Gluten Free Craze – Have you considered it?

Have you considered going gluten free?

One thing that makes me crazy is when I hear clients decide to follow the newest and latest fads because they have heard someone say that it’s the next “best thing” out there.
Really???

Let me take you back…back to a time, (if you are old enough to remember)to the 1990’s – when it was popular to eat low fat and high carbs. Remember that awesomeness? Yes, I do too. :p
Since then, our obesity in the US became an epidemic.

Coincidence? I don’t believe so.

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Once that craziness ended, then it was all about the Atkins diet and that had been originally popular in the 70s!! Carbs became the “bad guys” as proteins and fats were the secret to our success.

Or was it?

It’s addictive to think we can just cut out one food group and live happily ever after and now this popular fad is “gluten”.

Let’s begin with what gluten even is:
It’s a mixture of proteins found in wheat, barley and rye.

It’s true that gluten can be bad for some people. But it’s not a “diet” phase in any way.

People who suffer with Celiac disease have discomfort and fatigue and gastrointestinal issues. There are other conditions were choosing to eliminate gluten containing foods can help reduce symptoms and discomfort.

This has lead to more gluten free products being sold and now, a new diet phase emerged.

People who remove gluten from their diets notice, at first, that they feel less bloated. This is usually believed to be “weight loss”, as the scale shows a drop (and why I don’t allow my clients to simply refer to the scale for success. It isn’t accurate most of the time).

 

Binge and Move On Already!!!

Bloating can release due to the initial removal of gluten from one’s diet since it contains less fiber. Fiber attracts water for digestion purposes and this may cause some temporary bloating. Take away more fiber, take away the bloat.

This is an example of what we think is happening (IE: weight loss) is really another cause altogether (less water in the body temporarily).

Now there are ridiculous amounts of foods being manufactured as “gluten free”. I have to caution you here because manufacturers will advertise foods as “gluten free” when they had never even contained gluten in the beginning! Don’t fall for these scams!

Let’s talk about what needs to happen to something in order to make it “gluten free”- when it contains gluten. It requires heavy amounts of processing. It’s during the processing phase, that many of the vitamins and minerals are lost and leaves many foods with very little nutritional value. As fiber is now lost, many B vitamins are also lost.

Gluten-free breads now contain almost 1/3 less the amount of protein as gluten options and instead contain twice the amount of fats and that is made mostly up of saturated fats.

So should you consider going gluten-free? Only if you suffer from symptoms that can be eliminated from cutting out gluten. Not for weight loss.

What are those symptoms? Do you suffer regularly from:

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Gas – Bloating – Diarrhea – Constipation – Foggy mind – ADHD behavior – Depression – Abdominal pains – Headaches – Bone or joint pains – Chronic fatigue – and some other symptoms that can be diagnosed by a physician. If you are worried about your symptoms, consult your doctor and ask them to run tests for a diagnosis. There is a blood test called the tTG-IgA that is the most accurate to date.

Otherwise, stop looking for the next food fad and eat to fuel your body and goals today!

What are some of the popular diets you’ve tried in the past?

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Are you ready for your transformation too?

Progress in fitness and weight loss isn’t always guaranteed to last and definitely isn’t guaranteed to be easy! I have struggled for most of my life to find the balance in feeling healthy, strong, fit and happy. This is a recap of my last few years of ups and downs…and finally where I can sustain without overtraining, deprivation or binge eating.

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March 2012: I reached my lowest body fat percentage ever and was super lean (and always hungry!) lol It was all about extreme work and no balance. I worked out over 2 hours every day, did fasted cardio in the early morning hours and stuck to a strict diet plan. Restrictions and hard work were what fueled me to reach the goals of taking on the stage (my biggest challenge to date)..that was my motto. I took home 2 trophies; one for 2nd place in my division and the other for 3rd place in the overall division. I was proud but I was also suffering both mentally and physically.
October 2012: After my competition passed, I couldn’t help myself to choose the foods that I had been deprived of for the past six months. I was extremely exhausted and had no desire to continue on my journey to exercise and eating right. My weight started to skyrocket and I found myself unfamiliar with the stages that my body took on. I was not able to control my weight gains, I was tired all of the time, I felt myself slipping into depression and hopelessness. Not a good feeling for someone who has been in love with fitness and health for over 2o years. I found that I was suffering from adrenal fatigue and couldn’t find the motivation to move forward. There was absolutely no balance in my life at this point. We were moving and resettling in a new area and the lack of schedule made it that much more difficult. I wondered if I’d ever get back to where I wanted to be…or at least to the point I was before my competition. I pretty much worked out when I wanted to and ate what I wanted to. My body and mind were suffering from my previous competition training and extreme dieting. I gained over 25 lbs and felt completely hopeless. My body stopped responding and I was miserable.


June 2016: Being an obsessive personality has left me with little choices in finding balance but when I hit rock bottom, I realized there had to be a better way. I could not – and I would not – allow myself to continue feeling this way. This summer, I finally found balance, and stopped suffering for my results. The past few years have been a roller coaster of struggles, diet plans, competitions, and feeling like a fraud to my clients. I never stopped eating clean foods and I never stopped working out…but I damaged my body and my metabolism by taking on too much and punishing myself in many ways. Commitment is not easy and finding balance to live a healthier and happier life is key to long term results. Extreme results are not healthy and def not worth the pain and suffering I went through. I now workout anywhere from 30-60 minutes a day…TOPS! No more and no less. I take at least 1 full rest day every week. I eat to fuel my body, not my mind and not my emotions. This is the rest of my life…and not just a walk across the stage. I want to feel powerful, healthy, strong, capable, athletic, and above all else: HAPPY. I actually feel the best that I’ve felt in YEARS. I hit rock bottom and became tired of feeling tired and always pushing for more.


I am committed to helping women like me feel this way and learn what it takes to eat, workout and live a happy life that doesn’t feel like punishment. If this post encourages or touches you, let’s chat about getting you started on your own journey with my help. I am restarting my one-on-one online training and invite you to join me. You can fill out the form below or send me an email and I’ll forward you all the information to check out. It’s never too late and you’re capable of more than you know! Deprivation and overtraining is not the way. You can be healthy, happy and fit for life! 

Help for Binge Eaters

6 Tips To Stop Compulsive Eating

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 1.15.15 PM Are you prone to food cravings, binges and eating your way through emotional stresses? I have always felt as if there was no hope for me when my body went into “binge mode”. I tried everything and anything that I could find to offset these binges. I tried willpower; I used foods that wouldn’t hurt my goals, such as vegetables and fruits; I drank water, tea and coffee; I would walk away from the kitchen; I would research the reasons why this was happening and never really found the solution that worked.

It’s important to first understand the difference between compulsive overeating and other eating disorders. Compulsive overeaters don’t attempt to make up or “punish” themselves for their bingeing with actions such as purging, fasting, diet pills or laxatives. Compulsive overeating typically leads to weight gain and obesity. Keep in mind that not everyone who is obese is also a compulsive overeater. People who appear to be of normal or average weight can also be affected by these behaviors. 

This included ME! I found it quite upsetting when others would downplay the fact that I was working on finding a solution to this issue; since being just 30 lbs or so above my “ideal weight” wasn’t proof enough to anyone that I was actually dealing with this.  Let’s begin with a few tips on how to prevent a binge; or emotional attack before it hits.

 

  • Avoid temptation. You’re much more likely to overeat if you have junk food, desserts and unhealthy snacks in the house. (pretty shocking, right? lol) But many of us tend to use excuses as to why we “need” these foods in the home. I used to use my family as an excuse; “they NEED these items. I don’t want them to suffer because of my issues”, etc. But why on earth should they even be eating unhealthy items either? Just because they didn’t go into full-force binge mode at any given moment, didn’t mean that they required junk foods on a regular basis. No, this was my sad attempt to keep these comfort foods close at hand because I felt uneasy to put an end to the episodes. To keep temptation at bay, don’t keep the food within easy access. The best way to do that is not to purchase unhealthy food in the first place. duh dot com.
  • Stop “dieting”.  Having a “diet” mentality or severely restricting your food intake can increase hunger and feelings of deprivation. I know that the fact that I would cut out food groups, or meals in general, kept my body in the “all or nothing” phase and thus, would lead to another binge-fest because my body simply needed and craved more calories. Instead of being ultra strict with your food, focus on eating in moderation. Find nutritious foods that you enjoy . Try to eat more small meals throughout the day as well to keep hunger at bay. And the more dense nutrition you put into your body on a daily basis, the LESS it craves anything that isn’t on your meal plan. Check out Shakeology for this fact alone.
  • Start Exercising. Exercise is a natural way to boost your mood and can help put a stop to emotional eating. Not only does exercise help you lose weight and improve your health… it can also help reduce depression and reduce stress. It’s our HAPPY pill, in simpler terms, with no dangerous side effects!
  • Decrease stress. Learn how to cope with stress in other ways that don’t involve food. This one is a doozy but such an important tip to take seriously. I know, easier said than done… but keep in mind, compulsive overeating has little to do with hunger. People often eat when they are not hungry or use food to fill an emotional need that they cannot cope with in other ways. So the next time you find yourself standing in front of the open refrigerator or pantry and staring into the abyss of foods thinking, I’m hungry for something; shut the door and go sit down to figure out what you are really hungry for. Love? Attention? Friendship? Relaxation? A hug? Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with food. If you don’t know what you want to eat, it usually leads to an emotional need or some help in releasing a stressful time.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t try to change your relationship with food overnight. Try setting small goals and give yourself some positive feedback. If you tell yourself, “I need to add more fish and veggies to my diet,” it will be much better than saying, “I need to stop eating so much crap.” Think positive! =)
  • No one is perfect, be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes, we all struggle sometimes… it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you are suffering from compulsive overeating and you feel like it is getting out of control, you should really seek professional help to stop the unhealthy, weight-gaining, self destructive behavior. You’re not alone. There are plenty of wonderful resources for those with eating disorders… don’t be afraid to reach out ❤

When all is said and done, do your best and forget the rest. (Tony Horton of P90X) Simply put, if you make a mistake or fall into a binge along the way, chalk it up to figuring out how you could have handled it differently and make that attempt the next time around. Stop blaming yourself and just start enjoying your life…and your foods! 🙂

Curbing Emotional Eating Attacks

Have you ever been attacked by a craving?

Like, you are not sure what just happened but one minute you are sitting there minding your own business and the next part is fuzzy and unclear…

but once you “come to”, you have crumbs on your shirt and chocolate dripping from your chin and your fingertips.

What just happened here? 

This is something that I had suffered through for so many years and instead of looking into the reasons why it was happening, I was under the impression that working on my sheer “willpower” would help me to conquer this beast.

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not so much…

Let’s take a look at what happens when we are in the midst of a craving attack;  the cravings are driven by the chemical in our brain, dopamine. The brain seeks that rush again and again…and again! It works like a drug addiction…and “willpower” has no power over this at all.

But what do we do if we are trying to lose weight? What if we are focusing on replacing these attacks with healthier habits?  How do we stop these attacks and start to control their power over our brains?

Knowing our trigger points can help us understand the signs so we can work on creating a successful plan to offset the problem.

Here are some common areas that bring on the sudden attacks:

*Being under a lot of stress (ummmm…excuse me, LIFE???)

*Skipping meals and/or undereating (a big no-no but so many women practice it in hopes of losing weight)

*Not drinking enough water (seriously, who even drinks enough these days??)

*Boredom

*Lack of sleep

*Stuck in a rut

Start by learning to identify the feelings in a given moment and understand to separate those feelings from food. I will never forget one of my Weight Watcher leaders when I was just 15 years old, when I was obsessed with finding the cause of my struggles. She told us repeatedly, almost like our mantra, “if you find yourself standing in front of an open refrigerator or pantry and you don’t know what you are ‘hungry’ for; shut the door, go sit down and figure out what it is you are hungry for. Because it has nothing to do with food.’

This saying brought me so much relief through many painful times as I worked on conquering this massive and powerful beast.

So, how do we finally get control of these times? It’s all about understanding the emotions first and then having a game plan set up so we are set up for success. Here are some tips.

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1. Plan a workout schedule and stick to it. You wouldn’t cancel on a meeting or appointment that was important to you, why would you not stick to a workout program that would benefit your body and your mind? I like to plan out my workout time on my calendar in pen and I don’t let myself get off track with anything or anyone else at that time. If you have difficulty during your day or evening, get up an hour earlier and just get it done. If you are thinking that isn’t fair because you want to sleep that extra hour; then go to sleep earlier if you must. But the bottom line is you that we all have 2 decisions on our goals. Either we don’t stick to it and we move further from our goals; or we just do it and the magic happens. You are just as important as anyone else that you value in your life.

2. Let’s talk about your water intake, your stress levels and the amount of sleep you’re getting. Now, don’t get me started on the fact that most of us are lacking in all 3 of these areas…let’s find out why we need to pay attention here. Our will power is lowered dramatically when we are sleep deprived, stressed out and dehydrated. Do you think that’s BS? Think about a time of known weight gain for most…’the college years’.  Crappy food is everywhere, sleep is a second thought and stress levels are through the roof…and water? Who drinks water? There are much less hydrating beverages to be had instead. Those or us who are more active, need at least 1 gallon of water every day. We also need at least 7 hours of sleep per night…and I don’t care if you can tell me that you are “good” to go after just 4 hours. That lack of sleep will catch up with you. These will create major food cravings all on their own.

3. I know I mentioned stress above but I believe it’s important enough to hold it’s own title.  I know we all deal with stresses. It is ‘life’ for goodness sake. But think about the times when you are stressed more than normal, these times make us so much more vulnerable to food cravings. Stress may not be something you can always control, but you can help your body handle it as best as possible. Exercise is a proven method to eliminate the negativity caused by stress; in fact, you feel immediately better after you are done. Ever hear of those “happy endorphins”?  Some basic activities that bring upon a feeling of euphoria are yoga, meditation and simple stretching. Plan to attend yoga classes twice a week when you are under extra stress, or just in general. Even if you only have a few minutes to relax; just breathing in a quiet place with your eyes closed for 10 minutes will lower stress levels dramatically.  Hence my Weight Watcher leader’s quote about “go sit down and figure out what you’re hungry for”, just sit and breathe…

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4. Stop the cravings! When you think of the food culprit, day or night, just firmly think “STOP!” Then picture a healthy and fit “you” instead. Do this repeatedly, even if you feel silly. It’s really sillier to NOT work on these areas so suit yourself…lol  If you make this a habit, your brain will soon begin to dismiss the foods and the cravings will begin to lessen.

5. Sometimes you just gotta have one. Diets don’t work because they focus on depriving ourselves of what we enjoy most. Every so often, go ahead and indulge in your favorite sweet treat. But instead of gorging on it in the privacy of your home, go out and eat it with a fork and a spoon in front of other people…with dignity. Enjoy the flavors and the richness of the dessert. I bet you are satisfied before you even finish it.