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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter lovelies!


Saw three little hummingbirds floating outside my window today, an auspicious sign if ever there was one. I don't know what it is, but I feel like something good is on the way.

These are not them, (obviously) but wanted you to have a visual.


Such amazing little creatures, they feel like my Easter miracle.

Hope you all enjoy the day today, time with family or friends, or some alone time to reflect. Take the day and enjoy the good things your life has to offer, it may be something as close as the view outside your window or the love you feel in your heart.

We have ten days left in this month, whatever treats we may indulge in today, lets stick to our workouts and finish strong!

Big hugs
Shan

Saturday, April 12, 2014

You feeling determined?

It's been a week without posting, but I've been thinkin' boutcha. How are you all doing with your April resolutions to be determined? Have you been hitting your goals? Have you been exceeding your very own expectations?

I'll be frank with you and letcha know that April has not been the easiest of months. It's been 13 days since I made the commitment to kick sugar, but guess what? PMS got the best of me. On two of those 13 days, I had a bit of dark chocolate. Four squares to be exact. 120 calories in total. At first I thought, fuck! Epic fail. Why can't I do this?!? Cuss, curse, expletive, more fucks, kick, tantrum... and then... I had an epiphany! I managed to only have a tiny bite when I was absolutely desperate and miserable and then I carried on. I didn't cave or binge. 

Most importantly, I didn't throw in the towel. That's the way to change your life.

I know someone else out there... yeah I'm talking about you Natalia... who also had a bit of dark chocolate and some healthy organic peanut butter... You took what you needed to feel satisfied and then you carried on.

You didn't throw in the towel. You're changing your life!

So many of you have commented over the years about the 80/20 rule. Be good 80% of the time, then you can have a little treat. As long as you don't exceed 20% of the bad stuff you should be good. Moderation was always the trickiest thing for me. Dark chocolate was merely the gateway that led to milk chocolate then to cookies and ice cream and all sorts.

Perhaps for the first time in my life, I am finding control. (said the junkie! ha!

I am still firmly seated on the wagon. No sugar today. No plans for it next week or during Easter. But if it should so happen that I am absolutely impossible to live with and having a single square or two of choc will make me more pleasant to be around... then I won't rule it out.

As for the workouts - happy to say I'm still hitting the mat. It's not getting easier, but I feel I am getting stronger.



Good luck to all of you. Don't give up. There's still a lot of April in front of us!
xo
Shan

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Gentle Reminders - Diet

Good morning. The light in my office is just perfect right now and it's mostly quiet on the home front. We have a grey sky threatening rain so I am all tucked in for the day, ready to chug through some pages of a new script I'm writing. But before I do that, I wanted to check in with you and see how you're all doing.

Here is your daily inspiration all the way from the UK and the lovely and lean, determined machine... Sophie! This is what's on her phone each morning as her alarm goes off. It's the first thing she sees as she's trying to get her ass out of the warm cozy bed and onto the mat!

 
Way to go girl. Thanks for sharing this.

It's day four sugar free. Had a little crisis last night... I was taking out the trash... was in a bit of a mood... was standing outside feeling the warmer spring air and I almost walked to the corner shop for Ben & Jerry's! Whaaaaat!? Yeah. So I texted my girl Amanda. Just knowing that she knew what I was thinking of getting up to, helped me stop the sugar monster.

So... If you're trying to make some changes in your diet at present:
1) Please have a plan in place, 
2) Try to encourage those around you to support that plan, 
3) Do not listen to that voice in your head when it jumps in to list the reasons why you should ditch the plan! It's lying to you!

You'll hopefully come up with your plan when you are of sound mind and body so try to trust it.

If you have absolutely no idea what to do to make a change because there are soooooooooo many diets and plans out there already it's enough to make your head spin... allow me to share a few bits of clarity that I have gleaned over my years of writing this blog.

The most effective tool in weight loss and MORE IMPORTANTLY maintenance, is to have a properly functioning digestive system that works like a furnace to burn burn burn off those calories. So how do we get our digestive system to fire properly? Here are my two cents. (As always, take what works for you and leave the rest, we're all individuals and I'm no expert.)

Ever since the amazing anonymous M checked in to direct me to the path of Kimberly Snyder's Beauty Detox Solution, I haven't ever had to contend with more than a 3 or 4 pound weight gain. (Yeah, I sort of think of my M as M from Bond, head of the Secret Service Organization for Optimal Health! Lol) And I have now got some tools for shedding those last few pounds when needed. 

Here are my general rules of thumb.  
1)Proper food combining will serve you.
2)Eat lightest to heaviest throughout the day.
3)Allow 12 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day.

Okay so I guess it's my three cents.

Our guts contain enzymes that help break down and use the food we throw in them. Some are for proteins, some for fats, others for carbs etc. They work most effectively when triggered by combatable foods. Hence the whole food-combo revolution. It might sounds wonky or complicated or "like just another plan (read scam)" but for a girl who has suffered indigestion and horrible bloating, it worked for me.

The cliff notes on food combining?
Starches (complex carbs) DO mix with veggies
Proteins DO mix with veggies
Starches (complex carbs) and Proteins DO NOT mix with each other
Different Starches (complex carbs) DO mix (we're not talking cake and cookies here people!)
Different Proteins DO NOT mix
Fats DO NOT mix well with Protein; pair in moderation
Fats DO mix with starches (complex carbs)
Fruits should be eaten alone on an empty stomach
Fruits DO mix with raw greens

Think of your digestive tract as a freeway. You want to put the fastest moving vehicles at the front of the line, the slower 18-wheeler types at the end. So this means things like fruit, juice, or smoothies for breakfast are great. They will digest quickly. Think of them as your Ferraris or Porsches. Salads with perhaps a bit of fat like your avocado, nuts or seeds want to get on the road around midday, since they can digest quickly, but not as fast as your Porsche. Think of these midday meals as an SUV. Finally those big old trucks, the 18-wheelers that cannot move so quickly around the curves... the foods that take the longest to digest, (in other words all your faves) Your proteins, your carbs, the good stuff, they should be eaten at the end of the day for your last meal.

No one is saying you can't have your favorite pasta or that juicy steak, we're just saying have it for your last meal of the day and don't pair it with something counter-productive. So if you're having the steak, have it with a salad or veggies rather than that baked potato.

Now I know having a steak at night might read as counter-intuitive or go against everything you've ever read about losing weight. But trust me, it's not.

It's not when you follow my golden rule from Dr. Junger (Author of Clean). He says that you should always and without exception try to leave 12 hours between your evening meal and next day's breakfast. Here's why.

That steak or bowl of pasta is going to take a long time to digest. Again, the Cliff Notes version...

The actual detox signal in your body isn't given until 8 hours after your last meal. And that detoxing of your gut requires at least 4 hours to perform and function well. If you fill your belly up late at night, then refill it early in the morning, you're denying the body its full detox mode.

So this golden rule fits in with Kimberly's method of eating super light in the morning. Because having just a smoothie or fruit kind of allows the body to continue the cleaning process.

If you don't have clogged pipes in the drain, water runs freely. If you have loads of hair and soap residue and other hideous gunk in there you're going to have a backed up drain. Same exact scenario on your digestive system. If things are allowed to work properly and flow through, not only are you burning up the stuff you're consuming, you're also allowing your body to absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat. That equals more energy! Win win, right.

So you may continue to eat all the foods you love, just maybe not at the usual time of day you did before or maybe not all at the same time, but eating this way never deprives you of anything you love.

Want more detailed info on Kim, go HERE.
Want more detailed info on food combinations? My girl Tricia came up with this fantastic fridge cheat sheet ages ago. I've posted it here before, but it's worth sharing again for those of us trying to be better at putting good things in so we get good things in return. Enjoy!


Fridge Sheet:
Foods to Eat together to optimize digestion
No proteins /carbs together
1 carb per meal
Juice = whole food
Fruit alone as a meal
No cold food
No sweet and acid fruits together
Dark chocolate= dessert
Carbs + fat = GOOD
Carbs
Beans, bread, cereal, grains, lentils, potatoes, pumpkin, split peas, squash
+fat
Avocado, butter, corn oil, cream lard, nut
oils, olive oil, soy oil, sesame oil Non-starchy veggies + Fat/or carbs/or protein = EXCELLENT
OR +protein
Cheese, coconut, eggs, fish, meat, milk, nuts olives, poultry, seeds soybeans, yogurt
veggie
+ fat
OR +carb
Asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, dandelion, celery, chard, chicory, collards, cucumber, eggplant, endive, escarole, garlic, green beans, kale, kohlrabi,
Avocado, butter, corn oil, cream lard, nut oils,
Beans, bread, cereal, grains, lentils, potatoes, pumpkin, split
leeks, lettuce, onions, parsley, radish, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squash, sweet peppers, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, zucchini
olive oil, soy oil, sesame oil
peas, squash
Mild starchy veggies + protein or carbs =GOOD
Mild starchy veggies
+proteins
Artichokes, beets, carrots, cauliflower, corn, peas
Cheese, coconut, eggs, fish, meat, milk, nuts olives, poultry, seeds soybeans, yogurt
OR + carbs
Beans, bread, cereal, grains, lentils, potatoes, pumpkin, split peas, squash
Fruits: don’t eat sweet and acid/subacid fruits together
Acid Fruits
Subacid fruit
Sweet Fruit
Blackberry, grapefruit, lemon,
Apple, apricot, blueberry, cherry,
Bananas, dried fruits, dates, grapes, papaya,
Melon
Cantaloupe, casaba, Crenshaw, honeydew,
lime, orange, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, raspberry, sour apple, strawberry
kiwi, mango, papaya, peach, pear, plum
persimmon
papaya melon, Persian melon, musk melon, watermelon

AMENDMENT
Hey guys - just wanted to add a bit of an update to this. My girl Janice, who is in fact a nutritionist, had this to say about food combining in a comment, but wanted to add it here so you are sure to take a look.


I did notice one thing that both your notes and Tricia's fridge notes say though - that carbs + fat (fat + starches as you put it) are good. They might be perfectly good at digesting next to one another, but that combination is THE worst food mix you can choose if you are looking for fat loss (and who isn't?!). 


Without getting too technical, basically when we eat sugar/starches, our bodies produce insulin to help reduce the levels of glucose in our bloodstream, with any excess sugar being sent to the fat cells. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone, so if we eat sugar/starchy low-fibre carbs our insulin levels rise and we are in prime fat-storing mode from the off. There are also other fat-storing hormones but I don't want to get into all those now, but basically if we are raising our insulin levels by eating starches, and then if we are ALSO popping in a dose of fat at the same time, we have a much higher chance of storing that fat in the fat cells, thanks to the insulin primarily.

Think of all the best tasting things that make us fat - cake, sweets, chocolates, pastries, baked potato & cheese, curry & rice - what do all these have in common? Yes - they are all starch/sugar plus fat. They make us fat. This is why.

Obviously everyone's body is different and some have higher insulin sensitivity than others, but us girls with exceptional abdominal fat storing capability (i.e. high insulin sensitivity) are more likely to want to avoid this combination.

I will leave you with this link so that anyone can read up for themselves about the sugar/fat combination... http://www.metaboliceffect.com/worst-food-combination-for-weight-loss/  

 


All my very best,
Shan