Nicki Anderson
Archive for the ‘cleanse diets’ Category

It’s March, Do You Know Where Your Resolutions Are?

By Nicki On March 1, 2012 1 Comment

Well, it’s March 1st. New Year’s resolutions have been shelved as guilt settles in to each sedentary day. We’re reminded of our lost commitments as weight loss programs dominate advertising space on television, magazines and in our head. It’s the time of year when we wished we had held tight to our resolutions, but as history shows, other priorities have strong-armed healthy intentions. All is not lost, however; there are things to consider before you get back on the horse and ride your way into the healthy living sunset.

Most people abandon their resolutions when the vision of becoming a picture perfect eater and exerciser slowly fades into the sea of lost hope. The vision unfortunately excluded the reality of a job, family and unexpected challenges that naturally occur in life. If you’re feeling frustrated, depressed or guilt-ridden about letting your healthy intentions slide, let it go. Years ago, I abandoned the notion that I could be a super woman. Though the idea of doing it all left me excited, the actual act of doing it all left me exhausted. I realized that the best way to stay on top of my health and balance it with my busy life was looking reality in the eye and accepting that my best was good enough.

Every time someone comes to me Jan. 1 to share their litany of healthy living resolutions, I have to stop them. Although the intentions are admirable, the likelihood of long-term commitment to the changes is just not going to happen. How can anyone expect to go from inactivity and fast food runs daily to workouts seven days a week and a completely vegan diet? It’s just not realistic. What is realistic is standing back, taking a look at your life and implementing a beginners program. Most people implement an advanced athletes program and wonder why they can’t stick with it.

When I decided to lose 50 pounds, I was a slug. A crunchy burrito was my favorite food. I also thought Cheetos were a healthy alternative to chips. They’re so colorful! Clearly, deciding to dump junk food and begin exercising was a daunting proposition, but I knew there wasn’t an alternative. Well, I suppose there was, but that wasn’t the choice my health could afford. Thirty-plus years later, I’m so glad I let my health rule my decision; it turned out to be a good one.

So where are you today? Where do you want to be tomorrow? When you look at the resolutions that you made, were they a bit overzealous? Remember, it likely has taken you many years to develop bad habits, so you need to make the same consideration when developing new, healthier habits.

The first step to getting back on track is to start off slow. Instead of saying you’re going to work out seven days a week, why not start with two days? After you stick with that for a month, either add on time or another day. Ultimately, and I mean ultimately, not immediately, you will get to a point where you will walk further or run, or bike ride or swim more often. Getting started can’t be overwhelming, or it will lack staying power. You must consider your lifestyle and limitations when planning your program. Healthy living motto: Be realistic!

Next, food. Once an ally now an enemy and that’s the problem. The more you “fight” weight, “beat” weight loss, join the “weight loss battle” it’s a negative journey. Rethink the meaning of food and what purpose food serves. Simply put, food allows our body to function properly, period. But we’ve starved it, teased it with fake food, binged on junk food and been ashamed of the body it’s created — thus the breakup between us and food. Food needs to be viewed differently. Not for a diet but for sustenance. Not for weight loss but for health gains. Not for mindless eating but for mindful eating. Not for distension but for prevention. The minute you can select foods that will encourage good health, the battle, the fight, the war will likely end.

I encourage you to consider “getting back together” with healthy food choices and start an exercise program off slowly. You’ll likely be more successful in your efforts. But don’t get too comfortable. As you improve your activity, find new and fun things to add on to keep it interesting.

Celebrate your successes and recognize when you’ve accomplished something great. For some that may be a walk around the block to start. As for food, the Internet has a wealth of resources for cooking healthy. Stick as closely as you can to whole foods, less boxed. Spend more time cooking at home versus spending time at the drive-through. It can be done, but it has to be done slowly and respectfully.

Rome wasn’t built in a day nor should a healthy body be expected to. It takes time, dedication and a solid dose of reality. Do what you can today to contribute to a healthier you tomorrow. And that my friends is the secret to securing those resolutions.

 

Here’s to your good health!

Nicki

(Reprinted from  February 21st edition of The Naperville Sun)


Weight, We’ve Got It All Wrong!

By Nicki On January 15, 2012 No Comments

I’ve spent the last 25 years of my life working to inspire people to get healthy through exercise and sound nutrition. However, the challenge with my job is that not everyone wants to get healthy as much as they want to lose weight. Over the years, we have put such emphasis on weight loss that we’ve lost site of our health. Obesity wasn’t a big issue (no pun intended) 40-50 years ago for a few reasons, we were more active, we ate less, and the quality of our food was better.  As people struggle with their weight, they are missing out on the real opportunity to get healthy and weigh less, and it all starts with making decisions based on improving health vs. losing weight. I’ve said it before, (many times) but I’ll say it again, weight loss (or a healthy weight) is simply a byproduct of healthy living.

The more I study nutrition, the deeper my interest in the quality of the foods we eat and  how it affects our health. What I’ve found is that the most damaging changes in our food choices include, the increase of sugar consumption, and hormones used in so many products.

Dr. Christine Horner, is a nationally known surgeon and author advocating prevention-oriented medicine and ways to become and stay healthy naturally.  Here is what Dr. Horner says about sugar.

“To me, sugar has no redeeming value at all, because they found that the more we consume it, the more we’re fuelling every single chronic disease,” Dr. Horner says. “In fact, there was a study done about a year ago… and the conclusion was that sugar is a universal mechanism for chronic disease. It kicks up inflammation. It kicks up oxygen free radicals. Those are the two main processes we see that underlie any single chronic disorder, including cancers. It fuels the growth of breast cancers, because glucose is cancer’s favorite food. The more you consume, the faster it grows.”

I have always believed that sugar is the “Beelzebub” of the food world. In my years of working with women, those who were addicted to sugar, were the ones with the most health problems while struggling with their weight.  There are numerous diets and though they may help people lose weight temporarily, they rarely include health education in their programs. Further, not only does chronic dieting mess with your body, it messes with your mind. Sure, some diets include fresh vegetables in their “Healthy Foods to Eat”, but recently, Weight Watchers listed Chicken McNuggets as a healthy food option. WHAT? It goes back to the focus on weight vs. health.

If possible, I’d like you to stop for one minute, consider this internal conversation, “O.K., clearly I’m not a healthy weight, my blood pressure is high and I’m out of shape.  Going on a diet is NOT the answer. I’ve got to learn how to eat better and exercise regularly as that is the ONLY long-term solution to improving my health and not jeopardizing it through some wacky weight loss program. How many diets have I been on? And ultimately, what have they done for me?”

But instead of that conversation, it often goes more like this, “I’m so fat, I’ve got to do something. But, every time I try to lose weight I quit, so why even bother? Most of the time I’m eating foods I don’t even like OR I’m hungry all the time.  May as well just keep doing what I’ve been doing or try that cabbage soup diet. My neighbor is doing it and losing weight.”

Dr. Andrew Weils' Healthy Food Pyramid

I’d like you to start thinking differently, today, right now. When you think about food and your weight, remember these two points are the ONLY solution to long-term weight and health issues.

1. Eat whole foods including the following: fresh veggies, (think outside the carrot and celery box here), whole grains (not enriched, bleached flour) WHOLE grains, quinoa, brown/wild rice, fresh fruits (ideally organic, but hey, any kind is better than no kind, just wash it well), water and farm raised meats. Eating these foods will never leave you hungry, they won’t leave you craving more like processed and sugar laden foods do. I’m not a purist by any means, but 80-90% of  the time I eat very well. Since losing 50 pounds over 30 years ago, I have not put my weight back on. Not because I’m “good”,  I’m aware. I want to be in control of my health, I want to have the power over my body and not let the food that makes people a lot of money ruin my body, (remember, processed foods are much cheaper to manufacture and that is transferred to the consumer).

2. You MUST exercise. Look, we all know that technology has led most of us to sit far more than we move. If we are to give our body what it needs to function at it’s best, we must exercise. Exercise is NOT punishment for an imperfect body, rather it’s a gift that you can give yourself each and every day. When you exercise, you are allowing the body to do what it was designed to do, MOVE.  15-20 minutes a day is a starting point. Start, you have to.

Here’s the bottom line. Stop with the diets, stop. Start educating yourself about food and what food makes your body run more efficiently and work to prevent illness. You are welcome to email me and I will give you resources to start your journey(nicki@realityfitness.com).  Type II diabetes CAN be prevented. Heart disease CAN be prevented, obesity CAN be prevented simply by shifting the way you look at food and making it your ally vs. your enemy. Don’t give food the power any more, it’s time for you to step up and take control of your health and ultimately your life! Who me, passionate? You bet I am! I want to see women gain strength and take back control of their health, it’s long overdue.

Dedicated to your good health,

Nicki


Celebrities and Diet Endorsements- Role Models or Partners in Crime?

By Nicki On January 10, 2012 No Comments

I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of the celebrity diet ambush that seems to be on every other television commercial. Hey, don’t get me wrong, Jennifer Hudson, rockin’ it (but her heavier self is off key at the end of the commercial, notice that?), Marie Osmond (8 brothers and she’s the only one with weight issues?) , Mariah Carey, subhuman (after twins, she looks like that? Really?), Charles Barkley (being that tall can hide a multitude of sins), Janet Jackson, serial dieter, yo-yo pro. And that’s just scratching the surface of the latest weight loss celebrities. But seriously, are these people solid role models?  My thoughts are, um, no.

I guess you can look at the commercials and think, “Well, it just goes to show celebrities have battles they fight too!” Yeah, well, they make more money than I’ll ever see in my lifetime. These stars can have people cook the food, order the food and if they want, spoon feed them the food without even having to think about it. The truth is, celebrity endorsements is yet another way that diet programs that are short lived find their way in to your psyche and eventually your wallet. And more important, let’s see where these “stars” are 3 years from now, 5 years from now, still fit and thin? TBD.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire anyone who can set their mind on a goal and achieve it. But when you start putting celebrities in to the mix, that changes all the rules. They are NOT regular folk. They make money based on their looks and they will do whatever they need to in order to get in to their million dollar costumes/dresses, etc.  Our lives are so vastly different including the things that motivate us as well as the things that allow us to make difficult changes. Mariah Carey just had twins, God Bless her, but my hunch is she’s got a bit of help with those babies.  For the average woman looking to lose weight after having twins, not only does she not have the gift of a nanny or two, she doesn’t have a diet company knocking on her door asking if she’d like to endorse them if she follows their program.  Imagine, getting paid to lose weight? However, that’s a double edged sword. You gain the weight back and you get just as much attention, you just don’t get paid for it.

I don’t know, I just have a really hard time seeing all of these celebrities saying, “If I did it, you can too!” No I can’t, whether it be money, time or support, no one is paying me to lose weight. I suppose some may be inspired to change and that’s a plus. But the real stars, the real celebrities are those folks that set their mind to get healthy once and for all, and do it the old fashioned way, and don’t  get paid for it.  30 years ago, I lost weight the old fashioned way, simply by making healthier choices and following my 80/20 rule, works every time.

Don’t let the pressure of unrealistic success stories get you down. There are plenty of real people with real life success stories that changed their life for the better, all on their own, no endorsements, no promises of fortune or fame, no nannies or agents to keep them on task, just good old fashioned desire and motivation.

Check out my most recent column. Now she’s a  real star!!

 

Here’s to your health!

Nicki

 

 


Living Weight- The Healthy Way to Live

By Nicki On February 2, 2011 No Comments

Since I lost my weight close to 30 years ago, I find that the biggest culprit of successful, long-term weight loss for people is unrealistic expectations. People see magazine covers or television shows, or award shows and assume that the way the models and stars of Hollywood look is the way they should look. It’s unfortunate that this has become the goal for many of my clients including kids, not good.

When people are setting weight loss goals, I often remind them that the best “goal” weight is a living weight. What is a living weight? It’s the amount you weigh that is sustainable, healthy and realistic. In other words, if you lose weight and have to starve yourself and exercise 24/7 simply to  maintain the weight, that’s not your living weight. If you find that you’re constantly weighing yourself and skipping meals just to stay at your “ideal” weight, it’s not your living weight. If you’re constantly obsessing over your weight, it’s not a living weight.

If you’re in the process of or considering losing weight, it’s important you keep reality at the forefront of any positive changes. Consider the following:

  • Remember, if you’re starving yourself to lose weight, it’s not going to be sustainable.
  • If you’re working out for 2-3 hrs or more a day, 7 days a week, your weight loss will not be sustainable.
  • If you’re embarking on a dietary change, make sure that the changes you’re making are manageable. Now keep in mind, most people eat too much, but gradual changes are more likely to be permanent changes vs. cutting down to 1200 cals per day.
  • If you’re obsessed with your weight loss and weighing yourself every day to see if you’ve gained back any weight, that’s not a living weight.
  • Living weight is all about the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time exercise most days of the week as well as eat more healthfully. 20% of the time is life, vacations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • Living weight is not about perfect, it’s about potential. Every one has the potential to make healthy changes to achieve a healthy, living weight.
  • Living weight is a reasonable weight. Remember, height and weight charts are average and miss certain variables, including one that I consider to be most important, genetics. It’s not to say that if you come from family that is obese, you can’t change the cycle, but if you’re large boned, you have to take that in to account and not shoot for a weight that someone the same height, although small boned would weigh. It’s unique for everyone.
  • Living weight is not about comparing. If you’re eating well most of the time, (eliminating fried and processed foods), exercising regularly, you’ll be where you need to be.

Living weight is just that, striving for good health but living in the process.

Here’s to YOUR living weight!

Nicki


Learning is Key to Success

By Nicki On December 5, 2010 No Comments

Book Signing with David Grotto, R.D. at Anderson's Bookshop

For those of  you that have read my blog for awhile, you know I’ve never romanticized weight loss, nor have I ever promoted diets. For 20 years, I have always maintained that a healthy weight is a by-product of a healthy lifestyle, and the scale does not necessarily dictate good health. In all my years of business, I would imagine that the average number of diets my clients have experienced go well beyond 50. Yet with all of those diets, none ever stuck. In fact, the only folks I know that have experienced long-term success, are those who made the decision to change their lifestyle, for good.  Hmmm. I really struggle with the success of the diet industry given the poor results. I really don’t get it. If I bought a product and it broke after one use, I’d bring it back. I’d probably try another figuring that maybe that particular one was defective. But if the second one didn’t work, I’d never use that product again. Sure, there are different diets so perhaps there is the hope that maybe one of them will be the winner. The one constant with every diet is that it’s one dimensional, i.e. weight loss only. So for most people, once they lose the weight, there is nothing is place to support the changes they’ve made and keep them motivated enough to sustain the weight loss. Additionally, and most important to me, real life skills  to  replace unhealthy habits are rarely taught yet they are mandatory to sustain weight loss.

This past summer, more than usual, people were asking me about diets. Given my business, I always have people asking me, “which diet is the best?” I always respond with, “Whatever diet works for you and keeps you healthy.”  As I started seeing more and more advertisements about weight loss, “Lose 15 pounds in 15 days” I thought more deeply about my efforts with clients to assist them in creating their “own” diet.  I realized that’s a really hard thing to do because most people are looking for fast and easy, it’s the way of the world today, people want change NOW, not tomorrow, not next week, NOW.

I talked to a few clients and asked them what aspects of a diet “pulled them in” and what elements prevented them from keeping their weight loss efforts consistent? The aspects that were most helpful was the structure of a nutrition program. In other words, it’s sort of like personal training. People love training because they don’t have to think about the exercise, they show up, I train them and they leave. They didn’t have to give any thought to how the program was laid out, the method behind it, etc. They just did what they were told. It’s the same thing with a diet, you’re told what to eat, when to eat it and you don’t have to think about it. I get it, and like you, it is nice not to have to think about what you’re going to eat next or what exercise comes next in your repertoire. However, the truth is that like a bike with training wheels, eventually you’re going to have take the training wheels off and go it alone. Same with weight loss, eventually you need to LEARN what you need to do in order to gain independence and sustain your efforts. That is why people shift from diet, to diet, to diet, they never LEARN what they need to do forever, for the long-term.

The elements that many people said were missing from diet success was accountability. In other words, when there were challenges with a diet, there was no one they could go to and ask questions. If the scale crept up, who was going to let them know that as long as they’re consistent, they will be fine, weight fluctuates, it’s normal. When struggling with a nutrition program, if there is no one standing in your corner cheering you on and helping you weed through what makes sense for you and what doesn’t, success is highly unlikely. One of the reasons my business remains strong is that I have created a positive, educated source of accountability for my clients.

With all the this information, I finally decided this past fall to put all that I have learned over 20 years together and created a program for my clients that offers all the elements necessary for successful, long-term weight loss and healthy living. It’s funny, necessity stimulates innovation and I know for  me, my desire to help my clients feel better, live stronger and more confidently was the secret behind creating one of the most successful programs I’ve ever put together for my clients. But more than anything, my clients are winning not only at the weight loss piece, but the LEARNING piece and for that, I am thrilled. Finally, I can offer something to my clients that helps them achieve the weight loss that they so desperately seek, yet all along they are learning what’s necessary to not only lose the weight, but to sustain it, and that  my friends is the real secret to success!

I hope you can join me on December 8th or January 5th at 7:00 p.m. at my studio as I share the program that’s helping people discover an alternative to diet hopping. My goal has always been to EDUCATE people on sensible weight loss and how to implement a program that works for their lifestyle and their personal goals. It’s helping people realize that change is possible AND sustainable, you just have to be ready and have the right source of support.

Here’s to your health!

Nicki


A Different Way to Look at Weight Loss

By Nicki On September 25, 2010 4 Comments

swimmingI have a dear friend that has battled with weight most of her adult life. Whether it’s you or someone close to you, there is no greater pain that having someone you care about struggle with something, be it weight, relationships, etc.

The other day we went out for lunch and she told me about something her father had recently shared with her and it really hit home for her. Remember that we don’t hear something until we are really ready to HEAR something. And sometimes simply changing the way it’s said, or how it’s said, may be all that’s needed to finally connect to a message. So here is how her father viewed his daughter’s weight loss struggles and how she might better move forward with her weight loss efforts. “When you go out too fast in the swim portion of the triathlon, you end up over doing it and get out of breath and you never really recover.  The ideal approach, is to start off slow until you find your groove and then you are strong for not only the swim, but for the entire event.”

I couldn’t think of a better metaphor for the whole weight loss approach. Every client that I have worked with that has failed weight loss efforts is because it’s always, and I mean always, too much, too soon leaving little room for success. To throw a dramatic shift in to an already chaotic lifestyle does little to set the stage for long-term success. Let’s use the Biggest Loser as an example. They have a dramatic shift, their lifestyle completely changes, yet they have learned little in the way of real life application. How can you go from exercising 8 hours a day, having meals prepared for you to working a 9-5 job, driving the kids to their school activities and having to figure out what’s for dinner and either making it or picking it up, right? It’s unrealistic and highly unsustainable.

So just as my friends Dad suggests, “start off slow until you find your groove…” it may not be the quick and easy results you want, but the truth is there are no real results in fast and easy, only temporary success and well, if it’s temporary, it’s really not a success.

Here’s to Your Health!

Nicki


Healthy Weight Comes Down to Calories

By Nicki On August 29, 2010 3 Comments

Pills, Pills and More Pills!

This past week a friend of mine shared with me that she has started taking diet pills, “just to help” expedite her weight loss goal. There was no question they had been working as she had already lost some weight, but the news really disappointed me. I’ve known this person for a long time and she has always believed that a healthy weight can only be achieved through regular exercise and eating well. She’s always brushed off diets and when her friends were jumping on some weight loss bandwagon, she would say, ” Don’t these people realize that the weight will come back?  I’m not doing that any more.” So what was it that caused her to suddenly abandon her solid knowledge of weight loss and start taking a diet pill?  “I’m only taking it for a few weeks,” she said.  Although she joked about it, she had noticed her patience level was compromised and  she was constantly thirsty (diuretic effect of weight loss pills) and a bit jumpy.

I asked her, “So what is the big difference? What is it about the pills that makes more sense than eating right regularly?”  She said,”Well, I’m eating less because I’m not as hungry.”  Ahhh, she’s eating less. Exactly. So basically, she needs something to force her to eat less. I said to her,”You can do this diet pill thing, but you realize that when you go off of it, it’s like losing a crutch. First of all the withdrawal probably won’t be fun and you’ll be back to what you were doing before. Use this as a learning experience. See how much food you’re cutting out, how many calories and write it down. LEARN from this that in truth, the ONLY secret to weight loss is cutting calories but ultimately, you’re going to have to do it naturally, without the aid of diet pills.”

I’m hopeful that she will realize that her weight loss is the result of  simply cutting calories, there is no “magic” in the pill other than suppressing her appetite. I guess you could call that magic. But the side-effects are hardly worth it and the long-term results, not there. It comes down to what we know but don’t really like to hear, it’s making the decision to make changes that are controlled naturally, not by a drug, not by a pill or “diet” but by making the conscious choice to change. Spend time to find out what triggers eating too much and change it. Find out why you tend to overeat, then address it and change it. The only way that someone will experience long-term change is through long-term desire, period.  It’s like taking illegal drugs to escape from it all, at some point you have to be responsible for your own happiness and fulfillment. Ultimately, it is you that is in charge of  making things happen and reaching the goals you set. I hope she figures that out sooner rather than later.

In health,

Nicki


A Disconnect With Food May Be Cause of Obesity

By Nicki On May 16, 2010 2 Comments
Garden Season is Finally Here!

Garden Season is Finally Here!

Ahh spring, good-bye chill, hello warmth. One of the reasons I celebrate spring is because it is officially garden season. Woot-Woot!  There is nothing more exciting than to watch the garden grow and ultimately bring  produce in to my home that is no longer from the store, but my own backyard. (O.K. I have to give credit, where credit is due, my husband Bill does all the planting, I get to harvest and cook. :-) )

Last week, as I gathered some fresh radishes, green onions and lettuce to make the first garden salad of spring, I started to think about the disconnect that many people have with their food.  In other words, it’s not about fueling (feeding) yourself,  it’s simply about filling the tummy. My guess is years and years of fast-food and processed food has contributed to  the disconnect. Additionally, people no longer pay attention to the importance (mentally and physically) that fresh, whole food provides for the body and soul.

I can’t tell you the number of people that have said, “Healthy eating means bland food and no taste.”  Not so. The fact is that so many processed foods and fast-foods are loaded with salt and saturated fats, that people have forgotten what “real” food tastes like. Herbs can take any meal from weak to wow, it just takes time and experimentation.

Case-in-point, I was talking to a client of mine that is an avid “out-to-eater” and is working to try and make better choices. I encouraged him to start bringing his own lunch or find ways to include more home cooked meals. “Ahh, I just don’t like that food. I like the foods I get at restaurants.” And the reason he likes that food is that his palate has developed a fondness for high sodium and fat so when he attempts to eat a meal at home, it doesn’t taste as good. But the truth is that once you get back on track with “real” food, you’ll begin to realize just how unhealthy restaurant/fast food makes you feel. He is slowly  making that connection and now realizes much of his lethargy has been due to his food choices.

It is my belief that  processed foods are not only contributing to the demise of health in our country, but our appreciation for the value of good food and how it can positively contribute to good health,  if we just give it a try. Think about how you feel when you’ve eaten well vs. how you feel when you’ve had a junk filled food day.

Hey look, been there, I get it. My diet used to consist of a 1/2 dozen chocolate filled donuts in the morning, Snickers for a mid-morning snack, a couple of tacos and chalupa for lunch, chips for a mid-afternoon snack and then whatever was being served for dinner. And then of course I went out with my friend later, a little alcohol and then a midnight snack which was typically huevos rancheros. Surprised? Sometimes I can’t believe the amount of unhealthy calories I used to consume. But once I made the connection between “mood and food,” my life changed and so can yours.

Start paying attention to how you feel when you consume healthier choices. Look, I’m not telling you to go out and start a garden, but why not start a little herb garden inside? When you go to the store, stick to the perimeter of the store as much as possible as that is where your healthier options are. Set a goal to start eating 2 vegetarian meals per week, or add a salad to 3 meals per week, etc.  There are TONS of resources and recipes for creating healthier meals. My book is a great tool for gradually implementing healthy choices both for food and exercise. Opt for fruit and nuts for snacks vs. boxed bars that are loaded with sugar and preservatives. Given what I used to eat and where I am today, it is doable, if you’re willing and ready to change. And that is the key my friends, the willingness to change.

I know that when I harvest from my garden and consume the food from it, I am grateful for it. I am grateful for the opportunity to consume food that positively contributes to the body I was given. I just don’t think people give a second thought to the food they’re eating much less how it positively or negatively contributes to their health and everyday performance. Bottom line, we take food pathetically for granted.

So the next time you think about dieting, switch gears to connecting. Connecting with the foods that contribute to a better, healthier you. You don’t have to have a garden to do it. Simply start by purchasing more fruits, vegetables (especially when they’re in season, they’re cheaper) and when they’re not, frozen can work. After you’ve finished a healthy meal, connect to how you FEEL. The same holds true when you choose unhealthy options, pay attention to how you feel. My guess is that it will be vastly different than how you feel when eating whole, good-for-you foods.

In addition to plenty of resources via web, I’ve got a ton of recipes on my website as well as my cookbook, Here’s to Health.

I encourage you to start listening to your body and how it responds when you make the choice to fill yourself with a better grade of “fuel”. I know for me,  the day I decided to choose health, that was the day I stopped dieting and finally achieved a healthier, stronger, leaner me. For that I am eternally grateful.

I want to hear your story. Have you struggled with healthy eating? Perhaps it’s because you’ve always used food for weight gain or loss. Maybe now is the time to use food for for it’s original intent, to fuel your body allowing it to perform optimally. That sounds a heck of a lot better than dieting, don’t you think?

Here’s to your health!

Nicki

P.S. As a side note, I know there is always the argument of how expensive healthy eating can be. THat comes from lack of education and it is my mission to see how we can change that. Be sure and check out Jamie Olivers effort in his show Food Revolution. A must watch!


Reaching Your Destination Doesn’t Require Speed

By Nicki On March 23, 2010 14 Comments
Me and my daughter, Allison

Me and my daughter, Allison

My daughter is a freshman at IU. ‘Sigh’ (Still mourning her absence).

She came home this past week (joy) and before I knew it, she packed up and headed back to school. The following morning I received a text from her:

“Mom, got a speeding ticket. UGH!”

That text was followed up by a couple of others, cursing her choice to put the pedal to the metal.  After reassuring her that it wasn’t the end of the world, I reminded her about the importance of staying within the speed limit. This got me thinking about weight loss. I know, a surprise.

How many of you want to hurry-up and lose weight? How many of you have opted for fast and furious weight loss methods only to find yourself back where you started and in some cases, further back than when you started?

You see, my daugther was in a hurry to get back to school, I get it, but at the end of the day, she ended up losing time and getting a ticket, counterproductive.

The truth is, the best and most efficient way to lose weight and keep it off is to take it slow. What’s the rush? Studies show that the folks that take longer to take weight off, are more likely to stick to the healthy habits they created, resulting in more permanent success with weight loss.

So the next time you think about jumping on a fast and easy weight loss plan, take it slow and you’ll be more likely to arrive at just the right time, with the right results!

Here’s to your health!

Nicki

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Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the “Weight” Basket

By Nicki On February 21, 2010 3 Comments

This past week I met with a client that I have been working with for a couple of months. He came in and shared his disappointment at gaining 7 pounds despite his level of hard work.  What do you say to someone who is looking to feel successful through weight loss only? How do you encourage someone to get past “the weight” and focus on all of the other accomplishments that have been made over the 2 months? Education.

When starting to lose weight or embarking on a weight loss program you’ve got to remember some very important things folks, you cannot expect a body that’s been mistreated for years to turn around in weeks, it doesn’t work that way. Further, after years of inactivity and poor nutrition, every one has a different point at which their body finally trusts the positive changes and begins to respond, i.e. metabolic weight loss.  In other words, building muscle and improving overall performance takes time. The  most important thing you can do is be consistent. If you start exercising like a mad-dog and eating only carrots and celery, sure, you might lose weight right away, but where will you be in 3 or 4 weeks? Back where you started, why? Because who can subsist on carrots and celery and hours of exercise? Very few people.

Look, when you’re looking to lose weight it’s got to be because you want to GET HEALTHY! Remember my friends, weight loss is simply a by-product of changing your lifestyle. People have it backwards, they put all of their eggs in to the weight loss basket when in reality they should be distributing their eggs in the nutrition basket, exercise basket, stress-relief basket and finally weight loss basket. If you put all of your eggs in one basket, you’ll never find the balance or the secret to long-term success.

From a practical perspective, what is the reason most people want to lose weight? Too feel better, right? So consider changing your priorities around and let lifestyle changes take the driver’s seat. You see if you focus on the things that change positively, consistency is more likely to follow. If you’re just looking at the weight loss piece, and it’s not forthcoming (in the unrealistic way many believe it will) you’ll quit and go back to bad habits. Yet bad habits are exactly what you’re trying to get rid of if you really want to lose weight. Are you with me?

So, bottom line, you want to lose weight, start making the changes necessary to make that happen but rather than focus on the numbers on the scale, focus on the everyday improvement you can notice right away. If health isn’t an issue, that go ahead and stop eating for a week, you’ll lose weight. But if your real goal is to feel better and change the quality of your life, there is no argument, lifestyle changes are the most important strategy. Just make them appropriate, realistic and measurable. Keep a journal, celebrate your progress and you may find that all of those lifestyle changes over time have not only greatly improved the quality of your life, you’ve lost some weight too!