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April 20, 2020

Joy’s Food Mood

11:35 am - Posted by Gregg
Dirty Chai Overnight Oats (Joy Bauer’s recipe appears below)

I’ll be the first to tell you that when I met Joy Bauer, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was appearing on the Today show for the first time and she was kind enough to be inducting me into her Joy Fit Club. Needless to say, we hit it off instantly and she soon became my “Diet Wife” and I her “Diet Husband.” She is truly one of the kindest and funniest people I know. And she’s also super committed to helping people live their happiest and healthiest lives.

That’s why I’m so excited about her brand new book, Joy Bauer’s Superfood!: 150 Recipes for Eternal Youth. After reviewing countless studies and analyzing the eating habits of people around the world living the longest lives, Joy uses nutritious ingredients to whip up delicious recipes that taste incredible while adding to our overall health. The 150 recipes in the new book include everything from Buffalo wings to deep-dish pan pizza to salted caramel milkshakes to nachos and more.

I begged Joy to let me share a recipe from the book and she kindly let me pick one out to share with Just Stoppers. So here’s one of my favorite recipes from the breakfast category. But trust me that there are tons of amazing recipes in the book. All really easy and even fun to make. And I promise I’m not saying this because Joy paid me. As I recently joked on Instagram, Joy’s too cheap for that. (Ha!) I hope you enjoy this recipe and I hope you check out her book. Besides being full of tips and recipes, it’s also got gorgeous photography (making it a great gift and perfect coffee table book).

Here’s a recipe from her new book that Joy so generously let me share:

Dirty Chai Overnight Oats
SERVES: 2 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES, PLUS AT LEAST 6 HOURS SOAKING
Recipe by Joy Bauer, from her book, Joy Bauer’s Superfood!: 150 Recipes for Eternal Youth

Chai isn’t just for tea. I love working its Indian-inspired flavors—cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves—into foods because of their complexity and warmth. The standard dirty chai recipe gets its “dirty” moniker because it features a shot of espresso. My version actually calls for brewed coffee—but you can use whichever you prefer. When I’m rushing to an early morning TV shoot or meeting and I don’t have time to prepare breakfast, I’ve come to rely on overnight oats. There’s nothing easier: I prep them the night before in a sealable jar, refrigerate, and then simply give a quick shake or stir when I wake up. Don’t expect a sugary sweet experience; this delivers a creamy bowl of goodness filled with several distinct layers of flavorful spice—pretty darn fabulous, IMO! Of course, you can easily sweeten it up with additional honey, if you prefer. Pro tip: This overnight creation is delicious straight from the fridge, but you can warm it up, too. Just stir in ½ cup extra milk and microwave for a minute or so.

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice) 
¼ cup brewed coffee, cooled 
2 teaspoons honey 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
¼ teaspoon kosher salt 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
½ teaspoon ground cardamom 
¼ teaspoon ground ginger 
¼ teaspoon ground allspice 
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves 
1 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats 
2 tablespoons chia seeds

Instructions
In a small bowl, combine the milk, coffee, honey, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Whisk to dissolve the honey. Stir in the oats and chia seeds until everything is evenly incorporated and the oats are submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight for the mixture to soften and firm.

Recipe and photographs used with permission. All rights reserved.

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March 23, 2020

Self Quarantining 101

11:19 am - Posted by Gregg

For years I’ve been belaboring the negative side effects of a society that’s glued to its phones and the perils of social media distracting us from genuine human interaction. Although the online arena has opened up a whole new world (the ability to research something in a split second, locate long lost friends or do something as trivial as see how the captain of our high school football team has aged in comparison to ourselves), it’s also created a lot of virtual “single-lane highways,” which have encouraged many of us to narrow our tolerance of people who we might deem as different.

The ugly side effects of being more sole focused have been pervasive in recent years and something I’ve worked hard to overcome—both personally and for others who are open to breaking out of these virtual self-imposed prisons that limit free (and often kind) thought.

And now to add to our solace-addicted society comes the coronavirus and the need to self-isolate (and/or quarantine depending on which hashtags float your boat). Social distancing is necessary and will hopefully help us contain this potentially out of control pandemic. But we need to also pay attention to the side effects of having to shelter in place. To close ourselves off even more from others (extended family, friends and even strangers on the street) has the potential to further harm our society and how we treat one another as a whole. Not to mention how we treat ourselves.

What’s perhaps even worse about this international crisis is that there is no immediate end in sight. We continue to get different messages based on the latest information. Some of it is valid. Much of it is guesswork. Never has “Wait and see” taken on such prominence.

The good news is that there are some helpful tactics we can take on in order to help avoid some of the prolonged side effects of this mandatory alone time.

For starters, everyone can instill a little peace of mind into their daily lives. If you don’t have a meditation practice, now’s a great time to begin one. There are plenty of apps that can lead us through different guided meditations of our choosing. Many offer the ability to choose a time length and even a subject matter. We can also simply sit down, close our eyes and take deep breaths—thinking “in” as we breathe in, and “out” as we breathe out. A gentle pause between the ‘in’ and ‘out’ breaths will add even more to the experience.

When our brains and our breathing get into sync, our minds calm and we can approach life with a little more thoughtfulness and presence. I’d even encourage you to practice meditation with everyone you’re quarantined with. Even young children get the concept. They might think of it as more of a game (can they be quiet long enough to participate?)—but they can still reap the rewards of a little self-imposed silence. There’s also a free resource being offered by Eckhart Tolle that you can click to for inspiration; as well as Well Being and Healing in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic video you can watch from Deepak Chopra.

Another fun and centering activity for everyone (young and old) is to color in coloring books together. Amazon and other online resources offer coloring books for every interest. There are car coloring books for gearheads. Dinosaur coloring books for explorers. Unicorn coloring books for dreamers, snarky coloring books for adults and even Christmas coloring books for yours truly (I admit it, I’m a Christmas addict every day of the year). You can add a giant box of crayons, which you can place at the center of a dining table. Then everyone in your household can choose a page of their favorite coloring book and create their own masterwork. (I suggest everyone sign and date their works of art as well.)

This simple practice of “creating” while spending time together can be spirit building—even if no one feels the need to talk during the coloring fest. Although certainly there can be a groan or two offered in regard to trying to “Color within the lines.”

People can even use FaceTime on their phones to have coloring book parties with long distance relatives (or even neighbors across the street). You could even put together a coloring book and crayon gift package through an online vendor to send to your favorite people across town or across the country. Trust me when I assure you that even those who participate by rolling their eyes will probably enjoy this ritual (a ritual that can be done daily).

Another fun “at home adventure” for the family could be to celebrate Christmas all over again. Pull out the decorations, the fake trees, the tangled up lights and turn your living room into a magical winter wonderland. (Who couldn’t use a little extra sparkle right about now?)

And there’s never been a better time for cleaning out closets and/or organizing (and digitizing) old photographs and videotapes.

For people who live alone, now could be a great time to foster or adopt a pet. You can also have virtual get-togethers with friends near and far via FaceTime. (Virtual charades, anyone?)

Last but not least, I encourage all of us to keep a journal that lists what we look forward to doing once we can “return to normal.” Normal being the keyword. Encourage kids, friends and other family members to do this as well. Maybe you’ll list a goal of joining a bowling league. Or auditioning for a community theatre troupe. Or eating hot dogs from a kiosk at the zoo. Or even surprising a stranger behind you in line by paying for their drink order at a coffee shop.

Whatever it is, make a list of the simple pleasures we once took for granted and look forward to partaking in again. Don’t be sad about the fact that most of these activities are on hold. Be joyful that we could partake of these pleasures very recently and that, in time, we can enjoy them again. Perhaps with more gratitude and joy than we did in the past.

It’s up to us as a society to preserve a way of life that celebrate strangers participating in community activities. To see a movie together. To stand in line with one another at a grocery store without judging one another. And to pass a stranger on the street and offer a smile.

Or even—and just go with me here—start a conversation and invite them to your next kitchen table coloring book party.

Image Source: CNN

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11:22 am - Posted by Gregg

Gyms closed. 41°. Broken toe. But I’m still determined to get my workout in with an early morning power walk (need to make sure there’s still enough social distancing between my two thighs!)

For anyone in need of some home workout ideas, here are a few of my favorites:

20-Minute No-Equipment Total-Body Workout You Can Do Anywhere

No -Equipment Home Workout

30-day strength training routine — no equipment required

9 Best Home Cardio Exercises

No-Running Cardio Workout You Can Do at Home

How to Do Cardio Workouts at Home With No Equipment

What are you doing to make sure you get your workouts in during this semi quarantine? I’d love it if you shared your tips and ideas below for the benefit of our Just Stop Eating So Much! community.

Sending everyone lots of healthy and positive wishes. We are all in this together.

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February 19, 2020

Guest Post: Food Freedom

12:10 pm - Posted by Gregg

Guest Post by Lisa Goldberg, Certified Dietician & Nutrition Specialist

How are your 2020 new year resolutions going? Sadly, most people give up on their weight loss resolutions by mid-February. Only a month and a half into the New Year!

Has this happened to you? You start off motivated and ready to go and then slowly lose steam. And even worse, you’re exasperated from trying to figure out why this keeps happening. Then self-doubt begins to creep back in and you wonder why you just can’t stay the course.

Maybe you chose a plan that wasn’t sustainable for the long term or you didn’t have anyone keeping you accountable. What I’ve found is that the most people that want to make a change and fail over and over, never address the crucial piece to the puzzle: Changing the habits, behaviors and mindset that got you to be overweight in the first place.

Imagine what it would feel like to:

  • Feel confident and in control of your body and food choices
  • Break the habit of emotional eating, overeating or bingeing for good
  • Have more energy to spend on the things that matter most to you in your life instead of obsessing about food
  • Stop self-sabotaging your weight loss efforts time after time
  • Feel proud of yourself instead of constantly beating yourself up about not eating ‘perfectly’.

To demonstrate how readers of the Just Stop Eating So Much! blog can get there, I’ve created a 5-day challenge called Master Your Mindset for Lasting Food Freedom, which begins on Thursday, February 27th. If food, weight and dieting is a struggle for you, click here to take a health step towards real food freedom.

About the Guest Blogger: 
Lisa Goldberg
 is a nutritionist with a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. In addition, her certifications and Licenses include: Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Dietician/Nutritionist licensed by New York State, Certified in Adult Weight Management by the ADA. Lisa is also a personal trainer certified by the American Counsel on Exercise since 1994. She was the Nutritionist at the New York Stock Exchange from 2003-2007 and for 10 years served as the nutritionist to traders on Wall Street. Anyone who would like to discuss their weight loss goals with Lisa can schedule a free 30-minute weight loss consultation with her by clicking here. (Simply let Lisa know you found out about her on the Just Stop! blog.)

A Note from Gregg:
As some of you Just Stoppers might remember, I have been lucky enough to be a guest in nutrition rockstar Lisa Goldberg’s recent weight loss summits not once, but several times. I love Lisa’s total approach to wellness, which not only includes getting to a healthy weight, but also enjoying life and learning to love and appreciate yourself in the process. Any Just Stopper who wants to find out more information (without any obligation), can click here to schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Session with Lisa herself to find out more about the upcoming Master Your Mindset for Lasting Food Freedom Lisa writes about above.

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February 17, 2020

Happy Presidents Day

12:19 pm - Posted by Gregg
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