Friday, June 26, 2015

The Fit Mindset

The fit mindset can be described as the philosophy that healthy living is not a series of must-dos but instead about curiosity, participation and celebration. When you're in the fit mindset you know that making a 7am yoga class isn't a hassle but an opportunity - for mental clarity and physical well-being. It's not just a task to be crossed off a daily list but a personal reward.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is viewing healthy living from the point of view that there's an endgame: "For this period of time I will give up this food group until I reach this number on the scale." And while goals are important - without them we remain static, frustrated or just plain stuck - when you're in the fit mindset, they shift to being about empowerment, not recrimination.

All of us have some aches, pains and limitations. But there is so much our bodies can do. Celebrate the movement that is good for you and within your ability.  I can park far away and walk into the mall. I can hike up the hill at Stough Canyon. I can bend & stretch and play with my dog.

Enjoy the summer opportunities you have to move this week. A beautiful evening offers the option of a relaxing walk after dinner. An early sunrise is a chance to wake slowly with gentle yoga and meditation. Feel strong & powerful in strength class.

Enjoy the foods you eat this week. Summer fruits are juicy and satisfying. A cold glass of tea quenches on a hot day. Savor a dripping ice cream cone shared with a friend.

In the fit mindset, it's not about what you can't have but what you can. It's living fully and completely and engaging with life. Good food choices and opportunities for movement are a personal reward. Reward yourself this summer!

Focus on the Fit Mindset, Keep Moving and Enjoy Your Food

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mind Tricks for Healthy Eating

All of us struggle from time to time with making healthy food choices. Here are a few tricks I use to help me eat moderately.

When you are preparing or eating a meal, promise yourself that you will eat healthy for Just This Meal. It can be overwhelming to think about sticking to your food plan for the entire day, and especially for the entire week. But most of us can adhere to healthy eating for one meal. Once you have success with that meal, often you will be encouraged to continue through to the next. Always give yourself a "high five" for choosing healthy food at a meal.

Another strategy for success can be delayed gratification. After eating your healthy meal with moderate portions, you might still feel hungry. Promise yourself that you will eat more if you are still hungry in 30 minutes.  Usually, at this point, your body will have had time to process the satiety signals and you will feel satisfied. If I have been exercising a lot, sometimes I will still be hungry after the 30 minutes. Then I will have a second small meal.

Many of us like to have something sweet at the end of a meal. A giant bowl of ice cream or a hunk of cake can fill that need but what other options do we have? I mentioned before in my previous blog on Talking Yourself Out of Temptation that the first few bites of any food are the most satisfying. Given that logic, we only need something small to give us that sweet satisfaction. A date is very sweet as is a handful of raisins. Any dried fruit is super concentrated and sweet. A lollipop or a peppermint or a chocolate kiss all give that sweetness without a calorie binge. My daughter makes sweet protein balls with peanut butter & dried fruit. I like non-fat plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey. A sliced banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter is sweet & filling. Being prepared with a sweet option in mind can help you say NO to the ice cream & cake and still enjoy that sweet taste at the end of a meal.

Eat Thoughtfully, Stay Active & Enjoy Your Food

Friday, June 12, 2015

Holy Yoga

I have enjoyed a wonderful class on Monday nights called Holy Yoga. It is taught by Allison LaBianca, a certified yoga teacher. Holy Yoga is experiential worship created to deepen people's connection to Christ. The sole purpose is to facilitate a Christ honoring experience that offers an opportunity to believers and non-believers alike to authentically connect to God through His Word, worship, and wellness.

This particular class is Gentle Yoga. Many of the poses are relaxing and stretching. No previous experience required and no fitness level needed. This class can be described as yoga with Jesus. The teacher includes Scripture, prayer, Christian music and meditation. I really enjoy moving my body and opening my heart & spirit for renewal and refreshment. Allison also does a little relaxing touch if the participant desires.

The class I attend is at 6:30pm at Fellowship Church on Angeleno Avenue between Glenoaks Blvd and Third Street in Burbank. There is a suggested donation of $8 but Allison says don't let price bar you from attending. Bring your own mat. Allison teaches other levels on Thursday and Saturday mornings at different locations. You can contact Allsion at and get on her newsletter mailing list. You can find out more about the format at

A healthy lifestyle includes cardio & strength, flexiblity & agility, and also spiritual peace and wholeness. In our fast-paced, high stress world, it's virtually impossible to take time out to let your body and brain rest. Holy Yoga might help you reduce stress, decrease your heart rate and lower the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, in your blood. The class can help train you to be a bit more accepting of what's happening in your life. You can learn to be mindful of the present moment and aware of the whole range of sensations that reveal themselves when we are not too distracted to notice.

Join me on a Monday night at Holy Yoga!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Summer Ice Cream Treats

Ice cream and summertime go together. How can you enjoy a sweet treat without overdoing it?

An ice cream scoop is a useful portion-control device. It turns out that most scoops tend to be fairly moderate in size. Scoops are designed small partly because a large one would be difficult to wrestle through a hard-frozen dessert. Most scoops contain less than the 1/2 cup recommended as a serving size. How much you get depends in part on how firm the ice cream is. Keep in mind that light ice cream, which tends to be airy, delivers less fat in 1/2 cup than full-fat ice cream.

Hard Frozen Ice Cream
Average-size single scoop
0.37 cups (about 1/3 cup)

Slightly Softened Ice Cream
Average-size single scoop
0.44 cups (a scant 1/2 cup)

What about using a big spoon? Expect to eat a bigger portion. Testers tended to serve 50% more than the recommended serving size when handed a large spoon.

How much fits in a cone? It depends on the cone. When given a classic cake cone, most testers were happy with a single scoop. When given a waffle cone, the first scoop fell to the bottom, out of sight. Most testers added a second scoop.

Consider another ice cream treat. Instead of choosing a scoop of premium ice cream, why not savor an ice cream sandwich? You'll save 100 calories. Want to save even more calories? Dig into a creamy chocolate fudge pop.

When the temperature soars, you can enjoy a cold creamy treat. Make informed choices and always
Enjoy Your Food