Thursday, February 26, 2009

#6. Sugar + Alcohol = FAT

Firstly, its great to have Bec back on board - she has been working hard and take it from me is looking fantastic! Can't wait to post her 'after' pics for all to see. Keep up the hard work Bec - like you say it is all worth it and you will be back on the healthy living track for a long time after the wedding is over.

Now, some foods contain what I like to refer to as 'empty calories'. Two of the number one culprits leading to empty calorie consumption would be sugar and alcohol. When I say empty calories I mean that they offer absolutely no nutritional value to your body at all. In fact 1g of alcohol contains 7 calories so you can imagine how many additional calories those couple of glasses of wine (and the rest) are adding of an evening. Add to that any sugary treats you may consume during the day and you may have blown your calorie quota for the day out of the water at lunch time!

Try and limit the amount of alcohol you drink of an evening, allow your body at least 2-3 nights off and chose a specific time that you would like to indulge in your favorite sweet treat. Make sure its one that is worth while for you and will leave you feeling satisfied. Thoroughly enjoy it and then reach for healthy natural alternatives on a day to day basis.

Your children

Their tastes are guided by what you introduce them to in their early days, give them lots of sugary treats and that is what they will become accustomed to and will prefer to eat. Young children and babies don't know what lollies, chocolate and cake are so why introduce them to them when a healthy piece of fruit will serve as a great nutritious desert or snack instead.

Soon enough your children will discover sugar for themselves and then you can introduce them to your healthy approach; sweet things are treats and mummy and daddy have a treat once or twice a week on a certain day/time - maybe Friday evening is family movie night, homemade pizza and treat night. Mummy and daddy chose a sweet treat and so does little Jack or Jill.

Do your best not to offer food as reward and to avoid making sweets and sugar loaded deserts part of your everyday diet.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A post from Bec

Finally, I’m back in the world of the living and internet able. My net connection was down for a few weeks and I also had a bub that was sick and then waking up every hour for the last two months!! I am now pleased to say he sleeps 12 hours a night and I am feeling like a human being again.

It’s now three weeks until the wedding and I am starting to get nervous about it all going smoothly. What I am not nervous about is how I will look and feel on the day. So far I’ve lost five kilos and I am so pleased with how my dress looks! That’s not to say I’m ready to give up yet – I’m still aiming to loose another three kilos. I know this might be difficult but I think it is better to aim high and see how it goes.

To give my body the last little kick it needs I’ve increased the amount of exercise I’m doing (now six times a week) and pushing myself that little bit harder every day. I’m also keeping a food diary and trying to stick to lean proteins and plenty of fruit and veggies. I keep reminding myself that three weeks of hard work will be well worth it considering wedding photos are forever!

Hopefully, I’ll be updating you regularly from now on with good news, but right now I’m off to the beach to take advantage of this beautiful day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

#5. Think outside of the box

Literally! So much of our diet these days comes out of packets, out of cardboard boxes and plastic wrappers. Processed foods often contain excess sugar, fat and salt. Substances that many of us have way too much of in our diet. Especially important for children, the foods you feed them today will shape their tastes and preferences for tomorrow, so its up to you to give them the best possible start.

Eat as much fresh, unprocessed foods as you can. When you head to the supermarket try to do the majority of your shopping from around the edges rather than down the isles. Think fresh fruit and veg, meats and fish. Only head down the isles if you really have to and learn to read the labels of all packaged food and compare product before piling the trolley high.

Play naming games with your kids - see how many vegetables they can point out and teach them the names of less common produce. Its amazing how many children (and even adults) struggle to put a name to certain veggies. Have fun and you might even discover a few new vegetables for yourself. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

#4. Whats in food?

I recently had dinner with my mother-in-law, a very smart, well educated woman - yet she still confessed that she didn't know what a carbohydrate was - or which foods fell into the carbohydrate category. Given this, I would assume that it may also be confusing as to what foods are proteins and what foods are fats.

I then figured that it may not be uncommon for many people not to know what categories certain foods fall into, its no-ones fault that they don't know. If you have never been taught, how should you know?

I want to change this, I want to educate you so you can educate your children. So, lets get back to basics with putting some common foods into their categories.

Examples of Fibrous Complex Carbohydrates: (ones to eat lots of)

Green Beans..........................Get the picture - all those lovely veggies and salad fruits.

Examples of Natural Simple Carbohydrates (Fruit)

Raspberries........... a good, healthy sweet treat but eaten on their own will not keep your blood sugar steady, they will cause a sudden spike and then a fall (similar to that of lollies and cakes) leaving you hungry like before. Combine with a lean protein to counteract these effects and still reap the benefits of good fresh fruit.

Examples of Starchy Complex Carbohydrates

Sweet Potatoes
Beans, lentils, legumes
Brown Rice
100% whole grain or wholemeal pasta
100% whole grain or wholemeal bread.......................... these foods will give you energy and are best eaten earlier in the day. Eat them too late at night and you won't have time to burn them off before you go to sleep and your body will turn the unused foods to fat.

Examples of Lean Proteins

Chicken breast
Turkey breast
Lean Red Meat
Egg whites
Low or non fat dairy products................................. the building block of your body, protein is necessary to build and repair muscle. Aim to eat protein in every meal or snack, this will keep your blood sugar steady and you will feel fuller for longer.

Examples of Dairy Products

Yogurt...........great for adding calcium to your child's diet but be sure to check the salt contant as it can tend to be quite high.

Examples of Good Fats

Nuts and seeds
Flaxseed oil
Olive oil
Canola oil
100% natural peanut butter
Fish fat.........................................good fats are essential for a healthy diet - cut all fats and you will be in trouble - include some of the above in your diet.

A great idea for teaching kids the different types of food is to make a chat for your wall and ask them to pick out a food from each segment of the chart to include in each meal. Not a bad way to do it yourself either!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

# 3. Keep your pants on

Or at least keep them fastened!

How many of us remember our parents telling us to make sure we finished everything on our plates? How many of you still live by that rule? And how many of you devour each meal feeling fuller and fuller until you just can't take it anymore - you lean back, hands on tummy and pop! undo your top trouser button and let it all hang out? I bet that the most common meal for this to occur is dinner time - which is a tip in itself, stay tuned for that one.

Lets say it together:

"I don't HAVE to finish everything on my plate" "Its OK to have left overs"

Even better, if you can, make your portion sizes smaller so that you don't need to control how much you eat when its already piled high on your plate.

Finish eating when you are comfortable and when you know you have eaten sufficient food. Don't stuff yourself until you are about to burst and that wonderful, tasty meal you have enjoyed suddenly makes you feel sick.

For our children

Don't make them grow up with the same 'eat it all' mentality that we did. Allow them to leave food on their plate if they feel full. Obviously if you are monitoring what they eat and they are not consuming enough nutritious food for their energy output this needs to be addressed differently. I am not saying let the 6 or 7 year old that doesn't want to eat his veggies that he can leave the table because he says he's full (but still somehow has room for desert). Just that it is not always necessary to EAT IT ALL.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

#2 Snack, Snack, snack

Now you have breakfast down pat its time to look at the rest of your day. We want to keep your metabolism at it peak, to keep you burning energy all day long and to be giving your body energy to burn on a regular basis. Leaving huge gaps between meals will encourage the storage of fat for the next time that you starve it - it doesn't know that you could head to the fridge at any point all it knows is how to survive and protect itself from starvation.

When you snack regularly you should also down size you meal portions also - you don't want to snack AND eat huge meals as this will just increase you overall calorie intake and excess will be stored as fat.

Now - lets keep it simple for the kids:
  • Eat every 2-3 hours
Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner. An evening snack is also OK but keep it small and try to eat it at least 2-3 hours before bed.

  • Choose healthy snacks and carry them with you
As parents if you send your child off with healthy snacks for the day they are less likely to reach for fatty and sugary alternatives. This goes for yourself also - keep a healthy snack on hand in your bag, office desk or fridge.

Doesn't sound too hard does it? Remember 'Preparation is the Key' when it comes to healthy eating..

Sunday, February 8, 2009

10 lessons to pass on to your children

I'm still feeling very strongly about yesterdays article about our children in the Telegraph. How can we be getting it so wrong? I am going to share with you over the next ten days some tips on how to eat well and incorporate exercise into your everyday life - master them yourself and then pass them on to your children.

#1 - Fill and THEN go.

Too many of us rush around of a morning and don't allow ourselves enough time to eat. Imagine you are in too much of a hurry to fill up your car - you jump into the driving seat, hit the accelerator, get one block from home then your car comes to a halt - its runs out of fuel. It might not be quiet so obvious with the human body as we have an amazing ability to keep on going and going. Don't fill up on a regular basis though and one day you will come to that grinding halt. Your body needs re-fueling after a good nights sleep, it needs a good energy source to get through the day. Not only that, eating a good breakfast will speed up your metabolism and you will be much less likely to snack on rubbish throughout the day. This in turn keeping you healthy, lean at at a lower risk of health related disease.

Children have much higher energy requirements than we do. Send them on their way without breakfast and they will find it much harder to be alert throughout the day.

Habits = Health in growing children

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Do it for your children

I am back and with a vengeance! My training is going well, I am happy, healthy and it is fantastic to see all the keen new mums ready to commit to an exercise program and healthy eating - well done.

But its not just about you and I. When you become a parent leading a healthy active life is not just about you and your well being. There is this little person who relies on you from day one. They rely on you for their every need, they learn to trust you and as they grow they want to do as you do. Mum (and dad) are their safety net, their anchor, their introduction to everything new in the world and so we owe it to them to give them the best possible start in life. To show them that healthy eating and exercise are a normal and very important part of their daily routine.

Reading the Daily Telegraph today I felt physically sick, my hands almost feel numb and my heart hurts for what we are doing to our children. How is it possible for children younger than four to be classed as obese? For children and young adults to be suffering from Diabetes, from joint problems due to weight strain and from sleep apnoea? Latest figures reveal one in four children are overweight or obese. What does that say about us? About how we are raising our children? The eduction we are giving them in how to look after themselves?

One pediatrician has even called for obese children to be removed from their parents. These parents need an eduction - removing children in this circumstance is treating the effect, not the problem. Surely we can improve the life of a family, of the parents also, this will then have a knock on effect to the children. If parents refuse to learn and to pass on knowledge to their children then we have a new problem.

I am guessing if you are reading this you have made a commitment or are at least looking for inspiration in regaining your Body Beyond Baby, I congratulate you for that. But as much as we want to look good and feel great it runs so much deeper than that, what you are doing for yourself today you are doing from your children tomorrow. We need to raise children who feel compelled to exercise and take care of themselves, tell them why they need to be active, tell them what happens if they don't. We need to raise children who only know a healthy diet, if they don't know any different they won't question it. If and when they get to an age where they do we treat them as intelligent human beings and tell them why they need to eat well and how good food is essential for their bodies.

If you feel now that you don't have the tools to teach these life skills to your children you need to take it upon yourself to go and get them. Search on the internet, buy yourself a good book on nutrition, go and join your local gym or outdoor fitness session. Take yourself for a walk, a swim, a bike ride and prepare healthy, nutritious foods for the whole family.

Take responsibility. What is happening in this country should not be happening and it is down to us, as adults, to guide our children and to give them the best possible beginning in life.