I grew up learning that we should be eating 3 ‘square’ meals per day. I remember being taught in Home Economics class (6th grade) that a square meal consisted of Meat, Vegetables, Dairy, and Grain. So basically, a cheeseburger could be considered a ‘square meal’; it contains meat, lettuce & tomato make up the veg, cheese would check the dairy box, and the bun is a grain. Huh. As I entered my 30s, we started to get a little more sophisticated with our food. The low-fat craze was in full blown effect, vegetarianism was becoming more mainstream, and the new advice was to eat 6 smaller meals per day – so that you could keep your metabolism ‘revved up’ throughout the day. The thinking was that if you ate often enough, you could use the Thermic Effect of Food to help you burn calories for you (although that’s true, it doesn’t quite Read More . . .
Here’s the scene: You’re out to dinner with friends. It’s been a lovely dinner; you’ve really enjoyed the evening and have gotten completely swept up in the conversation. The server comes over to start clearing the plates & dishes. As he approaches you, and asks whether you’re finished, you look down at your plate. What do you see? What do you say? Is there food still on your plate? Are you finished eating? I am reading this great book called Mindless Eating. The author, Brian Wansink, a food researcher at Cornell, says that if you asked folks, “How do you know when you’re done eating?” or, “How do you know when to eat?” you’d think that most would answer these two questions with ‘I eat when I’m hungry; and I stop when I’m satisfied.’ But that’s not the case. Far too often we eat for other reasons. In the book, he exposes Read More . . .
When I meet with clients for the first time, one of my first questions is always, “Why are you hiring me? Why now?” The range of answers is as diverse as my clients: some want to be able to play with their grandkids, some just want to be around to see their grandkids grow up, some have more aesthetic goals, like wanting to lose baby weight, or its spring (i.e.: bathing suit season), and some have an active vacation planned, where being in shape is definitely going to enhance their experience. None of these answers are better than another, BUUUUT…. Some motivations may create more lasting results than others. See, there are two different types of motivation: external and internal. External motivators are defined as behaviors that earn us a reward, or allow us to avoid punishment. Internal motivators are typically performed for the sake of doing them, or a Read More . . .
One of the things I love about going on vacation (other than the obvious) is that I get to talk to people who I’ve never met before: people who are completely different from me, who have different life experiences, and know totally different things! Of course, when they hear that I’m a Health Coach, they either they tell me how much they know about health and fitness, or they start confessing their diet and exercise sins as if I’m a health-priest, with the ability to absolve them of their fitness sins. Ha! But the other thing that I get is a TON of questions. Which I LOVE! Because A) I could talk about health and fitness all day long (just ask Gary) and B) There is SO MUCH misinformation ‘out there’ that I get to clear up – or at least, give folks another perspective. As I was talking to Read More . . .
Last week, I met this woman, socially. I don’t remember how we got on to the conversation, but she said, “I don’t like vegetables. I don’t eat them. I don’t eat fruit or seafood. I like meat and potatoes. And dessert! ” It’s not the first time I’ve heard an adult say ‘I don’t like veggies’. And sadly, I don’t think it will be the last. I usually don’t know how to respond to this. What I wanted to say is, “You’re freakin’ 60 years old! You’re not 5! Grow up & eat a freakin’ carrot! Pshaw!” It drives me nuts! Because, One – There are so many awesome, delicious veggies out there & so many ways to prepare them that are fantastic! And Two – How does this happen? How does a person grow into an adult and choose not to eat vegetables? They say that kids need exposure Read More . . .
You’ve seen the memes on the Internet, or heard the phrases: “What’s your excuse?” Or heard the phrase, “if it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” I actually like this second quote – and not because of the judgement that’s implied with it, but rather the truth that it conveys. We all have priorities. A list from 1-100. And we can’t do everything. On our list of priorities, we all have the same things: family, partner relationship, travel, money, career, health, and self-care, to name a few. They’re just in different orders. My list is in a different order than your list. Only one thing can occupy that top spot. Only one thing can occupy the second, and so on. As a health coach, I would love for everyone’s list to have ‘health’ as their #1 priority. But the truth is that it Read More . . .
Do you have rules around your eating habits? They might be something like, “I can only eat sugar on the weekend.” Or “Bananas are loaded with calories and starch. So, I can’t eat bananas.” Whatever they are, do they help you? Or do they hinder you? I think most people create these rules because the grey area of our food can become so… GREY. H*ll! I don’t even know if there IS any black or white when it comes to food anymore! With all the media hype, and misinterpreted studies, something that you would think should be intuitive is now confusing. There’s so much fear and uncertainty when it comes to our food. What’s good for us? What’s not? And once we’re in that grey zone of ‘Eat these foods in moderation’, how do we know where we are in that moderation scale? How do we know when we’re slipping? If Read More . . .
One of the exercises that I have my Health Coaching clients do in their first habit is to describe their perfect day. I love hearing what folks love to do: spend time with their families (or not ;), pampering, what their favorite meal is, activities, what makes them feel good, and what their priorities are. And it got me thinking about what elements I would need to have a perfect day everyday. Sure! There are always things that we don’t want to do: chores, conflict, maybe errands, and things like that. But what key elements would be present in order for the day to be pretty close to perfect? How can you construct your life so that it’s pretty darn close to perfect? I came up with four elements that I can add in to any day to have a pretty awesome experience. I’ve tagged it #TAGY Treats – Everyday needs to have a treat in it. Read More . . .
In thinking about how the cancer had destroyed my mom’s body, it occurred to me that in order to avoid this disease, I needed to prepare my body so that it would be able to fight off any disease that it might encounter. Not only did I need to get down to a healthy weight, but I also needed to eat better quality of foods, become active, and well, become a responsible adult. Read More . . .
Anyone who says that the issue of obesity, weight management and fitness is all about knowing what is/is not good for you, or about willpower is over-simplifying the problem, and hasn’t fully grasped the gravity of the issue. It is a hugely complex issue because it all starts in the brain, and the brain is a hugely complex organism. We all do things that we know don’t serve us in our goals, and yet, we often find ourselves powerless to change. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about eating habits, spending money, smoking, or some other habit that we want to change. In Kelly McGonigal’s audio program, The Neuroscience of Change, she talks about our destructive habits. Destructive habits are things that we do that either don’t serve us any longer, or are getting in the way of things we do want in our lives. It could be smoking, eating Read More . . .