My name is Neale Bacon. I have lost (so far) 200 pounds with no pills, potions, shakes, short cuts or surgery. Join me for tips and tricks I learned along the way. There may even be a laugh or two along the way.

I belong to a couple of organizations regarding weight and obesity like the Canadian Obesity Network and the Obesity Action Coalition. The OAC has a great newsletter called Your Weight Matters. You can check them out at http://www.yourweightmatters.org/

I was going to blog on this topic anyway, as it is that time of year again when we hit the road! I got this in my mail this morning and it is said so well I wanted to share this with you so here we go.

open road

“Healthy On-the-Go: Tips for Travel, Vacation and More

With spring wrapping up and summer well on its way, many people are gearing up for a brand new season packed with fun-filled activity! Whether you’re staying local or traveling away from home, staying on top of your weight management goals should remain a top priority.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to keep healthy, active and energized while you’re on-the-go this season. Be it by plane, car, or even cruise ship, there are many steps you can take to ensure you’re living your happiest and healthiest lifestyle.

Out and About? Stay Healthy While You Travel with these Tips:

Master the Menu

Visiting different restaurants while you travel is almost guaranteed. If you can, preview the menu ahead of time to make your healthiest choice. If not, don’t be afraid to take some time to weigh your options and choose a dish that is rich in power foods such as lean protein, vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Also, be aware of what kinds of condiments and “extras” your dish includes, and consume these in moderation.

Pack Your Workout Clothes

couple walkingCome prepared for any opportunity to work some movement into your day. Whether it’s a short walk/jog or even a trip to a nearby gym or fitness facility, staying active on-the-go can help your body sustain its progress until you’re back to your usual routine.

 

Bring a Snack Pack 

When you’re on-the-go, finding the nutrition you need can be difficult – especially if your schedule is packed. A snack pack filled with healthy, wholesome goodies can satiate you and ward off undesired cravings when you’re in a situation that leaves you feeling hungry.

Carry Water at All Timeswater

Having water on hand at all times is crucial for maintaining energy levels throughout the day, which is especially important if your day is packed with activities and responsibilities. Water will also help you manage control hunger and manage your appetite.

Stretch!

Sometimes, traveling can mean sitting in one place for extended periods of time. While this may be unpreventable, it’s important to take any opportunities to stretch and keep your body moving in any way it can.

Pencil-in Time to Sleep

cat-1584543_640While travel can be fun and extremely engaging, it can also be exhausting – which is why an appropriate amount of sleep can go a long way! Sleep will not only help you with your weight management goals, but it will supply you with the energy you need while on-the-go.

 

Remember any Vitamins or Medications

If certain medications or vitamins are part of your daily routine at home, they should be a part of your routine while you travel! Carrying a small pouch in your bag or purse is a simple way to ensure that your vitamins and/or medications are with you when you need them.

Although vacation and on-the-goal travel mean a break from your usual home structure, this doesn’t mean that your weight management goals have to suffer. With a little extra thought and planning, you can do much (if not all) of what you do at home!”

So there you have it. I think this is some really great advice and I would just add a couple of things to it.

Under Pack Your Workout Clothes – when you book your hotel ask if they have any kind of a fitness centre. I have found most decent hotels will at least have some weights and maybe a bike or treadmill.

Under Bring a Snack – I do more than that. I travel a lot when I am doing shows, and I always ask if I can get a fridge in my room, and if not, I bring a travel cooler. I then shop at local markets to have some healthy food. Often times food on the road is not the healthiest, especially when I am doing fairs. Restaurants are a nice treat now and then, but bringing your own is best.

Under Taking Your Medications – many pharmacies blister-pack-e1418254470396will pack your meds in blister packs. This is great when flying so you don’t have to pack your meds in their original bottle. For example, one medication I am on for my diabetes is Metformin, and I but them in big containers 500 at a time. A blister pack is so much easier.

Well there you have it. I hope some of these tips help you stay healthy on the road, and keep you from running away from your healthy eating plan.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

visit your local farmer's market!

I have blogged about farmer’s markets before, but I firmly believe they are a real undiscovered treasure in most communities. People are more focused on healthy eating these days, especially organic foods. While this might sound like an oddity in today’s supermarket culture, farmers markets are getting to be more and more popular each year. The products come from your local “foodshed”, the atmosphere is fun and will lift your spirits, and the food tastes fabulous.

There are lots of websites that will show you where to find your local farmer’s markets, or sometimes there are just lots of signs posted around. Don’t be afraid to try markets in towns around you as well. You will probably find different vendors and different products.

For my readers in the Lower Mainland of BC, check out http://whatsatthemarket.com/

farmers-market-buylocal-984x500By buying at your local farmers market, you’re cutting back the number of miles that your food journeyed to get to you, providing more of your food dollars directly to the growers, and protecting local agriculture and the green spaces that it supplies for our communities.

I read a great book once called The 100 Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J.B.Mackinnon. It focused on a couple who decided to challenge themselves and only eat foods grown within 100 miles of where they lived.

What was kind of a bonus for me is that they live not far from me, so the book was about “my back yard.” Reading this book is one thing that got me into farmer’s markets.  You get to talk right to the farmers or artisans.

I love that not only are there ton’s of fruit and veggies at our farmers market here in Burnaby BC, but artisan bakeries and (my favourite) cheese makers. You can get fresh fish, chicken and other meats as well directly from the producer.salsa guy

You will also discover people who make things like jams, relishes and pickles. We bought some wonderful picked green beans on our last visit. There is a guy at our farmers market who makes great salsas and dips from mild to HOLY COW THAT’S HOT!

 

Do some comparison of prices at your supermarket and farmers market. You might discover that you are able to get a better deal at the farmers market. If a few items are particularly pricey at the farmers market, you are able to save those for your supermarket shopping list, or splurge once in a while and buy a treat.

We do that with cheese. My wife and I will get a couple of types of cheese (after tasting a bunch of course) and really savour it with some nice artisan bread and some fruit like local berries.

At our market, there are often bee keepers with honey and other bee products as well.honey

There are also lots of non food options like hand made soaps, carvings, toys and more. There are even artisan coffee and tea vendors. Nothing like a fresh hot beverage to sip while strolling through the booths.

One thing that really adds to the atmosphere, at least in our market and I am sure in many others, is that there are often local musicians playing. I have seen tables with bubble stuff for kids (or kids at heart) and on occasion a “take one – leave one” book table.

It’s recommended to bring reusable bags to the farmers market. You are able to preserve resources by bringing reusable canvas or cloth bags to carry all the goodies you bought, as well as plastic produce bags to hold individual fruits and veggies you purchase. This helps the Earth and it likewise helps the farmer by cutting down on their expenses.

You might even consider a Rubbermaid type container to put in your trunk to put everything in. There is nothing more annoying than to have all your fruits and veggies rolling all over the trunk.

And lastly. Have a blast at the market! Make your weekly farmers market trip a sort of an “outing” for your whole family. A great deal of the time there is music playing, booths where you are able to sample different foods and produce, purchase a meal and even games for youngsters.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

back on track

cat-1584543_640I know not everyone is a morning person, but I wanted to share a few ideas to make your mornings get off to a great start. For the non-morning people, maybe they will make morning bearable.

Morning Routines that will Rock Your Happiness

We live in a crazy busy world where the modern person is stretched too thin, particularly those who juggle family, kids and work. Between taking care of the family and achieving a fulfilling career, people run the risk of not getting enough sleep, exercise, proper nutrition or even a satisfying sex life. Lacking in nutrition in each of these areas can lead to health and psychological issues, such as malnutrition, fatigue, poor body image and stress. In the long run, it’s a recipe for becoming increasingly dissatisfied with life resulting in unhappiness.

More often than not, it is the day-to-day that bogs us down, and to master the daily, it is important to get a good start in the morning. Research shows that morning routines and habits (even quick ones) are beneficial to the mind as it shifts focus to matters that require immediate attention. Here are some morning habits that have proven to not only increase happiness levels, but long term positive health too!

Prayer

I am a man of faith and not ashamed to be so, therefore prayer is part of my daily routine as much as possible. You may not be a person of faith, and that’s OK. I have a little something for everyone today.  I remember reading something once called the morning prayer that went something like this…

Dear Lord,
So far I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossipped,
haven’t lost my temper,
haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.

I’m really glad about that.
But in a few minutes, God,
I’m going to get out of bed.
And from then on,
I’m going to need a lot more help.

It is a good idea, especially if we have a busy day ahead, to start with some a simple prayer. Just a “Hi Lord. It’s going to be a busy day. I am so glad you will be there with me. Please remind me of that now and then. Thank you”

Meditation

Meditation helps to reduce stress responses in the body. Multiple studies have shown girl-2176513_640that meditation leads to lowered blood cortisol levels. Cortisol is commonly known as the stress hormone, as it is released during periods of stress and low blood sugar. Sustained high cortisol levels in the body has detrimental effects on the immune system , which can lead to poor general health with the risk of disease.

While meditation is known to be practised among monks and yogis, meditation is not a daunting practice; anyone can learn to meditate. The core to meditation is to be comfortable, but not too comfortable that you fall asleep. Meditation can be done in any room of your home, and you can start with a short session of around 5 minutes in length each morning. They key is to calm the mind in preparation for the day.

While meditating you should always maintain a good posture, regular breathing, and awareness of your body and the space in order to start to clear the mind and come to terms with yourself. For beginners, you may consider joining a guided meditation session to learn the basics and get you started.

Yoga

yoga-241609_640Many people choose to do yoga in the morning as a stretching routine to prepare the body and mind for the day ahead. Yoga goes hand-in-hand with meditation, so you might want to consider taking up both by adding in a 5 minute meditation after your stretching session.

There are many forms of yoga that can be performed in the morning, ranging from yin yoga that focuses on deep stretching, to more vigorous and aerobic vinyasayoga that goes through a set of poses in quick succession. Yoga overall helps to increase flexibility and strength of the body.

If doing a formal yoga session isn’t your thing, then simply spend 5-10 minutes in the morning stretching your body in a way that feels right for you.

Exercise

couple walkingWe all know we need to exercise, but did you know that getting exercise done in the morning can boost blood circulation and respiration rate to help jump start the day on a positive note?It’s been noted on many research studies that consistent morning exercise aids in getting better quality sleep at night.

You could start with 20 minutes of walking or conditioning workouts in your own home to save time. There are plenty of fast and effective workout videos on YouTube you could get started on to kick start your morning exercise routine.

Breakfast

cereal-898073_640I have written on the importance of breakfast many times. Breakfast is necessary to refuel the body after an overnight fast, and gives you energy for the first half of the day for your daily pursuits.

Having a healthy, protein-rich breakfast will keep you fuller for longer compared to carbohydrate-heavy food like breads and pastries. Consider this: every meal in a day is an opportunity to introduce essential nutrients to the body, and if you are able to get you’re a large portion of your vitamin and mineral requirements sorted out at the beginning of the day, why not? You’ll be able to face the day brighter and happier and on a more positive note.

A balanced breakfast could be a good whole grain cereal with milk and a sliced banana or a boiled egg with fruits and vegetables or wholemeal avocado toast with a pot of Greek Yogurt. For those who cannot work up an appetite in the morning, a quick protein smoothie could be better for you. 

Establishing a morning routine doesn’t need to be complicated or intense. The key is incorporating activities one at a time, and to aim for consistency. Soon enough, seeing the positive effects of these routines on the physical and mental well being will be motivation to keep at them, and eventually turn them into lifelong habits.

What morning routine are you going to start with tomorrow?

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

I think people very often overlook one of the most important things when it comes to losing and maintaining weight – portion sizes. The other thing is to learn the difference between a serving and a portion. I want to look at both of these today.

Trying to figure out how much we should eat of which foods can be a bit confusing between food guides and pyramids, and even the differences between countries as to what those portions should be.

myplate_blue
The United States introduced a new program a few years ago called My Plate which makes it so much simpler and I have recommended it to people for ages. It simply shows how you food should be portioned on your plate.

Basically it shows that our plates should be 1/2 a combination fruits and/or vegetables, 1/4 grains and 1/4 protein, with a small portion of dairy on the sides.

The website for my plate is https://www.choosemyplate.gov/

 

In 2016, Health Canada introduced it’s version called the Eat Well Plate and no offense toeat-well-bien-manger-eng-1 my American friends and readers, I kind of like it better for a couple of reasons.

First it just combines the fruits and vegetables to be half the plate. It also shows the meat and alternative section to actually be a bit smaller than 1/4 of the plate.

I am not a vegetarian, but for many, many years our plates, especially with dinner, were very meat centered. There was a big portion of meat, then whatever few vegetables and potatoes on the side. It also shows water along side the dairy and even shows the importance of having a little fat and oil in our diets.

Health Canada has a terrific website with lots of good tips and ideas. Check it out at http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating-saine-alimentation/tips-conseils/interactive-tools-outils-interactifs/eat-well-bien-manger-eng.php . I know that’s a long one. Just look up Health Canada.

You can order portion plates from different companies that can help reinforce this idea of portions in their proper perspective. I have shown the one I just bought from a company called Diva Dish but there are lots out there.

I have found them handy when I go to events like a church potluck. It is so tempting to go overboard. We say we will just have a little of everything so people know I tried their food.

That can add up very quickly, so I will use my portion plate and just take the items I really want to try while still keeping to the right balance.

On both sides of the border, there have been food pyramids. I always found them a little confusing. Again Health Canada streamlined it in The Canada Food Guide which you can download or order printed copies from their website.

I found a new pyramid when I was taking my course as a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist course and the main feature I like is that it shows exercise as the base of the pyramid. This is a very important point. There is a saying that you can’t outrun a bad diet. This is so true. The two have to go hand in hand.lwm-pyramid

The point I am trying to make is find a system that works for you. Find something that shows you what your food portions should like at each meal as well as totals for the day. For food portions for the day, I like the Canada Food Guide as it lays it out pretty clearly, and breaks it down for men and women and for different age groups. Order or download yours at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/order-commander/index-cereal-box-nutrition-label_ywbgxkeng.php

So now, what’s the difference between a portion and a serving? A good way to learn about this is by analyzing food labels. Here is the label for Cheerios. (I am not doing an endorsement for Cheerios, just using this as an example of label information)

If you look, it says a serving size is 2/3 of a cup, and there are about 9 servings in the box.

When was the last time you measured 2/3 of a cup of cereal? Most people don’t measure. They just dump their cereal into their bowl, and it is very easy for this portion to end up being 2 or even 3 servings.

This is one of the ways people go over on the food consumption on a daily basis. The worst part for their health is that they THINK they have done it right. People will think, “well I just had a bowl of cereal for breakfast so I had one serving of grains” but they have actually had 2 or 3.

If you do that with serving sizes through the day, you could end up having double or triple the servings you should have.

Here’s another one that will surprise you. Many years ago, the serving size of soda was around 5 or 6 ounces. Now the most common serving size is 20 ounces. It says right on the bottle that one serving is one bottle. This means that where a single serving used to be 5 or 6 ounces, it is now 20. Even when Pepsi used to have a jingle that said “12 full ounces, that’s a lot”, 20 ounces is close to double of that 12 ounces.

I saw something very disturbing recently. A famous convenience store chain was having a sale on their icy slush drink, which in essence is ice and sugar syrup. The deal was your could bring your own container and fill it for 89 cents or something.

I saw two high school age kids walking down the road and each of them had a 4 litre (a gallon) milk jug full of this ice and sugar syrup concoction and all I could think of was How many calories are in that?

How many servings are there in a small candy bar? One, right? Not necessarily. I was at a diabetic conference once and the speaker was talking about food labels. She asked how many had eaten a sugar free candy bar and most of the hands in the room went up.

She then showed us labels side by side of a regular chocolate bar and a “diabetic” or sugar free bar. The calories were within 10 calories of each other – but the diabetic bar said it was two servings. That means the calories were actually double those of the regular bar. If you don’t look at serving size, you can easily overlook something like that.

Just watch your portions, plates and pyramids and it gets so much easier.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day.

 

healthy family expoMy last post was about the Wellness Show, and recently we had another similar show. This was called the Healthy Family Expo because the focus was on – wait for it  – families! It had a wide variety of things of interest to young families, but I will focus on the things I found that relate to weight loss or at least healthy eating and living. I am not exactly an expert of baby clothes or maternity outfits. I will say there was lots of companies with healthy baby foods but I didn’t spend time at those booths.

bobs_and_lolo

The first thing I sought out when I got there were my friends Robyn Hardy and Lorraine Pond aka Bobs and Lolo. Why would I seek out kids performers? Well first of all they are friends of mine. We have performed at some of the same events (don’t forget wearing my other hat I am a family ventriloquist). You may wonder why am I mentioning them here. Well I tell people that you need to find exercise where you can, even if that is dancing with your kids and grandkids. If you want some really fun and upbeat kid’s music that won’t make you want to scream after 5 minutes, let me recommend Bobs and Lolo. Not only is their music lively and upbeat, but it encourages physical activity, friendships, outdoor stuff and much more. Have a peek! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1O_rIzwi-g Put your dancing shoes on and have fun!

products-veggemoSo what did I find for my healthy eating plan. Wow where do I start? I was excited to be granted media priviledges to cover the event and was given a huge swag bag as I was leaving. One product that was in there was something I tried when I was going around. It is a unique milk substitute. It is called Veggemo. It comes in 3 flavours – original, unsweetened and vanilla. What makes it unique is the ingredients. It is made from peas, tapioca and potatoes. Oh and it is delicious. My first thought is that this would be great to use when making a cream soup instead of using cream. It can be used plain as a beverage, in baking, or even in your coffee. Their website is http://www.veggemo.com600x600_VeggieGround

I am not a big fan of veggie burgers as I have had too many that tasted like compressed lawn clippings. I found one at the show that totally changed my mind. It is called Veggie Grounds and is made by a company called Big Mountain Foods. They were serving it on pizza samples and it was really amazing. These products are a good way to get some 600x600_OriginalPattyvegetables in your diet. I know for me it is one thing I always come up short on. I took a
chance and actually bought a package of their veggie burgers to try at home, and again, amazing. They were flavourful. I won’t say they would totally replace my hamburgers, but it’s a good alernative from time to time. They are fully cooked so you really just heat them up. We did ours in a frying pan, but I bet they would be great on a bar bq too.

smokedI also have found I need to add more fish to my diet. I love fish but I often overlook it in my diet or get bored with the same old canned salmon or tuna. I found a company that not only produced a delicious canned salmon and tuna, but is a company that is using a high stand of sustainability in their fishing practices. They are also a BC company which is extra cool for me. The two products I tried were their smoked salmon and smoked tuna. Yes they come in a can and they were to die for. My dad used to smoke salmon and it brought back those memories. Check out http://www.raincoasttrading.com

smart sweetsDo you have a sweet tooth? I have a weakness for gummi bears. I found a company called Smart Sweets that sell gummi bear that are practically sugarless. I say practically because there is only 2 grams of sugar in a bag and includes 24 grams of fibre. According to their promotional material, this is the equivalent as 6 servings of vegetables. They are also GMO and gluten free. Oh and for those with a sour tooth, they make sour gummies too. Find them at http://www.smartsweets.com

bag-raspberry-chia-bars-us

As I mentioned there was an emphasis on healthy families and there was a lot of products for
kids lunches. I found on that was really tasty and it was dairy, peanut, egg, wheat, gluten, tree nut,sesame,shellfish and sulphite free. They are called Freeyumm. They come as little snack bars and cookies that come in a number of flavours. My personal favourite was the raspberry, but there is also Honey Apple, Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Honey Hemp, Blueberry, Giner, and Banana Maple. Forget the kids. These would be great to take to the office to avoid the vending machine temptation. You can find them at http://www.freeyumm.com

Bread-Lent-Grain-USI am a big advocate of multi-grain breads and I found another local company making some delicious whole grain breads. The company is One Degree Organic Foods. They also make some really yummy cereals. What impressed me the most is that there are 6 ingredients in their bread, and one of those is water. I also recognized the other ingredients. My rule for a while has been if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t eat it. Not an issue with these breads!

Oh these are not gluten free, which is important for some, but still delicious. Find them online at http://www.onedegreeorganics.com

 

I should mention that Whole Foods was a major sponsor of the Expo, and all of these products can be found at your local Whole Foods. You don’t have to buy them online. I am the first to admit that some of Whole Foods products can be more expensive than those in your regular supermarket but as I ask people frequently – what is your health worth.

So there you have it. Just a few of the amazing things I found at the expo. It was an outstanding show, and I could see from the looks on people’s faces (much like I did at the Wellness Show) that people were really learning some new stuff that would improve their lives.

Check your local paper or online and look for these types of fairs or expos in your town. They are well worth attending. You will learn a lot, get to try a lot of new products that you may have only heard about. There are often freebies and special sales. If nothing else, you get the exercise from walking around and carrying all your new healthy purchases!

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

 

The Vancouver Wellness Show ( http://www.thewellnessshow.com/ )is an annual event that my wife and I never miss. In fact this year is their 25th anniversary. There is a lot to see, do, sample, taste and learn. There are workshops, lectures, cooking demos, fitness demos and more!

It was this past weekend (March 3,4,and 5) and it was at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre.

Now granted, and I say this in all fairness, there are some alternative wellness booths that make me shake my head, with people standing on something that looks like a paint mixer, or lying on a table with coloured lights blinking around them.

We even saw one booth that had a tent set up that people sat in with strobe lights flashing. I am not sure what that was supposed to do, but I am surprised no one had seizures from it.

Sadly there are also lots of booths of pills, potions, shakes and other short cuts and you all know how I feel about those.

The good news is that there is tons of other stuff for everyone, even if ,like me, you want to just learn about real healthy food and snacks and living a healthy lifestyle.

vida-plates-packI had read on Facebook of a company called Vidadish                            ( http://vidadish.com/) that makes a portion control system. As my readers know I am big on portion control. I will also say they vida-water-bottlehave not paid me for this. I bought my products but wanted to share what I liked about it.

I bought kind of a starter set. It cost me $30 which was a show
special that included a bonus water bottle. It also has a sample 7 day meal plan inside.vida-plates-open

vida-platesIt comes with the meal plate and the snack plate. They both have nice tight fitting lids so they are good for home, work or
even on the go. If you are familiar with the American “My Plate” system, it is similar but divided a bit differently. It is hard to see in my photos but they are even labeled with a C for complex carbs, P for protein and a small section labeled F for fats.

vida-protein-sectionIn the complex cards section goes your vegetables and grains, in the protein section is obviously for meat or other protein sources. The small section is for healthy fats like a low fat cheese for example. One feature I really like is the protein section is removable so you can heat up your meat. If you took some chicken breast and a salad for example, you could heat up the chicken without having to heat up the salad.vida-snack-plate

As I mentioned, it comes with a snack plate which is in 2 sections for complex carbs and protein. It would be good for apple on one side and peanut butter on the other.

One note – these are hand wash. They are not dish washer safe. They are leak proof, unbreakable and BPA free. Check out their website!

One thing I am always looking for is healthy snacks. I am not a sweets person but more of a savoury person. In other words I prefer chips to chocolate. I found a great snack from Zak Organics (https://www.zakorganics.com/) and they make a yummy nutritious snack called Crunchy Peas. These are roasted chick peas and come in 4 flavours, Sweet Cocoa, Garden Herb, Smokey Bar BQ and Seas Salt and Lime.

zak-organic

zak-organic-labelThey had a special of 4 bags for $20 so we bought one of each. I also bought a few small snack size bags. I have to tell you, they are delicious! They have the crunch and saltiness of chips, but these are chick peas which are high in protein. In fact acording to the label, there is 5 grams of protein per serving (1/3 cup). There is also 140 calories per serving.

I have to admit I had 2 servings at once (2/3 cup) and mixed 2 different flavours. You take your time and eat them one or two at a time and have a long lasting healthy snack. A serving has 120 mg of sodium which is 5% of your RDA so some of you that have to watch your sodium may have to watch your intake. Trust me, they yummy and very addictive!

maple-walnut-copyI am a big peanut butter fan but a lot of friends have been getting me pecan-butter-copyto look at other nut butters. not for any allergenic reasons, but for some healthier options.

We found a company called Better Butters(http://www.better-butters.com)  from Sechelt BC. They had an amazing assortment of nut butters and after samples quite a few, we settled on Maple Walnut and Pecan Butter. I had the Maple Walnut this morning on my toast and it was soooooo tasty.

mwo-classic-mac
mwo-shells-white-cheddar-1We managed to pick up some free boxes of Annie’s Organic Mac and
Cheese (www.annies.com). Annie’s makes a lot of really great organic products. Our granddaughter is a big fan of mac and cheese so we want her to have a healthier brand and she loves it! We like it because Annie’s uses real cheese with no artificial flavours, synthetic colours or preservatives.

snacks_cookies_snickerdoodle_cr___They also make a great product similar to  Teddy Grahams called Annies Snickerdoodle Cinnamon Sugar GLUTEN FREE Bunny Cookies. Warning – these are highly addictive!

The show isn’t just about food though. You get to talk to a lot of people about healthy living and healthy things to add to your life. There are health talks for women, families and general health.

I attended a really interesting lecture by Dr. Jason Marr on the difference between Diet and Nutrition. He is a naturopathic doctor at  Evoke Integrative Medicine in Vancouver. He spoke of the difference between simply the food we put in our mouth (diet) and the effect of that food on the body (nutrition).

I have never really listened to a naturopath before, and found it really interesting. It is an approach to medicine that puts the patient first – treats them as an individual, not just as a patient.

I had hoped to stay long enough to see the Chair Yoga workout, but my wife and I pooped out before that.

We brought our little granny cart with us, and it came home fully loaded with giveaways and products we bought. If you live in the Vancouver area, circle it on the calendar for next year!

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

 

balls-1786430_1280Today I want to talk about celebration moments. Not the ones where we stuff our faces with food. Not the ones where we over indulge in drinking. I am talking about enjoying or celebrating our successes along the way. This is a weight loss journey. You can not just celebrate when you get to your goal. You have to celebrate along the way.

I have said this to you before but the scale is not and can not be the only measurement of success on you weight loss journey. It is just one tool in the toolbox to utilize on the journey.

There are other benchmarks like how do your clothes fit, are your measurements going down, do you have more energy etc. You have to learn to look at the bigger picture.

I just had one of those celebration moments and I wanted to share it with you to show you how you have to celebrate all the successful moments.

I was getting dressed one morning recently, and I pulled a pair of jeans out of my dresser. I had bought these recently as a lot of my pants had been getting too big. Well, I put them on and after I did up the belt, I noticed they were baggy and the top looked like a sack of spuds bunched up.

“Great,” I thought “I must have put on a pair of my old ones.” I checked but no – this was a different pair I bought recently. These were what I called my next step jeans. These would be the next level down. These were size 40. My 42’s were now way too big.

You have to understand that the significance here is that I haven’t worn a size 40 since high school. I realized I have come down from a size 56 waist at my highest to a 40. I was so happy I almost cried, but didn’t want to lose my man card. (Just kidding. There were a few tears shed)horizontal-162952_1280

I am not sharing to brag (ok maybe a little) but it is to let you know it is not all about the  scale. We get too hung up on THAT ONE TOOL like it is the only measure of success.

Besides looking back at changes in how my body looks or what it’s numbers are, I look back at how far I have come in terms of what I can do now that I couldn’t do then. I look at the energy level I have and the excitement I have when I hit a new milestone.

I am also thrilled that so many people I have met online tell me that I encourage them. That’s why I took the Weight Management Specialist course – to be able to help people better.

I try to encourage clients to look at ALL their successes along the way.

What are your benchmarks? How do you gauge for success? When was the last time you gave yourself an attaboy? I am not saying to go around bragging. I am just saying you have to take the time to acknowledge your successes.

I like to walk, but I am not one who can walk on a track. I have to have a destination. When my wife and I go for a walk, we will often go to a local 7-11 about 3 or 4 blocks away.(Don’t judge me) It used to be a struggle to do that and required several rest stops along the way.

Now we enjoy the walk and it is not a problem. That’s a measure of success.

Every once in a rare while we will order pizza. There was a time when I could eat a large pizza by myself. Now I eat 2 or on occasion 3 slices. That’s a measure of success.

You go into a clothing store and the sizes you used to buy are now way too big for you. That’s a measure of success.

Do you bypass the big buffets when you eat out, or order more carefully from the menu? That’s a measure of success.

It is important to have a network of people who support and encourage you but don’t forget to encourage yourself.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day.