Booze or Lose

 

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“It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“No blame: the most liberating and empowering day of my life was the day I freed myself from my own self-destructive nonsense” -Steve Maraboli

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”-Arnold Schwarzenegger

 “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” -Walt Disney


I am not sure what your goals are.  If you’re reading this, I hope you are making attempts to change your lifestyle and ultimately your health status.  If you are looking to lose some weight, this chapter is for you.  Also, if you have a few drinks every so often, this chapter is especially for you.


Our society celebrates by drinking excessively OFTEN.  There is something going on all the time.  The temptation is there to drink to excess constantly.  There are so many drinks to choose from: beer, wine, mixed drinks, shots.  They will satisfy you no matter your taste in adult beverage choices.


However, drinking adult beverages does NOT help with weight loss.  Most drinks are high in carbs or sugar.  They are high in calories and not much else.  Our bodies absorb and breakdown alcohol first.  So, when we eat with alcohol, our bodies do not absorb the vital nutrients our bodies need.  Instead, it absorbs the high calories of the drinks!

Do yourself a favor.  If you are looking to lose weight, drop the drinks.  Choose low calorie alternatives instead:

-tea

-water

-coffee

-flavored water

-seltzer water

If you cut out a few drinks a week, you will be astounded of the results you see in a few weeks.  As Always, Eat, Move, Improve!

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Spice Things Up

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“Spices: the friend of doctors and the pride of cooks” -Charlemagne
“All those spices and herbs in your spice rack can do more than provide calorie-free, natural flavorings to enhance and make food delicious. They’re also an incredible source of antioxidants and help rev up your metabolism and improve your health at the same time.” -Suzanne Somers
“I believe in the magic of preparation.  You can make just about any food taste wonderful by adding herbs and spices.  Experiment with garlic, cilantro, basil, and other fresh herbs vegetables to make them taste great!” -Jorge Cruise

One of the biggest issues in this country is high blood pressure and heart disease.  The “Silent Killer” threatens more people than most know.  High blood pressure is scary for anyone who develops the condition.  High BP is caused by too much salt in the diet.  I used to work with high blood pressure patents regularly.  I would tell them to cut down on the salt.  I would get countless weird looks from every one of them!  How will they get by without salt?  How will they add flavor to their foods?

There is a common misconception that salt is the only flavoring agent out there.  While salt has a strong and distinct taste, it does increase blood pressure and can be addicting.  Instead, focus on herbs and spices.  These natural flavoring pack a large punch in small quantities.  They bring benefits like healthy skin, healthy eyes, health hair, and most importantly a healthy heart.  Consider some of these herbs and spices in your food prep:
-garlic
-basil
-oregano
-rosemary
-thyme
-mint
-black pepper
There are countless herbs and spices.  Try some out and you will find a new favorite!  As Always, Eat, Move and Improve!

Dear Apple

Dear Apple,
They say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  I couldn’t agree more!  You do so much for me.  Your colorful skin and crunchy bite makes eating you a fun experience. You make me feel good when you come around. You’re so easy to grab and go.  I can eat you at home, in the car, or at the office.  However, that is only the start.
Your crunchy and juicy flesh gives me so much refreshment.  It is so relieving when I spend time with you.  You give me hydration and energy, especially when I need it quickly.  Besides that, you are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water!  You definitely pack a nutritious punch!  I want you to know how much I appreciate you.  I am joyful when you come around.  Please promise to continue to be there for me when I need your juicy sweetness!
Sincerely, a big fan

Dear Licorice

Dear Licorice,
I am writing you today with some bad news.  You’re not going to like it.  For reasons I will explain below, I want to break up with you.  I am sorry that it has to come to this, but starting today, we are done.
Your colorful, playful, and sweet.  We cannot argue that.  I cherish our times together.  You bring me so much glee and comfort when you come around.  At the movies or at home, you’re there for me when I need you.  You don’t change and always bring me so much excitement when we get together.
Unfortunately, the after effects are not as desirable.  You leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth.  I never get enough of you.  You don’t fill me up.  I am always hungry after spending time with you.  My high expectations are never satisfied once you give me what you have to offer.
I am truly sorry for this, but I suggest we don’t see each other as much anymore.  I will gladly say hello every once in awhile if I see you around.  But, I will not actively spend time with you anymore.  I can’t afford for you to leave me empty and unsatisfied anymore.  I am sorry for this, but I wish you all the best!
Sincerely, over you

Dear Cheeseburger

Dear Cheeseburger,
 
Oh cheeseburger, my one and only love.  You are truly a “cheeseburger in paradise”  I love how lucious, savory, and filling you can be.  You get along with so many friends: french fries, chips, potato salad, corn, baked beans, to name a few.  I can dress you up in so many ways.  I can stay ordinary by enjoying you naked, with cheese, or even lettuce, tomato, and onion.  OR, I can enjoy your exotic side with other toppings too many to count!
Even though you are such a wonderful friend, cheeseburger, you have a dark side.  Your meat and toppings don’t help my waistline or heart.  They are both at risk when I choose you.  I only know that it’s a mater of time that you will make me pay big time.
I think it’s time you and I see other people.  You’re not the only grill friendly sandwich meat out there after all!  I am going with my gut here.  I choose from now on to see you every so often.  Instead, I am going to spend more time with turkey burgers, veggie burgers, and even chicken breast.  I’ll be honest, it’s you.  Your benefits just don’t outweigh the risks.  I hope you don’t take it too personally. I am doing this for the both of our well being.
Sincerely, Regretfully breaking up with you

10 Ways to Have Fun When Eating Right

IMG_3958“I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.”
-Maya Angelou
“I get way too much happiness from good food”. -Elizabeth Olsen

“Learn how to cook- Try new recipes. Learn from your mistakes.  Be fearless.  And, above all, have fun!” -Julia Childs


It’s a common misconception.  When people hear of diet, they think “I am going to be so deprived.” Or, “eating healthy is boring.”  Bet yet, “this is going to suck!”  I have noticed how many people decide not to take action because of their preconceived notions.  They look at a decision or commitment they want to make.  If they even suspect any negative connotation to a decision, they run the opposite way or rationalize why its not worth it.


However, the truth is that there are pros and cons to every decision out there.  For example, unexplainable taste and joy of eating french fries and cheeseburgers is a pro.  But, weight gain, bloating, and drowsiness could be considered cons.


I propose you look at eating right or dieting in a different way.  Focus not on the downside, but on the positives.  You have the power to make nutrition and eating well fun!  Here are some examples:
  1. Experiment with bright colors- orange, red, green, blue, purple, yellow etc.We eat with our eyes and bright colors make people excited!
  2. Switch things up.  For example, switch between, chicken, shrimp, fish, and other lean meats
  3. Mix 2-3 food groups into 1 dish.  Instead of having 3 separate food groups on a plate, mix them up in a salad, pasta dish, soup, or rice bowl for example!
  4. Try different herbs and spices.  Each herb and spice contribute different nutritional benefits.
  5. Mix up your cooking techniques.  Grilling, baking, broiling, barbecuing, and others change the taste and experience of the meal
  6. Change your eating environment.  We tend to get bored by sitting in the same spot-  eat at your table, outside, or at a friend’s house!
  7. Cook with a friend!  Sharing an experience with a loved one will make it more pleasurable.
  8. Try ethnic dishes or flavors you haven’t tried before: sushi, curries, Mediterranean, Asian.
  9. Flavor your water differently. Infuse it with citrus fruits, mint, or even ginger!
  10. Listen to your favorite music!  We tend to be happier and more willing to try something new when we’re jamming to our favorite toons.
Obviously, these are just 10 off the top of my head!  There are plenty of other ways to make eating healthy a fun experience.  Which is your favorite?  Comment below!
As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Dear Fruit

Dear Fruit,
I want to apologize to you on behalf of countless critics out there.  They have villainized you.  They have hurt your reputation.  Most specifically, they have blamed you for making people gain weight.  In their defense, their logical thinking makes sense.  We know as a fact that calories from sugar make people gain weight.  To their defense, you carry alot of sugar inside you.
But, it’s not your fault.  Their way of thinking is skewed.  They do not understand.  They do not understand that two forms of sugar exist in the world: added and natural.  You contain the latter.  Your sugar comes from the real you, not from a factory.  What people fail to realize that what you lack in ounce you gain in tons.  You provide nutrients, fiber, water, and other heath promoting ingredients.  You bring joy to so many people with your sweetness and refreshing texture.
On behalf of those who do you wrong, I want to apologize to you.  I am saddened to observe how people mistreat you. They place you in a category where you do not belong.  But, it’s not your fault!  I encourage you to never change.  Continue to bring people joy and excitement when they eat you.  People will sort their own beliefs about you soon!
Sincerely, An Apology