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?”

Seven Foods You Should Eat More of This Year

Seven Foods You Should Eat More of This Year

Ginger with leavesIn the realm of dieting, weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes, we often throw around the term “eating right” without giving it much thought. What does it really mean to “eat right?” There are countless nutrition programs on the market claiming that their unique approach to food is the “right” way to do it.

I’m not so sure about some of the so-called “right” ways to eat right. But I do know that with certain superfoods in your diet, it’s hard to go wrong. Which superfoods are best? With the help of some cutting-edge research, I’ve compiled a list of 2013’s top must-have ingredients:

1.  Ginger

Chances are, you won’t be chewing this spicy root by itself, but you will find dozens of delicious uses for it. Ginger has a long history as a healer of gastrointestinal difficulties. Because it is a carminative, it cuts down on painful gas, fights nausea, and soothes the intestinal tract. Ginger can also serve as an anti-inflammatory agent. In one study, arthritic patients who were treated with ginger supplements reduced their pain by 46%, and gained 35% more mobility. Two additional clinical studies independently confirmed that 100% of patients suffering from muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain or swelling by regularly consuming ginger. If you’re free from joint pain or muscular aches, ginger can still be a health boon. It’s packed with antioxidants, and even helps protect against colorectal cancer.

How to get it:  Add freshly grated ginger root to your favorite stir-fry recipe, or try ginger lemonade made with grated ginger, lemon juice, and water, with a little honey or agave to add sweetness. I pulse all the ingredients in a blender for a morning wake-up shot.

2.  Black Cod

Most fish is good for you, but black cod is one of the best. Black cod is one of the most sought-after seafood varieties, because of its amazing flavor. Also known as butterfish, it has a rich, smooth texture, and succulent, mellow flavor. Even better, it possesses amazing health benefits: Black cod is high in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that can lower the risk of coronary heart disease by 36%. The nutrient power of black cod can lower blood pressure and enhance blood’s healing properties.

How to get it:  No longer a hard-to-find fish, these days black cod is available in most grocery store meat departments.

3. Greens

You may have noticed the latest kale craze. Praised by juicing devotees, master chefs and celebs alike, one cup of the “queen of greens” packs 5 grams of fiber, 40% of your recommended daily intake of magnesium, more than twice the recommended amount of vitamin A, and ten times that of vitamin K.

And in your kale zeal, don’t neglect Popeye’s favorite snack. Spinach is loaded with fiber, flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, manganese, zinc, and selenium. Several epidemiological studies reveal a correlation between spinach consumption and cancer inhibition, while additional studies demonstrate spinach’s ability to prevent cognitive defects.

How to get it:  There are so many great ways to enjoy your greens – from raw on a salad, to steamed with some olive oil and garlic, even baked as chips. See the exclusive recipes accompanying this article for my favorites.

4. Pomegranate

If you can’t pronounce polyphenol or anthocyanin, that’s okay. It’s enough to know that eating pomegranate is a tasty way to get healthier. Physicians from the National Cancer Institute have investigated the way that pomegranate extract may inhibit the growth of certain cancers. There’s no question that the fruit can increase blood lipid profile, and therefore fight heart disease and tumors. Beyond the more serious disease defenses, pomegranate can guard against the common cold.

How to get it:  Because of its popular “superfood” status, pomegranate juice has become a bestseller. But you can get all the health benefits by just eating the fruit.

5.  Balsamic Vinegar

In addition to its taste-improving abilities, Balsamic Vinegar is high in acetic acid, which lowers the body’s blood sugar fluctuation after a meal, improves glucose tolerance, and even increases satiety after a meal. Studies suggest that balsamic vinegar also lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent atherosclerosis. Not bad for a dash of zesty flavor in your salad.

How to get it:  Balsamic vinegar is the best topping for salads.On a recent trip to Boulder, CO I visited Oliverdé, specialty shop olive oil and vinegar shop, and treated myself to a high quality balsamic. Wow, like candy.

Mixed beans6.  Beans

Legumes have the power to serve double duty. First, their fiber content will make you feel fuller longer, making them a weight loss favorite. In one clinical study on beans, patients lost fat and retained lean muscle when regularly consuming kidney beans. Second, the soluble fiber in beans binds to cholesterol in the digestive tract, trapping it and drawing the cholesterol out of the body. Beans have rock-bottom levels on the Glycemic Index, which means that they can help to stabilize blood sugar.

How to get it:  There are over 40,000 varieties, so you won’t lack for choices. If you’re worried about bean’s gas-inducing qualities, be sure to thoroughly rinse canned beans before preparing them to wash away indigestible carbs. And while fresh are good, the canned varieties can be just as healthy, as long as you make sure to check the label. I keep a stock of 365 No-Salt-Added Black Beans cans. Heat them up and throw on a salad for a boost of protein and starchy compliment. For recipes, just know that 1 pound of dried beans is equivalent to 5-6 cups cooked.

Want other ideas for how to add these to your diet? Try hummus as a perfect dip for raw veggies. Or stash a package of shelled edamame in the fridge or freezer for reheating to quench mid-afternoon hunger. I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a scrumptious lentil, chard, and sweet potato mix.

7. Almonds

One of my personal favorites, almonds make for a filling, heart-healthy snack. Their fiber content helps keep you satisfied, while their dollop of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can help lower your LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels. While these little nuts are calorically dense and high in fat content, only a small portion of that fat – about 2 grams – is of the saturated variety. (Walnuts and pistachios also deserve honorable mentions here for the same reason!) And best of all? A serving of almonds can pack up to 11 grams of protein.

How to get it: Store some ziplocked baggies of almonds in your car – They will keep portion size in check, and are a great way to ward off hunger pangs and keep blood sugar level when you’re stuck in traffic. For a new twist, try out sprouted almonds at your local health food store. So good, just be careful of eating the whole package in one go!

This year, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding tasty, healthy, and nutritious food. These seven amazing foods can form the core of a healthy new grocery-shopping list, and can be found throughout the recipe index in ReShape. As a special treat this week, be sure to check out the four recipes I’ve been loving that combine these ingredients. You’ll dabble in the exotic and enter a world of amazing taste and powerful health enhancements. Get excited for a year of great eating!

Becoming An Optimal Eater

Becoming An Optimal Eater

Kathy Smith Dec 2011 Park City-Chef  158Last week, we looked at the scale of functional eating (if you missed it, click here). Now that you’ve identified which level of eater you are, it’s time to decipher how to move up the ladder from out-of-control to optimal eating. Moving up the ladder will jumpstart your weight loss journey .

Each step of the ladder –moving from, say, step 5 to step 4 to step three—represents real developmental progress in food believes and food behaviors. In order to help you make that progress, each level has a specific task.

If you are a “Level 5: Out-Of-Control” eater and want to move to “Level 4: Rigidly Controlled Eating,” then:

The most critical skill here is learning to distinguish between true hunger and satiety (the sense of satisfaction you get form eating, not overeating, a wonderful meal). If you’re stuck in Level 5, overwhelmed by food chaos, this skill may seem as attainable as reaching the summit of Mt. Everest on a skateboard. But it’s important to start working with your body and its needs, not against them. Knowing when you’re hungry and when you’ve had enough are the most basic cues that lead to independent eating.

One exercise I know that gets great results is choosing to eat only part of the food on your plate. Whether you’re at home or at a restaurant, pretend the last few or several bites aren’t there at all. Give yourself ten minutes or so to let what food you’ve eaten settle, then ask yourself if you’re satisfied yet and whether you actually want the remaining portion.

Remember, it’s especially important to avoid getting over-hungry, because over-hungry people are especially prone to overeating.

If you are a “Level 4: Rigidly Controlled Eater” and want to move to “Level 3: Eating by The Rules,” then:

While you may have a sense of “enough is enough” now, you’re probably still hoping someone will tell you exactly what to eat—even though it’s a fact that if you did indeed have a food master lording over your food choices, you’d get sick to death of that person’s reigning you in all the time. That’s why the challenge facing you at this important level is learning what works best for you, and letting the “food police” meddl in someone else’s living room.

That said, it’s critical at this level for you to build on your new ability to listen to your body’s food-related signals. You’ll soon learn to determine whether a higher carbohydrate food pattern works for you, or maybe one that contains a little more fat and protein. The focus here is on food composition – the balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat in your diet. Remember, everyone is different.

When you try different food patterns, pay close attention to how you feel after eating, as well as how long you feel satisfied. Note any differences in how your body looks, or how you feel. I recommend keeping a food diary (or photojournaling your experience on social media). In this food diary, record your observations after every meal, week to week; they’ll lead you to a much clearer and easier understanding of which food patterns work better for you in the overall scheme. And that insight will prove invaluable as you continue making more and better functional food choices while moving up the ladder.

If you are at “Level 3: Eating By The Rules” and want to move to “Level 2: Functional Eating,” then:

Graduating from Level 3 to Level 2 is probably the most challenging move of all. Because now comes the time to test your limits and your boundaries.

The point of functional eating is to let go fo the rules about what you eat, what you should eat, how you should eat, when you should eat. Realize that all growth, all risk-taking is scary!

Each time we pick up a restaurant menu, walk down a supermarket’s isles, or browse through the refrigerator, somewhere, faintly audible from the depths of the brain, comes the “You shouldn’t eat that” or “You should eat this” voice. The outcome of the struggle between the two decides what we buy and eat.

Well, I’d like you to do your best to ignore all those voices. The name of the game here is accountability. At this level you no longer blame experts, diet plans, or your own rules for what doesn’t work in your food choices. Your goal is to realize that, for better or worse, you’re in charge of choosing your foods. And only you can be accountable for those choices.

Several steps are involved at this stage. First, you have to identify those foods that you consider “good” and “bad.” That shouldn’t be hard.

Start by dividing a sheet of paper into five columns. Your first column should be titled “Good Food;” the second, “Bad Food;” the third, “Reason,” the fourth, “Foods I Like,” the fifth, “Foods I Dislike.”

Fill up the first three columns with entries. Maybe you think steak is bad because it has too much fat, or broccoli is good because it has a lot of fiber. Just write them down and in the “Reason” column, add a brief description of why you think they’re good or bad.

Fill the last two columns, — Like and Dislike. Then notice how many foods you really like that are in the Bad column, and how many are in the Good column. In the same way, compare the foods you dislike.

As you compare, realize that more often you avoid foods you really like because they’re on the Bad list, the more unsatisfied you’re likely to be with your current food choices. Not allowing yourself ot eat what you like typically translates into a feeling of deprivation and dissatisfaction—and ultimately resentment.

By the same token, if you eat foods you dislike only because they’re supposed to be “good for you,” you’re more likely to rebel against your food choices. If you don’t feel it now, you eventually will.

If you are at “Level 2: Functional Eating” and want to move to “Level 1: Optimal Eating,” then:

Let me be completely honest: Eating consistently at Level 1 is tough for most people who aren’t on permanent vacation. Because if you keep an ordinary, busy schedule, you  probably don’t have the time or energy to do what’s necessary. Myself included. I can be a Level 1 eater when my schedule permits.

Yes, I would prefer to eat at Level 1 all the time. But, like you I live in the real word—and it’s a busy world. This is where Level 2 eating works just fine. I don’t beat myself up when I can’t stay at Level 1. I just accept the ebb and flow of the process, and utterly savor those times when Level 1 is achievable.

Ideally, I’d like you to spend most of your eating time enjoying the flexibility and choices of Level 1 and Level 2. But, I’d also like you not to beat yourself up as you’re working to move forward from levels 3, 4 and 5.

Make it happen!
Kathy

 

My Simple Food Formula To Shrink Fat

My Simple Food Formula To Shrink Fat 

You often hear dieters talk about metabolism. That’s because a slow metabolism means that the body is not burning calories. To rev up your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day, it comes down to the kind of fuel you’re filling up with. When you consider all the foods possible, it boils down to two key metabolism-maximizing nutrients:

The Formula: Protein + Fiber

Protein: The Power House

Protein is the most important nutritional element for molding your body. Proteins are broken down by the body into amino acids, the “building blocks of life.” Proteins repair and rebuild muscle tissues, grow hair and nails, create enzymes and hormones, and maintain the health of internal organs and blood. Your body also needs protein to break down fat. Just as water provides transport, so does protein. In order for fat cells to open their doors and let the fat out to be burned as fuel, protein and water must be handy.

salmon-salad

Protein supports weight loss because it causes you to feel full, making it much easier to leave the table, which is partly due to how much effort it takes your body to break down and utilize protein.

Foods high in protein also help you feel full because they usually contain fat as well. The combination of fat and protein can keep you less hungry between meals. Because protein is necessary to build and repair muscles, it is critical that you have a sufficient intake of protein to improve recovery from workouts. Without it not only will you feel low on energy and experience more muscle soreness, but you will also increase your risk for injury.

For those of you who are meat-free, my ReShape recipes can easily tweaked to suit your lifestyle. For example, Tempeh, tofu and seitan are all vegan protein sources that can generally be prepared and substituted for poultry and meat in most recipes. And of course, don’t forget your protein powder.

QUICK TIP: One of my go-to meals that’s packed with protein is to bake a salmon filet, top with fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic and pepper and serve with asparagus and a small side salad (see photo above).

Fiber: Go Green!

Kathy Smith's Green Smoothie RecipeScience has proven fiber’s many benefits: It improves heart health and can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk for developing diabetes and some types of cancer. This is reason enough to love it, but there’s more: Fiber keeps metabolism maximized. It allows the digestion of food to slow to a speed that supports muscle feeding and fat shrinking. It keeps you feeling fuller longer.

If you eat a food that is high in simple carbohydrates and is quickly digested, it will enter your bloodstream quickly, causing a spike in insulin that is largely responsible for making you feel hungry for more. Foods that satiate you take longer to get into your system, somewhere between 30 and 120 minutes. They help prevent insulin surges and maintain a healthy blood sugar balance. This ideal window of 30 to 120 minutes is created when you eat proteins and high-fiber vegetables like kale and broccoli. Because they take longer to enter your bloodstream, it actually requires more energy to break down. The body needs to process those protein and fat molecules and expend energy to do so, which is like exercise for the body without you physically moving. That is the science of food.

Fiber becomes a key player in creating a meal that will be digested slowly and is less likely to be converted to fat. Glucose in the presence of fiber will be released gradually into the bloodstream, providing continual bursts of energy over time while you’re still feeling full. In fact you can combine a quickly digested food with a slowly digested one that has fiber and change the entire chemistry of a meal.

QUICK TIP: When you think about making a shake, try a green smoothie, then join me on 

Kathy’s Green Smoothie Recipe: 

2 C. kale, lettuce or arugula (to taste)
1 sliced cucumber
1 sliced kiwi
1 T. lemon or lime juice
1 avocado (take off shell and take out pit)
1-2 C. water
1 T. ground flaxseed

Mix all ingredients together and blend until you reach the right consistency of your tasting.

Here’s to your health!

Kathy

Nature’s Brain Food – Omega-3s

Nature’s Brain Food – Omega-3s

Apple Pie Protein ShakeIn contrast with muscle, fat is relatively inactive. It does not burn a lot of calories and, as you may have experienced, it seems to build up quickly and go away slowly.

But fat does have a function. No one can have a fat-free body and be healthy at the same time. We need fat for insulation, protection, energy, and even to think. In fact about two-thirds of the brain is composed of fat, and the protective sheath that covers communicating neurons is 70 percent fat.

But not all fats are equal. While they may all deliver the same calories (about 9 calories per gram), some provide important nutrients, while others can actually damage your health.

When you digest the fat in food, it is broken down into fatty acid molecules that your body needs to function properly. Essential fatty acids are otherwise known as the family of omega-3 and omega-6 fats that come from foods like fish, avocado, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and olives.

They are essential because the body cannot manufacture them. This is why it is so important that we get essential fatty acids from foods on a daily basis. The reason salmon is labeled as “brain food” is because it contains high-quality fat that is important for brain health.

In fact, all omega-3 fat has numerous health benefits. Researchers suspect that omega-3 fat found in fish also may protect against heart disease.

Doing The Math: How Your Body Burns Fat:

To lose one pound of fat you have to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume.

For example, if you burned 500 more calories per day than you ate, in seven days you would have burned enough extra fat to lose one pound.

For best results that 500-calorie daily deficit should be split between exercise and food. If you cut back on your diet 250 calories each day and burn 250 more calories each day, that adds up to 500 calories…a total of a one pound weight loss per a week. It may not sound like a lot, but that adds up to 4 lbs a month and 52 lbs a year. 

The math is simple, but the human body is anything but! The equation works when you stick to moderate exercise and moderate food decreases. But many people want quick results, so they either restrict calories to starvation levels or exercise at extreme levels. Both wreak havoc on metabolism.

Screenshot 2014-01-07 12.44.36

Bodies are amazing machines. If food becomes scarce, bodies conserve every calorie. Similarly when you exercise frequently for long bouts, like several times a day, your metabolism will slow during the downtimes and will become more efficient during exercise. Your goal of burning more calories from exercise will be sabotaged by your body’s attempt to survive.

My favorite Omega-3 supplement: Barlean’s!

Adding a squirt of Omega Swirl to your protein shake may not affect the taste of your smoothie, but you’ll feel the benefits!

This essential fatty acid works wonders for your skin, lowers blood pressure and some research shows that adding Omega 3’s into your diet can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Here’s to your health!
Kathy Smith

Carbs: How Much Is Too Much?

Carbs: How Much Is Too Much?

IMG_9903When it comes to carbs, there’s a range,depending on several factors. First and most importantly, how much time you’re putting in on a treadmill or at the gym. An elite athlete needs more carbs to fuel her lifestyle than someone who spends most of her day sitting at a computer. Here’s a ballpark range of what’s appropriate, safe and effective, depending on your level of activity:

  • 0-50 g. Carbs Per Day – Restrictive Zone:
    If you’re trying to lose a lot of water weight in a couple of days, cut your carbs below 50/day. This isn’t easy to do, and very restrictive, but any professional model or bodybuilder knows it’s the  fastest way to lean out in a short amount of time. This is when your body goes into ketosis, a metabolic state where you’re burning your own fat as a main source of energy. But ketosis doesn’t come without its risks – so talk to your doctor before making any major changes in your diet.
  • 50-100 g. Carbs Per Day – The Sweet Spot:
    If you’re staying in this range, chances are good that you’ll achieve healthy weight loss.
  • 150-300 g. Carbs Per Day – Gradual Weight Gain:
    Even though this is represents the low end of a typical American’s daily carb intake, the truth is that this number can (depending on the types of carbs you’re eating, and your activity level) lead to gradual weight gain.
  • Over 300 g. Carbs Per Day – The Danger Zone:
    If you’re eating in this range, your’e almost guaranteed to experience continuous weight gain.
    For more information, visit Mark Sisson’s Daily Apple.

Carb Cutting Made Easy

Eat More Of This…
  • Apricot:
    3.9 g. carbs / 0.7 g. fiber
  • 1/2 cup of Oatmeal:
    12 g carbs / 2 g. fiber
  • 1/2 cup of Steamed Kale:
    3.6 g carbs / 1.3 g. fiber
  • 1 medium Apple:
    19 g carbs / 1.7 g. fiber
  • 8 Asparagus Spears:
    5.2 g / 2.4 g. fiber
  • 1/2 cup of Romaine Lettuce:
     0.7 g carbs /  0.5 g. fiber
  • Sweet Potato 1 Cup:
    27 g. carbs / 4 g. fiber

Because of their fiber content, when you eat these foods, you won’t experience the blood sugar spike of other carbohydrates.

Eat LESS Of This:
  • 1 Can of Soda:
    35.6 g. carbs
  • 1 Slice of Chocolate Cake:
    35 g carbs
  • Gatorade:
    15.2 g carbs per serving
  • Mocha Frappucino:
    44 g carbs
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bagel:
    65.1 g carbs
  • 8 oz. Lowfat Blueberry Yogurt:
    48 g carbs
  • Spaghetti 1 Cup:
    43 g. carbs
  • Brown Rice 1 Cup:
    45 g. carbs

4 Ways to Cut Back The Carbs

Since carb-stuffing is nearly endemic to our nature, here are some suggestions for cutting back:
  • Read labels, and find fiber. 
    The carbohydrate count of the food you eat is usually right there in plain black lettering. If it contains over 30 grams in a small serving, with little to no fiber content, you might want to try a healthier option. And remember, the higher that fiber count is within those carbs, the better. (I could go on about the benefits of fiber, but that’s for another newsletter. For now, just know: Carbs with a high fiber content are generally considered the “good carbs.”)
  • Most fresh fruits and vegetables fall into the “good carb” category.
    Fruits such as: berries, cherries, grapefruit, prunes, dried apricots, apples, oranges, pears, peaches and grapes are excellent choices.For veggies, include dark leafy greens as well as cruciferous choices like: cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts and kale. And don’t forget your legumes: garbanzo beans, pinto beans, and peas are all weight-loss-friendly foods.
  • Get your rest. 
    No matter how well you eat and how much you exercise, your body will shut down without sufficient amounts of sleep. Take up yoga or meditation to enhance relaxation, reduce stress, regain composure, and help build up your energy for the next point below…
  • Exercise.
    Since carbs are a source of instant energy, it is important to use that energy up on a daily basis. Otherwise the unused energy will eventually convert to fat. Cardio workouts help keep the body’s circulatory system keep in tip-top shape, and also enhance your body’s natural fat-burning capabilities.

Here’s to your health!
Kathy Smith

The Stress Solution: Train Your Body, Train Your Brain

The Stress Solution: Train Your Body, Train Your Brain

I’ve learned over the years about the benefits of a healthy diet, and I know that my eating habits have helped lower my stress levels.

In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there’s not a day in my life that I don’t take time for myself and practice my breathing technique (BLT…Breathing Listening Technique). Sometimes, it’s as little as two minutes. Other days, I may use this breathing technique for up to twenty minutes. Deep, meditative breathing is an essential part of my life.

Listen to my Stress BLT:

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/115998285″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Tips For Managing Stress:

1. Shoot For Sixes:
I’m a firm believer that we need to lower our expectations. We can’t always score tens in life nor expect those around us to be perfect either. Lower the bar.

2. Walk With A Friend:
Research shows that confiding in a trusted friend about problems is one of the best ways to lower stress.

3. Eat Smart:
Excess caffeine, alcohol and sugar all send the wrong messages to your body. Eat smart to reduce stress.

4. Deep Breathing:
There’s no better way to get out of an anxiety attack than to practice deep breathing techniques.

Here’s to your health!
Kathy Smith

Cold Weather, Warm Soup

Cold Weather, Warm Soup

Whether you’re in a warmer beach climate (like I am as I write from L.A. right now) or you’re surrounded by snow, winter is a great time for warm, cozy evenings at home with family.  One downside of the cold weather, of course, is that we’re even less likely than ever before to run outside for a workout, and clean, healthy eating isn’t always a priority like it is in sunnier months. And it probably goes without saying, but my goal is to help you continue to reach toward your healthy weight loss goals in spite of these cold weather obstacles.

So let’s start by slowly putting down that hot chocolate. I know it’s oh-so-soothing…but it’s also oh-so-sugary! (Instead, try my new Protein Hot Chocolate recipe!) Here’s the good news: this incredible soup recipe will help you keep the winter chills at bay. In the midst of holiday meal planning with our extended family, my cousin Amy introduced this fantastic recipe into the mix, and my daughters and I have been hooked ever since. This delicious little broth is yummy enough to please the whole family, filling enough to keep you satisfied without feeling stuffed, easy enough to make in spite of a busy schedule, and best of all: It’s packed with nutrients to help you stay on track to the ultimate fat-burning success.

Let’s start with the broad strokes on what’s in this soup that makes it so stellar:

Kale

Kale

This superstar veggie is finally getting the attention it deserves. The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest sends out a terrific regular publication called Nutrition Action Health Letter, always packed with interesting studies and new research on healthy eating. One recent issue ranked the healthiest veggies based on the amount of Vitamin K, Lutein, Vitamin C, and Fiber they provide, also taking caloric content into consideration. The winner, by a landslide, was kale. (Other leafy greens like spinach, collard greens, turnip greens and swiss chard weren’t far behind.)

 


Lentils

That same issue of Nutrition Action also posed the burning question, “Which Beans Are Best?” It rated a variety of legumes, with lentils scoring major points for their folic acid, iron, protein, and, of course, fiber. Once I get started talking about the many benefits of fiber, it’s hard to get me to stop, but I’ll try and topline it for you: Fiber helps you feel fuller longer, it helps balance blood sugar, it helps flush fat out of your system, and a study at Harvard suggested that women who eat high-fiber diets were half as likely to become obese as their low-fiber counterparts. Ah, fiber. There’s a reason I’ve often referred to it “the one ingredient you need for lifelong weight loss.”


Leeks

Leeks

Originally cultivated in Asia and the Mediterranean, this member of the onion family has a subtle sweetness. Leeks are packed with immune-boosting Vitamin A, and have a prebiotic effect on the lower bowel, converting harmful microflora into healthy bifidobacteria. And if you need yet another reason to love leeks, here’s a bonus: They also have a slight diuretic effect, which helps you avoid retaining water.

 

 


Tomatoes

TomatoesThese juicy red treats are a great source of Vitamins A, C and E, as well as folic acid, potassium, and cancer-fighting carotenoids.

 

 

 

 

 


Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato

Potatoes tend to get a bad rap in the diet and weight loss worlds, but their healthier orange-hued cousins are packed with Vitamins A and C, fiber, B vitamins, potassium and iron.
Hopefully all that info has helped you work up an appetite. Well, the waiting time is over. Time to start cooking!

 

 

 

 

Warming Weight Loss Soup

 

Winter warming weight loss soup

INGREDIENTS:

4 leeks (white and light green parts)
3 C. kale (chopped)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
28 oz. can whole tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted in this recipe)
8 C. water
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
1/2 C. Lentils (brown or green)
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
12 fresh basil leaves
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. (1 oz.) grated parmesan
DIRECTIONS:
1. Slice each leek in half lengthwise, and then slice each half into 1/4″ thigh half-moons (px. 2 cups). Place in a large bowl of cold water and swish to remove any grit. Drain and pat dry.2. Remove the stems from the kale, stack the leaves on top of one another and slice them crosswise into 1/4″ wide strips.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 3 mins. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them apart with a spoon for 5 mins. Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in kale, sweet potatoes, lentils, thyme, salt, pepper and basil. Simmer until lentils are tender, about 30-40 mins.
4. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan.
Serves 8.

The ABCs of Killer Abs

The ABCs of Killer Abs

When it comes to abs, the older we get, the harder it is to keep your abdominal area flat. Many of us have the “pooch,” “love handles,” and the dreaded “muffin top.” But don’t worry. Uncovering your beautiful tummy is easier than you think. It incorporates working three muscle groups: the Rectus Abdominis, the Obliques, and the Transverse Abdominus.

Working these series of muscles are the keys to a trimmer tummy. In today’s video, I will show you how to incorporate simple moves that will give you powerful results!

Here’s to your health!
Kathy Smith