5 Steps to A Healthy Waistline

 

It’s tough to lose weight and keep it off. That’s why it’s better for our waistlines and our health if we can take action to prevent our belt size and weight from creeping up.

My water polo coach said, “A strong defence, is your best offence”.  His focus was on protecting our abdominals from hard kicks and winning the game, but his strategy is relevant in the game of health and maintaining a healthy weight, too.

When water polo came to an end in my early 20’s something strange happened to me.   I went playing a being fit and active with no limitation on what I ate – to being a night time couch potato with a sedentary job and a boyfriend that liked to watch movies and drink beer.

Can you guess what happened?   I gained weight and became body conscious or more accurately self-conscious of my body.  Then, a funny thing happened, as the relationship started to cool I sought relationship advice from popular women magazines and these were full of weight loss guidance.  The more I read, the more I came to believe I had to be “sexy” to be desirable. 

And what was sexy?   26-36-26 of course.   

I don’t know about you, but with my genetic build, no amount of dieting was going to get me to that perfect image of what a woman should be.  Still, I rejected logic and dove into my first prescribed weight loss eating plan.  I was high on hope and eager to lose the weight and become sexy! 

It was one of those crazy starvation cleanses where you only drink hot water with lemon, a bit of honey and cayenne pepper for days on end.  It was horrible!  

Starvation morphed my personality, and I became a bear.  Sure, I lost the weight, my boyfriend took me clothes shopping, and yes I felt sexy, temporarily.

I’d starved my body to lose weight.  I lost more than fat.  Muscle was lost too and because I didn’t change my lifestyle I was now skinny and flabby, or so I thought.  In hopes of keeping the weight off, I chose to eat less, I did everything the magazines told me to do.  So you can imagine my shock when I gained all the weight back and a little more.   Has this ever happened to you?

The question is, if a diet and the resultant weight loss aren’t sustainable why would we put ourselves through all the grief?  I’ve never heard anyone say they diet to test their willpower. But, isn’t that what most “diets” do?  Mine surely did.  And aren’t some of the fad diets are so bizarre?

Then, when the weight reappears as it often does….self-depreciating words slide off the tongue, not about others, but about ourselves. Ouch!!

I learnt a few things from my fad diet experience.

  1. It worked, if I stayed on it
  2. Starvation sucks
  3. Gaining the weight back is hard on the ego, self-worth, and the pocket book.

Have you ever lost and gained weight and then spoken harsh words about yourself?  The real problem with fad diets is not that they’re unsustainable in the long term, or that they negatively impact metabolism and nutrient profiles, etc. It’s the internal damage we inflict on ourselves with our self-deprecating words.

Ouch!!

Thankfully, healthier ways do exist that require no willpower, or self-slander and yet DO help us to create a healthy, active, energised, sexy body and mind.

I’ve learnt, Sexy comes from within.  For me, it’s an awareness of my strength and ability to make daily decisions that help me grow in both the mental and physical realm.

To say goodbye to dieting, and eat foods that keep inflammation down and energy high, I don’t prescribe nor subscribe to any particular style of eating.  Instead, I live by and recommend daily habits for a healthy lifestyle and a healthy digestive system which will help you achieve the waistline of your dreams.

My top 5 Tips to A Healthy Waistline are:

  1. Eat
  2. Chew
  3. Move
  4. HITT High-Intensity Interval Training (HITT) 2-3 time a week
  5. Leave excess baggage at the door.

You can have the life and body you desire by employing these strategies.  I know life can be hard, busy and time restricted, but let’s face it we make time for our children, our partners, our parents…. maybe it’s time to make time for ourselves and choose to live by the tenants of a healthy lifestyle.

Decide to build these daily habits into your life.  If you do them consistently while eating a balanced diet your waistline will lose its power to control your thoughts,  it will accentuate your bedroom and your opinion of yourself.

The power to take control, to feel and look good inside and out rests with you.

This defensive strategy is part of a healthy lifestyle.  It’s guilt free and 100% sustainable and it’s hands down a better way than starvation or harsh words. What do you think? Are you game to give it a try?

Leave a comment to let me know.

Allison

 

Want to Lose Weight and Have More Energy? Go Black

imageThe next time you reach for your morning coffee, you might want to consider a lovely black coffee.  According to Action on Sugar, 98 per cent of café drinks exceed the sugar recommendations for optimal health as set by the World Health Organization.

The UK based Charity, compared the sugar content of 131 UK hot café drinks, they report a

Starbucks Venti Hot mulled fruit has 25 teaspoons (99g) of sugar per serve.@AllisonTuffs – Click to Tweet)

This may not be your drink and Starbucks not your thing, but it’s not just Starbucks or their mulled fruit drink. Second cup and other coffee houses serve up delectable coffees, delicious hot chocolates and other flavored drinks with high sugar content,  here is the Action on Sugar Report.  Here is the Starbucks drink nutrition list Starbucks Nutrition by The Cup, to look up the sugar content of your favorite drink.

How much added sugar is OK:  The World Health Organization recommends just six teaspoons of sugar a day for optimum health.

Grams of sugar in a teaspoon

  •             1 sugar cube                                                  1 tsp = 4 grams of sugar
  •             WHO Recommended not to exceed level   6 tsp = 24 grams of sugar
  •             Starbucks venti hot mulled fruit                 25 tsp  = 100 grams of sugar

The Effects of a High Sugar Diet

This could literally be a book.  Put very simply 1 gram of sugar is 4 calories.  Do the math on your favorite drink.  Grams of sugar x 4 calories/gram = X. 

In addition to the excess calories, sugar, the main fuel source for the brain, when consumed in excess can affect liver health, energy levels, mood, insulin tolerance, dental health and so much more.

When it comes to thyroid health and autoimmunity there is great health benefit from balancing one’s blood sugar.  Balancing my blood sugar made a big difference in my thyroid antibodies and stabilizing my moods.

Imagine, if you could drop a few pounds, feel more energetic and positively impact your thyroid health just by reducing the amount of sugar in your coffee or tea. Would you reduce your sugar intake?

Cutting sugar from your morning beverage is a healthy habit and a positive lifestyle shift that would impact your health, energy and body size.

Challenge:   Calculate the amount of added sugar hidden in your favorite beverages and share it in the comments section.

Remember the days of black coffee? Dad always had a pot on, I loved the smell and when we wanted to shake things up we added a bit of cream and a teaspoon of sugar.  The simple black coffee has been transformed and with it our health, our waistlines and our long-term happiness.

I say happiness because low energy is one of the leading complaints I hear from clients. In fact, it’s why people come to me, they just want to feel better, to wake up refreshed, and not exhausted.  When we do a little digging sugar is almost always part of the problem.

Let me ask you…

Would you sit down with a cup of sugar for breakfast?  Probably not, yet if you enjoy a flavored coffee or beverage exactly what you’re doing. Even home brewed coffee with a store bought flavoring is high in sugar.

When I lead sugar talks people are blown away about the amount of sugar in their favorite products.  You’ll be surprised where sugar is hidden and with over 59 names of sugar in our food supply it’s hard to know what you’re eating.  If you’re interested in holding sugar talk for your corporation or community group drop me a line here.

When you know where sugar is sneaking into your diet you’re empowered to make healthier choices that will reduce your sugar consumption.  To reduce your sugar content today consider ordering  a ½ sweet version of your favorite coffee or be bold and order a black coffee.

You might find the coffee tastes bitter, but your taste buds will adjust.  When you commitment to a happy, healthy life reducing your sugar intake today and every day. Consistent positive actions are the key to boosting energy levels, health and happiness.

Have a great day.

Hugs Allison

How to Make Chicken Stock from Leftover Roast Chicken

My family loves a roast chicken dinner.  I love it because it’s easy to make and I turn the carcass into a nutrient rich chicken stock thats great for our digestive health.

And it saves me having to buy chicken stock at the grocery store.

Here’s how to make chicken stock:  Whenever you have a roast chicken dinner simply freeze the left over carcass. Then when you have time, pull one or two of the carcasses out, pop them in a pot, cover with water and add the following ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar,
  • celery,
  • carrots,
  • onion
  • garlic
  • chicken soup spices.

I love thyme, rosemary, parsley and salt and pepper. Place this on the stove and bring it to a boil, if any froth forms skim it off.  Turn the temperature down and let it simmer. The longer it simmer the better as more nutrients will leach from the bones and vegetables into the water as the bones break down.  Ideally simmer for 36-48 hours.

What is Chicken Broth

If you can’t wait that long, because you have a cold and need a warm soothing drink, you can enjoy this after a 3-4 hours of simmering.  This mixture, cooked only a few hours, is called a chicken broth because it the amino acids and gelatine in the bones have not yet leached out.  Broth is good for you, but the longer you simmer it the more digestive and health benefits it will have.

Go from Broth to Stock

Continue cooking the broth topping up the pot with water if required.  As the cooking time passes the 24 hour mark the broth becomes a stock.  The apple cider vinegar helps the nutrients housed in the bones leach into the water.  The result is a nutrient dense, healing soup that tastes and smells delicious.

When the stock has simmered for 24-48 hours pour the mixture through a colander to strain the vegetables and bones out.  Be sure to put a large put under the colander to capture the stock.  When cool, portion the stock into 500 ml serving containers, I use old glass jars from peanut butter etc.  Place containers in the freezer or fridge use within 72 hours, 3 days if stored in the fridge. When stored in the freezer these are good for approximately 2 months.  I’m not really sure because I make a new pot almost every week.  That’s how good this stuff is.

Enjoy drinking chicken stock as part of your healthy lifestyle routine.  It can substitute for coffee, be drank before bed, or be turned into a beautiful chicken soup the uses are endless.  It’s even great when you have a nasty cold.

Homemade chicken stock is part of a healthy balance diet so next time you have a roast chicken dinner consider saving the carcass.  After all, why throw it in the garbage when it still have so much value to add to your family.  Other added benefits of making and drinking chicken stock include aiding digestive issues, joint pain and building lean muscle and I think my skin looks better, maybe it’s psychological.

Doing more with less is a great Up Your Energy kitchen principle.

Spare Tire the Rite of Passage to Middle Age: Lose it to Up Your Energy

fat bellySpare tire alert!! Reaching middle age, I see the slow insidious creep of waistline expansion amongst my friends and counterparts. It almost seems like the spare tire is a rite of passage to moving into your 50’s. You don’t have to look far to see that this is applicable to the wider population too, and it’s time to get a handle on it.

When I see people with a spare tire or two, I don’t blame them or think they are lazy. Quite the contrary. It infuriates me. It’s not their fault, ok yes we all choose what goes into our mouths but advertising is abounding with subliminal messages to entice money out of our pockets and crap into our mouths.

These messages are unethical and misleading. For example, a magazine add shows people laughing and having fun while eating and drinking any number of highly processed foods. They do this because if they advertised, “Get your spare tire here,” or “Buy our highly processed chemicalized convenience foods and we’ll guarantee you’ll become sick, fat, anxious and miserable,” their profit margins would suck.

You would be better off, but they don’t care about your health.

To the rescue, the local health food store is only too happy to oblige your health seeking efforts. If you’ve spent anytime here, you’ll know they house packaged processed food that you can spend wads of money on. FYI, gluten free prepackaged cookies or bread products aren’t going to give you the life, health or body you want.

And let’s face it, convenience is convenient, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

Let’s get to the root of the problem.

Highly processed, packaged and fast food is toxic and will make you sick, fat and miserable in proportion to the amount you eat. Think McDonalds and the famous supersize me film. You’re not going to eat fast food or processed food all day every day, but if you are eating food out of a package or can, you are indeed eating processed food, maybe even everyday.

I propose an alternative, one that you can keep tucked away at the front of your mind, that if you choose to live by will reduce your disease and your waistline. What, no spare tire…can we really be middle aged and have a waist?

If you’re ready to say goodbye to this middle age rite of passage, I offer you this formula/strategy to live by.

Formula for a Healthy – Balanced Diet – Waistline and Life

↓Fast and packaged food ↑ Real food*** = ↑Energy, ↑Health ↑Moods

*** fruits, vegetables, legumes, organic grass fed beef, lamb, pork, free range chicken, nuts and seeds and healthy fat

Why this formula works

Our bodies have a limited number of responses to an infinite number of assaults. When we reduce our exposure to chemicals and toxins, ie highly processed, packaged and fast foods, we help our digestive system do its job. Which is to digest and assimilate.

With healthy food choices, your diet has a high ratio of real foods to processed foods.  This optimizes your bodies ability to digest more efficiently and that’s a good thing for your energy and your overall health.

We aren’t what we eat, we are what we can digest and we can’t digest processed crap.  In fact, it depletes our bodies of nutrients

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not saying NEVER, unless of course you’re perfect and NEVER is a word you can live with.  Personally, I’m far from perfect. I have my vices, chips, and I love them. I don’t want to live with NEVER words, except when I have to because of disease, i.e. Celiac disease.

It’s a matter of quantity and frequency versus perfectionism.  

You have a choice. I hope you’ll carry this formula with you and incorporate it into your daily life. When you cut down or reduce your intake of processed and packaged foods and replace them with real food, you’ll have more energy, you’ll feel amazing and you’ll watch your spare tire deflate and drift away forever.

What will you choose?

Leave a comment to share your trials and tribulations when trying to eat a healthy balanced diet.

Kiss your tire bye-bye,

Love Allison,

Image courtesy of stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net

Roast Chicken Dinner Recipe to Up Your Energy

roast chix

You are what you eat. So why not eat this delicious roast chicken dinner.

It tastes amazing, will help you to have more energy and is great for you.  Did you catch the order of priority.  A tasty meal with energizing nutrients to help you do more.

More of what?  More just for YOU activities, the ones that get left off the daily planner when energy levels are low.

Turn your roast chicken into a meal by adding your favourite carbohydrate, otherwise known as starch, and vegetables.   My family loves roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and beets.  I usually steam up broccoli or green beans too, they add colour to the plate and broaden the meals nutrient profile, important for health.

Ah, did I mention there is no deprivation in a balanced diet. Turn the chicken drippings into gravy to enjoy with your meal.

Try this meal and share in the comments section how it helped you sustain your energy, the up your energy way.

YouTube Preview Image

How to Roast Chicken

I like to use organic chicken, but any store bought chicken will do.  Rub the chicken with a healthy fat, I use either grape seed, coconut oil, butter or ghee.  Sprinkle the chicken with Himalayan sea salt and ground black pepper.  Pop it in the roasting pan.  If you want roasted vegetables you can either roast them around the chicken or cook them in a separate pan alongside the chicken.

1:20

How to Roast Vegetables

Put grape seed oil in the base of a bowl, add salt and pepper to the oil. Add cut vegetables with the oil and swish until the vegetables are coated in oil and spices. Pour the vegetables around the chicken and cook for 50 min to 1 hour. Check to test desired level of softness.

Fat is important. Like protein, fat and carbohydrates are macromolecules and are important components of a healthy diet.  The 70’s, 80’s and 90’s had us eating low fat but research now shows that healthy fats, not the kind found in junk food, are essential nutrients required by every cell in the body.  Fat is important for hormone, brain and cellular health.  It also makes food taste better and helps us to feeling full longer.  This is beneficial if you’re trying to minimize your visits to the fridge and reduce snacking.

8:30

Test for Doneness

Take the roasted vegetables out of the chicken roaster, put on a serving dish and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Turn the broiler on low and pop the chicken under it until the internal temperature at the centre of the chicken reaches 75 degrees Celsius and the juices are clear.  There is no real time line just check your chicken every 5 minutes or so.

roast chicken dinner

Enjoy your delicious roast chicken dinner.  Save the leftovers for lunch, and if you’ve ever wondered if you could do more with the carcass, you can.   Pop it in a freezer safe bag and store it in the freezer.  We’ll be using it later to make a lovely nutrition rich chicken stock.

Before you go, click your favourite social media button to share this.

To heightened energy levels and more YOU activities,

Love Allison

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Commitment to YOURSELF to Up Your Energy?

Seeking out more energy requires a commitment to look at and reframe your limiting beliefs, perceptions and stories.  In my experience a commitment to breaking these down and rewriting them is the fastest way to Up Your Energy and have new experiences. Yes, this applies to breakfast too…..

YouTube Preview Image

A simple reframe about what foods are acceptable breakfast foods can change your diet and increase your energy.

Personally, reevaluating breakfast was liberating.  I stopped the breads, cereals and juice and made better breakfast choices.

Almost overnight a world of breakfast experiences opened and I have never looked back.

Avocado with lemon and salt, steak and vegetables, vegetable fried fried rice, stew, spaghetti squash and pasta sauce, so many options.  I learned breakfast can be exciting, taste great and fuel your whole body for energy and health.

Watch the video for more insights and be sure to give a thumbs up or down, I love it when you engage with me.

To your committed self and new breakfast experiences,

Allison

 

2 Step Wealth Strategy to Up Your Energy

Feelings You DesirePeople think that health is about what they eat, food for sure plays a role, but health is more about what’s in your head. Health is a mindset.

If you want to eat well, the right mindset will help you succeed.  Eating, a healthy balanced diet, is all about your internal level of commit which ultimately drives the choices you make.

Commitment is Everything!!

Don’t commit, or make a wishy washy commitment and you’re done for. Making unwavering commitment in your heart of hearts will lead you to make choices that support not only your diet, but your life as YOU envision it to be.

To eat well you’ll need a plan and a strategy.  These plus heart commitment, dedication and consistent follow through and viola success will be yours!

Get Connected to YOU to Make a Commitment

I call it living from the inside out.  

When YOU know what you want, at your core, it’s easier to make decisions and choices that support you.  And let’s face it making healthy choices can be touch, especially when surrounded by crap food and crap media.

To help you along, I’m sharing my two step wealth strategy that will help you live from the inside out and create a life you love, where you eat well too.

 2 Step Wealth Strategy

  1. Go Internal –  Grab a piece of paper and write down your desires, and the feelings you want to feel. Examples include, happy, joyous, appreciation, light, airy what ever they are, jot them down. Note. If during this process you start noticing dark feelings coming up. Stop. Get up, jump up and down, put on some upbeat music, go for a stroll in nature and then come back and try it again.
  2. Go external – Use those internal feelings – from step 1-  to navigate and make action based decisions that support you in creating them.

Don’t get too specific.  For example,  my focus is on creating experiences, enjoying the moment and minimizing my intake of anything that brings me down, i.e. toxic people and highly processed foods.

When it all goes awry.

Let’s face it we all have bad days. If you don’t meet your expectations, cut yourself some slack. Tomorrow is a new day.

Welcoming the beauty of a new day is a great opporuntiy to renew YOUR commitment and dedication to feeling great and taking actions to support YOU.

It’s cool when you tune into your being, and how You feel.  Give it a try and leave a comment below to share what feelings you want to create in your life.

Before you leave sign-up for our ezzine and share using favorite social network.

Here’s to You and living from the inside out.

Allison

Adopt No Guilt Eating to Up Your Energy

shoe and donutGuilt is not an accompaniment that is served up with your meal, or dessert.  Yet many clients tell me they feel guilty after eating.  Why is that?

My challenge for you is to banish guilt from your vocabulary and certainly from your plate.   A healthy lifestyle, discussed here, here and here, feels great, it’s something you slip slowly into one step at a time.  Start today by saying good-bye to guilt..

This video which offers strategies to enjoy your food, and live guilt free.

YouTube Preview Image

Was this helpful?  Leave a comment below.

Have you downloaded my free e-book that details 5 strategies optimal health a.k.a a healthy lifestyle?   Just leave your details in the sign-in box at the top right of the blog and you’ll receive it straight away.

To your good health,

Allison