Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's the difference between sea salt and table salt?

Which one is better for you? Sea salt or table salt?

Table salt is probably the most common salt found in our pantries and stores. Table salt is mined from underground salt deposits. It is chemically processed to eliminate minerals and contains additives to prevent clumping. Table salt is very fine. You usually put it in a salt shaker and use during cooking or eating.

Sea salt can also be found at grocery stores. Sea salt is produced through the evaporation of seawater. There is very little processing and it contains other minerals like iron, sulfur and magnesium. Table salt is course. If you put it into a salt shaker, it may clump. It can be used during cooking or eating as well.

Salt is a necessary part of our nutrition, but here in America, it is overused to the extreme. A healthy daily consumption should be 1500-2000mg, while most fast foods, restaurant foods and processed foods like frozen meals, contain this amount for one serving. As a society, we are generally eating way too much salt.

Personally, when I started losing weight, I reduced my salt intake. It was just the healthy thing to do. I realized that salt, like many other things in my daily nutrition, was a habit. A habit that I could break. I started to go without it at the dinner table. I started to taste my foods first instead of shaking on the salt without tasting. Salt can be damaging to your health if you have an overabundance of it. Ways it can affect your body:
  • High blood pressure
  • Bloating
  • Metabolism and hormones
All of these affect your weight loss to some degree. It wasn't worth it to me. Do I use salt today? Yes, in moderation. I prefer sea salt because I believe it is less processed. It is different than table salt in flavor and in consistency, but again, I don't use it that often so it's not that big of a deal to me. I would highly recommend if you are a salt person to do two things:
  • Reduce your daily salt intake and learn to taste your food without salt
  • Change to sea salt for a period of time and see if it makes a difference for you
The bottom line is - and this is how you should view other foods as well - pick the one that is least processed and the most natural.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Why are you always dissing candy and chocolate?"

I get asked this question again and again.

From my friends, from my family, from complete strangers who follow my Facebook fanpage. Followed by other assorted comments "I feel bad when I eat candy now" or "You're making me feel bad when I want chocolate" or "What are you? A chocolate nazi?" or the worst "You're trying to bring down my Halloween". Sigh. Bring down Halloween? Okay, well, let's get started then. Here's why I am "dissing" candy and chocolate:

Short story -- When I was overweight, I was addicted to candy and chocolate and it affected my body negatively. 

There, I said it. I am a candy-aholic. I am a chocolate-aholic.

Do you know what it's like to be overweight? To not be able to fit in clothes? To be embarrassed to be at the beach or pool in a swim suit? To feel emotionally in a long tunnel with no way out? To have rolls of fat in your back, in your belly and in your butt?

I do. 

I don't like it. 

I fixed it and I don't ever plan on going back. I like being fit and healthy. I like being able to fit in my clothes - ALL of the time. I like going to the beach or pool in my swim suit. I like being emotionally healthy. I like my strong back, my flat belly and well, you get the point...

Candy and chocolate were HUGE obstacles in my weight loss - for MANY years. And after training women for the past five years, I have noticed the same thing - that candy and chocolate are HUGE obstacles for not just me.
  • It has become an American habit. 
  • It has become an emotional addiction. 
  • It has become a part of the reason why we can't lose weight. 
When I "diss" candy or chocolate, I am just putting the information out there for you. Did I know how much sugar was in candy corn before I ate it? No. I just ate it. Did I think about it more after I found out how much sugar was in it? Yes. I don't eat candy corn now. I haven't for a couple of years now. And I'm okay. Yes, I still love it. Yes, I could still eat it by the handfuls. But, no, I choose not to now. I choose not to because I know what it will do to my body. I know the results of sugar-overload for me and it's not pretty. Not only the physical affects, but the emotional affects as well. It is an immediate depressor for me.

I'm not trying to make you feel bad when I post about candy or chocolate. I'm not trying to make you feel guilty or take away your Halloween. I'm trying to EDUCATE and HELP those that want it. I'm trying to make a dent in obesity in America. I'm trying to save your life like I saved mine. So, will you let me?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Emotional healing and scabs

When you fall down as a child, you may skin your knee. You get up, wash it off and put a bandaid on it.
When you fall down as an adult, you may skin your knee. You get up, wash it off and put a bandaid on it.
  • You keep the bandaid on it to keep it protected. 
  • You change it when needed. 
  • You may put some medicine on it. 
  • You wait for it to heal. 
  • It may hurt for a while, but it gets better. 
 So, what do you do about emotional hurts? Where is the bandaid that helps you recover and heal from the other things that happen in our lives?
  • How do you keep it protected from harm? 
  • How do you change when needed? 
  • How do you "put some medicine on it"? 
  • How long does it take to heal? 
  • Will it ever get better?
Wouldn't it be great if our emotional healing was as easy as our physical healing?

Wouldn't it be great if we fell down in a certain area of our lives, got up, washed it off and put a bandaid on it? It would eventually scab over, we'd put some medicine on it if needed, and wait for it to heal. The bandaid comes off and poof, it's like it never happened before.

But unfortunately, it doesn't seem that easy or it doesn't seem to happen that way. When we get emotionally scarred, it stays with us.
  • If someone hurts us, we hold onto that.
  • If someone disappoints us, we hold onto that. 
  • If someone tramples our hearts, we let them. 
Where's the bandaid for that?

You are the bandaid. 

You are the source of the healing that you need. It's inside of you. So many times, people go through their lives shoving things under the carpet, hiding things in their heart, with emotional scabs all over their body, showing up in the form of obesity, physical conditions related to being obese, fat, cellulite. It's time to get out the bandaids.
  • You keep the bandaid on it to keep it protected. 
  • You change it when needed. 
  • You may put some medicine on it. 
  • You wait for it to heal. 
  • It may hurt for a while, but it gets better. 
Do this with your emotional hurts. Get it out there. Let it heal. It may scab over and not be pretty, but it will heal. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

No-Candy - Is it a physical addiction or emotional tie?

It's day 7 of the official No-Candy Pledge. How are you doing? Feeling strong? Feeling weak? I know, I've been there. It gets easier every year, I've done it for so many years now that it is second nature to me and you could not PAY me to eat candy this time of year [or any time].

It's a battle. It's there ALL the time. Of course, now you are noticing it even MORE because you are not having it. Keep NOT having it. Keep walking by the piles of it in the store, keep walking by the bowls of it at work, keep refusing your friends when they offer it to you, keep being strong. We started this for a reason - what was your reason?

Is candy a physical addiction or is it an emotional tie?

Physical addiction - Addiction defined: The state of being enslaved to a habit orpractice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, asnarcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. Yikes. Is it that serious? Uh, yes, in day 7. In day 1 also, but more in day 7. So severe trauma - is that what we have to go through in order to get over our candy addictions. Well, that depends on how you look at it. 
  • Yes, you will have to learn how to say "no". 
  • Yes, you will have physical cravings that are hard to deal with. 
  • No, it shouldn't be severe. 
  • No, it shouldn't be traumatic. 
Friends, we're talking about candy here. It's just a little bit of unhealthy, over-processed, unnatural piece of goo. It's not your life. Read on...

Emotional tie - Aahh, here's where it gets hard. Dealing with the emotional stuff. When you have a fight with your husband, do you want a piece of candy? When your kids are driving you nuts, do you want a piece of candy? When you've had a hard day and just want to relax, do you want a piece of candy? When you've worked out hard and you deserve a treat, do you want a piece of candy? It's a habit. You talk yourself into thinking that it's okay because you do this "_____", whever "this" may be for you. 

Again, we're talking about candy here. It's just a little bit of unhealthy, over-processed, unnatural piece of goo. It's not your life. 

I know you want it. 
I know you need it. 
I also know what it does to your body -and-
You started this for a reason - What was your reason? 
  • Was it to break a physical addiction? 
  • Was it to break an emotional tie? 
  • Was it to see how strong or weak you are? 
  • Was it to see if your body can do it? 
  • Was it to make a goal and feel success? 
  • Was it to change your life? 
All of these can happen for you, if you choose to stick with it. Please stick with it. You can succeed. You can be strong. You can make this goal and feel good about it. You can change your body. You can feel like you are on top of the world and can overcome any obstacle. Are you still with me? 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Which peanut butter should you choose?

Choosing a peanut butter is hard! Let me rephrase that, choosing a healthy peanut butter is hard! It's not as easy as "Choosy moms choose Jif".

You're eating healthy and want to incorporate peanut butter into your nutrition plan but are unsure about which kind to get. So, let's look at some...

You can do this at the grocery store, or you can simply type in Jif peanut butter and it will take you to the site, press on "Products" and it will bring up a photo of the product and the food label. For these purposes, let's look at "Creamy" peanut butters, serving size is 2 tablespoons for each one:

Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
190 calories, 16g fat, 7g carb, 7g protein, 3g sugar

Jif Creamy Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
190 calories, 12g fat, 15g carb, 8g protein, 4g sugar

Calories are the same. Reduced fat has 4g less of fat, but look at the other differences - more than doubled the carb and added a little bit more sugar. Look at the ingredients for each. If I had to choose between these two products, I would go with the more natural product, being the first one.

Important: When you are comparing products side-by-side, you need to look at more than just calories. Look at breakdown of foods as well as ingredients. There are many more preservatives and additives to this reduced fat peanut butter, which makes it more unhealthy. 

Second, Smucker's...

Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
200 calories, 16g fat, 6g carb, 7g protein, 1g sugar  

Smucker's Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
210 calories, 16g fat, 6 carb, 7g protein, 1g sugar

The organic version has more calories, everything else is about the same, except the ingredients. The organic has peanut oil. You would think that the natural would have less ingredients than the organic, but in this case, it doesn't. 

Now, let's look at another organic peanut butter...MaraNatha...

MaraNatha Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
190 calories, 16g fat, 8g carb, 7g protein, 3g sugar
organic dry roasted peanuts, organic palm oil, organic unrefined cane sugar, sea salt.

If organic ingredients are important to you, then buy organic. It is a little bit more expensive than regular. But is it truly better? Well, only you can make that decision, but out of all of these, I would lean towards the Smucker's Natural product. 

So, if you are at the grocery store, needing to buy peanut butter and totally confused - I understand! It is confusing. Do what I do at the store - take the products, 3 or 4 of them, put them in a row, food labels facing you and do a comparison. In those items listed above, we learned...
  • Calories - not much of a difference in either brand or type of peanut butter. 
  • Fat - is lower in reduced-fat types, but more additives to make up for it. 
  • Carb - higher in reduced-fat types. 
  • Protein - not much of a difference in either brand or type of peanut butter. 
  • Sugar - not much of a difference in grams, but types of sugars.
So, overall, remember this when adding peanut butter to your nutrition plan: 
  • Use in MODERATION. Serving size is 2 tablespoons. Stick to that, measure it out if you have to. Very high calorie food for a small amount. 
  • Know what is more important to you. Is it important that your nuts are organic? Is it important that there are as few additives in your food as possible? 
  • The choice is yours. But look at the whole story before you make your decision. 
Peanut butter can be tricky. My personal preference is to get the most natural peanut butter - the most natural ingredients with the least amount of food additives. I am here to help you - just let me know...sandi@startwiththeinside.com