November 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Wintertime is a season filled with chocolates, pies (apple, pumpkin, mince), mulled wine, hot cocoa, apple cider, eggnog… What do all of these have in common? Sugar!
But the holidays are only a couple of days out of the entire three months: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. So why do we spend the entire season overindulging in things that we know aren’t good for us? Part of this probably has to do with the money-making industry. If we didn’t over-stuff ourselves then we wouldn’t be a good market for losing weight for bikini season. Doesn’t this vicious cycle ever make you wonder if it really has to be this way? Why should you have to eat a bunch of junk and be pulled into spending more money on that bikini body that you want for the summer season… that you had only just had a few months before!
Let’s go on a sugar detox. Who’s with me? I began at 11 am, GMT, November 26th. From now until Christmas, I will have no sugar*. Zero, zilch, none.
Not only am I giving up sugar, but I’m also giving up coffee. It’s been giving me headaches and making me feel lethargic. So without sugar, I have no desire to have coffee. Bleck! So far, so good. No headaches.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, all of the leftover pie should be out of your way. If you don’t have sugar-y things in the house, keep it that way. Stick to the fresh food aisles of the supermarket: fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. If (for some reason) you buy something in a package (such as sausages or bacon or coconut milk), check the ingredients! Sugar sneaks into almost everything, with a variety of different names. Be sure to avoid all of the treats when you’re at home! Save your sweet indulgences for when you’re out and food is more of a social event.
If you feel tempted, ask yourself if it is worth gaining weight over. Think of the long-term effects, too. Make your body last long. It’s the only one you’ve got!
So what does no sugar mean?
… Plain Sugars: Beet Sugar | Brown Sugar | Caramel | Cane Sugar | Powdered Sugar | Raw Sugar | White Sugar
… “Natural” Sugars: Agave Nectar | Coconut Nectar | Coconut Sugar | Date Sugar | (Evaporated) Cane Sugar | Golden Syrup | Grape Juice Concentrate | Fruit Juice | Honey | Maple Syrup | Molasses | Rice Malt (extract) | (Sweet) Sorghum | Treacle
… Syrups: Buttered Syrup | Carob Syrup | Corn Syrup | High Fructose Corn Syrup | Malt Syrup | Refiner’s Syrup | Rice Syrup | Sorghum Syrup
… Science Sugar: Dextrin | Dextrose | Diatase | Disaccharide | Ethyl Maltol | Fructose | Glucose | Galactose | Lactose | Maltodextrin | Maltose | Monosaccharide | Polysaccharide | Ribose | Saccharose | Sucrose
… Artificial Sweeteners: Alitame | Aspartame (Nutra-Sweet and Equal) | Acesulfame Potassium (k) | Cyclamate | Neohesperidine Dihydrochalcone | Neotame | (Sunette and Sweet One) | Saccharin (Sweet ‘n Low) | Stevia | Sucralose (Splenda) | SweetLeaf | Thaumatin | Truvia
… Sugar Alcohol: Arabitol | Dulcitol | Erythritol | Galactitol | Glycol | Glycerol | Hydrogenated Starch Hydrosylate (HSH) | Iditol | Inositol | Isomalt | Lactitol | Maltitol | Mannitol | Methanol | Polyglycitol | Ribitol | Sorbitol | Threitol | Volemitol | Xylitol
*I am allowing cheats on days when special events are planned or special nights out, but being mindful about what I’m putting into my system to avoid a sugar crash. The cheat will have to be worth it.
November 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
Setting goals for yourself are important in your life if you want to make progress – be-it business, personal, health… you name it. Set sight on your dreams and break down the time so that the steps put the big ideas into a manageable perspective. Yes, a ten year goal can become overwhelming, but if you look at how you will make progress in one year, three years, and five years, you can stay grounded and have patience during the pursuit. After all, life is all about the journey!
If you need inspiration, you can use Lululemon’s “Vision and Goals” worksheet:
A good resource like this can be a good inspiration to take the first steps toward dreaming. Now that you have that resource, take time to meditate on your goals. Make sure to give yourself the time, space and environment to find stillness in your life. Focus on what you want and the results you want from those things. Be specific. Make sure to review and revise your goals – in the beginning you might want to review your goals every couple of days. As you start to find confidence in your dreams, you might review your goals every month and eventually work up to quarterly goals.
As my dreams have begun developing, I have found the beginning to be filled with different ideas popping up each day and I have to revise my goals based on that change. But as I find clarity in my vision, my ideas are becoming more grounded and I am able to focus on more stable ideas.
Lululemon recommends using the present tense to make your goals more likely to be achieved. My biggest goal right now is to get back into a fit and healthy routine, so what is my goal?
I am going to get healthy again. Wrong! I am eating paleo and exercising at least an hour a day, mixing cardio and simple body weight exercises, to achieve a level of fitness I am proud of by February 2013. What goals do you want to turn into reality?
November 16, 2012 § 4 Comments
Next week is Thanksgiving! A day full of food where you can stuff yourself silly with unhealthy food, or choose to make a more health conscious decision. Most people use the 90:10 method when it comes to paleo, or even the 80:20 method – so many people would probably use Thanksgiving to use their 10% or 20%. If you’re visiting friends or family and have no choice but to consume what they’ve cooked, then that is fair enough. But if you have a say in the cooking, why don’t you make it paleo?! It may take a little more effort on your part, but it will taste better and be better for you! A while ago I would have thrown in the towel and gone with the unhealthy option, but finding out that I am gluten intolerant has changed my perception on how much I can cheat and whether an upset stomach is really worth it. Let’s go for quality and throw the french onions and canned soup in the donation bin.
There are dozens of paleo recipe websites out there, so you have hundreds of recipes to choose from. Here are some of my favourites. Some of the recipes contain butter, so I substitute it with coconut oil.
(If you are in the USA, I recommend coconut oil from Trader Joe’s. If you are in the UK, I recommend it from Holland and Barrett)
Green Bean Casserole
*Contains coconut, eggs
Stuffing, without feeling stuffed
*Contains eggs, nuts
Or if you want to switch up the tradition pumpkin pie, why not try Pumpkin Cheesecake?
*Contains nuts, coconut
Warm up with a healthier and cheaper Pumpkin Spice Latte, too.
Want Thanksgiving all year round? Make Thanksgiving Stuffing Meatballs!
Don’t forget to give thanks next week. Take a moment to be still, meditate on the past year, and receive appreciation for everything you have in your life: experiences, people, special moments, opportunities… Here is a fun way you can share what you’re thankful for.