Weight loss

Some (possible) reasons you're not losing weight.

If you've known me a while then you know I've really struggled with the whole weight loss thing since my son was born (5 1/2 years ago!)...and if you're new here (WELCOME! I'M SOOOOOO HAPPY YOU'RE HERE!) well then...now you know, too!

I think about weight loss a lot. Here are the two main things I think:

1) We all need to stop worrying about our weight and just love the heck out of our bodies because seriously people, THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL and TRULY AMAZING. They get up every day and just DO SHIT. Wow. Like--I'm TYPING WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE KEYBOARD RIGHT NOW. If that's not magic I don't know what is. So yeah, can we please stop obsessing about our weight already?!

2) It's okay to want to lose weight. Some of us may actually be healthier if we lost weight so yes, that's important (that said--being "overweight" does not necessarily mean you're unhealthy and being "the right weight" doesn't mean you're healthy. So let's promise to get rid of those stereotypes right now, shall we?). BUT--just because we may agree with the BODY POSITIVE movement and really understand that it is crucial to LOVE our BEAUTIFUL BODIES (that do so much for us--see #1) doesn't mean we need to then feel bad about ourselves if we want to lose a few pounds--right? Right. 

Here's the thing-of course it is okay to want to lose some weight. But within that context I believe you need to:

1) Make sure you love and adore you body--and appreciate it--AS IT IS TODAY.

2) Be in PARTNERSHIP with your body--don't be at war with it! If you love and adore it than you can both (your body and you) agree that you'll join forces to lose weight and be on the SAME PAGE. 

3) BE REALISTIC. I talk about this in one of my classes of the 28 Day Total Food Transformation...(which is coming up and I totally want you to join, BTW) you need to GET REAL about YOUR BODY. If you're curvy and voluptuous then wishing you had a tomboy vibe is truly going to make you a very unhappy person AND you'll never get there. Or let's say you have this perfectly decent body but you want a MODEL'S body...you know what I mean. Well, here's the thing--models and actors either simply have genetics that make their bodies that way without effort OR they work really really hard at it. So--in reality--do you have time to spend 2 hours at the gym every day? Or maybe more? Can you hire a personal chef? Yeah. Neither can I! So find a way to understand YOUR body. YOU GET TO DECIDE ON YOUR BEAUTY STANDARD. 

kay, okay--so the above isn't why you opened up this email. You opened up this email to see if you could find the answer to that nagging question, "Why an't I lose weight?!"

Here's some possible reasons why:

TOXINS. Please don't roll your eyes! It is true. Your liver (one of your body's five detox organs) can get totally toxed-out and if it is, your body will have a very hard time functioning optimally. Your liver supports fat burning and hormone balancing, super important stuff for a balanced, healthy body that can perform well and release unwanted weight.

2) INFLAMMATION.  Inflammation comes in many forms and is bad for more reasons than just weight gain (i.e. DISEASE). But in this case, we are talking water retention. People roll their eyes at this but holding onto excess water due to poor diet will literally have you gaining between 5 - 15 pounds! On top of that, you will look puffy and bloated. It's fine to retain water--we need water in our bodies, obviously. But TOO MUCH retention is a sign that we are eating things we shouldn't be eating. Allergies or food sensitivities could absolutely be to blame and when you eliminate them from your diet you DROP THE WEIGHT. (If it isn't obvious this reason directly relates to #1).

3) SLEEP. Meaning you're not sleeping enough. This is HUGE. Why? When you don't sleep enough your cortisol levels rise. This stress hormone is associated with weight gain, particularly around the middle. Cortisol also sends signals to your brain TO EAT. Lack of sleep also increases the hormone, ghrelin (this hormone makes you hungry) and decreases leptin (this hormone makes you feel full). Isn't that a fun combination?!

One more thing about lack of sleep--you know how you feel groggy and foggy and lazy when you haven't slept well? Well researchers at the University of Chicago coined the phrase "metabolic grogginess" which basically means that your fat cells feel groggy, too!  Actually what the study shows is that after four days of bad sleep, your body's ability to properly use insulin is decreased by more than 30%. The short version of this result is that you store more fat and you tend to store it in bad places like your liver (see #1).

4) YOU'RE NOT EATING WHOLE FOODS. It is true. Not all calories are created equal. If you're eating a lot of processed foods and sugar, your body isn't getting the nutrition it needs (so it will have lots of cravings as a result) AND it has to work incredibly hard to process the food you're giving to it. Most likely it doesn't even recognize what you're giving it as food! So you'll feel hungry even after you've eaten! Eating nutritionally dense, whole foods will have you feeling fuller faster and for longer AND your body processes that food much easier--so it flows through your system in the way you want it to (as opposed to hanging around on your hips!). Beware of things like "gluten free" processed foods and the like--just because something is gluten free DOES NOT mean it is healthy! 

5) HORMONES. Ah, hormones. Especially as we get older they get out of whack. Remember when you could drop 10 pounds in a blink of an eye? If that's not happening anymore than most likely you're experiencing changes in your body that go with age (its' okay--please don't fret about aging--the alternative sucks!). Starting at around age 35 (especially for women but for men, too) our metabolism starts to slow down. Around 40 it drops some more. Also around 40, women lose about 1/2 a pound of lean muscle a year and GAIN about a pound of fat. And guess what? That fat is different from the fat of our youth--it takes up more space! HOW FUN IS THAT???!!! Sigh. This is where being REALISTIC about your body really comes into play. Accept and love yourself. You're body is changing but you are still you. At this point, eating whole foods becomes crucial as well as REGULAR EXERCISE (which helps to balance the hormones) both cardio and strength training. I could do a whole class on this...maybe I should! Also, studies show that eating protein at every meal is helpful (but make sure you're mostly eating veggies and fruits!). 

6) DEHYDRATION. h, man! I talk about this ALL THE TIME and I'm 100% certain that most people still don't drink enough water!! DRINK MORE WATER! Right now! Go have a glass of water...I'll wait...water is key for health and weight loss:

  • ater helps maximize our physical performance
  • Water effects our energy and brain function
  • Water supports proper digestion and is one of the keys in eliminating constipation
  • Water can increase satiety
  • Water can boost metabolism (and has been shown to do so by up to 30% in some studies

7) YOU ARE EATING TOO MUCH. Yup. I know--shocking, right? But here's the thing, a lot of people are not aware of how much they are eating, especially if they are not MINDFUL when they are eating. In fact, mindless eating adds up to unneeded calories. This holds true for junk food or healthy food. TW-I KNOW I'M GUILTY OF THIS! Especially working from home with my kitchen RIGHT THERE. I eat super healthy but my metabolism is low and I have hypothyroidism so even a small amount of too many calories stays with me. Sigh. SUPER FRUSTRATING. Oh--and my husband eats like 4,000 calories a day and never gains a pound. Double sigh.

8) YOU ARE NOT EXERCISING. uess what?! If you want to lose weight YOU NEED TO EXERCISE. Do both cardio and strength training. Do I really need to say more about this? It's really important for your heart health and bone health as well. SO JUST DO IT!

9) MACRONUTRIENTS. You need to eat a proper amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates EVERY DAY. And by carbohydrates I mean fruits and vegetables. Also, please stop being afraid of fat. Eat it! Except trans fat. NEVER eat trans fat. 

10) YOU ARE NOT EATING RIGHT FOR YOUR BODY. hat does that mean? When we eat food that is hard on our body/hard for our bodies to digest, we cause break down. Over time that break down becomes worse and it shows up in all sorts of ways. We can get eczema, acne, our hair thins, our skin looks terrible, we sleep poorly or sleep all the time but never feel rested, we get GERD, high blood pressure, gut imbalances, thyroid issues, liver and gallbladder issues...etc etc...and we GAIN WEIGHT. All this tends to happen slowly, over time, so we assume it is about aging or maybe we think it is just bad luck. NO.  NO NO NO. I wish I had more time to write about this but this post is already way too long. Listen--about 80% of your immune system is in your gut! When you eat the wrong foods and you mess with your gut, that is affected. Stuff starts to go wrong. BUT--when you eliminate those things from your diet your BODY IS AMAZING and can start to heal. I HAVE SEEN IT HAPPEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN WITH MY CLIENTS AND IT IS TOTALLY AWESOME. 

So how do you know what your body is having a hard time with?

'm glad you asked! That's where my 28 Day Total Food Transformation comes in. I walk you through it step by step AND you're doing it with all these cool people and it is actually really fun. And the results are phenomenal.

So I hope you do my program because I know it will totally be amazing and life-changing for you.

BUT--if you don't want to do my program, here's what you do: you do an elimination diet. That's essentially what my program is. First you eliminate all potential allergens for at least a week (for serious medical conditions you'll want to go longer than that-email me if you have questions). Then you slowly and methodically reintroduce those allergens back into your diet, one by one. You monitor for reactions. You LEARN. IT IS SO SIMPLE YET SO POWERFUL. 

Okay, gorgeous! That's enough for today!

Go out there and TAKE UP SPACE! STAND UP! SPEAK OUT! MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!

Also, EAT HEALTHY FOOD!

Much love,

Elijah

 

Hello from my (imperfect) kitchen!

HELLO! This probably isn't what you expected, LOL!

This morning I sat down to do work and research a possible WEBINAR that I'd like to do. I've been thinking about this for a while--my favorite thing about my job is INTERACTING WITH MY COMMUNITY (love you!) and a webinar would be a great way to bring valuable information to my people and getting to interact with my community--and also (hopefully) attract new people into my community. Because bringing new people into the fold is an important part of my business and I'm often thinking about how I can do that.

My son, Beck (5 1/2) went to a Lego camp today (theme of the camp is "Chemistry"...not sure how that is going to play out!). He's there until 3pm so I have a short day to do a lot of work (which is my norm!). Scott, my hubby, took Beck to camp and then came home to do some work as well. We both sat down at the kitchen table.

 

Here's Scott focusing intently on his work! Behind him are all our holiday cards we've received. To his left is our Wall of Art that Beck started. A lot of the pictures are Beck's but many other people have contributed--anyone that visits our home is invited to draw or paint a picture to hang! Scott, my sister, Erin, my , Josh, his friend, Jordan, my niece, Jennie and I have all contributed to the wall!

 

And here I am in all my non-glory! Still in my pajamas (but wearing a yummy sweater over them), no make up on...I hadn't even brushed my hair! And YES--that's a cup of espresso next to me! I don't drink coffee but I do drink espresso (coffee is too acidic for me). Sometimes I give it up and sometimes I don't...it's something I'm learning to live with!

So you see...I'm not perfect. That's important to know because in today's world we are bombarded with images of perfection all day long and boy can that make us feel like WE ARE NOT ENOUGH.

But guess what?! Those images--whether from commercial ads or people's Facebook feed or Instagram feed (or whatever the latest social media trends are out there) are CURATED. THEY ARE NOT THE MOMENT TO MOMENT REALITY OF PEOPLE'S LIVES. Now--you know this in your heart but your mind...your mind will try and trick you into believing that those images are TRUTH. That somehow, everyone out there has:

  • Perfect bodies
  • Perfect clothes
  • Perfect homes
  • Perfect jobs
  • Perfect skin
  • Perfectly toned abs
  • Perfect children (ha!)
  • Perfect relationships

So to disabuse you of the notion of perfection in my world (not sure if you had that notion but just in case!), I wanted to share a slice of my life. I'll also show you my kitchen, which is truly one of the ugliest kitchens I know of! Truth is, I have often sought to HIDE how un-pretty my kitchen is from you guys!! (That said, I've also dreamed of creating a YouTube channel called, "Beautiful Food from an Ugly Kitchen."!!)

 

Oy. HARVEST GOLD. Yup. Our home was built in 1970 and this is the original kitchen with the exception of the stainless steel dishwasher! I didn't arrange anything for the photo--note spoon left on counter (not sure who left that!).

Our stove has only TWO working burners and it isn't repairable because...well...1970. The hood to the stove hasn't worked for months. The tile...well, it pains me daily to see it, LOL! That's a pot of oatmeal on the stove left by Scott. The window looks out to a little "courtyard" that is actually sort of cool--we have a builtin BBQ out there.

There's very little storage in my kitchen which drives me mad! Note the mason jars lined up against the wall to the right of the (harvest gold) sink! What I wouldn't give more more counter space!

Speaking of counter space..

 

This is a little something we've actually titled our "clutter counter"! How many of my OCD peeps out there are going crazy seeing this?! Truthfully--it isn't in that bad a shape today! Often it is worse! Check out the lefthand side wall--see that thing that looks like a radio built into the wall? THAT IS AN INTERCOM SYSTEM! OMG! It was put into the house in...you guessed it...1970! It doesn't work (or barely works) anymore yet there it is, a huge eyesore. Although it is slightly amusing!

To the right you can see my purse with my red wallet sticking out. The peppermint bark was a gift from friends--we aren't going to eat it (LOVE YOU Kathy and David! Sorry!)--Scott is taking it to his work (is it bad that we pawn off stuff we would never eat to co-workers?!). The piece of paper stuck to the oh-so-brown cupboard says, "EVOLVE--DISCONTINUE" LOL! Sounds so funny but what that is, is an organization I've been donating $39 to quarterly for the past couple of years but I want to discontinue it and donate that money in a different direction this year...I still haven't done it despite the big ole note on the cabinet (I'm busy!). The white refrigerator isn't from the 70s--I think more like early 90s.

SO. YEAH. Super IMPERFECT. Somehow in this crazy small, disorganized and highly unattractive kitchen, I manage to make some killer green smoothies and other yummy, healthy meals. I hope there's some small amount of inspiration there for you!

I will also add that due to the fact that everything in our kitchen is falling apart, we are FINALLY going to be updating it. But that feels SCARY because it is a lot of money and seriously--I've never done anything like that before (spent that kind of money, ordered new appliances, etc...). But we have to do it! I mean...only TWO WORKING BURNERS on the stove! (although last Thursday we hosted a Chanukah party for 65 friends and fried up 250 latkes on those two burners! WOOT!). If you have any experience updating a kitchen and want to lend me advice, feel free to do so!

So what's the point of all this? Well, first and foremost--NOBODY'S LIFE IS AS PERFECT AS IT SEEMS. So STOP comparing yourself and remember that EVERYONE IS TOTALLY MESSED UP!Hee hee! I actually think that's probably mostly true to one degree or another.

BUT SERIOUSLY--one of the biggest things we all suffer from in life is the idea that we are "not enough". And that's simply not true. You are beautiful and YOU ARE ENOUGH. I promise. Readjust your thinking on that because you know what? THE WORLD NEEDS YOU! And the more you think, "I'm not good enough etc etc" the more you hold yourself back from KICKING ASS!

Okay...signing off now. Don't forget to come hang out with me and others from this magnificent tribe in the 28 Day Total Food Transformation. Eating right truly does help you to KICK ASS in this world. I promise.

Sending you SOOOOOOO MUCH LOVE!

Elijah

Eat Your Way Healthy Through the Holiday Season!

Happy early Thanksgiving. I know that I truly am grateful for YOU. If you've worked with me you know how mushy I get around how awesome the people are that come to my groups. I'm very very lucky. So THANK YOU.

Soooo...how are you doing? I hope you're finding joy in your days and making sure you connect with the people you love. I find that a true recipe for health and happiness :)

Of course...then there's the food...(hint-the 7 Day Winter Detox is open!)

The holidays are often when everyone gets all worried about the sweet and savory indulgences that will no doubt grace every holiday table. It becomes a time where you often give yourself permission to let loose and eat whatever, and then new year’s rolls around and you feel like you got hit by a food truck (who's with me here?!).

Give Yourself the Gift of Balance

What I’m proposing is a complete mindset shift around how you honor your body and your self-care needs during the holiday season. This is a time for giving, so how about you give yourself a gift that’s going to nourish you beyond the 10-minute sugar rush?

Set Boundaries with Your Family

Talk to your family and explain that you’ll be doing things differently this year, that just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you’re going to settle for nutritionally deprived foods that take more than they give your body.

Explain that you’ll be creating some healthy delicious options and offer to share with them, it is the holidays, after all!

Exercise Your Creativity in the Kitchen

Try new and exciting recipes.

You can splurge and buy expensive superfoods, interesting fresh fruits and vegetables that you don’t always get, nuts and seeds and truffled extra-virgin olive oil.

But truly, eating healthy doesn't have to mean buying expensive and rare foods (although admittedly I can find all that fun!). One of my favorite websites for clean, healthy living is Oh She Glows. Check her out! There's a lot there to spur your Kitchen Creativity!

Tips to Eat Healthy Without Feeling Deprived

Healthy food can be totally gourmet and special too. Make your own homemade chocolate with mint leaves. Adorn your salads with pomegranates and walnuts.

Here are a few more tips and tricks…

  • Swap white potatoes with roasted sweet potato and butternut squash
  • Thicken the drippings from your turkey for gravy with arrowroot or tapioca starch to stay away from gluten and GMO corn starch (if you want non GMO corn starch make sure you purchase ORGANIC corn starch!).
  • Try making coconut whipped cream instead of dairy and serve with homemade roasted pumpkin with a bit of cinnamon, stevia and crumbled pecans
  • Ditch the bread and stick with extra veggies drizzled with high-quality olive oil
  • Use plain yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Make cauliflower rice instead of white rice

Want even more great tips to help you lose weight, improve your digestion and increase your energy?

Check out my new Winter Detox program details and hopefully you'll join me!

Hope you're having a VIBRANT day!

Elijah