How I Accidentally Ate Less for Breakfast, But Was Still Satisfied!

Weird, right? How could I accidentally eat less for breakfast? Didn’t I take what I was going to eat out of the refrigerator, make the food, and eat it?

Yep, I did. But, after breakfast Sunday, I looked into the cast iron skillet, and said, “Hey B, are you still hungry?”

My partner replied, “No, I’m good!” I said, “Yeah, me too, weird. Did you know we just ate half the amount we normally do for breakfast, and I used the same amount of food I usually do?”

“No, I had no idea! You should blog about it.”

Of course, when your smart, awesome partner has an idea like that you listen.

So, how did this happen?

Here is a picture of my “usual” breakfast (mixed vegetables and meat, on greens with eggs, fruit, sourdough toast with butter, and cold brew coffee):

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Here is what I made to accidentally eat half of my “usual” (mixed vegetables and meat frittata on greens, fruit, sourdough toast with butter, and cold brew coffee):

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I used the exact same amount of ingredients that I usually do to prepare breakfast. The only difference was that I used one extra egg in the frittata to make sure it fluffed up properly. This is how much food was left after we were done eating:

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Basically, we accidentally ate half the amount of food that we normally do because it was prepared in a different way. Interesting.

ACTION STEP: What is one way that you can change a “usual” item into something that will serve your goals better? How can you make it just a little bit better? Here are some examples:

  • sourdough bread instead of white bread
  • cappuccino with cinnamon instead of frappaccino (that will save you around 400 calories alone!)
  • add one more serving of vegetables to your dinner plate than usual
  • drink one glass of water before each meal
  • put utensils down between bites of food, chew more than usual
  • club soda with a orange slice instead of orange soda
  • turn off all electronics one hour before bed
  • unsweetened almond milk instead of sweetened almond milk
  • homemade “healthy” cookies instead of the store bought version
  • eat on a smaller plate than usual
  • use half the amount of cheese in your grilled cheese sandwich
  • oats instead of cereal
  • you get the idea…

Can you think of some others? Feel free to share how you would improve your “usual” to better serve your goals!

 

 

The Three “I’s” of Exercise!

The other day I got to thinking:

  • what are the key elements of an effective workout?
  • how can I make sure my clients do these things every time they exercise?
  • how can I make this simple?

I’ve decided that it can be boiled down to the three I’s.

Running Intensity

INTENSITY:

Now, I’m not talking about working out so hard that you puke every time you show up. In fact, I hope that never happens to you.

What I mean is I want your workout to be difficult. I want it to challenge you to get better each day. And, I hope you want the same thing for yourself.

Here are some ways that I judge if my clients are lifting with intensity:

  • they’re out of breath
  • the weight their lifting is very difficult (if it’s an appropriate amount, they usually have only one or two reps left in the tank by the end of the set)
  • they need to take a break to recover between sets
  • they tell me it’s difficult
  • they tell me it’s “burning” or they feel “jello-y”
  • they’re sweating
  • they need water
  • they’re focused

Do you experience these things while you workout? YAY if you do, you’re on the right track!

INTENTION:

Think about this one, a lot. When you show up for your workout, do you have thoughts like: “Let’s get this over with.” “How can I get this done as fast as possible?” “I’ll just skip exercise X, Y, or Z today, it’s not a big deal.” Or even, “I’ll just go tomorrow.” Then you never do.

Instead, ask yourself, “What is my intention today?” Basically, what is your plan?

Some prompts you can use to help you figure this out are:

  • what do I want to accomplish by showing up today?
  • why am I here?
  • what are my short and long term goals?
  • how will what I’m doing today get me closer to those goals?
  • how will this improve my life?

Let’s take this one even further. I often tell my clients to lift with intention.

What does that mean?

When you’re lifting weights, running, horseback riding, surfing, or whatever, do it with intention.

I see a lot of people lifting weights that seem to just be going through the motions (lack intensity). Maybe they’re looking around a bunch, lifting such light weight that no focus is required, they’re walking around aimlessly, or maybe they just have no idea what to do.

Instead, focus on each rep. Make each rep count. Lift with a purpose.

This will breath life into your movement, and help you focus on what’s important right now instead of “just getting through it.”

INTELLIGENCE:

Think

Yep, you need to be smart about what you’re doing. Often times, I’ll see people doing the same types of lifts, or gravitating toward certain workouts. That’s fine, but we usually do the things we’re good at, and tend to avoid things we need practice at.

I get it, I LOVE lifting back exercises. I could do those all day, but I won’t because I know that’s not smart training.

If we do the same things too often, and tend to neglect other areas, we’re doing ourselves a disservice. We could even be creating imbalances in our bodies that could lead to bigger problems down the road.

Are you not sure how to write yourself a well rounded, intelligent program?

Hire a coach! You hire an accountant to do your taxes, a lawyer to take care of legal needs, etc. Why not hire a fitness coach to create a well rounded program for you, then help guide you through it?

Another way to think about exercising with intelligence is to be smart about the amount of activity you need for your goals.

Are you doing seven really intense workouts a week that allow little to no recovery? Not intelligent.

Are you looking for a workout that helps balance your mind and relieve stress, yet you rush through it and skip meditation? Not intelligent.

Are you eating poorly or skipping sleep? Not intelligent.

Are you only exercising one hour a week and expect to lose five pounds this month? Not intelligent.

ACTION STEP: What is one thing you can do this week to make your workouts better? Add intensity? Find a way to incorporate focus and intention? Be more intelligent with your activity? Let me know in the comments!

In general, without knowing your goals, I suggest getting a minimum of five smart, intense, well intentioned hours of exercise a week.

How to Make Healthy Food Choices on Vacation!

Y’all! I just got back from a reeaaaaaaaalllllly fun trip to Florida. I went to Universal Studios for two days, then to a wedding on a boat in Clearwater Beach! What a blast!

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Need less to say, I was eating out a lot. Here are my top tips for eating out on the road:

  •  Plan ahead. Look at menus, bring healthy snacks (like apples, carrots, salmon jerky, nuts, etc.), decide where you’ll eat in advance, and about what time you’ll go. Having a plan helps you stick to it, and takes the guessing (and worrying) out of the equation.
  • Don’t wait until you’re really hungry to make a food decision. This goes along with the above tip. If you’re prepared, you’re less likely to binge on churros!
  • Seek out vegetables. I know it’s possible since I just had some GREAT meals, at a theme park, that had a lot of vegetables. One meal even came with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and peas. And they were big portions too!
  • Seek out grilled protein. Sure, it’s easy to grab those chicken strips and fries, but there are better options. I even had a smoked, pulled chicken salad at The Three Broomsticks (Harry Potter fans know the reference, I’m sure). It was sooooo good, and reasonably priced.
  • Think about how you’ll feel afterwards. Say you want to go for the pizza dipped in ranch dressing. Will that make your gut feel like a brick? Maybe that’s not the best option when you’re about to go on a ride that spins you around and flips you upside down…
  • Avoid snacking. Every fifty-ish feet in theme parks there’s another vendor selling something. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Those dippin’ dots probably won’t satisfy you if you are.
  • Plan for GFG’s (guilt free grubs). I saw a key lime cheesecake in the window of a bakery, and knew I had to try it. I made a mental note, then came back to have it when I was more hungry, and then enjoyed the heck out of it! In places like a theme park, the food will still be there later. Do you really need to eat it RIGHT now? Plus, if you know you’ll be enjoying a delicious snack later, it could help you eat more healthy foods leading up to it.
  • Eat less frequently. I usually eat three square meals a day and no snacks. This trip, I stuck to two meals. Mostly because I wanted to ride as many rides as I could, but also because I knew the meals would probably be higher in calories than I was used to. I knew that fewer meals containing higher calories would still put me at an appropriate amount of energy intake for my movement needs those days.
  • Carry a water bottle, and continue to drink plenty of water (yep, it’s there under my sweatshirt in the first picture!). There were tons of drinking fountains all over the theme park, and when we sat down to eat at a restaurant, the servers even filled my bottle with ice. How nice! You may even need more water than normal if you’re outside a lot in the sun!
  • Have fun!!! Try new foods, or the local cuisine!

BONUS: I gained NO weight, and felt comfortable (not bloated and gross) the whole trip. I’d call that a win!

So, there you have it!

ACTION STEP: Next time you’re out of town on vacation, pick one or more of these tips to implement. Then tell me which one you tried and how it went!

Are You Stacking Things Against Yourself?

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you ask yourself, “How did this happen?” or “How did I get to this place?”

Let’s look at a fitness and nutrition example:

Imagine you get to work and you have a set stack of papers that is your work for the day. Think of it like a stack of to-do’s. Each stack paper is a function of the body: breathing, digestion, circulation, movement, etc. Each stack of work added is something that the body didn’t account for, but now has to deal with.

On an less healthy day, you get to work, start to go through your stack, but you noticed the stack is bigger than normal. You skipped breakfast, and go for the office doughnut instead of eating for your goals. Add a stack of work. You have allergies pretty bad today, and didn’t take your medicine. You feel congested and gross. Add a stack of work. You didn’t get good sleep last night, so you’ve been chugging coffee. Add a stack of work. You get the idea. Each time a stack of work is added, you feel like you’re falling more behind, and in a constant state of “catch up”. Not ideal for the body to be functioning at it’s best.

It seems like your pile of work is never ending. Then, you want it to function optimally for your fat loss workout. But, you brought a big stack of work with you, now you have to carry that around on top of the exercise routine you’re trying to complete. It could become a slower process to lose fat if we’re not functioning at our best, and minimizing our “stack”.

Stack of Paper

On the other hand, ​on a healthy day, you get to work, go through your stack for the day, and nobody interrupts you. Not even once. Wouldn’t that be nice? HA! You go about your day uninterrupted, and you get to leave on time. WOOHOO!!! Now you’re pumped and ready for your workout. You dominate it, naturally, because you feel awesome!

So, how do we get from the never ending stack of work, to the manageable pile of papers that doesn’t grow all day long?

We create a plan. Then slowly work that plan until it’s a habit.

Easy, right? Yeah, no. NOT easy.

Where do you start? What do you pick to work on? Do you ask for help?

ACTION STEP: Work backwards from your problem, and look for ways to improve it. Where did you start to feel like you were getting behind. In the above example, it could have started the first part of the day by sleeping in, staying up too late the night before, maybe you lost track of time in the morning, or forgot to prepare your breakfast the night before.

What were some of your behaviors leading up to that? Look for patterns. Then, after you feel like you have a good idea what you could change, only do that one thing. Practice it. Get good at it. Make it a habit. In the above example, the one thing to practice could be to leave electronics out of the bedroom, thus allowing you to fall asleep without being distracted. As always, make it about you.

What’s one thing you’re going to work on starting today to minimize your stack?

 

Word of the Week: Patience!

You’ve been working on your new fitness routine for a couple of weeks, you’ve been following your nutrition habits, and the scale hasn’t budged a pound. You’re frustrated and ready to quit.

What the heck? What’s wrong?

Probably nothing. You may just need to practice patience.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I being consistent?
  • Am I about 90% compliant with assigned workouts/nutrition habits?
  • Am I being realistic?
  • Am I being patient?

A general rule to gauge how long weight loss will take, is to think about how long it took you to put it on. Did you gain 20 pounds over the course of a year? It may take you that long to take it off. It definitely won’t come off in a couple of weeks.

Be patient with the plan, stick with it, and give it time to work.

And, above all, be patient and compassionate with yourself. You WILL get there!

You know the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Rome

ACTION STEP: This week, if you feel impatient, ask yourself the questions from above. Be honest with yourself. If you need some help or guidance, you know I’m here to help!