We know some of you aren’t at your ideal weight, and that today marks the first day of your new diet. Good for you! Feel the empowered spirit and eat that kale! Katherine Pennington of Be in Balance is guest bloggin’ her way to heaven below with some of her favorite myth’s and tips of how to healthily embark upon a juice fast;
As a nutritional counselor, I see many people who come to me after several failed attempts at dieting. There are a few myths that I would like to dispel:
Avoid eating carbohydrates if you want to lose weight.
Repeat after me “carbohydrates are not the enemy” and they won’t make you fat! While high-protein diets like Atkins and South Beach will work at the onset, for most people these diets are disastrous and not only affect overall health but also the pounds come right back on (and more) when they go off the diets. Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, 7-grain bread and whole wheat pasta fill us up and are high in fiber, protein, and B-vitamins and essential for energy, mental clarity, digestion and overall optimal health. Avoid simple carbohydrates such as white bread, rice and pasta, which are basically starch and turn into sugar when digested. For those of you who want to learn more about this, please read my article on Complex Carbohydrates.
Eat low fat foods if you want to be skinny.
NO! Eating low fat foods just leads to our feeling like we are deprived. Most people who eat low fat items eat more of them and more calories leads to more pounds. Additionally, foods where the fat has not been taken out such as whole fat yogurt (mind you, the kind without all the added sugars!) will leave you feeling satiated and full and, as a result, you will eat less. Studies show that adding healthy fats to our diets such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts can actually aid weight loss.
Eat late and you will gain weight.
Again, untrue. Your weight is determined by the amount of calories that you consume and expend over the course of your day. We do tend to eat more calorie-laden food late at night- especially after a drink or two- so if you do eat late, make good, healthy choices and you will find that it does not matter when you eat. If I eat late I usually start off the next morning with a cup of hot water and lemon and then wait to eat until I am truly hungry.
I can be skinny and have curves.
Sorry girls, we can’t have a skinny bod and curves. Just not happening unless you have been naturally (or surgically) endowed. I have had so many clients coming to me working with weight trainers who have told them otherwise. Our chest size is hugely dependent on our overall body weight. Choose to be skinny or have breasts but both is not an option. Be ok and embrace the body that you have. (ED’s note from Chloe: I am thin and have C cup bazongas. I think you can be thin and have some boobs, but don’t expect to keep ‘em Pammy Anderson sized when your jeans are a 25 unless you are a fan of silicone boobs. There is the rare, rare super skinny girl who has a natural rack, but it’s pretty unusual.)
Walk your weight off.
I am probably going to be shot saying this but you can not walk major weight off unless you are just starting a workout program, are walking long distances or at a very fast pace or have an illness or injury. Walking is a great exercise if you are at your target weight and maintaining overall health, but if you want to lose weight you need to speed it up! Run outdoors or on the treadmill, sweat it out on the stairmaster at the gym, do a rigorous yoga class- whatever you do increase your heart rate and do aerobic work for at least 30 minutes working up to 45 minutes a day four days a week and you will see results. Additionally, working out stimulates serotonin, which makes us feel good, and when we feel good we make better food choices! Exercise and you will look and feel better. (ED’S NOTE: We so, so recomend working with a trainer if at all financially possible, namely ours at Barefoot Tiger.)
You can do it all!
Sacrifice that extra hour of sleep for a workout and go, go, go even if you are feeling tired!
Again, big no! Loss of sleep is linked to the body’s inability to regulate insulin and, ultimately, to weight gain. When you run yourself into the ground, your body goes into a “fight or flight” mode and secretes the hormone cortisol, which helps the body convert protein into glucose or sugar. When this glucose is not used it is turned into fat. So, while you are going a 100 miles an hour trying to go to the gym, take care of your family and perhaps even logging in hours at the office, your cortisol levels are raised making it literally impossible for you to lose weight. While of course it is ok to wake up early before the kids and hubbie and get that workout in, make sure you get in bed at a reasonable time so you can get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Studies have found that lack of sleep negatively affects levels of the appetite-regulating hormones ghrelin and leptin. Take care of yourself. Sleep is not a luxury- it is a priority! So, make time to rest and take care of yourself and you will feel so much brighter and clear-headed and the pounds will melt away.
Fasting is not some new-age 20th Century fad! It has been an integral part of different religions and cultures around the world for thousands of years. Fasting is described as intentionally abstaining from food, and is usually done for religious and health reasons. Fasting is nature’s way of giving the body a chance to overcome disease and rest. When animals are sick they instinctively quit eating until they feel better. This internal awareness is even present in our children who do not eat when they are not hungry. Somewhere along the line we lost the knowledge of the importance of fasting to regain and restore health.
While fasting is used for weight-loss, it is also a tool for cleaning, flushing, detoxifying, maintaining the body and even healing both major and minor illnesses. When we eat, all of our body’s energy goes towards digesting that food. And, when we go on a fast, we are giving our body a break. If you are trying to lose weight or get your diet off to the right start, then a fast is a wonderful way to break away from unhealthy eating habits and give your body a clean slate to work from.
During our lifetime we are exposed to a variety of chemicals and toxins both in our food and drinks as well as in our environment such as cleaning products and pollution. Our body eliminates some of these toxins through waste but after years and years more and more remains in our colon. These chemical products and free radicals contribute to pre-mature aging, heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Fasting is a way of getting rid of these toxins and allowing your body to heal.
Additionally, fasting increases the white cell count in our blood, which boosts our immunity and protects us against disease. It has also been known to reduce the symptoms of menopause such as night sweats and weight-gain. And, it also aids our circulatory system, which improves the quality of our skin, hair and nails. Fasting is a way to jump start our system and get back on track and something I recommend everyone do once or twice a year for ultimate health and well-being.
Juices furnish the body with live enzymes and bioactive vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals that are destroyed when a food is cooked. The juices bring an alkaline force into the body that helps neutralize the toxic acidity that we have as a result of our modern diets. They also speed the recovery from disease by supporting the body’s own healing activities and cell regeneration, and improve the cells ability to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste and other toxic material from the body.
Similar to herbs, juices have specific healing properties. The principal of food relating to certain diseases is a well-established clinical finding in Western naturopathic systems as well as in Chinese and Ayurvedic systems. Since each juice has its own healing properties, it is beneficial to rotate them. Some juices include carrot, apple, kale, spinach, beet, wheatgrass, orange, cucumbers, celery and watermelon.
Carrot juice is one of the richest sources of vitamin A and also includes vitamins B, C, D, E, G, and K, the electrolytes sodium and potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. Carrot juice helps improve the health of the eyes, skin and teeth, has been said to be a natural solvent for ulcerous and cancerous growth and and it has even been claimed to help prevent sterility.
Kale and other leafy greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamins A, C, E and K, fiber, folic acid and chlorophyll. Greens help purify the blood, prevent cancer, improve circulation, strengthen the immune system, improve liver function, clear congestion, improve skin quality, lift spirit, eliminate depression and increase energy and vitality. Beets are high in vitamin B and folate and are a very good source of manganese, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. Beets help purify the blood, cleanse the liver, aid in resolving menstrual in-balances, and have been even said to fight cancer.
So, why not just eat your vegetables instead of juicing them? When we juice them we take out the fiber and leave only the essential nutrients. There is no way that we could eat the quantity of vegetables needed to equal that of vegetables in a juice form. Fiber certainly has its place in our diets but if you could do one thing to improve your health and energy it would be to add one green juice or other vegetable juice into your diet each day. If you can’t do a fresh juice then do one with a green powder. You will feel an immediate improvement to your mood, energy and outlook on life. Your skin will be clear, your hair shiny and you will feel great!
For anyone interested in finding out more about juicing and resources for juicing please read my article on juice fasting or email me for an initial consultation about how you can go on a safe, easy juice fast.
Refreshing cleansing juice
4 stalks celery
Juice in juicer and drink throughout the day
4-8 leaves of romaine lettuce and/or kale
2 large apples
Stir in agave nectar for sweetness if needed. You can also add a carrot if you want to cut the astringent flavor more. Drink this and your skin will be glowing!
Carrots & green juice
4-8 leaves romaine, spinach and/or kale
2 apples (optional to cut astringent taste)
Carrots are great because they contain natural sugars that your body will crave during a fast.
Green Powder Smoothie
Berry Green, Kyo-Greens or Nature’s First Food Powder
Vanilla almond, soy or rice milk (I prefer vanilla almond milk)
Silk Milk vanilla creamer
Frozen banana (optional- or use ice to make thicker)
*** If you use regular soy milk then add vanilla and a dash of agave nectar
Add green powder, 1 cup of the milk and 1/2 cups of the creamer and the frozen banana or ice in the blender and blend. My 5 year old daughter and I make this all the time for a healthy snack in the afternoon before or after sports and she adores it!
(ED’S NOTE: We can’t handle the juice fast, our Jewish asses like food tooooooo much, so we do whole foods cleanses regularly where we only eat raw fruit and veggies for a few days at a time. We truly always feel more alive and energetic – not to mention slimmed down – when all is said and done. Raw is definitely the way to go to feel clean on the inside.)