The Value of Reading Food Labels

We are one month and twelve days into 2019. Even if you did not commit to a traditional New Year Resolution, I bet you set some type of goal for yourself. How’s it going?

The top objectives for people in the new year are to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, and to save money.

If your goal has anything to do with eating healthy or losing weight, pay close attention. The most important new skill you should adopt is to learn to read food labels. Read before you buy.

Vegan Avocado Wrap

Case in point, look at this mouth-watering avocado wrap.

So you’ve bought this beauty.

Now you can’t wait to sink your teeth into it.

You sit down, open the package, and prepare to dig in.

Then, you notice this small 1.4 oz. packet.

The sweet chili sauce is the perfect blend of sweet and spice that you think you crave. Mouthwatering.

Thankfully you have the conscious mind (yes you do) to flip the packet over and you read the nutritional label.

Ahem!

Look. At. This. Mess! Bulging eyes!!

1. I rarely count calories, but this is a bit much.

2. The sodium content is all wrong! 530mg? That’s salt baby!!! If you’re monitoring your blood pressure, DON’T DO IT!

3. For the sugar addicts, 23 grams of sugar in a 1.4 oz. packet is preposterous!

The chili sauce is a precise example of why you must remain disciplined to read the labels on everything you buy.

If you are ever going to reach your goals, I urge you to commit to taking the first step to read the label before you buy anything for consumption.

Also, there are many Apps where you can search menu items from popular restaurants. When I trained for my figure competitions, I used MyPlate to track my macros. You can search for food by restaurants and get nutritional values.

Here I did a random Chic-Fil-A menu search. when you tap on the food item, the App gives you total calories, protein, fat, and carbs. It’s simple but helpful. If you are aware of the nutritional value of the food you are about to eat, the knowledge may deter you from completing the order and inspire you to change up. 🙂

This post is short and sweet but I need you to understand the connection between what’s on your plate and how snug your jeans fit.

Set aside your fitness regime because no matter how hard you exercise, if you’re not eating right, your clothes ain’t gonna fit right. TTYL

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10 Things To Try Instead of Making A New Year’s Resolution

beauty-isnt-measured-in-pounds-quote-1The scale says I weigh 151.1 pounds. So what! I have weighed less but looked worse. Lol!

At 49 1/2, I’m fit, healthy, and am in the best shape of my life. 🙂

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Women are obsessed with their weight. Each day thousands of women choose to skip meals, pop diet pills, or start some fad diet.  And why? For the sake of seeing a magic number on a scale that falsely suggests they are… umm.. somewhat in shape. Or maybe it’s for bragging rights to share with peers? Oh wait I know!  The big one is to slip into “the gown” or “that dress” for a wedding, a high school reunion, or some other big event.

I dunno, but it is ridiculous and it needs to stop because unless a lifestyle change is made, the pattern will never end.

no one step

ATTENTION LADIES!!

Why not make today your last weigh in…  for a least a month or two. Go ahead– first thing in the morning hop your butt on the scale and record the number.

Afterwards pick up the scale and put it away where you will not be tempted to step on it for at least 30 days. If you haven’t had a checkup in the past year, schedule a visit ASAP and, with your MD’s blessing, for the next 30 – 60 days try the following:

  1. Eat breakfast every day!  A smoothie, oatmeal, or an egg white omelet.
  2. Don’t drink any alcohol (it’s only 30 to 60 days, you CAN do it). *Alcohol has sugar.
  3. Replace soda and juice with water.  Increase your daily water intake to 32 – 64 ounces (flavored bottled water doesn’t count).
  4. Avoid unhealthy and processed snacks such as, chips (all of them), Doritos, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, donuts, etc…  Snack on nuts, non sugary fruits like apples, strawberries, and blueberries.
  5. Eat fresh leafy and green veggies like spinach, broccoli, kale, broccoli rabe, asparagus, zucchini and avocados.  Avoid canned veggies like the plague but frozen veggies will do.
  6. Reduce your sugar (including honey) intake.  Read labels on everything you eat.
  7. Hold off on white anything and drastically reduce your  Bread, rice, cheese, pancakes, pasta, grits, cereal, etc… Replace with sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, or whole grain pasta (in moderation).
  8. Coffee!  Skip the fattening latte’s with heavy creams and milk. Switch to a non-dairy milk like plain almond milk. I get the caffeine fix! Drink the coffee, but skip the sugar and watch your cream.. less is best!
  9. Get movin at least 4-5 days per week.  No, you don’t have to join a gym, you can start out by walking.
    1. Wear a good walking sneaker.
    2. Time your walk and distance. I like the FREE app MapMyRun, but there are tons of options out there.
    3. Each day try to increase your pace and distance.
    4. Don’t talk on your cell phone while walking!  Doing this will slow you down.  Listen to musics that makes you wanna dance–that should keep you moving. 🙂
  10. Get a good night’s sleep every night. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Specific hormones and the metabolism are linked to weight loss. Sleep deprivation may increase your Ghrelin hormone, decrease your leptin hormones and will have you eating more– of the bad stuff you should be avoiding.

Skip the annual New Year’s Resolution; they come and go. Instead commit to a lifestyle change and do it now.

During the next 30 or 60 days, keep a journal. Pay attention to how you feel when you wake up and throughout the day. Record your findings. You might as well record how you feel, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

healthier Lifestyle

This post is inspired by a close friend who decided to take on a challenge of avoiding alcohol and eating better for 30 days.  🙂

After your 30 or 60 days are up, if you so wish, step on the scale.  You may or may not have lost weight, but I guarantee (barring any healthy issues) that you will feel 100% better than you did before the change.

For healthier meal ideas, visit my healthy eating board, soup board, or crock pot meals on Pinterest.

Not a day passes that I am not asked by someone about my lifestyle or seek advice about how to look like me, so that is another reason I wrote this post.

If you are at a place in your life where you feel compelled to make some positive changes, I hope and pray this post helps you.  Are you up for the challenge?  I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below.  🙂

DM-Motivation-vs-Habit

 



Raising the bar in 2012

“Raise the bar for yourself”
– Oprah Winfrey

How do you define quality for yourself? We can all pretty much define quality in terms of products and services, but what about quality on a more personal level. What does quality mean in your personal relationships? Quality as a mom, dad, husband, wife, etc.. Quality in the work that you are paid a salary to perform? Is it exterior or interior factors that shape and determine your sense of quality?

This morning, while watching a segment on the OWN Network, Oprah commented that she admired an individual featured on the show because, “he raises the bar for himself.” The statement reverberated with me, because I’ve always believed that we must set the bar for ourselves and gradually elevate that bar.

Don’t wait for your supervisor, manager, director, hubby, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, teacher, or anyone else to tell you that “it’s time.”

Professionally I have found success in raising the bar for myself, even in a few isolated cases where the elevation isn’t acknowledged by my superiors. So what! I feel or felt good about what I did and that’s all that matters. Quite often, it (raising the bar) isn’t always expected or perceived to be a priority in the workplace, or even articulated as a need by so called leaders. Yet it can make all the difference in job performance and job satisfaction.

The same goes in our personal life. I often ask myself, what I can do to improve the quality of my life and the quality of my family’s life. If I look around and see that something is the same and has been the same for any length of time, I question it. “Is this working?” Even if what the “it” is in fact working, I have to ask myself how I can improve upon it and go from there.

Take for example, my diet. Anyone who knows me, know that I am conscious about my diet. I make sure to include fruit, vegetables, and to prepare a balanced meal for my family. Yes, like any normal person, I have my moments of weakness and over indulgence of my personal faintness for dark chocolate. Mmm… just writing about is tempting.

A few months ago, I assessed my diet and decided to make some changes. The changes made, were subtle, but the results were surprising and mind-boggling. I’m glad that I was open to change.

The principle of doing our best in everything we  do is the underlying theme in raising the bar for oneself. This theme has and continues to be a critical message for my children, as well as, serving as a constant reminder for myself.

For the New Year, I will continue to raise the bar myself and have set new goals in three areas of my personal life. All won’t be easy, but good usually requires a little more effort, so I’m ready for the challenge!

Best wishes to you for a peaceful, happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!