The Fastest Way to Lose Weight This Week

You’re searching high and low for the fastest way to lose weight this week. You’re in a panic. You’re stressing. You’re kicking yourself for eating pizza over the weekend and missing your Sunday morning hot yoga class because you were hungover.

 

Whether it’s for a date with the hot new guy at the office (our lips are sealed), your best friend’s birthday bash in Vegas, that tropical vacation you’ve been waiting on for months, or you just want to jumpstart your weight loss plan, you need to drop a few pounds stat.

 

We’ve all been there.

 

If you want to look amazing in your LBD but the zipper is wayyyy tight and your favorite jeans aren’t sit-downable at the moment, read on for the fastest way to lose weight in a jiffy.

 

And no, starving yourself is not the answer.

 

The Fastest Way to Lose Weight This Week

 

1. Eat Empowered

Eat real food. Often.  Stop worrying about what extreme diet you need to start, stop counting calories and start thinking about the real food you’re going to eat.

 

Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and at least one snack a day (no skipping meals!) consisting of whole, real foods.

 

I’m talking loads of veggies, lean protein such as grass fed steak, chicken, fish and eggs and healthy fats as in cashews, pecans, olives, avocado and coconut. Ditch the packaged and processed foods – especially anything that includes added sugar.

 

If you need an exact plan, I’ve got you covered here.

 

Begin your day with breakfast and eat every few hours or when you feel slightly hungry and stop when you feel slightly satisfied. Not sure what that feels like? Check out this hack.

 

Eating real food combined with listening to your body is your new winning combo.

 

Fact: Eating real food makes you feel better and that alone can make you look better. If you’re skimping on nutrients or need a way to boost your protein check out our Nutritious Life developed green powder and vegan protein powder. It’s the fastest way to up your nutrition game.

 

2. Sweat Often

Get 45 minutes of movement in – every day this week. I’m a fan of mixing up exercise and getting in HIIT workouts one day, long bouts of cardio or a hike on another and pilates and yoga on other days.

 

But, most of all I’m a fan of being consistent with exercising and moving, in whatever way, shape or form makes you feel your best.

 

The fastest way to lose weight means sticking with whatever movement makes you feel good. When you feel good you’re more likely to be consistent. Also, when you feel you good, you eat well and you sleep well which, guess what…helps you eat well again. This is what a Nutritious Life is all about.

 

This week, I want you focused on being consistent with your exercise and doing it daily. You don’t even need to hit a gym to get it in, here’s a quickie workout I do just about anywhere.  

 

5 mile run sound good? Do it. Spin class right up your alley? Get that in. Hike in the hills all you want to do? Go for it.

 

Fact: Yes, you’ll shed pounds by burning calories when you exercise, but exercising also increases blood flow which helps with circulation and gives your skin a healthy glow. Exercise can also help reduce stress which will help you sleep better, both of which are needed to calm your nerves.

 

3.      Sleep Deep

Aim for 8 hours a night, settle for no less than 7.  For some reason sleep is still one of those things that we give up to fit everything else into our busy schedules.

 

Many of us still feel like we should get a gold star when we triumphantly go without sleep to log more hours at a bar chatting it up with friends or burning the midnight oil at our desk. Unfortunately, no medals awarded here.

 

Sleep should be a top priority. It’s right up there with what we put into our bodies, especially when we want to be looking and feeling our best.

 

This week practice good sleep hygiene by picking a bed time and sticking to it and allowing yourself 15 minutes of winding down time before your head hits the pillow.

 

Fact:  They don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing. While we sleep, our body’s natural antioxidant melatonin, a sleep hormone, fights off free radical invaders. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you’re reducing the amount of time that melatonin gets to fight off wrinkles and those bags under your eyes will only get worse.  

 

By getting enough sleep at night, you not only look and feel well-rested, but your immune system will be strengthened.

 

4.      Drink Up

Drink 8 glasses of water and 2 cups of green tea a day. For two days before your special occasion, drink a cup of dandelion root tea as well. Trust me, this one is important. Being properly hydrated is linked to metabolism, energy and skin health.

 

Fact: Sounds counterintuitive, right?  But by drinking water throughout the day, you reduce bloating, flush out toxins, hydrate your skin to achieve a healthy glow, and keep your digestive organs in good working order.  

 

Green tea has been shown to boost metabolism and dandelion tea will help flush you out, further reducing toxins and any bloating.

 

5. Nurture Yourself

Cleanse! No time or money to book that expensive facial? Have no fear, your DIY cleanser is here.

 

Give this easy homemade cleanser and mask a try and you’ll almost be able to feel the antioxidants and nutrients seep into your skin making it soft, smooth, and younger looking. Don’t forget to moisturize twice daily.

 

Pink Dairy Cleanser: Each day this week, use this quick and easy cleanser by mixing 2 teaspoons milk, 2 teaspoons pink grapefruit juice with pulp, and 2 teaspoons Greek plain yogurt or sour cream until smooth.

 

Soothing Green and White Mask: 7 days and 4 days before the big day puree ¼ can white beans and 5 cucumber slices in a food processor until smooth.  Gently massage the mask onto your face and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off.

 

Fact: Pink Dairy Cleanser – the yogurt will gently exfoliate and stimulate collagen, to help firm your skin.  The pink grapefruit will protect your skin from sun damage and the formation of free radicals.  Soothing Green and White Mask – This refreshing mask will help sooth redness and inflammation and leave your skin feeling serene.

 

2 Farro Salad Recipes You NEED in Your Life

Kale salad, check. Three berry fruit salad, check. Cucumber salad, check. Farro salad? Hmmmm.

You’re eating clean. Getting in those greens. Drinking your tea. And, chowing down on nuts and avocado. But, you still need a little substance.

Something solid as a side dish (or even a main meal) when salmon and spinach alone don’t do the trick.

Rice? Pasta? No thank you refined starchy evil doers.

Quinoa? Been there, done that for the past two years.

Enter your new friend farro, also known as emmer or “true” farro. Sometimes this ancient grain gets confused with spelt, worthy of praise too, but different in taste, texture and nutrients than the the real deal variety.

When you a need a hearty side dish that you can feel empowered eating, give this really retro grain a try. Farro is a whole grain loaded with vits and mins, fiber and a little protein. Its also your new grain friend-with-benefits: it’s lower in calories than brown rice and quinoa and higher in fiber. Queue the mic drop.

Here are two of my fave go to farro salad recipes for you to give a try:

 

Fresh Mozzarella Farro Salad – Get the Recipe!

fresh mozzerella farro salad

 

Asparagus Farro Salad – Get the Recipe!

asparagus-farro-salad-cropped-x

 

2 Reasons to Have a Healthy Sex Life

Q: You’re a nutritionist. Why in the world do you talk about sex?

A: Having a healthy sex life means different things to different people. So when I ask my clients about theirs, I’ve seen more than a few jaws drop in my days. Why am I digging into this topic?

As part of a whole person and Nutritious Life approach to wellness and weight management, it’s important to look at what’s happening between my clients’ sheets. But the dirty deets aren’t what I’m after.

Scientists have linked feel good hormones with achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. We all have stressors and stress hormones that build up in our systems and act like toxins in our bodies. But there are also hormones that do exactly the opposite – they make us feel good. These hormones deserve just as much attention, which is why I’m chatting it up about your sex life.

 

2 Reasons to Have a Healthy Sex Life

 

1. Oxytocin

Oxytocin is well studied for its calming effects. It’s released from the pituitary during orgasm, hugging, touching, breast feeding, bonding, and feel good moments. It floods the body with relaxation messages and lowers anxiety and the brain’s natural resistance responses. It’s also associated with increasing feelings of trust and generosity.

Why is this so important for anyone trying live a healthy life or eat a healthy diet? Because we all know there is so much research linking stress to weight gain. So if having a healthy sex life increases your oxytocin which lowers your stress, it can help you actually lose weight! Boom.

 

2. Endorphins

Endorphins are linked to feelings of well being. They are naturally released from the brain and spinal cord during sex, exercise, physical activity, positive thinking and emotional stimulus. They’re also associated with lessening feelings of pain and depression by triggering positive feelings and reducing feelings of stress.

Why is this so important for anyone trying live a healthy life and eat a balanced diet? Again, that stress and weight gain thing. Having a healthy sex life releases endorphins, which lowers stress, which helps you lose weight. Double boom.

So there you have it. Having a healthy sex life in this case has nothing to do with Rated R details. It has everything to do with hormones, and it’s one best ways to lose weight.

Oxytocin and endorphins stimulate a metabolic process to reduce the intake of calories, reduce hunger and slow the digestion of fat. The more you feel good, the greater your health, weight management and wellness benefit, the smaller your pant size, the more you want to have sex…it’s a cycle that just keeps on going! Now go get busy…

 

4 Tricks to Always Having Healthy, Quick Weeknight Meals

Having some quick, go-to weeknight meals in your repertoire is a MUST if you’re a busy person. So yep, that’s pretty much everyone. Like, everyone. I get asked all the time what’s the best way to lose weight, and one of my answers is…to always be prepared. I know the Scouts coined it, but I’m totally using it, and so should you. If you’ve ever blamed a little (or a lot of) weight gain on, “I don’t have time to eat healthy” or, “Cooking for 1 person just doesn’t work” or, “I get home from work and just feel like eating crackers over the kitchen sink,” then read on. I’ll make it quick.

 4 Tricks to Always Having Healthy, Quick Weeknight Meals

 

Go vegetarian (at least a couple dinners per week).

 

Make leftovers.

 

Eat breakfast for lunch and dinner.

 

Don’t overstock the fridge.

How to Eat Healthy Without Getting Bored

So you either already learned how to eat healthy, or you’re now learning to eat healthy, but you can’t possibly eat another carrot stick or suck down another green juice and don’t even get you started on scrambled egg whites for breakfast every.single.day. Sound familiar?

Ever wish you could just invent new foods? It’s something I hear about often from my clients. They are b-o-r-e-d with their healthy routine.

After a few weeks or months of following various diet plans, it’s easy to lean too heavily on the same few healthy foods and meals. (Your refrigerator just called, and it’s really tired of yogurt, too!)

So while I can’t conjure up a variety of broccoli that tastes like chocolate or transform salad greens into pasta or create a new fat burning food, I do know there are hundreds of tricks to put new zing in your old healthy eating standbys.

Learning how to eat healthy doesn’t have to be the most boring thing you’ve ever done, and staying healthy doesn’t have to be an exercise in monotony.

How to Eat Healthy Without Getting Bored

Shake up your yogurt routine

Add sex appeal to sandwiches

 

Un-blah food with more flavor

 

The Healthiest Bar Food Choices

Bar food and football are like peas and carrots, except not exactly as healthy. Well, not the bar food half anyway.

You don‘t have to be a die-hard football fan to enjoy the experience of the sport or the eating that goes along with it. I couldn’t name the (entire) offensive line on the Patriots, but who isn’t a fan of spending Sunday on the couch with a pot of simmering chili and an all day pajamathon?

Nothing beats a pre-game tailgate of tossing a Frisbee at the Kan Jam and grilling up some burgers. And, in all fairness, it’s even an appealing idea to spend a whole Sunday at the sports bar with a pint and a pile of nachos, but you know the eater’s remorse will kick in before the end of the first quarter.

Admittedly, football season can be hard on the old waistline, any way you choose to spectate a game of pigskin tossing. I’m here to help you out with a healthy eating plan to keep your figure looking more like a running back than a defensive lineman.

When it comes to healthy football food, you probably aren’t considering breaking out the frisee salad you usually have for lunch during the workweek. You want small bites you can snack on all day long. You want food that’s easy to share. You want . . . bar food with the guys.

Good news. It is possible to eat manly and make good choices.

If you want to chow down but stick to your healthy diet, go for the lean protein and veggies as much as possible. Steer clear of the pretzel bites, hoagie rolls, potato skins and pizza. They’ll leave you feeling bloated and beaten up, and remember, you want to feel like you’re ready to go out for a long pass.

How to Eat Healthy On Game Day, Including Bar Food

You are the QB of your own food game, so control all the hand to mouth first downs with a playbook of foods that make you feel good and let you celebrate at the same time. Lite beer cheers. See (fit, healthy, fabulous) you in the end zone.

 

How to Eat Healthy in College

For those headed to – or back to – college, it can be a nerve wracking time of change. New housing, new friends, new classes . . . new start. Oh, and did I mention new struggles such as dealing with dining?

I may not be able to help you decide which sorority to rush or if he is really into you or not or how much time it will take you to cram for that exam, but I can definitely help you avoid the freshman (or sophomore or junior or senior) 15.

I want to give you a little gift that I hope will keep healthy eating high on your priority list since your brain is bound to be overloaded with other things.

Really, you’ll come to find out that being prepared is 90% of what you do in life, so if you are prepared to eat well and know where healthy foods are always available, the follow through will come easily. The same lesson can be applied to your schoolwork, but I’ll let your parents point that out to you.

How to Eat Healthy in College

 

Eat breakfast, even if you wake up at lunchtime. Even if you wake up at noon, begin every day with a healthy breakfast that includes a high fiber starch (or fruit) and lean protein or healthy fat.

Not only will it help to help rev your metabolism, stabilize your blood sugar, control your hunger, and boost your energy, but studies have shown (over and over) that students who eat a healthy breakfast do better in their classes. Even if you don’t have time to have a “sit down” breakfast, keep healthy items in your dorm room for on-the-go breakfasts. For example:

 

Navigate the dining hall with healthy finesse.  On your way or before you go to the dining hall, think of a “meal game plan”. Are you headed to the salad bar or the sandwich line? Are going for the hot entree or the soup station? Whichever you choose, prep yourself before you walk in and stick to the game plan. Treat this like you are prepping to write a paper or studying for your chemistry test. It’s just as important and definitely more fun! Some tips for whichever way you go:

 

Make sure you take exercise 101. When you plan your semester and know your schedule, plug in where and when you will exercise, just as if it were a class you couldn’t miss. That’s right, treat physical activity in your schedule with the same importance as your classes, study sessions, group meetings, social events, and other important appointments.

Whether you go to the gym, walk to class, join an intramural sports team, or take a fitness class for credit, daily exercise can improve your mood, help relieve stress and anxiety, increase your energy, promote better sleep, and help you maintain your weight.

 

Keep your caffeine in check. While 1-2 cups of coffee per day are fine, don’t depend on soda, coffee or energy drinks as a substitute for sleep. This can actually backfire and cause insomnia, disrupt concentration, and cause restlessness and anxiety!

Instead, try to get adequate sleep (8 hours a night), and take mental breaks while studying to refresh yourself. A good, consistent exercise regimen and consuming nutrient dense snacks throughout the day will help keep your energy up too.

If you’re rolling  your eyes, then listen to this. Research shows the less sleep you get, the more weight you gain. Yep, the freshman 15 we always blame on late night pizza and beer could actually have a little something to do with college students’ crazy sleep habits, too!

 

Never leave home without healthy snacks. Keep healthy snacks on hand to avoid going to the vending machines. You need snacks to fuel your brain and stabilize your blood sugar.

Set yourself up for success by stocking your ‘pantry’ and make sure there is always a healthful and non perishable snack in your bag. Ask loved ones to send you healthy care packages and write down the snacks you’d like to receive. They’ll love to do it. Promise. Some examples of non perishables that you can keep in your dorm room (in addition to the breakfast items above) are:

I hope you have a great semester! Prepare yourself to be successful and you will be cum laude in the healthy diet department in no time. Practice the grown up habit of making healthful choices now and they’ll set the foundation for when you hit the working world.

But, all that said, enjoy sleeping late, having Fridays off and living with friends as much as possible right now, because you’ll miss those collegiate perks after graduation.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

It’s new year’s resolutions time! Again. Sigh. Is your resolution this year the same one you had last year because you kinda fell off the wagon some time in, oh, February?

Well, then, my advice to you is to scrap the whole resolutions thing altogether. You heard me right. Scrap ’em.

I’m obviously not a fan of resolutions. Mostly, they just set you up to fail, and they’re right up there with the concepts of willpower and guilt-free eating in my book. Big thumbs down all around.

I actually cringe when I hear clients vow to “never eat chocolate again” or “give up carbs forever”. Most of these types of new year’s resolutions are broken or forgotten before Valentine’s Day because they’re too extreme.

You may know you want to try a no carb diet, or that chocolate is your downfall, but focusing on the end point, rather than the process is why most resolutions fail. {Tweet this}

In other words, change your mindset from “I’m gonna lose 10 pounds” to “I’m gonna learn how to eat healthy”.

And c’mon, chocolate is way too delicious to never eat again. The trick is to learn how to enjoy a conscious indulgence.

As far as eating carbs? Your body needs them! Don’t give them up, rather learn which are the healthy kind and and how to incorporate them into a healthy diet.

Wanna really pull out a knockout you this year? Don’t buy into fads or try something you don’t want to do forever. Instead, take the time to acknowledge your diet history and figure out what didn’t work in the past, so you don’t keep repeating the same diet mistakes. (If you’re frustrated in this department, check out my ebook Why Can’t I Drop the Weight.)

Learn to listen to your body, rather than that infomercial promising a brand new you in two short weeks. Specifically, I’m talking about Hunger Quotient (HQ). Everybody has one at all times, and it’s a tool that may be one best ways to lose weight.

Nutritious Life is rooted in 8 pillars of health and wellness that lead to the healthiest you that you can build. I always say, it’s not just about the food. If you ignore your stress levels, no matter how hard you’re dieting you’ll still probably gain weight. If you’re skimping on sleep, your body is going to be craving those carbs you vowed to give up and you’ll eventually begin throwing in the towel for a bagel every morning. If you aren’t taking time to keep your desk clean, chances are your pantry and fridge will also suffer. All of these things that have nothing to do with food affect your healthy eating efforts, and eventually, well, affect everything about food.

Instead of un-doable resolutions this year, begin to improve a little with small goals, resolutions, and intentions that are guaranteed to bring out the best you.

For example, if you’re already into healthy eating and feel your balanced diet is super strong, bring it up a notch by trying to get 2 cups of dark green leafy’s and 5 – 7 servings of veggies each day. If you’re weak in the sleep department, set yourself up with a sleep hygiene ritual to improve your shut eye.

You’re already fabulous, no matter what dress size you are. Use the Nutritious Life pillars as your foundation this year and you’ll be ringing in next year in whatever dress size you want.

New Years Resolutions Start Today

I’ve never been a big fan of new years resolutions.

Even though I love that google search histories are dominated by “healthy dinner ideas” and “healthy snacks” and “how to eat healthy” around the new year, by February the healthy eating novelty often wears off and January’s healthy searches are replaced with “weight loss supplements” and other quick fixes that aren’t part of a healthy diet or a healthy life.

And don’t even get me started on just having willpower to lose weight every January.

I believe we should be working on improving ourselves daily, and that we don’t need a holiday date to begin self-improvement work.

However, there is something to be said for taking a minute to reflect on the past year and take action moving forward. That I am down with.

There are many “rules” to follow in life but looking ahead at a new year, there is one rule I would like to focus on: be responsible.

It translates into your personal, professional and social life in a proactive and productive way.

We don’t need a million guidelines.

There shouldn’t be a hundred messages telling you how to govern yourself as you navigate the world.

Moving through life with the mantra ‘be responsible’ should cover you in most situations.

As we approach the New Year, it’s a good time to revisit the simple message of being responsible and perhaps use it as an alternative to your usual new years resolutions that never seem to last into spring.

New Years Resolutions the Healthy Way:

1. Be responsible for your health.

Make choices that keep you accountable to your physical, mental and emotional health. Find a way to be responsible when you are indulging and enjoy yourself with a thoughtful recognition of your actions with food, exercise and well being.

Make and keep your doctors’ appointments, schedule regular dental check-ups and be proactive in eating empowered by keeping your refrigerator and pantry responsibly stocked with healthy foods.

2. Be responsible in your environment.

Take a New Year’s minute to look at the space you spend the most time in. Do you love your home? Is your bedroom a sanctuary? Are you proud of the desk you keep and spot where you relax?

No? Then take some action and make the spaces you live in spaces you love. Take ownership of improving your world you live in so that you can feel good about your choices.

3. Be responsible in your love.

Release some oxytocin, the love hormone that is responsible for managing your stress and negative feelings. While sex is a great way to release oxytocin, there are plenty of G-rated ways to do it, too: cuddle more puppies, hold more children’s hands, hug your loved ones.

You deserve to have a year that is full of feelings of being loved, so take responsibility for it by incorporating a little love into each day.

 

 

Will Hanukkah Ruin My Diet?

Q: Will indulging during Hanukkah completely ruin my diet?

A: People always ask me “how bad is it to eat chocolate every day?” I also hear things like, “I know it’s bad, but I have to have a cookie with my tea in the afternoon.”

First, let me just say that it’s actually kind of sad to combine the words “bad” and chocolate or cookies, which are two of the most wonderful things ever created (although, I do believe there are “bad” foods but that’s a topic for another blog.)

I think what is being asked is actually this: will it undo all of my hard weight loss efforts or healthy weight-maintaining work if I have something decadent every day?

I’m opening up this topic once again because the client who just left my office has lost 40 pounds this year and is worried that celebrating 8 nights of Hanukkah will set her wayyyyy back.

I’m sure it won’t surprise you that I answered, YES to her question, “Can I truly celebrate all 8 nights without ruining all of my hard work?”

I have tons of experience navigating holidays and celebrations with clients successfully. YOU can do it, too. Here’s how.

First, eat as clean and simply as possible during the day. You should have one or two go-to healthy breakfasts, healthy lunches and healthy snacks that you enjoy that you can bounce between. For example:

Breakfast #1: 6 oz Greek yogurt, 10 almonds, 1 cup blueberries
Breakfast #2: 2 hardboiled eggs, 1 cup spinach, 1 sliced tomato

Lunch #1: 2 cups kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, 5 oz grilled chicken, ⅓ avocado
Lunch #2: 12 oz turkey and vegetable chili, celery and carrot sticks, 1 tablespoon sour cream

Snack #1: Green apple and 2 teaspoons nut butter
Snack #2: crudités and 2 tablespoons hummus

Make dinner a party of lean proteins, such as beef, chicken, beans, fish, or lentils over a piled high plate of salad greens and veggies prepared with little added fat. Here’s where the “little bit of something bad” comes in.

Make a promise that you will NO LONGER call your indulgence “bad” but will now call it what it is, a “conscious indulgence” and make that indulgence part of your celebration.

So, go ahead and add a planned treat to your meal: maybe a slice of challah. Have a perfectly fried latke. Eat a little bag of Hanukkah gelt (90 calories, 5 grams of fat).

There is definitely room in this clean and beautiful day of eating for this planned indulgence. Since you get 8 nights, you don’t need the latke, challah and gelt all at once. You can spread it out with a treat a night.

Just like you did with your Halloween candy, you decide if it is “better” to indulge in one day, like we do on Christmas, or stretch out the pleasure of the food over 8 nights, Hanukkah style.

Whatever you choose, make a plan to stick to your healthy diet and plan your conscious indulging mindfully. Happy holidays!