Information on food: prep tips, cycling, recipes and more.
Why do we eat stuff we aren’t suppose to? The answer is different for most of us. We don’t wake up and roll out of bed and say to ourselves, “I could really go for a burger and fries right now.” No, we are motivated, we eat our breakfast and we go to work, school or to the gym. For me, I am an emotional eater. If I have a rough day or even a good day, I want to eat. It’s like I don’t have a conscience until after I look in the pantry and the fridge for stuff I am not suppose to have. It’s mindless eating and it’s not worth it. Sure there is a little spark when you engorge yourself, but its short lived. The guilt you have after isn’t worth it. I can’t explain the suffering and the pain I cause myself after. It isn’t worth the 5 seconds of bliss for all the agony in the world. When I am not in the right mindset I am going to fail. Emotions are powerful, but so is our will. When life is coming at me like a stampede of emotional turmoil, I have to grab the bull by the horns and be the one in control. I have to take myself out of the situation. I then focus on something else and go for a short walk to regroup. I think about all the positives in my life and how happy I am when I am healthy. After a few minutes I find that the need to binge eat is greatly diminished and I am back in control again.
Instead of fumbling the ball on Thanksgiving, score a touchdown! A few ways to avoid Thanksgiving follies is to use a smaller plate to serve yourself smaller portions. Think green and load up on the veggies. And Green bean casserole isn’t a green veggie! Yes, Thanksgiving is a reward day, but make sure you stay in control as well. Before the big meal, avoid the summer sausage, cheese and crackers and eat from the veggie platter instead. Remember, Thanksgiving is to give thanks to family and friends—not food. Also, make sure you drink a tall glass of water before you eat. If you are going to multiple dinners, just take 2 bites of each dessert rather than whole portions of each. If Aunt Edna gets offended that you didn’t try her homemade stuffing, say that you’re full and ask to take a plate to-go. When you leave, toss it! When it comes to leftovers we can’t always trust ourselves. Throw it all out except the white turkey meat and green veggies. Get it out of the house, because the temptation just isn’t worth it. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Happy Halloween Reshapers! Its that time of year again, when we buy too much candy and we end up eating the leftovers. We see candy corn, candy pumpkins, chocolate peeps, and other novelty Halloween candy and we think to ourselves, “I’ve gotta get some extra bags, because its once a year I get to indulge in them”. Its not our fault. We are bombarded everywhere with huge, mega bags of Snickers, Twix, and M&M’s. We always buy too much candy and it seems at the end of every Halloween night we have at least a bag or so left over. It was bad enough when after every trick or treater we would sneak in a bar or two. You might think, “They are so small and its not like I’m are eating a whole candy bar”. Not so fast! On average each snack size has over 80 to 100 calories, and you don’t even want to know what the regular and king size bars pack in on calories. Before we know it at the end of the night we have knocked down 10 bars and are close to 1000 calories. To avoid this holiday trap, I would buy candy that you don’t have any interest in to help avoid eating it. I am not a big fan of 3 Musketeers, so I buy that. At the end of the night, toss it all out. And don’t fall into the trap trying to check the kid’s candy and taking a few bars without looking suspicious. Don’t do it - it’s just not worth it. If you feel you must have a Halloween treat, save it for a Reward, but don’t save more than 2 or 3 small pieces, max. Throw out the rest. Don’t tempt yourself by keeping it in the house. You will binge on it later if you have access to it. I want everyone to have a safe and healthy Halloween night!
Today is the day to rocket propel into the week! A holiday for most in the states, Martin Luther King Junior day signifies a day of equality and freedom for all… On that note, it’s time to take control and allow yourself the right to be as healthy as anyone else by using Reshape the Nation! Reshape the Nation is the weight loss program the Chris Powell developed to help his buddy David Smith lose over 400 lbs!
Following a high-carb weekend, using the Reshape meal plan, is a lower-carb day. If you kept reward foods in your kitchen and hiding places over the weekend, now is the time to dispose of them. Remember that it’s hard for anyone to say “no” when the goods are in-house, ready to scavenge. Anyone and everyone has a hard time saying no to high fat and sugar items if they currently reside in your home.
Reward foods are just that, rewards. Rethinking rewards will help your journey to losing weight be more successful. I know the feeling of losing weight or sticking to a certain diet regimen can bring thoughts of rewards in the form of food items with it. The problem with using food as a reward is that it comes with a cost of calories; extra calories aiding in a less successful weight loss venture.
Think about rewarding your weight loss efforts with tangible, non-caloric items or products. Success with any diet and exercise regimen is surrounded by a lifestyle steeped in things without calories! Think about rewarding yourself with treats that require time and energy; things like a round of golf, pedicure, new book, album, or something of the like. I have a friend who rewards her exercise efforts with handbags, one mile of running equaling one dollar! She has purchased one Gucci handbag and is working on her second, good for her!
Get creative with your exercise and diet rewards! Throw away your reward foods from reward days, and start your week off right, set yourself free! Jet propel yourself to weight loss success!
During this time of year, you’re probably preparing for the big Holidays ahead. Thanksgiving is next week, fall is here, and the Turkeys are hiding (really, try and find one).
Why not give the Turkeys a rest and try something new this year by preparing a vegetarian Thanksgiving? Okay, okay, you don’t have to strictly be a vegetarian (like me) to enjoy the ripe wondrous vegetables of the season, make some new side-dishes! Harvested veggies can easily be prepared and transformed in ways you never expected, giving you a nice surprise at the dinner table. Whether you are following the Reshape The Nation meal plan from Chris Powell, or just want something a little healthier and more unique, just add veggies!
Now, let’s get something straight, I’m not talking about the butter, oil, salt, and sugar laden vegetables that usually adorn the holiday feast table… I’m talking about gorgeous, robust, and flavorful vegetable dishes created with your health in mind. To maintain the nutritional aspects of these wonderful specimens, they are minimally stripped down or altered. Dr. Andrew Weil, health guru and meal extraordinaire, created some alternate side meals that won’t leave you dozing at the dinner table. All Dr. Weil’s recipes are balanced and recommended as part of an anti-inflammation diet, to keep all of the internal bodily systems in check.
Nothing gives thanks quite like the gift of health, so share it with your loved ones! Bring out the natural goodness of veggies by slow-roasting them, like Dr. Weil does in his Roasted Root Vegetables dish! Add this tasty sensation to your Thanksgiving meal repertoire to share, it’s sure to dazzle your guests and bring even the most finicky kids back for seconds!
Dr. Andrew Weil’s
Thanksgiving Roasted Root Veggies
You will need:
-1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
-1 to 2 pounds root vegetables, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, beets, sweet potatoes)
-1 medium onion, peeled, in 1/4-inch wedges
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 to 2 tablespoons smoked Spanish paprika or mild red chile powder
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Put vegetables (except garlic) in a bowl. Toss with the oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika or chile.
3. Spread the veggies in a roasting pan. (Do not crowd the pieces; use two pans if necessary.) Roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and evenly browned, 45 to 50 minutes.
4. Add garlic cloves during the last 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
With Thanksgiving being around the corner, it’s hard not to think about all of the goodies that are associated with it; mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and my all-time favorite, pumpkin pie! Most of these Thanksgiving side-items are not really approved for the balanced menu as part of Reshape The Nation. Most Thanksgiving dinners are a carb-haven for addicts. I know it’s hard not to want to eat everything on this festive holiday, so I thought I’d soften the blow by giving you my secret low carb crustless pumpkin pie recipe! My mom has been making this for years now, and although she’s NOT a pro, the pie tastes amazing and packs a punch of disease-fighting nutrients to boot!
The aromatic spices warm the kitchen and your belly, invite the kiddos to help!
Ma’s Crustless Pumpkin Pie
• 2/3 cup sugar-substitute
• 1/2 cup baking mix
• 2 tbsp melted butter
• 1 15oz can pumpkin
• 1 12oz can fat-free evaporated milk
• 2 eggs
• 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat just until smooth.
Pour into a 9-inch greased pie pan.
Bake approximately 50 minutes or until a knife blade inserted in the middle of the pumpkin pie comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool 30 minutes before serving.
Remember, you can balance the holidays better if you prepare for them ahead of time! The Reshape The Nation program was designed to allow for all the many cycles and events in your life. It will be there and it will be consistent, because it’s the foundation of anything long-term and successful!
I always thought that I drank enough water to stay hydrated. The amount varied daily, but my rough estimate is that I was consuming 50 ounces of water. My measurement was my always trust worthy plastic water bottle that held 24 ounces. Come to find out, not only is 50 ounces not enough, but I could easily calculate the amount of water I need on a daily basis with a few clicks of the mouse!
A girlfriend of mine told me that her weight-loss goal for the week was to drink at least a gallon of water a day! I know Chris Powell has always said to drink as much water as you can, that it helped with weight loss, but I thought that was because he works out so much! Nope, apparently not. It doesn’t matter whether you work out a ton or not, staying hydrated is one of those things that you just need for overall health and well-being! And if you ever feel “thirsty”..uh-oh, you are already in trouble, as the feeling of thirst is an indication of a later stage of severe dehydration.
In order to find out how much water you need, let’s first start with the amount of water you lose on a daily basis and how..
Water is lost and expelled from the human body through your breath, urine, sweating, perspiration, and bowel movements. All systems combined and the average adult loses approx 10 cups a day by living or existing. All our systems need water to function, and 60% of our bodies are water, so we must replenish what we lose in order to stay healthy. Three common recommended ways to calculate the amount of water are:
Replacement approach- Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters of water along with your clean diet, you can replace lost fluids.
Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day- The “8x8” rule, drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water a day (approx 1.9 liters). All fluids count, so eight, eight-ounce glasses of fluid can also be used. This is a good rule of thumb to remember, but it’s not scientifically supported.
Dietary recommendations- The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages daily and women consume 2.2 liters about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
Thanks Chris, I guess visualizing a gallon of water is a good way for me to remember how much water to consume daily too! I’d better get to it!
You may have heard the tip: “Do not snack in front of the television,” and although while on Reshape, you’re not technically “snacking”, just eating while watching TV can be a hindrance to your success. In-fact, attempting to eat while doing anything else will make it harder to lose weight in the long haul. When you are not focused on your meal while you are eating it, you won’t be able to ‘hear’ your body’s ability to tell you when you’re full.
As Chris Powell has taught us when and what to eat, the place or area that you eat can be important as well. For example, if you eat your meals while you are working at your desk, you aren’t focused on the present meal at hand, which can cause you to feel unsatisfied, making you want to nibble on something soon after. And just the same, if you eat while watching your favorite TV show, you’re most likely engrossed in the program, unaware of your immediate surroundings. And when you are not aware of what you are putting in your mouth, being unaware can ultimately result in consuming a lot more calories than you originally planned.
When you prepare your meals on Reshape the Nation, you’re probably focused on the task at hand, and when you are focused on a single task, you get it done better and with more efficiency. Have you ever noticed that when you multi-task, the quality of results are completely different than when you focus on one task at a time? The saying: “Jack of all trades, ace of none” is a good way to express the act of attempting to multi-task.
You probably multi-task in many areas of your life, but when it comes to healthy eating, focusing on the single task at hand, your meal for example, can be a helpful tool for weight loss success.
Be present and enjoy the nourishment you prepare for yourself, you’ll appreciate the long-term weight loss success even more than you already do!
Many of you have been doing Reshape the Nation for a while now, making it a part of your daily routine.. But what happens when that routine gets squashed by a collision in an automobile? The power of a clean diet can carry you through times when you are not able to work out.. Sounds like a good excuse doesn’t it? Funny thing is, when you are not allowed to ‘workout’ because of an injury (or car accident), you find yourself wanting to get out and sweat more then ever… I hate that! Of course I’m not always motivated when I am able to work out… Only when I can’t! Sheesh, that figures..
The importance of eating clean is recognized when that’s all you have…it’s not like having a reward day and you think,” oh good, I can just work out later.” That is not an option; I’ve sustained neck and rib injuries from my automobile accident, so any sort of jostling won’t do. If all I have is my diet to keep me in my Reshape routine, then that’s what I’ll do!
I went for a walk last night after dinner, wanting so badly to run but didn’t. Without having the option of running, I am uber aware of the food I consume during this time of rest. Oh but it would be so easy to eat the items that give me a piece of mind and comfort me!… But alas, I do know better, so I have to reign in that stomach monster that tells me that I want pizza…. “not helpful stomach, not helpful!”
Since I am not able to work out with Chris Powell, trainer, at this moment; walks and a clean diet will have to do. I am not expending calories as much as I would if I was able to move about, so the caloric deficiency must come from food and food alone. Clean and natural foods in; clean energy burning on the way out…. Practice makes closer to perfect
If you are on Reshape; you have breakfast like you’re supposed to…then your next meal a few hours later…another one a few hours even after that, and so on… but what about those cravings that still come about? The ones that make you want to throw caution to the wind, and give in to the monsters that want a doughnut, or ten; a slice of pizza, or the whole pie… What are you supposed to do with those?
I worked out with my trainer the other morning and boy did she have an interesting suggestion to the workout class afterward: “Make sure you brush your teeth after you eat a meal, do this each day, throughout your day, it’ll help curb those cravings” …. Interesting… Something I swear I’ve heard somewhere before. I thought I’d check out the scientific findings, if any, of that advice.
According to Dr. Becky Gillaspy: In order to eliminate your cravings for something sweet after a meal, you should clear your palate. When you are finished eating you will want to clear the taste of food out of your mouth which will help you separate from the act of eating. Use a glass of water, chewing gum, brushing your teeth or a cup of mint tea and you will find your craving for something sweet washes away.
After learning this, I decide to give it a try…With Reshape The Nation, I’m constantly eating, which keeps my metabolism up and running…Sometimes though, when I’m at the office and there’s cake around..or walking down the street and smell the amazing aromas, I seriously could eat all day long! Which I’m sure, if it’s not a reward day, cannot be a very good thing to do to stay on track and stay the course..
What I found is that not only does brushing your teeth after meals help crave my sweet tooth, drinking hot mint tea cleanses my palate, cleansing with it, the need or want for a dozen cookies! Drinking a ton of water aids in this as well for me… It’s almost as if sustaining my weight loss is so much easier if I simply forget about it, and these tips are extremely helpful toward my cause! Cheers Reshapers, try it if you can, it really does help in the process.
Looks like rabbit food, not just for rabbits anymore… Now that we know it’s not always healthy to order a salad wherever you go, where there can be hidden caloric pit falls, let’s talk about all the benefits you can get by adding green leafy vegetables to each meal.
Low in calories, high in water content, fiber, and chock-full of nutrients, there is no limit Chris Powell puts on the amount of dark green leafy vegetables included in your meal plan. I’m not only talking salads here, you will be surprised how you can add these antioxidant power-houses to almost anything! Reshape the Nation promotes having as much as you want
As a vegetarian, getting creative with my meals has become a necessity. What, am I to have salads all-day, every-day? Boring…
Let me first break it down to you by which leafy greens I’m talking about, their health benefits, and then how to introduce them into other meals besides the age-old boring salad (not knocking salads, but, they can get a little flavorless sometimes) included under the umbrella of green leafy vegetables includes but is not limited to:
Brussel Sprouts (trust me out on this one)
Here is what this amazing “rabbit food” can do for you:
1. Reduce the Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease- Leafy greens are low in fat, rich in folic acid, high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, and beta-carotene. One serving daily significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and inflammation that causes cancer.
2. Lowers the Risk of Diabetes- Because of the high amounts of magnesium and low glycemic index, an increase of one serving per day lowers the risk of developing diabetes or helps to manage those that already have Type 2 diabetes.
3. Promotes Bone Density- High levels of vitamin K in green leafy vegetables promotes the production of osteocalcin, a protein essential for bone health. One or more servings per day decreases the risk of hip fracture by 45% compared to fewer servings.
4. Improves Immune Function- Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A in green leafy vegetables, which increases the body’s immune function, or ability to stave-off disease.
Now that you know that adding green leafy vegetables at every meal can have miraculous effects on your health, I’ll tell you how to add them so that they taste good! Young plants with small tender leaves usually have a mild flavor, so don’t be afraid to add them to your shakes, stir fry, and casseroles. I saw my sister once put 2 or more cups of spinach, a mild green, in her and her daughters shake, and although it definitely looked green, it didn’t taste “green” at all. Mature plants tend to be a little tougher and contain stronger flavors. Collards, Swiss Chard, and bok choy also have a mild taste, making them an easy addition to almost anything, add them to your sauces, rice, eggs, they will add to the texture and bring out the flavors without over powering the dish. Bok Choy stays crisp in stir-fries with chicken. Mustard greens have a peppery flavor, so adding them to protein dishes, salsas, and sauces suits them best! Remember to purchase vibrant and dark green vegetables in color where they are available, yellowing can signify age and off-flavor.
Check the “Veggie” group in My Community in the future for vegetarian recipes, or post your own!
Embrace the greens!
The “green” movement is sweeping America. No, not that “green” movement… the one where we run our cars on water or the only kind of oil spill is the one where you tip over a bottle of canola in your pantry. I’m talking about the green salad movement… the one where every restaurant puts salads on the menu because all those calories counters out there just assume they’ll be healthier than, say, the burger or the pizza.
Ummm… not so fast. While Chris Powell and Reshape The Nation certainly encourage salad (and veggie) eating as a healthy habit, don’t be fooled into thinking the salad on the menu of your local fast food conglomerate is healthy just because it’s got lettuce on it. You know what also has lettuce on it? A Whopper. You wouldn’t be eating a whopper thinking about how great you’re following your diet, would you?
Here’s a great article about unhealthy salads from MSNBC. Did you know some salads have more calories than… well… just about anything you could order at McDonalds? Not so healthy, right?
Have you gone through your high and low carb days, only to find yourself patiently, or impatiently awaiting your reward day? Well you’re not alone, that’s for sure! We all want those days, those rewards, are inherently what keep us on track. I’m just waiting for that next one…
We cannot help it, there is a reason why it’s so hard to throw those things away from our offices and homes. They are high in fat, sugary, and/or high in calories; they satisfy us and calm our nerves. And why shouldn’t they? That’s what they were made to do, right? Even the most successful Reshapers go through this, craving foods that give us little to no nutritional value.
“I have a real problem with my reward days, sometimes I have no self control. Besides not having a reward day how do I control myself? Reward days can be trouble if you have no self control. Portion control is really important, if you’re craving cookies or chips do not buy a box of cookies or chips. Seems like whenever we open a box or a bag of chips it’s very hard to control ourselves, we always have a few here and there and in a day the whole bag is gone. Try buying the 100 calorie packs. They have a wide selection of them from cookies, to chips, to candy. My vice has always been pizza and ice cream. Nobody will buy a pizza and only have one slice… What helped me was buying the pizza lean pockets. Ice Cream is my favorite, but it is hard to regulate intake, many small sizes are still pushing 400 calories. My family always buys the sugar free or half the fat stuff, but it is still high in calories, so watch out for that. I did really well with sugar-free fudgecicles. They weren’t high in calories and they controlled my intake. Now remember after our reward days we need to stay on track and stay focused!!”
Read the rest of David Smith’s story on ABC’s 20/20!
Thanks David! How about the rest of you? What tips or tricks do you have to stay on track on those wonderful reward days?
Hi guys! Chris Powell, trainer from Reshape the Nation, answers a members question about a bloated stomach he cannot get rid of, no matter what he eats!
Here was the original letter:
I am 53 this year and I am trying so hard to lose my bloated stomach. I do not seem to be able to lose the weight even trying yours.
Where am I going wrong??? Can you help?
Tune into the video blog on the right that Chris filmed answering that question!
Chris Powell answers a question regarding consumption of kefir milk as part of her meal plan on ReshapetheNation.com in this weeks video!! (Check it out on the right)
Kefir is a fermented milk drink. Sometimes it can be more easily digested than other dairy products and can help us break down our food more effectively and efficiently, because of the good bacteria that it contains, lactobacillus acidophilus, more commonly seen as L.acidophilus
Lactobacillus acidophilus is generally considered to be beneficial because it produces vitamin K, lactase, and anti-microbial substances such as acidolin, acidolphilin, lactocidin, and bacteriocin. In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Particularly calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, B2 and B12, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin D. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also has an abundance of calcium and magnesium, also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.
If you choose to include kefir in your menu on reshape, Chris explains why it is considered a fat, carb, and protein, if it’s whole milk kefir. You can even find kefir-cultured soy, rice, and coconut milk if you are completely lactose intolerant.