How to Put More Fiber in Your Diet

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!

Americans get woefully little fiber in their diets.  If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, you need to find a way to incorporate healthy fiber into your meals and snacks.  No, that doesn’t mean those giant, sugar filled “high fiber” bars.  Here’s why you need more and here’s how to get it.

The Benefits of Fiber

  • Keeps your cholesterol down. Soluble fiber blocks the absorption of cholesterol in to your bloodstream.
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight. Isn’t it worth adding more to your diet just for this reason alone?
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels.  Blood sugar level spikes and crashes contribute to fatigue and the “fuzzy headed” feeling. Bleh!
  • Keeps you regular.  Yes let’s talk poop here. Less bouts of diarrhea and constipation.  I’m for that
  • Keeps your bowels and colon healthy. Fiber helps you avoid Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and hemorrhoids. I’m for that too.  Who wants either one of those!
  • Lowers your risk of heart disease (see cholesterol above).
  • May help prevent certain types of cancer. Breast, colon and prostate cancer have been linked to low fiber diets.
  • Gives you healthier skin. Fiber helps flush toxins from the body.  Let’s all get some glowing skin!
  • Gives you more energy.  Toxins, be gone!
  • Lowers your stroke risk. Fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels that can lead to stroke.

How much fiber is enough? The national Fiber Council says healthy adults should get 32 grams per day.

What are good sources of fiber?

Oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grain foods and leafy greens.

Want more info? Watch this facebook live video I did with added visuals!

3 Steps to Your Goal Weight

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I have reached my goal weight!!  After Starting out at 135 right after Christmas, I lost the 5 pounds I gained. There were some ups and downs, but I did it!  Here’s how.

  1. 7 days of “Cut the Crap”. No alcohol, no gluten, no dairy and as little sugar as possible.
  2. 18 days of portion control, using this system All you need to actually do the program is a one cup container, a 1/2 cup container and a tablespoon and a teaspoon.  I got mine at my local grocery store. There are plenty of recipes you can use here.
  3. At least two days of resistance training.  Here’s a sample program.
  4. At least two days of cardio training. (walking, running, swimming, aerobic exercise etc.)
  5. At least 10,000 steps a day. I have a fitbit.  I you don’t here’s an app you can use.
I’m going to keep going with the portion control, workouts and 10,ooo steps until I go on my Winter vacation in Cancun (Yay!).  While I’m there I will blog what I’m doing to keep my vacation as healthy as possible. If you want to get daily updates on my progress, join me on Periscope!  You can find me here: @Adiar62
Watch this periscope about hitting my goal.


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Cut The Junk From Your Diet

One of the "cut the junk" meals I ate. Pork with peach chutney.
One of the “cut the junk” meals I ate. Pork with peach chutney.

After the holidays, we all want to “get back to healthy”. I wanted to put my money where my mouth is and do my version of the challenge I am offering to all my beginners and exercise “start overs”.

I did seven days of cutting the junk from my diet.  I lost 3.8 pounds.  Here’s what I cut:

  1. No dairy
  2. No gluten
  3. No alcohol
  4. As little sugar as possible (it’s in everything)

Here’s what I DID eat:

  • Lean protein (pork, beef, chicken, fish,)
  • Brown rice, quinoa, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • fresh or home cooked vegetables
  • fresh fruits
  • avocado

Here are links to two of the dinners I ate during the 7 days:

Spinach and Mushroom Quinoa

Shrimp with Tomatoes

Here’s what I did for exercise:

At least 2 days of strength training  I did either PiYo or a power weight workout.  That’s when you use lighter weights, and lift as many reps as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

At least 2 days of cardio I did HIIT (high intensity interval training) or steady state cardio (mostly walking or stationary bike)

I did at least 30 minutes each day.

Now, tell me what YOU did and how things went for you!

I explain the first seven days on this Periscope.  Check it out!

Connect with me on Facebook/Twitter/Periscope/Instagram/Pinterest

 

 

 

Extend Nutrition Bars Review

I’ve been a health and fitness girl from the time I picked up a hockey stick in 9th grade.  My hubby was a high school athlete, but was never into exercise and healthy eating as an adult until a stent at age 40 made it really important (to say the least).  For the last 13 years, we have been trying to eat right and exercise regularly. It’s great to have a fitness partner right in my own house!

My box of Extend Nutrition came in the mail!
My box of Extend Nutrition came in the mail!

 

So when Extend Nutrition asked me to try their protein bars and write a review, it was only natural that Bob and I try them together and tell you what we think.  When they came in the mail, I was excited to have a new nutritious snack to try. Extend sent six bars and three different flavors.  We were able to each try three different kinds to see which flavor was our favorite.  We are always looking for convenient nutrition.

The letter that came with our bars explained that all Extend Nutrition products (they also make drizzles and shakes) are designed to stabilize your blood sugar for six to nine hours. This would “improve performance during physical activity and enhance muscle recovery post-exercise.”

We decided to put those claims to the test! Bob took one along to work to eat before he worked out with his trainer.  He wanted to see if it would get him through his workout without running out of steam. I tried one before my most grueling workout.  Usually after a day of work and a session of “PiYo Drench”, I am totally spent. I wanted to see if I would feel differently after snacking on an Extend Nutrition Bar instead of my usual snack of peanut butter and raisins.

Bob’s report: “I took an Extend Nutrition Bar along to work and ate it at 10:00 a.m. before my workout. Usually I eat a banana as my pre-workout snack.  I ate the cookies and cream flavor.  It tasted about the same as some other protein bars I have tasted in the past.  I liked the flavor. My trainer put me through a pretty intense workout at 11 a.m.  I felt good throughout my workout.  I wasn’t hungry again until 1 p.m.  When I eat a banana, I usually get hungry again before it’s time for lunch.”

My report:  I planned to eat my bar an hour before my “PiYo Drench” workout.  I’m a personal trainer and I had a client coming at 4:30 p.m.   I was going to eat my bar about 4:20 so it would be totally digested by 5:30 when I would start my workout.  My client showed up a little early so I only ate about half of it before she came and had to eat the other half a lot closer to workout time. I ate the Mixed Berry and it turned out to be my favorite flavor.  It didn’t have the protein powder taste that some other protein bars I’ve tried have. My workout went well and fatigue wise I felt much better than during a usual Thursday night workout (usually I start out tired and just get more tired). After my workout I didn’t feel as spent as I usually do on a Thursday night either.  The only advice I have is make sure you eat your bar an hour before workout.  During the “beast mode” series (trust me, it’s intense) I felt a little nauseous. That was my fault for eating and then working out right away.

I also found some other good uses for Extend Nutrition bars.  You can eat one after you drop your daughter off at college at suppertime and make it home without starving (after she ditches you to have supper with her new roommates!) They also make a great breakfast before you go somewhere like a meeting or church so your stomach doesn’t growl at inconvenient moments!

You can find Extend Nutrition Bars at Walgreens and CVS.  You can also order them from Amazon.com or order directly from http://www.extendbar.com Here’s some nutrition info. that compares Extend Nutrition Bars to other name brands. The best choice looks pretty obvious!

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Diet Plan For Menopause-7 Ways to Eat Clean

 

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You have arrived! You have worked hard building a career, taking care of your home and family and building relationships with friends. Now it’s time to start focusing on you. There are so many things you want to do….and then IT starts. Insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, aching joints, mood swings, forgetfulness, weight gain, anxiety, vaginal dryness, sagging libido  AARGH!! All the things you have done in the past to maintain your weight, your mood and your energy levels aren’t working anymore. The menopause monster has sneaked up behind you and pulled the rug out from under you. Your hormones (or lack of them) are taking control.  But you can take back that control.

You have probably heard the term “eat clean” floating around and may have wondered what that means. There is no better time to make the change to clean eating than during menopause. You will be able to take back control of your weight, feel more energized and reap the benefits of stable blood sugar, lower cholesterol and a whole host of other good things. Here’s seven ways to make your diet a cleaner place to be.

 

1. Eat more foods in their natural state
The more packaging and processing a food undergoes, the less it can do for your health. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, unsalted nuts, whole grain breads and pastas, unprocessed beans and legumes, and animal products that have been grass fed or free range.

2. Eat local and in season
Whenever possible, buy locally grown fruits and vegetables. Our town has two farmer’s markets that I like to frequent in the summer. The fruits and vegetables there are always tastier and cheaper than at the supermarket, plus I have the added benefit of knowing where they came from.

3. Eat at home
Your own cooking will contain less calories and more nutrients than restaurant fare. It doesn’t matter if you are eating fast food or at a fancy restaurant. It’s most likely you are cooking for fewer people now. Making larger batches of food ahead and freezing it for quick heat-ups later is a good strategy. So is finding healthy meals that aren’t complicated. Check out my Pinterest site for some insanely easy yet healthy meals.

4. Eat foods that have less ingredients on the food label
Beware the complicated and hard to pronounce ingredient list on the food label. A good rule of thumb is; if you can’t say the ingredient, you probably shouldn’t eat it.

5. Eat lean meats
Chicken breasts, cold water fish like salmon and tuna, lean cuts of beef and pork are your best bets.

6. Eat healthy fats
Fat was once demonized and we started eating “low fat” everything. Unfortunately packaged and processes “low fat” foods gave us way too much carbs and sugar. Now we realize that certain fats are good for our diets and necessary for health. Avocados, chia seeds, coconut oil and butter (yes butter) are all on the good fat list.

7. Eat spices
Replace salt and sugar with nutrient filled spices like ginger, thyme, turmeric, cinnamon and rosemary. Just be careful not to overdo it. Spices do tend to trigger the dreaded hot flash!

If you want to give clean eating a trial run, sign up for these seven menopause friendly recipes.  They’re free!

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Diet Plan for Menopause-Healthy Trail Mix

I’ve hit on a healthy afternoon snack trail mix that packs a nutritional wallup for menopausal women (or anybody for that matter). Here it is:

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1 Tbsp slivered almonds
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp raisins
1 Tbsp dark chocolate morsals

Almonds have healthy fats, vitamin E, protein and fiber that can help prevent cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. They can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent cell damage. -Medical News Today

Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E and B1, and copper. These prevent cell damage, help circulation and prevent skin and tissue damage. -Healthy Eating

Raisins contain natural carbs, fiber, iron, potassium and antioxidents. They give you a quick energy boost, help you stay regular, can help reduce chronic disease, lowers blood glucose and can decrease heart disease risk. -Livestrong

Dark Chocolate contains flavanols that reduce cell damage that can lead to heart disease. -Mayo Clinic

After reading this, I realize why this snack gives me an energy boost between work and my workout! Enjoy!

Want help planning healthy meals and snacks that will give you more energy while you cut the fat and sugar? Learn more

Recipe: Pineapple Salsa Pork

 

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I have been blogging lately about the importance of diet for women dealing with menopause. It’s amazing how the right foods in the right combinations can help with all the annoying symptoms of lower estrogen levels. Here’s a great recipe I have been making for a few years. I tweaked an e-diets low fat recipe to come up with Pineapple Salsa Pork.

Why it’s menopause friendly:

Lean protein to build muscle
Complex carbs (brown rice) to keep insulin levels more even
Smaller amounts of spices than the original recipe to keep the hot flash monster at bay
Antioxidents in the pineapple and salsa

If you are a fixer, this recipe equals
3 RED, 1/2 GREEN, 1 PURPLE, 1/2 YELLOW, 2 tsp

This recipe is written for two people. You can adjust it as needed.

You will need:
8 oz lean pork (I use boneless pork chops)
1/4 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 Tbsp salsa
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp oregano
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup uncooked brown rice

(cook rice according to package directions and keep warm)

1. Cut the pork into bite size pieces
2. Mix the chile powder, cumin, paprika, and black pepper together, then coat the pork evenly
3. Add olive oil to a pan and cook the pork over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain if needed.
4. Add the salsa and pineapple with juice, bring to a boil and cook 1 to 2 minutes
5. Add the cilantro and oregano and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes
6. Add cooked rice to pork and pineapple. Stir to mix and serve.

I served this with a salad to add some more fresh veggies to the meal. Enjoy! If you try it, let me know how you like it!

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21 Day Fix Banana Pancake Recipe

Happy January everyone!  Just another snow day here in Central PA.  I’m really grateful for the Turbo charged ice scraper/snow brush my hubby got me for Christmas.  It has an extension button that makes it up to 50″ long and a rotating brush so you can reach all the snow on your SUV.

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I officially finished the 21 Day Portion Fix yesterday and I am starting on the maintenance program today.  If you are someone that is looking for a way to lose extra pounds that is healthy and is NOT a crazy impossible diet, this one works.  I lost the Christmas weight I wanted to lose.  I did not starve or eat weird things for weeks on end.  There are many tasty recipes (aka Pinterest) you can find.  Just search “21 day fix”.  The best thing is most of them are really simple.  I can whip one up in 30 minutes or less.

Since school was cancelled again, I used my extra time to modify a recipe I found for Banana Pancakes.  It wasn’t fluffy enough for me so I changed it a little.  The pancakes were much better and they were worth 1 fruit, 1 carb, 1 protein and one teaspoon. Try it and see if you like it.

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1 banana

2 eggs

1/2 yellow container of oatmeal, 1/2 yellow  container of Bisquik (this is my change to make them fluffier)

1 tsp of butter

  1. Mix the first three ingredients in a blender until batter consistency
  2. Grease an electric skillet with butter
  3. Pour two pancakes from the blender
  4. Cook and serve with the remaining butter

These pancakes are sweet enough that you don’t need syrup.  I think the next time I see some good blueberries in the store, I will try this recipe with blueberries in place of the banana and see how it goes.

Comment and let me know if you like them!
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Simple Portion Control

Happy 2015! A brand new year is a chance to wipe the slate clean and start again.  A chance to make new goals and a plan to reach them. Do you want to lose weight, become healthier and more fit, challenge yourself with something you need to prepare for? January is a great time to start.

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This year my goal is to lose the holiday weight that crept on.  It’s much harder to do now that I am older.  I need a definite portion control plan. For the next three weeks, I’m using Portion Fix to help me cut the junk and eat the right amount of nutrients without overeating. Portion fix is a system to help you cut back on the calories without actually counting calories (which I hate). It used to be part of an exercise program called 21 Day Fix, but you can buy the containers seperately now (Yay!) The concept is simple, it’s just a series of containers that are colored according to the types of food you eat.  Green is for veggies, purple for fruit, red for protein, yellow for carbs, blue for healthy fats like milk and cheese. orange for salad dressings, seeds etc. and teaspoons for oils and nut butters.  You get to eat certain amounts (containers) of each type of food depending on your weight and if you want to lose or maintain your weight.

The very cool and helpful thing I discovered is that Pinterest is filled with recipes using this concept.  If you just search Pinterest with the phrase “21 day fix”  you will find tons of information and recipes.  You can make your own board and pin the recipes that appeal to you.  It makes cooking dinner pretty easy.  I have tried to keep lunch simple by buying some lean meats and canned veggies.  Then I just filled the containers, mixed the meat and veggies so I can microwave them at work and take another container of my favorite fruits. Breakfast is usually a protein shake for me, but you can find a lot of breakfast and lunch recipes, as well as snack ideas on Pinterest too. Here’s a link to follow my board if you’d like to.  I may even try to create a few of my own recipes or change the ones I try.  I’ll keep you posted.

Do you have any 21 Day Fix recipes to share?  Put a link in the comments!
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Weight Loss; Slow is the Way to Go

 

Who hasn’t settled in to watch at least one episode of “The Biggest Loser”? We are impressed at weigh-in by the huge weight loss numbers earned by the leading contestants. We feel sorry for the poor guy or girl who only lost a pound or two and stands crying on the scales.

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As much as the networks would like us to believe it, this is far from reality.  In real life, slow and steady weight loss will bring you health and success in the end.  Here’s why.

  1. Extreme weight loss actually lowers your metabolism.  Severely restricting your calories makes your body think it is starving and it slows all your metabolic processes down.  When you increase your calories (and you have to eventually), you gain the weight back.  Sometimes you even gain MORE than what you lost originally.
  2. Extreme weight loss tends to burn muscle instead of fat.  Muscle is what burns calories, so refer to number one for what will happen.
  3. Severely restricting your calories can leave you dehydrated, and fatigued. It’s hard to get all the nutrients you need when you cut calories to the bone so you may be left malnourished as well.
  4. EWL can be detrimental to a host of your organs.  It puts stress on your heart, can cause gallstones and affect your brain processes.  The lack of nutrients can mess with your neurotransmitters, which can lead to depression.
  5. If you are not giving your body the nutrients it needs (like calcium) it will take them where it can get them (like from your bones) leaving you at risk for things like bone density problems.

So what is healthy weight loss? The American Council on Exercise recommends one to two pounds per week. No one should restrict their calories to less than 1200 per day. In order to lose those one or two pounds per week, you need to combine calorie reduction and burning extra calories through exercise to make a 500 to 1000 calorie deficit per day.  3500 calories equals one pound.  If you lose weight slowly, you will be doing it by changing your lifestyle (doing something you can sustain over time). You will be much more likely to be able to keep it off.  Here’s a calorie calculator to help you figure out how  many calories you should eat to lose weight the healthy way. Here’s a link  to some videos to give you ideas to easily eliminate a few hundred calories per day.

Have you ever lost a lot of weight only to gain it back?  Have you lost weight and been able to keep it off?  Leave a comment and tell your story!
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