Tuesday, January 26, 2010

eating and losing weight

first off, congrats to my older sister (and author of this blog) on becoming a mother last week! her twins, sydney and ethan, came 8 weeks early, but are healthy and progressing well. so i will be taking over the blog for a bit i'm assuming since she's going to be ultra busy with two preemies in the NICU.

i've had a few people asking me for some recipe ideas and eating/nutrition tips for weight loss or just maintaining your weight. here are a few of my own and some i've adopted for other people, like lindsay brin. i have found them to be very helpful in my weight loss journey. these are ideas people. i'm not saying you have to do every single one of these things and to the extent that i do (like cutting out treats and sodas). i'm just making suggestions as to some things you can do to make your weight loss more efficient. even though some of you may not want to hear some of these things, i know they help with losing weight or maintaining weight.

*switch to whole wheat- if you haven't already, make the switch. why? first off, white bread (or other forms of white carbs) have zero nutrition pretty much. you won't fill up on them. i could probably eat an entire loaf of white bread and still not be full (sick, but not full). you'll have to eat more of the white stuff to fill up. don't jusk look for wheat or multri-grain. you want 100% whole wheat. food companies are very tricky and can get away with A LOT of dishonesty on food labels.

*speaking of labels, READ THEM! labels are one of the most important things to me. personally, i'm really aware of what KINDS of food i put in my body. not just calorie content (although that does help with weight loss). i'm all about going as natural as possible. general rule of thumb, the less ingredients, the better. i used to get bread in arizona and utah that had like 4 or 5 ingredients in it. very wholesome and pure. i try my best here in washington, but there isn't a brand i've fallen in love with yet. they all have too many ingredients, preservatives, and other crap i can't pronounce. that's a bad sign! do the best you can. but try to find something without high fructose corn syrup, without too much sugar (look for something sweetened with honey instead), etc. and ps. getting something that says, "no sugar," usually means they have replaced the sugar with artificial sweetener. aspartame, nutri-sweet, splenda, etc. not good for you. look for things that say, "no sugar added." this usually means it really doesn't have a form of sugar in it. to be sure, always check your labels.

*eat until you are satisfied. personally am the type of person that eats often, but in small amounts. i try to eat until i'm satisfied, and not "full" or even "over satisfied." this was a HUGE milestone for me. (note: i still struggle with this and have to work EVERY DAY to eat what my body needs and NOT MORE!). you really have to pay close attention... your body actually sends a signal when it's "about done." sometimes i listen. sometimes i don't. but i try to most of the time! :) so not only do i recommend eating small amounts, every 2-4 hours during the day, but i also recommend only eating until you are satisfied. do NOT eat until you are full. and EAT when you are hungry. just not too much.

*no BLT's. BITES, LICKS, OR TASTES. i learned this from lindsay and found that it rang SO TRUE for me! when i do this, i either, don't lose weight or gain weight, depending on how many days i do this, in a row. :) so stop eating your kids leftover peanut butter sandwiches (don't even have a taste of it), quit eating the last of the fruit from the dinner table that no one ate (unless you truly are hungry still... and by hungry, i mean physically hungry. not mentally or emotionally). no more grabbing a handful of cereal on the way out the door. don't eat unless it's "time" to eat and you are hungry. something to help with this is to only eat while you are sitting down. something else i found... don't eat while you are making dinner! i catch myself having BLT's of what i'm making for dinner all the time! if you're trying to lose weight, NOT doing this is a great way to cut out calories. they add up quickly! a good way to avoid having BLT's, is to eat before your kids do. if i'm making my kids lunch and i'm hungry, watch out! i end up eating half of their lunch. and then i'll sit down and have my entire lunch too! feed yourself before you prepare their lunch, so you aren't tempted to eat BLT's off of their plate. and if they have leftovers, save them or just throw them out. don't eat them. i promise, these calories add up and they add up fast!

*try not to eat a lot late at night. we all tend to eat a lot at night. and most of the time, we aren't even hungry. we're just eating, to eat. if you are hungry, have a piece of fruit. an apple or pear goes a long way, especially as a late night snack! but really, try to ask yourself, "am i really hungry? physically hungry? or do i just emotionally want this food?" if the answer is "no. you aren't hungry," have a glass of water or a small piece of fruit instead of a meal, chocolate bar, or piece of cake.

*give yourself limits- don't give into every single craving. you can't lose weight if you are going to have a piece of chocolate every time you want one. personally, i could not find a healthy balance. i tried all the time. i tried "on holidays only." i tried, "once per week." didn't work for me. i still have treats, they just aren't most people's version of a "real treat." but believe me, i love rice dream ice cream, or homemade mango sorbet made with agave nectar, or a clif bar, or a lara bar, or whatever it may be. but i don't have them every day. just because my treats are a little healthier, doesn't mean i can eat them at all times. i'm not saying you have to cut out refined sugars and normal treats. but give yourself a limit. i would say once a week is a good goal. and when you do get that once a week treat, don't eat 10 chocolate bars. have one. even though you are allowing yourself a bowl of ice cream, have two scoops. not four or five. set limitations for yourself so you aren't eating these extra calories every day.

*eat a good breakfast- i'm not saying have a huge breakfast by any means. if you skip breakfast, or don't eat too much during the morning and early afternoon, by evening time, you'll be starving and consume tons of calories and then end up not being able to burn those calories off as well. eat breakfast.

*cut down on the sodas and other drinks besides water- this is one of those things that i cut out completely. i really don't drink anything except water. if you do, a great way to cut calories is to cut down how many calories you are consuming in liquids. sodas have tons of sugar in them and tons of calories that won't fill you up whatsoever. i do not recommend diet sodas. to me, they are worse for you. to me, anything artificially made by man is worse than something somewhat natural. diet sodas have artificial sweetener in them which is worse than sugar itself. argue if you want, but you can't change my mind. juice is also one of those things that's super high in calories (even if it's 100% juice) and won't fill you up. eat the apple rather than drink the apple juice. way more filling for less calories.

*drink water- you've heard this one over and over again. but it really does help. fill up a large glass of water and keep it next to your sink. bring a water bottle with you on errands. when you feel hungry, have a few swallows of water first. or an entire glass. much of the time, we think we are hungry, when in fact, we are thirsty. so drink people. water that is! and i don't want to hear "water doesn't quench my thirst." that's the biggest load of crap i've ever heard. :)

*eat wholesome foods- nutrient dense foods. eat foods like fruits, veggies, whole wheat carbs (no, carbs are NOT bad for you. just empty ones are). be careful on things like crackers, chips, dips, spreads, dressings, butter (these calories add up quickly), CHEESE (did you know 1 c. of cheese has anywhere between 400-500 calories in it?????? HELLO PEOPLE! what an easy way to cut out calories.. either don't use it at all or use a TINY BIT. 1/4 c has about 100 calories in it. ridiculous and that stuff doesn't fill you up whatsoever), and again, sweets. and remember, just because it's "healthy or healthier" doesn't mean you can eat as much as you want to. i love hummus... but i can't go eating 1 c. of hummus. it still has calories. snacky foods are usually extra calories.

*watch your portions- just live i've mentioned, watch how much you are eating. have a little bit of whatever you are eating, whether it be healthy or not. everything has calories (unless you are into the "no calorie this or that thing," which i am not. if it doesn't contain calories, it's not food to me. it's manmade and it's crap. don't take offense, that's just how i roll and my opinion. so be careful of your portions and how much of each thing you are consuming.

and just fyi: i get a lot of crap from people because i don't eat "treats." so i'll say this: one of the main reasons i cut out treats was because i hated that they ruled my world. i could not say no. that bugged me. that something as stupid as a piece of cake controlled me. and then i would turn around and be mad at myself for eating it because i was trying to lose weight. so i cut it out. and i felt so empowered that i was in control of my body. my body no longer controlled me. i didn't have to listen to it's temptations... i could decide for myself that "no. i wasn't going to eat that cookie." it was quite an amazing experience. and the main reason i have stuck with it is because i feel 100 times better without that stuff in my body. i wasn't planning to cut it out for longer than it took me to lose my baby weight after isaac. but i love feeling in control of my food, and that it doesn't control me. so just a side note of why i'm "not balanced," as some people claim.

k that's all i can think of for right now. i'll post some recipes soon. promise. and if you have questions about any of this, leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

green smoothies

i call them spinach shakes and have been drinking them for over 5 years now. i am addicted and seriously crave them if i go a day or two without one...

i don't know about you, but i'm not a huge fan of vegetables. i'll eat them (most kinds), but i don't love salads (i know... gasp) and i hate preparing/cooking veggies. so, my sister (the other author of this awesome blog who is in the hospital, pregnant with twins, and leaking amniotic fluid at 31 weeks) taught me about these smoothies. i've altered the recipe over the years and really made my own. after cutting out refined sugars, my taste buds have really changed, and i no longer add yogurt, like i used to several years ago. this is a GREAT way to get more vegetables in your diet. especially the ones that are super good for you. green and leafy ones! these smoothies are great for part of your breakfast, a snack, or a "veggie" with dinner. we commonly have it with our dinners. so here's the recipe since i've had so many people ask me for it over the years.

in a blender- combine the following ingredients:

*spinach, kale, mixed greens* - i jam as much as i can into that blender... mostly because i share my shake with three other people in my family. if it's just for you, you don't have to put that much in. and if you are just starting out, i'd recommend spinach. it's the most mild of the three.

*1 banana* - this is important if you want to cover up the "green flavor."

*fresh or frozen fruit* - i add anywhere between 1 c. frozen fruit to one piece of fresh fruit (tropical frozen fruit mixes make this extra yummy- my favorite is the one that has peaches, strawberries, grapes, and mango i think). frozen pineapple is also really good. strawberries are standard for our house.

*ice* - i do 4-6 ice cubes usually. depends on how much of the other stuff you are using

*water* - you want enough so it will blend together- probably 1-3 cups (or more. you don't want too much or it will be too runny).

*emergen-c* - this is optional. i like to add it (it's just vitamin c). i add 2 packets for my family of 4 that drink it (isaac refuses).

*stevia* - i started adding this a few years ago. when i started using kale and mixed greens, this really helps to make the smoothie more sweet. stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of a plant. the best part is that it's calorie free! be careful not to use too much... it has a bitter aftertaste if you use more than is needed. i use 2 packets when i'm using kale/mixed greens. with spinach, i either use 1 or none at all.

*100% juice concentrate* - i don't add this anymore, but did for a long time. if you need a way to make it sweeter, apple or pineapple juice is a great choice. orange is good too. add a few spoonfuls of juice concentrate. i mostly cut it out because it was sweet enough for me without it and i didn't want the added calories (and juice has A LOT).

like i said, i used to add flavored yogurt at first. but this added tons of calories AND TONS of sugar. it's not needed. (it does make it taste super good though). i am always altering it, trying to make it with less calories, so it's more "pure." give these smoothies a try. you can alter it to your needs... add more fruit, stevia, or some 100% juice to make it more sweet. i've given this shake to A LOT of people and almost always, have them asking for the recipe. they are always shocked at how good it is. let me know how you like it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Happening...

Can't believe it's already 2010 and the start of the Be Well blog. This has been a conversation for months now and it has begun.

I am passionate about nutrition and fitness. Not only do I love feeling good myself, but I enjoy helping others feel good just as much...if not more. Spending my teenage years dieting and trying to figure out the 'secrets' of health and wellness has given me drive to understand what works for my body and what does not. It has become my study in school and my favorite occupation.

When I was 13 years old, I weighed 200 pounds, had high cholesterol, and a weak immune system. Ironically, however, I didn't know that I could feel really good. My workouts were done with videos at home because I didn't want people watching me run down the street. Over the next 6 years, I tried every diet that seemed to work, without much success. I picked up the book "Body for Life" when I was 19 and 180 pounds. There were some questions near the front of the book that brought tears to my eyes as I realized what I had been giving up in my life. Here are a few that I remember:

- What are your reasons for making this choice?

- How do you really feel about yourself?

- Are you confident, energetic, and strong?

- What are the pros and cons of continuing in the direction you’re going?

- What three patterns of action might prevent you from reaching your goal?

- Which three new patterns do you need to establish to reach this new way of eating?

Tiff and I when in Michigan.

I was 18 and about 175 lbs.

I sat down and wrote the answers and posted them next to my bed--folded up so I could open it whenever I wanted. This gave me a sense of direction and focus. I found workouts I loved (Tae Bo was my first love) and looked at my diet. My biggest frustration was all the conflicting fad diets...how was I supposed to know what worked? I began a study of nutrition and wellness when I was 22 that has changed my life. I took the time to listen to my body and pay attention to when I actually felt great. My quest for wellness has brought me joy that I didn't think I could have when I was 13 years old. Before becoming pregnant with twins (one great blessing in my life), I weighed 130 pounds and ran half marathons and still feel alive (even though I am 30 weeks pregnant with two babies)!

I am excited to share what I've learned and offer any insights into being your best self. I didn't know I could feel so good! I have an exciting giveaway for next week from one of my favorite people--Peter Walsh from Oprah & Friends. Stay tuned next week!

Friday, January 8, 2010

congrats to...

alicia @ the spencer family.

although she is pretty much my best friend, i swear i didn't pick favorites (and i didn't count my comment as one of the numbers). i did enter all of the other comments, because if you already had shed 5 fast, you could choose which lindsay brin video you want. i have extra copies of them all (except her pregnancy series). so al, comment or call me about what dvd you'd like (even though you are looking to gain weight this year... gaining muscle can't hurt. or you can use it later too... or you can decline your win and i'll go to random.org again for another winner!)

pick from:
post natal bootcamp
bootcamp 2
core fitness for moms
shed 5 fast
core metabolic jump start
dance jam
core firing sequence

hmmm. i'm so pumped about our new blog, that i think i'll give another dvd away.

congrats to lynda!

(she used to babysit me when i was like 3). same goes for you lynda. if you want shed 5 fast, you can have it, or choose another one of lindsay's dvds! both ladies need to give me your address so i can get them in the mail to you! email me at tiffanydansie@gmail.com

look forward to a post from heather within the next day or two... and happy friday!

Friday, January 1, 2010

get fit this year and a giveaway!!!

i'm tiffany. i'm the wife of a great guy, a mom to three great, but challenging kids, and a friend. i don't really have any hobbies, talents or passions other than exercise and nutrition. they have been a major part of my life for over 10 years now. but in the past few years, i've truly changed my life. the way i eat, the way i exercise and the way i care for my body. i have learned to be in better tune with it... to know what it likes me to eat, and what it doesn't like me to eat.

because of my interest in health and wellness, i earned a bachelors degree in health science with an emphasis in health promotion and lifetime wellness from brigham young university-idaho in 2004. i learned a lot through my formal education, but more importantly from experience. i started small. 11 years ago, i began exercising. i wanted to be healthier because i was "chubby." it started with 30 minutes of tae-bo a few times per week. i made small changes a little bit at a time. i'm still not perfect. i struggle to eat well, and be motivated to exercise, just like you. but after three kids, i'm in the best shape of my life. it's never too late to start. and it IS possible to get your body back after having a baby. and like lindsay brin says, you can get a better body than before you had kids! here are a few tips to start off our blog of things i've learned about exercise.

exercise tips:

*do something you somewhat enjoy- in my opinion, exercise isn't all that enjoyable. it's hard work. it makes me sweat and wipes me out. but i like the ending result, and how my body feels afterwards. my body loves to be challenged to reach new levels of fitness. so do something that isn't terribly torturous... especially if you are just starting out.

*start small- if you haven't been doing any exercise at all, any exercise period is helpful. but if you really want results and fast results, you need to do more than walk around the block twice. aim for 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 days per week. and if you've already been doing something, try exercising for a bit longer, one more day per week, or at a higher intensity. the better shape you are in, the harder you have to work, unfortunately.

*variety- this is a must! your body quickly adapts to what you are doing. it only takes mine a week or so to figure out what i'm doing, get used to it, and not get a lot of benefit from it anymore. most professionals recommend changing your workout routine every few weeks to keep seeing results.

*work hard- your body is different than mine. what works for me may not work for you. you may have to exercise at a more intense level than me to achieve your goals.

*be consistent- working out twice per week, two weeks per month isn't going to cut it. if you are trying to lose weight, you gotta work HARD. if you are trying to just live healthier, you gotta work HARD. like i said, aim for 3-5 days per week.

*some of my favorite videos, of course include miss lindsay brin. she does a fantastic job of incorporating interval training with weights and cardio. i love the variety in her dvd's. they are what really whipped me into shape after my second and third baby. another one i've recently come to love is p90x. another phenomenal workout/program. i needed "variety" and i got it from p90x.

so to kick off our blog, i'd love to do a giveaway. lindsay was so kind but to send me some extra dvd's when her new ones came out. so leave a comment with your name, and what you're doing to stay/try to get fit for an entry to win:

nice big picture huh? couldn't get a bigger one. sorry. so enter to win lindsay brin's shed 5 fast dvd! especially because lindsay is having a shed 5 fast contest that ends march 15th! what better way to start the new year to lose weight, win $250 if your story wins, and have a chance to be in her next video! read the contest rules here: Shed 5 Fast Contest. good luck! i'm going to draw a random name a week from today. Friday January 8th. if you tweet, blog, facebook about this giveaway, you get an extra entry for each one. just leave me another comment for each one you do. and don't be selfish. spread the word to help motivate your friends and family to get fit too. Good Luck!