Friday, November 23, 2012

The Day After....

Any regrets?  Wishing that last serving of pie hadn't been consumed?  Shocked at the scale this morning?  Are you out shopping and eating sweet treats and fast food already today?

Well, as I said before, "Tis the season" right?  Here's what I know.  We can't do anything about what we ate yesterday.  Can't change the fact that we sat around all day watching football eating tasty morsels and sipping calorie laden alcoholic beverages.  That's done.  All we can affect is the here, now and future.

So with that said, it's important to understand that the holiday season is the holiday season, and there will be moments you partake of festivities a bit more than you should.  I'm no Debbie Downer, I want people to enjoy the holiday, I want people to taste some amazing foods and celebrate with friends and family.  But if someone wants to enjoy the season, AND maintain some semblance of a wellness lifestyle, I want those people to know it's possible.

To that end, I say we can't change what we did yesterday.  We can choose differently today.  And as I've said before, with proper planning, and commitment, one can enjoy the various opportunities to eat great food, AND still live a wellness lifestyle.  Remember to look for healthy recipes. We cooked a new recipe yesterday called "Paleo Stuffing".  It was very tasty and very healthy.  There are many great variations of treats that are made in healthy ways.  Remember to cook appropriately when you can, and cook some extra so you can have healthy foods more than just on one night.  Head to the gym today, and once or twice this weekend too.  Just as there are always opportunities to eat the bad stuff, there's opportunities to offset it and eat well and move well!

Never, ever, ever ever give up (My apologies to Sir Winston Churchill).

Until next time...Be well!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tis The Season

For celebrations, for giving thanks, for family, for fun, for food............and weight gain......ugh.

Yep, it IS my favorite time of year.  I love the holidays.  Right now we've already got Christmas lights on the house (no, not lit up yet, we have an official lighting of the house on Thanksgiving night).  My kids are out of school, as is my High School Teacher wife, we are planning foods for Thanksgiving in 2 days.  We've already bought some Christmas gifts.  The turkey is defrosting in our fridge.  I am ready for Christmas music (though I am ritually avoiding it until Thanksgiving).  I love this time of year!!

But yes, even as thin as I am normally, I struggle with watching my weight during the holiday season (for my Christian friends, don't be offended by my term of "holiday season" please, I use it to describe the entire season, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years).  There have been seasons where I've put on 8-10 pounds.  Yep, that's the truth.  But in more recent years, I've been able to stay within 1-3 pounds of my weight as the season starts, but it takes a plan.

That's the key.  If you have read much of my FB or Twitter or blogs before, you know a saying I have is "People don't mean to plan to fail, but they fail to plan, which IS, of course, planning to fail".  So as I sit here 2 days before Thanksgiving, and knowing I already had a chaotic day yesterday that included eating.....ready for this.......FAST FOOD last night, I am seriously contemplating my plan and focusing on making sure I hit it hard going into this season.  Later this morning a trip to the gym is on the agenda, a healthy breakfast is on the agenda, and maybe some juicing for this afternoon.  But what can YOU do to offset the temptations that you'll most likely fall prey to this year?  What kind of planning will it take?

How about let's start with shopping.  Make sure, that as you are shopping for some of the sugar/calorie filled goodies, you also make a concerted effort to keep healthy snacks on hand for you and your family.  Stop in at the produce section of your store every time you go to buy food. Buy a variety of fruits.  Buy some nuts and seeds.  Keep these on hand all the time and encourage your kids if you have them, to partake of them when they're reaching for that candy that seems to always be available right now.

Which brings up another point.  I think we should indulge in some tasty sinful decadence from time to time this season.  But why not put a cap on what you consume?  Don't purchase all that you normally purchase.  Don't keep it available all over the house, or better yet, don't put it out in easy reach.  Keep your selection of fruits and nuts in easy reach instead.  If your kids want to have some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, limit their intake, and make sure that they get to eat an orange or banana, or seasonal pomegranate too.  Have fun shelling pecans or walnuts together, and of course eating them afterward!

Also take the time to plan healthy meals for yourself with some meat, some good fresh roasted or grilled veggies.  Planning this out makes it more likely to happen.  And while you're cooking it, why not cook extra so that two days later you can have leftovers without having to cook again?  This way you only cook once, but you get to eat two healthy meals.  Simple idea that is very effective!

Alright, speaking of planning, don't let the busy holiday schedule cut out your gym time.  Get your calender out on Sundays, look at your schedule.  Yes it may get tough to get your gym time in, but learn to be efficient once you get to the gym.  Or just decide to work out at home to save time.  A round of pushups, crunches, lunges, dips,  and jumping jacks can get you a decent workout in, especially if you decide to combine two of the exercises together and do 3 sets of each without stopping (ie 10 pushups, 10 lunges, 3x, with no rest between each set).  That will get your heart rate up AND give you resistance training.

Friends, enjoy this season, but honor your God given body too.  Plan things out so that you CAN indulge and enjoy, but still manage to keep things under control and not be regretting what you did or didn't do on January 2, 2013.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Until next time... Be Well!!
Dr. Bruce

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beating The Holiday 5......Or 10

A timely reprint....

Yes the holidays are upon us. In just about a week, turkey with stuffing, apple pie, pumpkin pie, candied yams and more will be available to us, along with many alcoholic libations. Tasty and enjoyable stuff for sure. I look forward to my first taste of pumpkin pie in almost a year.

However, when left unchecked, the holiday celebrations lead to the dreaded "Holiday 5", or in some cases the "Holiday 10". We are talking about the extra pounds put on because of the excess calories, and the poor quality of foods that we have available to us more commonly.

Over the last 2 years, I've worked hard on limiting the holiday poundage with some quality wins. Here's what I do now and recommend.

1. Understand that plenty of opportunities to splurge will occur. Accept that fact and be prepared for it.

2. Before going to a situation where you know you'll have sweet foods, alcohol, or high quantities of calories, have a snack. Yes, eat a snack. But, make it a healthy snack. Some pumpkin seed and a piece of fruit for example. Eat this about 30 minutes before the party so you don't arrive famished and ready to consume the first pretty looking food that appears (and most food looks much prettier when we're starving). Have your snack and 8oz of water.

3. Indulge in your favorite recipe. Don't completely ignore the pie or candy you love so much. You'll not enjoy yourself. But, limit the quantity. Eat it slowly and enjoy it. Plan ahead to only have "x" amount.

4. Don't fill your plate. This is a good rule all the time, but especially at holiday time. There's so much to choose from as you go down the line at Thanksgiving or Christmas. So put food on your plate, eat it and enjoy it, and then see how you feel. Again, take your time so you stomach starts to feel full.

5. If you know you want to taste everything, just take smaller quantities as you go through the line. Often we fill our plates with large servings and feel bad that we don't have room for something else we like, so we go back and get round two of the rest of everything.

6. Keep up with your exercise. Plan it out weekly so that you're getting the calorie burn you need. It's more vital than ever to do this now, especially since you know things will come up to get in the way of your exercise plan.

7. Finally, EVERY chance you get to eat healthy, DO IT! The next opportunity to indulge in sweets is just around the corner for you, so behave every second that you can!

Mainly, it's important to be prepared and to think about what you're doing. I want you to enjoy the holidays and the tasty foods, but not to the point of regretting it on January 2nd. I enjoy the challenge though. I weigh myself on Thanksgiving morning and monitor it all throughout the holidays, then have a final check on January 2. Last year it was only 1.5 pounds heavier, and I did enjoy my holiday. I hope you can find a way to enjoy and not regret it as well. Have a great holiday season!

Until next time...BE WELL!!
Dr. Bruce

Thursday, November 8, 2012

So You're Sick.......What Now??

I have had two incidents recently where a sick friend has come to mind.  One is very sick with cancer, the other was sick with a typical infection.  While there are obvious differences between the two, the commonality is that their immune systems are in a battle, albeit one much more serious than the other.  It made me think of what I'd do in similar situations, and what I've done when I have gotten sick with some kind of infection (no I've never had cancer, praise God).  In both situations, the immune system needs to be boosted, because in both situations the immune system has been overcome by the illness and has, hopefully only temporarily, lost the battle with the disease.

The first thing I'd do is to make sure I am not doing anything that further compromises my immunity.  I'd remove all toxins from my body, and this includes toxic thoughts and relationships.  Sugar is a major culprit that lowers the immune response and must be removed in totality (shouldn't be there anyway).  Sugar creates inflammation in the body and that is the breeding ground for infections and other diseases, including cancers.  A study I read recently showed that one sugary drink has measurable negative influence on the immune response.  So I'd totally cut out sugar and processed foods (which break down into sugars).  Stress also influences immunity and slows down it's response, so I'd be sure to remove myself from as many stressful situations as possible.

Why do we feel so sleepy when we have the flu?  Have you ever thought of that?  It's our body's innate intelligence telling us to slow down, power down so that the body can focus on repair and restoration.  So it becomes more important to get appropriate rest when we are ill, whether with a simple infection or cancer.

Finally, I'd fill my body with as much good stuff as I possibly can with regards to food.  I personally would no longer eat fake foods.  I'd focus on living food, preferably organic, as well as good grass fed, free range meat/chicken and wild caught fish.  So my diet would include unlimited veggies and fruit (juicing would be an even bigger part of my life than it is), and good healthy meats.  I'd consume only water and tea, unsweetened of course.

These are the same procedures I use with my kids when they are under the weather, they know to eat more fresh food and get rest and increase their water intake.  They know to avoid any junk food that they have access to throughout the day.  In reality, this is how we should live anyway to promote optimum wellness.  If we did, the chances of us contracting infections, or worse yet, cancers, would be significantly decreased.  And, in the off chance we did fall ill, our immune systems would be built up as strong as possible and thus give us a head start on beating our illness.

Until next time....Be Well!!
Dr. Bruce