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Friday, December 30, 2011

7 Steps to Creating Attainable Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when everyone is talking about their resolutions or avoiding them altogether. A resolution is a goal or intention you set for yourself for changes you would like to make in your life.

For many years on New Year’s Eve my daughters and I would sit down and write our resolutions for the next year, they were usually the same things year after year because I never made a plan for how to accomplish any of the changes I wanted to make.

The resolutions were so broad and open-ended such as; get a better job, pay off credit cards, lose weight, be a better parent, eat better etc. These were all well intentioned and I probably changed my food for a day or a week and I may have exercised for a few days but that was the end of it. What I really perpetuated more than anything was the feeling of failure - that I wasn’t able to keep the resolutions. So I pushed them aside and kept on the same path I had been on the previous year of over eating, being too sedentary, over spending etc.

This year my first intention is to create resolutions that I can maintain and work towards in order to feel joyful about the New Year and the new goals I am accomplishing. In order to be successful I have to break down the general goals into manageable pieces that I can work towards a little at a time. Remember, it is the small changes that build up over time that make the difference.

These 7 steps will give you a road map for creating success with your resolutions.

Write your goals in the present tense so that your mind /unconscious sees this as happening and will work towards it. If you put the goal in the future tense then your unconscious will keep thinking it is something happening in the future.

7 Steps to Creating Attainable Resolutions

1. Define your goal

2. Refine your goal

3. Make your goal very specific

4. Visualize each day how you will feel once this goal is complete. Become comfortable with that feeling so you can remember it anytime you want.

5. Create a game plan – write it down

6. Determine how you will measure your success

7. Periodically (monthly or weekly) reevaluate the goals to determine if it is still realistic or needs to be redefined.

Here is a sample of how to work these

7 Steps to Creating Attainable Resolutions
regarding paying off credit cards

1. Define your goal

I am paying off my credit cards.

2. Refine your goal

I am creating financial abundance and more peace of mind.

3. Make your goal very specific.

I am earning $12,000 more this year, $1000 a month.

4. Visualize each day how you feel once this goal is complete. Become comfortable with that feeling so you can remember it anytime you want.

Feeling the excitement at paying off the credit card and having enough money to do fun things.

5. Create a game plan

I am doing 3 things each day that lead me towards creating more money. Such as submitting proposals, advertising, making cold calls, applying for a new job, getting a part time job etc.

6. Determine how you will measure your success

I know I am working towards success as I make payments that are more than the minimum without creating additional credit card charges.

7. Periodically (monthly or weekly) reevaluate the goal to determine if it is still realistic or needs to be redefined.

I am failing at doing 3 things each day and need to be more realistic in doing two things each day. Or I have earned enough money to pay off all my credit card charges; do I want to create a new goal or intention?

Here is another sample of how to work these
7 Steps to Creating Attainable Resolutions
regarding losing weight

1. Define your goal

I am losing weight

2. Refine your goal

I feel good about the size and shape of my body.

3. Make your goal very specific

I am losing 25 pounds and becoming more physically fit

4. Visualize each day how you will feel once this goal is complete. Become comfortable with that feeling so you can remember it anytime you want.

I am feeling joy each time I look in the mirror, I love all the compliments and the way my clothes fit.

5. Create a game plan - start with something small and manageable

I am eliminating junk food, especially in the late afternoon and replacing it with apples, nuts or other whole foods. Six days a week I will do some form of exercise, weights, running, walking, or yoga for a minimum of 20 minutes.

6. Determine how you will measure your success

With each pound shed I know I am working towards my goal. With each 5 pounds shed I will do something special for myself like get a massage, buy a small piece of jewelry or go to a movie.

7. Periodically (monthly or weekly) reevaluate the goal to determine if it is still realistic or needs to be redefined.

I am successful with eliminating the afternoon junk food binges so now I am going to eliminate bread at lunch and dinner.

I have lost all 25 pounds and want to keep up my exercise program and healthy eating.

Find a partner to share your resolutions with, someone to share the ups and downs with as you travel this journey to a Successful and Happy New Year.

Hugs,

Helen

Click here to download the 7 Steps worksheet

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Label Comparison



Is it just me or do you find yourself misled by the labels put on 'processed' food.

Let's take for instance the Kashi Go Lean cereal vs the Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal. When I have seen these two cereals in the store I have seen that they both have a lot of fiber (9 & 10 grams) and a lot of protein (12 grams). Plus they say GO LEAN on them and Kashi seems to be a name I could trust. They each have the words naturally sweetened on the label and the clusters has a picture of the cereal with blueberries on it. So if I went out to buy cereal I think I would pick up the Crunch just because it was more appealing with the pretty picture of the blueberries. Oh but did I mention that there are no blueberries in them but that you could have the blueberries in them if you wanted. Why do I feel a little bit decieved?

So at first glance I figured these would have about the same amount of calories. I mean they both say Lean on them and they both say 'stay fuller longer' so really except that one is a crunch and one is not I figured they would be pretty equal in calories.

Upon further inspection I noticed that in fact there was a large difference in the calorie count. The Kashi Go Lean Crunch has 240 calories in the cup that is 2.3oz (65 grams) and the Kashi Go Lean has 130 calories while in the same size of cup there is 1.6oz (45 grams) of cereal weight in the cup. I dumped each of these single serving cups into one of my regular bowls to get a visual of the quantity and it sure looks like they have the same amount in each cup.

Looks like it is a pretty healthy serving of cereal.

Is it really just me or do you also think this is a little bit decieving?

That is just one more reason we need to watch the labels of anything we are eating because what the company wants us to believe and what is the truth about a product may be very different.

I could be eating Kashi Go Lean Crunch, thinking I am eating something healthy for me but really I could be eating the same size container of Frosted Flakes with less calories than the Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Ok so the quality of ingredients is different but calorie for calorie I would stick with the Kashi Go Lean IF I was going to be eating cereal.

Be sure to check the labels for the calorie count to make sure you have not been misled by the pretty pictures and fiber and protein count.

Helen's Health Tip: Read the labels and be sure you are eating what you are being led to believe you are eating. Watch the calorie count and other misleading information.

To nourishing yourself,
Helen

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quinoa Breakfast

I like to have a breakfast that leans toward sweet but have given up eating those processed muffins, cereals, scones and donuts.Instead I have a great breakfast full of whole foods that is easy to prepare, low calorie and very satisfying.

The ingredients are simple:
Red quinoa (just cause I prefer red quinoa to white quinoa)
Plain yogurt (I make my own with organic skim milk)
Blueberries (I eat a lot of organic frozen blueberries and buy fresh or best yet pick my own!)
Ground flax seed (I buy it already ground)
Cinnamon (I prefer Ceylon ground cinnamon from www.renegadehealth.com)

I usually cook up a couple of cups of quinoa at a time and then have it to eat and enjoy quickly and easily. I also make 4 pints of yogurt at a timewith a 1/2 gallon of milk so it is always easy to add to breakfast. Frozen blueberries are the easiest to have around, I put a bag of them in the refrigerator so I have them all thawed and ready to eat.

1/3 cup red quinoa


1/3 cup plain skim yogurt


1/3 cup blueberries


1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Delish!!

This breakfast has 183 calories, 2.2 gr fat, 26 gr carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 7.5 gr protein

Friday, June 24, 2011

Why do we eat?

Why do we eat?
Let's see, it seems to me that this planet called Earth can produce all the plants, animals and water that we need to live a healthy nourished life. So why do we choose to eat lifeless chemicals called "food" that are not nutrient dense and causes more harm to our bodies than the glorious, delicious, fresh whole foods we produce naturally?

When you sit down to eat do you think about nourishing your body, filling that hungry hole or satisfying a desire that comes from an emotional need to eat?

When we eat for nourishment we look for the freshest whole foods we can find. We tend to prepare them minimally to keep the nutrients intact and keep the food as nutrient dense as possible. When we eat these nutrient dense foods we are able to eat large quantities without harmful consequences as our body uses the nutrients without having to store excess fat or carbohydrates. We feel lighter and healthier, we are better able to move and find the joy in life because that is what we have gained from the food we nourish our bodies with.

When we eat to fill that hungry hole we will often reach for the easiest, most accessible food available regardless of the nutritional quality or benefit. That might mean reaching for an apple but more times than not it means picking up some sort of processed food that is prepackaged and filled with lots of chemical and preservatives. More times than not we neglect to limit the portion size because we are so hungry and continue to eat until we feel that overfull feeling.

If we are eating to fill that emotional hole we primarily reach for foods that are high fat, high salt and high calorie that we call comfort food. It is usually food that has been processed from potato chips to ice cream or big pasta dishes and the results are always the same. Too many calories, too much fat followed by guilt and shame from our food choices. Now the advertisers who are trying to sell us the processed foods are targeting those weak moments when we are feeling deprived, neglected or in need of some comfort. We are led to believe that eating the comfort foods will make us feel better or make us better people when in truth they make us feel terrible and full of shame and guilt. The high fat, high calorie (also read high salt and sugar) foods do things like cause obesity, depression, diabetes and the list can go on and on but never once do they improve our health or our mental or emotional condition either.

So let me ask the question again. Why do we eat?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Quinoa is Easy to Prepare!

Quinoa is an excellent source of magnesium, B vitamins, fiber and protein. It is easy to digest and so versatile and delicious for breakfast as a cereal, in a vegetable stirfry or in a cold salad.

To prepare quinoa:
1 cup quinoa - in a strainer rinse it in cold water first
2 cups water

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 10 - 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and enoy!

You will notice a white spiral tail (the germ of the seed) when the quinoa is done.

I will often have it for breakfast, substituting it for oatmeal, with plain yogurt, berries, a sprinkle of flaxseed and cinnamon.
I made a delicious salad with quinoa, jicama, strawberries and pumpkin seeds and a lemony viniagrette. It was light and refreshing! Really you can add any vegetables, legumes or fruits to it in any combination you like to enjoy this healthy food.

How do you like to eat quinoa?

Helen

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lesson from a Frog

The Boiled Frog Story
They say that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water,
it will leap out right away to escape the danger.
But, if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant, and then you gradually heat the kettle until it starts boiling,
the frog will not become aware of the threat until it is too late.
The frog's survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes.

We are very much the frog in regard to processed food filled with additives, chemicals and harmful ingredients. For example we have gone from drinking soda made with cane sugar to soda made with high fructose corn syrup and this switch in ingredients is making us sick, causing disease and contributing to our 'health crisis'.

The good news is that we can reverse these behaviors and quietly and gently begin to change our habits to eliminate disease (through weight lose for example) and improve our overall health. You see we really do not have a 'health crisis' but instead have a 'food crisis' with so many chemicals and synthetic ingredients used to create our food that have very harmful effects on our bodies.

Now is the time to make those changes to whole, unprocessed foods. Suggestions for small changes you can make include: increase the amount of vegetables you eat each day, lessen your sugar intake, avoid high fructose corn syrup, eat plain yogurt instead of flavored/sweetened or eat whole grain bread instead of white.

Let us take control of our health and not keep adapting to what the food companies are selling us as 'natural' or 'healthy'. We are smart, intelligent human beings who do not need to be lulled into thinking high fructose corn syrup or synthetic foods will make us healthy.

Helen
Feeling Better from the Inside Out

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Real Culprit to our Health

Sugar is the culprit for so many of our health issues. It is so hard to get away from eating sugar with it hidden in so many foods and used to decorate foods so they look delicious. We always want to disguise the food to make it look fun and appealing for kids and that means adding sugar, coloring and lots of other preservatives and chemicals. Once the children are used to having it all the time they want more and more of it and lose the sweet taste of the whole foods that Mother Nature has created for us. So as adults we continue to eat the foods loaded with sugar completely blind to the fact that it is what is destroying our health and wellness.

Really if all the food that was loaded with sugar was pure sugar cane we would not be in so much trouble but because so much of our processed food it filled with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other artificial sugars that is where the real problem lies.

Mary Glenda of No Weight Cookbooks tells us this about HFCS. "High-fructose corn syrup" is highly valued by food manufacturers. It's easy to transport in tanker trucks. It isn't susceptible to freezer burn, as is sugar. It has a long shelf life and keeps foods from becoming dry. It gives bread and baked products a wonderful color. It's also cheaper than white sugar, partly because of generous federal subsidies and trade policies that encourage farmers to grow more corn. Fast food chains add it to their products because it is cheaper. It's in the sauces, in the condiments, in the breadings, in the buns and in the drinks. It is the commercially preferred artificial sweetener, which goes directly to the liver, releasing enzymes that instruct the body to store fat.

So how is it that we think we have a health crisis when really what we have is a food crisis with the government subsidizing the production of HFCS which in turn causes sugar addiction which leads to sickness and disease. If we could make the small change of avoiding foods with HFCS and only eat foods with pure cane sugar or other natural sugars we would be so much healthier overall. We would not be so bloated and overweight nor would we continue to have the excessive cravings for more sweet foods.

So for now look at the labels, read the ingredients and become aware of what is on the packaged foods you buy, if you see HFCS put the package back and find something else to eat that is more nutrient dense without all that sugar. You will feel better and your body will thank you!