Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thanksgiving, Grateful I'm Not Stressing!

Holiday time. So, my sister wanted to know what I’m bringing on thanksgiving this year. This question USED to stress me out, because I tend toward (very) last minute planning. But then I realized we live in the information era. The plethora of nutrition and health blogs at our fingertips makes holiday meal planning a sinch! But I also wanted to help you with recipes I KNOW are paleo and deliciously tried and TRUE.

Don’t stress out like I used to do, instead, simplify it. Every thanksgiving only needs a few items besides turkey. Veggie dish (Brussels sprouts this year), biscuits, sweet potato side, and pie(s).
These recipes are gluten free, sugar free, dairy free and will knock your socks off anyway. Now, let’s do some clean eating from now until the holidays so we can pig out in peace.

Elanas pantry pumpkin pie – Last year we (well, in ALL honesty, I ) started a new tradition. We eat a piece of pie while we wait for the turkey to bake. We start with pie and we end with more pie after the grub.  Why not, we're Americans.

Elanas pantry salt/pepper crackers – heavy but great for you crunch-seeking cracker lovers who want to stay away from gluten

Nom nom paleo brussels sprouts - I never like Brussels sprouts until this recipe came in my life. serious. Your kids will even love it, especially with small pieces and using quality fig balsamic vinegar as the cherry on top

 Creamy prebiotic potato salad - also with bacon. I love this stuff because it's actually really good for you if you use real sauerkraut, plus its got resistant starch so you'll stay full longer along with other health benefits. You can sub sweet potatoes or just use white potatoes and be a paleo-rebel 

We had this in school and I loved it. Omit the sugar please, you don't need it. This is so nutritious with mushrooms with adaptogen properties. 

Cauliflower mashed “potatoes” You don't need the fullness of more potatoes, get your cauliflower with loads of vitamin C, B vitamins and minerals. No guilt here!

Ever cooked with the most expensive herb on the planet? Saffron comes in small amounts because its full of vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin C (so is the cauliflower)

Lexisclean kitchen – thanksgiving biscuits - Pumpkin is delicious and also loaded with fiber and helps you produce serotonin (the "all is well" neurotransmitter that helps you have self control

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Getting Back on Track (yes, you can!)

-When I eat sugar, I crave sugar 
-When I eat veggies, I crave veggies

In nutrition class, my instructor started class with one question, "How do we get back on track?" She said on a trip she just returned from, she ate poorly, she drank martinis and changed from gluten free to gluten-full. "It's near impossible to eat gluten free in some parts of the east coast." she said. It actually was a relief to hear from my food guru that she gets off track with her eating too. 

Lack of healthy options leads to sub-par food choices, and traveling amplifies that. 
The answer for 'how to get back on track from class varied. One person said he goes straight from the airport to the grocery store, no matter the time, and buys his groceries. You have to find what works for your body. My mental and physical self works best using baby steps. So here's my go-to:

Getting Back On Track:
For me, my eating habits work in a circular pattern, they work on a system where I am propelled in the direction in which I was eating the prior day. So vacations really tend to put me in the hole, where I am eating poorly but I have to pull myself out because I feel so yucky. Bloated, fat, overfed, lacking self control. You know. like this guy

Down the Hatch! Smothered in butter
Kale chips and Brussels sprouts!
So for my quick fix, post-vacation or post Holidays - I start with a big plate full of one veggie that I really like which is usually steamed broccoli, asparagus or Brussels sprouts- something green. Honestly, it doesn't look or sound delicious after coming off a bad-eating cycle. Disrespectfully, I look at the food and kinda roll my eyes at it. The transition can be difficult on everyone/thing including the food.  Also, I pull out the big guns, and use butter as bait! If I need to get my veggies in, I will smother them in grass-fed butter + Himalayan salt OR coconut oil + salt. Butter and salt make everything better, use them as your kick start. 

However, once I eat the plate of healthy, magic happens. After consuming the plate of greens,  my mood brightens and I know I can live a healthy life again. I feel so much better and I have established the tone for the next meal. I also would advise to prep your next meal's veggies ahead of time. That means the next meal is partly prepared and you have less excuses keeping you from getting those vitamins inside. So while one veggie cooks, chop up the ones for your next meal. See, baby steps. I personally am not a week-long food prepping type. But I will prep for the following meal if I am thinking clearly.

You Crave What You Eat
Here's the deal. Whatever you eat, your body will crave more of. Our gut microbiome (gut bacteria) changes in 3 days of a new diet. So our gut will easily adapt to new food choices, good or bad. Why are you craving junk food? Because you're eating junk food. Why is the vegetarian craving a big salad, it's because she eats a big salad regularly. It's not a lack of self control. Kids, don't read this next sentence, processed food has a "double fuck you" effect on hunger, because the ingredients are chemically processed to be addictive plus, you crave what you eat. 

Honestly, I think this happens as a protection mechanism. Back in the way back of old days, we didn't know what was safe to eat from the wild. I think if we tried a food once and it didn't kill us, then we would keep eating it. Plus it gives our gut bacteria time to adapt for proper digestion. 

But it shows also that a lasting change in your eating habits, starts with your prior meal. It is as easy to start eating well as steaming some broccoli and smothering it in butter. Go get your greens people. Make a change now that lights the path for how you want to eat forever. Baby steps. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Invoking Physical Change, You Are The CEO

In one of my favorite books, Nurturing Wisdom, the author said there are two divisions of the mind. There is the thinking part and there is the proving part. One part of your brain will have a thought and the other part will seek ways to prove it's correct. It develops our belief system. It's why once we have a belief, we see it's truth everywhere. This is why religion works so well.

This morning, my dear 3-year old daughter woke me up, it was too early, and I was grumpy at the intrusion of my slumber. Meh. But this morning, in particular she said, "I love you, can I kiss you?" My whole body softened as she puckered up and kissed my cheek and hair over and over. From the moment she woke me up to the moment post kisses, what changed?  My thoughts. My thoughts changed my emotions.

Other people's reactions (her reaction) is the part of life we're not in charge of, as CEO's. Just like CEO's are not in charge of the market changes or employees or other company's, we are not in charge of the behavior of others. There will be good and there will be bad and in between from outside sources but we are in charge of being the CEO's of our actions, our thoughts and our emotions. So we're going to discuss how to control our minds, so that a bad day and a good day are not random occurances.

My prior immature belief system
Most of my teenage years all I did was take all the pain of the world, all the cruelty I felt and instead of making my thoughts about it better, I internalized it. I didn't know how to handle it and I got really depressed at a young age. I turned that depression into a drive toward a skinny body. I had this jaded belief that if I had the perfect body, then life would be peaches and cream. I thought if I was perfect, people would like me, I thought I'd get everything I wanted and I could be permanently happy. What a rude awakening it has been to be so drastically disappointed. Permanent happiness is not real. Happiness is not a trophy you get to put on your fireplace mantel. Nope, happiness is not a destination, happiness a place you find with your thoughts. There are poor people who live on barely anything but they experience more joy than you do. There are rich people who live in absolute misery. Just like there are skinny people who live in constant depression. And I guarantee there are people who would trade places with you, and all your circumstances, and they would feel extreme joy. Happiness is a mindset, it's not your genes, or your job, or your car, and it's definitely not your body.

You see, our thoughts create our physical body. Our thoughts determine our behaviors and our emotions. Our body is our subconscious mind. Ever heard that?  Our body is always listening to the commands of our thoughts, spoken words and emotions. When we decide the dessert is what's making us fat, not only is it going to do just that but it will also tell us that when we feel fat, we'll crave dessert. Why? Because in the long haul of life, we've established a mindset and a behavioral pattern associated with feeling fat. And every other emotion also has patterns associated with it.  When I feel fat, I get unmotivated, when I feel stressed I stop living in the moment, when I feel unworthy, I get really introverted.

Patterns of Behavior
The same goes for stress by the way. For me, when I feel stressed, I eat without realizing it, I snap at my kids without listening to them, I stop being present, I forget to take deep breaths, I don't look far into the future, I drive crazy bad, I become very selfish, thinking whatever is going on for others is smaller than my issue. When I feel flawlessly beautiful, I am present, I feel calm, I feel that everything is going very well. What do you do under stress? Drink too much, scream at people, stop appreciating beauty?

So by recognizing our own repeating patterns, we can stop the behaviors we don't like.

It starts with paying attention to how we feel. First we have to recognize what we're feeling. We've become numbed as a society by the distractions in life, things like Facebook, the TV, YouTube (my personal biggest addiction right now is YouTube Red) anything that keeps us from being present in the moment. Anything that pulls us away from connecting with our emotions and what's going on in life. So if we acknowledge how we feel and own it, no matter how ugly it looks, then we are creating the first step toward change. And usually the feeling is brought on by our thoughts, repeating beliefs that keep us locked into our present lifestyle.

After we own the feeling by feeling it, we can begin to see what pattern we have associated with it. What do I repeatedly do when I feel this way? How do I behave and what thoughts do I keep repeating?

Next, we MUST take time to refocus, reground ourselves toward our driving factors. What changes are you wanting to make? And here's the MAGIC question ---------> How do you WANT to feel? If you want to feel loved, what are the things you do and say to yourself when you do. So can you reverse it, and start doing those things you do when you feel that way? Such as, when I feel happy, I am very sweet to others, and I think really good thoughts of the past, future and present. When I feel happy, I am kind to myself and I don't put others down.

There's two ways to address this.  If you want to FEEL a certain way, maybe you want to feel like a skinny bitch. You just have to pretend, you set the stage and you act the part. I don't mean going out to buy size 6 jeans and trying squeezing into them. What I mean is, you wear clothes that you feel sexy in, ones that make you feel damn good looking. You seek out the feeling first. Because when you FEEL thin, you will act thin. And when you act thin, you'll feel thin. That's the blessing of the patterns. The feeling will create the behavior pattern you want. The behavior pattern will induce the physical change.

Ask yourself valuable questions for this exercise. What are you doing when you feel your best? For me, when I feel my best, I'm out of the house. When I feel my best, I am meeting new friends. When I feel my best, I am aggressive at work. When I feel my best, I am writing dynamite blogs. When I feel my best, I am the sweetest Mom you could ever ask for. Now, I have no idea - which behavior created which, but the patterns link them and they make life really easy for you to make changes. Use the patterns as your guidance, and they'll lead you to gold.

You're in control of everything. You are the CEO. Be a powerful CEO by being aware of your thoughts. If a bad thought comes in -you know because it makes you feel depressed or unworthy or just shitty in general. If a bad thought comes in, just do one thing for me. Soothe it away. This is a practice. Practice this with grace. Instead of thinking, "I can't believe I just ate all that candy and I was only going to have one piece." Instead think, "wow, my body was really craving some sweet stuff, it sure tasted good! I'm glad I had that available in my time of need." Soothe the pain away with better feeling thoughts. If you wanted to go for a 2-mile run but you stopped after only a block, then say "it's OK, this is just where I am today. I'm glad I made it outside, I did my best, all I can do is my best."

You are in charge of your reaction to the outside world. You are in charge of your reaction to the guy who cut you off in traffic. You aren't in control of the guy (or are you??) but you can soften getting cut off by saying something like, "well he's having a really bad day" or "I remember when I was so pissed and I cut off someone just like that." Ever been flipped off driving and sometimes the event just rolls right off you like butter off a warm knife but others that knife stabs you in the heart.  Sometimes you just ignore it with a laugh and an eye roll? You are in charge of your thoughts, and your thoughts are what's controlling your emotions and your behaviors. What is dominating within you? What are you repeatedly thinking, and is it helping or harming you?

Pain, guilt and regret will prohibit your transformation. They lock you into a circle of negative thinking that won't let you blossom. Watching TV to numb you from your emotions only leaves them unresolved. Let it hurt for a bit but then once the pain has subsided, you can decide how you want to tackle it next time. But you can't make logical, functional choices from a place of stress or fear. So soothe the pain, by thinking lightly on the subject. Saying something like, "this is just where I am in my body now, and it's OK, I am always changing." Saying "life is full of ebbs and flows." or "all in all, things are going quite well and I've learned a lot from this."

Steps for using patterns for easy changes:

  1.  Decide on the goals you are working toward (a fit body)
  2.  Decide what emotion you will feel when you have them. (when I am at my goal weight, I   will feel happy)
  3. Find things you do that make you feel that way (when I am moving, walking or exercising, I feel joy)
  4. When you don't feel joy or fit, think thoughts that will soften the heavy burden. (I'm doing my very best now, my body is changing daily, I am in control of my body)
  5. Start doing the things you plan to do when you have a fit body. 

Lasting change is evoked when you are in a peaceful frame of mind. When you are calm of mind, your breathing changes and then your whole physical and emotional body are in control. As your breathing changes, your body begins to function optimally. When your body functions optimally, your glands and organs know just what to do. Find peace in everything. Find lightheartedness in where you are and seek out where you want to be.

Take care my sweet friends! Much love to your on your journey as CEO's.