Life On Purpose

Day 20 : Fat ‘n’ Happy Happy Happy July 18, 2013

As I’ve said before: Fat isn’t making you fat (well, mostly). Today I want to dig deeper and help you understand what good fat is and why it helps you burn fat.

Saturated Fats:

“Provide building blocks for cell membranes, hormones, and hormone-like substances

Act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K

Are required for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, and for mineral absorption

Act as antiviral agents (caprylic acid) Help lower cholesterol levels (palmitic and stearic acids)

Modulate genetic regulation and help prevent cancer (butyric acid)”

They actually do NOT cause heart disease and will help satiety keeping you more full and reducing your calorie intake.

I know we have discussed this before, but choosing healthy fats and recognizing dangerous fats are one of the biggest steps to preventing disease and losing weight. It is also worth noting that your fat intake directly affects your HDL cholesterol level, which, if too low is linked to depression.

Processed food usually contains the oils and fats that are not good for your health. Eating a whole food (real food) diet will deliver the fats your body needs. Cook with coconut oil and pastured butter (again, Organic Valley brand is widely available). Don’t be afraid of “fatty” meats that were pasture raised. Their fat profiles contain CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which has been linked to better fat burn, steady glucose levels, muscle preservation and increased metabolism. They key to getting the CLAs in your diet is pastured meats and eggs. You will remember from prior posts that this means the animal was raised to roam freely and happily. I jokingly tell my children we have “happy milk” and “happy beef” from “happy cows.” But in all seriousness: it’s true! If you are what you eat, most Americans are fat and depressed….sound familiar? Why? Because the meat they are eating is from animals raised in terrible, cramped conditions too depressing to talk about right now! Also, use avocados as a salad topping, side dish, in guacamole, in sauces…oh I could go on and on about my favorite food! Avocados are truly a superfood and on the clean list too! So organic is not a necessity. Make your dressings with cold pressed EVOO . Season your veggies with pastured butter and sea salt. Your palate and your tummy will thank you!

Today’s challenge: buy EVOO, coconut oil and organic, pastured butter. Also, buy pasture raised, grass fed meats. Throw away the canola and vegetable oil. Stop worrying about your fat intake. Notice your new-found satiety as you consume a higher fat diet.

Healthy Fats:

Olives and Olive oil
Coconuts and coconut oil
Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Raw nuts, such as, almonds or pecans Organic pastured egg yolks
Avocados
Grass fed meats
Palm oil
Unheated organic nut oils

Unhealthy fats:

Corn-avoid/mostly genetically engineered (more later)

Canola-avoid/mostly genetically engineered

Cottonseed- usually contaminated by pesticides (more later)

Palm kernel-avoid

Soybean-avoid/mostly genetically engineered & contains pesticides

Vegetable-avoid/mostly genetically engineered & contains pesticides

Peanut-okay in moderation/not good for cooking but organic to avoid pesticides & GMO

Margarine-NEVER eat.

Sources:
http://products.mercola.com/cla-supplement/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/01/enjoy-saturated-fats-theyre-good-for-you.aspx

http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/beginner_fats.htm

 

Day 19 : Overcoming Plateaus July 17, 2013

We all reach plateaus in our journey when we experience boredom, stagnation or stop getting results. I want to give you some ideas for breaking through these challenges.

1. Re-evaluate your fitness routine. Are you exercising too much and not nourishing your body enough to repair itself? Or maybe you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough during your workouts. Could you benefit from a new goal, a personal trainer or a new workout video?

2. Journal your diet. Every bite that goes into your mouth on paper or in an app. Then after a week, re-evaluate your nutrition habits. Are you eating late at night or skipping meals? Are you cheating more than you thought?

3. Drink two unprocessed, homemade protein shakes a day for 4 weeks as meal replacements. Over two or three weeks go back to solids but with a renewed focus on whole foods. This often jump starts weight loss.

4. Get an accountability partner or renew your commitment with the one you already have and establish weekly check ins for exercise and diet.

5. Revisit your understanding of “eating healthy”. You can’t expect to skip meals and gorge yourself with a big healthy dinner every night and see results. You MUST be consistent. Eat regularly, eat real food and have reasonable portions. Every day.

6. Drink 4 liters of water every day. Do NOT drink calories or even “diet” calories. It will sabotage your journey.

7. Stop weighing and measuring for 4 weeks. Maybe it’s in your head.

I hope this will help you when you are struggling! File this post for later or use it now if you need it.

 

Day 18 : Restock July 15, 2013

First of all, congratulations for making it through some of the hardest changes presented so far! If you’re still here with me, you are well on your way to a healthier life. But now your pantry is looking slim-so how do you restock? We’ve talked a lot about what NOT to eat. Now it’s time for establishing a repertoire of whole foods to nourish your body!

Remember what I said before: the bounty of your grocery cart should be from the perimeter of the store.

Produce:
Buy organic as your budget allows and prioritize your dollars with this tool:
Dirty Dozen/Clean 15
-aim for a colorful variety
-most of your groceries should be produce
-try all different types of greens and rotate them

Whole Grain:
-ingredients will specify “whole (insert whatever grain here)”
-this shouldn’t make up more than 25% of what you eat

Grains to eat:
Quinoa (actually a seed)
Brown Rice
Couscous

Meat:
– Any pasture raised and grass fed meat is fine. Shouldn’t be more than 4 ounces or a palm size serving at each meal
-Check out the Farmer’s Market behind Geppetto’s in Morganton Saturdays 8-12 for good meat vendors (produce as well!)
-Fish should be as fresh as possible and wild caught, not farm raised. It will say on the package “wild caught.” Smaller fish have less mercury contamination.
-Ingles on Carbon City rd. has a fairly good selection for a chain grocery store. You can buy organic/antibiotic free chicken, grass fed beef, organic beef and ground bison there. Right now Aldi is carrying grass fed beef and antibiotic free chicken as well.

Dairy:
-Again, I recommend the Organic Valley brand: it is both organic and pastured! See sour cream, cottage cheese, milk, half n half, heavy cream & butter in this brand ALL available at Ingles on Carbon City!
-Whole milk is the least processed, use in moderation/Almond milk is a great alternative but I recommend Silk or Laura Lynn brand because they are carrageenan free.
-Aged, raw cheeses are best-NEVER buy shredded! Always shred your own. Most cheese is naturally white (it’s made from milk!) so avoid orange cheese because its usually highly processed and has something to color it. I suggest only buying at the grocery store because sometimes homemade cheese contains harmful bacteria (meaning if you aren’t sure your source is completely reputable, you probably shouldn’t buy it) and don’t buy raw if you are pregnant.

Baking:
-Buy high quality, organic whole wheat flour. I have cut flour out completely as as a personal nutrition choice and use almond meal or quinoa flour for baking. You can also try coconut flour. Still, these are processed forms of whole foods and shouldn’t be the mainstays of your diet.

***Anything on the interior aisles should be scrutinized carefully for processed and GMO ingredients. Look for the USDA Organic Label pictured below.

-Substitute any oil other than butter with high quality coconut oil. Melt it in a microwave-safe dish for any baking and cooking needs. Here’s my favorite: Coconut Oil
Much cheaper online than in the grocery store!
-Sweeten with pure organic stevia, honey or pure maple syrup when at all possible.
Stevia -much cheaper online as well!
You can also buy powdered stevia.

-If you must use refined sugar in baking, buy organic/GMO-free when your budget allows. Remember, if it has the USDA organic seal it can’t contain GMOs.

Today’s challenge is to restock your fridge and pantry with whole foods!

A couple of little tips:
-Store nuts and flours in the fridge to keep fresh longer
-Meal plan around the produce that needs to be eaten sooner rather than later to avoid waste
-Turn sandwiches into salads. You can put a almost anything on a bed of greens! Store bought bread is usually not going to be nutritious enough to buy unless you fork out $6 per loaf.

As my friend Karen often says, you make your health choices at the grocery store.

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