Clear the Clutter

How to STOP Sabotaging Your Diet

Christmas is over and if you are like me…. you have eaten so much over the last few days (okay so maybe it has been the last few weeks).  Now there are leftovers to deal with and the last push to enjoy all those treats before we hit the New Year’s resolutions.  Doesn’t everyone’s resolution include eating healthy or hitting the gym?  Yes, I squirreled.

I have been struggling for several months to maintain my goal weight or even stay within the 2 pound range given by Weight Watchers when I stumbled on this article.  Now I have been told these misconceptions many times, reading them again always is a good reminder…

“Skipping breakfast is harmless and a smart way to cut calories.”

I am definitely a breakfast skipper!  I am usually up early and always say “it’s too early to eat”  or “I’m not hungry.”  It is time to re-train my brain.    Studies show people who eat a smart breakfast daily are less likely to become obese. Your body functions more effectively when it’s well fueled, so you’ll actually burn more calories throughout the day if you feed it in the morning. Plus, you’re more likely to make poor food decisions if you let yourself get too hungry. So start your day with a light healthy breakfast.  Not hungry first thing in the a.m.?  Why not keep a piece of fruit and protein bar handy for a mid-morning meal.

“Eating gluten-free/vegan/insert-buzzword-here foods will help with weight loss.”

No hate mail, please.  I know there are some who need to eat gluten free or vegan for health reason.  I do gluten free to help manage MS symptoms BUT there are some who thing it will help with their weight loss. The simple fact is eating like this does not guarantee weight loss. They can be loaded with calories and fat. Gluten-free foods are sometimes just as carby as their gluten-containing counterparts, and vegan goods may be full of fatty calories. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to foods which work for your personal needs and lifestyle, but some choices are better than others. That’s why it’s so important to check the nutritional info before you order or buy. Pay special attention to calories, serving size, and servings per container!

“On workout days, I can let loose and indulge at meal time, and it’ll all balance out.”

Even if your spin class promises to burn 800 calories, don’t treat yourself to fettuccine Alfredo and cheesecake just yet. It’s common to overestimate the number of calories we’ve burned — everyone burns calories at a different rate — and you could unintentionally negate your hard work. Even if your estimates are spot on, do you really want to cancel them out entirely? If you’re aiming for weight loss, you still need to take in fewer calories than you burn. Either way, you’re better off just increasing your portion sizes to replenish yourself, not reaching for junk food or totally overdoing it. Check out these ideas for what to eat before and after a workout.

“As long as I stick to a clean diet of all-natural whole foods, I don’t need to worry about calories.”

If weight management is a priority for you, then yeah, you’re going to want to keep tabs on your calorie intake. YES, eating whole natural foods is good for you. But it’s completely possible to consume way more calories than you burn in a day by eating these foods. Plenty of natural foods are calorie dense — think avocados, nuts, grains — meaning a small portion has a large calorie count. Eat too much of those, and you could pack on the pounds.  Believe it or not, the same thing can happen with fruits which are packed full of natural sugar.  So eat the good stuff, but watch the portions.

“I’ll order a salad for dinner to save calories for dessert.”

No judgement call here – I’ve done this. Although, it may seem like a smart choice, restaurant salads often pack WAY more calories than you think. So if you’re blindly assuming the giant Cobb salad is a better option than a lean petite filet and a side of veggies, you might want to spend some time checking out the restaurant’s nutritional facts.  The salad dressing alone often contains hundreds of calories! And when it comes to dessert, treat yourself… but split one with your dining companions. Studies have found we enjoy the last bite the most anyway!

What is your best weight loss tip?  Share them with us as we get ready for the New Year…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

You are Who God Says You Are

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message….

I have learned a lot from Charlie Brown, which is a little scary. Here is one truth that his psychiatrist, Lucy, taught me. She is counseling Charlie Brown at her lemonade-stand counseling booth. Charlie Brown is all ears.

Frame 1: “Your life is like a house, Charlie Brown.”

Frame 2: “You want your house to have a strong foundation, don’t you?”

Frame 3: “So don’t build your house on the sand.”

Frame 4: (A strong wind swooshes by and blows Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the makeshift stand into a heap of rubble.)

Frame 5: Lucy’s final advice: “Or use cheap nails.”

There’s a lot of talk about self-worth in our culture. But true self-worth is not an issue of giftedness, talent, intelligence, or beauty. It’s not an issue of how much money you have in the bank, if you are married or single, if you are a mom or childless. Those are the cheap nails compared to knowing Christ.

When we base our identity or our worth on the accomplishments, opinions of others, or appearance, we are in danger of crumbling to pieces with a word of criticism, a bad hair day, or hint of rejection. We will always fall short in our quest to be better, look better, or accomplish more.

Self-worth is really an identity issue. When you base your self-worth on your identity in Christ and His finished work of redemption on the cross, it is unconditional, unshakable, and unchangeable.

Listen, the devil will do anything and everything he can to keep you from believing the truth about who you are, what you have, and where you are as a child of God. Make no mistake about it, he knows that you are a chosen, holy, dearly loved child of God who has been forgiven of all your sins and created to fulfill a great purpose that God has already planned for you. He knows it, and he hates it. His goal is to keep you from believing it. And if he can keep you from believing the truth about who you are, what you have, and where you are as a child of God, then he has won.

You can access the power of God’s promises about who you are, what you have, and where you are in Christ to consistently subdue and eventually erase feeling of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy that keep you stuck in a mediocre faith. You can reject the devil’s overbearing lies and replace them with God’s overriding truth about your identity in Him and His power in you.

If we base our significance, self-worth, or self-esteem on anything other than the strong nails of our identity in Christ, then we are at risk of collapsing when the strong winds of adversity come our way. The truth is: You are who God says you are.

You, my friend, are a chosen, holy, dearly loved child of God who is equipped by the Father, enveloped by the Son, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. And that truth will withstand the strongest winds.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday – Two Easy Snacks

Hungry Girl's Mini Stuffed Peppers

Mini Stuffed Peppers

Entire recipe (4 stuffed peppers): 104 calories, 1.5g fat, 241mg sodium, 15.5g carbs, 5.5g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 11g protein — PointsPlus® value 3*

Fill your peppers with vegetarian taco meat for adorable snacks loaded with protein, fiber, and flavor! They’ll make your mouth proud to be attached to a person who feeds it so well…

Prep: 10 minutes      Cook: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
4 sweet mini bell peppers (each about 2 1/2 inches long)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup frozen ground-beef-style soy crumbles (like the kinds by Boca and MorningStar Farms)
1/4 tsp. taco seasoning mix

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Slice off and discard the stem end of each pepper. Remove and discard seeds. Place peppers on the baking sheet.

Bake for 4 minutes. Flip peppers. Bake until soft, about 4 more minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Cook and stir onion until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add soy crumbles, and sprinkle with taco seasoning. Cook and stir until onion is soft and crumbles are hot, about 2 more minutes.

If needed, blot away excess moisture from peppers. Fill with soy crumble mixture. Eat up!

Hungry Girl's Asian Peanut Slaw

Asian Peanut Slaw

1/4th of recipe (about 1 heaping cup): 89 calories, 4.5g fat, 198mg sodium, 9g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 3g protein — PointsPlus® value 2*

It’s too darn easy to make this yummy scoopable snack — only four ingredients, people!

Prep: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
4 cups bagged cole slaw mix
1 cup chopped sugar snap peas
1/3 cup low-fat Thai peanut salad dressing or sauce (like the kind by Litehouse)
2 tbsp. chopped peanuts

Directions:
In a medium-large bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss to coat, and enjoy!

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Thank you Hungry Girl for two more awesome recipes.  They might even fit into my no gluten, no dairy and no sugar regime.  If you make them, let me know what you think.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!