Everywhere I go I'm talking to Members and Fans who are stressed out! There's a family party next weekend, a church get together, a BBQ or other event coming up.
Every summer it's the same thing, I stare into the mortified eyes of folks who are just trying their best not to eat the fruit roll-ups in the top right cabinet above the fridge. (I have no idea who that'd be btw)
"I don't know what I'm going to do, I've been doing so well the last few weeks but this..." and the dread that overcomes them looks like someone just unplugged their life source from their back like robot doll. Shoulders droop, eyes fall down to their shoes, and I can feel the weight of their worry.
The question always boils down to "what can I eat?". And truthfully, I think that this question isn't a question. It's more a cry for help, begging for someone to save them from the doom of pies and mac n' cheese, your friend's best deep fried turkey, soda, chips, Aunt AnnaMarie's cherry pie or.... you get the idea.
Then there's the images that appear. You know the ones, where everybody keeps telling you to eat, that "it's okay.. come on!" or that you HAVE TO try so-and-so's homemade fat and sugar delicacy. And here you stand, alone like a pillar in the masses of paper plates, chewing sounds and the fragrance of burgers and dogs in the air. Alone on the dance floor.
Fast foward to when everybody's eating and you're just sitting there with a few raw carrots and a cup of water you got from the sink inside. Or worse, you imagine yourself giving in and sitting at that same table, but this time your "the fat girl" who's eating pie and neglecting the salad. You feel like you're going into a war without a winning chance.
When people ask me "What should I eat?" They're usually really asking me "How do I overcome my fear?"
If you'd like some basic Tips for Surviving a Summer BBQ, click HERE. If you'd like your superficial question of "What can I eat?" answered, keep reading.
Instead of using hamburger or hot dog buns, go bun free! Dig in lazy Heather's pre-made salad and grab the biggest lettuce leaves. Perfect for a super messy and awesome sandwich, minus the flour and yoga mat putty. (you do know that's why your Walmart buns never go bad right?) You can also slide a hotdog down the middle of a lettuce leaf's crack to hold it in place... hey look... you're the one who asked here pal, I'm just giving you the answers. You're the one taking it to a weird level. Lastly, you can make a burger salad! Lettuce, tomato, cheese and fresh veggies with a chopped up burger on top. Aren't you glad I didn't call it a tossed salad? You sicko.
If there's a BBQ, there's sure to be the classic and reliable cooler of ice that doubles as a stool for the chairless participants. And what happens the second you arrive at John's house with your well meaning tofu salad? He points you right to the cooler to "get a couple of drinks...." and proceeds to shout out various drink selections over the music and through the wading crowd.
You know what lies beneath that rectangular cover... mounds of ice and water loaded with the usual suspects: beers, Coke, Pepsi, Gatorade, and sometimes, by well meaning souls, you'll find some flavored water or apple juice. And that's where it starts. Just one sip and a chain reaction inside your body begins.
So be the cool guy who trashes the tofu and brings homemade lemonade! All you need is water, lemons and sweetner like raw sugar or honey, and a freezer. Make a large pitcher the night before, freeze for a few hours and boom you're done. I've done official lemonade research and it's a proven fact that everyone on the planet loves nothing more than ice cold lemonade made from scratch. No, the answer wasn't beer or sweet tea... I should slap you with my lettuce wrapped dog!
Admit it. When you think of a cookout, you think of burgers, ribs, hotdogs, and other hunks of flesh on the grill. And just because Tiffany's all into hunks of meat, doesn't mean you have to be. There are other ways to get just as much pleasure from your barbecue without all the... hamburgers and hotdogs. You can grill carrots, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, onions, squash, and zucchini to name a few. Feel like making it into "a group thing"? Make skewers for the grill and watch how fast they get taken and enjoyed instead of Oscar's wiener. Less fat and ground up bone with all the grill pleasure and no regrets. But, if you can't help yourself....
Everybody always forgets about the poor chicken and fish options. Did you know they make up at least 30% of the cookout meat options? It's not just about the burgers, even if that's all you see on tv.
Choose to have some plain grilled chicken. Choose to have Hawaiian Salmon on the grill with pineapple. Mix it up and realize you have choices out there, it doesn't have to be burgers or nothing at all. There are quite literally, a lot of fish in the sea.
Sure, everybody wants the 3-layer cheesecake with chocolate sauce dribbled on top. Hell, I'd like some myself. But want I don't want, and I'm pretty sure you don't want either, is a fat gut the next day.
There's nothing worse then waking up in a sugar drunk stupor wondering what happened last night. As you look down at the crumpled clothes at the foot of the bed, you see the stain. The cheesecake stain, and like a horrible laughing nightmare the evening flashes before your eyes. People laughing, solo cups clanging and your fork softly and intently pushing into the creamy thickness of cheesecake on your plate.
As you fully realize the error of your ways, you get up and look yourself in the mirror. No longer are you innocent like you were yesterday, and as you stumble to get dressed, realize you no longer fit into your $46 dollar denim jeans you wore last week. The horrors!
So instead, don't do what I did, don't make my mistake, make the smart choice of abstinence. Choose to indulge in something more mouth watering without all the questions of "how long will it take to walk off 4 slices of cheesecake?" in google.
Fresh cut berries and fruit with real home made whipped cream is to die for... add some all natural chocolate shavings on top and I didn't just die, I went to heaven. Too complicated? There's always watermelon, pineapples, or homemade fruit parfait with yogurt, granola and berries. You have other choices, so don't let anyone force you into any cheesecake you don't really want to eat.
5 Tips from a Former Sugar Addict
Why would I want to quit sugar? It’s delicious! Sugar is in nearly every good memory I have, from Easter to Halloween. From grandma’s purse to treats at the doctor’s office. As a mater of fact, what’s better than a pint of ice cream after your boyfriend has left you, or stuffing your face with M&M’s while veggin’ out to Netflix?
What about Valentines Day? What about the syrup on my pancakes and the frosting on my birthday cake?
I get it. So why would I be talking to you about sugar, when I so clearly love it? Well, I assume that heroin addicts became addicts because they… liked it. I’m pretty sure you don’t become an alcoholic if you hate the taste of liquor. So let’s get real with ourselves.
Tip 1. Sugar is Addictive
Sugar is addictive, and not in that cute, giggly kind of way. It’s a drug. The coca leaf is safe. The natural sugars in your fruits are safe. What’s not safe, and highly addictive is the extracted and chemically altered sugar we are eating today. Just like cocaine or heroin: an extracted, bleached substance that alters your brain and creates a user. Truth be told, studies say that refined sugar can be more addictive than recreational drugs.
About a year ago Dr. James DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke's Institute in Kansas City, spoke up on the issue and a few of his studies.
"You get this intense release of dopamine upon acute ingestion of sugar. After you chronically consume it, those dopamine receptors start becoming down-regulated — there's less of them, and they're less responsive," he said. "That can lead to ADHD-like symptoms ... but it can also lead to a mild state of depression because we know that dopamine is that reward neurotransmitter." Read more HERE
Once your neurotransmitters have been altered after years of chronic use, you suffer from loss of dopamine and when not consuming, sugar withdrawal symptoms. Services like our Mentoring Sessions, Grocery Shopping Assistance, and Eat2Live 101 Course can help our Members quit sugar.
Step one is to admit we have a problem. And we do.
Tip 2. It’s IN Everything
Here are a few common things I hear from folks.
“I don’t eat a lot of candy.”
“Sugar’s not that big of a deal for me, I’m more addicted to breads and pastas.”
“I eat well, but I do like my sweet tea/coke/juice etc”
You shouldn’t be eating more than 25 grams a day of refined sugar. But most people have no idea what that means or what that looks like. We found a GREAT chart online to show in pictures, what most people are doing to themselves. If the MAX in a single day is 25 grams, and 1 can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar… what are you doing to yourself?
Tip 3. Fat isn’t making you fat. It’s the Sugar.
As Jason Vale so beautifully put it; “you can label a pound of sugar as fat free but once consumed, it turns into fat”. Sugar is going to kill you, if you allow it.
“ …there are two ways that sugar can sabotage your body and cause fat storage. Excess glucose is the first problem, and it involves a very simple concept. Anytime you have filled your body with more fuel than it actually needs (and this is very easy to do when eating foods with high sugar content), your liver’s sugar storage capacity is exceeded. When the liver is maximally full, the excess sugar is converted by the liver into fatty acids (that’s right – fat!) and returned to the bloodstream, where is taken throughout your body and stored (that’s right – as fat!) wherever you tend to store adipose fat cells, including, but not limited to, the popular regions of the stomach, hips, butt, and breasts.
As an unfortunate bonus, once these regions are full of adipose tissue, the fatty acids begin to spill over into your organs, like the heart, liver, and kidneys. This reduces organ ability, raises blood pressure, decreases metabolism, and weakens the immune system.” - Read more HERE
Tip 4. You’re Getting Sick From it
Many of the problems you have with your body, you just assume are “normal”. But, as you heal your body, become more educated and experienced, you’ll learn that none of those things are “normal”.
Here are my Top 3 health problems created by sugar you may not know about. (I’m excluding diabetes… because… that’s a given)
Tip 5. Healing Takes Time
Addiction means withdrawal, and withdrawal can mean suffering. First we need to understand and admit that you are addicted to sugar. We then need to come to terms with how we are going to get clean. Becoming a Member is the first step in this process. Our Apples & Oranges Membership is a full Year for a reason, because healing takes time.
If you think you can just stop eating sugar cold turkey, you’ll find out just addicted you are, and more than likely, you’ll crash and burn. Putting together a plan with your MyCoach over a period of time helps ensure your success.
You’ll do great and then you’ll fall horribly off the wagon and make yourself sick. That’s part of it. You’ll regain some weight, or get sick again, and at times you can feel like this is a cruel and evil trick played on you. Why can’t you just be like everyone else? The answer is more simple than you’d like to think.
You can’t be like everyone else because you aren’t everyone else. If you do what they do, you’ll get the results they do. So you can’t follow the masses anymore; not when 1/3 of our population will be diagnosed with cancer. You can’t take the easy route anymore when 70% of the American population is being treated for some sort of health condition. You can’t follow that crowd, unless you want to be lulled to sleep and sickness with sugar coated lies.
Having a solid support system in place during this process is essential. You are strong enough to do it, and the results are life-changing.
Many people’s first choice is to try and replace the sugar with something else. So let me ask you… would you replace a bullet wound with a knife wound?
The alternatives to refined sugar are expensive. Some can be all natural like “raw cane sugar”, some can be deadly like “sweet n’ low” style alternatives. Stop trying to replace what’s killing you and ask yourself what you need the sugar for. Food needs to have a purpose in your life, not just be a fun time hook up. You need to marry the idea of loving your body by what you put in it. So before you indulge, ask yourself, “what will this do to me or for me?”
Simple Diet Strategies for Clean Eating & Weight Loss
It is entirely possible to live within a budget and still eat clean. You can learn to make easy meals that taste great and are good for you. You also don’t have to go hungry. You shouldn’t have to spend tons of money on processed junk to make you “healthy” or “thin”.
Below are 3 Simple Diet Strategies anyone can employ today.
Keep your Fridge Stocked
The biggest mistake you can make is not preparing for the future, whether that be retirement, savings, or in this case- the inevitable truth that you’ll be hungry in the future. So let’s stop the silliness and go shopping!
“Food” created in a manufacturing plant isn’t made to be digested by our bellies and takes longer to digest, creating a host of problems. Ever heard the classic weight loss phrase “Feel fuller longer!”? When you eat clean, you are eating food that has a high nutrient load per calorie. You are most likely also eating less calories and fat. So, it’s basic math. We need to eat more of the good stuff in order to lose weight. Unless you want to be hungry?
Stay Away From Sugar
It’s not the fat that makes you fat, it’s the sugar!
Companies have found a million and one ways to foul you into buying their products.
And ALL of those things are true. But they aren’t right.
When you consume too much sugar, your body creates fat cells to store the extra sugar. Your body assumes it will work it off, but you never do. More sugar = More Fat. Period.
Whole grain bread turns into glucose. What is glucose? Sugar. What does sugar need to live in your body? Fat. Sugar= Fat.
The can of oranges that says “no added sugar” makes you assume there’s no added sugar, right? Well, that’s only half true. You see, they did use less sugar, but they also added in toxic artificial sweeteners to make up for it.
Oh, the advertisement doesn’t tell you that does it?
Corporations that sell prepackaged foods just want to sell you more food. If you lost weight, would you need to buy Slim Fast anymore? If you actually had time to cook, would you buy Stoffer’s? Their goal is to create a customer, not create a healthy body. That’s your job.
Remember, the maximum amount of sugar an adult should have in a day is 25mg. Now compare that with what you are eating.
Sugar is addictive. Like any extracted, bleached and chemically altered white substance we have, it’s extremely addictive.
Lose the sugar and lose the fat.
Recap the Fruity Facts
Sure, you say this sounds basic, and it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. This is a getting started topic with Members having access to their MyCoach 24/7 get more detailed help. If you aren’t a Member yet, why not? Did you know you can get started for less than the cost of Netflix? Seriously. Click HERE to start.
Eat2Live n’ Chill. (but go shopping and stock that fridge first!)