One of my favorite salads is the Greek salad. It's so simple, yet so flavorful! I believe the best part is the dressing.
No matter what type of salad you're making, you can add this very flavorful dressing to give it that perfect taste. Plus, nothing is better than homemade!
Why take the time to make your dressing you ask? Have you ever turned a bottle of store bought salad dressing around to look at the ingredient list? Those bottles are filled with tons of nasty chemicals, then we pour it over our healthy, beautiful veggies and ruin them!
Let's take a look at some of those ingredients.
Soybean oil: It's incredibly inflammatory due to it's high omega 6 content. It has been linked to insulin resistance which causes obesity. These factors are involved in all the lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Sugar: Would you willingly sprinkle sugar on your salad? NO! Of course not. We need to be very careful about all the sneaky ways sugar gets into our foods. It causes numerous health problems, not to mention weight gain, and causes cravings.
Modified food starch: Let's start with the word "modified." Chemicals such as sulfuric acid, chlorine or other chemicals are what's used to treat the "food." Speaking of the word "food", some possible sources can be corn, potato or wheat. If it's corn, we can bet that it's GMO corn. Bottom line, it's highly processed and can cause allergic reactions for those with wheat allergies.
Monosodium Glutamate: Good old MSG. It's a highly processed excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage. It can cause problems like headaches, obesity and fatigue. It is estimated that up to 40% of the population is sensitive to MSG.
Phosphoric acid: Made from phosphorus which is naturally found in foods, however, too much can cause problems. It has been shown that excessive phosphorus intake can decrease the amount of calcium in your body, leading to bone loss and put you at risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. It can also decrease your body’s ability to use other minerals, such as iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Disodium Inosinate: A purine that should be avoided by those with gout or uric acid kidney stones.
When looking at ingredient labels, I always ask myself if the ingredients are something I would add to my own recipe. I make salad dressings all the time and would never add any of these! The less processed food we consume, the healthier we'll be.
This recipe will take you only a few minutes to prepare and you'll have enough for plenty of salads. Keep it in the fridge and when ready to use, leave it on the counter for a little bit for the olive oil to liquefy again.
Wow! People are getting so creative these days! I can't stand how cute these Thanksgiving veggie and fruit trays are. The ideas are endless and your guests will definitely get a kick out of them. The only issue now is deciding which one to try! I think the kids would love to help me make the fruit and cheese one.
Enjoy making your creation and have a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
I believe the most important part of my job as a nutritionist is to help people transform the way they think about food. I think every one of my clients has at one point or another said these words to me, "I know what to do, I'm just not doing it." That thing that gets in your way every time you try to make a change to your diet, is the most crucial part of the transformation.
You've most likely had success in the past with a diet or exercise program. You got into The Zone, as I like to call it. You were focused and determined. It feels so good when you're there. Then there were times when you just couldn't get it started. You'd change your ways for a few days and then find yourself right back where you started, with your hands at the bottom of a bag of chips!
What is it that gets you into that sweet spot, that zone? It all starts with a very important first step. It's the first step to lasting weight loss that lots of people either forget about or are unaware of. Without it, you'll have nothing to bring you out of that mindset of, "I don't care anymore, I'm eating the (insert your favorite sugary, carb-rich food here)!"
The first step to lasting weight loss is:
Finding your why.
Finding your why is all about digging deep to find out what your true motivation is to make this change.
Your why will give you a clear sense of purpose that will enable you to focus your efforts on what matters most, compelling you to take risks and push forward regardless of the odds or obstacles.
So, how do you start the first step to lasting weight loss? Start by asking yourself a few questions. I always encourage my clients to journal. It's a wonderful way to get to the bottom of what's going on in your head. I suggest finding a beautiful journal and a quiet space where you won't be interrupted and contemplate these questions:
The first step to lasting weight loss:
Finding your why...
You may start with wanting to look better in your clothes, and that's fine. Just don't stop there. Dig deep! Do you want to lose weight because you are afraid to go to the doctor for fear of hearing a diagnosis that someone in your family has? Do you want to be able to run and play with your kids? Does your body hurt from the pain of inflammation? Do you want to gain confidence to get that new job, new mate or just have the confidence that comes from accomplishing your goals? Do you want to live a long and healthy life with the people you love?
Do yourself a favor and keep it positive. If you feel compelled to write anything such as, "I want to lose weight because I'm fat and I hate myself" STOP! You may feel that way, but turn it around to a positive statement. Try, "I want to lose this excess weight because I love myself and I deserve to feel good in my body." Doesn't that feel better?
Keep writing until you know you've hit the nail on the head. This may take a few days. Give yourself some time. Starting this process with 10 minutes of meditation will bring a lot of clarity to you and will speed up the process.
Once you are sure that you arrived at your answer, write it out and read it each day before you go bed and again when you get up in the morning. Post it on your mirror, your refrigerator and your car. Remind yourself as often as possible to keep it in the forefront of your mind.
In other words, why is this your motivation? For instance, if your why is "I want to lose weight so I can more easily play with my kids", what does that mean to you? Why is that important to you? It may be that your kids get so sad when when you won't go on a bike ride with them or play tag.
If your why is gaining more confidence, what will that confidence bring to your life? A new job? The confidence to start dating again?
List all of the positive changes reaching your goal will bring you. You can also list what your life will look like if you don't reach your goal. What things will you miss out on? What will your future health look like?
Visualization is a very powerful tool. If you can visualize accomplishing your goal, you can achieve it. I love the saying, "If you believe it, you will see it." In other words, if you can see it in your mind, you'll see it in your life. Take some time to visualize your why. A perfect time to do this is during a meditation.
Let's go back to wanting to have more energy to play with your kids. Picture in your mind exactly that. Picture laughing and playing with your kids. Taking a fun hike through the woods or a long bike ride. Picture how happy it makes you all and how much closer your family will be.
Anytime you find yourself in a situation of having to make a decision about food, bring this picture into your mind. Ask yourself if the decision you're about to make will bring you closer to your goal or take you further from it.
It is important to figure out if there is a recurring situation that has kept you from reaching your goal in the past. There could very likely be a story you've been telling yourself that is keeping you from the body and health you desire. For instance, do you think that the excess weight somehow protects you? Do you think that you don't deserve to have a fit body? Do you tell yourself that everyone in your family is big, therefore it's in your genes? How about, "this is just who I am."
These are all just stories that you've been telling yourself. The good news is that you can change the story. Start with changing it into a positive statement. Let's take the it's in my genes story. Change that to "I am my own person. My family does not determine how I choose to live my life." I hear "this is just who I am. I'm a just a big person" a lot. That can be changed to "I am healthy and I treat my body with respect. I am a healthy person and I make healthy choices for my life."
Lastly, and this is a big one: are you afraid to fail...again? It is our human nature to put avoiding pain above gaining pleasure. Failing is very emotionally painful for most people. That can outweigh the pleasure of reaching your goal of weight loss. In other words, it feels better to not fail than it does to succeed.
If you have failed at countless diets, this could be a very big issue for you. What is helpful is to look at the situation differently. Keep this in mind, some of the most successful people in this world have failed countless times before they reached success. Anytime you are making a change in your life, there are bound to be failures. Just think of that failure as a need to change course.
Maybe one of the problems your facing is night time eating. If you've set a goal of not eating after 7:00 pm and you continually fail to reach that goal, change course. For a short time you could set the goal at 9:00 pm. Once you get some success with that time, make a new goal of 8:00 pm. Gradually work up to the goal of 7:00 pm.
As you get closer to reaching the goal that is your why, keep track of small results along the way. Look at things like how well you are now sleeping, your energy level, some bad habits you've removed from your life, or compliments you may get. When you have a day that your motivation is low, look at these notes to remind yourself how far you've come.
Lasting weight loss is a process. It takes time to make these changes stick so that they become lifelong habits. Give yourself that time. Be gentile and patient with yourself. You are worth it!
Sugar is the one substance that my clients (and myself for that matter) suffer with the most. It's our comfort, our reward and what we crave. Why is that? Why do we suffer at the hands of sugar? I've learned that the more you understand something, the easier it is to change.
In this video, I explain sugar's effect on your brain and body, and the important thing you can do to stop cravings in their tracks.
What if I told you that you never had to count another stupid calorie again, or to forget about calories while you're exercising? Think of how much time you'd have to do other things like...live your life!
The subject of whether or not we need to count calories is a very important one to me. My clients will say things to me like, "I can't eat avocadoes. They have too many calories." or, "How long do I have to run if I eat a hamburger?"
I know most of us have thought this way forever but it's time to change. My whole mission is to clear up the misinformation about food and our health. We need to realize that food is not just calories. Most importantly, food is information!
We do want to be sure that calories are taken into consideration because we can over do it even with healthy foods. However, the foods that we choose are not just calories. They also send signals to our bodies. They are like little messengers. So when we are choosing highly processed, sugary foods that total 100 calories over whole, natural foods of the same calorie count, we are sending opposite signals to the body and the body will react differently to each.
The sugary foods will increase our blood sugar which spikes insulin. Insulin is a fat storing hormone. Some of the calories you just consumed from the processed food is now joining your fat cells...increasing their size. They don't put that on the package, do they?
Now, what about the 100 calories from whole, natural foods. Lets assume it was 100 calories from protein. Right off the bat, about 20% to 35% of the calories in protein are required for the digestion of it. Compare that to the 5% - 15% required for the digestion of the sugary carbohydrates. Also, where the sugar is stored in the fat cells increasing their size, the protein is used to increase the size of your muscles. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest.
Protein is also more satiating than sugar. For one, it simply takes longer to digest. Also, because it has the nutrients that our bodies need, hormone signals are sent to reduce our hunger. Sugar gives us non of the macronutrients our bodies require to be healthy. Therefore, we get none of the satiety signals needed to reduce our hunger. Think about it, you can only eat so much steak. Cookies, those we have to stop ourselves from eating.
It all has to do with the way our bodies were created millions of years ago. First and foremost, our body's job is to keep us alive. Our bodies know what nutrients we need and how much we need of them to stay healthy and survive the next famine. If we don't get those nutrients, our bodies send signals through hormones to increase our appetite and slow down our metabolism.
Have you ever said to yourself, "Why am I never full?" If you are only worried about calories and never about nutrients, that's your answer. There are reasons why the foods that were put on this earth are filled with nutrients. We NEED them! This is why the diets that tell you to just count your points or to eat foods from a box only work in the short term. They will set you up for a hormonal domino effect of increased hunger and fat storage.
This is why I have chosen the route of whole foods living for myself and my clients. I love showing people how changing the foods they're eating will begin to change their lives. When you are supplying your body with all that it needs you start to sleep better, have more energy, clear up skin problems, balance your hormones, and release stored fat!
Weight loss and good health can be yours. All you need is the right information and guidance. I would love to help you. If you feel inspired, contact me for some more information.
I help people change their lives through nutrition. I show you the way to healthy weight loss, and a pain free life, free of disease and filled with energy!