10 steps to a healthier you
By Pamela Liuzzo
Originally Published: December 19, 2008 2:40 p.m.
Hello to everyone. I am so honored to be writing this blog for the Courier and even more honored that you are taking time out of your day to read it! Let me begin by telling you a little about myself. I have been an ACE Certified Personal Fitness Trainer since 2001. I am currently working towards my degree in nutrition, and I am dedicated to living a purpose-filled life. I am married to a supportive, loving husband and I have 2 spunky children. Juggling a family, career, school, and having a life can be overwhelming, especially if you're trying to lose, or maybe, maintain a healthy weight. I'm sincerely hoping that after reading this, you gain a piece of information that will help you reach your weight loss goals while performing life's juggling act. Jack Lalanne once said that "Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen. Put them together and you have a kingdom." I love that saying because it is so true. Your body is on loan. Why not take care of it so it lasts longer and functions to its highest potential?I have found that diets don't work because they don't correct the problem. Unhealthy lifestyle habits are, I believe, a very big reason that 1 in 3 people are overweight. I understand that there are circumstances that are out of a person's control that inhibit their efforts to obtain a healthy weight, but when genetics loads the gun, lifestyle can pull the trigger. When it comes to weight loss, most people have the "all or nothing" mentality about losing weight. Stop that! I want you to think about when you were 5 years old and just learning your ABC's. Did your teacher or parents try to teach you every letter in the alphabet all at one time? No way. You would have been completely overwhelmed. So why do we do that to ourselves when trying to lose weight? Why do we force ourselves to eat foods we don't like, be hungry, and buy gym equipment that ends up being a coat rack? Why not make small changes over time so that it's not overwhelming. Why not do it right this time?Following are 10 steps that I feel are crucial to obtaining and then maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The first step is performed for 10 days, and then another step is added. Every 10 days a new step will be added so that by day 100 you have created new, healthier habits. After mastering all 10 healthy habits, you will be well on your way to a healthier waistline. Are you ready to take your first step? It's a big one. Your first 10 days should be about eating a nutritious breakfast. Here are the most common excuses I hear from clients for not eating breakfast; 1. I simply can't eat breakfast because it makes me nauseous.2. There isn't enough time in the morning to eat.3. I like to save my calories for later in the day.4. I'm not hungry in the morning.These are all poor excuses for skipping the most important meal of the day. Yes, it truly is the most important. When you skip breakfast, you tell your body to run on empty. Your body responds by digging into your muscle tissue to feed its hungry cells. Your body also slows down its metabolism in an effort to conserve fat stores because the bonehead person in charge, that is you, couldn't be bothered to eat a piece of toast before running out the door. This creates a vicious cycle of muscle burning, fat storing, weight gaining, unhappy you. Not to mention that study after study has proven that people who eat breakfast weigh less than people who don't! Please eat breakfast. So what should you eat for breakfast? Here is what I eat. Your meal can look completely different but I want to give you some ideas;1. 2 eggs & spinach in a whole wheat tortilla with a little hot sauce.2. 1/2 cup of quick oats, 1 cup water, 1 scoop protein powder, cinnamon & Splenda to sweeten.3. 1 cup yogurt (low fat) mixed with 1 cup all bran cereal.4. 2 slices whole wheat toast with 2T peanut butter and fruit preserves. 5. fruit smoothie (1/2 banana, 1 yogurt, 1/2 cup orange juice)I hope you have decided to take this first step if you aren't eating breakfast regularly already. Making this small change is an important step towards a healthier you. Please check out my next blog for step No. 2. I wish you a happy holiday and God bless you.Here is a slightly healthier sugar cookie recipe.Remember, all things in moderation.Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies1-1/4 C. Whole wheat pastry flour - (I use Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour from Bashas)1/4 C. wheat germ1/4 t. salt1/2 t. baking soda4 ounces unsalted butter, softened1/3 C. sugar1/3 C. brown sugar1 egg white1 1/4 t. vanilla1/4 t. almond extract1/2 C. orange peel (finely chopped in food processor)Whisk flour, wheat germ, salt and baking soda in medium bowl.In another bowl, mix together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg white, vanilla and almond extract, and mix lightly.Add both mixtures together and mix well.I placed the dough in a cookie press and baked them on a non-greased cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 325 degrees.They tasted great!