Go Vegan, Get Healthy Tips from Kathy Freston!

headshot of Kathy Freston

Healthy Living Expert Kathy Freston shares her tips for staying on track with your diet goals over at Fitness Magazine:

  1. Switch out milk for soymilk, almond milk or coconut milk.
  2. Eat an apple a day. Apples are rich in dietary fiber and a lower calorie snack that will leave you feeling full.
  3. Stay hydrated by drinking eight ounces of water a day, 8x a day. If plain water is too boring for you, add an orange or cucumber slice to your glass.

Read the entire article here. Kathy also provided some great tips on happyherbivore.com

Keep up the great work! The journey to good health can be mighty tasty!

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Healthy Restaurant, Fast Food and On-the-Go Meals

No Name from Grasshoppers in Boston

In a perfect world, I would make every meal I eat, but "eating out" is social aspect of our lives and sometimes I forget my lunch at home or I'll be honest: I just feel like letting someone else do the cooking!

If you have to stray from the meal plan, that's okay! Here are some healthy options for dining out:

Starbucks Oatmeal with Nut Medley = 240 calories

  • Oatmeal (140 calories)
  • Nut Medley (100)
  • Dried Fruit (100)
  • Brown Sugar (50)

16 oz All Fruit Smoothie = 210 calories

  • add a boost of soy protein (30 calories)

Fruit Cup (Panera) = 70 calories

  • Panera breads are 80-90 calories a slice

6" Veggie Sub (Subway) = 230 calories

  • bread and veggies only

Burrito Bowl (Chipotle) = 265 calories

  • lettuce (30 calories)
  • black beans (130)
  • fajita vegetables (100)
  • tomato salsa (5)
  • rice (240) (optional, additional)

Bean Burrito (Taco Bell) = 350 calories

  • no cheese
  • Mexican rice is 190 calories.

Salad & Baked Potato (Wendys) = 345 calories

  • side salad (35 calories)
  • plain potato (310)
  • dressing packet (90-110)

Penne Pasta = 379 calories

  • Penne, 1 cup (210)
  • Marinara, 1/2 cup (109)
  • 2 c broccoli (60)

Steamed Vegetable Dumplings = 90 calories

  • Each dumpling is 45 calories.

Lettuce Tofu Wraps (PF Changs) = 140 calories

  • per serving, 4 total servings

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How to Stop Mindless Eating

baby carrots on white plate with a white background

I once plowed through an entire bag of baby carrots without blinking an eye. I stuck my hand in to grab another only to -- gasp! -- there weren't any left! At first, I didn't think much of it -- after all, carrots are healthy right? but excess is still excess and I'd mindless nibbled away a lot of calories!

Snacking has always been my pitfall. I love to snack, often because it gives me something to do. So what do I do instead? I brush my teeth.

That's right! Anytime I get the urge to snack mindlessly, I brush my teeth. There is something about brushing my teeth that silences my fake "bored" hunger signals -- and my dentist seems pleased with my enhanced mouth care!

Give it a try -- and don't feel silly doing it in the communal bathroom at work. It was actually a former coworker who turned me onto this practice. Stop on the way home to buy an extra toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste!

  1. Buy toothbrush, toothpaste today!
  2. Leave it in the car or in your purse

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A New Powerful Way of Thinking About Diet and Choice (Mind Over Matter)

fresh produce at a market

Mind Over Matter: I like to tell people (and myself) I can have anything, I simply choose not to. There is a lot of power in this kind of thinking.

In the past diets drove me crazy because if I wasn’t allowed something, suddenly I’d want it and think about it non-stop even if it wasn’t usually something I really liked in the first place! It was as if putting a food on a “no” list made it somehow more desirable.

My resolve? I told myself I could have anything. Nothing - absolutely nothing - was off limits. It was my choice, and then being allowed to have it, somehow made me not care or desire it anymore. It was amazing how my attitude changed my experience.

Focus on what you're enjoying now, not what you've given up -- or better yet, choosing to pass up!

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The Story of a Latte (Are Diet "Cheat Days" A Good Idea?)

photo of cappuccino on a table in a coffee shop

When I was a personal trainer, my clients were always asking me how often they could cheat -- one day a week? one meal a week? Once a week period?

The short answer is, well, there is no short answer. What I always told my clients: you can cheat as much as you want to cheat on your dietary goals, but don't expect the same results.

I encourage my clients to find other ways to reward themselves then by splurging on food. If you worked hard all week to exercise and make good choices, why undue all of that on one weekend bender? A day filled with candy, fried foods, excessive alcohol or poor food choices can easily -- and quickly -- rack up the calories, calories you've spent all week trying to burn.

For example my client, Leah*, loved a frozen frappuccino at Starbucks. As Leah's weight-loss started to slow and she was having difficulty losing the last 15lbs, I suggested she cut out her weekly 500+ calorie drink. Leah refused to give up her "guilty pleasure" insisting it was what she looked forward to every Friday after a long, hard week. Eventually Leah's 15lbs started to budge and upon reviewing her food journal I noticed the frapp was missing. I asked Leah about it and she said, "One day I realized I would have to spend an extra hour or more at the gym to work off a drink that I can consume in 10 minutes or less. When I figured that out, I suddenly stopped wanting them. I've found other ways to kick the stress off -- like getting a manicure.”

But eating (or drinking) all the calories back on, is not the only issue. If we want real, lasting change -- it has to be permanent. If we continue to have bad habits, even one day a week, we are doing ourselves a disservice. In many ways we’re preventing our body, taste buds and mind from adapting to a new, healthful diet -- such as helping it break past addictions to excessive, salt, fat or sugar. These were just my observations as a trainer, but for many of my clients, scheduled cheats sabotaged their overall efforts to eating better.

I noticed a pattern with my clients who had “off” days or “cheat” days planned into their schedule. They waited for those days to come and at first it wasn’t so bad, but as the weeks wore on they started being less enthusiastic about the days in-between. Sooner or later cheat days started turning into cheat weekends, or cheats two nights per week. Little by little those clients kept creeping closer and closer back to their old lifestyle. It was very gradual, but still noticeable. Eating "right" and exercising became a diet and not a dietary change.

My clients who committed to a healthy lifestyle 24/7 but would occasionally splurge (and usually at random), however, didn’t miss a beat. It didn’t seem to unravel their progress. Many of them even found affirmation after 'cheating' -- “I felt so bloated! I’ll never do that again!”

Sticking to and intending to make a lasting change all day every day made all difference.

Now, I'm not saying you have to live a life of pure, perfect choices. We all should have a slice of cake every now and again -- but make the exception just that - an exception. Something that happens once and awhile on a whim and not systematically every 6 days.

  • name changed to protect client privacy

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Yoga Love

Lindsay doing the wheel yoga pose in Europe

I first heard about yoga over a decade ago when a hippie friend in college insisted I try it. I rolled my eyes and said something like "I don't have time to stand around doing poses all day." I refused to believe turning my body into a pretzel would offer me anything other than discomfort.

A few years later a coworker suggested I try yoga to help cope stress of law school. I was still skeptical, but, being desperate for a way to relax stress-free, I gave it a try.

I spent the entire class feeling awkward or uncomfortable and embarrassed because I was sweating and falling over, sometimes taking a neighbor out with me. That was not exactly what I considered “relaxing” (a massage is relaxing!) so I quit.

A few years after that, I moved to Los Angeles where all of my friends in "the biz" insisted yoga was the secret to having a toned body. I was still skeptical -- I just didn't believe standing in poses could be any sort of a workout, but I was wrong. I was sore after my first class and it surprised me. I still felt horribly awkward and embarrassed, but decided to stick with it. I thought, if nothing else, maybe it would improve my flexibility and tone my arms like my friends said.

Years later yoga is an important part of my life. It’s my “exercise” of choice when I’m traveling but I also do it for stress relief. (I eventually realized that the relaxation comes after my yoga practice not during.)

The great thing about yoga is you can do it anywhere -- in your office, in your living room, in a hotel room and for any amount of time you want. You can even do it on your own, without a teacher or DVD (after you’ve taken a few classes). I use YogaGlo which offers a free trial and has classes with varying levels of intensity and duration.

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