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Posts Tagged ‘simple’

9:36 am - Posted by Gregg

I have to admit that one of the best therapies I’ve ever encountered is one that has never cost me a single cent. And good news—this free therapy is available to everyone reading this. One need only visit their nearest shopping mall and find the mall map. Then locate the portion of the display that says, “You are here.” Because guess what? You are here. Period.

Often, we linger in the past (at least mentally)—replaying past decisions, past circumstances and even past failures (or at least incidents that we classify as failures). But spending too much time looking into the rearview mirror can inhibit not only our present state, but also our state of mind.

It all comes down to clear thinking. And that often starts with accepting what was—along with accepting that there’s no going backwards and changing it. So to debate or belabor what happened is really a mute exercise.

Sounds simple, right? But many of us (myself included) spend too much time wondering why things happened the way they did… And why we responded or reacted certain ways (often wanting to change everything that’s already transpired—and, therefore, cannot be altered). Even though there’s no time machine that we know of, we often live life as if we’ve lost the keys to one—as if we might have the capability to un-do something or somehow make it right.

But no matter how many times we replay past events or decisions in our heads, they are never going to be undone. So the sooner we swallow hard and move on, the better. And yes, this theory can apply when we’re the (so-called) victims of circumstance as well.

Recently my spouse was laid off for no apparent reason (other than the new go-to word for being laid off, “rightsizing”)—despite being one of the company’s top performers. Boy, have I wrestled with this situation in my head… Wanting to know why it happened—or if there was someway we could have played things differently so that it wouldn’t have happened. But guess what? None of this mental clutter changes anything. Time to look for a new job. And any kind of “Woe is me” or refusal to let go (AKA “accept”) simply hurts our family and us. We are here. Like it or not.

And speaking of the “like it” part, you don’t necessarily have to like it. But still, you are here. You’re not anywhere but here. So no matter what you’re facing (whether a medical issue, breakup, job-related or financial issue or the 1,000th time you might be committing to losing some excess weight and getting healthier), the sooner you accept that you are here, the sooner you can take the first step into what can be the next great chapter of your life.

Again, I know this all sounds very simple. Some might suggest it’s even trite. But I promise that carrying around this mental reminder that the past is in the past and the future is in the future and that staying present offers us the clearest mindset (and, therefore, the clearest decision making capabilities) can be helpful. No matter what’s transpired… No matter what you’re facing… No matter how unfair… No matter if it was self-sabotage… Repeat after me: We. Are. Here.

And with a mental state of acceptance, here can be full of as many opportunities and possibilities as we allow it to be.

Image Source: jfj.org
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May 30, 2015

Portion size savvy

9:13 am - Posted by Gregg

Sure, when preparing meals at home, we can pull out our measuring cups, tablespoons and perhaps even a digital food scale (not that we necessarily do… But we could!). But what about exercising portion control when out at a restaurant or even when traveling? I’ve known some hardcore dieters who carry their measuring tools with them and even pull them out when dining out. But fact is, we’ve already got the best portion size measuring tool attached to us. (Who knew?)

Checking out this handy infographic from Guard Your Health will show you that your hand and fingers can be a great aid when trying to decide how much is just right when it comes to eating outside of your home. Take a minute to study this hand-y (yeah, I went there) graphic and commit it to memory. After all, portion control is key to getting to and maintaining a healthy weight. Sometimes even more so than what we’re actually eating. Arming (or hand-ing) ourselves with simple strategies like these really can make a difference in our winning the battle of the bulge. (Plus, no one we’re dining out with has to know what we’re up to when comparing a teaspoon-portion-size of butter to the tip of our finger!)

Note: You can click on the image for a larger view.

Photo Source: Guard Your Health

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12:45 pm - Posted by Gregg

Is “artificial” the opposite of “all-natural?” If so, I’m reminded of my artificial past… When after years (and years!) consuming diet sodas and other beverages and foods containing artificial sweeteners (and other potentially dangerous additives and chemicals), I finally cut all of these substances out of my diet – all about the same time I learned to Just Stop Eating So Much! and to eat healthier, fresher and purer.

It’s no wonder that up until this breakthrough I felt compelled to induce these chemically laced “food” products. After all, I was taught that the way to lose weight was to reduce calories through any means – including by consuming substances that my body didn’t necessarily know how to process (or even properly metabolize). After learning to pay more attention to the food and beverages I was downing as well as how I felt after doing so, I realized that a 16-calorie teaspoon of real, all-natural sugar left me feeling better than a packet of no-calorie whatever-it-might-be. And since that wakeup call, numerous scientists and studies have been continually proving why chemically altered foods aren’t necessarily even being registered as ‘foods’ by our bodies.

Hopefully we can all agree that one of the nourishing paths to a healthy weight and body (inside is out) is one that utilizes pure, natural foods. This means as little salt/sodium as possible and absolutely no added chemicals or preservatives. And as many of you are also learning through the pink slime situation, food labels cannot always be trusted. In fact, the FDA allows food makers to be very “creative” when listing ingredients. (For example, did you know that the pink color in Yoplait’s Strawberry Yogurt comes from crushed female cochineal beetles and their eggs? Try checking for that on the label!)

As for artificial sweeteners (something many consume daily without any thought), series of news articles site findings by Purdue University Scientists who studied rats that were fed food with artificial sweetener saccharin and rats fed food with glucose, a natural sugar.

The results of the study showed that in comparison to rats given yogurt sweetened with glucose, the rats that consumed yogurt sweetened with saccharin went onto consume many more calories and put on more weight and, as a result, body fat.

These researchers determined that sweet foods may prompt the body to get ready to take in a lot of calories, but that when the sweetness in the form of artificial sweeteners is not followed by a large amount of calories, the body’s internal system becomes disoriented, which might then lead to eating more, while expanding less energy than normal.

Said Purdue researchers Susan Swithers and Terry Davidson in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience, published by the American Psychological Association: “The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with high-calorie sugar.” Furthermore, they went onto state: “Such an outcome may seem counterintuitive, if not an anathema, to human clinical researchers and health care practitioners who have long recommended the use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners as a means of weight control.”

The researchers also confirmed that additional artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that also taste sweet but do not lead to the delivery of calories may have similar effects. “Animals may use sweet taste to predict the caloric contents of food. Eating sweet non-caloric substances may degrade this predictive relationship.”

“With the growing use of non-caloric sweeteners in the current food environment, millions of people are being exposed to sweet tastes that are not associated with caloric or nutritive consequences,” noted the researchers. This research has been part of studies to examine the question of whether artificial sweeteners – used in an incredible number of today’s foods and beverages – actually assist or hinder people who are trying to lose weight.

Whether or not the findings in the rats translate to similar findings in humans remains to be seen. But one aspect of all these studies seems to be true: the less pure and the more chemically enhanced certain foods are, the less likely our internal system is to recognize and, therefore, be able to process them – thereby slowing down our metabolism. (To say nothing of wondering how these chemicals might be adversely affecting our overall health.)

You read it time and time again on this blog: Keep it pure. Keep it simple. And as your taste buds become less reliant on these chemical and man-made additives, you’ll find that you enjoy the flavors of pure and natural food more and more. To say nothing of the benefit they bring to your overall health and well-being!

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September 25, 2013

Rockstar Dieting Tip #4

9:39 am - Posted by Gregg

As dieters (and/or maintain-ers), nothing can excite us and, at the same time, strike fear into every fibre of our being as dining out can. Thankfully, today’s Rockstar Dieting Tip offers a way to half your cake and eat it, too. (Read on!)

Rockstar Dieting Tip #4 — When Dining Out, Split Your Meal with Yourself
Here’s a little something I learned from one of my famous actress friends here in Los Angeles. When dining out at a restaurant, order what you want with reckless abandon. But — while placing your order, tell your server you want the food split in half — and that you want 1/2 of the meal put into a to-go container before it’s even delivered to the table. This way you’re enjoying your favorite foods at your favorite restaurants — but in more reasonable (and more diet- or weight maintenance-friendly) portions. In other words, you really can have your cake and eat it, too. Just make sure you half your cake (or whatever) before having it. Then take the extra portion home to share with a roommate, spouse or to even have yourself (at another appropriate mealtime).

This might seem like a simple thing to do. But it’s not necessarily easy. After all, when we sit down to dine at our favorite eateries, we sometimes want to enjoy the bigger portions. But we never enjoy the overstuffed, bloated feeling we have after the meal is consumed. And we never enjoy having to squeeze into our jeans the next day (or, worse yet, see a “gain” on the scale the next time we weigh ourselves).

That makes this a great tip for being moderate while enjoying different types of foods. (Not to mention this tip allows us to have a social life even while trying to just stop eating so much!)

As dieters, we too often get caught up in the “This is the last time I’ll ever eat this” syndrome (thanks to years of on-again and off-again dieting). This little restaurant trick stops that mentality in it’s tracks. We can have it — we can just choose to not have so much of it.

And don’t worry about what the server thinks. You can add a little something extra to the tip if he or she is nice about dividing your meal in half at the beginning of your dining experience. And you can take pride in knowing you’re doing the same thing some major actresses do to keep their camera-ready figures.

And why shouldn’t you do the same as them? You’re a supermodel, darn it. And if anyone questions that, you send them to me.

Photo Source: L’Espresso Food & Wine

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9:31 am - Posted by Gregg

With many news stories focusing on pink slime, I’m reminded of my artificial past… When after years (and years!) consuming diet sodas and other beverages and foods containing artificial sweeteners (and other potentially dangerous chemicals), I finally cut all of these substances out of my diet – all about the same time I learned to Just Stop Eating So Much! and to eat healthier, fresher and purer.

It’s no wonder that up until this breakthrough I felt compelled to induce these chemically laced “food” products. After all, I was taught that the way to lose weight was to reduce calories through any means – including by consuming substances that my body didn’t necessarily know how to process (or even properly metabolize). After learning to pay more attention to the food and beverages I was downing as well as how I felt after doing so, I realized that a 16-calorie teaspoon of real, all-natural sugar left me feeling better than a packet of no-calorie whatever-it-might-be. And since that wakeup call, numerous scientists and studies have been continually proving why chemically altered foods aren’t necessarily even being registered as ‘foods’ by our bodies.

Hopefully we can all agree that one of the nourishing paths to a healthy weight and body (inside is out) is one that utilizes pure, natural foods. This means as little salt/sodium as possible and absolutely no added chemicals or preservatives. And as many of you are also learning through the pink slime situation, food labels cannot always be trusted. In fact, the FDA allows food makers to be very “creative” when listing ingredients. (For example, did you know that the pink color in Yoplait’s Strawberry Yogurt comes from crushed female cochineal beetles and their eggs? Try checking for that on the label!)

As for artificial sweeteners (something many consume daily without any thought), series of news articles site findings by Purdue University Scientists who studied rats that were fed food with artificial sweetener saccharin and rats fed food with glucose, a natural sugar.

The results of the study showed that in comparison to rats given yogurt sweetened with glucose, the rats that consumed yogurt sweetened with saccharin went onto consume many more calories and put on more weight and, as a result, body fat.

These researchers determined that sweet foods may prompt the body to get ready to take in a lot of calories, but that when the sweetness in the form of artificial sweeteners is not followed by a large amount of calories, the body’s internal system becomes disoriented, which might then lead to eating more, while expanding less energy than normal.

Said Purdue researchers Susan Swithers and Terry Davidson in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience, published by the American Psychological Association: “The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with high-calorie sugar.” Furthermore, they went onto state: “Such an outcome may seem counterintuitive, if not an anathema, to human clinical researchers and health care practitioners who have long recommended the use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners as a means of weight control.”

The researchers also confirmed that additional artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that also taste sweet but do not lead to the delivery of calories may have similar effects. “Animals may use sweet taste to predict the caloric contents of food. Eating sweet non-caloric substances may degrade this predictive relationship.”

“With the growing use of non-caloric sweeteners in the current food environment, millions of people are being exposed to sweet tastes that are not associated with caloric or nutritive consequences,” noted the researchers. This research has been part of studies to examine the question of whether artificial sweeteners – used in an incredible number of today’s foods and beverages – actually assist or hinder people who are trying to lose weight.

Whether or not the findings in the rats translate to similar findings in humans remains to be seen. But one aspect of all these studies seems to be true: the less pure and the more chemically enhanced certain foods are, the less likely our internal system is to recognize and, therefore, be able to process them – thereby slowing down our metabolism. (To say nothing of wondering how these chemicals might be adversely affecting our overall health.)

You read it time and time again on this blog: Keep it pure. Keep it simple. And as your taste buds become less reliant on these chemical and man-made additives, you’ll find that you enjoy the flavors of pure and natural food more and more. To say nothing of the benefit they bring to your overall health and well-being!

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