Personalized Nutrition for a Healthier Body

Food JournalHave you started a food journal yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Multiple studies have shown that people who keep track of what they eat lose more weight and are more likely to keep it off permanently. Below you’ll find several reasons why this works so well:

1.First, and foremost, you’re accountable for what you put in your mouth. Think of it as a scorecard of your performance for the week, “If you BITE it, you WRITE it.” When you keep a truthful record of your daily food intake, it provides you with an undeniable scorecard of your performance.  It’ll give you an account of how many fruits and vegetables you had each day, how much protein you had, and how many cookies you might have indulged in after dinner. Remember, if you BITE it, you WRITE it.

2. It’s virtually impossible for most people to keep a mental tally of everything they eat in a day. I love the old Chinese Proverb that states, “The palest ink is stronger than the strongest mind.” Did you have two M&Ms or was it twelve? Did you have a half cup of ice cream or a cup and a half? Take advantage of the power of the pen and write it down as soon as you eat it so you can keep an accurate count. This way, you’ll be less likely to overeat and consume more calories than you intend.

3. A food journal can greatly assist you in finding your trouble spots. Writing your food down helps you keep track of the areas that are going well and where you may need to tweak so be on the look out for trends in your weekly eating habits. Are you likely to eat more at night? On the weekend? When you are with certain people? They say a problem well-defined is 95% solved. However, if you don’t know where you’re having trouble, you can’t pinpoint the problem or fix it.

So, here’s a challenge for you: Write down everything you eat for the next 30 days. You can do it by putting pen to paper or download a food journal app on your smart phone. For the BEST results, be consistent (that’s key!) and record portion sizes and the amounts of food you eat (1 cup of broccoli, 2 mini candy bars, etc). It’s also helpful to include other pieces of information in your food journal like, the times you eat and with whom you are eating.

Journaling your food only takes a few minutes out of your day AND it’ll provide you with VALUABLE information about your eating habits. This is CRITICAL because with it, you’ll be able to take action and produce the changes you desire.

Cheers to your health,

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Jennifer Fraser

Health & Wellness Coach

Balance Your Heart

Phone: (240) 605-3893

Web: http://www.balanceyourheart.com

 

How are your New Year’s goals coming along? Are you CRUSHING IT or have they fallen to the wayside already? FullSizeRender (4)

With the middle of January quickly approaching, the novelty of your New Year’s goals may be quickly wearing off. Did you want to lose weight this year? Eat healthy? Exercise several times a week? Are you still committed to your goals today or were you a part of the New Year’s crowd? You know, the ones who make their life-changing declarations before the ball drops and then reverts back to old habits before January 31?

Don’t let that be you. Learn new habits today that can SKYROCKET your results. You can set an intention to improve your health, but the trick is to not let it disintegrate as quickly as you started it. Check out these tips that’ll help you form NEW habits and get you exactly where you want to be!

1) Make your weight loss and fitness goals as specific as possible. Write down the dress or waist size you want, your perfect weight, the outfit you want to wear, the reaction you want to get from others. Take time NOW to write down everything you want. Note: Studies have shown that written goals are more than TWICE as likely to become a reality than those that are not.

2) Next, pull out your calendar and start marking off the days of the week that you plan to exercise. Get it on your schedule. For example, set aside Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 4:30 – 5:00 PM to go walking. Also, pull out your clothes and shoes for your workouts. If you decide to get moving at the gym, throw your clothes in a bag and put it by the door so you’re ready to go the next day.

3) Design your menu. Don’t wait until you’re hungry to figure out what you’re going to eat, instead plan it ahead of time. Focus on eating healthy meals and snacks that include protein (especially for breakfast!), raw vegetables, steamed vegetables, whole grains, and a few fruits.

If you can just start making these few small changes and add some discipline, hard work, commitment, and time, you’ll greatly INCREASE your chances of achieving the results you desire.

Remember, don’t cheat yourself by being one of 2016’s new year’s casualties. Make this the year of YOU: Your body…Your goals…Your nutrition…Your workout…Your results. Start this year strong and continue your new habits until you get exactly what you want.

You can do it, I know you can!

FullSizeRender (1)Jennifer Fraser

Health & Wellness Coach

Balance Your Heart

Phone: (240) 605-3893

Web: http://www.balanceyourheart.com

 

Chili

  • 1½ pounds ground turkey or beef

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil

  • 1½ cups onion, diced, about 1 large onion

  • ½ cup chopped celery, about 1 stalk

  • 1½ cups carrots, peeled and diced, about 4 medium carrots

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 4 cups zucchinis, diced, about 2-3 medium zucchinis

  • 1 15-ounce can tomato puree or tomato sauce

  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

Instructions

  1. In your seasoned skillet or 5-6 quart large cast iron pot, brown meat and garlic. Cook over medium heat until meat is thoroughly cooked and browned. Drain off any excess fat, set aside.

  2. Add oil, onions, celery, carrots, and seasonings to the skillet and cook until translucent over medium high heat, about 5-7 minutes. Once onions are golden and veggies are midway cooked, add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes, making sure you stir everything well.

  3. Add cooked meat, tomato puree/sauce, and tomatoes into the pot and stir well. Bring everything to a boil, stirring frequently, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

  4. Check on the amazing mixture periodically and stir. Serve immediately. If desired, top with a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado and/or a few tortilla strips.

Notes

This is a very thick chili recipe. Add up to 1 cup of additional liquid (tomato sauce or water) to thin out the sauce if you prefer.

Prep time:  10 mins        Total time:  10 mins      Serves: 6-8

Enjoy!

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Jennifer Fraser

Health & Wellness Coach

Balance Your Heart

Phone: (240) 605-3893

Web: http://www.balanceyourheart.com

 

 

 

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Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be surrounded with an abundance of holiday goodies which will give our waistline the potential to dramatically increase. However, with a little bit of planning, a dash of goal setting and a dose of old-fashioned discipline, you too, can enjoy the holidays without worry.

Check out these great tips on how you can be healthy and fit (while indulging a little!) over the holiday season.

1) Set Your Goals

Make it a goal to stay on track with your nutrition and fitness program over the holidays. By skipping workouts, eating more, and exercising less, it will not only eliminate all of your hard work, but also it will place you back where you started (or worse). Remember, all the hard work you’ve put in and decide to not over indulge or skip your workouts.

2) Plan Ahead

The holidays are a hectic time when health and wellness routines can easily get off track. To minimize the chances of that happening, create a meal plan to help you stick to your nutrition goals. Be sure to include any upcoming parties, dinners, and social events on your schedule.

3) Continue Exercising

You may skip a day (or two) of exercise, but don’t get rid of it all together. Staying active will help you burn excess calories AND lift your spirits. On the days that you may skip working out, don’t despair just start back the next day. Your consistency really will pay off.

4) Drink Water

Start drinking 8 – 10 glasses of water daily throughout the day. It will help control your appetite and keep your body hydrated (a critical key to good health).

5) Make Good Choices

You always have a choice in what you eat, no matter where you are, so make the BEST possible choice based on what’s available in front of you. If that seems impossible, try filling your plate with proteins and vegetables and eating smaller portions of your holiday favorites.

Although the holidays are a perfect time to enjoy and relax with family and friends, these gatherings are often filled with a wide variety of food that tempt us all to indulge. By incorporating these simple tips into your lifestyle, you’ll help to avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain and be in a better position to crush your health and weight loss goals in the NEW YEAR!

Cheers to your health,

Jennifer Fraser

Health & Wellness Coach

Balance Your Heart

Web: http://www.balanceyourheart.com

P.S. ~ Contact me today (240) 605-3893 if you want to lose weight, increase your energy, and live a healthy lifestyle!

 

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If you want to improve your weight loss results, get ready to nod off. That’s right! A good night’s sleep is a vital ingredient for weight loss success.

You see, when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re robbed of the energy, brain power, and functionality needed to make empowering choices that will help you achieve weight loss success. Often when energy reserves are low, people turn to high-fat and high-sugar laden foods or caffeinated drinks for energy pick-me-ups…all of which sabotage your healthy eating program. Additionally, sleep deprivation decreases the hormone levels in your body that work to suppress your appetite and increases the hormones levels that raise food intake. It’s a vicious cycle that can thwart any best-laid nutrition and exercise plans.

Sleep is so important because it’s a time for the brain, body, and all the hormones to get regulated and restore themselves to their baseline values for the next day. If you have inadequate sleep, you’re not giving your body a chance for all those restorative processes to get finished. As a result, you’re not where you should be metabolically.

So, what’s a good night’s sleep? Studies have shown that the recommended amount of nightly Zzzzzs is 7 – 9 hours. With this amount of rest, you are most likely to not only lose weight efficiently, but also maintain a healthy body weight.

If you sleep:

  • 6 hours a night = You are 23% more likely to be overweight.
  • 5 hours a night = You are 50% more likely to be overweight.
  • 4 hours (or less) = You are 73% more likely to be overweight.

So, it’s official and the word is OUT—We all need a good night’s sleep for optimal health and weight loss success. How long are you sleeping each night? If it’s not between 7 – 9 hours, what’s one small step you can take today to increase your number? Start doing it today—your weight loss success literally depends on it.

Cheers to your health,

Jennifer Fraser

Health & Wellness Coach

Balance Your Heart

Web: http://www.balanceyourheart.com

P.S. ~ Contact me today (240) 605-3893 if you want to lose weight, increase your energy, and live a healthy lifestyle!

Smart Snacking

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Have you ever gotten a snack attack between meals? Who hasn’t, right? Well, I have some good news: Snack attacks can actually work to your advantage in your weight loss plan.

Snacks are a GOOD thing. Why? Because eating frequently instead of waiting until you’re extremely hungry will help you avoid overeating. When you munch on a protein-based snack three hours after breakfast and three hours after lunch, it’ll help keep your blood sugar level and brain chemistry in balance. What’s more is it’ll give your body energy between meals so you avoid those blood sugar crashes in the afternoon (usually between 2 – 4 pm).

If you plan your snacks ahead of time, you can be sure to select the right foods that will contribute to your weight loss success. Check out the tips below!

Snack Tip #1: Choose a fat-burning food that has at least 10 grams of protein (and less than 20 grams of carbs) and pair it with 1 serving of a fruit or vegetable.

Here are a few examples of healthy snack ideas (remember, just add a serving of a fruit or veggie to make it complete!):

Quantity Snack Protein
2 Hard-boiled Eggs 12 g
3 – 4 Egg Whites 12-16 g
2 oz. Deli Meat 10 – 12 g
½ can Tuna 13 g
3.2 oz Sardines 19 g
1 piece Tofu (firm raw) 12.8 g
1 Soy/Garden Burger 13-18 g
1 oz. Beef Jerky 12 g

There are lots more snacks to choose from, but these are just some to get you started!

Snack Tip #2: Avoid late night snacking. Your body’s metabolism slows down when you sleep which means that the food you eat just before bed will convert to body fat.

Snack Tip #3: Beware of drinking your calories. Beverages like sweetened coffee drinks, soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks and flavored teas contain a lot of sugar that will only sabotage your weight loss efforts.

The next time you have a snack attack at home or at work, you’ll now know how to use it to your advantage. Small changes like these will make a HUGE difference in your nutrition plan. Remember, successful fat loss is a combination of the right meals with a protein-based snack in between them throughout the day. You’ll not only feel satisfied, but also you will have flipped the fat-burning switch in your body so you can achieve lasting weight loss success.

Cheers to your health,

Jennifer Fraser

Health & Wellness Coach

Balance Your Heart

Phone: (240) 605-3893

Web: http://www.balanceyourheart.com

Track

Have you lost weight in the past only to regain it a short time later? Have you followed every diet including Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, South Beach, the Cookie diet, the Peanut Butter diet, or even the Chocolate Diet? All of these diets may work temporarily and you might have some weight loss success, but how effective are they to keep the weight off permanently? Chances are the day will come when the diet is over and you’re right back to your regular routine—the same routine that supported your weight gain in the first place. It’s time to shake things up so you can achieve your health and wellness goals. NO MORE! Check out the tips below to find out how!

Small Changes: Big Answer to Weight Loss Blues

Start today (and work one day at a time) to make one or two small changes in your daily life such as, drinking one extra glass of water or taking a 10-minute walk. Remember, change doesn’t have to be extreme. In fact, when you try to make drastic lifestyle changes, it can be overwhelming and often make you feel like your goals are unattainable. Instead, strive to make GRADUAL changes that support a healthy lifestyle. When you do, you’ll move one step CLOSER to your goals each day. Small steps are the key to success!

Weight Loss Comes Down to Choices

People who’ve lost weight and kept it off, often say that they did it by making a “lifestyle change”. It’s important to understand that the small choices you make each and every day will aid in your success. Are you choosing to take a second serving, even though you’re comfortably full? Change that one behavior and you’ve taken a step closer to your goals. Do you choose to take the entire bag of chips or carton of ice cream to the couch? Change it by taking a serving of your favorite treat in a bowl and you’re another step closer. Do you reach for a piece of candy every time you walk past the candy dish? Quit that habit entirely (go a different route or fill the dish with your favorite fruit or mini bottles of water) and that alone will cause you to drop some unwanted pounds.

Remember, every choice you make throughout your day (whether it’s eating, drinking, or moving), is either feeding disease or fighting it. By choosing one small habit or behavior at a time, you’ll have a much BETTER chance to achieve weight loss success.

Cheers to your health,

Jennifer Fraser

Health & Wellness Coach

Balance Your Heart

http://www.balanceyourheart.com

P.S. ~ Contact me today (240) 605-3893 if you want to lose weight, increase your energy, and live a healthy lifestyle!