by Emma Hammond 0 comments
It's easy to find yourself sneaking a bite off your child's plate or adding an extra scoop onto the dinner plate most evenings. Seems innocent enough right? Yet over the course of a day, week & month those extra servings can add up & take away from the hard work you are doing in the gym. In our supersized food world it's easy to lose site of what a reasonable serving size is. Over the past several decades, the portion sizes served at restaurants have more than doubled, not to mention that whole clean your plate mantra has managed to stick around. Leaving most people walking away from each meal feeling overly stuffed & rather uncomfortable.This is one of the first mindful eating practices I address with new clients, as well as re-evaluate once a plateau has hit in their progress. I personally get in the rhythm of buying healthy food & cooking recipes I know are good for my goals. What I can struggle with is not overdoing the amount I put on my plate! Unfortunately healthy foods can also be over consumed & interfere with our goals too. Not to mention I don't enjoy stepping away from the dinner table with a full uncomfortable belly.Fortunately there are a few quick ways to check your mindful eating habits & adjust accordingly. Here are my top 5 recommended self check ins when you find your portion sizes may be sabotaging your health.Fix Portion Distortion with 5 Simple Solutions:
- Swap out the dinner plate for a salad plate. We often fill up whatever plate we use to look visually appealing & satisfying. If we only fill that huge 12 inch plate 1/3 of the way we feel deprived & as though we are "dieting" with tiny meals. Simply swapping out the oversized dinner plate for a smaller but very reasonably size salad plated can make a huge difference in our intake. This easy swap made a HUGE difference in my nutrition & I find the same in most clients. Yes it's mostly a mind game tweak but I dare you to try it & not see a difference!
- Balance your ratio of veggies, protein, carbs & fat. This approach has been super successful with clients who were reluctant to remove certain favorite foods, such as mom's mac & cheese from their meal plan. By simply re-balancing the way they plated up meals without altering food choices left them feeling full, satisfied & kept them from feeling deprived of their favorites. It's a great place to start if you are still trying to dial in the food selection part! How to?
- Begin with 1/2 a plate of non-starchy veggies (salads, sauteed veggies, mashed cauliflower)
- Then 1/4 plate of your protein (chicken, fish, eggs, pork & so on)
- Finally 1/4 plate of starchy vegetables or carbohydrate (sweet potato, rice, risotto & such) It makes a big difference restructuring your meals from a 3/4 of a plate full of bread & mac & cheese to 1/2 plate of veggies, a 1/4 plate of roasted chicken & only 1/4 plate of mom's mac & cheese. Again start where you are!
- Break out the measuring utensils instead of eyeballing, especially when it comes to healthy fats. The scoop of peanut butter grows, extra oil thrown in the pan, 1/4 an avocado becomes 3/4, the pat of butter becomes 2-3, a palmful of nuts becomes a handful...ok you get the idea. I love healthy fats & they are a must have in our diet. In fact many people under consume the healthy forms but that's an issue for another post.This is again about being mindful of our serving size & let's be honest, how easy is it to throw back in extra serving or two of salted cashews? Keep this in check by measuring out a serving size to have a better grasp on what that looks like. No you don't have to weigh & measure every ounce you eat, but having a visual idea is a great reminder.
- Eating like your significant other or those around you. I'm going to throw this in from personal experience & one of my most common issues women especially encounter. Ladies, the unfair reality is our loving spouses need to eat more food then us. Yes they can even often get away with that extra serving, frosty beer or scoop of ice cream that seems to immediately go to your waistline when you do the same. When I first moved in with my husband, my portions began to match his for all of our shared meals. If he got seconds, I did too. He wants to go for fro-yo, sure let's do it. Unfortunately I am smaller & don't have the same nutritional needs & metabolic rate he does. Does it SUCK? Yes, but so did that extra 10lbs I put on that year. You have to adjust accordingly for your own individual needs. *Insert sad violin playing here*
- Liquid calories count. Just because you can fit 1/2 a bottle of wine in one glass, doesn't mean you just had a single serving. Sorry...but true...yes I have tested just for accuracy. Depending on the who you are & what are your goal type guidelines, a little booze can fit into a balanced diet. However that nightly glass of wine is often far bigger than the 5oz pour or 1.5oz tossed in a mixed drink. Don't fool yourself by ignoring the serving size of those adult beverages. Again stay mindful & make sure your choices reflect your goals.
by Emma Hammond 0 comments
Protein Packed Pumpkin Oatmeal in a Jar
As much as I hate to admit it, I to fall prey to the pumpkin madness once fall arrives. There's just something about the spices that accompany it that screams fall comfort. One of my favorite uses of pumpkin is to add volume, creaminess & a boost of nutrition to my oatmeal.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
canned 100% pumpkin
cashew milk (or milk/nondairy of choice)
almost empty nut butter jar (I used peanut butter)
cinnamon &/or pumpkin pie spice
1. add 1/3c gluten free old fashioned oats to small pot.
2. pour in 2/3c cashew milk or milk of choice.
3. toss in 1tsp of chia seeds.
4. stir & bring to a boil.
5. remove pan from burner & cover with lid for 20-30 minutes.
*most of the liquid will be absorbed during this time & chia seed expands to add volume. I will often start this in the morning & then go take a shower while they sit.
Step 3: Return to a Boil & Add the Fun
2. Add 1/3c liquid egg whites & stir vigorously for 2 minutes until egg whites have cooked & combined with oatmeal. Make sure you continue to stir so you they blend with oats instead of scramble.
3. Reduce heat to medium low, add 1/4c pumpkin, cinnamon, pie spice & stevia (if desired) to taste. Allow to combine for 1-2 minutes until desired consistency is reached.
Step 4: Add to Almost Empty Jar & Enjoy!
1. Add deliciously creamy oats to your almost empty nut butter jar. I usually let them cool off just a touch in the pot before adding to a plastic jar. Glass jars are recommended.
2. Stir in any additional ingredients desired. I've used chopped apple, the rest of the banana I sliced, dried fruit, dates & even mini chocolate chips.
by Emma Hammond 0 comments
The fall season is finally creeping into the hot & humid weather. Well technically it is fall, but the 91 degree heat index today doesn't quite make it feel like a crisp fall day. Such a tease after a few days of cooler temperatures! Either way those cool days flipped a switch in my internal seasonal clock. My taste buds are leaning towards hearty warm foods over cold salads, my desired forms of exercise is beginning to shift & even my sleep clock feels a bit different. I love this change & fully embrace mixing up the normal routine depending on what feels natural given the time of year. We all need a bit of change from time to time! What does that mean for my food, fitness & general routine? Here is a snippet of life lately in food, fitness & seasonal change.Food:While I am still enjoying salads, they are now being filled with warmer toppings & heartier ingredients. Roasted starchy vegetables such as roasted winter squash varieties, sweet potato & beets have been thrown in the mix. I've swapped out the crisper romaine & spring mix for heartier arugula, kale & spinach as my salad bases. This time of year also means swapping out berries for delicious apples or pears. These also make a delicious addition to the daily salad.The crockpot has also been a mainstay on the counter top. As nothing beats a slow roasted piece of meat, a delicious chunky stew or flavorful thick soup to come home to on a fall evening. These main meals have also been accompanied by warmer sides such as risotto, quinoa, roasted fall vegetables & sweet potatoes. Breakfast has also been mixed up a bit. During summer months I tend to embrace cold foods such as hard boiled eggs, cold leftovers (weird I know), yogurt bowls & smoothies. Lately I cannot get enough eggs in every form. Oatmeal has made a comeback in addition to savory bacon & breakfast scrambles. As I look at how my intake has changed, I absolutely notice trends. The top being my carbohydrate consumption has increased in the form of oatmeal, apples over berries, winter squash over summer varieties, rice instead of green beans & more. But wait...does that mean I'm going to add the dreaded winter weight many gain during hibernation? As long as I am mindful of my consumption, absolutely not! In fact I've found my body responds well to switching it up from season to season. My body is often much smarter than me when I bother to listen. Without consciously thinking about it, the temperatures decrease & my desire to get outdoors to run increased. At the same time my body started gearing me towards a slightly higher carbohydrate intake to balance the new addition of cardio to my routine. Smart right? Instead of worrying about keeping tight control over my fall food changes, I will simply make sure I still get in balanced meals full of protein, healthy fats, lots of vegetables & whole food carbohydrates.Fitness:As mentioned I have suddenly had the running bug pop out of nowhere & grab hold tightly. Now that it's not 1,000 degrees outdoors I am enjoying increasing my mileage while being smart about doing so gradually. I have battled my fair share of running injuries from stress fractures to severe tendinitis. Many a tear has been shed after having to bow out of races I signed up for or waving goodbye to my husband as he ran with our running group. This time around I am taking it slow, focusing on having fun & have no lofty goals to run a big race anytime soon. No easy task for me & something I keep having to remind myself of. My instinct is to jump from my first 5K distance in 3 years to "hey maybe i'll run a 1/2 marathon in a month". Seriously Emma... Anywho I am putting some limitations on the distance for now & just enjoying the fresh air & fun with friends. Another reason I have no desire to overdo the mileage is because I love lifting heavy things. That has not & will not change. What has changed is my frequency, program & intensity. In the past I have made the mistake of picking up a new activity such as running & simply adding it to my already full workout schedule. Previously I was lifting 5-6 days a week, 2x HIIT workouts & a day of power yoga. If I tried to maintain that routine & added 3 days a week of running in I can guarantee over training or injury would occur. This time around I am sticking with 3 days of total body lifting, 3 days of running & 1 day gentle yoga. My runs also vary from a medium distance steady state run, a sprint day & a long run over the weekend. If I ever have a week I feel as though I'm under recovering, one of these will be the first to go! Yoga is also become a mandatory addition & no longer an "if I feel like it" once a month activity. I have to stretch frequently & move my body in more restorative ways. I finally got real & admitted it doesn't happen as much as needed alone. Sunday is yoga day & I still take time each night to improve flexibility & mobility during the week. If you are going to ask your body to work hard, it's a must to take time for self care. Another lesson learned through multiple mistakes. So that's a little update about life in my world. I also love using this time of year to reevaluate goals you might have set at the beginning of the year. Many make those new years resolution only to never look at them after a few weeks. Take a few minutes & consider how you have or haven't progressed towards those goals. Any you can check off? Still want to nail before the end of the year? Or may have taken a backseat or a total change in direction? That's ok no matter where you stand! It's a great opportunity to change with the season & decide an intention for these last few months of the year.Happy Fall! Any fall activities or recipes you are excited to transition into?