Commit To Health, Wherever You Are

…persistent psychological and sensory stimuli lead to what Kessler terms “conditioned hypereating,” – David Kessler , The End of Overeating

I have read quite a number of books about health and nutrition, and also seen a few documentaries about veganism, vegetarianism, and the farming industry. All of these things tell you about how we have been pushed towards more artificial foods with various marketing tactics. Bright packaging and uniform products. But yesterday when my husband and I were doing our grocery shopping at Walmart, which we rarely do, I really saw the reality of this. Walmart is definitely a great example of a huge warehouse full of brightly packaged, uniform, artificial crap. But it’s affordable and convenient crap. It was just interesting to me because like I said, I don’t really crave junk food anymore and have really moved into a more healthy way of life. When I was in Walmart though, all that bright, colorful packaging was honestly getting to me. They sell so many different types of candy, ice cream, cookies, chips, and other rubbish food. I was seeing that my mind was going to that place that wanted to justify eating that stuff, “just for today” and I really had to stop it before it got too far. I read a really great book called “The End of Overeating” by David Kessler, and one tip he gives is to not let yourself even entertain the idea of eating rubbish. He says that once the thought is in your head, it is very difficult to stop. It is better to visualize a big STOP sign and think of something else. That entire book is amazing, and explains how restaurants come up with menu items that cause people to become literally addicted, and needing more. Places like Cheesecake Factory and other huge chains have scientists creating menus based off of the knowledge that the more sugar, fat and carbs you put in a meal, the more people become addicted and crave more.

 

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To be honest, just looking around at the usual clientele of Walmart was enough to deter me from filling our cart with artificial food. I know that sounds mean, but you really look around and see a lot of obese people and then look into their carts and see jumbo sized boxes of chips, and economy sized tubs of ice-cream, with numerous bottles of soda. I just thought to myself, this is just absolute crap. Why would you put this artificially made rubbish with created colors and flavors into your body? I will admit I am definitely not perfect and I don’t eat like a perfect healthy person 24/7, but I just have not eaten that stuff for so long now that now it just looks foreign. When you look around though, the produce and meat sections with fresh food are rubbery, old and wilting. But then they have isles and isles of frozen and prepackaged food. It’s almost like they are pushing you to eat rubbish, instead of real food. I wasn’t able to find fresh asparagus, zucchini or the herbs I needed because they were all wilted.

I just want to say though that when you are really committed to being healthy, you can find healthy options no matter where you are. I was surrounded by very visually appealing boxes of sugar and carb laden food. I was even intrigued by the boxes of Hostess products, and I’ve never even eaten their food! They have apparently brought back Twinkies and whatever else it is they sell, and I found myself wanting to eat it. But, I’ve found that it’s key to remain conscious of what it is your eating. You have to look at what you’re buying and think, “Is this food, or is this like me buying drugs to give myself a high?”

This is part of what my groceries ended up being from Walmart. I also bought tuna, shrimp and tuna.IMG_3122

It just shows that even though it can be more difficult and expensive, you can find real, healthy food wherever you are. I would rather eat cherries and peaches, than eat a cocktail of carbs, fat and sugar dyed with color #4. It just leads to a vicious cycle of addiction where you are either craving salt and carbs, or sugar, over and over again. IMG_3105IMG_3109Walmart did have a good selection of tuna though, and I made a pretty yummy tuna salad today. They had different kinds with jalapeño and curry, but then again I am all about spicy food. I have really been liking putting green onions in my salads lately too. IMG_3098

Don’t fall into the trap of stimulating and visually appealing food. Wherever you are you can find healthier options. When you are really committed to being healthy and achieving a goal, you seek out what you need and ignore distractions. Remain conscious of what you are actually eating, and pick food as though you are picking vitamins and nutrients for your body. I think it’s terrible to let the industrial food production methods of our time trap us into a cycle of being addicted to poisonous food that has led to heightened rates of obesity and related health disorders and deaths.

Even though it’s silly because I’m no one big, I want to mention that I am not being endorsed to push David Kessler’s book, The End of Overeating. I bought it about 4 years ago and it is one of the best books you can read about the food industry and the science behind addiction. I am always a big believer of science rather than simple opinion by any random author. So I definitely appreciate the science and studies described in his book. Check it out if you can! You will never look at those big food chains the same way ever again!

 

 

 

Every. Damn. Day.

I haven’t been able to blog in a while because work and school have been hectic. I also had to help my in-law’s move last weekend, which was a 13 hour ordeal. One positive thing from that unfortunate event was that it was definitely the world’s greatest workout. I am considering becoming a mover because I’m pretty sure I’d lose the weight in 2 weeks that way. Thankfully I am somewhat sane, so I’m just going to go with no.

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1. Progress has been slow but rewarding.

This time around my weight loss has been much different than the first time. It has been almost painfully slow. The first time I was not well-informed and I just wanted to lose weight, fast. It was also when I was into that awful show, The Simple Life with Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton, and used them as body inspiration. I was much, much younger if that helps you understand why. Sadly, this involved trying to look like an 8 year old boy with no figure. As a result I lost a huge amount of weight in 6 months, and gained a new eating disorder.

What I have learnt this time around as I learn more and more about health and fitness is that slow and steady is the best way to lose weight. This is the only way to stick to your diet and make it into a lifestyle, not some task you have to complete so you can move on with your life. That is why my previous weight loss didn’t last very long.

2. The scale is the least accurate indicator of progress.

While the scale also shows I have been at the same weight for almost a month, I have lost 2 pant sizes and today saw that I fit into a skirt when I was at my goal weight. I also notice all around changes like my arms and legs have toned up, and so has my stomach. Another unfortunate indicator is that I have lost almost 2 cup sizes. I am definitely not a fan of that consequence of losing weight, but I don’t know how to set my body to “Only-Take-Fat-From-My-Thighs-Please”.

3. People are finally noticing my hard work.

One thing that definitely makes you feel good when you’re on track to losing the weight is when other people start noticing. When I Skyped with my mum she noticed immediately, which was motivating because no one at work has really said anything. I have lost about 20 pounds and when no one at work mentioned anything it made me feel as though I hadn’t lost a pound. But then when my sister-in-law asked me whether I had lost weight, I really knew I was making progress because my in-laws aren’t entirely expressive people and we rarely talk about personal things.

4. You have to exercise willpower.

Get ready to hear some more of my cheesy philosophy. I have learnt that willpower is like a muscle you have to exercise. The more you exercise willpower, the stronger it gets. Every time you choose to eat something healthy instead of crap, or every time you push yourself to workout, that desire to do those things becomes stronger and overpowers the laziness. I have seen after eating clean and working out for over 2 months now, that I love working out . My walks are not only a workout but it’s peaceful to be outside with beautiful scenery. I really try to take that time to be more present and stop thinking about 5 million things.

5. I don’t crave crappy food anymore.

The other weekend I wanted to let myself have a day off, but I just had no desire to eat anything unhealthy and actually chose a salad. The one weird craving I have now and then is Wheat Thins in the Sundried Tomato flavor. It’s funny when holidays come up and you feel like you should be joining others in celebration, by drinking alcohol and eating unhealthy food. 4th of July just passed and everyone was drinking and having BBQ’s. I had to work, but even after work I didn’t want to use that as a reason to eat. I used to use any reason I could for why I got to eat something delicious, and artery clogging. Now I always stop myself whenever I see myself going to eat for any kind of emotional reason.

Getting into the American spirit.

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6. I am addicted to exercise now.

I love exercising, and I like pushing myself further and further. I have seen several people recently wear the Nike shirt that says, “Every. Damn. Day” and I really like that. I actually really like a lot of Nike’s products and have gorgeous trainers by them that motivate me to get out more. I am definitely one of those people who buys fun workout clothes to get motivated to workout. No makeup though. I draw the line at makeup. Especially in 100 degree weather when I’m sweating a lung going up an incline.

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I’m starting to see that even though I’m not seeing results as quickly as I’d like, it has been consistent and I am making progress. Every week I notice changes in my body and my mind, so I’m just going to keep doing this every damn day until I get to the finish line.

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Cumin Pork with Avocado Salsa

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I found this recipe on one of the major recipe sites. I can’t remember which one, but so many have this recipe. I don’t make it exactly as they describe because I am terrible when it comes to reading instructions. I just borrowed my mother-in-law’s sewing machine and skimmed over the instructions. After messing with it for an hour I got fed up with it not working and put it aside. In comes my husband who is all for technicalities and reads the manual. He figures it out immediately and gets it working. It’s just one of my downfalls…What was I thinking going into accounting when I clearly have NO eye for detail?

Anyway, once again I like this because it’s so easy. Pork cooks really quickly, and only needs about 10 minutes on the pan. I am also all for recipes that use such few ingredients. I don’t have the patience or desire to go out and find 50 different ingredients, especially when some require going to exotic stores.

Ingredients

Pork Chops/Tenderloins

Whole or ground Cumin

Salt

Olive Oil

Sauce

1 avocado

1 Cup Salsa Verde

I may be wrong but I feel like using whole cumin that you ground up brings out more flavor, especially during the cooking process.

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All you have to do is add some salt to the pork, and then sprinkle cumin over both sides. I then add a small amount ( about 1 Tblsp) Olive Oil to the pan, and then cooking the pork on medium to high heat for about 5-10 minutes on each side. For the sauce you just cut up one avocado into small cubes and then combine it with the salsa. It is very hard to make this sauce look appetizing, but I assure you it is really good.

IMG_3064Now you just pour the sauce over the pork and serve it with whatever you like. I usually serve it with salad or corn. The flavor of the avocado salsa mixed with the cumin pork just works so well together. I’m sure that if you try this you will add it to your dinner rotation. It’s also really healthy, and the sauce makes it very filling!

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