Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing. And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance. Remembering why you are thankful!
AND it is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.
But it doesn’t always stop there. Does it?Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals. (Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)
Tip #1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.
This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.
When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full. And you get too much “air” in the belly!
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish. But don’t start there.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting hytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They’re “satiating”. And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
There may be some that can’t eat salad greens…so find a high fiber veggie single and enjoy. Find some and learn more about the benefits of fiber here.
• Have a glass of water
• eat mindfully
• start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water
to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful
looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
Slices of lemon & ginger
Slices of strawberries & orange
Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
Chopped pineapple & mango (my fav)
Blueberries & raspberries
Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or cool mason jar in the morning. They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.
How Do I Keep My Blood Sugar Stable?
And do I need to worry about it if I am not a diagnosed diabetic?
Oh, the words “blood
Does it conjure up visions of
restrictive eating, diabetes medications, or insulin injections?
Blood sugar is the measure of the
amount of sugar in your blood. You need the right balance of sugar in your
blood to fuel your brain and muscles.
The thing is, it can fluctuate. A
This fluctuation is the natural
balance between things that increase it; and things that decrease it. When you
eat food with sugars or starches (“carbs”), then your digestive
system absorbs sugar into your blood. When carbs are ingested and broken down
into simple sugars, your body keeps blood sugar levels stable by secreting
insulin. Insulin allows excess sugar to get it out of your bloodstream and into
your muscle cells and other tissues
Why keep my blood sugar
Your body wants your blood sugar
to be at an optimal level. It should be high enough, so you’re not
light-headed, fatigued, and irritable. It should be low enough that your body
isn’t scrambling to remove excess from the blood.
When blood sugar is too low, this
is referred to as “hypoglycemia.”
When blood sugar is too high, it
is referred to as hyperglycemia.
Prolonged periods of elevated blood sugar levels (chronic hyperglycemia)
can lead to “insulin resistance.”
Insulin resistance is when your
cells are just so bored of the excess insulin that they start ignoring
(resisting) it, and that keeps your blood sugar levels too high.
Insulin resistance and chronic
hyperglycemia can eventually lead to diabetes.
So let’s look at how you can
optimize your food and lifestyle to keep your blood sugar stable.
Food for stable blood sugar
The simplest thing to do to
balance your blood sugar is to reduce the number of refined sugars and starches
you eat. To do this, you can start by
dumping sweet drinks and having smaller portions of dessert.
Eating more fiber is helpful too.
Fiber helps to slow down the amount of sugar absorbed from your meal; it
reduces the “spike” in your blood sugar level. Fiber is found in plant-based foods (as long
as they are eaten in their natural state, processing foods removed fiber). Eating nuts, seeds, and whole fruits and
veggies (not juiced) is a great way to increase your fiber intake.
FUN FACT: Cinnamon has been shown
to help cells increase insulin sensitivity. Not to mention it’s a delicious
spice that can be used in place of sugar. (HINT: It’s in the recipe below)
Lifestyle for stable blood
Exercise also helps to improve
your insulin sensitivity; this means that your cells don’t ignore insulin’s
call to get excess sugar out of the blood.
Not to mention, when you exercise, your muscles are using up that sugar
they absorbed from your blood. But you already knew that exercise is healthy,
Would you believe that stress
affects your blood sugar levels? Yup! Stress hormones increase your blood sugar
levels. If you think about the “fight or flight” stress response,
what fuel do your brain and muscles need to “fight” or “flee”?
Sugar! When you are stressed signals are sent to release stored forms of sugar
back into the bloodstream, increasing blood sugar levels. So, try to reduce the stress you’re under and
manage it more effectively. Simple tips are meditation, deep breathing, or
Sleep goes hand-in-hand with
stress. When you don’t get enough quality sleep, you tend to release stress
hormones, have a higher appetite, and even get sugar cravings. Sleep is
crucial, often overlooked, factor when it comes to keeping your blood sugar
stable. Make sleep more of a priority – it will do your blood sugar (and the
rest of your physical and mental health) good.
Your body is on a constant
24-hour quest to keep your blood sugar stable. The body has mechanisms in place
to do this, but those mechanisms can get tired (resistant). Long-term blood sugar issues can spell
There are many nutrition and
lifestyle approaches you can take to help keep your blood sugar stable.
Minimizing excessive carbs, and eating more fiber, exercising, reducing stress,
and improving sleep are all key to having stable blood sugar (and overall good
Recipe (blood sugar
balancing): Cinnamon Apples
2 apples, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Place chopped apples into a small
saucepan with 2 tbsp water. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring
occasionally. After about 5 minutes the apples will become slightly soft, and
water will be absorbed.
Add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Stir
apples and oil together.
Cook for another 5 minutes,
stirring every minute or so.
Add cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
Cook for another few minutes,
stirring until the apples reach your desired softness!
Serve and enjoy!
Tip: Keeping the peel on increases the fiber, which
is even better for stabilizing your blood sugar.
Let me know when you try the recipe! And if you want to know more on specifically how to stabilize your Blood Sugar…reach out! I am here to support you.
Are you a breakfast eater?
Or dare I ask are you a
“healthy” breakfast eater?
Maybe you need some inspiration for a few great breakfast foods. Maybe
you don’t have time and you need some healthy ideas for “grab and go” mornings
– who doesn’t ever run short on time in the mornings?
Maybe you’re ready to ditch the “desserts” that are marketed as being “part of
a complete breakfast”.
Don’t worry, I have you covered!
Do you love your breakfast? Do you have a short list of “go-to”
recipes? Do you need a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast
Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management,
metabolism and weight loss. This is because protein helps you feel fuller
longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it. So
I’m going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and
healthy fats for your soon-to-be favorite new “go-to” breakfasts.
Breakfast Food #1: Eggs
Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food. And for good reason!
No, I’m not talking about processed egg whites in a carton. I mean actual
Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional
powerhouses. Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and
Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and
help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin.
Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the
fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you’re running short on time.
And…nope the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an
increased risk of arterial or heart diseases.
One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a
temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become
oxidized. It’s the oxidized cholesterol that’s heart unhealthy.
Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and
fiber. Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.
You won’t be fooled by “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia
“cereals” with added sugars – you know I’m talking about the real, whole,
unsweetened food here.
Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you’re running late in the
mornings. Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as
you’re running out the door; you can nosh on them while you’re commuting.
Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your
morning breakfast smoothie.
Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or
seed butter. Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a
creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy.
Breakfast Food #3: Veggies
Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast;
but this also applies to veggies. You know I would be remiss to not
recommend veggies at every meal, right?
Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals,
fiber, and water. You can’t go wrong adding them into every single meal
of the day so if you don’t already you should definitely try them for
And no, you don’t need to have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast if you
don’t want to but you totally can! You wouldn’t be breaking any
“official” breakfast rules or anything like that.
Adding some protein to leftover veggies is a great combination for any
meal. Including breakfast.
I’ve included a delicious recipe below for you to try (and customize) for your
& Veggies): Veggie Omelet
teaspoon coconut oil
1 or 2 eggs (how hungry are you?)
¼ cup veggies (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms
- And/or diced peppers
dash salt, pepper and/or turmeric
Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt
on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred). But copper non-sticks work
In the meantime, grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables
of choice and the spices.
Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil. Pour egg
mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.
When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until white is
no longer runny.
Serve & Enjoy!
Tip: Substitute grated, sliced, or diced
portion of your favorite vegetable. Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli
or diced tomato.
To your health and mindful eating! Eat with Intention!
AND Coming soon – be watching!
I love the New Year…a fresh start, a new page…empty pages to keep writing your story. But we all have or still do resolve to “lose weight” and go on a “DIET”. What dread that brings to our minds…right? Do “diets” work? I say NO they don’t , but choosing good nutrition does!
The secret to losing weight once and for all!
Every time you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve done it wrong.
We’ve all done it. We’ve all been there. You go through a weight loss/diet program, you deny yourself everything you love, you torture yourself at the gym, and you lose weight. You think you’ve done a good thing for your health, for your life, for your family.
And then the weight comes back. Maybe even some extra on top.
You have failed. Again. You’re sure of it. Everyone else loses the weight and keeps it off. Normal people don’t have problems with their weight. Normal people just manage this without worry. Aren’t I normal you ask yourself.
No I am a freak of nature… EXCEPT THAT YOU’RE NOT.
Weight loss programs/Diets… are designed to make sure you fail in the long-term, so you keep coming back year after year over and over…
This year, resolve to find your perfect
balance. Try a few of my favorite tips…
decisions. Resolve to make healthier decisions that make
you feel great, not ones that make you miserable. It’s much more simple
than following a strict plan and will leave you loving your new lifestyle. Following strict plans can leave you feeling
deprived, which can lead to rebellion and that’s absolutely not what we
want! Balanced decisions are far more
beneficial and enjoyable long-term.
changes over time. Instead of trying to do a complete overhaul
of your life, start by making these smart, balanced decisions over time.
Changing your habits and doing it slowly leads to creating healthier
habits that last without overwhelm and confusion.
- Step by
Step. Start with one new healthy habit a week. With this method, you’re focusing on one
thing that improves your health at a time as it becomes a part of your
routine. For example, for your first
week, focus on drinking enough water.
Most people do not, and this is always a fabulous place to start. You’ll see and feel changes quickly, and you
can move onto your second week with another small health goal to
And if you need a program that you do once, learn a bunch and have forever...click that picture
above for more info. And if you are ready to do the work, get it done once and for all…use this code at checkout: Crew4Life50
A few of my favorite healthy tips are…
Ditch and Switch. Ditch the refined foods and switch them with healthier options. For example, instead of using refined white flour and/or sugar, use almond flour or coconut sugar instead. There are many alternatives to choose from, and you can most definitely find one that you will love – and I bet you nobody will even notice! Aside from the sweets, you can also trade out white rice or mashed potatoes with creating cauliflower rice or mashed “potatoes” out of cauliflower.
Fresh Herbs and Spices. You can really dress up a meal by adding fresh herbs and spices to it – I personally use them every time I cook. It’s incredibly affordable and simple to keep a small, fresh herb garden growing in your kitchen window, and you will always have direct access to fresh herbs. Even better, there are incredible health properties in many of the herbs and spices we use and love. Many of our favorite holiday spices are greatly beneficial for our health and a strong immune system, which is certainly helpful during cold and flu season. Cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, and nutmeg are a few of these popular holiday spices that you will reap healthy benefits from, so find a place for them in your recipes anywhere you can!
Use Different Dishes. One of my favorite, most powerful tools to stay on track with my health goals is getting creative with portion control. Instead of using dinner-sized plates, which we tend to fill, use smaller plates. Use a mid-sized saucer or salad plate for your dinner plate( I actually use a salad plate all the time), and then go back for seconds if needed. A lot of the overeating that we do is mindless, habitual eating because it’s in front of us and we were taught to clean our plates. Taking this temptation away helps tremendously, and you’ll very quickly learn how much you actually need to feel satisfied – I guarantee it is less than you are used to!
With these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to not entering January feeling bloated, discouraged and off track. A truly healthy life revolves around balance – and finding your own personal balance
will take trial and error. Balance doesn’t mean you never eat fudge again (that won’t happen here for sure), but it means you choose when you eat it and savor every bite!
I have been so blessed this year. It has been a year of recovery from my stroke, a year of figuring out who I really am in this realm of coaching and a year of the new normal. I am still very passionate about coaching and supporting your efforts to be the best version of healthy you can be…but it was a year of learning moderation and balance for me too. Becoming more mindful of my choices and eating with intention.
My Christmas wish for you is the same…dig in this year…get to know you! Reach out for support on the journey…I am here for you!
Health Coach/Personal Trainer