Food

Healthy New Beginnings 2016 Style

The clock struck midnight and 2015 was behind us.

A bright, shiny and new 2016 stands before us.

Now what?

Each one of us must answer that question for ourselves. For some it is “Stay the course” for others it is “Abandon ship!” and for most it is somewhere in between.

For me, it is all about baby steps.

Making a Plan

planning for a healthy new year

Pen by Anna Langova

On January 1st I sat down with my youngest son and had a *brainstorming/planning/goal-setting/dreaming sit down meeting. Ok, maybe it was less formal than that. It was more like a sit in the recliners with our notepads and a couple of pens to chat about what we wanted to accomplish personally and professionally in 2016.

We started with a main theme and then separated it into different categories which then went into more detail as we worked on the first three months of the year. We called these our action steps. What good is a dream if you don’t take action to turn that dream into a reality?

We discussed each step as we went along. The sharing and discussion of our plans was helpful in many ways. Writing it down is one thing, but speaking it out loud and hearing it said gave us a sense of taking action. We were able to offer suggestions and new ideas were formed.

Taking Action

Why am I sharing this with the Health Fitness Beauty Quest readers? When I think of 2015, I think of it as a year of extremes. From cycling across deserts and mountains to months of sitting in hospital rooms while my youngest son battled a brain tumor. My personal health and fitness went from being at the peak adult shape of my life to back where I was in September of 2013 when the Health Fitness Beauty Quest began.

Being back where I started physically is a tough pill to swallow. Yet, while I may be in the shape I was in two years ago, my knowledge base of what it takes to be healthy, fit and beautiful is powerfully strong. I know exactly what it takes to get back to my prime physical shape. And you know what they say, “Knowing is half the battle”. (Thanks G.I. Joe cartoons for that gem.)

So, my theme for 2016 is: Getting Back to Basics

This means back to recording my meals, logging fitness activities and making myself responsible for my success or lack thereof. I know I’m not alone in my goal for a healthier and more fit 2016. There is a wave of energy towards making a positive healthy change at this time of the year. Let’s get together in person or virtually to encourage, challenge and cheer on one another toward reaching our health and fitness goals.

Let’s Get Healthy Together

Easiest way to connect is online:

MapMyRide | MyFitnessPal | FitBit 

Most impactful way to get connected is in person:

Send me a DM or @ message on Twitter or inbox message on Facebook with a day/time to meet for a walk in one of our fabulous city parks or a bike ride along the greenways.

I hope to get fit with you either through online workout challenges or on a group walk/ride. Here’s to a fabulously fit and healthy 2016.

*We modeled this idea from the Randall Carroll Family (Amazon Sellers) who shared their New Year Family Meeting model with the Educating for Success community. 

Tracking My Fitness and Nutrition

MapMyRide-MapMyFitness Album Art

Thank you for joining me for the National Podcast Post Month Version of the Health Fitness Beauty Quest Show. My name is Jennifer Navarrete and on today’s episode, I am going to share the two ways you can keep track of my progress.

I am using two iPhone apps for both fitness and nutrition.   The app I have used to track my fitness over the last few years has been MapMyRide. While the ride portion does indeed refer to cycling, it also covers walking, running, gym workouts and everything in between. It really is a robust fitness tracker. It also integrates with other fitness trackers such as FitBit. One of the features I really like is the ability to share my workouts as they happen through their LIVE option. It’s motivating to see friend workout notices pop up on my phone. It certainly makes you want to get out there and get moving.  If you want to keep track of my walks, cycling and workouts go to www.mapmyride.com/profile/epodcaster

The app I am using to track my nutrition is called MyFitnessPal. This was doctor recommended and once I began using it in the early stages of the Health Fitness Beauty Quest in 2013, I knew why. It has many existing food and meal nutrition and calorie info. The app also has a cool little bar code scanner which makes keeping track of my meals easy even on the laziest of days.

One of the bonuses to MyFitnessPal is the NOTE section. I use it to keep track of the nutritional supplements and essential oils I use on a daily basis. To follow my progress go to http://www.myfitnesspal.com/epodcaster

So there you have it. The two essential tools I have used successfully in the past and that I will use again to get my health and fitness back on the path to wellness.

The RESET Weight Loss Challenge

RESET picWhen I signed up to become an Independent Distributor for USANA, they sent me a box of all kinds of goodies. From nutritional supplements to skin care to snack bars. One thing that piqued my interest was a glossy box that had the word RESET on top. When I opened it I discovered there was a 5 day weight loss system inside. Individual packets of Nutrimeal, Essential Supplements, Snack Bars and a RESET Success Guide.

I have been pretty happy with my existing healthy weight loss program of being physically active and smart eating. However, the claim of loosing 4.5-5lbs by the 5th day had me intrigued. So, in the interest of being product knowledgeable, I figured it might be a good idea to give it a whirl. After all, how can I talk about the products unless I have experience with them? Or at least that is what I told myself I was doing.Jennifer's starting weight for the #RESETChallenge

Like everything else on this journey, I figured sharing the experience with you would be another way to keep me accountable. Here is a pic of my starting weight of 157lbs. I will be posting pics each day on Twitter so we can all see how well it does or doesn’t work.

Here is the video I created for the first day:

 

Not one to go it alone, I invited my mom and a friend to join me. Let me know if you’re interested in joining us for your own healthy RESET.   I will keep you informed of the progress and write an update post on day five. Wish us luck!

Learning to Make Smart Food Choices

Now that I have had my awake lipo procedure, I am paying even more attention to my food choices. Luckily I work with some really knowledgable and savvy folks.

HFBQ NUTRITIONAL HISTORY

You already know I am taking USANA nutritional supplements and am receiving chiropractic care as part of the health portion of my journey. Thanks to advice from the team at Pinnacle Wellness I already knew I could eat “all the fruits and vegetables I want” and simply cut back on things like hamburgers and breakfast tacos. Quick Recap: By simply eating a piece of fruit before a breakfast taco or eating a salad before a hamburger I would increase the food my body needed to properly fuel (fuel-rich) my day and decrease the food that was fuel-poor. Dr. Q and Dr. Ho told me that over time my body would start to crave more of the fuel-rich foods and less of the fuel-poor foods. I wasn’t entirely convinced this would be the case, but listening to my health advisors was all part of the Health Fitness Beauty Quest so I gave their advice a try.

SLIGHT OF HAND

A few weeks into this simple but strategic addition to my diet, I noticed that my hamburger and taco intake had gone down considerably. I wasn’t craving the burgers that were weekly part of my diet. I still had the occasional breakfast taco, but thanks to the fruit I added, I was eating less of them. It was then that I realized I had been tricked! When Dr. Q and Dr. Ho told me not to stop eating my favorite foods but only to add fruits and vegetables in front of those foods they were helping me reset my body into craving fuel-rich foods and diminishing my desire for fuel-poor food. While I certainly wasn’t upset at their “trickery”, I admit I was taken by surprise. I hadn’t realized that the road to a healthier me could be so simple.

GOOD, BETTER AND BEST

Fast forward to my food choices after my awake lipo procedure and I must mention Jan Tilley, MS RD LD and the JTA Wellness team: Sam Lopez, RD and Krista Neugebauer, RD from whom I am gleaning countless healthy food choice knowledge.  Jan is a Registered Dietitian who also happens to be my client. Over the last two months as we have worked together, I have learned a whole lot more about making smart choices when it comes to my nutrition. One tactic that has really stuck with me is their Good, Better and Best approach. They have many, but that one really struck a chord with me. Learn more by subscribing to their newsletter or following them on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest (I’ll bet you didn’t see that one coming 😉 )

Healthy Meals for Hurried Families CoverOne of the projects I have been working on was to transition Jan’s highly successful hardback cookbook, Healthy Meals for Hurried Families into an ebook available for sale on Amazon. It went live last week and I immediately purchased the book on my iPad Mini through my Kindle app. As I was reading through the recipes, I decided to take the recipes inside the book and start cooking. Sort of a like my own version of blog/movie, Julie and Julia. I guess in this case if would be Jennifer and Jan.

I perused the many options and decided upon the Lemon Spinach Chicken. I have attached the recipe and the photos I took during my cooking. By the way, I loved having the recipe on my iPad Mini. It was so easy to follow the recipe and cooking instructions with it right in front of me.

Stay tuned as I continue on through the book and test out the recipes in the weeks and months to come. My first foray into healthy home cooking was quite the success. I am looking forward to expanding my culinary skills in a new and healthy direction.

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THE MEAL

lemon-spinach chicken

The Recipe

 

Lemon-Spinach Chicken Ingredients

The Ingredients

Floured Chicken frying in the olive oil, butter and lemon sauce

Floured Chicken frying in the olive oil, butter and lemon sauce

Add Mozzarella Cheese and Tomatoes

Add Mozzarella Cheese and Tomatoes

Spinach Completes the Meal

Spinach Completes the Meal

 

 

Food: Keeping Track

I have decided the best way to really understand the balance between fitness and food is to keep track of them both. I already do a fairly good job of tracking my bike rides with MapMyRide and runs with Nike+. I took a look at several tools and apps, but after review opted to work within the “Log Food” under the Nutrition section of MapMyRide.

Synching

It actually works pretty well because I have my Nike+ runs sync with MapMyRide. So, whether I run or bike all my workouts are tracked in one place. Which makes tracking food in the same place a no-brainer. Here is a snapshot of the workout and food consumption calories from Saturday:

MapMyRide Food and Fitness Log

 

The Numbers

As you know the part of the taking you on my Health|Fitness|Beauty journey is sharing all the pros and cons nitty gritty. Did you notice the Daily Snapshot not only lists allowed daily calorie intake and calories burned, it also shows my age, height and weight? This was pretty tough for me to share. I pondered this for a while. I realized that while I am not using weight loss as an indicator of success, it does give everyone a true picture of my starting point. I have not owned a scale for a long time and do not plan on owning one anytime in the future.  My philosophy when it comes to fitness has more to do with the way I feel and how my clothes fit than it does a number on a scale.

What platforms and/or apps do you use to keep track of your health and fitness goals?

Fitness|Food: Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned…

The past few weeks have been an amazingly productive time for me. I work with some phenomenal clients and have had 3 launches in the last 3 months. I was coasting along quite nicely until I added in some online training courses and some social media events. Not sure why I am surprised that all of the sudden my fitness and health program are going by the wayside. And do not even get me started on the food. I am still eating fruit and salad during the day but, after pulling 3 all-nighters in the last week, pecan pie, Krispy Kreme donuts and cake have become a major food group.

Turns out that when I’m crunched for time the first thing that gets the heave ho is me. Sleep, Exercise, Healthy Eating have suddenly become some foreign language. At this point I don’t even think it’s Klingon. Hence the title of my post.

Confession

Bless me Father for I have sinned…

Clock…..I love what I do but I need to do a better job at managing my time. Which means no matter how much I love a project the answer might be no…or at least not now.

…..I have not gotten a good night’s sleep in at least two weeks. I really do like working in the wee hours of the morning when the house is silent and my creativity is free to dance and frolic. Which does not mean I have to stop pulling all-nighters. What it does mean is that I need to not do cram them all in together. I need more of a gap so that my body and mind can replenish itself.

…..I have been slacking on my fitness regimen. I enjoy cycling. No wait. Let me rephrase that.  I really, really, really enjoy cycling. When I am on my bike I can’t help but smile. For me, being on my bike is a state of blissful childlike abandon. Every place is magical and every moment an opportunity to revel in God’s Glory. Which means I need to do more to protect this piece of zen in my life.

SnapMeal…..I am still stubborn about my food. I am bargaining with myself to allow donuts and pie and cake (oh my!) . Eating a salad does not equal a delicious, tasty, sweet donut. No matter how much I want it to, it just doesn’t. Which means I need a reality check regarding this aspect of the Health|Fitness|Beauty Quest. Being accountable to only myself is not working. I told you I would put myself out there, so I am going to start share my meals using the MealSnap app. Hat tip to Pamela Price for sharing this gem of an app.

Absolution

It is my hope that by confessing and coming up with what I believe are positive solutions that I can be absolved of these health, fitness and beauty sins.

Have you ever known you needed some accountability to help you stay on track during busy times?

Food: Adding Not Taking Away

When I sat down with Dr. Ho and Dr. Q from Pinnacle Wellness, I told them of my stubborn streak when it came to food. I still wanted to eat my breakfast tacos. I would rather cycle an extra 5 miles than give up my Whataburger. They advised me to add a piece of fruit before that breakfast taco and add a salad before that Whataburger.

Immediately I liked their suggestion of healthier eating. I am not one for diets. To me they are limiting, restrictive and not a realistic way I will eat for the rest of my life. However, by adding fruit and salads to my daily meals instead of taking the stuff-that-tastes-good-but-is-bad-for-you away, I do not feel like I am missing out on anything. It sounded reasonable so I went about my merry way and began to implement the “adding not taking away” strategy.

Fruit Salad by Petr Kratochvil

Fruit Salad by Petr Kratochvil

Here is an example of the small changes I made over the last couple of weeks. When I sat down for a post-ride breakfast with my fellow lady cyclists, I ordered the breakfast plate that had eggs, sausage, toast AND a cup of fruit. The meal was satisfying and by choosing to eat a meal that included a fruit cup, I also noticed I felt full but not bloated full.

The one thing that I have changed in kind of a big way is to dedicate one meal of the day to a salad. I am not talking about a no-nothing salad that is more air than meal. Not at all. I order a grilled chicken or crispy chicken salad and don’t skimp on the dressing. I have even taken to making my home cooked meals this way. I’ll get a big bowl of mixed greens and pile on the pork fajita or grilled chicken breast or whatever meat we have in the house and eat a satisfying and filling meal.

Let me tell you something. I do not feel like I am missing out on a thing. I am still eating Philly Cheesesteaks, egg and cheese sandwiches during other meals. Let’s not forget those Whataburgers and breakfast tacos. I know Dr. Ho and Dr. Q mentioned giving sweets up, but let’s be realistic. My cup of coffee would be lonely without that slice of pie.

Here is what I have noticed: I feel good. Post-meal, my soft middle area is not sticking out as much. I am guessing this has to do with the lack of a bloated full feeling. I don’t know, but I plan on asking Dr. Ho and Dr. Q all about it when I visit them next week.

I have to wonder if all these years, I’ve been stubborn about food for no reason. The true question for me will be can I stay on this “add not take away” plan? So far, it looks like an easy thing to do. Only time will tell.

Have you ever made a simple change to your meals and noticed positive results?

The Diet Equation

I am not a math genius. But after more than 45 years struggling with weight and fitness issues, I submit to the validity of the following equation:

Energy Stored (FAT) = Energy Intake – Energy Expended.

Dammit, dammit, dammit! I wish, wish, wish I could find a diet, pill, surgery or anything that would mean I don’t have to master myself and take responsibility for and control over all variables in that equation. But I’m ready to give up on the wishful thinking. I have tried many things, and considered many more. Whenever it seems like someone has THE answer – often that’s a fleeting, nonpermanent state. I’m getting OK with that.

Everything leads me back to the equation, and the need to take responsibility for what I eat and how I live and move.