Shake it up!

Ok so I have had many people tell me lately that I should beef up my shakes daily so give it more variety. I had heard of putting foods like avocados in their shakes, but that adds calories and on 30 Days to Fit we try to watch calories. Well everyone I have fallen in love with adding spinach to my shakes. I have found that I can add a whole handful of spinach and it doesn’t change the taste and it makes it even more filling. We always have spinach in the fridge but it usually goes bad because we forget to add it into our salads! In the morning I have started using the following… Two scoops of protein powder, probably six or seven strawberries, a cup of water, a scoop of fiber, a big handful of spinach and a digestion plus. It fills me up nicely and I am not hungry at all until my next meal!! Try adding spinach to your meal, I think you will be amazed at the difference!!

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Old Habits Die Hard… But They Do Die!!

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Over the past two months I have done a lot of traveling! I have been to Arizona, Washington state, Nashville twice, Chicago and a few other places too. When I travel I sometimes find it hard to eat right and I realized today (today being my first day back in town) that my weight has fluctuated slightly and it is time to be strict on 30 Days to Fit once again. One thing I love about this diet is that I have lost the weight and I know now that I am able so when my weight fluctuates slightly, I can just look at what I am eating and address it accordingly. So today I looked over what I was eating recently, and I realized that I have been starting to pick up my snacking at night habit that was such a big part of my old self… Quite literally. Without even realizing it, I have started to snack after dinner. Now granted instead of a donut or a huge bowl of sugary cereal, I snack on a green apple or a handful of almonds. Your old habits can sneak back into your life, but instead of beating yourself up about it, simply decide that today is a new day and change that habit. I remind myself that I am a different person than I was when I started on my journey nine, or so, months ago. I am not a defeated obese woman anymore! I am a victorious woman ready to take on any challenge! Anyway I realizing that snacking has become a problem for me and I am going to implement a rule from when I started on 30 Days to Fit. For the next while I am not going to eat after 6 or 6:30pm. This will allow my body to digest and process the foods I eat. And if I have a night where I am tempted to snack I will probably retire to my room with a bottle of water for the evening and get things I need done wrapped up. Water really is a great tool to help curb hunger. People think that just because it is zero calories that it can’t fill you up, but I beg to differ. When I go to restaurants I always drink four or five glasses of water, because it helps me to not over eat. I think that drinking at least one glass I water before you eat is a key factor to losing weight! There are always ways to come out of the old habits. Decide now that you are a changed person and don’t go back! Decide that even when you slide into old habits, it does not define you! You conquered it once. Who is to say you can’t do it again? You make the decision to change and it may be a struggle, but it will come to you, if you just stick with it!

Guest Blog: Linda Jeffrey

The following blog post is straight from the heart of my mother. Her life has radically changed since she has changed her diet and her passion comes through her writing!
Your Health can be improved by reducing inflammation
Recently I have been researching the effects of inflammation on the body and its consequences, which research shows include arthritis, heart disease, bowel dysfunction, asthma, allergies, cancer, hypertension, and diabetes.   In other words, chronic illness has a root of inflammation.  I have been reminded again of the benefits of clean eating because this year, I have not reached for boxes of antihistamines to get through April!  I blamed it on Louisville’s beautiful flowering trees, but when your body is fighting constant inflammation, your immune system will weaken.  The solution is to decrease inflammation.
Here is a simple list of foods to add and subtract from your diet.  It is amazing to me as I research health issues that 30 Days to Fit is ahead of the learning curve.  If you are serious about improving your health with 30 Days to Fit, you have already incorporated many of these principles into your diet.
Foods  to Avoid
Foods  to Add
Oils:  Corn, safflower,  sunflower, peanut, and soybean
Wild caught fish:  salmon,  sardines, anchovies
All trans fats
Flaxseed and walnuts (oil and whole)
Refined flour
Avocados
Gluten
Cayenne pepper, chili peppers
Dairy
Olive oil
Refined sugar
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
 
Dark leafy greens
 
Ginger and turmeric
 
Garlic and onions
 
Researchers estimate that 70 to 80 percent of your immune system is controlled by your gut.  I have gotten much more serious about probiotics to boost my gut health since doing this research.  Arbonne offers a great supplement, Digestion Plus, which I add to my protein shake in the morning.  I have noticed a significant decrease in digestive issues (bloating, gas, constipation, etc.) since doing this.  Support your gut health with the foods you eat and with a probiotic supplement!  In addition, some researchers suggest fermented foods such as organic fermented yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, etc.  Thanks for joining me in our “30 Years to Fit” health journey!

Granola Bars!!

Yesterday a friend of mine was going on a trip with his his class at shook and wanted snacks to take that we’re gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free. This was not a problem at all because 30 Days to Fit sets those parameters right away. I got excited and went to work in the kitchen. I got online and thought about what was fun to take on school trips. I immediately thought about granola bars. They travel well and they taste great. I would say that 99% of all recipes include high fructose corn syrup, and molasses and sugar! I decided to modify this recipe to fit our parameters. modification is the way to eat!! Now understand that if you are actively losing weight, I would not recommend eating these bars often, but they are great for children, or for road trips once in a great while!

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Homemade Granola Bars

1 2/3 cups Oats
1/3 cups Rice Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Almonds
1/4 cup Almond Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
6 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Honey
3/4 cup Water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease one 8×8 in pane itch coconut oil.

Stir together oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, raisins and almonds in a large bowl. Then add vanilla, coconut oil, honey and water. Mix until ingredients are evenly combined. Spread mixture into 8×8 pan.

Bake for 35 minutes. The edges will be folder brown and the middle may seem undercooked, but the bars will harden as they cool. Take out of oven, let cool completely. Cut into squares. Enjoy!!

Be Your Own Experiment!

Next month the American Journal of Medicine will publish the results of a 16 year five thousand subject study that measured how diet affects health.  The subjects followed a diet which combats major chronic illness including heart disease and diabetes.  At five year intervals, their lack of chronic illness and ability to think were measured.  Here ’s the detail that jumps out of the report—the foods they recommended avoiding in order to be free of disease and highly functional were gluten, sugar, fried foods, and dairy… hmmm sound familiar? This is 30 Days to Fit!! This article talks about how eating without these ingredients will improve your health overall. This is what Arbonne is trying to tell people!

Consuming fried, sweetened, and processed foods, refined grains, and dairy products lower a person’s chances for ideal aging, according to the study.  These were the foods I craved as I struggled for years with weight loss.  When I joined 30 Days to Fit, I wondered how you could eat without gluten, oil, refined sugar and dairy.  It’s very simple when two meals consisted of vegan protein that satisfied my hunger.  I ate four ounces of lean meat with a salad and green vegetables for one meal a day, and in six months I had shed the unwanted 70 pounds for good.  The 5,350 people in the study ate this healthy diet for sixteen years, and were healthier and sharper mentally and physically than people who eat a standard Western diet of processed foods high in sugar and fat.  I intend to be a study of one!  I will eat the 30 Days to Fit plan for the next 16 years, and beyond!

Vegetable Soup!!

Last weekend my mother and I went to Nashville to speak and while we were there, we stayed with my sister. She got herself a Vitamix and decided to try out. New recipe while we were in town. She made a vegetable soup that was amazing. All she did was put whole vegetables in the Vitamix and it creamed it into a broth for our soup. Well when my mother and I got home, we decided that we were going to beat the fancy Vitamix by using our food processor. Now the finished product was not as creamy as it was in the Vitamix, but it tasted incredible. It may have even been better than the Vitamix!! It is super simple and super yummy!! Please try!

Vegetable Soup

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2 cups Chicken Stock
3 Green Onions
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Yellow Squash
1 Zucchini
3 large Carrots
3 stalks Celery
4 Roma Tomatoes
1 tsp Cumin
1 Garlic clove
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well chopped. You may have to put in some at a time and add vegetables as you go, depending on the size of your blender. Once well chopped , pour into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes and serve.

If you want to add a little more protein you could even add chicken and black beans to the soup while it is boiling. If you do this, cook chicken thoroughly and cube before placing it in soup. And drain your black beans before adding them to the soup. I have thoroughly enjoyed using the tools I have to make foods that are quick, simple and delicious!!

New Combos

I love to find food combinations and discover new healthy treats. The other day I was babysitting for a friend of mine who is a consultant and she told me to try the caramel fit chew with almonds. I had never thought of this, and it reminds me of a caramel candy bar!! My previous self would eat multiple candy bars at a time. The sugary caramel was so addictive! Now I can practically make my own candy bar on a daily basis and eat it guilt free! My next experiment may have to be a fit chew turtle cluster. Maybe chocolate and caramel fit chew melted together with nuts? Who knows… Yum!