Archive for Nutrition

Jumpstart 2012 By Working On Ourselves “WEEK 1 CHECK IN”

All you need to do is comment, “still in” so that we can check you off! Make sure your first and last name are in the comment as well. Having trouble with sugar craving? This article might help: Beat The Sugar Cravings! We are so happy that you made it through Week 1! Let’s roll right into week 2! Don’t lose your Motivation!

Remember to comment, “still in!” My example is there!

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What’s a Serving of Fruits and Vegetables?

First let’s talk about the importance of fruits and veggies. A diet high in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and cancer. People who eat more of these nutrient dense foods are also sick less than those who don’t. Obesity levels are also much lower among those who eat diets high in essential vitamins and minerals. Many people trying to lose belly fat will increase their vegetable intake and reduce their intake of high calorie starchy foods. So what’s a serving? Here’s our compiled list of fruits and veggies servings:

Fruits

  • 1/2 cup, 4 fluid oz of 100% fruit juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh fruit
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit
  • 1 medium fruit
  • apple (1)
  • banana (1)
  • cherries (14)
  • grapefruit (1/2 of 1)
  • grapes (12)
  • kiwi (2)
  • mango (2 slices)
  • melon (1 large slice)
  • pear (1 medium)
  • pineapple (1 large slice)
  • plums (2)
  • prunes (6)
  • raisins (1 tbsp)
  • strawberries (7)

Vegetables

  • 1/2 cup or 4 fluid oz of juice (low sodium)
  • 1 cup raw or 1/2 a cup cooked
  • asparagus spears (5)
  • avocado (1/2)
  • baby carrots (1 small bag)
  • brussels sprouts (8)
  • carrot (1)
  • celery (3 sticks)
  • onion (1)
  • peas (3 heaping teaspoons)
  • salad (1 cup or about half a cereal bowl)
  • spinach (2 heaping 2 spoons)
  • tomato (1 medium)
  • zucchini (1/2 a large one)

So… Are you increasing your fruits and vegetables intake?

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HFF’s “Jump Start 2012 By Working on Ourselves” Challenge

 (Click Here To Print The Challenge Check-List)

We strongly advise everyone to weigh and measure themselves and take before and after pictures to refer to throughout the challenge. The goal of this challenge is to improve your lifestyle.

Please print the calendar checklist so that you know that you are completing each task. NO EXCUSES!

Duration: 10-12 weeks. We will know by week 6 if we are going 10 or 12 weeks.

How do I join the Challenge: In order to be considered for the challenge prospective participants must post the vice that they are giving up in the comments section of the blog post to the official rules. See 2012 Challenge Tab! Be sure to tell us your first and last name. We will allow postings until Wednesday 8pm Pacific Standard Time. After this time, participation is closed. In order to move forward each week, contestants must successfully complete ALL of the following tasks each week:

Exercise 210 minutes per week (30 min per day).

Consume 49 servings of fruits and vegetables per week (7 per day)

Complete 140 pushups and sit ups per week (20 per day of each)

Consume 56 servings of water (8 per day)

Give up one vice for the entire 10-12week duration

Post “still in” on the designated blog post at http://healthyfitfamilies.com each week

Disqualification: Participants are disqualified if they fail to complete a task during the week or  fail to their listed vice. Participants will also be disqualified if they fail to report that they are “still in” the competition each week on the blog post at http://healthyfitfamilies.com. A link to the blog post will be posted 3 times per day on Friday at www.facebook.com/healthyfitfamilies. Participants will have until Saturday 9pm Pacific Standard Time to report themselves “still in” the challenge. Obviously this will be on the honor system but we trust that everyone will play fair. We will periodically post the names of contestants who are “still in.”

Prizes: Of all the contestants still participating at the end of 10 weeks, 5 names will be drawn and those participants will receive a free healthyfitfamilies.com t-shirt. The 5 participants must post a picture of themselves wearing the t-shirt in order to be placed in an additional drawing where the 3 names drawn will all receive a $50.00 gift certificate. We reserve the right to increase the value of the gift certificates as well as the number of winners as more sponsors and donors are expected in the upcoming weeks.

Win This Shirt!

 

Waiver of Liability: All prospective participants should be cleared by a Doctor before trying this or any health and wellness program. HealthyFitFamilies.com accepts no responsibility and excludes all liabilities in connection with trying this challenge. It is the sole responsibility of the individual in the challenge to be in good health and except all liabilities associated with this challenge. HealthyFitFamilies.com hereby excludes liability for any claims, losses, demands, or damages of any kind whatsoever with regard to any information, content, or services provided at our Web site, including but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental, or consequential loss or damages, compensatory damages, loss of profits, or data, or otherwise. By signing up for this challenge you accept responsibility for anything that might happen while being a part of the challenge and anytime after the challenge concludes. We reserve the right to change rules and prizes for this challenge.

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The Results of my December “No Meats” Challenge

For the month of December I challenged myself to a “No Meat, No Dairy” diet. You can see the original post here. Let me tell you….it wasn’t easy but I’m glad I followed through with it.

The first week was challenging. I had become accustomed to having some sort of dairy product or meat product with every meal. I was a carnivore who allotted only a certain amount of space on my plate for the “other stuff.”  Cutting meat, dairy, and eggs cold turkey made me want it even more.  That first week of the challenge I probably told my wife 100 times, “I can’t wait until this is over so I can have a big steak….pork chop….rack of lamb….whole rotisserie pig…..rhinoceros thigh….etc.”

However, after that first week things became easier. I started looking forward to preparing new and creative “Vegan” meals. I took pride in knowing that I had set a goal for myself and I was sticking to it. If you read my intro to this challenge you know that for the past few years I have been struggling with high cholesterol. Every meal started feeling like a step closer to victory rather than a step closer to heart disease.

This past Friday (December 30th) I went and had my blood drawn for updated lab work. I will receive the results this upcoming Tuesday. (January 2nd)

I will update this post with those results.

There is no doubt in my mind that the number will have come down. I feel better than I have felt in a long time. I am optimistic about my future. Having a family and dealing with high cholesterol problems always left me with thoughts of feeling that I would leave them sooner than I wanted to. I want to live a long life and be here for them in my later years.

This challenge has given me an appreciation for the “Vegan” diet and has made me realize that I can cut down or completely cut out what was a major staple in my diet. Will I remain a Vegan? Possibly. There are some things that I miss. Like Salmon!

If I do go back to eating meat I can assure you that it will be because I am treating myself or because I am having a cheat day. I do not want to go back to making it a necessity. I love life and my family more than I love food. I will miss them more and they will miss me more than I will miss meat. My body synthesizes cholesterol different than others so this is my solution to the issue. It may not be an issue for you. However, for those of you looking to lose a little weight, I can assure you that by cutting out or cutting down on foods high in saturated (which a lot of cuts of meat are) you will benefit from doing so. If you pair this with a “No Sweets” challenge you will be well on your way to your weight loss goals.

During the month of December I was relentless in sticking to both my “No Meats” challenge and Coach Demitrius’  “No Sweets” challenge.

I lost 11 pounds in 1 month.  I feel leaner and have more energy.

Here are my before and after pictures:

December 1st (Left) ---- December 31st (Right)

The month of December has now given me the inspiration to work hard towards obtaining my ideal physique. I have some substantial goals for myself now in 2012. There are subtle changes in my photos above that are separated by 31 days. Over the next few months I will hold myself accountable to my 2012 expectations by keeping you guys updated with photos.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you my personal journey, and as always, me and Demetrius will be here for you along yours!

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Succeed at Your 2012 Goals!

Did you know 85% of New Year’s Resolutions fail? That means if you were in aroom of 100 people who resolved to quit smoking only 15 will actually do it. Would you like to be one of the 15? Keep reading for Specifics on how to succeed at your 2012 goals!

Specific Goals!

“I’m going to lose weight this year,” isn’t a specific goal. I’m going to lose 2 pounds each week is specific, attainable and measurable in a short period of time. When goals are Specific benchmarks are easy to make and achieve. Don’t make goals that aren’t well thought out!

Specific Plan!

How will you lose the weight? I’m going to start going to the gym isn’t a specific plan. Being vague allows room for putting it off and completely failing. Remember when you said this last year? You went and paid for the membership but never actually went after the first week. You must be Specific and the first step must be taken TODAY! If you write a goal and don’t make a step toward accomplishing that goal immediately after, you probably don’t mean it. If this means going for a walk or run right now, you need to do it. You have to prove to yourself that you are serious about your goal.

Specific Records!

Do not lie to yourself, your friends, or your family! Keep a very specific food and exercise journal. Your journal will serve a few purposes. It will be a record of your successes and failures. It will be a reference that will help you make adjustments after weigh ins. It will also be another source of accountability. Be sure to revisit past entries in your journal and make necessary improvements to your diet and exercise regimen!

What are your 2012 goals and what are your plans to succeed?

 

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Are You Really Eating in Moderation?

Are you really eating in moderation? You really don’t know if you aren’t keeping an accurate food journal. I have spent countless hours helping people construct healthy eating plans who have told me that they eat everything in moderation.  Once I have them keep track of their food intake, we discover that their moderation isn’t moderate at all. Here are some common mistakes:

A Glass is not a Cup

A serving of juice is measured as 1 cup. In case you don’t know, a glass of juice is not a cup of juice. Chances are it’s about 2 ½ cups of juice. Therefore instead of 1 serving and 100 calories, you had 2.5 servings and 250 calories. An extra 150 calories here and there leads to an extra 2-3 pounds here and there.

I only had 1 or 2

Frequent trips to the cupboard and grabbing one cookie might fool you, but believe me your metabolism isn’t fooled at all. Be honest with yourself about how many trips to the cookie cupboard you actually took. If you aren’t honest with yourself, your weight gain will. When you are writing in your journal, write everything.

1 of everything is Still 1 of EVERYTHING

I have actually heard people say that they are on the 1 of everything diet. They wholeheartedly believe they are indulging less by sampling everything as opposed to eating a bunch of one thing. There are numerous theories behind this and rather than listing them all, I will say, they are wrong. Sampling one of everything usually provides a ton of calories and sugar just as eating a bunch of one treat does.

Your Daughter’s Leftovers Count

Unfortunately the 2 bites of chicken and half a slice of garlic bread you cleaned off your daughters plate (into your mouth) has to be counted as well. You can’t hide from the truth about calories. It has to be written in your food journal as well.

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How To Lose Belly Fat!

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An Introduction To My December Challenge For PRODUCING A More FRUITFUL Life!

Challenge Time.  That’s right! December is going to be fun. Coach Demitrius is currently in his second month of the “Junk Food Challenge” and is doing exceptionally well. Along with over 100 of our fans he has made the commitment to better his diet and inspire others. I too have been inspired and have decided that it’s about time I challenge myself and battle one of my demons. My cholesterol!

Three years ago I saw my physician for a routine checkup.  He went through his normal routine and everything checked out o.k. Before I left they drew some blood to send off to the lab. It seemed routine and I was not worried about it one bit. Then I received a call a couple weeks later. He informed me that my cholesterol levels were “High” for someone my age. I was shocked. How was that possible? I have been an athlete all my life. I just spent nearly 5 years in the Marine Corps. (We exercised a lot!) I still sustain a moderate level of physical activity.  I’m only 26 years old and I maintain a fairly healthy diet.  It didn’t make any sense to me. My Doc suggested that I start attending “Heart Smart” classes. “I’m not doing that,” I told myself. I’ll cut out my rare and random trips to the fast food joints and that should be enough.

Well…… It wasn’t! About a year later I went into the lab for more blood work and guess what? Yep, you guessed it. Blood Cholesterol levels were still high. And to my amazement they actually went up. Let’s fast forward about 2 years to this past July. (5 months ago)

Different Doctor, same results! Except for this time the number was the highest it has been in the last 3 years. “Are you kidding me,” I told myself. I have cut out fast food, cut way back on fried foods, I’ll have an occasional steak, and I work out several days a week. I have also been supplementing with fiber tablets and fish oil (omega-3).  Well it wasn’t enough. The new Doctor informed me that the synthesis of cholesterol in my body was more than likely hereditary. Now the Doc is recommending that I take Lipitor (a cholesterol lowering medication) in order to get my levels in check.  Well, I refused. I don’t want to take some pill for the rest of my life. I’ll just do more to finally take care of this issue. Read more

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How to Say No to Holiday Food Dealers!

Drug Dealers, Car Dealers, and Great Aunts Are All the Same!

Sometimes saying “NO” to holiday temptations are comparable to saying, “NO” to peers in high school as the food dealers are as relentless as the drug dealers. You’ll hear more pitches than you have at a used car dealership and just as you’ve left them without a high interest rate on a lemon you need to leave the holidays without a high caloric set back on an extra piece of lemon meringue pie.

I know many of you are thinking, “Awe come on it’s the holidays,” but that makes you as bad as a dealer. Healthy diets are often ruined by “seldom” awe come on’s! Take a second and count the times you can give in to “Awe come on’s” and you’ll realize they are more frequent than you want to admit.

Count the following in the past few years: weddings, birthday parties, retirement parties/dinners, employment parties/dinners, office parties, girls nights, boys nights, lunch dates, baby showers, MMA fight parties, football parties, oh and the 5-7 holidays that are associated with parties, family get togethers, and eating.

Don’t kid yourself; the reason you’ve gained the weight is because you consistently and frequently cave to the biggest food dealer out there, yourself! Once you’re able to say, “NO” to your Aunt dealing more of her special holiday pastries, you’ll begin to find ways to say, “NO” to the dealer inside of you. Here are some common pitches by food dealers and respectable ways to turn them down!

Food Dealer: “Awe come on, it’s the holidays don’t tell me you’re on a diet again!”

What you want to say: “Nope, but after watching you eat so much today, maybe you should be.”

What you should say: “No, I’m not on a diet, I just don’t eat that anymore. It’s been so long I don’t even crave it.”

This works because there aren’t many answers to saying you don’t crave something anymore.

 

Food Dealer: “Everyone has to try my pumpkin pie.” Read more

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Start Smoking and End Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms?

Have you kicked caffeine to the curb? Are you irritable? Do you have splitting headaches? Are you thinking, “Ouch Make Them Stop?”   Believe me we’ve heard it all; from “get pregnant” to “start smoking.” Getting pregnant will force you to eat and drink more responsibly and well a Nicotine addiction will get your mind off your Caffeine addiction.  But I’m thinking this is not the advice you were looking for right? Maybe these will be better:

1. YOUR body has been addicted to caffeine for years and now you’ve said, no more, cold turkey. Although this strategy is great, it does come with its downfalls. If you can, slowly wean yourself off by drinking tea and other drinks that include minimal caffeine and minimal calories. Don’t forget that you are weaning yourself off completely. Don’t be satisfied that you are drinking less caffeine if the goal is to have no caffeine!

2. EXERCISE can get you through many withdrawal symptoms. Doctors have prescribed exercise to relieve stress and irritability which are common among people on a caffeine detox. Often times the brain just craves stimulation. Why not quench the cravings with exercise endorphins? Relaxation techniques found in Yoga, Tai Chi, and Meditation are also known to help curb the caffeine crave.

3. START drinking more water. Sometimes your headaches are from dehydration due to the liquid deficit you’ve created by drinking less. Make sure you are having your 8-12 glasses spread throughout the day. This will also help speed up the detoxification process.

4. TAKE a pain killer minus the caffeine. Be sure to check the bottle as many pain relievers contain caffeine.

5. ALLOW time to rest. If you are getting off caffeine you’ll feel tired more often in the first 3 weeks. Having time to recuperate from a long day and take a short nap will help you through some of your weakest moments.

Hopefully these will help you kick caffeine to the curb. Understand that this won’t be easy and will take mental toughness as well. If all else fails, fight through but please Don’t Take Up Smoking!

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