Saturday, January 11, 2020

Including More Veggies In Your Life

We often know what we should be doing, but need a little help actually doing it. My clients KNOW that increasing veg in their life is a good idea, but they don’t always know where to start. Maybe this is you too! Below are 10 ideas for including more nutrient-dense vegetables into your lives!

1. Start With Veggies You Already Like

I’m all about not overcomplicating things! The best place to start is always with what already works! What veggies do you already enjoy? Cucumbers and carrots count! What are some ways to prepare veggie dishes that you already know and love? (Ok, if not love…then at least tolerate!)

2. Roast those Veggies

I think that roasting is one of the most approachable ways to prepare veggies, because you can’t really screw it up! The roasting process brings a “sweet” taste to veggies; so don’t be afraid to roast until they are brown and caramelized! Probably my favorite veggie to roast is cauliflower! But I like also doing a pan of bell peppers, onions, zucchini and mushrooms!

3. Dip it

Treat yourself like a toddler – maybe you need a “dip” to eat raw veg – make one or go get one! Or try out hummus! Keep chopped veggies ready to go in the fridge so that when you’re hungry and temped to snack on less desirable choices, your veggies and “ranch” are ready to go!

4. Buy pre-cut

Well all need short cuts sometimes! If that helps you eat more veg, then go for it! Or, even better - spend a couple of minutes cutting up some veggies for the upcoming few days while watching your favorite show on Netflix.

5. Make your Salads Exciting

Don’t eat boring salads! Have fun incorporating different dark leafy greens into your life. I enjoy buying local mixes and usually always add some arugula (my fave). Add texture and flavor by incorporating things like cheeses, nuts, seeds, dried fruits and good sources of protein to help you stay full for longer. Make your own salad dressing – it’s super easy!

6. "Sneak" Them In
There are so many recipes you can add shredded veggies into without anyone being the wiser ;) Veggies like carrots and zucchini are super easy to add to sauces, burgers, meatballs and the like!

7. Make more soups and stews
When you start with a really yummy sauce, it’s easy to sneak in veggies! You could either puree them or dice them up small. It’s amazing just how many veggies you can pack into a soup or stew! Veggies like celery, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, and riced cauliflower are a great place to start!

8. “Spinach it up”
Spinach really doesn’t taste like much, so it’s a fantastic veg to add to almost everything as well! It may turn some things green, but the taste isn’t really affected. I like adding spinach into my family’s pita pizzas, frittatas, and in my smoothies!

9. Experiment
Make trying new veggies a fun event! You could try adding a new veg each week or try preparing a veggie you already love a different way!

10. Ask Friends
Ask your friends about what veggies THEY and their family enjoy as well as what way they prefer that veggie prepared! If all else fails, check out Pinterest!

There is no shortage of inspiration for eating healthy, especially at this time of year, so take advantage and expand your “veggie repertoire”! Who knows? You might just find a new veggie that you love!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

What does YOUR “effort to results ratio” look like?

I recently read a book called “Healthy as F*ck” and I really liked most of it. (Except for the hard bias towards a vegan diet). BUT there were lots of great ideas in the book, and I would like to share you with you an important “effort-to-results ratio” concept. Let’s start with a quote from her book:

“The good news: getting lean and healthy and staying that way for life is actually pretty simple. The bad news: if you want different results than you’re getting now, you’re going to have to do something different”. Let’s face it: the problem with wanting to lose weight or eat healthier is that we want it without really having to change too much.

For everyone, there is a magical effort-to-results ratio. (I talked a bit about this in my post on “Ideal Weight” which you can read here). This ratio is about the results we want to achieve vs. the reality of what we are actually willing, able and prepared to consistently do (effort) in order to achieve them.

Let’s dig into this. Take a look at Beth’s graph.

She WANTS to be “skinny girl” but what she is actually prepared to do is not going to meet that result. She then has the choice to either stay “chubby but healthy” OR increase her effort.

Similar to Beth, as you continue along your health journey, you will need to figure out your own “sweet spot” as it comes to efforts vs. results (keeping in mind that there are many factors involved). For example, you may be in your forties, and the effort NOW required to maintain “skinny girl” is totally unrealistic for your lifestyle.  You too, always have a choice: either change the effort you’re putting in, or adjust your contentment with the results you are getting.

Now, let’s look at Tina’s graph: She really wants “smooth thighs” but the effort she can give sustainably won’t allow that, because Tina ain’t got time for a rigid training program, no alcohol and a 100% on point diet (hehe). She may be able to work at eating healthy more often (closer to 80% of the time) and get improved muscle definition (adjusting her choices or contentment with results) but the chances of her getting to that smooth thigh result are slim to none because she is NOT PREPARED TO DO WHAT SHE NEEDS TO DO ON A CONSISTENT BASIS in order to achieve that result.

All of this is meant not to depress you, but rather to empower you: it all comes down to choices. And the choices we make about our health and nutrition also have to fit into our overall lifestyle and happiness. I love what Dr. Yoni Feedhoff (a Canadian MD specializing in weight management) says: “Live the healthiest life that you can enjoy”. I think that is just the best advice.

More good news: this is not something you are going to do overnight! Not even close. Find a way to make time your ally and not your foe. Remember that we overestimate what we can do in the short term, and underestimate what we can do over the long term.

If I had to create my own graph, this is how it would roughly look.

So it comes down to this question at some point: What are you consistently willing to do to both be happy in life and be happy with the results that those actions give you? If you’d like some help figuring out your sweet spot, and working at building up your own healthy habits, reach out! There are about a thousand steps between where you are now and where you may want to be. You only need to take that first step to begin.

Tips for Managing Stress & Anxiety (plus a smoothie recipe!)

Read my latest blog post on You Ate: And my smoothie recipe!