?
 
The answer is: Yes.
 
When I first started out in the fitness industry over 10 years ago I was a personal trainer, majoring in Kinesiology.
 
Throughout the years I noticed something with virtually all of my clients. They were coming to me saying that the wanted to lose weight, but were really seeking something else. For many it was to be free from the bondage of food, to get over a bitter divorce, work through abuse issues from childhood, address low self-esteem, etc.
 
What I quickly realized was I could write the BEST fitness program, but the results would be short lived. I found out by doing my own inner work, that we must address what is driving the behavior or one will only experience short term success. It’s like slapping a band aid on a gaping wound and expecting everything to be okay.
 
It won’t.
 
Fast forward to today, and my coaching program has radically changed. I’m now pursuing my Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) along with my CADC (drug and alcohol counselor).
 
My coaching program addresses the mind, body, and spirit. You see, it is easy to lose the weight, but it is very hard to keep it off.
 
Most people set out with the good, but often misguided intentions at the onset. You need to be thinking about how you’re going to keep the weight off once you lose it.
 
This is going to involve a change in mindset, behavior (habits), addressing some ‘stinking thinking’ (negative self-talk) identifying triggers, and changing your relationship with food.
 
I use the tools that helped me to come down from nearly 3 bills, change my thinking, create new habits, improve my self-esteem, set and achieve goals, and free me from the bondage of food with my clients.
 
If you’ve ever struggled with any type of food dependency, or any addiction really, you will understand what it is I’m saying.
 
You may use the food to avoid, numb yourself from feeling unpleasant emotions, eat because you’re bored, stressed, happy, etc.
 
You are in bondage to food, and it is my belief that all addictions are a spiritual issue.
 
This is why I believe that we must address all aspects of the person (mind/body/spirit), and not just via an exercise and meal plan. Although, I do recognize that for some people that is all they need, but for the clients I work with, it goes beyond that.
 
Maybe you feel hopeless.
 
You’ve tried to lose the weight and have been unsuccessful. You think that you’re a failure and will always be this way. Maybe this has now affected your home life, personal relationships, and work. You have difficulties with your mate, you no longer feel attractive.
 
It is possible that you can’t seem to find a significant other because you don’t feel worthy. You find yourself not being able to keep up with your kids or grand-kids. Perhaps your self-esteem is in the toilet, you’re depressed, and feel tremendous anxiety.
 
The good news is you always have HOPE through Jesus Christ.
 
No one is too far gone to be saved. If I was able to change, I know you can.
 
It isn’t going to be easy.
 
It will be very emotional.
 
It will be uncomfortable.
 
But all of the above beats remaining in your current state for another minute.
 
If you’re willing to look at those things that are continuing to hold you back you can be free.
 
If you’re willing to step out of denial and look at your situation honestly, you can be free.
 
If you’re willing to shed that victim mentality, you can be free.
 
If you’re willing to finally take action, you can be free.
 
If you’re ready for long lasting change, I want to be your coach. I will help guide you along this difficult journey. You won’t be alone and I’ll help provide you with the tools that you need to be successful.
 
Feel free to reach out to me today for a consultation. You can be local to me or anywhere in the world. I have clients all over the U.S. and the U.K.
 
July 10, 2016

Protein: One of the Body’s Key Building Blocks

By Dr. Donald Hayes

Protein is an important building block, comprising about 16 percent of our total body weight. Muscle, hair, skin and connective tissue consist primarily of protein, and protein plays a major role in all of the cells and most of the fluids in our bodies.

Enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and even our DNA are at least partially made up of protein.

Although our bodies are good at “recycling” protein, we constantly use it up, so we need to replenish it. Protein is composed of smaller units called amino acids. Our bodies can’t manufacture nine amino acids, so it’s important to include them in our diets. Animal proteins such as meat, eggs and dairy products contain all the amino acids. By combining vegetable-source proteins such as rice, beans, peas and others, a complete vegan/vegetarian option is available as well.

How Much Protein Do We Need?

Our protein requirements depend on our age, size and activity level. The typical American diet provides plenty of protein – more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in most instances. The RDA represents the minimum amount of protein needed to fulfill protein needs in 97.5 percent of the population. This value is equal to 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Accordingly, a person weighing 150 lbs. should eat 55 grams of protein per day, a 200-pound person should eat 74 grams, a 250-pound person should eat 92 grams, and so on.

The average mixed American diet provides from one to two times the RDA for protein. You might think, based on this, that protein deficiency is unlikely in the U.S. However, the RDA for protein has been derived from research studies performed on healthy individuals. Growing children, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, and anyone undergoing severe stress (trauma, hospitalization or surgery), disease or disability need more protein.

Protein Powders and Meal Replacement Shakes

As supplement companies improve the quality of their protein powders and more people seek convenience while trying to eat right, the thought of meal replacements making up a portion of the protein in your diet makes sense.

There are times when it’s a good idea to use a protein-powder supplement, such as first thing in the morning as part of a well-balanced diet instead of skipping breakfast or eating a high-calorie, high-fat fast food item. It’s also a good idea right after you finish a workout. The reason it’s ideal in these cases is because the protein in the shakes will be absorbed easily by your body, which is exactly what you want. Protein powders also can be beneficial for vegetarians who don’t eat any animal products. Sometimes it can be hard for vegetarians to consume enough dietary protein unless they are paying careful attention to their diet. By supplementing their diets with protein, they can make sure they don’t start losing muscle mass due to low protein intake.

What Protein Powder Should You Use?

When you walk into a health food store or a discount vitamin chain, are you overwhelmed by the rows of different protein powders? Picking the right protein powder can feel like a confusing game of science. Asking your doctor is always the best option when it comes to supplementing your diet, but allow me to clear up some of the confusion by explaining the good and bad of the various types of protein powders.The most popular types of protein used in protein powders are whey, rice, pea and soy. Protein powders can contain one of these or a mixture of two, such as rice and pea or soy and rice.

Whey: Whey protein is derived from milk and is the most commonly used protein supplement. It contains all nonessential and essential amino acids, as well as branch-chain amino acids (BCAA). Your muscles absorb whey easily and it is extremely safe to use. Whey protein might not be appropriate for those who have a milk allergy or who can’t tolerate lactose. There are two categories of whey protein powders: concentrate and isolate. The concentrate form is more widely used, easier to find and less expensive. It contains approximately 30 percent to 85 percent protein. Whey isolate is a higher-quality protein and is, therefore, more expensive. It contains more than 90 percent protein. Whey isolate is even more easily absorbed by the body and contains less fat and lactose.

Rice: Rice protein is derived by carefully isolating the protein from brown rice. It’s a complete protein containing all essential amino acids and nonessential amino acids. Rice protein is hypoallergenic, which makes it suitable for everyone.

Pea: Pea protein is a natural, vegetable-based protein powder derived from yellow peas, commonly known as “split peas.” Pea protein is a hypoallergenic protein that yields a high biological value (65.4 percent), which is an accurate indicator of the amount of protein absorbed. High-biological-value proteins are a better choice for increased nitrogen retention and enhanced immunity. With proper extraction and purification, pea protein can be concentrated from a normal level of 6 percent in fresh peas to 90-percent protein content. This process produces a protein powder that is highly soluble and easy to digest. Pea protein is ideal for vegans, offers an excellent nutritional profile, and is free of gluten, lactose, cholesterol and other anti-nutritional factors.

Soy: Soy protein is derived from soy flour. Similar to whey protein, soy protein comes in two types, the concentrate and the isolate, with the isolate being the more expensive form. Soy protein contains a natural chemical that mimics estrogen. Three cancer studies funded by the National Institutes of Health revealed estrogen-dependant tumor growth increased as the amount of soy isoflavones increased. A study published in 2000 by the American Association for Cancer Research compared soy to whey and concluded, “Whey appears to be at least twice as effective as soy in reducing both tumor incidence and multiplicity.” This news, coupled with concerns over soy protein negatively influencing thyroid function, has profound ramifications with respect to choosing a protein-powder supplement.

Animal or Vegetable Protein Foods

These are the two major protein sources. Animal-protein foods include meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs. They are said to be of high biological value. Plant-protein sources, eaten together, enable a person to meet the standards of a high-biologic-protein diet.

If you choose to eat protein from dairy and/or meat, try to consume 12 ounces or less each week of fish, white-meat chicken or turkey. Eat beef as little as possible. If you desire dairy in your diet as a source of protein, use only fat-free dairy such as skim milk or nonfat yogurt, and limit it to 12 ounces per week.

Remember to always eat breakfast, even if you only have time to shake up a wholesome, low-fat, high-power protein and vegetable drink mix before racing off to work. Supplementing your diet with a high-quality protein powder made from whey-protein isolate or a combination of rice and pea protein can make a busy lifestyle a healthy one. When in doubt of the best protein-powder supplement to use, remember to always ask your doctor.

Donald L. Hayes, DC, graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 1977 and is the author of five health and wellness books including his latest, Weight Loss to Wellness. To learn more, visit www.greensfirst.com.

June 3, 2016

Who wants to DECREASE body-fat and get in great shape?

In all honesty losing body-fat is easy but we tend to make it harder then it has to be. The #1 thing I see that trips people up is UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.

You want it NOW and quit if you don’t lose 20 pounds in 4 weeks…4 weeks! you didn’t gain the weight in 4 weeks so ditch the expectation that you will lose it in 4 weeks.

Here are some very SIMPLE tips that will get you to where you want to be if you follow them.

1. Drink more water. Often times dehydration can mimic itself as hunger. Keep yourself adequately hydrated.

2. Ditch the black or white thinking. Those of you who struggle with ‘all or nothing’ thinking will find yourself starting only to quit, again and again. There is a middle here…find it! allow yourself to be human and make mistakes.

3. Eat more protein. Understand that protein is the building block of muscle and is necessary for repair and rebuilding. Protein also increases feelings of satiation, so you will feel fuller longer when you consume more protein. Some great sources are: chicken, lean beef, fish, turkey, ground meat, eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and protein powders.

4. Do NOT restrict/eliminate carbohydrates. Carbs are FUEL and are necessary in any healthy diet. The key is to eat according to your activity level that day. If you’re just lounging on the couch then you don’t need to be choking down tons of carbs, BUT if you’re active and training that day then you need to fuel your body. Some great sources are: brown rice, wild rice, sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, wheat pasta, vegetables, fruit.

5. Fat is your friend. Yes, you heard that right. It is key in optimizing hormones for both men and women, improving metabolism and helping you feel satiated when paired with protein. Omega 3’s can also help to reduce inflammation in the body. Some great sources are: avocado, walnuts, almonds, olive oil, natural peanut butter, fish oil, krill oil.

6. Be more active. It’s pretty basic here folks. Get your butt up off the couch and go outside and frolic. We should get on average 10,000 steps per day but the average American gets only 2000-3000…no bueno.

7. Practice intuitive eating. I prefer to allow my body to tell me when to eat vs. just eating because it might be breakfast, lunch, or dinner time. We have been conditioned to eat at certain times even if we’re not hungry. Some people also believe that eating more meals per day boosts your metabolism. This simply isn’t true and the Thermic effect (TEF) is the same if you eat 3 meals at 1500 calories or 5 meals at 1500 calories. You must find what works for you.

8. R-E-L-A-X and allow the process to unfold. Stop weighing yourself every bloody day and just relax. Let the mirror and your clothes be your guide in determining body-fat reduction. Anything else and you’ll drive yourself mad, quit, and find yourself face first in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

9. Incorporate strength training into your exercise routine. The more muscle you have on your frame the more fat you will burn. It will also help you develop a killer physique, help negate osteoporosis and improve bone density. When you look good you feel good and this feeling of “wellness” will spill over to every area of your life.

10. Last, but most important, love yourself. Just know that you deserve to have a healthy, fully functioning body that will allow you to do those things you want to do. That may be traveling, getting pregnant, keeping up with your kids, no longer being embarrassed to wear a bathing suit, increasing intimacy with your spouse, etc.

May 21, 2016

Are your beliefs holding you back?

The biggest thing that I see when working with clients that causes them to not be as successful as they would like is their beliefs. This change we want to see occur most always will mean a change in routine, behavior and in some cases can be a major change in lifestyle.

(Matthew 17:20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”)

It is not what type of diet they are adhering to or what type of workout program they are following. For most, but not all, it comes down to what they are ‘telling’ themselves.

Do you recognize any of these limiting beliefs?

-I’m too old to start.
-I have a family to look after and don’t have the time.
-I am older now and this is just what happens as we age.
-I’m never able to stick to anything…I’m a failure!
-What is the point in trying as I will only fail again.
-I’m not going to be able to do this, who am I kidding?

Look back and you will see that you have lost weight more times than you can count but did it stay off? Were you able to maintain that desired weight? Why or why not?

For the record I don’t personally think we should aim for a certain number on the scale but try to be the healthiest we can be at whatever weight that might be.

Go back to the last time you tried to drop the weight…were your thoughts powerful and full of optimism or were they of impending doom and gloom? Did you believe that you would get it right this time or in the back of your mind did you tell yourself that this time wouldn’t be any different than before?

(Matthew 8:26 And he said to them,” Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.)

There are many reasons why we hold onto our weight. You may have come from an abusive background and the weight now serves as your ‘protection’ from further harm. The weight may have helped you to remain ‘hidden’ from the world and it probably did help you at one point in your life cope, but now this way of coping is causing you more harm than good.

The weight may be a way of punishing yourself or keeping you from having to try something new. It gives you an excuse to remain stuck where you are at. Think about it, how different would your life be if you were no longer defined by your weight? That can be pretty scary, I get it, but it’s time to let it go.

We must believe that we will be successful and then begin to cultivate healthy habits that will stick. Start small and build up your confidence and from there you can begin to tackle larger goals. Find what works for you and do more of that. Give yourself permission to fail as it is through our failures that we are able to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Understand that this is a process that takes time. That is why I don’t advocate any type of ‘quick-fix’ diet. It isn’t about the food! The beliefs that drive your thoughts, habits and behaviors took years to develop and won’t be undone overnight. Remind yourself of that when you end up binging or find yourself eating when you’re stressed, lonely or bored. It’s all a part of the process of change.

(Romans 12:12 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.)

May 6, 2016

Being Overweight or Obese Sucks

Being overweight or clinically obese SUCKS.

I don’t care what anyone else says or tries to convince themselves of.

It is unhealthy, it is mentally and physically exhausting, it erodes your self-esteem, and can rob you of a decent life.

I know firsthand because for YEARS I was obese.

I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t “that bad.”

I get a message from a gentlemen the other day who told me, “Brandon, not everyone who is overweight has some sort of psychological issue. You know that right?”

To which I responded, “duh.”

I’m well aware that not everyone has some sort of underlying issue surrounding their weight issues.

But, everyone I’ve ever worked with has had some sort of underlying issue we’ve had to address before they could successfully lose the weight and keep it off.

Mind, Body, Spirit.

You can’t address only one aspect of yourself and expect any type of major, long lasting change.

Here are just some of the things that I personally deal with to this day. I have no problem being transparent and sharing my struggles in this area.

-I’ve got to exercise often and watch my diet or I will balloon back up to Nutty Professor status.
-Losing weight and keeping it off takes WORK.
-There are days I look in the mirror and feel like dog crap; I can see that fat guy staring back at me.
-Those old tapes can start playing and if I’m not careful I’ll believe the lies they try to tell me about myself….I’m no good, not worthy, etc.

Now, these things I mentioned above are not as bad as they once were but they still creep up from time to time. I’ve had to work my ass off to overcome a lot, as have the clients I work with.

The majority of people I work with are survivors of some sort of trauma. It could have been sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, parents were drug addicts, codependents, neglectful, etc.

Often times we used food as kids to numb ourselves and this carried over into adulthood.

Maybe you had no issues like this but you find yourself struggling today with food or some other ‘thing’ that you’re using to avoid your feelings.

No matter what it is there IS healing from it. I know because I did the work and my life is completely different because of it. That doesn’t mean I don’t struggle because there are days that life kicks my butt, but I am no longer a slave to those things.

If you are struggling with your weight or some other thing that is keeping you in bondage I want you to know that I GET IT.

I know the shame you feel.

The guilt.

The feeling of being invisible.

The feeling of hopelessness.

The feeling of being unworthy.

You name the emotion, I have felt it right along with you.

Your situation isn’t hopeless, you’re not a failure, and you are not unworthy.

God didn’t put you here to just survive.

If that was the case He would have made you a tree stump.

You have a purpose in this life.

I want to help you uncover that purpose.

If my words can help just one person then it is all worth it.

If you need help with this I am available to assist you.

Your life will change the day you begin to do the hard work.

Yes, it is scary.

Yes, it will require hard work on your part.

But it is worth it and so are YOU.

If you’re ready to change your life, and live in Idaho or beyond, I can help.