Spring is time for making all things new again!

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Happy Spring! It's time to shed the layers, shake off the dust, crawl out of the covers, and set our clocks forward. Spring brings hope and energy! Maybe it's time to renew your goals, restate your vision, and recommit to your health and wellness. Here are some things you can do to bring new life into your efforts.

1. Write your WHY statement on cards that you can carry or post as daily reminders.

2. Create a vision board with photo images clipped from magazines that represent your vision of the life you desire.  Keep it where you can see it every day.

3. Try one new thing every week, a new recipe, a new vegetable, a new Ideal Protein food. Keep your routine fresh.

4. Make a new friend through our clinic or on Facebook, or in your own social circle. This new friend can be your support buddy, your confidante, your partner in this challenging journey.

5. Schedule a "Re-focus" appointment with Heather or Debbie. If your motivation is waning, we can help.  We'll talk you through a few steps to help you refocus and recommit.

6. Give yourself CREDIT!  List your accomplishments. Remind yourself of all the positive changes you have made and all the great things you do every day to take care of yourself

Amazing New Recipe Resources For YOU!

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We have some new resources for fantastic recipes!  We have found that having recipes for delicious meals makes all the difference, not only for weight loss, but for weight maintenance too.  Once you find recipes you love, they can be your dinner friends forever!  Crack Slaw and Big Mac Bowl are regular staples in our homes!  Our Facebook Page has two new features--Recipes and Meal Planner. Find these on your computer version (not mobile) of Facebook in the tabs on the left side of our page @eastsideweight. The Recipes tab has many recipes for meats, veggies, and complete dinners.  The Meal Planner tab has all the recipes to place into your weekly meal plan, and printable options for your chosen recipes, meal plan, and a generated shopping list. You can even customize the recipe servings to meet the needs of your family. Try it and see if it can help you with your weekly meal planning!

Thanks to one of our wonderful clients, Joyce Paul, we have a new facebook group with recipes with Indian flare and flavor!  The above photo is Joyce's Jicama Mezhukkuperatti (Recipe below). Namaste Ideal Protein -- Indian Meals is a Facebook group dedicated to recipes with amazing flavor, vegetarian options, low carb, Phase 1 friendly meals. Please find our group and ask to join!  You will find recipes to try and you can share your recipes with other members of the group.

What to Do if You Have a Setback

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It happens to everyone on occasion, whether it is a planned deviation for the holidays or a vacation, or if you've unintentionally gotten off track, here are a few steps you can take to get back on track again.

1. Go to your weekly Ideal Protein appointment. Your coaches are here to help, not to judge. We can help you look ahead, set goals, redirect, reset, and outline actions steps to take to get back on track quickly.  We'll help you reaffirm your WHY. Attending your weekly appointment is even more important when you have had a setback.  

2. Restart now. Waiting until tomorrow, Monday, or the first of the month just adds the possibility for more damage. Get on track your very next meal.

3. Go forward, not back. There is no need to try to undo damage by skipping meals, exercising as punishment or avoiding restricted foods. Simply go forward as if nothing has happened, and you will feel better faster.

4. Keep going. Giving up doesn't do any good at all. Setbacks are just that, a setback, a stumble. It won't take you down unless you let it. Get right back up and start moving in the direction you want to go.

5. Envision the life you want. Having a clear vision of  your future self will help you get through difficult times, set priorities and take the next right step.

6. Congratulate yourself for all the progress you've made so far. Remember how you were able to do it, what has worked for you, and how great you feel. Acknowledge your amazing success, and don't focus on an error. Staying positive makes all the difference!

What's your WORD for 2019?

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Why a WORD? Because resolutions get broken and goals can be set too high, setting us up for failure or setbacks. Instead, choose a word, just one, as a theme for your year. A word can help us prioritize how we spend our time, effort and money. A word can help us add some things to our life and eliminate others. A word can change how we interact with other people. A word can change how we see ourselves. Try it! Pick a word, maybe love, health, compassion, movement, laughter, adventure, home. Once you've chosen your word, write it where you can see it, include it in your passwords, repeat it when you wake up, repeat it before you go to sleep. See how a word can impact your life!

Surviving the Holidays: Make a Plan You Can Stick To

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There are a few different approaches people take when eating over the holidays. Some have the "Iron Will" to stay on plan no matter what and handle it with grit and grace.  Others give a little wiggle room for a few small deviations, but stay mostly on track. Some choose to let go of all restrictions and enjoy all of the holiday eating.  Below are a few tips to help you with whatever approach you choose.

The Iron Will Approach

This is the best choice to support your weight loss efforts.  If you can get through the holidays, you can get through other challenges as well. You already know you are in, what you may need is the support and acceptance from your family, friends, and co-workers. Here are some key phrases and "excuses" you could employ:

  • The Crafty Dismissal:  "Oooh, that looks delicious, but I'm stuffed." 

  • The Firm Hand: "Thank you for offering, but I have a plan I'm working on and sticking with it."

  • The Medical Excuse:  "My doctor is working with me to reduce my sugar intake."

  • The Allergy Excuse: "I have food sensitivities.  I'll have to pass."

  • The Honest, but Enthusiastic Reply: "I'm happy with what I have.  Thank you so much!"

Asking directly for support in advance of holiday eating will have everyone around you prepared to support you. Take dishes and party platters that you can eat to dinners and parties, or eat at home before you go.  Try new recipes this year that keep you on plan. Every day remind yourself of the importance of your goals and your progress.

The One Day (Or One Meal) Pass Approach

This plan allows you to enjoy a few treats, but it could slow your progress or delay your results. With the one day pass approach, moderation is key!  Eat small amounts of the foods you love, and avoid eating too many high sugar foods that might make you feel ill. If you choose this approach, talk to your coach about doing a modified phase off, to reintroduce a small amount of carbohydrates for a few days prior to your holiday celebration.

To reduce the impact of your day off, avoid "restricted " foods, and even avoid the restricted vegetables for a few days. Getting right back on track is essential to minimize possible weight gain, and to renew your commitment to your health goals.

Intentionally or Unintentionally Off Plan

If you find that you went off plan and had too many days with indulgences, keep your next appointment with your coach and let her help you make a plan to get on plan. Together you can refocus and set new goals and get some ideas and inspiration. We are here to help. Happy Holidays!

Super Easy Skillet Cooking

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Do you feel like you are running out of dinner ideas,  but you don't have time to follow a detailed recipe with a long ingredient list?  Dinner prep can be super simple if you use a skillet to cook your meal.  Clean up is easy too.  Here are a few dinner ideas to add to your rotation.

When cooking with a skillet, cook meat first, then set it aside.  Wipe skillet with a paper towel to remove excess fat.  Use 1-2 tsp. olive oil or grape seed extract oil to cook veggies and seasonings.  When veggies are almost done, return meat to the skillet and mix everything together.

Skillet Dinners

  • 8 oz. ground lamb, 1 cup diced eggplant, 1 cup shredded cabbage, garlic, dill, fennel seed

  • 8 oz. chicken breast tenders, 1 cup diced zucchini, 1 cup diced tomatoes, garlic, oregano, thyme, basil

  • 8 oz. flat iron or flank steak thinly sliced, 1 cup broccoli, 1/2 cup snow peas, 1/2 cup yellow pepper, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, soy sauce

  • 8 oz. raw shrimp, 2 cups cauliflower rice, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest

  • 8 oz. pork tenderloin thinly sliced, 1/2 cup red pepper, 1/2 cup green pepper, 1/2 cup green onion, 1/2 cup shredded cabbage, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano

Outdoor Event Tips--Plan ahead for Summer!

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It's almost summer in the Pacific Northwest and we all know what that means--outdoor summer living!  Boat parties, backyard barbeques, outdoor concerts, and street fairs.  There are going to be many opportunities to overindulge, on Rose', tacos, and corn on the cob!  Here are a few tips to help keep you on track and slimming down this summer.  

Tip #1: Always pack your own food!  Cut fresh veggies, put grilled salmon on a salad, make IP friendly deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail or steak bites, Ideal Protein crunchy snacks and fruit flavored drink mixes are perfect for enjoying in the summer.  Be creative with seasonings and marinades so your food tastes fantastic and you won't be tempted by the food trucks or party platters.

Tip #2: Find beverages that you love that are alcohol and sugar free. We love infused waters, sparkling beverages like La Croix and Perriet, and iced tea made from fruit flavored tea bags.  Enjoy the new stevia sweetend Watermelon and Hibiscus drink mix, which can be made into a slushie or a popsicle, or simply served over ice.  It is delicious!

Tip #3: Remind yourself that every event is about good company, fun music, the beautiful outdoors, and not so much about eating or drinking. Find the pleasure in the moment, and bask in the sunshine!

Tip #4:  Remember your WHY!  You started this journey toward improved health for a reason that is more important than whatever you are tempted by.  Remind yourself with notes, self talk, meditations, photos of yourself, a Vision Board (see our Summer Dreams One Day Wellness Retreat).  You can even create a password for the accounts you log into every day that is a quick reminder of your goals, such as FeelFabnow! Put clothing you'd like to fit into in plain sight, where you can see it every day. Any little ways you can renew your motivation helps.

Tip #5: Get your friends and family on board with your goals. Share with them what you are doing and why.  Ask for their support and be strong!

Keeping it OFF

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Congratulations to our many dieters who have reached their weight loss goals!  We know that keeping it off, and maintaining your new healthy weight can be the most difficult part of your journey. Here is a reminder of the most important concepts and a few tips to help you be the best you can be!

1. Keep your carbohydrates and fats separate from each other.  Avoiding foods with both high fat and high carb content prevents the creation of trigycerides, which are stored as fat.  High carb high fat foods are Fettuccini Alfredo, mac and cheese, pizza, burgers, fries, loaded potatoes, buttered popcorn and most baked goods, among others. We suggest having some healthy fats with your lunch, such as avocado, nuts, olives, seeds, cheese or full fat yogurt.  Save a small portion of carbohydrates for your dinner. Remember all those vegetables and grains that weren't allowed in Phase 1?  Have a small portion of beets, yams, sweet potato, brown rice, barley, beans or fruit with your dinner. 

2. Manage slip ups.  If your slip up (unplanned eating) is small, like a cookie or few bites of mac and cheese, no big deal. If you notice that small, mindful slip ups are happening frequently, they could be turning into a bad habit.  If your slip up is large or if it is a planned indulgence, your next day--the whole next day-- is a Recovery Day.  A day without carbs, fruit, or alcohol.

3. Manage vacations and holidays.  Enjoy.  Indulge a little. Be active. You won't regret putting some limitations on how many treats you allow yourself to have.  After the vacation or holiday, give yourself a week of following the Phase 4 plan with little or no slip ups and see where you are.  It may be time for a Tune Up.

4.  Plan to have a Tune Up once or twice a year.  A Tune Up is 2-3 weeks of Phase 1, using the Ideal Protein foods, followed by one week of Phase 3, then back to your Maintenance plan. Scheduling your Tune Ups for a certain time of year is helpful. January, May and September are the most popular times for Tune Ups.

5. Be active!  Having a regular workout routine or physical activity as part of the rhythm of your life gives you a lot more wiggle room when it comes to what you can eat. Do something you enjoy with people you like spending time with, and activity becomes part of your social life.

6. If you are a maintenance dieter and haven't scheduled a visit with us in a while, do so!  We recommend a check in every 3-4 months to monitor weight and body composition. Catching a weight increase while it's small is much more manageable than waiting until it has gotten out of hand.  If that happens, don't be embarrassed! Life is tricky sometimes, and weight gain is natural if we aren't following a plan. We'd love to help you get back to your best self again!

Out with the OLD, in with the NEW in 2018

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Did you set any resolutions for 2018?  Data shows that about 94% of New Year resolutions are abandoned by the end of January.  Maybe it's just how we say it that determines if we will succeed or not.  Maybe what holds us back are some old thoughts and beliefs we have about ourselves.  When we let go of those old thoughts, we make space for some new truths about ourselves.  What old thoughts do you have that might be limiting you?  Are you ready to let them go? For example, if you tell yourself frequently that you have a sweet tooth and can never give up sweets, that's exactly what happens.  We can retrain our behaviors and habits by retelling our stories.  The new story might be that you enjoy sweets on special occasions, but you've learned a new way of eating that makes you feel better.  Try it.  See what your old stories are telling you, and look for ways to rewrite them.

Here's a great motivational tool to keep you going through your weight loss journey.  One of our clients made these to track her success and have a visual for seeing how far she has come and how far she has to go.  Another of our clients gives herself a small bracelet for each 10 pounds lost.  Wearing them every day is a great reminder of her success.  You could add a charm to a bracelet, a stone to a jar or a star in your calendar.  Keeping track is amazing for motivation.

Our Report from Super Weekend

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One of the many things we love about Ideal Protein is the support and training they provide to us.  We spent last weekend training with the Ideal Protein corporate team.  Some familiar faces were there--Chef Verati, Dr. Wilkinson and many others. Coaches, clinic owners and doctors from all over the Northwest were there to continue their education. One of the big themes was Maintenance!  Ideal Protein is the only diet around that offers coaching during maintenance and has a structured plan to help you keep your weight off. The most difficult and important part of weight loss is keeping it off.  We are so happy to offer this effective weight management and wellness tool to you, and we see how well it works every day when we meet with you.

Another theme of the training was helping you develop a rhythm or cadence to the behaviors that optimize your weight loss and permanent lifestyle changes.  Having routines for shopping, meal planning, food prep, eating, drinking water, taking supplements, and incorporating exercise makes healthy habits permanent and effortless.  As we meet, let's talk about the routines you are establishing that are sustainable and beneficial to your health. Congratulations to you for making commitments to your new lifestyle habits!

How to Order in a Restaurant

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Dining out can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing when you are following a diet plan. The best strategy is to not make a big deal out of your situation. You don't need to share your diet rules with your dinner company. State your needs as preferences without any explanation needed. You can special order your food in most restaurants to get what you need. If there is chicken, fish or steak on the menu, you are golden. Simply say, "What I need is this steak (pointing to the menu) but with no sauce or butter.  I'd also like to have a large serving of steamed vegetables, also with no sauce or butter.  What are your vegetable choices tonight?" One of the common assumption many diners make is thinking that the salad choices are healthy. However, they are often loaded with the most calories, fat and even sugar on candied nuts and fruit. By the time you strip off everything not allowed in Phase 1-3, you might be left with a plate of lettuce and a little bit of grilled chicken. Get what you really want and need; just ask!

5 Tips To Maintaining A Healthy Weight

The most common question we are asked in our clinic, by far, is about maintaining weight loss over time. Most of our clients have lost weight before, even multiple times, but the weight comes back.  The truth is losing weight is not a one time event, it is the beginning of a new path in your life.  If you go on a diet and lose weight, then go off the diet, back to eating the way you did before, weight comes back, and it can happen quickly. The only way to keep weight off is to change your eating habits for good.  The good news is, you don’t have to be so restrictive all the time.  Here are FIVE of the best practices for maintaining a healthy weight and why they are so effective.  These are the strategies we teach our clients, and we want to share them with you.

Tip #1 - Avoid high fat/high carb food combinations most of the time. 

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Fats and carbs eaten together form triglycerides, which is what makes up stored fat.  If you eat carbs with proteins and eat fats with proteins, you will avoid the formation of triglycerides.  What are high fat/high carb food combinations?  Mashed potatoes with gravy, fettuccini Alfredo, cheesy pepperoni pizza, grilled cheese, mac and cheese, French fries, most baked goods, ice cream, candy bars—you get the picture!  Eat these foods as they are meant to be eaten, as occasional indulgences.

Tip #2 - Follow an indulgence with one day of very restricted carbohydrate intake.  

All carbohydrates, even the good ones in berries and whole grains, become sugar in our bodies, which we can use for fuel.  Unused carbohydrate consumption causes insulin levels to rise.  Insulin is the hormone that gets sugar out of our blood stream and into storage as glycogen. Insulin also is the facilitator of fat storage.  It unlocks the door into fat cells and shuttles fat in.  If we can keep insulin at bay for a whole day after an indulgence by restricting our carbohydrate consumption, very little of what we ate can be stored as fat.  On those “Recovery Days” avoid all fruits, grains, beans, starchy vegetables, sweets and alcohol.

Tip #3 - Manage Stress

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Stress management as a daily effort will not only help you avoid weight gain, it will improve your overall health in general. Meditation, breathing exercises and Yoga are great, and so are physical exercise, going for a walk, being in nature, spending time with friends and loved ones, playing games, doing crafts, caring for a pet, listening to music, and turning off electronic devices, news and social media.  Taking short breaks from work to clear your mind can make you more productive at work and help you manage stress.

Tip #4 - Keep a record of your food intake

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Many studies show that keeping a food journal makes us more effective at losing weight and keeping it off.  Journaling makes us more aware of food portions, calorie intake, eating patterns, and makes us more accountable.  There are many ways to record your food.  You can write it in a journal, record it in an app, such as IdealSmart or MyFitnessPal, put it in your calendar, or make a daily list of food to eat and check it off. You can also record your food before you eat it by making a meal plan, then stick to the plan!

Tip #5 - Stay connected with your support team

Whether your team is your diet coach, your best friend or your mom, ask for support and accountability.  Almost all of our clients who check in regularly after they’ve lost their weight keep it off.  We set new goals for fitness, review a food journal, plan for eating through holidays and travel, and encourage overall healthy lifestyle habits. If weight begins to creep up, we can take immediate action to take care of it while it is small, rather than wait and let it get out of control. 

One of the most important things you can do for your health and confidence is to keep a healthy weight. Taking the first step will lead to the next and you never have to look back.  Finding healthy behaviors that fit into the flow of your life, including these simple strategies, will help you achieve and maintain your best weight

In health,

Heather and Debbie

Eastside Weight and Wellness