Christmas Survival Tips


Christmas is such a special, magical time of year.  As kids, we all experience the magic. As we grow into adults with more responsibilities, gifts to buy, cards to send, meals to prepare, baking to do, this time of year can become a time of stress and anxiety.  Let’s not forget the true meaning of the season and follow these tips below to make you feel less stressed.

christmas begins

1. No matter how busy your day gets, don’t skip your daily exercise.  Take at least 30 minutes a day to break away from the hustle and bustle.  Your mind and body will thank you and you will have more energy to get more crossed off your list when you are back at it.  It is also important to stay hydrated.  I like to keep my water bottle close by when running errands, shopping, or cooking in the kitchen.

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2.  Don’t stress too much about the condition of your house during the holidays. People are coming over to visit and ENJOY FAMILY, not inspect your home for dust on that high shelf. I bet they won’t be wearing white gloves.

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3.  Plan your shopping and budget ahead of time.  This will keep you more calm and relaxed knowing you don’t have to finish your shopping on Christmas Eve.

4.  Shop online.  This is a great way to compare prices or find just what you are looking for before you hit the local stores and shops. Many stores have reduced or free shipping right to your door this time of year.

5.  Prepare your dishes or treats ahead of time if possible. This can help keep you organized and save you stress right before your guests arrive.

6.  Be conscious of what you eat, but don’t beat yourself up over eating a cookie (or two).  When eating dinner chew slowly, savor the food, and drink water in between bites. When choosing sweets, choose only those that you truly love and in smaller doses.  Before I go to a big meal I like to drink my Shakeology, which is a great source of protein and helps with my sweet cravings.  Eating something a couple of hours before a big meal is a great way to avoid overeating.

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I would love to hear from you!  What are some of your family’s Christmas Traditions? How do you plan on staying on track with your fitness and nutrition this holiday season?

christmas cartoon

There are so many exciting things happening in 2016!  On January 4 I will be starting the new Master’s Hammer & Chisel workout and invite you to join my online accountability group.  Together we will choose an exercise and nutrition plan that fits your life. The group includes daily motivation, healthy recipes, fitness tips, step by step meal prep tips, and prizes!  Now is the perfect time to start planning for your New Year’s Resolutions.  I am here to help you every step of the way.  Contact me for more details on how you can get on track for a healthy 2016!

From my Family to Yours-Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year!


How to Get That 6 Pack


Everyone wants a six pack, right?  Many times I get the questions, “How can I get a six pack?”  “How can I lose weight around my belly or mid section?”  “What exercises can I do to tone my tummy?” Ab workouts are great for defining your tummy but you also have to get your nutrition in check to go with it. If you have the strongest, most defined abs, you won’t be able to see them if your nutrition is lacking and there is a layer of fat covering that 6 pack. Get on track with your nutrition and incorporate these ab exercises into your workout schedule 2-3 times a week. These exercises target all the muscles that will give you that six pack.

When you start out, start out slowly.  If you aren’t already exercising, take it easy at first. You can increase your reps as you get stronger.  I recommend doing these exercises 2-3 times a week with at least one rest day inbetween.  Your abs are muscles and they need rest.  These muscles should not be worked everyday.  Start out with 10 reps, 3 times each if you are a beginner. If you more fit try starting out with 20 reps 3 times each.

Abs worked with exercise

  1.  The crisscross exercise targets the entire rectus abdominus muscle from top to bottom as shown above.  This exercise is tough. If you are just starting out you will want to do this exercise with your feet a little further up in the air. If you are more advanced you will want your heals just barely above the ground.  The movement should be slow and controlled.   Be sure to pull your belly button into your spine and keep the small of your back on the floor. Be sure not to strain your neck.
  2. Crossover crunch targets the obliques (the muscles on each side of your stomach) and the upper portion of your rectus abdominus.  Once again start slow and work your way up. Keep the small of your back pressed into the floor and do not strain your neck.  You will be crunching up and touching opposite elbow to opposite knee.
  3. The traditional crunch also targets the upper portion of the rectus abdominus.  You don’t have to curl up all the way.  A partial curl is more effective.
  4. Flutter kicks. This is also targets the entire rectus adominus. It is more advanced.  Make sure to press your lower back into the floor and put your hands under your butt. Move your legs in a slow and controlled flutter motion. The more advanced the closer your feet should be to the ground.  If you are a beginner start by doing this exercise for 10 seconds, 3 times. As you get stronger I recommend increasing to 30 second, 45 second, and 60 seconds intervals.
  5. The heel touch is also designed to target the upper rectus abdominus and lower obliques. This is a partial curl up.  Once again keep your belly button pulled in towards your spine, the small of your back pushed into the floor, and don’t strain your neck.

workout fairy

Unfortunately, if you want to “lose weight in the belly or midsection” doing 100 sit ups a day is not going to do it.  If you want “slender arms,” 20 bicep curls will not help you lose weight from that area.  Your body will lose weight naturally from one area to another. For example, if you are someone who puts on more weight in the thigh region, that may be where you lose weight first with proper nutrition and exercise.  You can’t exercise one body part and expect to lose fat from that one region.  Many women tend to lose weight in the chest region when they start losing. For some of us this isn’t ideal but we don’t have any control over that.

If you need help working on your six pack sign up here and I will contact you.

 

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Find That Motivation Somewhere


Just do it

I woke up this morning feel, “Blah.”  Not a great description, but I think we have all been there.   It is a crazy time on our farm!  We just finished harvesting beans a couple days ago and have been getting calves weaned the last couple days before we start combining corn.  Last night I was going to slip in a quick 10 Minute Trainer workout, but after discovering a water leak in our hog barn, the night was shot.

So….here I am today, tired, and feeling “Blah.”  The last thing I wanted to do was press play and get my workout done, but after missing yesterday’s workout, I felt I HAD to get it done today.  Sometimes it is much worse to think about something than to just do it, so that’s what I did, I just did it!  Results….after my workout, “I felt ENERGIZED and ready to tackle the day!”

Motivation for Exercise

Getting in shape and staying in shape takes, effort, hard work, and discipline, and sometimes a nudge or two from your Coach!  (Let me know if you are in need of a nudge.)

Here are some tips to help you stay motivated on your journey. Your journey is continuous and never stops, so we all have to find little motivational “tricks” to keep up on that journey.

  1.  Dig deep to find your true WHY.  Why do you want to lose weight, get in shape, or tone up?  Is it so you feel better, look better, can be a good example to your kids, or want to get off some of those meds you take? Whatever it is, it is important and you have a strong why.  Once you realize your why then you need to focus on that when the going gets tough and you don’t want to press play.
  2. Tape your WHY everywhere. If your why is to be a good example for your kids or to buy that size 10 dress for the wedding this summer, tape a picture of that everywhere to keep you motivated.  Put a picture on your mirror in your bathroom. Tape a picture to the refrigerator door so every time you open that door you will be motivated to make better choices.
  3. Find an accountability partner, workout buddy, or join my challenge group.  Research has shown that people who work out together are much more likely to stick with it.  If you have someone to answer to it won’t be as easy to skip that workout or eat that entire pie.
  4. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up over it. That is no reason to quit. Tomorrow is a new chance.  Start again!
  5. DO NOT STEP ON THE SCALE EVERYDAY!!!  This is something that people think of as a way to gauge their progress but it hurts so many people.  When people start workout programs it is common for them to gain weight at first due to the swelling of the muscles and water weight.  Once those people, who have started exercising see the weight gain, they get frustrated and quit. Everyone is different and some people may not see the scale move at all at first. I recommend limiting your “scale dates” to once a month and taking measurements and body fat readings to track your progress.  How your clothes are fitting is also a great way to determine progress.
  6. Celebrate the little victories!  If you have 50-100 pounds to lose, it will take some time. You didn’t gain all that weight in one day so you won’t lose it all in one day.  Set mini goals of 10-20 pounds as a time and celebrate when you reach your goals.  Go out and get your nails done or get a well deserved massage.  Maybe you need some new clothes after your weight loss or a new pair of shoes.
  7. When it is time to get that workout in remember how you felt after your last workout.  That will help you press play and feel better both physically and mentally once you are done.

do something today

 

 


How long does it take to get out of shape


We all know it is hard to get in shape. When you start a new workout program, some days you may feel like you are going to die or like you can’t go on. If you are like me you wonder why you ever quit your program because getting back in shape and starting all over again HURTS.   Did you know it only takes 1 week of inactivity before you start to lose your current fitness level? It generally take twice as long, if not longer, to gain fitness then to lose it. Here is a breakdown of the three components of physical fitness and how fast inactivity can affect them.

girl working out

Click here for more information on how you can start an exercise program!

1. Cardiovascular fitness is the ability for your heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to working muscle tissue and the ability of the muscles to use the oxygen to produce energy. Cardiovascular physical activity is exercising one of the most important muscles in your body, your heart. What kind of exercise builds cardiovascular endurance? Try running, walking, swimming, biking, dancing, anything that gets your heart rate up, increases your breathing, and gets your blood pumping. You should get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise in at last 5 days a week, for significant health benefits. How fast and how much of your cardiovascular endurance you lose depends on your current fitness level. If you are an elite athlete you will notice a decline right away. Recreational athletes won’t notice as steep of a decline but if they stop doing some type of cardiovascular training they can lose some of their fitness in as little as 5 days. If you are sedentary for a month, you will notice your cardiovascular fitness decline considerably.

2. Flexibility is another component of physical fitness. It is important because it determines how far a muscle can stretch. When you are young and active stretching prevents muscle strains or pulls. Also, athletes that are more flexible have the ability to be faster than those with poor flexibility. As we age we lose flexibility, and stretching becomes important so we can not only avoid injury, but also be mobile. Flexibility can vary from person to person, but it is good to stretch before and after exercise to maintain flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. On your rest days, stretch morning and night. Stretching is something that should be done everyday because you can lose flexibility very quickly, within days if you aren’t on a regular stretching program. Activities like yoga and Beachbody’s new program PiYo are excellent to help maintain flexibility.

Piyo works

PiYo works! Click here for a preview of this weight loss, flexibility increasing program!

3. Muscular fitness is another important component of physical fitness. It helps increase strength, prevent injuries, prevent osteoporosis, and increases your metabolism by burning more calories at rest. Pick up those weights. They don’t have to be heavy, lift whatever you are comfortable with. Make sure you use proper form when lifting so you don’t get injured. Weight lifting should be done 2-3 times per week. If you lift everyday be sure to mix it up, don’t lift the same body part two days in a row. For example, if you lift upper body on Monday, Tuesday should be lower body. To build size you should lift less reps with heavier weight. For toning lift more reps with lighter weight.
It is so important to maintain some exercise routine in your life. As we age our body’s efficiency decreases in relation to fitness. Between the ages of 30 and 70 muscle mass and strength decrease about 30%. That is scary to me. Fortunately, inactivity is has the most influence, so no matter what age you are exercise can benefit you.

To learn how you can incorporate exercise into your life, whether you are a beginner or want to take your fitness to the next level fill out this form http://bit.ly/4EverFit to have me as your FREE Coach to help you make that positive change in your life.

                Get Energized!

Get Energized! Learn more about how Shakeology can give you the energy and nutrition your body needs!


The Amazing Avocado


Amazing AvocadoAvocados are great food to incorporate into your diet, especially if you want to lose weight and eat healthier.  They are delicious, nutritious and so easy to add into any meal or snack.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Avocados have a substantial amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients with few calories. One fifth an avocado (1 oz. serving) has 20 vitamins and minerals, less than 1 gram of sugar,  at only 50 calories.  Over 75% of the fat in avocado is unsaturated (the healthy kind) that will help fill you up.

Avocados make a great baby food due to it’s health benefits and the smooth, creamy texture.  The unsaturated fat used in the development of the Central Nervous System and brain is very important for babies.

HOW DO I INCORPORTATE AVOCADOS INTO MY DIET?

I love them on my sandwiches and wraps. I use avocado in place of mayo.  They are a healthy alternative to the empty calories and fat in lots of sandwich spreads.  I also like to slice them and eat them along side my scrambled eggs in the morning.  One of my favorite snacks is a homemade guacamole.  I smash the avocado into salsa.  There are so many versatile ways you can eat them and tons of great recipes.
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27WHEN IS MY AVOCADO RIPE?

When you buy avocados you can buy them at different stages.  The green ones will be firm and will be ready in approximately 3-4 days.  If you purchase an avocado with some spots it is a little further along and will be ready in 2-3 days.  The black ones that are a little less firm but not mushy, are ready to eat now.  I like to buy some at different stages so I have some for the next week or so.  If you want to speed up the ripening of an avocado leave it out on the counter.  You can also put in in a paper sack to speed up the ripening. Avocados that are ready to eat should be kept refrigerated.

PREPARATION

Cut the avocado down the middle.  Remove the seed and scoop out the middle or peel the skin away to slice up nicely for salads.  If you are only using part of the avocado keep the seed in the half that you are going to use later and wrap tightly in saran wrap to avoid oxidation.

Check out these healthy recipes that include avocados.

http://debgress.com/june-healthy-recipes-1/

avocado-green-goddess-dip-or-dressing

chicken-waldorf-salad-with-avocado

gluten-free-cheese-steak-taquitos-with-avocado-cream

Visit www.DebGress.com/recipes/ for more healthy recipes!

 

 

 


Is eating healthy more expensive?


Many people I talk to about fitness and nutrition tell me eating healthy is too expensive.  I disagree.  Buying junk food and processed food can lead to more expenses in the long run.

Three diseases have become very prevelant in the United States.  Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are affecting millions of people in this country.  Fortunately, we can prevent many of these cases.

If you think eating healthy is expensive, consider this…

According to the 2008 Milman report open heart surgery and heart transplants made the list of “Top 10 Most Expensive Medical Procedures.”

Heart Transplant made number 2 coming in at $787,700 (this was 6 years ago so it is very likely the price tag has increased substantially).  Heart transplants are some of the most complicated procedures carrying a great risk, with long waiting lists and lengthy surgeries.

Open heart surgery made number 6, at $324,000.  Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the U.S. at 26%.  This is one of the reasons I make an effort to buy healthier options at the grocery store for my family and myself.  Open heart surgery is a more common procedure than most people realize but it is expensive due to the urgency of the procedure and the complications, care needed, and follow up afterwards.

Some types of cancers are also related to our diets.  Cancer is a costly disease in our nation and unfortunately health insurance companies do not cover all the costs.  Expenses include Dr. visits, lab tests, clinic visits, imaging tests, radiation treatments, drug costs, hospital stays, surgeries, and home health care.

Type II Diabetes has become another  disease we face.  According to the American Diabetes Association 86 million Americans age 20 or older have prediabetes (high blood sugar levels putting them at great risk for Type II Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke in the future).  Diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S in 2010.

If you look at the cost of buying healthier foods at the grocery store versus what you may be paying later on in life in health care costs, healthy eating is very economical and will lead to a better quality of life in many ways. Without even worrying about the cost, I want my family and I to be able to have the best quality of life for as long as possible. As our bodies age we are going to have issues and ailments, but if I can prolong them or avoid some of them by making good choices now, I am going to try hard to do it.

Here are some helpful tips when it comes to saving money while eating healthy.

-Avoid pre-cut produce, and pre-made meals and sides.
-Buy store brands instead of national brands
-Purchase the majority of your items around the outside perimeter of the store. This is where you will find the fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy. The processed foods you should avoid are in the center of the store.
-Buy produce in season. Watch for sales and compare prices at grocery stores. Most of the grocery stores in my small town will honor the sale prices from other stores.
-Take one day a week to plan all your meals and snacks out for the week.  Cook in bulk. For example, grills a bunch of chicken breasts to toss on salads or as a main meal or cook up some quinoa for that salad or soup.
-When doing your menu planning, plan for 4-5 nights worth of meals and clean up the left overs the rest of the week.
-Buy in bulk when possible. You can get meat in bulk and freeze some of it or buy beans or grains in bulk.
-Make a grocery list when you go to the store and stick with it.
-You will be surprised how much money you can save on unhealthy items. If you eliminate soda, alcohol, and other junk food you will be amazed at how much you can save off your grocery bill. I saw a huge bag of Peanut M & M’s the other day for $9.99. I am not going to disagree, they taste good, but that is $10 for almost no nutritional value.
-Save eating out for special occasions. You will save a lot of money and appreciate those dinners more when they are less often.

By planning ahead for the week you will find that you make better use of your groceries which will save you money and you will eat healthier.  You will also be less likely to pick up take out food on the way home from a long day at work.  It will eliminate some stress and help everyone develop better eating habits.

You can find more healthy recipes at http://debgress.com/recipes/

 


3 Day Refresh Review


This last week was very crazy in the Gress house!  My son was showing pigs at the Charter Oak Achievement Days, which is our home town fair.  It is a fun time and very hectic.  Fair time means that besides all the day to day chores and work at home I make an average of 4 trips to town a day to run Dawson to and from the fair, go in for activities, and help him with his fair chores.

This doesn’t give me much spare time so I thought I might be a little crazy trying the 3 Day Refresh during three of the most busiest days of the summer.  Once I made up my mind, I decided I was going to do it, and do it right.  After a trip to Las Vegas and the 4th of July, where I indulged in restaurant meals, sugary sweets, and a few adult beverages, I needed to detox and get my body back on track.

3 Day Refresh

The New 3 Day Refresh…Lose weight and break those bad eating habits in 3 Days!

I scheduled my 3 Day Refresh for Monday through Wednesday.  On Sunday, I read through all the information that came with the kit.  The information was simple and to the point.  I loved how the guide was easy to follow.  The menu instructions have “fill in the blank” lines when it came to planning what kind of food I was going to eat each day.  This made grocery shopping easy.  Each day it gave you the information about what you were to eat for each meal and snack.  You would choose from a list and select a healthy fat, vegetable, or fruit, depending on what the meal called for. It made planning ahead so easy and the Refresh very easy to follow, even with my busier than normal schedule.  Although the 3 Day Refresh is only about 900 calories a day, you eat very nutrient dense food and get everything your body needs in those 3 days.  You can find my “day by day” comments on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/DebsBeachbodyChallenge

My Shakeology Shaker cup was my best friend during the 3 Day Refresh.  I took it with me on the run so I could get my Shakeology, Vanilla Fresh protein shake, or fiber in daily.  This made following the plan very easy.

I also prepared all my snacks and meals ahead of time. When I was running I chose snacks such as carrot sticks and hummus or celery sticks and smashed avocado,  which were easy to transport.  For dinner each night I planned accordingly depending on if I was going to be home or not. On two out of three of the nights I was on the run so I ate a spinach salad. The salad was a great choice because there was no cooking involved and I was able to make both salads at the same time since one salad called for half a tomato, cucumber, and red pepper. I simply cut up the entire vegetable to make two salads. I found out I really enjoyed the dressing of fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

I gotta be honest….the 3 Day Refresh started out rough for me!  I really enjoy eating healthy and have finally, after years of struggling, gotten a pretty good grasp on my nutrition; however, doing the 3 Day Refresh, and especially reporting in to my clients, gave me anxiety.  It sounds silly, but I was really nervous, but a person can do anything for 3 days, right?

The first day of my 3 Day Refresh I was starving.  I woke up and drank my water, had my Shakeology for breakfast, which is part of my normal routine and something I look forward to like others look forward to their morning coffee, and didn’t have a problem with the fiber drink midmorning.  (Tip-don’t let it sit, mix it up and drink right away.)  I passed on the optional tea every morning and afternoon because that isn’t my thing.  By the time lunch came around I was starving.  I ate my entire lunch and Vanilla Fresh shake (which was good), but felt so full that I was almost sick. I felt like I was going to explode, but I was determined to stick to the program.  By midafternoon I was ready for my snack and hungrily ate it. Fast forward to dinner…once again a meal and Vanilla Fresh protein shake.  I just couldn’t finish it all, it was too much food for my tummy.  That night I went to bed hungry as the shake and food were long digested.  Although I wanted to get a workout in I felt like I just didn’t have the energy.

On day 2 I decided to modify a little bit.  I followed the program but spread out my Vanilla Fresh Shakes and meals during the day, eating them one hour apart.  Day 2 and 3 were much easier and I was satisfied.  Even though I was at the fair all three days, surrounded by homemade pie, soda, and burgers, I managed to stick to the program. I even got a PiYo workout in and felt great.  I could have done better drinking water, as that is something I constantly struggle with and I didn’t pack enough filtered water due to the fact that my three year old son and I ended up sharing at the fair.  Overall it was successful and it is definetly something I will do again.

I lost 1/2 inch, 3 pounds, and had better definition of my ab muscles afterwards. I felt great and kicked some bad eating habits I had developed in the previous weeks.  The 3 Day Refresh is a great jump start to weight loss, good for gently detoxing the body getting back into clean eating.

 

 


June Healthy Recipes #1


Broccoli Grape SaladJune is here. It is a crazy busy time of year.  Families are rushing here and there for baseball, softball, swimming, camps, and all other kinds of activities. I think summertime is crazier at my house than any other time of the year.

This week’s healthy recipes are simple and quick.  The first recipe is for a Broccoli Salad. You have to be careful when eating salads. Many times they are packed with empty calories due to mayonnaise or dressings.  I replace half the mayonnaise with yogurt in this recipe to cut down on the calories.  The bacon is also optional. This recipe is delicious and perfect for a picnic. It is also a recipe that your kids will eat.  This is a good way to get some broccoli into their diet.

 

 

Grilled almond chicken craisin salad

The Grilled Chicken, Craisin, & Almond Salad is a quick refreshing lunch for summertime. I also cut the mayonnaise in half and replace it with yogurt to cut down on the calories.  My husband eats his Grilled Chicken Craisin, & Almond Salad on a Romaine lettuce leaf due to gluten intolerance.

 

 

 

 

The third healthy recipe this week is a delicious, refreshing Shakeology.  Try the Strawberry Avocado Dream made with Strawberry Shakeology. It is a delicious meal when you are on the go and out in the heat.

Please feel free to comment on the recipes below and share your favorites with me. I am always looking for new healthy recipes to try on my family.   To learn more about Shakeology go to http://DebGress.AutomaticCEO.com/go2

Strawberry Avocado Dream Shake recipe jpg


Five Weight Loss Tips


Obesity is a huge epidemic in our nation.  People die of weight related diseases everyday.  Heart disease, diabetes, cancer…all these diseases are obesity related.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for heart disease and diabetes and once you have it, you have to live with it the rest of your life.  What is the secret to losing weight? It isn’t in a magic pill or potion.  Here are five weight loss tips to help you lose weight and live a healthier, happier life.

Exercise shoe print

1.  Strength Training builds muscle which consumes energy simply by existing.  When you do weight training you are building the lean tissue in your  body and that will burn more calories when you are at rest. The muscle fibers twitch at rest, burning more calories.  A woman that weighs 140 pounds at 25% body fat will burn more calories at rest than a woman who weighs 120 pounds at 30% body fat.  The more lean mass you build up the more efficient your body will be at losing the weight.  Ladies, do not worry about ” bulking up” when lifting weights. Unless you are taking testosterone, you will not get there.  We do not have the hormones that will bulk us up.  Weight lifting also builds bone strength, helping prevent osteoporosis as we age.  You should incorporate weight training into your exercise routine about 3 times a week.

2.  Cardio training is very important in keeping your heart healthy and strong. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a very effective way to lose weight. The intervals alternate between low to moderate intensity exercise to high intensity. These intervals push your heart rate up then allow it to come down. HIIT workouts have been shown to be more effective than traditional cardio workouts such as running, due to the fact that you work at a higher intensity, improve your strength, endurance, and burn more fat.  I personally prefer HIIT workouts because they are efficient, fun, and I know that I will go at a high intensity for a short period of time them get a break. I am likely to work harder knowing that it is short lived and that I will see the results I want.

Turbo Fire is just one of the many programs I recommend that has interval training which is very effective in weight loss.

3.  Don’t eat junk!  Avoid processed, canned, or prepackaged food.  Stick to fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. During the winter months I also choose frozen fruits and vegetables for my family.  Make a menu and have all your weekly meals planned out so you are less likely to run through the McDonald’s drive thru on the way home from work because you do not have a meal planned.  Make a grocery list and stick to it.  You should strive to buy most or almost all of your items around the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you will find the most healthy choices and fresh food.   The more you get into the aisles the more junk food you will find.  Also eliminate or limit your alcohol intake.

4.  Eliminate processed sugars.  The more and more we learn about processed sugars the more harmful they are to us.  They increase inflammation in our bodies which causes tissue to break down and makes us more susceptible to many diseases.  Pay attention to the sugar in foods and beverages.  Beverages like soda and fruit juice contain a lot of sugar and many empty calories.  You can still satisfy your sweet tooth by eating natural sugars such as fresh fruit and berries.  Shakeology is also a great way to get some sweetness into your day.  It is excellent for curbing the cravings for sweets also.

Shakeology is available in Chocolate, Greenberry, Strawberry, Vanilla, and Tropical Strawberry!

5.  Drink plenty of water.  Our bodies are made up of 60% water, our brains being 70% and our lungs 90%.  Water is essential to the optimal functioning of our bodies.  Many times when you think you are hungry, your body is actually thirsty.  Dehydration can lead to achy muscles, headaches, and the feeling of hunger.  You should take your body weight in pounds and drink half of your weight in ounces.  If you are exercising and sweating you should consume even more water.  If you have trouble drinking enough water add a fresh lemon, cucumber, or berries to flavor and freshen your water.

 

Bottom line, losing weight takes discipline and commitment!  Please contact me if you need help in your weight loss journey.  Do it for yourself and your family.  Find out more information about joining my Challenge Group where you will receive exercise and nutrition counseling, support, motivation, and encouragement from a group of people with the same goals. http://DebGress.AutomaticCEO.com/go13

I would love to hear from you.  Please share your stories or weight loss tips.


May Recipes 2


PINEAPPLELast weekend was Memorial Day weekend, a weekend to remember those in the Armed Forces and spend time with family and friends.  Here in Iowa it is finally starting to feel like summer, so it is time to break the grill out.  You can grill delicious healthy food and there is not much clean up!   My kids LOVE fresh pineapple on the grill.   The pineapple juice runs down their chins.  This sweet treat is so easy and good for them.

Another summer favorite in my house is this Strawberry Grilled Chicken Salad.  This is so easy and most of it can be prepared ahead of time and thrown together right before it is time to eat.  Depending on what type of salad dressing you use, this salad can be made gluten and soy free.   My kids have grown up eating spinach so they actually request it in salads, on sandwiches, and in their scrambled eggs. Start your children off eating healthy and they won’t know any different.  It is great to start kids off with healthy eating habits they will  take with them when they are on their own.

Chicken strawberry salad jpgKids need to be kids.  I allow my boys to have treats once in awhile.  Just remember, things like cookies should not be snacks, they should be treats.  Treats are things you let them enjoy once in awhile, but not something that they have to have after every meal or everyday.  This recipe for Chocolate Shakeology Kisses is so fast and easy.  My whole family loves them and the plate of cookies disappear quickly.  These are a no bake gluten free cookie and if made with Vegan Chocolate Shakeology they are also soy and lactose free.

Chocolate Shakeology Kisses Recipe jpgFor more information on where to find more healthy recipes you can go to http://www.DebGress.com/recipes/  For more information on Shakeology go to http://DebGress.AutomaticCEO.com/go2

I would love to hear from you. Please let me know what you think of my healthy recipes and share yours with me.