Tag Archives: weight loss

Catastrophic Carb Confusion: Part 1

I just got back from a 10 day, blow-your-mind fantastic trip to Israel. First, go. Please, go. It was magical. Second, they had the most delicious looking/smelling/tasting breads.

sesame-bread

Among a gazillion other amazingly tasty food stuffs. But their carb game was on point.

bread

sesame-roll

Are we hungry yet?

Or are we avoiding carbs this week?

Let’s talk about this because Catastrophic Carb Confusion (CCC) is rampant. So many of my patients are ultra-confused- what should we eat? And what should we merely snap pictures of and admire from afar? Continue reading Catastrophic Carb Confusion: Part 1

Awesome workout to kill your booty

I’ve been keepin ‘ a little Five Star notebook to document my workouts and weight amounts since I was a teenager.

I like to see my progress. For example, I used 15 lb dumbbells for chest press in high school, 25 lbs in college, and now I rep 30s or 35s.

Documenting helps keep me honest, too- like, whoah! I haven’t been to the gym in weeks! Or, I haven’t lifted my back since April!

Confession: secretly hate lifting my back. Goo.

Sometimes, however, as notebooks are want to do, the little guys wander off. So I buy another, start it over. Maybe get one with more flowers on the front or a pithy saying, like “Love is all around”. Continue reading Awesome workout to kill your booty

Carob + Mango Meal Replacement Shake

Every once in a while, we need to give our gut a rest.

I realize this is the 2nd smoothie posting in a row- but I can’t help it, guys! Dr. P and I have dinner+ the theatre tonight in the Capital Hill neighborhood, and I know we might indulge in some excess calories (OMG so excited for date night!).

So I decided to do some morning yoga, sip on some green ginger tea- excellent digestion support- during work, hit the gym during my lunch break for some HIIT, and then have a meal replacement smoothie to provide my hard-working digestive system with some much earned R & R.

After all, where would we be without out guts? This quote from the literary genius Francois Rabelais says it all: “From the gut comes the strut, and where hunger reigns, strength abstains.”

Right on!

So what makes a smoothie a meal replacement? Continue reading Carob + Mango Meal Replacement Shake

Superfruit Breakfast Smoothie

Guys, guys! I heart breakfast.

I have a big appetite, and the first thing I think of in the morning is how cute my husband is and if he made coffee yet. Because if not, that is the first thing I’ll do for sure. But then- what to eat?!

Lots of us say we “aren’t breakfast people”. This is so silly! It’s like saying, “I don’t like to have energy in the morning, and I love to be starving by the time lunchtime finally comes”. Continue reading Superfruit Breakfast Smoothie

On where to start to lose weight and be healthier

Collectively, we’re an unhealthy bunch.

Our children?  Vastly chubbier. Our blood pressure and cholesterol? Far higher. And our heart disease and cancer rates? Staggering as compared to 50 years ago. In the 1960s, only about 10% of us were obese. Today almost 40% of us are.

I read an article today that also noted suicide and depression are at a 30-year high.

We are obese and sad! And it’s heart breaking!

What are we doing wrong? And better yet- why aren’t we changing?

Over years of counseling clients, I’ve asked myself this question countless times. Why isn’t my patient reaching the goals we set? And how can I help?

I just finished reading a book on trauma and children- it was a book Dr. P ordered and was written by a child psychiatrist. We are all familiar with what a habit is, but this author was elegant and engaging in his description of the brain and its neurological pathways as they relate to habitual behavior.

Basically, when we do something a number of times, we literally carve a path in our brain matter. Much like a path in the woods heavily trodden, this neurological marking makes it more likely we will follow this same behavior without much thought in the future. Continue reading On where to start to lose weight and be healthier

On anxiety and fear

Sometimes life is like running through the dark with scissors along a landscape of jutting rocks.

We live in a chaotic world. Our natural emotions surrounding this are anxiety and fear. They are our body’s natural reaction to change, and it usually serves to keep us stationary.

When we tell ourselves, “No, I like where I am, because it is comfortable (even though I am unhealthy)”, what we are really saying is, “I’m afraid and nervous to change”.

Anxiety and fear raise cortisol, a stress hormone that make it hard to lose weight and also puts our heart at risk. And because “busy” is cool these days, we are experiencing more anxiety, more stress, more cortisol, more jutting rocks than ever before. 

Quieting our minds and re-center ourselves several times a day can help decrease our stress hormones.

We can only control our present, and there is peace in the present. Health is in the present. Health depends on this ability to focus our minds on the present moment.

One of my favorite quotes is Pablo Picasso’s: “ I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it”.  He was a fearlessly brilliant man. His greatness, I believe, was a direct result of this ability to look a challenge up and down and eschew all doubts in himself and fear of the unknown.

Change is both painful and scary. But no change was ever made without a bit of discomfort.

Here are a few ideas to help us control our anxiety and move toward our goals:

1.       Take an honest stock of your current state of mind. Recognizing negative thought patterns. Are we afraid to change anything for the better or try something that we’ve been wanting to do simply because we are afraid or anxious? Here is a self-test for anxiety that could be helpful in answering this question.

2.     Try meditation and mindfulness. Even just taking 5 minutes of our day to reflect on what we are grateful for, happy or excited about, and what parts of our health we are appreciative of can calm our wired minds and refocus our energy. Meditation has been shown to change the actual shape and function of our brains. Here is a great beginner’s guide to meditation. Also consider taking a local meditation class. Classes where we are gathered together create a powerful and positive energy.

3.       Move more. Exercise burns cortisol and increases feelings of euphoria by stimulating endorphins in our brains. A brisk walk is also a sturdy place to think and breathe. Distance runners tend to have less anxiety, because they have longs runs in which they can clear their minds of clutter and fear.

4.       Eat a diet high in plant-based foods. Food is not only energy, but it also contains a good bit of information that our bodies use to decide to be calm or be frightful. For example, large amounts of simple carbohydrate or sugar can stimulate a stress-response and inflammation. This increases natural stress hormones which can in turn increase feelings of malaise and restlessness. Eating bright colored natural foods in enough variety can help shield us from our own negative energy.

5.       Seek professional assistance. Trained minds such as psychiatrists and psychologists, social workers, and therapists have dedicated their lives to learning how to help us. We live in a mad, mad world, and there is no shame in asking for guidance. I believe in using our resources. 

xoxo

Joanna