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.

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!

Surviving September

Surviving September

 

september

 

Picture source

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.

Bulk Up:

A great method I really appreciate is prepping all or some of the meals ahead of time. 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. See below for one of my favourite prep and freeze recipes.

Map It.
Last week you learned one meal prep method to ensure healthy meals get on the table despite a busy schedule. Everyone has their own way…

Here is how I do it:

Here is an analogy that I like to use. Pretend that you were going to spend 2 days driving to Florida for a relaxing vacation at the beach. In order to get there, you’d need to plan your route, book a hotel to stay in for the night, make reservations at must-have restaurants you have never been to before and perhaps, pack some snacks and some games/books for a little entertainment.
While en-route, after having done all the initial prep work, would it make sense that you would change your route for no particular reason? Re-booking new hotels and restaurants would just be a pain in the butt and, not to mention, a waste of time.
The point is, 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 from your original plan are slim.

My way:
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 at one time.

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.

Giveaway:

If you want the template I use for my weekly meal prep, comment below. The first 10 people to comment at the bottom of this blog with a meal prep tip will be sent my weekly template. Make sure to include your email address in the comment.

Surviving September

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.

Bulk Up:

A great method I really appreciate is prepping all or some of the meals ahead of time. 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. See below for one of my favourite prep and freeze recipes.

Map It.

Last week you learned one meal prep method to ensure healthy meals get on the table despite a busy schedule. Everyone has their own way…

Here is how I do it:

Here is an analogy that I like to use. Pretend that you were going to spend 2 days driving to Florida for a relaxing vacation at the beach. In order to get there, you’d need to plan your route, book a hotel to stay in for the night, make reservations at must-have restaurants you have never been to before and perhaps, pack some snacks and some games/books for a little entertainment.
While en-route, after having done all the initial prep work, would it make sense that you would change your route for no particular reason? Re-booking new hotels and restaurants would just be a pain in the butt and, not to mention, a waste of time.
The point is, 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 from your original plan are slim.

My way:
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 at one time.

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.

Picture source

Giveaway:

If you want the template I use for my weekly meal prep, comment below. The first 10 people to comment at the bottom of this blog with a meal prep tip will be sent my weekly template. Make sure to include your email address in the comment.

Losing Fat by Managing Insulin – Not Just for Diabetics!

NutsWeight loss is something that many people are trying (almost desperately) to attain. It seems to be a goal that drifts further away, sometimes even when we think we are on the right track. The good news is that research is always trying to better understand our amazing bodies and how foods can improve our health. We now understand the value of insulin and how important a balance of blood sugar and insulin is in weight management. For those of you who don’t know, insulin is a hormone that helps our body cells use glucose (energy for the cell to function). When things are not functioning as they should, our body cells may not respond to insulin and thereby not understand how to use glucose – meaning that our body cells pretty much starve. This “extra” glucose is then converted to fat, which gets stored around the body. Here are 5 ways we can help our bodies use insulin more efficiently:

1. Blueberries
Recent evidence published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that consuming blueberries daily can help increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin – which can help decrease the risk of developing type 2 Diabetes! It was found that obese individuals who were not diabetic, but did have insulin resistance, were able to increase insulin sensitivity by 22% after 6 weeks! Greater sensitivity to insulin means that our bodies are using sugar (glucose) efficiently, rather than storing it as fat. An extra bonus – blueberries are delicious! Why wouldn’t we want another reason to love them?
2. Cinnamon
Cinnamon is another great food which has been found to balance insulin levels in the body. A teaspoon a day, for 20 days, was able to improve insulin’s response to glucose and lower blood sugar by 20%! Other research has shown that cinnamon can decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad one) for those with type 2 Diabetes. With the cold weather coming along, why not add a little cinnamon into your smoothies? Cinnamon has a way of warming my heart!
3. Zinc
Zinc is a very important mineral for the body – being involved in the function of more than 200 enzymes! As a common deficiency, it is important that we maintain our body’s levels of zinc. A quick way to learn if you are deficient is to crush a zinc tablet to powder and mix it with ¼ cup of water. Slosh/rinse your mouth with this solution (do not swallow!) and spit it out. If you do not experience any taste or a light mineral taste in your mouth, you are probably zinc deficient. If you have a strong, unpleasant taste in your mouth, you are probably not zinc deficient. Check out this link for food sources of zinc: http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-Resources-A-Z/Factsheets/Minerals/Food-Sources-of-Zinc.aspx
4. Nuts
Adding a tablespoon of nuts to your weekly routine can improve insulin balance by up to 30%. Research has found that having nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.) 5 times per week resulted in delayed onset of type 2 Diabetes. Nuts provide you with the healthy fats, which are protective for the body – so get a little nutty this month!
5. Exercise
Exercise has many positive effects on our mood and body. It is one of the best things we can do to prolong our health. Exercise helps to improve insulin sensitivity – within 3 days of decreased activity, our insulin sensitivity and glucose response drops by a dramatic 30%! Get active today. Just think: do you have more energy after you’ve been sitting on the couch for an hour or after you’ve taken a 15 minute evening stroll? (hint: couch = lethargic feeling, walking = body releases “happy” hormones…try it and let us know!)
For more information, visit:
http://www.chatelaine.com/health/diet/seven-easy-tips-to-reduce-insulin-and-lose-belly-fat/