Obesity + Diabetes. 3 Key Steps To Keeping This Disease At Bay!

Think you are immune to Type 2 diabetes? Think again.

About four weeks ago, Sarah visited my office, complaining of being overweight and blood sugars that were too high. Her Doctor was insisting for her to see a registered nutritionist, or go on medication.

And Sarah is not alone. According to The Journal of American Medicine (JAMA), 35% of the US population is considered obese. That is approximately 78.6 million people. According to JAMA, “obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.” So with about 1 in 3 people suffering from obesity, it is no wonder that “The growing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers is tied to excess weight.”

Type 2 diabetes and obesity are on the rise and the most important question is – what are YOU going to do about it?

These are the cold hard facts. The scary stuff we hear about and know we should do something about. But what happens when life gets in the way, or temptations are too strong or we simply just don’t know what changes to make? I get it and as a nutritionist it’s ingrained in my soul to want to help.

We can’t fight the facts, but we can certainly fight back and take a stand for our own health!

Remember Sarah?

For Sarah, medication was simply not an option and she was motivated for change. Together we made the changes necessary to bring her weight and blood sugars into a healthier place. I’m excited to report, 4 weeks later she is 13.5 lbs down and has brought her blood sugars from 7.5 down to 6.2. We still have more work to do, but this one example of many that demonstrates the power of getting professional and personable advice which will help you lose weight and enjoy all the benefits of living healthy and well!

So here are 3 simple steps you can make today to take charge of your health:

1. Reduce, no, better yet, ELIMINATE white foods and processed white sugars from your diet. Examples include white breads, pastas, pastry, pop, candy and desserts. Seems simple right? In reality this is harder than you think. Temptations lurking around every corner make it hard for some, but others find emotional attachment and comfort in these “foods”. First identify when you tend to reach for these items. Is it only when you are in social settings? Or do you tend to lean on these items when you are stressed and or tired? Knowing this is half the battle (see tip #3 for more on this).

2. Eat more protein. Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or meat- eater, protein helps to increase your metabolism (helping you to burn more calories at rest), increase lean mass (more muscle =less fat) and slow the release of sugar into your blood stream (key for reducing the all too common afternoon slump and SUPER important for those dealing with blood sugar issues). And just as a side note, if you do choose to eat meat, make sure it’s lean and clean sources like poultry, eggs and cold water fish.

3. Get a grip on your stress. You read that right. When you are stressed your body produces cortisol (a stress hormone) that causes you to store fat. In addition, when you are stressed your blood sugars rise, a problem for those suffering from blood sugar concerns.

Identifying triggers, being aware of their presence, having proper tools to manage stress like exercise and perspective- creates more balance which will be vital to keeping belly fat away and blood sugars controlled.

You have the power to avoid becoming another statistic. Yes, genetics can play a role, but research clearly demonstrates that for the majority of people, obesity and type II diabetes are preventable diseases.

So, start implementing these 3 simple steps today, one step at a time and you will be well on your way to creating everlasting change.

 If you decide you want to learn more than please check out my newest book, Your Weigh Loss G-Spot – The woman’s how-to weight loss system for a healthy, sassy you!

It is a make-it-happen weight loss book that combines the fundamentals of nutrition and healthy eating with the mind–body–heart targeted coaching required to get you to your goal and to make it stick. To find out more about it, go here: www.weightlossgspot.com  

What are some good exercises this winter? Please see here for some tips.

Water, What You Need To Know

When we think of a healthy lifestyle two key factors often come to mind: good nutrition and exercise! There is no debate that these are crucial components in overall health and well-being. But if it’s so easy, how come so many of us still feel sick, have low energy, and are overweight?

Unfortunately there is no “one” answer. Healthy eating is often viewed as a confusing and scary concept for a lot of people. In today’s world of pesticides, over-processing and tricky marketing, even the people with the best of intentions have a tough time making healthy choices. The good news is, every small change helps. Education is power and the more we learn, the more we can do to become the healthiest version of ourselves.

But what if I told you there is a key element of nutrition that is often overlooked? It’s extremely easy to implement, accessible almost everywhere, and best of allcompletely free!

WATER

H2-Woah!

One of the easiest changes to adapt into a healthy lifestyle is to ensure we are adequately hydrated.
For many people, the simple act of drinking enough water is not viewed as enough of a priority.

But what makes water so important? Let us count the ways!

You ARE water!

Our blood is made up of mostly, you guessed it, water! Your brain is nearly 90% water, and every single cell of your body is made up of water! It’s no wonder we need the stuff to function properly!

It keeps you quick!

Since your brain is mostly water, keeping it hydrated helps improve concentration and alertness, improving energy and reducing fatigue.

Don’t forget to flush!

Water helps flush out wastes and toxins through urination (and sweat) which helps the immune system stay strong and ward off illness!

It helps you poop!

Water aids in the digestive process as well as keeps stools lubricated and easy to pass! Come on, everybody loves a good poop!

It helps keep you beautiful

Water keeps the skin hydrated keeping it soft and smooth and wards off unwanted blemishes and wrinkles – you don’t want to dry up and turn into a prune!

This is just a short lists of the benefits of adequate water consumption. The benefits of water are truly endless.

Of course, nobody wants to keep a running tally on how many cups they drink in a day (who has time for that?) I find the easiest way to keep track is to purchase a 1L water bottle and aim to finish it at least once to start, gradually working your way up to one or two refills per day.

Plain old water too boring? Spice it up with a squeeze of lemon, some fresh mint, cucumber slices or fresh berries!

Drink up my friends!

– Guest blogger Alex Nucci (nutritionist)

And to that, I say, stay hydrated!

Read about Alex’s other post on Breakfast Fuel here

Picture source

Surviving September (Tips)

We’ve been dreading it for months, the weather is getting cooler, there’s more traffic on the streets, school lunches need to be made again…yes, September has arrived. I’m as sad as you.

A concern I hear on a regular basis from my clients is how to maintain or resume healthy habits when chaos ensues.

Here are some tips on how to keep connected to your healthy diet in September!

Bulk Up:

A great method I really appreciate is prepping all or some of the meals ahead of time (see picture below). This method takes a little upfront effort, but think about how seamless your week would be!

I hear a lot of concerns about the month of September from moms in particular. Kids are back to school, extracurricular activities have started again and dinner is just barley being squeezed in. Think about prepping and freezing some meals ahead of time (now), so when the madness ensues you are ahead of the same.

Map It.

Here is how I do it:

Here is analogy that I like to use. Pretend you were going to spend 2 days driving to Florida for a relaxing vacation on the beach. In order to get there you’d need to plan your route, book a hotel to stay in for a night, make reservations at some restaurants you have never been to before and perhaps pack some snacks and some games/books for a little entertainment.

While you reroute, after having done all the initial prep work, would it make sense that you would change your route for no particular reason? Rebooking new hotels and restaurants would just be a pain in the butt and, not to mention, a waste of time. Once you have made your plan, the odds of sticking to this are very good. The same goes with food prep. If you lay out a plan ahead of time, the odds of you straying for this are pretty low.

Here’s how I do it:

Everyone might have their own method, but this works best for me.

Step 1. Make a list of 7 different dinners you would like to have. Take into account busy nights of the week (i.e. don’t plan to make a roast on the same night you need to drive your kids all over hell’s acres).

Step 2. Write down the groceries needed to make these meals. Tip: Plan to make extra portions so you have left over’s for the next day. Buy groceries for the whole week in one trip.

Step 3. Put this list up on the fridge so everyone in the household knows what to expect for meals.

Step 4. Put this list in a file folder and reuse every 4 weeks.

Simple.

What I like most about this is that the thinking, during the busy week, has been eliminated. If I follow my plan, I know what needs to be pulled out of the freezer the night before, I know if I need to prep something ahead of time and I feel like dinners go off without a hitch.

Slow Cook It

My crock-pot is probably my most favourite piece of kitchen equipment (other than my Vitamix). It makes life so simple (yet tasty). I’m always on the hunt for simple crock pot meals that I can prep the night before and turn on in the morning before I leave for work. With the conveniences of modern technology, presto dinner is hot and ready for my husband and I 8 hours later. At this point, I quickly toss together a salad if needed and enjoy a healthy meal.

You too can experience ease in the kitchen during the dreaded dinner hour.

Buy It:

I know, I know…you are super mom and you’d rather make homemade meals for your family. I get it, I also prefer to do this, but alas I have come to the conclusion that I am not a super hero, so cut yourself some slack and join ranks.

I agree that bought foods probably contain some ingredients we wouldn’t necessarily pick ourselves but I would argue doing this is better than picking up fast food or creating a ton of stress and drama over getting a dinner on the table.

We are all busy, so don’t be too proud to purchase on the odd really busy night. Here are some healthy suggestions to consider:

  • Rotisserie chicken with sides like bean salad, vinegar based coleslaw and grilled veggies (all of these items can be found in most grocery stores in the pre-prepared counters)
  • Opa! Greek food is one of my favourite go-to meal ideas. Find a local restaurant you can pre order from; I usually order a large salad with souvlaki chicken and tzatziki. Yummy!
  • Grocery store buffet tables: here you can choose from grilled fish, hard boiled eggs, marinated tofu and all kinds of sides to satisfy the pickiest of eaters.

Relax in September with these fun snacks!