Has listening to the “experts” confused us right into being overweight and out of shape?

Just when you thought it was safe to cook a healthy meal “someone” decides for us that we are doing it all wrong.   I sure wish this “someone” or the so called “experts” would make up their minds or maybe we just need to stop listening and trust our common sense instead.

Social media and the internet provides us with more than enough information about the latest diet trends and fads.  There are scores of before and after photos, recipes, exercise plans and countless promises of weight loss and tight abs.

There is so much information out there that it is paralyzing.  It’s like putting a child in the middle of a giant toy store and telling them to pick one thing.

Cue major meltdown.

Yup..I feel like this alot…

 

They changed the rules AGAIN???

Despite all the knowledge being passed out and research being done  we are still facing an epidemic of obesity and inactivity.

What is the answer?  

I think it is different for everyone.  One size fits all doesn’t work here ( actually it doesn’t work anywhere).  We all have different lifestyles, different needs, picky kids, allergies, varying budgets.  The one thing we all have is the ability to slow things down and listen to our own wisdom and what works best for us.

The best advice I ever heard in regards to eating came from author Michael Pollen who said:

Eat real food

Mostly green

Not a lot

If you can only do two out of three of this list then I would suggest you pick: Real food and not a lot.  The mostly green part would be great but take that to mean all veggies and fruits and it may be easier.

Learning from our past may be the best new rule

I  noticed something very interesting when  I was looking at some old group photos of my grade school classes. (Yes this is when we walked to school in the snow, uphill…both ways. 🙂 )

Out of a class of 20-25 womans health children there were only one or two overweight children .

What has changed? 

  • We actually did walk to school or rode our bikes and believe it or not we also walked home for lunch and back.  We played on the playground while waiting to go inside in the morning and after lunch.  We had recess and we played after school.
  • We had a milk break in the morning but never snack
  • At home we never snacked after dinner. Ice cream was a treat
  • We never had soda in the house
  • Eating in the car was unheard of and fast food was rarely an option
  • We ate at the table. In the kitchen.  Always
  • The food was on the stove or the counter and not the table.  If you wanted seconds you actually had to get up and get it.  You either didn’t make the effort or got distracted by the family conversation and realized you didn’t want seconds after all.

So basically we got a lot of exercise and didn’t have food available all the time.  Treats were just that, treats. The kitchen was where we ate, no where else.

Pretty simple.  Don’t get me wrong there were things that needed improvement.  Adults routinely had quite a long cocktail hour every day, white bread was the norm and the amount  of butter used would make Paula Deen look like she used it sparingly.

I’m not about to wear a dress, high heels and my pearls everyday to cook much like they did in the fifties and sixties ( well Mrs. Cleaver did!) but I can reclaim some of the great habits and traditions from those times.  Sure is simple, easy and more importantly worked well because it sure looks like despite some great improvements we may have “new and improved” ourselves right into being overweight and out of shape.

All because we listened to those who keep changing the rules.

Why October is the best month to….

I could fill this in with so many things but lets stick with our Fun with Food thing!  Not to be confused with Sheldon’s “Fun with Flags.”fun with flagsOops it looks like he is having fun with food as well!

So why is October one of the best times to focus on food and really get a handle on what we put on our plates and what goes into our mouths?  Because we know what is coming! ( Imagine scary music right HERE)

The ultimate in food fests is heading our way and as much as we try to deny it we cannot.  It is coming right at us like a missile and we won’t know what hit us until we step on the scale on January 1st and instead of that pesky 10 lbs we intended to lose its now 18lbs.  Yikes!

The average weight gain over the holidays is 8lbs.  Yup 8 lbs.  Think of the last thing you saw that was 8lbs.  It could be a baby, a sack of potatoes, a ham.  Puts it in perspective right?

That 18 lbs I mentioned earlier might be the size of your Thanksgiving turkey.

Wow…anybody else besides me think I just sucked the fun right out of “Fun with Food” ?

We do equate being social and having fun with eating.  Can you think of one event that does not have a food component?  That’s a tough one.

So while it may not be fun in the truest sense it will make you breathe a little easier come January if you start to have an awareness around the holidays, the food, the parties, the drinking and figure out how you want to be with it.

You get to choose.  YES it IS a choice and YES you can still enjoy the food and have fun and not cry and beat yourself up on January 1st if you dare to get on the scale.

Think about all the reasons excuses you use to have a free for all from Nov 1st – Dec. 31st.

Maybe yours include the following:

  • I have to have this, Aunt Tilly only makes this ONCE a year so its a treat.
  • Mom will be hurt if I don’t eat alot, its her way of saying she loves me!
  • It’s the holidays, time to let loose!
  • I dance better when I’ve had lots of wine
  • I need insulation for the upcoming winter months.

Any of these look familiar.  I think I have said every one of those except for the last one.

So in a rather long run on sentence ( my English teacher is doing spins in her grave) here is why those excuses don’t hold up.  Aunt Tilly only makes her special 1000 calorie a bite dish once a year because it is an evil antibiotics plot to keep you all coming to her house over the holidays since she won’t share the recipe and Mom is an undercover food pusher who could guilt even the toughest guy into eating more than he could ever imagine (she is actually an undercover agent for the government that specializes in making the enemy talk or in her case guilting them into talking) and if letting loose means your pants then go for it but if you really think you dance better after half a bottle of wine then go check out the videos your cousin posted on you tube and if the last one is true then get rid of your sweaters and your coats because you will be plenty insulated.

Phew… Hope you are laughing or at least smiling.

So have some fun with making up stories about how you are to navigate the holiday buffet, avoiding the things you can’t stop eating much like a ship avoids icebergs.

 Picture your Mom holding a piece of cake in front of you except you are not in your home you are in one of those interrogation rooms with a single light bulb ( remember she is undercover for the government)!

Figure out how you will get Aunt Tilly’s famous recipe and maybe even make it a little healthier.

The point here is that NOW is the time to figure out how you want to be with the “food thing” over the holidays.  If instead we have fun with our families and less with the food we will probably be happier when January rolls around.

I’m not saying it’s easy.  I’m just saying you can have a good time, celebrate, enjoy the food but not act like its your last meal. I can say this because I have been there and  when I did plow into the food like there was not tomorrow January 1st was not fun and I wished I had made different choices.

An upside down moment for sure.

If you are having trouble figuring out what what will work for you then how about trying out a complimentary coaching session?  Go here to get that on your calendar and get a head start on your plan for the holidays.

Lastly, if you do have relatives that make a family favorite please make sure someone has the recipe or knows how to duplicate it ( even if it is 1000 calories a bite)  I would love to have some of my grandmothers famous dishes, especially her buckwheat pancakes but sadly no one has the recipe. 🙁

FullSizeRender (6)

And my grandma really did know how to have fun!’

If this finds you hanging upside down then don’t forget to enjoy the view!

Quit Eating and do this instead!

We are obsessed with food and we can’t live without it.  This time of year pumpkin recipes, ideas for football game snacks and holiday parties are plentiful.  Our state fair is in progress and its all about the fried food.  Everything  from fried oreos to fried sweet rolls wrapped in bacon and covered with sugar.

We eat.  We eat a lot.  I’m guilty of it for sure.  I love food.  Who doesn’t?

I just got back from a dream trip to Italy ( fair warning you will hearing a lot about it )  and a couple of things about Italy:

  • It’s hard to find a bad meal in Italy..it is all divine even at the smallest dive
  • They LOVE their food.
  •  I’ts more than food to them it’s a way of life.
  • Fresh food is delightfully abundant.  In NYC you might find a Starbucks on every corner.  In Rome you will find a fresh market.

And yet Italians rarely eat.

No they do not.

They dine.

You might argue that it’s a matter of semantic or words but I promise you there is a big difference.

This is what we saw everywhere and because we stayed in some very small local towns so I can guarantee it is not just for tourists.

??????? ??????????????

We laughed that every spare space, be it in an alley or just on corner, the italians would find a way to put a table there. They love to dine outside and watch the world go by.

Coffee is everywhere but not once was I served in a “to go” cup.  People premier-pharmacy.com took their time and sat down to drink it ( even in busy Rome).

There are no drive thru’s and not once did I see anyone eat in their cars .  Of course the way they drive that would be a disaster anyways.

We even drove past a picnic one day complete with a table, red checkered table cloth and real wine glasses.

What would happen if we actually sat down and dined rather than just eat?  What if we made it an experience, took our time, used real plates,and  real cups?  And what if we did this even if  we were dining alone?

I know what would happen because I experienced it.  Food would be enjoyed,  eaten slowly and with purpose.  It would be an experience to savor.

Maybe the problem with weight in this country is not so much what we eat but how we eat.  I know some of you are thinking you have no time.  I get it, and yet you only need to start with one meal.  Try it.  See if it makes a difference.

If you need a baby step then start by asking for a real cup at Starbucks ( they have them, I promise)  Sit down, sip and  breathe.

So don’t eat today. Instead dine with purpose and pleasure.  It will make a difference.