Reading Food Labels

You may think what you are eating is healthy but do you actually read the food label to know what it is you are actually consuming? Don’t get tricked in to thinking something is healthy just because it says “Organic”, “All Natural”, “Healthy”, “Gluten Free”, “Fat Free” or “Vegan”. Those are just marketing ploys to make consumers think that they are healthy. For example, look at the picture below. The company markets this product as “Gluten Free”, “Fat Free” and “No Artificial Color.” Must be healthy, right?

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My general rule of thumb when reading a label is if I don’t know what an ingredient is, I don’t buy it. The main ingredient I am always very cautious about, especially when buying food for our son, is sugar. Have you ever noticed that there is added sugar in EVERYTHING processed!! It amazes me! Pasta sauce, salad dressing, cereal, bread, teething bars and the list goes on and on and on. Going back to the picture above, take a look at this products ingredients. Do you know what any of them are? And if you do, does that sounds like a healthy, nutrient dense product?

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So how can you tell if there is added sugar in your processed food? Sometimes it is not as simple as the label just reading “sugar.” Companies are good at sneaking sugar in under names that some people wouldn’t think would be sugar. Ingredients that end in the word “ose” are sugar. Common names for sugar that many companies use are :

  • Glucose

  • Fructose

  • Molasses

  • Syrup (Corn, Maple, Date, Golden, Carob, Brown rice etc.)

  • Barley Malt

  • Dextrose

  • Evaporated Cane Juice

  • Fruit Juice Concentrate

  • Honey

  • Agave

  • Buttered sugar/ buttercream

To sum this up for you, when reading labels make sure that you know what the ingredients are before just buying something that states that it is “healthy” on the package.

If you ever have any questions on an ingredient, a food item or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Have a wonderful week!

XO

Lisa Catherine

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

LisaCatherineCoaching@gmail.com

Simplifying Meal Prep

Do you cringe when you hear the words “meal prep”? For the longest time I HATED meal prepping. Bottom line, I don’t enjoy spending hours in the kitchen on Sundays prepping food. I would rather be out doing something with the family, especially now that it is getting nicer outside. Does anybody else feel the same way?

Even though I don’t enjoying spending hours meal prepping, meal planning is a very necessary thing for me. When I plan and prep my meals ahead of time it sets me up for successful, healthy eating all week long. So how do I prep my meals without spending a ton of time in the kitchen? I prep two days during the week and I utilize a secret weapon… my CROCK- POT! I LOVE this thing. It has saved me so much time preparing dinners.

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This is what my typical week of meal planning looks like:

Monday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Crock-Pot bbq pulled pork and sweet potato

Tuesday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Leftovers Crock-Pot bbq pulled pork and sweet potato

*Prep Crock-Pot recipe for tomorrow

Wednesday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Crock-Pot beef, potatoes and veggies

Thursday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Leftover Crock-Pot beef, potatoes and veggies

Friday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch: Tuna fish, crackers and veggies

Dinner: Fish and broccoli

*Fridays in Lent we cannot eat meat

Weekends I leave open. We typically will just eat leftovers.

We do our grocery shopping on Sundays. Sunday night I prep the Crock-Pot meal for Monday and Tuesday, cut veggies for snacks during the week and cook chicken for lunches during the week. I keep my recipes very simple. I love to cook but I don’t like spending hours doing it. As I said earlier, I want to spend the free time that I do have with my family, not in the kitchen for hours. Once my son gets a little older, I look forward to teaching him how to cook so that we can spend time together in the kitchen but right now isn’t that time.

I hope that this gives you some inspiration. You don’t have to spend hours planning and prepping your meals. Keep it simple.


Lisa Kenny


Lisa Catherine Coaching

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

LisaCatherineCoaching@gmail.com



Women are Superheroes!

If I took a group of women and asked them how comfortable they felt about their body, I can guarantee the majority of them would say that they weren't comfortable. Why do you think that women are never happy with their body? I can tell you that I was one of those women. I hated everything about my body because I didn't look like that stick figure in the magazine or that actress in my favorite TV show. I compared myself to EVERYONE! Did this make me happy?? NO WAY! It wasn't until I stopped comparing myself to these stick figure models and everyone else that I truly became happy and love the body that I am in.  

Women are amazing! Every single one of us. My husband tells me all the time that "women win." We have the ability to grow a human being inside of us. What better gift could we possibly have?? Not only can we do that but think of everything else we do on a daily basis. We are superheros, ladies! And we are all DIFFERENT and UNIQUE superheroes! We can't all look like Wonder Woman. What fun would that be? I will never be a stick thin model! I have thighs and the "Moseley butt" that my family always jokes about. I used to hate these things but this is what God gave me and I gotta flaunt it. What are some things about you that you may not be quite happy with? I challenge you to look at those body "flaws" as gifts and not something to fix. Right now I am pregnant and, let me tell you, these last few weeks have been very challenging as my baby grows. I found myself thinking the other day about what my belly is going to look like after I have this little boy. I had to stop and remind myself that I am GIVING BIRTH! Who cares what my belly looks like. Yes, I will probably have stretch marks and a flabby tummy for some time. Who cares! I can look at those things as just another reminder of how AWESOME women are and what my body went through to give us this little bundle of joy. 

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So why do we put so much pressure on looking perfect? Because it surrounds us every day in the media. I stopped buying trashy magazines, diet books, watching trashy reality TV shows and I threw out my scale. These things didn't make me happy. What can you do to help stop comparing yourself to others and truly be happy in your own body? It is not going to be a diet or working out more. Okay maybe you are living an unhealthy lifestyle and need to lose a few pounds but that shouldn't mean that you don't love who you are right at this very moment. Women should be able to look in the mirror and love everything about themselves at this point in their lives. Not "if I lose some weight" or "if I tone up my arms or legs". Just remember that you are a superhero. You have people that love you for you. I always say, "comparison is the root of all evil."

My challenge for each and every woman out there that may not completely love their body right now, is to write positive affirmations on a piece of paper, put them on your mirror and recite them daily. Doing this may help challenge you  and overcome negative thoughts. When you repeat them daily, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes.

Some examples are:

  • I am strong. I am beautiful. I am enough.
  • I accept and love my body as it is, and I work to make it better.
  • My self worth is not determined by the number on the scale.
  • Workout because you LOVE your body, not because you hate it.
  • I love my.... 

Please, comment below with any other affirmations or advice for women and share this article with any women that you think are superheroes.

 

Lisa Catherine Kenny

Lisa@LisaCatherineCoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

 

 

12 Steps to a Healthier You

There is not one magic pill to make someone healthy. We live in a society where we expect everything to be instantaneous. Unfortunately, those instantaneous miracles don't last most of the time. For example, when it comes to weight, how long did it take you to put on that weight? For most people, it took years. Why do we expect to lose that weight in a week or even a month? And even if you do, do you think that is healthy? Do you think it will last? I don't want to sound like a Debby Downer, I am just being realistic. Diets don't work. They may for a brief moment, but diets aren't a lifestyle. In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to change your lifestyle and, unfortunately, it may take a few years. I know our society doesn't like to hear that but wouldn't you rather spend a couple years changing your life, losing weight and KEEPING IT OFF rather than losing a crazy amount of weight in a month and gaining it back (sometimes even gaining more weight) a few months later?

If you are ready to make a lifestyle change, here are a few tips to get you started:

Drink more water

Many people mistake hunger for thirst. Make sure that you are drinking water consistently throughout the day. The amount of water you drink depends on how active you are. I recommend AT LEAST 8 - 8oz glasses of water a day. This will depend on the person though. I typically drink about 75oz per day. 

Helpful tips: Set a timer every hour to drink one 8oz glass of water. Or buy a large water bottle (mine is 24oz) and make to fill about 3 times a day. 

Practice cooking

Eating out is a nice treat once in a while; however, cooking at home is a simple step to start a healthier lifestyle. Restaurant meals are typically very large portions and contain a lot of salt. You don't always know exactly what ingredients are in these meals. Home cooking can be very simple and you can get all of your nutrients in.

Helpful tip: Plan ahead. On Sunday I make a list of 2 different dishes I can cook for each meal during the week. I make a very specific grocery list and go shopping. The meals that I make are very simple (takes no longer than 30 mins) but very nutritious. Pack your lunch and prep a breakfast the night before. We all have busy lives. If you are tight on time in the morning, prep your breakfast and lunch the night before. A great breakfast to prep is overnight oats. 

Experiment with whole grains

How many people reading this have cut out carbs in their diet? The #1 diet and theory that is popular right now is that carbs are evil and are the culprit for all weight gain. That is all a bunch of garbage. ALL carbs do not contribute to weight gain. Look at the thin, delicate bodies of Japanese people, who consume high-carbohydrate diets composed of large amounts of rice and starchy vegetables. Whole grains have been a staple in the human diet for centuries. People gain weight because they eat artificial junk food and SUGAR.

I challenge you to experiment with healthy, whole grain carbohydrates. If you are having sugar cravings, eating whole grains may help. Some examples of whole grains are rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, oats.

Increase sweet vegetables

Instead of reaching for those cookies or candy, try incorporating more sweet vegetables into your diet. Some examples of these are corn, carrots, onions, betters, winter squash, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, cabbage. 

Increase leafy green vegetables

Some benefits of eating leafy greens are:

  • blood purification
  • cancer prevention
  • improved circulation
  • immune strengthening
  • subtle, light and flexible energy
  • lifted spirit, elimination of depression
  • promotion of healthy intestinal flora
  • improved liver, gallbladder and kidney function
  • clearing of congestion, especially in lungs, and reduction of mucus

Some examples of leafy greens are broccoli, boo chop, napa cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, and broccoli rabe.

Experiment with protein

Protein is the basic building block of the human structure, but because every body is different, protein requirements vary from person to person. For example, I was vegan for a few years and was living very well off of just plant protein. However, once I started strength training, my body needed more protein and I found myself craving animal protein. I do eat animal protein now, however, I cannot eat too much red meat. My body doesn't digest it as well as chicken, eggs or turkey.

My advice is to experiment with different types of protein, as well as, the amount. Our society tends to eat way more protein than most of our bodies need. A good way of keeping track of your food intake is to keep a food journal. I have been doing this for years and it has helped me understand what foods I can eat an abundance of, which foods I can indulge in once in a while and which foods I need to avoid. I just take note of what I eat for each meal and how I feel afterward and jot it down in my journal. You can use a notebook or purchase a food journal online. I bought mine off of amazon.

Eat less sugar and chemicalized, artificial junk foods; consume less coffee, alcohol and tobacco

I could go on and on about this topic but I will keep it short and sweet since I am sure that most people know these items are not good for your body. Everyone loves sugar. Why? Because it is addictive. Eating even a small amount of it creates a desire for more. Those that eat a ton of sugar may have tried to quit. Suddenly quitting causes withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, cravings and fatigue. Sugar is just as addictive as coffee, alcohol and tobacco. These all are forms of drugs.  Consuming too much (or even any at all) of these products could cause serious harm to your body in the future. 

Develop easy and reliable habits to nurture your body

A few examples of habits to nurture your body:

1. Meditation

2. Drink hot water with lemon first thing in the morning

3. Take a bath with lavender epsom salt

Have healthy relationships that support you

In order to find healthy relationships, you must find ways to love and nurture yourself first. If you don't know yourself and/or don't love yourself, you cannot maintain any healthy relationships, whether it be  friendship or love. Figure out who you are and what you need in a relationship. Once you do that, you will be able to have and maintain healthy friendships and love. 

Find physical activity you enjoy and do it regularly

Healthy exercise is just as important as eating healthy. Your body is made to move. Find something that YOU ENJOY doing. I can't tell you how many people I meet that say that they run because they feel like they need to but they don't enjoy it. Well than don't do it! There are plenty of different physical activities out there. I am sure you are bound to find one thing that you like.

Here are some examples

  • running/ walking
  • weight lifting
  • a sport (soccer, football, tennis, ultimate frisbee)
  • swim
  • rock climb

Find work you love or a way to love the work you have

This is the hardest topic to discuss with people because, unfortunately, the majority of people I speak to don't like their jobs. They feel trapped in a dead end, unhappy job but can't leave because they need the money for either their family, school or just life in general. 

The first question I ask is can you leave your job? If you are really unhappy with it, start applying to different companies. If you cannot leave your job for some reason, than make the most out of it. Instead of going to work every day unhappy, find love in the work that you have.

  • Identify people at work that could be allies and avoid those people that irritate you.
  • Spruce up your office.
  • Address the issues that may be bothering you at work with your manager.
  • Go to work with one thing in mind that you are excited to accomplish that day, instead of dreading the entire day ahead.

Develop a spiritual practice

This may mean different things to different people. For some, this may mean following their religion that they were brought up with. This could be a form of prayer or meditation. For those that do not believe in a god, this may mean going for a walk or looking up at the stars to appreciate the worlds beauty. 

 

 

I hope these 12 steps have helped in your journey to a healthier and happier you!

 

Lisa Catherine Kenny

Lisa@Lisacatherinecoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

 

 

Content from this blog was inspired by the book Integrative Nutrition written by Joshua Rosenthal, the founder and director of the Institute For Integrative Nutrition.

7 Healthy On The Go Snacks

Since we have moved into the boondocks, I find myself trying to run all my errands at once. This means that I am gone for the majority of the day. I love going out for a nice meal occasionally, but I hate ALWAYS eating out. It is expensive and I prefer to make my own food. So while I am on the go, I pack a goodie bag of healthy snacks (sometimes even a meal if I am gone most of the day). 

If you are like me and feel like you are on the go the majority of the day, here are a list of some simple, healthy snacks to take with you.

1. Ants on a log - I used to eat these all the time as a kid. It was one of my favorite snacks. Chop up some celery, add peanut butter or almond butter and top it with raisins or almonds. 

2. Mixed Nut Trail Mix - I typically will buy just mixed nuts or I will buy mixed nuts with raisins.

3. Protein Shake - In our house we use Vega Protein or Swiig. I use water (my husband uses almond milk), add one scoop protein, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 avocado, a handful of spinach (you can't taste it, I promise), blend it up. I, also, will add flax or chia seeds and sometimes some Maca powder if I am feeling a little tired that day. 

4. Kind Bar, Larabar or Cliff Bar - Try to find an energy bar or protein bar with no artificial sweeteners in it. Find a bar where you know all the ingredients listed on the table. Better yet, make your own energy bar.

You can make your own bars (or energy balls) by adding your favorite ingredients to a food processor. I use oats, dates (sometimes prunes), organic unsweetened peanut butter, flax, cinnamon, coconut oil. I process it and than add any toppings such as, coconut, dark chocolate chips, raisins etc. Mix with a spoon (or hands) and than mold into energy bars. Place them on a cookie sheet with wax paper. Place in refrigerator and than enjoy!

5. Hummus and veggies

6. Greek Yogurt - I always buy unsweetened yogurt and add fruit to it. 

7. Hardboiled Egg

 

I hope this has helped! If you would like any more advice or help with how to prepare any of these snacks, please feel free to contact me.

Have a great week!

 

Lisa Catherine Kenny

Lisa@LisaCatherineCoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com