Once in a while my family and I watch the Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss show on TV. Without fail the person being coached is in the extreme category- they likely will never feature a person needing to just lose 20 lbs, by the nature of the show itself! When people are extremely obese, the threat of their weight to their health is much greater than the average individual. They almost always state that they want to be around for their kids or loved ones, because if they don’t do something about it, they’ll likely die young of obesity caused illness or disease.
But for the average individual watching or just going about their life, the extra pounds they carry are not likely a matter of life and death. Very few people diet down fifteen pounds to live longer- they do it to look better in a bathing suit, or to be able to run that 5K a few minutes faster than before.
A lot of talk and research is going into the field of life extension- that is, figuring out what we can do, eat, or take in order to live more than the average 70-80 years that seems ordained for us for many generations. What a concept it would be to have another 40 years to live on this earth- imagine all the other things you’d be able to do if you lived to be 115 on average… wait, what?! Continue Reading
We all know that children are impressionable and lack the wisdom to make educated choices in certain aspects of life. For example, most of us know that if we drink and party, our kids watch and learn. And as a teenager when presented with a similar situation, their behavior will emulate or even exaggerate what they saw us doing for the years before that very moment. And we know that they are not old and wise enough to handle these situations intelligently in most cases- heck, neither are most of us and we’re adults!
The truth is that this applies even to our eating and fitness lifestyles. Our children watch us eating and exercising and they are having one of two likely reactions to it:
This is Part IV of this series- Part I is here, Part II here, and Part III here.
What’s that, you say? You mean Low-Carb Tortillas don’t HAVE to taste like cardboard?
I can’t take credit for finding this one. I had all but given up on finding a tortilla or pita style wrap that I loved, and went back to eating my favorite bread- Publix Whole Wheat Italian 5 grain bread. That was fine for sandwiches, toast, etc, but never a good choice for a burrito! That’s when my wife brought home Joseph’s Flax,Oat Bran, Whole Wheat Pita Bread..
60 calories, 4 net grams of carbs (8 total with 4g fiber)!
This is Part III of this series- Part I is here, and Part II here.
It’s been called the salad killer in some circles as it negates most of the positive aspects of a healthy greens salad with its tons of saturated fat. It also blows the calorie count through the lid. Yes, you’re right- it’s the salad dressing. Without a dressing, salad can be pretty hard to eat, but with most of them that taste rich and creamy, you might as well have ordered that burger instead!
Of course, you can opt for something like a small amount of Olive Oil and vinegar, or even Coconut Oil- both healthy options and they are a nice fresh change, but there are those times when you just long for a thick, rich, and creamy dressing atop your salad, sandwich, etc. Bolthouse Farms to the rescue!
Continuing the new series with Part II (Part I here), let’s take a look at another item in my fridge that may be of interest to you.. bacon!
bacon, Bacon, BACONNNN!
“Bacon?”, you say. ”That greasy, salty, filled with saturated fats kind of bacon? The stuff that is filled with Nitrates and Nitrites and MSG?” No, not that kind of bacon! This is Turkey Bacon.
“Turkey Bacon?”, you say. ”That lame attempt at making a healthy bacon alternative, without the taste and with most of the same Nitrates and Nitrites as before?” No, that kind of bacon either! This is Applegate Naturals Uncured Turkey Bacon.
I wish this spent more time explaining why this much sugar was such a bad thing, since most people don’t care they eat too much sugar until they are forced by their health to change. Perhaps there will be a sequel to this awesome infographic:
Created by: www.OnlineNursingPrograms.com
When I watch YouTube videos from bodybuilders and fitness pros, my favorite submissions are usually the ones where they share some new idea for a recipe or even an ingredient to consider that I haven’t been using. It’s in that spirit that I bring you this new series.
This is not a series of everything that is in my refrigerator. That may get pretty boring! I have 4 young kids in the house and my wife as well so there is a lot more in there, and not all of it is worthy of this post! Rather, these posts will highlight some of my favorite finds over the past few years, and items you may not have heard of.
SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia
Sweet is probably the hardest flavor to fake naturally. There are so many choices in sweeteners and they always seem to have a downside. While some sweeteners have a multitude of studies that underscore their dangers (eg, Aspartame), most often, that downside is the process by which the sweetener was made.
For the last two years as I have tried to eat only healthy foods, a huge challenge has been wrestling with the fact that I did not want to drag my family along with me. I saw a commercial the other day for Eggo waffles (of all things!) where the kids said ‘Uh Oh, Mom’s on a health kick again. When Mom’s on a health kick, we all are!’. Then they are happy to discover they can still eat Eggo waffles. I’m not endorsing Eggo waffles as a healthy breakfast (can you say Carbolicious ), but I think we can all appreciate the sentiment when someone who is healthy makes it almost a religion and feels required to preach it to all around them all the time. I don’t want my kids and wife to resent eating well but to desire it for themselves, so I recognized early on it may take some time for them to come around.
A bigger challenge that soon surfaced was that they were constantly chiding me for missing out on some delicious dessert or treat, or trying to get me to cheat and enjoy a particular meal. This is especially hard when you’re out with friends or extended family- they just don’t understand why you don’t want to eat the same as you did before and think you’re depriving yourself! When my Mom learned I count calories and macros, she figured I was trying to starve myself or am headed towards an eating disorder, and not that I am trying to keep macros to optimize my health and particularly my muscle growth.
The biggest surprise however came a few months ago when my wife suddenly started to eat clean along with me. This was something I had hoped for as long as I have been eating this way. I wished for the day when I didn’t have to cook myself a chicken breast since the family was eating baked ziti, or the day I could try a new dish my wife made since it was using all clean ingredients! But what I didn’t anticipate was the missing cottage cheese in the refrigerator (“Sorry, I finished that last night”) or the two extra strips of bacon (uncured Applegate farms Turkey bacon that is) I cooked up for later that have seemingly walked their way out of the refrigerator and onto her plate (next to a veggie egg white omelette)! I’m now wondering what I was doing wishing for this in the first place
All kidding aside, I’m actually super excited Michelle is now eating well and I have really enjoyed some of the healthy recipes she’s found, concocted, etc. for both of us to share. And it’s funny (in a strange sort of way) to be the one on the other side when I’m ready to have a cheat meal of pizza and she says she’s going to just grill up some veggies and chicken! I am so proud of her for the steps she’s taking to not only eat healthy, but take great care of herself. Doesn’t hurt that she looks fantastic either !!
When I see people suffering through diets with boring, tasteless food, I can see why most people view healthy eating as a sacrifice, not a passion. For me it started that way- when I wanted to burn off a bunch of fat before I started trying to build muscle, I admit it was an adjustment. But over time I found myself being excited about eating, and especially cooking and creating new meals and snacks that were delicious to me, yet helped me achieve my fitness goals. And now I can’t imagine going back to eating all the junk I did before- my kids can’t believe how I can pass on things like Easter Candy and the Halloween basket, but truthfully I have no desire for it any more!
This blog comes from that growth and enthusiasm- a passion for eating healthy and enjoying it too. It’s my hope that you’ll find some new ideas, share some new ideas, and we can all benefit from this together. I could really use your help and input whether it’s from commenting on articles, emailing ideas, or even writing some yourself! If you’d like to submit an article or being a regular writer for this blog, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org