Undereating… The new way for gaining weight

As a health coach a major problem that we see and try to combat in America is the obesity “trend” from our fast food nation. However, there is another rapidly climbing epidemic that I am seeing more and more.

Undereating in active women.

This is the case of many of my recent clients. You come to me,  finally frustrated because you simply aren’t getting the results that you are looking for in the gym. You’re busting your A** and still not feeling toned. And you want my help, thinking that I will tell you to put down the fork and sip some water… And your jaw drops when I tell you to EAT MORE!!!

Well guess what… You’re not alone. Oxygen magazine reported that up to 50% of active women are under nourished (FIFTY PERCENT)!! While in a recent survey by SELF magazine identified that 65% of their readers can be categorized as having **disordered eating patterns. And it’s no wonder. Obviously TV, magazines, and other media have been a major target for creating body image problems, but I can’t even head to the Health and Fitness category in Pinterest without being hit with unrealistic pictures of women in fitness. I literally had to boycott Pinterest for a while because I could see it creating unhealthy thoughts as I am trying to lose my weight in a healthy way and continue to love my body through the process.

I am not writing this post to continue to bash on women (because when we discredit those with great genetics or pick on those that have made the choice to enhance their looks, we are women bashing again…), or even to get into a tirade about body image in America (because I easily could) but rather to point out that you might not even realize that this is happening to you and isn’t healthy for you (mentally and physically), and most importantly, keeping you further from your goals.

Whether your goals are to lose a little weight or to “tone up,” you still need to maintain a healthy caloric intake and no one should go below 1,200 calories. Please use this calorie calculator to help you determine how many calories you should be consuming for a weight loss program. Also note the protein grams for you. This is especially important for anyone trying to lose weight or working out hard. And if you are working out with a high intensity more than 4 hours per week, you will need to eat even more than the number. (Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions).

So please, join me! Pick UP the fork and grab another serving. Because if you are eating clean, nutrient-dense foods, you just might need to eat more of them.

And can I get an AMEN to that!

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** “Disordered eating can be classified as eating habits that women think are normal- such as banishing carbs, skipping meals and, in some cases, even dieting itself.” ~ SELF Magazine

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Fit (Breastfeeding) Momma Nutrition Plan

Hey Moms!

I’m super flattered by all of the questions about pre and post natal nutrition. Remember, I’m not a doctor and not nutritionist, I’m an Herbalife health coach and a healthy momma with results. So with that, I am happy to share my current “shred” (LOL) plan!

One of the biggest myths out there is that you can’t exercise or try to lose weight while breastfeeding. That is 100% false. What you don’t want to do is consume less calories than your metabolism (the calories that support your day to day functioning). I used this awesome calorie calculator for breastfeeding moms. If you don’t eat enough one of two things will happen: 1) Your milk supply will dry up, 2) You won’t lose weight.

My initial struggle was eating enough clean foods. I was coming up about 300 calories short each day, by focusing on 3 meals and 2 snacks. So what has become easier for me is focusing on the six small meals. It doesn’t really matter what you call it as long as you get those in.

**note** On Mexican or pizza night, 2 shakes, and 2 snacks + your indulgent plate of heaven will suffice.

I eat every 2-3 hours and drink water all day. Here’s a little sample:

Meal 1: Hot oatmeal with 2 scoops of Herbalife Formula 1, 1/2C of berries, Herbalife hot Green Tea, and warm water with lemon (this meal pretty much NEVER changes because it has everything I need, it’s warm, it’s easy, and keeps me full. Come Spring/Summer this will probably be a shake, but in the winter I like a warm breakfast).

Meal 2: 2-3 Egg whites, rice cake and some berries -OR- if I worked out I will have a Rebuild Strength and a banana

Meal 3: Shake! Herbalife Formula 1 with 2 scoops of Protein Drink Mix and Prolessa Duo

Meal 4: Garden salad with spinach, romaine, carrots, tomato, tuna and vinaigrette dressing and tea

Meal 5: Chicken, sweet potato and garden salad or other vegetable

Meal 6: Beverage Mix and Active Fiber Complex

Fit Momma Flyer.001I currently workout 2-4x per week, consisting of one 90-minute Vinyasa yoga class, one intense athletic workout, one Fit Momma Camp and then potentially 1 more of any of the previous (but let’s be honest… that’s actually rare).

Additional Vitamins and Supplements that I take:

Cellular Nutrition

Weight Management

Heart Health, Brain Development and Joints

Probiotics and Immune Health

Bones and Calcium for Breastfeeding

Sore muscles from working out, shoulders and back from breastfeeding, and recovering hips from labor

I think the name says it all…

(This program may not be for everyone but I feel AMAZING, even on 6 broken hours of sleep).

The moral of the story is that you can be a FIT MOMMA! With support, nutrient-dense foods, and the right tools!

What is Maternity Leave for an Entrepreneur?

Last week my husband and I finished our final prenatal class. This one was the Part II in our Breastfeeding Class. I believe the eloquent title was Express Yourself. Cute. All about the amazing world of pumping (expressing your milk, for you non-preggers). I am definitely a breastfeeding mom but given some of my independence issues and my struggle with sharing my body while pregnant, I know I want the option to pass off baby to daddy with a bottle when mommy wants to go to the gym, have a glass of wine or just take a break. Plus, I know he really wants the bonding time to feed her and I want that for them too. But I found out I am not your typical pumping mom. I don’t have to  pump. Sitting in this room with all of these working moms really made me so grateful for my life. We had the mom returning to her law school program two weeks after delivery, the mom that was so ready to begin her breastfeeding supplement regimen of fenugreek before the baby arrived for fear that her supply would dwindle, the mom returning to work full-time 8 weeks later (with the dad convinced they would need to supplement with formula), and the yogi mom, probably most closely related to my situation, that would need to leave for a couple of hours for a class. We spent time talking about how to work with (maybe battle, in some cases) your daycare providers so that they will feed the baby at the right times and in the right ways to not give too much nipple confusion. We chatted about the regimented pumping schedule and the nooks and closets you could hide in during your lunch break to pump. My heart ached for these moms. The pressure. I know I would constantly feel a race against time if I had immediate demands to return to an office.

I remember even when I was a therapist thinking how the heck am I going to do this? As a therapist, if you don’t see clients, you don’t get paid. And if you take an extended period of time off, you run the risk of becoming irrelevant to your clients and having to rebuild your caseload. There were some perks because I could still see a full-time caseload and only be in the office part-time… but still… the money…

Since becoming pregnant, I have been grateful to skip through the chapters and the weekly checklists on informing your employer and shopping for daycare. However, as an entrepreneur, I have had to fight my own battles. Different battles. The battles between myself and my boss (myself). So much of how I define myself and my self-worth is tied into my work. Learning how to let some things go and delegate others has been a major obstacle. The only person I have needed permission for any maternity leave is myself. I think many times it would have been easier to just submit my necessary paperwork to a boss.

I worked my normal workload- 60+ hours, leading 2 Fit Camps, seeing clients, working at our nutrition club, etc, up until about 20 weeks. At that point, my first trimester symptoms hadn’t really seized, burpees were becoming awkward, and I was just tired. So I changed my work up, reduced my hours, and started to let go of some of my responsibilities. I think so many of my hormonal mood swings were tied into this. I resented having to do this. I felt bored, sad, and I missed my team!! I didn’t know who I was because at that point, I wasn’t yet someone’s mom. I was just the pregnant woman who needed to reduce her stress and prepare for becoming a mom. And although I knew I should’ve loved and embraced that opportunity, I didn’t. Hindsight it was good for me, my team, and completely necessary groundwork to prepare everyone for the baby’s arrival but it was an internal struggle with myself.

Now I am FOUR WEEKS AWAY (holy crap) from my due date and I am still uncertain about what this leave will look like. Sometimes I say I will be completely removed for the rest of 2013. Sometimes I think a bit longer. Other days I think, no way. I will do plenty of correspondence from home and be back in the game ready to go. But here is what I have learned. I don’t actually have to decide anything right now. I can have the baby and play it by ear. I can see how I feel and how she is adjusting. I can wait until I’m up for it. I can learn what it means to be a working mom at our pace. I have options because of the residual income we have built in only 2 years!

When I was a therapist, I used to talk with my clients about designing an integrated life- one where their work, their family, their interests, were all woven in as one. It sounded beautiful in philosophy. Little did I know that I was simply designing the philosophy for my life.

Body After Baby and Why I am Getting in the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE

If you have read any of my recent posts, you may already be familiar that I have not been one of those women who have adored pregnancy. I wanted to be. Really I did. I thought I would be. And I have my moments, like when she is moving around, that I think this is pretty, freakin cool. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bond and connect with her before she arrives. But at the end of the day, you could say, I’m Over Being Pregnant.

I have been a long time advocate and professional in women’s health. I am all about empowering women through health and wellness. How we portray that can be tricky. When you slam pictures up on the internet, it can easily be taken two ways: motivating for some and self-depricating for others, usually more of the latter, especially if we don’t know where or how to start. Approaching health and fitness for women has to be done with care and precaution. I never want to alienate anyone… especially a new mom. We are going through enough as it is.

However, I will be quite clear: I don’t buy into women’s (or anyone’s) excuses to be overweight. Yes, genetics plays a role in our size. No, we do not all need to be a size 6 or smaller. However, embracing obesity (defined by the CDC as 30 lbs overweight or more) is unacceptable to me. When you embrace obesity, you are actually hurting yourself, your culture, and your gender. The health problems associated with obesity are insurmountable and this is the first generation where parents are predicted to outlive their children. NO THANK YOU!! When we embrace being overweight, we excuse ourselves from changing and that’s the message that we pass on to our children.

I don’t always vocalize this opinion loudly, because while obesity runs in my family (and I have lost family members to obesity), I, myself have never been obese. Even when I was carrying my extra weight, I was still in a healthy BMI and weight. So, I am fully aware that my statement above may seem like I lack empathy, but it lacks no more empathy than if I were to be ok with the other side of my family getting away with alcoholism because they are Irish.

For me, pregnancy has been very eye opening as to what carrying extra weight is like. While, I know I am growing a baby (which is awesome), it is still extra weight on my body. At my last weigh-in I had gained 29 lbs in 7 months and I weigh more than I ever have. That’s a lot of new weight for my body to adjust to. So, it’s no wonder that I have been tired, stiff, achy joints and muscles, back pain, hip pain, and S L O W. I actually have to contemplate things like how to get off of the couch, how to tie my shoes, or climb a few flights of stairs.

So here is why I have decided that I vow to get into the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE: Because I refuse to live my life that way. I refuse for my daughter to grow up with a mom that can’t run and play with her. I have taken advantage of my health many times. As a child, I was small, weak and unathletic. It didn’t bother me because I was skinny. Then in college, I started to work out. I felt stronger. I was no longer the weakling and I liked it. Working out empowered me. Then I became very comfortable with a maintenance level. Maybe we call it complacency, or maybe we just call it a shift in priorities at the time. My health and weight were good. I worked out. I was content. But now, after a glimpse of a life that is slower, more lethargic, heavier, I don’t want to take advantage of my opportunity to be in my best shape possible. I want to be the best me, not just for me, but for my daughter; for my family.

The life that I envision for my family is active! It includes Sunday hikes with the dogs, surfing and adventure sports, walking through cities as we explore, running and chasing each other at the park, Family 5Ks, lots of lessons in nutrition and cooking healthy foods together, and endurance through the days.

So if my body changes after this awesome baby or the next one through stretch marks or sagging boobs, so be it. But I refuse to excuse the baby weight and let it slow me down. Because the extra weight that we carry isn’t just in our bodies, it’s in our minds. And I have way too many other important things to worry about than my own self-guilt or body image. It’s just not worth it.

Let’s Document the Journey… Stay tuned…

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Favorite Smoothies… YUM!

I see so many smoothie recipes out there these days. It’s a popular, yet sensible thing to do. Grind all of your goodness up and take it on the go. I love it! The one ingredient that many people neglect in a smoothie is the protein. A key element! There is a lot of debate out there on how much protein one needs. Most experts will agree that 10-35% percent of our daily calories should come from protein, but that is a pretty big margin. How do you determine if you are ok at 10 or should be getting closer to 35? Protein does 3 things for the body:

  1. Boosts Your metabolism
  2. Helps with appetite control
  3. Assists in building lean muscle

So essentially if you are looking to burn fat, lose weight, or build muscle then you probably should be hitting the higher end of that recommendation.

The other concern with smoothies is that often times they have too many calories and too much sugar for the average American. So even if you are putting yummy, nutritional goodness into your smoothie, you must be careful that you haven’t built yourself a 700 calorie breakfast (unless you are trying to gain weight), or doused yourself in sugars (which will turn to fat).

Here are a couple of my absolute FAVORITE Healthy, High Protein, Calorie/Sugar Controlled Smoothies. In each smoothie, I start off with one serving of Herbalife Formula 1. It is a Healthy Meal, complete with heart-healthy veggie protein, fiber, and 19 essential vitamins and minerals. From there, every additional ingredient is bonus healthy!

Pumpkin SpicePumpkin-smoothie2

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Blueberry-Kale Mega Antioxidant

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Banana Bread

Sweet Heaven

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Prenatal Nutrition 411: My Regimen

One of the biggest questions I get asked as a Nutrition Coach is, “What do you eat, ” and “What do you take?” It’s probably one of my favorite prenatal topics because I LOVE nutrition! And prior to becoming pregnant I could talk everything about weight-loss, allergy-free diets, vegan/vegetarian, raw, gluten-free, local and organic, sports performance, and on… but I really didn’t know the ins and outs of a prenatal diet.

So here I will share some of the important nuggets that I have picked up as well as a sample of what I eat and the supplements that I take. I would like to disclose that I am not a doctor and you should always discuss your choices with your medical professional. End fine print.

There is an overwhelming amount of information about what you can’t and shouldn’t  eat out there with a lot of confusing information about what you should be eating (just like any other diet). I found that focusing on a few key elements was very helpful. So here is what I chose:946245_10151710206369371_94838216_n

  1. Protein: eggs, lean meats, nuts, dairy, and Herbalife Formula 1 and Beverage Mix
  2. Iron: Spinach and lean meats, but I eat A LOT of spinach
  3. Calcium: Yogurt, milks (almond and cow), almonds, fruits and veggies
  4. Water: Water all Day!!
  5. Supplements: Guaranteeing I got everything that I needed on the days I just wanted to eat popsicles

More fine print: Am I perfect with what I eat? Of course, not. I have plenty of days where the fiber is giving me a tummy ache and all I want is a grilled cheese… which then backs me up so more fiber. I have also had more than one dessert on more than one occasion. But most days, most of the time, I make the best choices that I can. I ensure this by keeping the bad foods out of the house, keeping the pantry stocked with variety, making all of my meals as simple as possible, and dropping ALL guilt if I am eating a bit atypically.

But for the most part here is what my meals look like:

Breakfast is one of 4 things always:

  • Plain oatmeal with 2 Scoops Formula 1 (cookies and cream), blueberries, and a splash of milk
  • Super Smoothie with spinach, blueberries, banana, plain greek yogurt, Formula 1, and maybe like Chia seeds, flax or oatmeal… with either water, milk, or juice
  • Formula 1 pancakes with banana, egg, and topped with peanut butter
  • 2 eggs with spinach and cheese, sprouted toast, and fruit

Lunch tends to follow a similar trend… Again, I keep it simple

  • A Shake
  • Spinach Salad with fruit and nuts or eggs and veggies
  • A sandwich, maybe chicken or tuna salad

Dinner could be anything, really depending on my mood, exhaustion level, and hunger level. Often times I am less hungry in the evening and will have something very simple.

  • Cereal… My favorite option… I pick a high fiber, high protein cereal like a Kashi or organic raisin bran
  • Lasagna with low carb noodles, cottage cheese, and spinach
  • Lean meat, veggie, grain of some sort
  • Something less healthy like steak tacos, macaroni and cheese, pizza, or whatever sounds tolerable. (Full disclosure right??)

And snacks could be anything from fruit (slightly addicted this Summer), a protein bar, yogurt parfait, cheese and an apple, nuts and nut butters, a shake, etc.

And finally, here is the list of my supplement regimen. Again, please consult your healthcare pro as well, but this is what works for me. I use all Herbalife products and only Herbalife products. They are a brand that I trust and can rest assured that I am getting what I need with the highest quality ingredients. (There is one exception when I had to use an additional Vitamin D 2,000 mcg dose for about 2 months. Oh and maybe the occasional chamomile tea).

Following this nutrition regimen, I have had a completely healthy pregnancy- stable blood sugar, healthy weight gain, normal blood pressure, completely on track with baby’s growth and development, and a very ACTIVE little girl squirming around, but the best part is that my mind is at ease knowing that we are both getting everything we need.

Now, I can’t wait to share my journey post baby! Breast feeding and pregnancy weight loss is my new fascination! Stay tuned!