6 Mindful Ways To Lose Weight

6 Mindful Ways To Lose Weight

The new year symbolizes a new beginning, and a chance to celebrate life more fully. So as we enter into 2015, committing to our resolutions, let’s set ourselves up for success.

My friend and yoga expert, Wayne Lehrer, is a celebrated author of The Prodigy Within, a program geared to discovering your life’s purpose. Wayne has studied the science and the spirituality behind living an enlightened life and developing a set of guiding principles that will help you become your best self.

Here are 6 of Wayne’s tips that will help elevate your mind and body in 2015:

Walk In Gratitude, Live In Grace

walking_in_blue.1Do a gratitude list of at least 5 items (people, situations, etc.) every morning to remind yourself of what you have to be grateful for. When you are grateful for what you are given, then all that you are given becomes a Gift.

[If you’re looking for an uplifting way to embrace life on a daily basis, treat yourself by going on a gratitude walk!

To do this, simply step outside and enjoy nature while you quietly reflect on the gifts you’ve been given. Then after 10 minutes, pump up the pace and turn your gratitude walk into a calorie-burner with the FREE 30-minute Lean Walk download here]

Change Your Story, Change Your Life

Be conscious that everything that comes out of your mouth shapes your reality. When you speak in a positive and uplifting way about yourself and others then that is the world you live in.

Put On A Happy Face

Though this may seem terribly trivial, when you change your face you change your state of mind and how the world sees you. Try an experiment; see how you are feeling, find a positive thought and lift the corners of your mouth (smile): a simple change, an enormous difference.

Practice Loving Kindness

When you treat your body, mind and spirit with loving kindness you receive a great gift and have so much more to give to others. If you are to live 80-100 years and fulfill your dreams, you must pay attention to what makes you flourish, eliminate things that don’t serve you and gain the wisdom to know the difference.

Learn To Let Go — To Live In The Flow

FLEXAPPEALCOVERFINAL10b3df1) Quit arguing with reality, 2) train yourself to accept what is and 3) know that things are not always as they appear. The best way to continue living in the Flow is by maintaining a daily practice of yoga, meditation and prayer.

Be Of Service

From sharing supportive words, to volunteering, to fulfilling your life’s purpose, being of service improves the quality of your life as much as those you serve by affording you abundant opportunities to share your talents, gifts and passions. Ask yourself the question, “If I had 6 months left to live what do I most want to be remembered for?”

How To Exercise When You’re Injured

How To Exercise When You’re Injured

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Exercise-related injuries are pretty common. Often, they’re caused by over-training or incorrect technique. But, injuries shouldn’t mean the end of exercise! If you’re injured, try to stay active and make sure to still work out the parts of your body that aren’t injured. 

Warming up when you’re injured is always important, because it increases your core temperature. Many people only warm up with static stretches, where you hold a position for 20-30 seconds.

An alternative is dynamic stretching, which means you take your limb through a full range of motion, then slightly increase that motion. This lubricates the joint and warms up your muscles at the same time.

Once you’re ready to get back into your regular workout routine, start slowly, using lower weights and less intensity until you feel healthy again.

Remember, an injury may slow you down, but it doesn’t have to take you out of the game!

Here’s to your health!

Getting Real: Body Image And Self Esteem

Getting Real: Body Image And Self Esteem

The first step toward enjoying your body is to cut through any dissatisfaction or distortion and get real about it. 

In so doing, you can challenge the caricature you’ve drawn of yourself and draw a more accurate image—one you can feel good about.

Rose’s Story

A friend told me recently about her shocking encounter with a full-length mirror. Rose is a yoga student. Having worked for several years now, she’s quite a good practitioner and often tells her teacher how happy she is about changes she’s feltin her body. Recently, she and her husband spent a weekend in Las Vegas. Checking into their hotel, she found that their room had a full-length mirror on one wall. While her husband was out, she decided to do her yoga routine in front of the mirror. This was something she’d never tried before and she was excited to see how she would look. She began a pose and, glancing up, was horrified at what she saw. It was not the pure, perfect ideal she saw in her mind’s eye. What she saw was the image of a somewhat overweight middle-age woman doing yoga. She was crushed. It didn’t look anything like the way she felt, or wanted to feel.

The Beauty Of What Is

Rose’s long practice of yoga had brought her feelings of self-worth that had nothing to do with physical appearance—and that’s great. On the other hand,she had not completely made peace with her body.

What Rose hadn’t seen yet was what I call “the beauty of what is”: in this case, that a perfectly normal middle-age body, doing yoga well, can be beautiful. Sure, it’s different from the way her younger teacher might look. Nevertheless, there’s beauty in the pose itself, and there’s beauty in the care, precision, and control with which Rose performs it. Anyone watching her would see and admire it. But she was too shocked by the sight of her body to see anything else.

Ideally, two things go hand in hand. First,appreciating your body for what it can do, rather than how it looks. Second, making peace with the physical reality so that you can fully enjoy your body without having to hide it. To be able to appreciate the beauty of what “is”—that’s the essence of a healthy body image.

RAW_RROSALES_NEWYOU_KATHY_SMITH_0121

 

Our first step will be to look in the mirror. . . .

Creating Your Physical Inventory

How accurately do you think you see your body? What do you like about it? What do you dislike? In this next section, I’ll lead you through an exploration designed to help you see yourself more accurately, while also helping you recognize and befriend any areas of dissatisfaction. (The self-inventory technique described here is adapted from one described by Matthew McKay, Ph.D., and Patrick Fanning in their book Self-Esteem.)

 

Step 1: Roll Call

Begin by writing down short descriptions of the following areas of your body:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Body shape
  • Face
  • Individual face features
  • Eyes
  • Teeth
  • Lips
  • Skin quality
  • Hair
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Hands
  • Breasts
  • Waist or belly
  • Hips
  • Butt
  • Thighs
  • Calves
  • Feet
  • Types of clothing that look good on you
  • Types of clothing that look bad on you
  • Your overall style

Tips

  • Be sure to go through the whole list. I’ve provided the list above because without it, you might only list body parts you have strong feelings about—the ones you’re self-conscious about, were teased about, and perhaps one or two that serve as your token self-compliments (say, “nice ankles”). In so doing, you might be overlooking much of what’s good about your body.
  • Be honest. Without analyzing too much, write down a simple capsule description of each area, in the first words that come to you.

Revising Your Self-Portrait

Revising Your Self-Portrait

If you missed part 1, or part 2 of this series, click here
Last week, we discussed how the second step toward enjoying your body is to cut through any dissatisfaction or distortion and get real about it.

This week, let’s use the information you learned about yourself last week to revise your self-portrait.

Now it’s time to revise your list (from last week’s exercise) to create a more accurate image—and, if you’re willing to stretch your mind, a more positive one. This next step may sound a little far-fetched, or like too much work. The truth is, it can be surprisingly instructive. If it sounds like fun, try it. If not, read through and simply imagine doing it—maybe you’ll get curious and want to try it for real.

Begin by taking several large sheets of newsprint or strips from a roll of butcher paper and taping them to the wall. They should cover an area at least as wide and high as your body. Remove as much of your clothing as is convenient; then, with your back to the wall, trace your body with a wide-tipped marker. Trace as close to your body as you can for accuracy. (With a little care, you can do this by yourself, although you might find it easier to do this exercise with a friend.)

The impact of the tracing comes from the fact that it’s not the familiar mirror reflection that we look at every day without really seeing. The traced image is novel. It doesn’t move; therefore, it allows you to step back and view it objectively.

Now spend some time looking at the proportions of your body tracing. That’s you! Does it seem “too” anything? What impression would you have of a person with this shape? Would it be the same you’ve been carrying of yourself? Or does it seem like a reasonable size and shape for someone to be?

Next, with your list in hand, revise your negative items, this time writing your comments directly onto your image on the wall.

Remember, the problem lies not in having weaknesses or flaws; the problem is in “the ways in which you use your weaknesses for destructive self-attacks.” So this time, try to find ways to describe your weaknesses without disparaging or downgrading. 

Stop Dieting And Start Maximizing Micronutrients!

Stop Dieting And Start Maximizing Micronutrients!

Beerenmischung / berry mixWhile this program is designed to help you beat bellyfat and reshape your body, there’s also some major mental aspects at play.

This week, focus on shifting your mindset – specifically when it comes to food. Shifting your mindset means getting moving away from a “diet mentality,” where you deprive yourself while you’re “on the wagon,” until you lose your willpower and quickly regain weight by falling “off the wagon.” Instead, you’ll learn to view food as fuel, and healthy eating as a key part of your chosen lifestyle.

When you plan meals on a typical diet, it can be a joyless process. You’re cobbling together a bunch of foods that are low in calories, void of flavor, and no fun at all. But when you see food as fuel, it’s also no longer the enemy. You’ll learn to stop selecting foods solely based on their low-calorie count, and instead you’ll reach for foods based on their nutritional density.

Macronutrients and Micronutrients:

I look at food in terms of macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fat—and micronutrients, like iron in meat, or specific vitamins or minerals in veggies and fruits. Typical diet plans ask us to just start making big cuts in the macronutrient areas: Cut carbs, increase protein, cut fat, and be done with it. But the “food as fuel” mentality takes a much more optimistic approach to eating, because when your goal isn’t to “cut” things out your diet, but rather to make sure your food is always a good source of micronutrients, it starts to completely change the way you think about food.

My goal for you is to become an independently healthy eater. So following this step-by-step program to a tee is a little counterintuitive – the more regimented you can be about sticking to the plan, the freer you’ll be in the long run to make your own decisions when it comes to food. It’s my hope that you won’t think in terms of “What can I eat that’s low carb?” Instead, you’ll find yourself asking “What can I eat that’s a fresh and delicious source of iron, beta carotein, lutein and flavonoids? And what’s going to balance my blood sugar so that I can keep a steady stream of energy going throughout my day?

Shopping For Micronutrients:

Rainbow ProduceI always tell people that the key to grocery shopping in a way that maximizes micronutrients is to stick to the perimeter. A typical supermarket layout has central aisles filled with packaged foods– the cookies, the crackers, the sodas and chips. These are, of course, the foods highest in sugar, transfats and preservatives – and largely void of any of the micronutrients our bodies are really cravings.

Look to the perimeter, however, and the scene completely changes. Suddenly you’re faced with a rainbow of colors: The stunning scarlet of fresh tomatoes and strawberries. The gorgeous green of kale, spinach, cucumbers and celery. The deep purple hue of eggplants and grapes. The summery orange of tangerines and bell peppers. We’ve talked some already about the role of carbohydrates: the good, the bad, and the sugary. The FastFit Core Solution Diet is a good-carb diet – and those “good carbs” are the ones found in the perimeter of the grocery store, because those are the carbohydrates that are low in refined sugar, high in fiber, and packed with micronutrients – otherwise known as “superfoods.”

SUPERCARBS

These nutrient-packed carbohydrate sources will fuel your brain and your body. Look for some of these all-star “Supercarbs” along the perimeter of your supermarket.

  • BlueberriesBlueberries: An anti-oxidant super fruit, blueberries came in at the top of the list in a 2008 Cornell University study of the antioxidant capabilities of 25 commonly consumed fruits and berries.
  • red_bell_pepperRed Peppers: Raw red peppers rank at the top for Vitamin C content, the vitamin that plays a big part in bone formation and strength.

 

  • kale_2Dark Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens (think kale, collards, Swiss chard, even broccoli, but not iceberg lettuce) contain a bounty of micronutrients such as minerals, omega-3s, and antioxidants such as lutein.
  • Mango with section on a white backgroundMangoes: The carotenoids found in yellow fruits like mangoes are an important category of phytonutrients that protect us from cancer and help defy the effects of aging.

Carbs: The Wonder Fuel

Carbs: The Wonder Fuel

Many women have told me, “Kathy, sometimes after I work out, I’m left feeling depleted of energy to the point that I feel tired and somewhat cranky.” While it could be that you’re pushing yourself too hard, chances are you’re not giving your body the fuel it needs to push through, and recover from, a workout. Specifically, if you aren’t eating enough carbs, that’s what can happen. You need carbs to fuel your muscles and fuel your brain. If you’ve been avoiding them the last few years, you’re going to see some exciting changes in your body, your mind and your mood as you add them back into your diet.

This topic came up when I took a group of 100 people through a new weight loss program I was developing. After one of our weekly hikes in Malibu, more than a few complained they experienced something that went beyond feeling tired for a while after. They felt tense and irritable. Despite the fact that my food program includes a variety of healthy, complex carbohydrates, it turned out that the low/no-carb fad had scared these folks into cutting them from their diets completely. The truth is carbs are the main fuel for exercise, especially if you really want to crank up your workout. I’m talking about complex carbohydrates; luscious fruits, tasty veggies and comforting whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, etc.

You need carbs to fuel your muscles and your brain. When you don’t get enough of this vital energy-filled nutrient, your blood sugar levels (glycogen and blood glucose) dip down so low that your muscles revert to other sources of fuel, like protein found in your muscles. This causes you to get weaker and slows down your metabolism. Not only do you feel fatigued, it also makes it twice as hard to lose weight.

Something else that should make you happy about eating carbs is…they make you happy. That’s right. Carbohydrates help keep the serotonin levels in the brain at the right level. That’s the chemical that helps us with feelings of joy, optimism and calm. And one more bonus, it’s easier to stay focused. If you don’t eat enough carbs, your blood glucose levels stay low, and you’ll have trouble concentrating and feeling alert. As with any other food, stick to the healthier choices most of the time and monitor your portion sizes.

Great Grains To Help You Avoid A Zero-Carb Crash:

– Steel-cut oats
– Qunioa
– Ezekiel breads and cereals
– Amaranth
– Millet
– Hominy
– Spelt berries
– Wheat berries
– Ak Mak whole wheat crackers
– Uncle Sam’s cereal
– Whole wheat pasta

Eggs: The Perfect Protein

Eggs: The Perfect Protein

When you’re trying to lose weight and maintain lean muscle mass, protein isn’t just important…it’s a must! A great way to increase protein into your diet is by adding eggs. On average, eggs contain 6 grams of protein and has the highest “biological value” of protein — a measure of how well it supports your body’s protein need — of any food.

So, egg protein is more effective for maintaining muscle than protein of other sources, even milk and beef. Eggs also contain: B12, folic acid, folate, zinc, selinium iron and vitamin E.

The Best Breakfast

eggsEggs get a standing ovation. Packed with high-quality protein, B vitamins, and the antioxidant selenium, eggs are one of the world’s perfect foods. They do contain a small amount of saturated fat (about 1.5 grams) and cholesterol, but they still deliver a wholesome punch of nutrients. You can eliminate some fat and cholesterol by mixing whole eggs with egg whites.

Quick-Fix Eggs

Poached Eggs on ToastTry two eggs or egg whites with salsa or sliced tomatoes on a piece of whole grain toast with salt and pepper to taste. Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley and a sprinkle of light Parmesan cheese can turn plain eggs into a delightful meal with intense flavor.

 

My Challenge To You

Commit to eating a wholesome breakfast. Eating breakfast has been proven (many times) to not only stimulate metabolism and help with weight and cholesterol control, but also to improve concentration, problem-solving ability, mental performance, memory, and mood. By eating breakfast you can set yourself up for maintaining healthy eating habits throughout the day…and don’t forget the eggs!

Western Style Omelet

Western Style Omelet

southwestern_omeletteINGREDIENTS:

Nonstick cooking spray

1/4 C. chopped green bell pepper

2 Tbsp. chopped red onion

1 whole egg

3 egg whites

1 slice low-fat turkey, diced

2 Tbsp. fat-free tomato salsa

Bottled hot pepper sauce (opt.)

 

DIRECTIONS:

Mist a nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Saute bell pepper and onion in hot skillet until tender (2 to 3 minutes). Remove from skillet and set aside.

Lightly beat whole egg and egg whites in a small bowl. Add eggs to the hot skillet. Stir with a rubber spatula, lifting cooked eggs to allow liquid egg to flow underneath. Continue until eggs are almost set and lightly browned on bottom. Place cooked vegetables and the turkey on half of the omelet and gently fold over. Tip onto a plate. Top with salsa, and, if desired, a few shakes of bottled hot pepper sauce.

Serves 1.

High Fiber, Oil-Free Bran Muffins

High Fiber, Oil-Free Bran Muffins

all_bran_muffinsba235aINGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 C. Kellog’s All-Bran cereal

1 C. carrot

1/2 C. almonds, roughly chopped

1 1/4 C. milk

1 egg

1/3 C. pumpkin puree

1 1/4 C. flour

1/2 C. sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine All Bran and milk. Let stand about 6 minutes until cereal softens. Add egg and pumpkin. Beat well.

Add flour mixture, stir only until combined.

Portion batter evenly into twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin-pan cups coated with cooking spray.

Cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes

Popeye’s Burger

Popeye’s Burger

popeye_burgerINGREDIENTS:

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. uncooked ground turkey

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme)

1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano (or 1/4 tsp. dried oregano)

1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Dash bottled hot pepper sauce

Dash ground pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

Cook onion and garlic in hot olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until tender (5-7 minutes). Let cook completely. Place ground turkey in a large bowl; add herbs, bottled hot pepper sauce, and pepper. Add onion mixture to the turkey and mix well. Using your hands, squeeze the spinach to remove excess moisture. Crumble spinach into the turkey mixture; mix until well combined. Shape turkey mixture into 4 patties.