Eating Out Made Easy

Eating Out Made Easy

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My daughter, Perrie, and me in the kitchen

Eating out and other social settings centered around food can certainly present some challenges when you’re on a weight loss program. Some people handle these situations by avoiding them altogether only to soon feel anti-social, isolated or left out. Having weight loss goals does not mean you have to stop living!

My goal is to show you how to stay on track – how to stay in control – even when someone else is preparing your food. As an independent eater, I want you to feel empowered to not let restaurants and other social-eating events derail your progress in making balanced nutrition a commitment for life. Remember, there’s a world of healthy choices out there, and you’re the boss of what you put into your body.

To prevent that uncomfortable and slightly agitated feeling I have when I’m hungry, I’ll make sure I’m hydrated by drinking water or green tea. And, I also like to mix PGX in my water to create that feeling of fullness so I can enjoy my meal without overeating.

salmon-salad
My go-to meal: salmon with asparagus and side salad

1. If a menu doesn’t specifically say how the food is being prepared, ask questions. While it may never occur to you at home to cook something swimming in butter, cream or oil, that may be just how the salmon of the day is prepared.

2. Request a more healthy method of preparation; steaming, poaching in broth or stir-frying are good alternatives to breading or deep-frying.

3. Get the bread off the table! Nibbling on bread can really derail your good intentions. Ask if fresh veggie sticks are available, and drink some water, or ask for a small dinner salad while you’re waiting.

4. As a rule of thumb, get sauces and dressings on the side. This way you can control the amount and most likely, you’ll find you need far less for the food to be “dressed” than they generously give you.

5. Think about this: The same amount of pasta is served to a 120-pound woman as to a 250-pound man. So, while big portions may give you more for your money, don’t let a restaurant dictate the portion you intake for fuel and energy. They don’t know your body’s needs. Ask for a “To Go” container when your food arrives. Immediately store the excess food, and put that box away. Leaving a giant portion of food on your plate can lead to overeating before you even realize it.

6. Don’t be afraid to change up the menu. Ask for a hearty helping of veggies in place of white rice or buttery mashed potatoes. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate your dietary needs. On those rare occasions when you’re not, you might try something my girlfriend does, and tell the waiter you’re allergic to the food item you don’t want!

7. Slow down! Take time to put your fork and knife down between bites to sip some water, and enjoy the entire experience of your meal. This allows you to pay closer attention to how your food makes you feel. Are you getting more energized with each bite or are you growing more tired and sluggish? Also, when you’re eating at a slower pace, you can register when you’re satisfied. It will help you avoid getting overstuffed.

Kathy Smith's Healthy Quick-Fix Egg Scramble
Quick-Fix Egg Scramble

Ethnic foods by nature are richer in starchy carbohydrate sources: pasta and bread at Italian restaurants; beans, rice and tortillas at Mexican restaurants; rice and noodles at Japanese, Chinese and Thai restaurants; and a variety of breads, crackers, and potatoes at the local cafe or deli. you may need to make a special effort to seek out adequate protein sources. Here are a few things to consider when eating at your favorite ethnic restaurants:

Italian

Good sources of protein:
– Meatballs
– Fish, chicken and beef entrees with pasta as a side dish
– Cioppino (Italian fish stew)

Be mindful of:
– Dipping bread in flavored oils
– Cream-based pasta sauces
– Fatty meats such as sausage and pepperoni
– Fried foods such as calamari

Chinese, Japanese and Thai

Good sources of protein:
– Braised tofu dishes
– Chicken, seafood and meat dishes with vegetables instead of rice and noodles
– Edamame
– Sashimi
– Chicken, beef, fish satay with peanut sauce

Be mindful of:
– Too much rice or noodles
– Fried foods such as egg rolls, tempura and vegetables
– Fatty meats such as duck

Mexican

Good sources of protein:
– Fajitas
– Tostadas
– All meat (beef, chicken, egg) burritos
– Chili verde or chili colorado
– Carne asada
– Albondigas soup

Be mindful of:
– Fried tortilla chips
– Fried foods like Flautas and Tacquitos
– Too much cheese and sour cream toppings

Remember to track your food on social media with the hashtag #ReShape — I’ll be watching!

Here’s to your health!
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

Got Almond Milk?

Got Almond Milk?

Kathy’s Tip Of The Week


I have been a huge proponent of protein shakes throughout my career. These delicious blends make a satisfying meal substitute to kick-start weight loss. They’re also a great midday snack to help sustain energy levels throughout the afternoon because they’re full of necessary nutrients. In fact, when I’m busy and on the go, and I don’t have a lot time for food preparation, I might drink two shakes in a day. Plus, I’m constantly updating my recipes, trying out different flavor combinations.

Of course, there are a variety of protein powders to choose from: some made from whey and others from egg whites; some are plain and some flavored, like vanilla or chocolate. But the real secret to getting the biggest bang from a protein shake comes from its base. This ingredient affects the shake’s caloric, fat and nutritional content and digestibility.

Cow’s milk can used, which is a source of calcium and protein, but it also contains fat. For example, 1 cup of whole milk holds nearly 8 grams of fat and 146 calories, nearly half of which come from fat. You can opt for a lower-fat version, like 1-percent milk, but 1 cup of this has 102 calories and 2 grams of fat.

The good news is that there are plenty of milk alternatives you can use instead. For years, soy milk was a popular substitute, but 99 percent of the time I choose almond milk. I really enjoy its nutty taste and creamy consistency, but even better, I appreciate the fact that it’s packed with nutrients.

Almond milkAlmond Milk

Almonds are one of those super foods. They are low in cholesterol and sodium and high in micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals essential for good health. The nuts are good for weight maintenance, too. Not only are they often recommended as a smart snack, but a study found that people who ate an almond-enriched, low-calorie diet lost more weight and body fat than those who followed a high-carbohydrate, low-calorie diet.

Of course, the nuts by themselves are great, but almond milk really has become popular. In 2011, it surpassed soy milk in sales gains.

A lot of people drink almond milk because they like the flavor and its creamy consistency. You can buy it sweetened (usually vanilla or chocolate) or unsweetened, but be aware that the sweetened versions mean added sugar, which adds calories to what is naturally a low-calorie drink. An 8-ounce glass of unsweetened almond milk is approximately 60 calories, less than half of a glass of whole milk.

In addition to being low-cal, almond milk is low in carbohydrates. This is good news because carbs convert into sugars, which can set you off on the blood-sugar roller coaster. Because almond milk is low in carbs, that means fewer spikes in blood sugar so you won’t feel the resulting drastic drops in energy.

Also, almond milk is typically fortified with vitamin D and calcium just like cow’s milk. One cup serves up 25 percent of your daily recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D and 30 percent of calcium. Even better, it contains magnesium, which helps your body absorb the calcium. We all know calcium is critical to maintaining strong bones as we age, but it’s also necessary to contract muscles, like when exercising.

Another mineral found in almond milk is iron. This helps muscles absorb and use protein, which gives you energy and helps muscles repair after an intense workout. And remember, we lose muscle mass as we get older, so maintaining or building that muscle mass back up is very important to healthy aging.

However, almond milk by itself is not a huge source of protein—1 cup has 1 gram of protein versus 8 grams for cow’s milk and approximately 7 grams in soy milk. So if you’re switching to almond milk from either of those two, make sure you’re eating other foods high in protein, like lean meats and nuts. Or fix yourself one of my favorites, a shake with protein powder and almond milk as its base. I love how energized I feel afterward.

Other Milk Alternatives

In terms of other milk substitutes, soy is still a popular option. It has 100 calories per cup, but only 4 grams of fat, and as I noted, its protein content is comparable with cow’s milk.

There are also oat and hemp milk products. Oat milk is higher in fiber than other milks, and one Swedish study shows that it lowers total cholesterol, and more importantly, it lowers bad cholesterol (LDL).

Hemp milk contains the healthy omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Arizona, says it’s a good option because hemp milk has 10 essential amino acids, making it a protein source. But it is not high in calcium.

Choco-Monkey Protein Shake
Choco-Monkey Protein Shake With Almond Milk

Coconut Water

Although not a “milk,” coconut water is extremely popular these days—my daughters love it. This isn’t the creamy coconut milk typically used for cooking; it’s actually is the natural water collected from immature coconuts.

What coconut water has going for it is that it’s low in calories—about 50 per glass—and high in potassium, approximately the equivalent of one banana. Potassium, along with sodium, helps keep you hydrated when sweating and exercising. Coconut water also helps replenish electrolytes, much like sports drinks, so it might be a good post-workout beverage.

Shake it Up

Whether you’re trying to lose or maintain weight or simply trying to up your nutrition, it’s just as important to look at what you’re drinking as it is to track what you’re eating. As ReShape subscribers, you get access to some of my favorite recipes, including my protein shakes. So grab your blender, choose your base, and start mixing.

Here’s to your health!
Kathy

 

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

 

See Where You Rank On The Scale Of Functional Eating

See Where You Rank On The Scale Of Functional Eating

See Where You Rank On The Scale Of Functional Eating

I’ve noticed that most people tend to get caught in a vicious cycle of dieting and then blowing the diet. You seek a diet that promises instant weight loss through complete control of what, when, and how you eat. It feels safe, because you know exactly what you have to do to reach your goal. Soon enough you discover that you just can’t stick to it…and you end up right back where you started. And so the cycle continues.

The problem here is that those “diets” treat the dieter like a machine that can be programmed. But the truth is that eating well has to take into account your food’s less scientific side. I want to raise your awareness of those issues that get far too little attention – taking into account what food really means to us.

You need to recognize that eating well has to be seen as an ongoing process in your life. Ask yourself:

Do you:
–       Feel satisfied after eating?
–       Feel nourished, able to physically meet the demands of your day?
–       Like your food?
–       Eat food that pleases you?

The more frequently you can answer “yes” to any of those questions, the more functional your food is.  Your ongoing process of learning to eat functionally enables you to explore your own needs and adjust your food choices accordingly.

The process of making functional food choices begins with some honest self-assessment. Start by examining the following scale of food behavior. It’s arranged with least functional eating habits first, progressing up the scale, all the way to optimum eating.

Do you see yourself or your food behaviors described in any of these five prototypes?

Level 5: Out-of-Control Eating

–       Eating feel chaotic and out of control—or NOT eating (starvation) is a way to avoid chaos and a sense of being out of control.
–       Eating/starving is the way the person copes with life.
–       Eating has no connection to hunger or satiety

Level 4: Rigidly Controlled Eating

–       Desperate attempt to control eating behavior
–       Food is controlled wit ha specific diet plan and/or specific foods.
–       One feels either in total control or slips to Level 5 and feels in total chaos
–       Control is the most important issue
–       Sometimes the security of a controlled, structured eating plan is needed before someone can develop more functional and independent ways to eat

 Level 3: Eating By The Rules

–       General belief that there is one right way to eat
–       Foods are categorized as “good” or “bad”
–       Eating “right” is more important than eating what one wants to eat
–       Eating “bad” foods is considered “cheating”
–       Varying levels of guilt are felt when the rules are broken

Level 2: Functional Eating

photo-journaling
Me photo-journaling my edamame.

–       Food choices are made with confidence, and you know you can meet your body’s needs
–       Food choices consider you physiological, physical, mental, and emotional needs.
–       One manages difficult food situations optimistically – there is a workable solution
–       Sometimes food intake is not its best, but it works for the moment.

Level 1: Optimal Eating

–       Food choices are made with confidence, and you know you can meet your body’s needs
–       Food choices consider your physiological, physical, mental and emotional needs
–       There is time and opportunity to make food choices and enjoy eating.

This week, watch your eating behavior and identify what level of eater you are. Then, stay tuned, because next week we’ll discuss how to move through the levels to eventually become a Level 1: Optimal Eater.  In the meantime, photo-journal your foods with me, using the hashtag #reshape on Instagram and Facebook of your meals. I’ll be watching!

See you next week!
Kathy

Eat Your Way To Increased Energy

Eat Your Way To Increased Energy
With these 10 Super Foods

Eat Your Way To Increased EnergyYou probably know by now that eating a hearty amount of vegetables and fruits is the forefront in getting fit and staying energized. Nutritious foods serve many purposes– everything from slimming down to helping you feel balanced and clear-headed throughout the day. These super foods are great additions to your meals because you can eat them in large amounts, get full quickly and pack your body with nutrients! Unfortunately, not all fruits and vegetables are created equal.

One of the premises of the ReShape Weight Loss plan is to eat nutrient-dense food that supports your energy. As you learn to manage your blood sugar through nutrient-rich food, you’ll see an increase in your energy level throughout each day.

The benefits of eating super foods are clear. You’ll receive:

–       More energy
–       Reduced food cravings
–       Feelings of fullness
–       Improved sense of well-being

Top 10 Super Foods

Recently, UCLA Health System dietitian Dana Hunnes, shared her top 10 super foods. They are:

Isolated almonds1. Almonds

Why: Packed with fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamin D.

Tip: Almonds are great for your body, but it’s important to remember portion control. Instead of grabbing them from a jar, put a few in a plastic baggie at the beginning of your day to reduce the risk of over-indulgence.



2. Apples

Why: Good source of vitamin C and pectin, which can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.

Tip: Next time you eat an apple, pair it with some string cheese! This is one of my favorite snacks when I’m on the go!
Try my Apple a la Mode Shake

 


Blueberries

3. Blueberries

Why: Blueberries are low-calories and high in

fiber, vitamin C phytonutrients. All of these benefits lead to help with short-term memory and healthy aging.

Tip: Blend blueberries with soymilk and protein powder for a simple and delicious protein shake!
Try my Blueberry Sunrise Shake

 



4.  Broccoli

Why: Contains calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, folate, fiber and phytonutrients.  The combination of all of these vitamins and antioxidants help prevent chronic diseases, diabetes and some cancers.

Tip: Grill up some fish and season with lemon, pepper and garlic. Steam broccoli and serve as a side for a delicious dinner!
Try this for dinner: Broccoli-Tofu Stir-Fry

 


A bowl of mixed dry beans with a white background.
5. Beans

Why: Beans are a heavy-hitter, because of their low-calorie nature and the fact that they’re loaded with: protein, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and thiamin.

Tip: Cutting down on meat? Use beans as a meat alternative, or blend in some chickpeas into your smoothie for added protein and creamy texture.
Try this ReShape recipe for lunch: Tuscan Bean and Tuna Salad

 



6. Beets

Why: Beets are rich in betacyanin (cancer-fighting agent), manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.

Tip: If you aren’t fond of beets, try adding them to a green juice for a gorgeous purple-crimson color.

 


Fresh spinach
7.  Spinach

Why: Because your mom said so! But she was right – spinach is filled with nutrients that boost your immune system and may help improve your hair and skin.

Tip: Hide a handful of spinach in your protein smoothie with some berries.
Indulge in my Edamame and Spinach Salad Recipe

 



8. Sweet Potatoes

Why: This fat-free, low-calorie option is high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins (B6, C and E) and potassium.

Tip: Skip the butter and salt and instead sprinkle some cinnamon on the top for a sweet flare that your taste buds will love.

 



9. Wheat Germ

Why: Wheat germ offers a highly concentrated source of protein, iron and zinc. It also includes multiple nutrients, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc.

Tip: Wheat germ is the part of the seed that contains the most vitamins and minerals. Mix into your greek yogurt with some granola to add nutrients to your breakfast.

Banana Smoothie


10. Bananas

Why: High in potassium, phytonutrients and multiple vitamins. Bananas also help you feel full and are great to aid in digestion.

Tip: Although bananas make this list of super foods, keep its calories and sugar level in count. Try adding half of a banana to a protein shake for extra flavor.
Try my recipe for Banana-Nut Pops

Are you ready to pack your plate with these nutrient-dense, energy-boosting foods? Try these exclusive ReShape recipes to help you along your way:

Farmer’s Market Chopped Salad
Tilapia Saute with Greens

Here’s to your health!
Kathy Smith

Secret Weapon For Weight Loss

One of your secret weapons for weight loss is keeping a journal.

Secret Weapon For Weight Loss

A big component of my plan is your journal. You’ve most likely heard this advice before, but today, let’s put it into action and take journaling to the next level for ultimate results. Keeping a journal is a great way to review your day, making not of the people, places, and things that may have triggered hot flashes, stress and emotional reactions. My journal has been my constant companion in my fitness lifestyle. I find that the act of writing itself releases anxiety and clears my mind of negative thinking.

Keeping a journal is a surefire way to stay on track because it holds you accountable to yourself. In fact, it’s been proven time and again that those who track their progress achieve far greater results than those who don’t. As a ReShape member, download my free Health Journal here (from my 30 Days of Summer e-Book).

Kathy Smith's Weight Loss Health Journal For Weight Loss

Get Down To The Nitty-Gritty

In your journal, record the following information:

Foods:
Keep track of what you eat every day

Workouts:
Enter what workouts you do. Be sure to include all physical activities because they all have n impact on your fitness level and weight loss. For example, record that you took the stairs rather than the elevator or that you walked instead of drove to the store.

Hunger levels:
Record your hunger levels before and after meals. Use a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means “stuffed” and 5 means “starving.”

A 3 is “normal,” and that is where you want to be most of the time.

Weekly Goals:
Set as many goals as you like, but be realistic. Download my download my Goal-Setting Guide here (from my 30 Days of Summer e-book).

Emotions:
Record what’s happening in your life too. Write down your thoughts, what mood you are in, what life events are most affecting you, and so on. Were you happy and lighthearted or edgy and annoyed? Your mental attitude has a lot to do with your physical energy and you can learn to use happiness as a motivator in your success.

The Bad Day Barometer

If you feel “ruined” by a day of overeating and little or no exercise, it is especially important to record your thoughts and the happenings of the day. There could be days when you are on the go and do not pack a meal. So you go to a fast-food joint. When you feel tired and overworked, you may fall prey to comfort foods that are high in fat and calories. Be sure to make the entry, even if you would rather skip it or pretend it did not exist. Seeing these difficult days charted on paper will help you identify behavioral patterns, pitfalls and roadblocks that prevent you from being a successful eater. It can help explain why and when you eat certain foods. And this in turn will help you make positive changes.

What’s Your Rhythm?

All aspects of our well-being flow in cycles. Yet, I’m always surprised when someone hasn’t figured out her own energy rhythms — when she hasn’t noticed, for example, what time of day her body is most “ready” for exercise, critical thinking, creative work, sex, sleep, and so on. Coming to terms with your energy cycles is one of the most basic levels of body awareness and can only be done by observing your body.

When people ask me the secret to living fully in their bodies, I tell the honestly: It’s all about trial and error — especially error! It’s about learning to spot the patterns. It took me years of being on the road, with the stress of travel and performance, to learn exactly what I need to do to keep myself going at my peak.

For example, I’ve had several times in the past month when my glands were a little swollen. Now, that’s a small thing, sure. But I’ve learned (the hard way) that it’s something I need to listen to — it tells me I’m under extra stress. By being sensitive to small things, I can adjust my life in small ways to keep myself healthy.

Part of keeping a beneficial journal is tracking your goals. Take a moment to print off the my Goal-Setting Guide here and write down your goals, whether it’s:

– Weight loss
– Lowering your blood pressure
– Increasing energy
– Getting more enjoyment out of life

This is an important part of the process and should not be overlooked. Put this list in a place where you’ll see it regularly (the fridge, the bathroom mirror, on your desk) so you can keep coming back to remind yourself why you’ve made this choice.

Remember, the goal here is to make progress. Every important journey begins with a single step, so let’s take that all important first step together.

This week, focus on:

– Journaling
– Goal setting, and focusing how helpful it is when it comes to identifying your patterns
– Being patient with yourself as you reflect on what’s happening in your life.

Remember, that day-by-day, you’re making baby steps to not only remodel your body, but also your entire life.

Make it happen!
Kathy Smith