Is Social Media Bad For Your Health?

Reality Check

laundryHere I am standing in the gap between where I really am and where I want to be. That is the reality. I can post my best photos and my best moments, but those are just highlights in between the average, mundane reality.

Sure, I am constantly working on my health, my nutrition, my marriage, my spiritual life and my own personal development but I am still so far away from my goal. And, in reality, the bulk of the day is not filled with non-stop blissful victories and photo opps. It’s far from glamorous.

Actually, most days would look more like those moments when you open your phone and it’s still on the forward facing camera, where your nose looks twice as big as it is and you have three chins.

Accidental selfie cam viewThe fact is, my life is filled with multiple failures (like the scary self-cam moments) between my tiny successful proud moments that are few and far between.

Most days I have to rack my brain for anything interesting to post. Quite honestly, most days there is NOTHING interesting to post. My days are simply filled with daunting tasks like washing dishes, paying bills, checking emails and just living all the not-so-interesting moments we all live day after day.

Not that this would shock anyone because I’m no celebrity or anything, but I think we forget that even our coolest most admired Facebook and Instagram friends have very messy imperfect lives just like we do and they are still very much a work in progress.

The Curse of Comparison

 

“The fastest way to kill something is to compare it to something else.” — Craig Groeschel

social media pressureSadly, with social media, blog sites and the ability to create a perfect image online, we are constantly surrounded by opportunities to compare ourselves to everyone around us; people who appear fitter, happier, richer, freer, holier, stronger, better.

That is not reality and we even know it. What we see online is just a “highlight ree;” of their reality, yet we still compare ourselves away. No wonder so many of us are stressed out and depressed.

The pressure to keep up and to post something interesting every day can be overwhelming. In addition, we have the added pressure of our post being “graded” with likes and comments. A post you worked really hard on can seem to bomb and not get the “approval rating” you had hoped, only to add to your list of daily fails.

Bonnie’s Bloopers

My norm is filled with so many “oh crap” moments and those “dang it! I did it again” times. Between diet fails and meaningless petty arguments with my better half, I typically have many more fails than victories most days.

IMG_0933That is the reality behind my InstaLife and it’s the reality of everyone’s life, no matter how picture perfect it seems.

Even as a “fitness expert”, I fail time after time. I struggle to get to the gym, I don’t want to diet and I have countless grumpy, ugly moments. I may post my daily devotion but I don’t post those times I desperately want to skip church and hide out at home. I don’t share how I hit the snooze button 9 times before I finally got up (literally happened this morning). I want to do what is right, yet often find myself doing what I don’t want to do. (Sound familiar? Romans 7:15-20)

Most of us don’t post our dirty dishes or bathroom sink that is caked with soap scum, dust and hair. No way! We make sure we only post photos that are taken in the clean areas and we make darn sure we approve all photos posted online. Only the BEST gets posted right?

I think we need more blooper reels and less highlight reels. We shouldn’t be afraid to post failures. Just think of all the famous failures that inspire us today; from Henry Ford to Walt Disney. If we didn’t know their failures, we couldn’t appreciate their successes. And, more importantly, it would be better for our health.

We can eat healthy, exercise and even get enough sleep, and still be stressed to the max and completely unhealthy if we aren’t aware of how social media affects our mind and mental health.

Perceived Perfection

photoshopped celebritiesIt is a difficult time we live in where everything is photoshopped and filtered. We even apply fun filters to our candid shots to improve the way we look or to make the scene more appealing. Filters are just part of our life now.

Magazines were once the only main source of photoshopped images but now all images are improved so much you can hardly stand the way you look in the mirror because you are seeing the REAL YOU with all your flaws, as if we have forgotten what the real you looks like.

We need to make a change. We can’t change what is going on around us, but we sure as heck can change how we react to it. We need a mind shift. We need a massive reframing – a new way of looking at our world and a new way of looking at ourselves. We need it, our family needs it, our coworkers need it. We ALL need it because we are all subject to comparisons.

Reframing for Your Health

reframe your life“Reframing your perspective when you’re looking at social media can also help your mental well being. It’s helpful to remember that the updates and the photos you see only tell one side of the story”, explains Dr. Craig Dike explains in his article How to Cope with Social Media Anxiety.

Steve and I actually have been studying reframing and just finished Craig Groeschel’s Mastermind series that teaches on this important life-changing technique. (Aaaah-mazing! I posted one of the videos below if you want to learn more!)

What is reframing?

Phycology Today says to reframe is defined as “placing something in a new frame.” When we change our point of view on any given situation, the facts remain the same, but a deliberate shift is made in how we see it.

This is something we ALL need to practice. Yes, practice. It’s not something we can just change overnight, like putting on rose colored glasses and forevermore seeing things differently. It will take regular practice and won’t be easy. However, if we can master this, I believe it can radically improve our life and health.

8 Ways to Have a Healthy Social Media Life

1. FIND YOUR SOUL PURPOSE – Follow people who are dedicated to helping you to be more beautiful on the inside, not just on the outside. Surround yourself, in real life and online, with the kind of person you want to be.

2. BE MINDFUL – Follow and engage with knowledgeable people who share educated guidance that makes you think, not just hot trainers or fitness enthusiasts showing off ridiculous exercises you could never do in a million years. It’s never healthy to constantly see something that is not within reach.

3. BE INSPIRED – Find like-minded REAL people you can relate to who inspire you to reach your goals. It’s the “average Joe” who has conquered all obstacles, not the genetically gifted ones, who can remind you of your true potential.

4. BE REAL – The more real you are online, the more real people you will attract. People will appreciate your authentic feed and you will attract people who aren’t scared toe be vulnerable and honest with you.

5. TAKE OUT THE TRASH - Maybe it’s time to start unfollowing unhealthy or negative feeds. Learn to recognize the signs of unhealthy thoughts following seeing certain people or posts. Click “unfriend”, “unfollow” or “hide” to clean up your feed.

6. GET SUPPORT – Join private support groups dedicated to providing high quality content to enhance your life. There are support groups for every passion. Explore them! You never know what you will find!

7. TAKE A BREAK – Don’t be afraid to go off the air. You can even let everyone know you are taking a social media break. People will understand. I just encourage you to word it in a way everyone reading it doesn’t think you are acting self-righteous, as if everyone else staying online is a loser. Be sensitive to how you come across but also be an example. Someone else may need to follow your lead and take a break too.

8. LESS IS MORE – Do you have too many social media platforms to manage? Are you in too many facebook groups? Do you check your feeds too often? Something’s gotta give. Maybe it’s time to find tune your social media responsibilities. Social Media is not unhealthy. In fact, it can simply be amazing! Many people’s lives have been radically enhanced and changed with the help of social media. It’s how we manage social media that can be unhealthy. Turn off notifications so you aren’t constantly getting updates and limit your time online. Maybe it’s even time to decide which platforms are most important to you and table the rest.

MORE…

Change Your Filter

Check out Part 3 of Mastermind, where Pastor Craig Groeschel will show you how to reframe your situation, your story, and your relationships to thank God for what didn’t happen, pre-frame future experiences, and look for God’s goodness in every moment of your life. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you frame it.

 

Spiritual Life Hacks: Run the Race Better, Faster, Easier

run the raceShortcuts

Don’t we all prefer taking shortcuts? We use Maps to tell us which route is faster. We search blogs and articles for life hacks, and look for any tips we can find to get through our crazy day with more ease.

I see this the most in the world of fitness. No one wants to work harder than they need to. We want to be faster, stronger, better but we want the quickest way to get there.

As I was reading this morning’s daily reading in Hebrews, I explored different versions and really connected with the Message version today. It’s life hacks at its best; how to run the race of life better, stronger, easier. Here are some of my favorite lines.

“Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.”

#1 – Get rid of anything holding us back.

How often do we try to do life our way. We refuse to let go of things, bad habits, emotions, unforgiveness, relationships and heavy burdens. No wonder we run so slow. Who can run fast carrying all that luggage?

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.”

#2 – Stay focused on the goal.

It is SO easy to get sidetracked and distracted by the flashy shiny things in life. Whether it’s “stuff”, people, laziness, self-pity or comfort, we MUST keep our eye on the goal. And, we must “practice” and imitate our coach. We will fail, but we can always get better as long as we are following the right leader.

“don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children.”

#3 – Embrace discipline.

Loving parents correct their kids – for their own good, to protect them and help them grow up.

I remember some of my friends in high school who seemed to get away with murder. They threw parties and lived a lifestyle I knew my parents would never tolerate. I remember also feeling sorry for them because I could see their parent’s selfishness in the lack of discipline. They didn’t care what their kid was doing because they were too busy dating and playing themselves. I also remember recognizing the fact I had loving parents who loved me enough to discipline me. The same goes with our heavenly Father. He loves us enough to take us just like we are but too much to let us stay there.

This text also references “training” and I can’t help but think of how a coach trains his athletes. A coaches hardest training is reserved for the kids who have the most potential. God knows our potential, so we need to let him work us so we can develop into the man or woman He desires us to be.

“At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”

#4 – We have to keep our focus on the reward, not the work.

Discipline is HARD but moving forward without maturing in the Lord is HARDER. Our current pain and suffering can cause us to get tired and discouraged. But, just like the old saying “no pain, no gain”, we must remember it’s a requirement for growth. We can’t reap the harvest without plowing the fields. We can refuse to do the work, but we are also refusing to get the reward.

“So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!” 

#5 – Don’t drag your feet.

We often use busyness as an accepted form of procrastination (mainly me lol – I’m preachin’ to myself). But our constant busyness and even the most legitimate excuses really are just other ways to “sit around on our hands”. I look busy. I AM busy, but am I busy doing what God called me to do or what I want to do. Or worse, what others want me to do? I need to remember I can choose my busy. There’s a big difference between being busy and being productive.

Lastly, I LOVE that it says “clear the path” for others. We aren’t supposed to run this race alone. We are to help each other go the distance! We should help our friends run with more ease too. We should point out the pot holes, uneven pavement and loose shoestrings in life.

Never run your race alone.

“If you want to go FAST, go alone. If you want to go FAR, go together.” ❤

RUNNERS BEWARE: 4 Things to Consider

Bonnie PfiesterPeople are still always so shocked when I warn people not to relying on running for fat loss. So, I decided I’d share it again. This was my number one blog post of all time so I thought it was time to get it back out there so you can make the most of your workouts.

When I think of runners I think of fit people. I picture thin peeps jogging it out every day, lookin’ and feeling good – but that is not always the case. Many runners may be doing their body (and physique) more harm than good.  Although I am a runner and love the benefits of it, there can be some negative side effects if that’s all you do.

4 Things Runners Should Consider

#1 You Can Get Skinny Fat.

We’ve all seen it. A person is slim, but not fit. They jiggle in the middle, their butt sags, their thighs flab, but they wear a size 4.If you aren’t preserving muscle with resistance training and getting enough protein (I take 100-125gms a day) you could lose valuable muscle that gives you the fit and firm shape you want.

#2 Your Metabolism Can Slow Down.

tone legsOur metabolism is primarily based on our muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest (Basal Metabolic Rate). For instance, most of our female clients burn between 1200-1300 calories at rest (Mine is BMR is 1500). I’m not muscle-bound by all means, but I do have more lean mass so I do burn more calories than I did without muscle. I am a runner, but I also do hit the weights HARD – and as you can see (that’s me on the right), my legs don’t look like a bodybuilder. Note: Resistance training is any exercise that uses resistance (weight) like weights, bands, kettlebells and power yoga or bootcamp (using your own body weight).

#3 You May Have More Noticeable Cellulite.

Name that butt. This celebrity is the beautiful Sharon Stone! However, she’s a victim of cellulite too. (NOTE: She is still beautiful and my husband still loves her!) The truth is, runners may not have MORE fat, but you could likely SEE more fat. Why? Because without the plump, tone muscle behind the fat, the pockets of fat have no support and are more noticeable.

Young runners may still enjoy the benefit of looking fit because they still have natural muscle tone, but  as you age you lose muscle, unless you are purposely maintaining it.

It’s also common in people who lose a lot of weight, because they often lose muscle with the fat. The best way to get rid of fat is with diet and cardio, but the best way to fight visible cellulite is by shaping up the legs with weights. A combination of the two is ideal.

#4 You Could Break Your Body.

Running is affordable, so some people replace the gym with running – thinking they will get the same results. Not so. It’s understandable why people would think they could keep in shape by running alone. Like I said, I LOVE running and value it, but too much of anything can be a bad thing.

When we lift weights we tear down certain body parts at a time. We work on legs one day or upper body the next, giving our body a chance to rest in between. However, runners may run every day, continually beating the body up with little rest. This is why some of our fit members, who turned into runners, are getting injured. Most of them mainly run now because now they CAN run, when it used to not even be an option before they joined our gym. However, their body can’t take the constant beating and eventually it starts screaming at them.

So runners, you can STILL run, but just be careful and work to maintain a healthy balance. You’ll not only FEEL better, you’ll look better too!

RUNNER’S PERKS:

  • Running improves your cardiovascular system, strengthening your heart and lunges
  • It lowers your blood pressure.
  • It’s convenient and affordable
  • It burns calories to aid in weight loss
  • Your body secretes mood enhancing hormones to fight depression
  • Running relieves stress
  • It also boosts confidence when you set, and reach, goals
  • Running helps smokers improve lung health and air capacity
  • It gives you a way to support various causes (Susan G. Komen, etc)
  • Runners may live longer because their heart beats up to 36,000 times less a year than an inactive person

What Do You Want?

Before you decide what exercise program you should do, you should consider your goals. We often do what is easy, cheap or what we think we can do. However, what you should do is think about the body you want and work backwards.

If you aren’t sure what type of exercise you should do to get the physique you want, contact me and I’ll help point you in the right direction!

Subscribe to my pFITblog today! (top right corner) :)

How to Use Essential Oils for Healthy Living

meyer's lavenderI’ve always tried to eat healthy and take care of my body in the gym and the kitchen, but it wasn’t until recently I started being more aware of other ways I can be healthier. One of those things is limited chemicals in my house.

For instance, I switched to natural cleaners like Meyer’s Lavender Cleaners, which I LOOOOVE! I also started relying on diffusing essential oils instead of using plug-ins and other chemical air fresheners. I had NO IDEA how unhealthy those things were!

While researching and experimenting, I have learned so much (still have loads to learn), but have really enjoyed my healthier home.

Why work SO hard to put only the healthiest things in my mouth and then completely ignore what I inhale through my lungs or apply to my skin? What can I say? I’m a slow learner.

So here are a few fun things I’ve learned that I thought I’d pass along!

Put these 6 Powerful Oils to Work

essential oilsLemon Oil - Uplifting and refreshing. Inhale to reduce symptoms of cold and cough. I love to use this while I’m working and cleaning the house. It freshens the house and energizes my body.

Peppermint Oil - Naturally uplifting yet calming. Apply topically to relieves joint pain, muscle pain and digestive discomfort. Cools the body after a workout. This is another energizing oil I enjoy diffusing in my office.

Eucalyptus Oil – Inhale to relieves headaches by diffusing or applying to chest. Add a couple of drops to your bath. This is a great oil during allergy season!

Lavender Oil – Inhale to calm, unwind and relax. Use with Sleep Spray for improved sleep. My favorite oil of all. I feel like I am in a spa! While it’s not stimulating, I love burning it while I’m working, especially if I am having a stressful day. One shot of Ionix (natural stress reliever) and a few drops of Lavender in my diffuser makes a stressful day fade away!

TIP: Put a couple of drops of Lavender Essential Oil on the inside of your toilet paper roll and get a burst of fragrance every time you use it!

Tea Tree Oil - Helps reduce symptoms for cold and cough. Purifies and nourishes the air and skin. Mix with water, witch hazel or oil and dab on trouble spots to treat acne. Add 3-4 drops to your shampoo to fight dandruff. Too many uses for this bad boy!

Frankincense Oil - Inhale to decompress and relax. Apply topically to promote healthy looking skin. I’ve heard rumors it is great for erasing scars, treating acne and smoothing out wrinkles. I’ll be putting that one to the test for sure! I’m not getting any younger! LOL!

DIY – Baking Soda Air Freshener

DIY-Air-FreshenerI found this great way to replace standard air freshener gels, etc by making your own healthier version using baking soda, which is a very effective as an odor absorber.

All you need is:

  • Baking soda
  • Essential Oils
  • A small glass jar with vented lid

Instructions:

  1. Fill the jar with baking soda and add the essential oil, using 6 drops per tablespoon of baking soda.
  2. Place the jar in the room you want to naturally freshen and deodorize the air.
  3. Replace it when the baking soda begins to harden or gets clumpy

Source: Natural Living Ideas

Let’s Talk Cost

Since I am still new to oils, I decided to to my homework and see how our Isagenix oils compared to leading essential oil brands. Granted, companies specializing purely in oil may have more variety, but I was stoked to see we beat everyone in price while maintaining and even exceeding quality.

essential oil comparison chart

Essential Oil Quality

Isagenix used third party testing company to analyze top oil products on the market and applies their No Compromise Policy to their new Essence essential oil line to compare to meet and exceed quality.

 

Fitness: For Better or For Worse

for better for worseWhat is your relationship with fitness? Is it like marriage or an unstable love affair? Do you love it when it’s easy and convenient or are you committed to it no matter what?

I think most people treat fitness like an on-again-off again boyfriend. When you get down and lonely, you run to your fitness friend but as soon as things get rough and complicated, you leave it faster than a toupee in a hurricane.

Fitness requires commitment. While it can be fun, it’s not something you do just for fun. It’s not something you do on only the good days or when you feel like it. It’s something you commit to doing no matter what. Like a job, you will have days you don’t want to show up. But, like a job, if you want the pay-off, you have to keep showing up.

200 Calorie Low-Carb Tex-Mex Breakfast

Spice things up in the morning with zesty low-cal mini quiches. They are super easy to make and perfect for life on the run. Make a batch of crustless quiches and turkey bacon over the weekend, and reheat them in seconds for a quick and easy breakfast on the go during the busy week!

Ingredients:

Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper MIni QuicheQuiche:

1 1/2 c Egg Whites (liquid egg white)

1/2 c Califia Coconut Almond Milk

1/3 c Diced Vidalia Onions

1 3/4 c Chopped and Drained Spinach

1/4 c Parmesan Cheese

6-8 Roasted Red Pepper Pieces (diced)

2 tsp Cilantro

1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 tsp Cumin

Topping:

1 Medium Tomato (thinly sliced)

12 Slices Jalapeño

1/4 c Shredded Four Cheese Mexican Blend

Salt & Pepper to taste

Spray your muffin pan with Pam and preheat the oven to 375. Mix all the ingredients together except for the toppings. Pour mixture into muffin pan and top each quiche with 1 thinly sliced tomato, a sprinkle of cheese and one sliced jalapeño. Sprinkle with salt and garnish with fresh cilantro or a sliver of avocado. Bake for 25 minutes or until quiche is nice and firm. Let it sit before serving.

Top with a dollop of light sour cream, thinly sliced avocado or fresh salsa and serve with 2 strips of turkey bacon for a low-carb, low-cal breakfast.

3 quiches and 2 slices of turkey bacon is only 207 calories!

Here is a screen shot of my breakfast in LoseIt!

LoseIt Low-Cal Breakfast

 

How Accurate Is Your Food Log? 6 Common Mistakes

sad food

As a diet coach, I use software that links with the LoseIt! app to monitor my clients’ diets. The app allows me to see everyone’s food log, comment, encourage and make suggestions like “eat this, not that”. However, I have noticed a few common mistakes so I thought I’d share them publicly to help you if you are either new to logging food or seem to be in a rut.

PFIT TIP: After you read this blog, take my 7-day food log challenge. It’s simply committing to 7 days of ACCURATE logging. 

6 Food Log Boo-Boos

inaccurate loseit entry1. Inaccurate Info

One mistake I see often are food entries with missing information. This happens when you choose a food that is missing vital nutrient information (like fat, carbs and protein). The easiest way to fix this is to always look for the green “verified” checkmark by the food item.

The next way to ensure your food entries are accurate is to click on the food, look at all the nutritional data and look for “n/a”. Missing info happens when someone enters a food in the database but does not list all the nutrients. Skipping info leaves an “n/a” under that section. Avoid foods with n/a, and you’ll get more accurate information, which is super important for those of you tracking macro-nutrients (protein, carbs & fat).

2. Similar entry, but not correct entry

Another common trend I see are food entries that are clearly the closest thing someone could choose to what they actually ate, but is not really what they ate at all. For instance, one of my clients had a salad with pear and gorgonzola cheese. She looked up pear and “gorgonola cheese” and clicked on the lowest calorie entry. First red flag; the misspelled word was my first clue it was likely not accurate info.

1 servingThe second red flag was the fact it said “1 serving”. What is 1 serving? Is it a side salad, small bowl or a large salad plate? The last red flag was the fact it was the lowest amount of calories of other misspelled entries. Her entry was only 150 calories out of the only 2 entries. Once I looked up “salad pear gorgonzola cheese”, using the correct spelling, a page full of entries popped up ranging from 169 calories to 480 calories! That’s a BIG difference.

3. Guestimating portions

It’s amazing how many people just enter “half a cup of rice” but never pull out a measuring cup. This is a crucial step to getting results, as well as a pheonminal nutrition education. One of my favorite things about having people log food is how much they learn in the process. But, you can’t learn anything playing the guessing game.

I’m amazed how many people admit they don’t actually weigh and measure food but still expect results. Can you imagine if we did that with our shopping? What if we looked at the groceries on the conveyer belt and just gave the cashier the amount we guessed the groceries would cost. Listen, I’ve never been on the Price Is Right for a reason. I would be wrong every time.

PFIT TIP: Practice learning portions by guessing ounces/measurements before you weigh and measure to see if you can get more accurate the more you log.

LoseIt Pie Graph4. Not paying attention to macros.

LoseIt has a fantastic section under “My Day” that shows you a pie graph of where your calories are coming from; protein, fats and carbs. Reducing calories will reduce your waistline, but your macro nutrients will determine how you look and feel at your new skinnier weight. You should get a balance of carbs, fats and proteins, but most people are getting the majority of their calories from carbohydrates and not getting near enough protein. The pie graph lets you see your eating patterns at a glance.

PFIT TIP: You can click on “Breakfast” or “Dinner” and view a pie graph of that individual meal. I prefer dinner to be lower in carbs so this is an easy way to check that in a jiffy.

5. Not consistent

This is probably the most common problem I see. People will log for 4-5 days in a row, only to go MIA on me, especially over the weekend. Or, they will miss meals or snacks here and there.

LoseIt only works if you give it accurate information. You can’t really know what you need to change, and no one can really make helpful suggestions, unless you have accurate information. While logging does make you more aware of what you are putting in your body, logging accurate information consistently is the only way you can really guarantee you are truly doing everything you need to do.

How can you decide if you can or cannot afford something if you never looked at what was coming in and out of your bank account? You can’t. You actually might be able to afford something once you look at where you may be wasting money (and could save money) and the same goes for diet. You may be wasting calories on something you don’t even really love, but you’ll never know until you log consistently and let the LoseIt! app teach you more and more about food – and about yourself.

6. Logging after you eat

trying to rememberOftentimes, I will comment, “don’t forget to log” when I see missing data and I will get a response like “Oh, I meant to log it later” or “I’ll do it now”. Logging after we eat normally results in inaccurate information. I’m pretty dang good at logging and I STILL will forget I grabbed 6 cashews unless I log it the second they go into my hand. We just forget things.

We mean well, but those little mistakes can sabotage our results. We forget the olive oil we used to cook with. We forget toppings, dressings and ingredients. Then we get frustrated because we feel like we are doing everything right but not getting the results we deserve, when the truth is we are not doing everything right. We aren’t logging right. Not only that, we don’t know what to fix because we don’t have all the data we need to make the right changes. We have room to improve.

The best way to log is BEFORE it goes in your mouth.

5 Questions To Keep An Accurate Log:

When in doubt, ask the following questions
1. Does the food you’ve chosen have all the macro nutrients listed?
2. Are there many choices to choose from? Often times a misspelled word or different title will pull better data.
3. Are the calories in line with most of the other data or are they way off?
4. Is it measurable? Avoid “1 serving” unless it’s prepackaged or a verified restaurant item. Always choose foods you can measure and compare accurately, preferably in ounces.
5. Is it something I can break down and enter more accurately on my own? As you log, you will begin to recognize what 1 ounce of goat cheese looks like or how 4 ounces of chicken looks on your plate. Not only is it typically more accurate to add each ingredient individually as you see it rather than just choose a random food item someone added to the LoseIt app, it’s great practice to analyze your entries and practice your eyeball-measuring skills.

 

FOOD PREP: Healthy Coconut Lime Rice Recipe

Steve & Bonnie PfiesterThere is a restaurant Steve and I love to go to on our “Thursdates” after we shoot our shows in South Florida where they serve yummy chicken and vegetable skewers over the most amazing tropical rice. However, we often have to trade the rice for steamed broccoli when we are dieting because I’m sure the chef doesn’t care about our waistline or goals as much as we do.

I started thinking the other day. I always steam rice on the weekends as part of my weekly food prep. What if I could make a yummier version of plain rice without all the extra calories? One of my favorite things to do is brainstorm on ways to make healthy alternatives that may be similar to my restaurant favs and that is how this rice made it into my rice cooker.

tropical coconutI thought about all the flavors I love; sweet and creamy coconut, tangy lime juice and the fresh taste of cilantro. I loved the idea of making a sweeter rice like the tropical rice we like, as well as the coconut lime rice often served at moderne mexican grills. Why not do a little of both?

I started throwing stuff together. I experimented on Jasmine Rice first and later did it with brown rice – and it was a hit both times. Not only did I like it, I liked it without adding anything else like butter, sour cream or loads of salt and pepper so it actually is SAVING me calories!

I paired it with pulled chicken cooked in my InstaPot with lime juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, red pepper, salt and pepper as my core dishes for the week. Enjoy!

Sweet Coconut Lime Rice 

Coconut Lime Rice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Coconut Milk Rice4 Cups Jasmine or Brown Rice
  • 2 Cups Califia Coconut Almondmilk
  • 2 Cups Organic Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cup Water
  • 3 T Cilantro (season to taste)
  • 3 Limes (lime lovers can always add more!)
  • Pinch of Stevia (to sweeten & bring out the coconut flavor)
  • Salt
  • Garlic (optional – Trainers may not want to breath garlic on their clients FYI! LOL!)
  • Dice Mango or pineapple (optional)

AROMA RICE COOKERI threw all the ingredients together in my incredible Aroma Rice Cooker (thank you Kristie for that gift that keeps on giving!) and let it do the rest! Perfect fluffy rice every time!

NOTE FOR DIETERS: I decided to cut calories by limiting the recipe to only 2 cups of coconut rice. I added the chicken stock to boost flavor without the extra calories (only 5 calories for 8oz). Feel free to play around with differenet combinations. You can’t go wrong as long as you always use the amount of liquid suggested for the rice you use.

Tropical Rice Bowl

I love making a healthy rice bowl for lunch, before my afternoon workout, which normally includes

  • 3 1/2oz pulled or ground chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup coconut lime rice
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese (instead of sour cream)
  • Fresh salsa

Need more fat? Add a couple of slices of avocado!

If you can afford the extra calories, top it all with some diced fresh mango

Or, save calories and enjoy a drizzle of Cindy’s Mango Coconut & Pepper dressing to give your bowl more tropical flair. (I buy it at Fresh Market.) Super healthy. Super yummy! You won’t feel like you are dieting at all!

Mango Coconut & Pepper Dressing

Ask me about my newest seasonal shake:  Pina Colada! OMG! And my Mounds Bar shake recipe! Oh my! Dieting never tasted this good!

Click HERE to learn more about my FREE nutrition coaching!

 

5 Healthy Ways to Celebrate Weight Loss Success

diningWhat do you think of when you think of “celebration”? I think of parties, food, drinks, sweets, cake, friends and music. It’s the easy way to celebrate, but not the only way to celebrate. It’s also not the best way to celebrate when the thing you are celebrating is weight loss or meeting a health and fitness goal.

Think about it this way. What if you were a recovering drug addict? Would you celebrate 30 days of recovery by having a party where you can indulge in some drug use just for one night? It’s actually quite ludicrous when you think of it that way. So why would we do the very same thing with food after finally getting “clean”?

Here are 5 healthy ways to celebrate your success:

woman and a burger1. Secure your size, not sabotage it.

Instead of going out to eat or indulging in the greasiest, gooiest, highest-calorie food you can find, go shopping! Seriously! You could easily spend $100 treating yourself to a special meal or two, or going out on the town. Instead of sabotaging your success, secure it! Treat yourself to a new pair of jeans or a new outfit instead to fit your brand new body. Not only will this be a great treat, but it will also keep you motivated to stay in your new smaller size. This type of celebration supports success, instead of sabotaging it.

buying tennis shoes2. Support your lifestyle, not your old one.

We tend to let old habits creep back into our new healthier lifestyle. We ALL do this – even me. Next time you reach a goal, instead of treating yourself to an old unhealthy habit, do something that actually supports your new healthy lifestyle. Treat yourself to a new pair of tennis shoes, a gym membership, a class pass, fitness magazine, gym bag, fitness accessory or helpful gadget. Set small goals with small healthy prizes along the way to keep you focused and motivated to keep plugging away.

girl eating cake3. Celebrate on purpose.

Many times we piggyback our celebration onto another event, like a birthday party or football game. If you do this, your celebration not only loses value but it can easily turn into a habit of making excuses to celebrate because there will always be a party to attend or an event surrounded by food and drinks to tempt you to “celebrate” again and again. Plus, it’s very unlikely the people who are “celebrating” with you appreciate what you are celebrating or will share common goals. Celebrating on purpose takes planning, but it also should be set apart from other typical celebrations. Otherwise, you may find yourself celebrating every weekend.

4. Celebrate with the right friends.

high five friendIt normally takes more than one person to help you reach your goals. It could take a supportive spouse, a trainer, workout partners, friends or co-workers to help you stay committed every day. If you want to celebrate, don’t celebrate alone. Celebrate with the people who will understand your accomplishment and are excited for you more than others. Most of the time, they too are working toward a goal so they won’t want to sabotage their success either. And, if they haven’t reached their goal, your victory can inspire them to try harder. Also, the right friends will understand why you are still drinking water or not wanting to go completely overboard in your celebration instead of trying to convince you to let loose because you’ve “worked so hard” and “deserve it”.

5. Party outside the box.

pedicure partyA party doesn’t have to involve food or drinks. A party or celebration’s most important component is the people who are celebrating with you. Once you have decided who you want to celebrate with, then decide what you want to do – and be creative! There are SO many ways to celebrate. You can go to a theme park, play mini-golf, go bowling, plan a beach or pool party (Lord knows you won’t want to pig out if you are wearing a bathing suit! LOL), go to a rock climbing gym with friends, see a show, plan a mini vaca, schedule a shopping trip with friends or have a spa day. You can even go solo and treat yourself to a pedicure or schedule a relaxing massage and just enjoy some quiet time to yourself.

We will always be tempted to do what we’ve always done and take the easy route, but if you are truly changing your lifestyle, you will also have to change the way you celebrate victories. Because, if you are working this hard to improve, you will have a lot of victories in your future!

Is Fear Holding You Back?

Fear! We ALL have fears. Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of the unknown, fear of injury, fear of being uncomfortable or unhappy. Fears hold us back so it’s only when we allow ourself to go afraid that we can actually go anywhere at all.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  – 2 Timothy 1:7

fearFear is not something God wants us to live in. He wants us to move boldly ahead and trust Him on our journey. If you are letting fear hold you back from doing something healthy, better, good, helpful or right, you are actually in sin because you aren’t trusting Him to help you through it.

I have let fears hold me back so much over my lifetime. I will move boldly in any area I am strong in, but not when it comes to an area of weakness or the unknown. Then my tendency is to make excuses, procrastinate, watch from a distance or pretend I don’t even want “it”.

Even something as simple as taking an exercise class was something I didn’t do because I was afraid. I am a fitness professional, yet I was terrified of being put on the spot, failing or not being able to live up to what I thought people expected of me. 4 years ago, I made a decision to put my fears aside and just, like Joyce Meyer says “go afraid”. Feeling fear isn’t wrong, but not doing what you know you should do because of fear is what is wrong.

I have watched fear paralyze people and it has even paralyzed me, but no more!! I’m going to be the woman God desires me to be even if I have to do it with my knees knocking and fingers shaking! Who’s with me!?

fear-false-evidence-appearing-real

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