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Episode 34 – Why You Need to Keep a Food Journal to Reach Your Goals (sorry)

This week Christa welcomes Dr. Jerome Craig back to introduce us to the serious subject of food journaling. Even though food journaling is something most of us are resistant to do, they discuss the importance of it and offer some easy fun ways to track our foods. Journaling is necessary to build a starting point and a foundation of what foods work or don’t work for each individual person.

 

Why Food Journal?

  • Helps us be more mindful
  • Are we under or over eating
  • Not calorie counting, but awareness about excessive consumption
  • Awareness of how specific foods cause discomfort and what to bring back after elimination
  • Builds discipline, new habits, improved processing and better sleeping patterns

Dr. Craig says, “If you’re not aware of what you’re eating and you’re having health problems, food journaling is a good place to start.”

Tips for Easy Journaling

  • Don’t complicate it – release the perfection.
  • Be curious – “How does this affect my body?” Christa describes food journaling as a journey of self-discovery, figuring out what best works for your body instead of a set of rules.
  • Apps are helpful! Christa’s recommends MyNetDiary Pro which links with your Fitbit and tracks nutrients, macros, vitamins and helps you build and save your own recipes.
  • Keep your app or your food notebook around you so it’s always accessible.
  • Don’t focus on the calories. Jerome says, “Your body doesn’t really care about the calories it cares about the inflammation its bringing to the cells.” It’s more important to be getting your micronutrients than to be counting calories or macros.

“One thing we all do every single day, and probably devote a lot of time thinking about every single day, is eating. So why not make it easier so you can come up with ideas of what really works for you.”, says Dr. Craig. Food journaling helps us come up with meals that work for us to have better health, which includes improved digestion and more restful sleep.

Whatever health benefits you’re trying to reach or if you’re starting a new food plan, make sure you track your mood, sleep, digestion and energy. When you are making a change and have a goal in mind – food journal!

Fitlandia Upcoming Events

May 17th
Fitlandia is being sponsored for a “lunch and learn” with Garden Bar Portland. Join us to learn the basics and benefits of a keto diet. Garden Bar is providing free keto-friendly salads to all attendees.

Location:               NedSpace is located at 707 SW Washington Street, Portland 97201 (11floor)
Time:                      12pm-1pm

May 31
Dr. Craig and Christa are starting a new 7-week Keto 101 online program: Pumping up your Fitness with Fat. This new program includes one-on-one sessions, educational webinars, access to private forums and the Fitlandia Facebook group, and a one-year membership to Fitlandia.

Head over to the Keto 101 Program for more information. As a thank you for tuning into today’s podcast, we’re offering 20% off to our listeners. Just enter PODCAST20 at checkout.

 

Want More? Subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday! Share your comments in a review and we’ll feature you in an upcoming podcast.

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Episode 32 – Transform Your Life with Tapping with Jessica Ortner

Christa gives us a massive treat with this week’s podcast by welcoming Jessica Ortner to the show! Jessica Ortner is a Stress Reduction and Weight Loss Coach, New York Times’ best-seller and producer of the documentary, “The Tapping Solution.”

 

To celebrate Jessica’s contribution to our Fitlandia community, Christa is offering a 20% discount for the next round of the No Fools Detox. Go to the Fitlandia Store website, put the No Fools Detox in your cart, and enter the code “Jessica20” at checkout to receive your discount. The next round launches on May 15th with only 12 spots available so make sure to not miss out on this deal as you learn the techniques to help you succeed on your health and fitness journey.

Background

When Jessica was introduced to tapping by her brother, Nick Ortner, she was absolutely blown away by its effectiveness. An “over thinker” since childhood, Jessica describes how she struggled to use positive affirmations and other techniques to shift her brain’s way of thinking. Like many of us, the anxiety and worry that clouded her mind not only affected her brain but she felt it throughout her whole body. Since tapping helps to relieve the physical symptoms associated with anxiety, Jessica found that it worked to quiet her mind but also to calm her body and reduce the corresponding physical stress. She and her brother became proficient in using tapping and eventually filmed a documentary where they brought in experts and followed ten people to chronicle their success using this technique. This video documentary has been widely used by tapping followers to demonstrate how it is done and to teach and inspire others.

Jessica explains, “Tapping is a stress relieving technique to do while focusing on what’s causing you anxiety while tapping on acupuncture points”.

Our ancestors needed to have that flight or fight response to stay alive; producing physical strength and increased cortisol. Then we evolved, and although our fears are normal everyday things like our jobs and family life, our bodies continue to react in the same way as our ancestors did – with a physical reaction. Our heart begins to race, we start sweating, our stomach might start to turn and our whole body will be in a stressed state. Although our mind will usually start to rationalize with a positive outlook, it is the body’s natural reaction is to keep us safe, so the physical symptoms remain. “We are wired to have a negative bias to keep us safe”, Jessica explains. We need to train both our body and our mind that it’s safe to relax but first we must get clear on what is causing the stress and access the pressure points at the same time to help us relax.

When we tap on these acupressure points, it calms us physically. Naturally, we do things with our hands when we’re anxious anyways. For example, when we’re tense and press our fingers in between the eyes at the top of the nose or on our temples, we do this to comfort ourselves. Now we’re using these points and stimulating them by tapping and while doing so, we focus on a thought, it sends a calming signal to our brain that tells us it’s okay to relax.

From the age of 14, Jessica struggled with her weight. She was “brainwashed” by believing the only way to lose weight was by diet and exercise. She was caught in an endless cycle of Yo-Yo Dieting and what she calls a “Pattern of Panic”. The panic state would be caused by an unflattering photograph or an upcoming event that would propel her to start another fad diet or exercise program. She would follow a strict set of rules about what to eat and actions to follow but this structure was exhausting and Jessica would always find herself resorting back to her old self-sabotaging and rebellious behavior. She explains, “The panic does make us take action but it is never sustainable. You don’t have to be in a state of panic to make changes like many of us have been taught to believe. It’s when we completely accept ourselves that change becomes sustainable.”

Jessica had an epiphany when she realized that she had achieved success with her tapping education and her books, but this success did not carry over to her struggle with her weight. It was then she realized that she had been using tapping for everything except weight loss.

“When you make weight the excuse to not be happy, sometimes we don’t want to let go of that excuse. Doing new things is still scary, expansion doesn’t have to be so terrifying that you freeze but there’s a level of vulnerability when you do something new. When you hold onto an excuse your whole life there comes a moment when you begin to sabotage yourself because success becomes scarier than failure”.

Jessica concluded that her weight was not the boundary but more importantly it was her self-loathing and condemnation she had about her body image. She shares two important concepts:

  1. It’s easy to take care of something you value. The more you hate on your body the more stuck you are in that. Many times, we think of food as a reward but when you value yourself, you’ll pay a lot more attention to what your body needs. It’s okay to indulge in wine or chocolate on occasion but to do it in a loving nurturing way and not to escape an emotion.
  2. Diets have a time frame – 30 days for example, but what happens on day 31? Its makes much more sense to be on an “experiment”. The difference between a diet and an experiment is that an experiment is continual and flexible, but a diet has an end date or an “I’m exhausted date”. It takes experimentation to get your body adjusted off the inflammatory foods while working on the mind so that you can make healthy choices moving forward. Our bodies are continually aging and changing, and we need to adapt and learn what works for our bodies every single day. Every body is different; what works for one person may not work for someone else.

“If you’re waiting for someone to give you the answer for your perfect body, you’re never going to get there”. Jessica says, “You have to go within.”

Jessica points out its important to know that foods are designed to be addictive so we need not blame ourselves entirely. There’s a physical component of course but we’re sometimes looking for comfort or a familiar connection that makes us think we need to eat or have that daily glass or bottle of wine. Our brains are wired to have a positive outcome – to take care of us now; that is why we sometimes act in ways that bring a negative outcome even when that was not our intention. These acts which we think are going to be enjoyable, often create the opposite result.

Jessica offers a great quote by fellow tapping practitioner, Brad Yates, “Self-sabotage is simply misguided self-love”.

When people understand where they’re at and can be present in that stress, they can use techniques like tapping to free themselves of their negative behaviors. “It’s easy to focus on what’s not working but when we make it fun we can make it last; happiness is an adventure”, Jessica exclaims. We must intentionally reverse our brain’s natural reactions to make positive, sustainable changes.

Christa recommends an awesome book on this subject, Presence-Process-Healing-Journey-Awareness, by Michael Brown.

Steps to Transform with Tapping

Jessica leads us in a tapping demonstration (view the video for a visual instruction).

  • Tap on a craving
  • Think about what makes your mouth water (salty chips, sugary chocolate, wine?)
  • Let the craving intensify and notice where you feel the craving (mouth, chest, stomach?)
  • Rate the craving level from 1-10, with 10 being the highest most intense level
  • Set-up Statement: helps neutralize judgement. “This is how I feel and it’s okay”

 The Tapping Points

Side of the hand (doesn’t matter what side of hand)

Eyebrow (right on the bone on the inside where the hair begins)

Side of the eye (on bone)

Under eye (follow bone underneath eye)

Underneath nose

Underneath lip (at crease between lip and chin)

U-shaped bone on collar bone (tapping with whole hand on your chest also stimulates that point)

Underneath the arm (hand with underneath the armpit, at bra strap for ladies)

Top of the head

Begin with the side of the hand and make an affirmation statement like:

“Even though I’m craving this wine, I accept myself and how I feel. Even though I really want this wine because it’s been a long day, I accept myself and how I feel. Even though I’m really craving this wine, that is okay.”

Continue to give a voice to the craving.

Eyebrow – This craving for this wine.

Side of the eye – This craving in my chest.

Underneath the eye – This intense desire for wine.

Nose – I really want it right now.

Chin – I’m craving this wine.

Collar bone – My whole body wants this wine.

Underneath the arm – This intense craving is so strong.

Head – I’m fighting this craving I feel like I am losing, I really want this wine. It’s been a long day and I really want this wine.

Repeat and affirm reasoning

Side of hand – It’s been a long day.

Eyebrow – I have a lot to think about and have a lot on my plate right now.

Side of the eye – I give myself permission to relax.

Nose – With or without the wine.

Chin – I give myself permission to relax.

Collar bone- Even though it’s been a long day.

Head – I give Permission to relax now and to take a break.

Take a deep breath in and while tuning in to your solar plexus notice has this craving shifted and do you feel still the same tension? Most often, the craving is reduced or lifted completely!

When you’re in a relaxed, focused state, that’s when you can access all the wisdom you already possess. Through tapping you can access that connection you have with foods or alcohol which many of us are usually just not aware of those patterns. From where you are you can’t see it, but when you’re relaxed and not in a panic state you’ll recognize and understand what drives your cravings and learn how to not allow them to control your behavior.

What an informative and exciting interview! Be sure to check out Jessica’s website (including guided tapping meditations for morning and night) her book, Tapping-Solution-Weight-Loss-Confidence and also her Adventures in Happiness podcast on iTunes.

 

We’d love to hear how this episode has helped you on your fitness journey! Head over to iTunes or Stitcher and leave us a review with your comments. We’ll feature them in an upcoming show.

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Episode 31 – Tap Into Childhood to Understanding Adult Lifestyle Choices

Today we are excited to have Christa’s colleague and certified hypnotherapist, Anya Drapkin here to teach us how to tap into our childhood through Mind Zoning® to understand why we make certain food-related choices in adulthood. Stay tuned to the end, when Anya leads us through a ten-minute Mind Zoning® session!

 

As with any Mind Zoning® session make sure you’re taking a break from distractions, outside of your car, and have a space to “zone out” and let your mind unwind.

Childhood Patterns That Shape Our Adulthood Behaviors

During Anya’s educational training, she discovered how crucial the first seven years of life is for us when it comes to how we behave later in life. This time period serves as a template for how we relate to our environment, nature, our homes and even our food choices. This imprint period has been shown to directly shape our patterns, but is also the root which determines how our habits are formed. These engrained behaviors are unlikely to change unless we tap into them.

Our culture places a big importance on food and although we don’t want to shame the treats used in celebrations, such as birthday cake, we do need to be mindful of how these celebratory foods make us feel. From an early age, we are taught to associate food with comfort and happy times, and this relationship typically continues into adulthood. We “self-soothe” with food.

Anya points out that a child’s first interaction with their mother is being brought to the breast to be fed. The child feels loved, reassured, and the sweetness of the milk fills the brain with pleasure and there is a bond that forms over this encounter. This intimate moment is a core time that shows that love flows from mother to baby. This first nourishment soothes the brain for years and emotionally attaches the child to the food and the human it comes from.

As we grow, we don’t always get the same emotional support from humans that we can find from food. We may find ourselves using food, sugar or alcohols as a way to soothe and comfort ourselves – so this becomes a critical point where we need to analyze these patterns and behaviors we’ve brought into our adult lives.

Carbs, Sugar, and Alcohol

These substances in particular are to blame since they “fire up” the reward center in our brains. If you’ve ever tried to give up all or one of these things for a period of time, you’ve surely realized the emotional and physiological connection associated with these substances.

It makes better sense when we look back to the caveman stages of humanity (primarily what the paleo diet is based from) our brain is wired to keep us safe. When we eat sugar, it fires up our brain’s reward center and suddenly we feel happy and safe. In today’s times, it’s important for us to realize that our brain is simply trying to fix itself. We consume these foods because we are hardwired to do so. This realization may help to release the guilt we associate with consuming these substances that we know are not good for us. Although the brain is trying to recover that feeling of safety and comfort, it is actually creating havoc in our bodies. It’s important for us to create new patterns as a brain safety mechanism. Getting off the reliance of sugar, carbs and alcohol gives our bodies the freedom to create new neural pathways.

Tapping Into Childhood

Anya states that most people struggle with changing lifelong behaviors towards food and alcohol simply because of the ritual they’ve created around it. Patterns are built through repetition. We associate a lot of our eating habits with situations with emotional components and that we want to cherish and repeat. Many of these patterns ‘make us feel good’ and many times we use these habits to help us feel good in a pinch. We not only need to learn how to break the ritual but also the brain connection we have with it. Anya encourages, “We have to create a different, healthier way to get our means.”

Techniques How to Identify and Shift These Patterns

Anya focuses on:

  • Diving into the emotional state – We simply cannot address the inner soothing we need by giving ourselves quick sensations. Food doesn’t work on the cognitive level.
  • Empowering to use imagination – In our society we are trained to use our more logical left side of the brain. This is the product-driven, performance-based part that controls behaviors that make us successful. To evolve as humans, it’s important we pay more attention to the right side of the brain. This is the emotional, holistic part of us that makes up the meaning of life.

“Nothing has meaning other than the meaning you give to it.”

Anya asks her clients to envision and use imagery to tune in at this time, the conscious mind will go to what is most relevant. She says, “The power is about what the client’s subconscious needs to complete and it will soothe what the deeper being wants to receive.” Anya goes on to tell us, “The mind zoning space will bring you what’s missing and what the solution will be for you, outside of food. Sometimes it’s community or support and to engage in the people who want to support and love you.”

Now it’s your turn (guided hypnotherapy)

Find a safe space that you can relax and take a couple deep breaths

Know that you have all the talents and skills to get relaxed

Tune out visual stimulus and wiggle into a comfortable position

Feel the solid support beneath you

Begin to get in touch with your breath

Paying attention to your breath and the words

Notice any tight spots you’re holding tension

Feel the deep breaths in the bottom of your lungs

Feel the power of your muscles as you consciously inhale

On the exhale surrender into gravity

Trust the solid support beneath you

Keep deepening your breath

Tune into yourself

You’re the most interesting entity in this moment

Tune attention inward so you can fully benefit from your focus

Accept your focus

Let that be a possibility

Have unconditional acceptance and focus

You deserve it

You can take up space

Begin to move attention

Open your inner eye to a place where you can imagine things

You’re at the top of the staircase moving down

You see a big beautiful tree

So big it has a doorway

Walk around the tree

Walk up to the door

Behind the door is your childhood

A place where you were safe and felt good

Put your hands in the doorway and step through

Step into a place where you were much younger and smaller

Go into that place

How do you feel?

Notice the quality of the air

Notice who’s there

Where you are

That you’re okay

That you’re still in your imagination

Notice that this childhood mind is still in you

Notice what does this child want

Do you want to play?

Explore?

A hug?

Look at your childhood self and ask a question

“What do you want the most right now?”

“What are feeling right now?”

“What do you need?”

Anya asks us to think about, what would you tell your childhood self that would comfort them and give them an opportunity to grow and soothe their inner worries during that moment? These answers are the very things that we carry with us into adulthood.

For more information about Anya and her practices check out her website My Oasis for Healing.

If you enjoyed this Mind Zoning® session make sure you listen to Mountain Escape, on the Fitlandia website. You can sign up for a FREE, 2-week trial and unlock access to the entire collection and all the other member benefits for 2-weeks.

 

Want More? Click below and subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday!

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4 Home Workouts to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

4 Home Workouts to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Many people with the best fitness intentions and New Year’s fitness resolutions fail to stick to them by the end of January for two main reasons: they don’t have enough time to work out, or they hate the gym. If you fall into these categories but really want to commit to making permanent healthy habits this year, the solution may be closer than you think. By working out at home, you will save time commuting to the gym, and you will save yourself the anxiety of working out in front of strangers on unfamiliar equipment. Our X home workouts will help you save your New Year’s fitness resolution.

  1. Start Strength Training

Strength training is an important part of working out for everyone. With regular strength and resistance training, people reduce body fat and burn calories more efficiently for healthy weight loss. Lifting weights also helps preserve and build muscle mass and bones for people of all ages, and it increases resting metabolism by approximately 7% to help protect against muscle loss.

If you are going to workout at home, be sure to purchase dumbbells and kettlebells in the appropriate weights. If you’re a beginner, be sure to get weights that challenge you but won’t hurt you; you will increase the weight as you progress. With a quick search online, you can find various exercises that target certain body parts; for example, squatting with dumbbells works out the shoulders, arms, abs, and legs.

  1. Jump Rope

Jumping rope tones the upper and lower body all at the same time. It’s also a great way to work out because it increases your heart rate and helps you burn calories quickly. If you don’t have room in your home to swing a rope, do it in your driveway or front yard. Another option is to mimic the movement without using a real rope. Once you’re ready, bump up your jump rope workout by doing fast intervals and short recovery times. If jumping rope starts to get boring, spice it up by jumping on one leg, playing double-dutch with your kids, or jumping to your favorite songs.

  1. Follow Along with Online Workouts

There are tons of workout routines available online, and many are available free of charge. You can find beginner, intermediate, and expert workouts in addition to yoga routines, dance fitness classes, step aerobics, and more. If you’ve never tried an online workout before, search YouTube for the type of exercise you want to do. Then, see how many views the video you choose has and how many people gave it a thumbs up. Chances are, you will enjoy a workout video that’s been viewed more often and has more thumbs up than one that only a few people have seen or liked.

Another option is to subscribe to an online workout program and stream it whenever you have some free time, either at home or at the office. When you subscribe to streaming workouts, you feel like you have a personal trainer. Some people also stick to these workouts because they know they will have options and won’t have to keep searching for workouts since the subscription delivers them to you.

  1. Practice Yoga 

For people who like to wind down at the end of the day and don’t want to run to a gym or a yoga studio, practicing yoga is an ideal at-home workout option. Put on comfy clothes, roll out your yoga mat, turn on your essential oil diffuser, play relaxing music or soothing sounds, and start stretching and getting into your practice. If you’ve taken yoga classes before, you can get started right away, or  you can subscribe to a yoga channel that provides daily email, a calendar, and a routine to follow so you stay accountable and on track with your New Year’s resolution.

Working out at home is one of the easiest ways to stay on track with your New Year’s resolution and develop healthy habits. You won’t waste time commuting to a gym, and you’ll be more comfortable working out in the comfort of your own home. Working out at home also eliminates most people’s excuses for skipping their workouts, especially if you purchase the essential equipment ahead of time.


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Episode 30 – Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

We’re pleased to welcome Functional Medicine Practitioners, Doctors Mark and Michele Sherwood, to talk with us about how to live and benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet.

Background

Dr. Michele Sherwood began working in functional medicine after she began noticing that she addressed her patients more by their specific medications or diseases, instead of by their names. She had earned a naturopath degree before medical school and was now realizing she was simply prescribing maintenance medicines to her patients; a type of “band aid”. She discovered a dramatic improvement in her patients and in her practice when she began to look at the root cause and their life as a whole; including nutrition, activity level, hormonal balances, stress, and sleep patterns which can feed into sickness and disease.

Mark and Michele, besides being married, also have a wellness-based medical practice. They work with genetics, excessive fat reduction, medication reduction and improvement of muscle tissue and texture. Simply put, they’re working to eliminate self-imposed choice driven sickness and diseases from the planet.

By helping to get the focus off obsessing over weight and transitioning to eating whole foods and being healthier overall, Mark and Michele are hoping to work themselves out of jobs.

Get healthy on purpose and lose weight on accident

Mark states, “Anytime we talk about a program where weight loss is included, it’s important to remember, you cannot lose muscle tissue.” Muscle tissue is the way we move our bodies, without it, we’re dying. When we focus on maintaining muscle, we lose fat and overall body composition and our longevity improves.

When focusing on overall body composition it’s a good ratio for 10%-20% body fat for men and 18%-28% for woman. When this is normalized, physical health and emotional health improves.

In their practice, they use an analysis called Bioimpedance for examining body composition. This is different than BMI (Body Mass Index) that measures below, in the middle or above a certain range for body composition but doesn’t actually measure the actual body mass. Conversely, Bioimpedance evaluates lean body mass; how much is withheld, fat inflammatory mass, intracellular and outer cellular water and basal metabolic rate. This is a more accurate measure of cellular health.

This is used as a base line evaluation of a body’s composition and how many calories are necessary to be properly fueled. Mark and Michele use this to study and develop individual plans for their patients. They’re also working on point specific genetics dealing with metabolic health and sports components. Stay tuned for a future podcast where we’ll dive into this information on what chronic inflammation can do this to our bodies and techniques like these that can be used to target solutions.

Now, how does our food inflame us right into disease?

Inflammation, when acute, is how we heal. When it becomes chronic is when it becomes problematic and is the first signs of sickness or disease.

Roughly 80% of the inflammation in our bodies is coming in through our mouths.

When we eat foods that inflame our system, they’re disguised as macronutrients when in reality, they’re simply just macro calories. If we have an efficient, healthy body when we eat foods with good macro nutrient quality, we can get the micro nutrients out of these foods. If not, our bodies start to get inflamed and break them down one organ at a time which can result in hormone imbalances, weight gain, back pain, digestion issues, brain fog, etc.

Known inflammatory foods  

A good pneumonic for these foods is, S.A.D. which stands for the Standard American Diet.

This includes:

  • Fried Foods
  • Sugars, Artificial Sweeteners, Soda
  • Processed Foods and Preservatives – including processed sandwich meats
  • MSG – fillers found in dressings, cookies, spices etc.
  • Excessive Caffeine – 200-300 milligrams more than daily amount
  • Excessive Alcohol – 1-2 drinks a week
  • Corn, Soy, Yeast, Grains and Bread
  • Anything found in a box or package
  • Any foods with added ingredients to change the foods nature or preserve it

 Anti-inflammatory foods to enjoy

Anything that grows in the land, aside from certain food allergies, is going to be much easier for the body to identity and digest. Including more of these types of foods will start to improve your health and mood in as little time as a week!

  • Raw fruits – lower glycemic so you watch sugar levels, but also include nutrients and vitamins
  • Vegetables – no limits to greens. Vegetables help alkalize the system and help with digestion, they also provide lots of minerals and fiber.
  • Hormone free, grass-fed meat
  • Pasture raised eggs
  • Fish – fresh cod and farm-raised fish like trout

Pro Tip: 75% of your plate = vegetables and then make healthy fat choices for the remaining 25%.

What to expect when transitioning to an anti- inflammatory diet

  • Increase in energy which helps release brain fog
  • Better digestion which boosts weight loss
  • Look out for perceived fatigue because of blood sugar dropping – don’t quit – have a piece of fruit, and let your mind and body start to adjust.
  • Don’t focus on depravity but welcome the new journey of releasing toxins and overcoming the brain, gut connectivity we have to certain foods.

It’s helpful to stay connected and you’ll be three times more successful with support and accountability partners. Here at Fitlandia we have an amazing group of people who will help you every step of the way.

Mark states, “Don’t dabble in your health, it’s not a part time job but a full-time life.”

Ready to try out an anti-inflammatory diet and reclaim your health with both mental and nutritional support?

Our next No Fools’ Detox starts on 5/15/17. Only 15 spots available! A FREE, 1-yr membership to Fitlandia is included ($228 value). Our listeners get 20% off. See below for details.

REGISTER TODAY! 

(THANKS FOR LISTENING! Save 20% and enter EPISODE30 at checkout)

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How Your Junk Food Reward for Exercise is Killing Your Goals

Wow! That was a great workout! You feel motivated. You feel proud. You did it!

You are taking steps toward your goals and burning those calories like nobody’s business! Time for a little sweet treat to reward yourself, right?

Think again.

Reaching for that cookie to reward yourself for your workout might just be the very thing that is making your healthy lifestyle journey so difficult.

Why?

Our brains are malleable substances. They notice, learn, and adopt patterns and behaviors without us consciously realizing it. This can be great for learning basic skills as a child, but it can be detrimental to our success when trying to permanently adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Though after a great workout we may think to ourselves, “Hey, I worked really hard. I’ve totally earned a little sweet treat!” you may want to think about what is really going on.

Rewarding our good behaviors with opposing, less desirable behaviors can actually trigger our brain to derail and fall back into our old lifestyles of unhealthy eating and reward systems.

Even just one cookie as a reward can lead you off course. One cookie can easily trigger your brain to fall into an addictive behavior…until it’s not just one cookie anymore.

It’s a cookie after every workout. It’s a cookie a week. It’s a cookie a day. And down you go into old habits that fight against the healthy lifestyle you are aiming for.

Try A New Perspective.

Consider the calorie count. The average cookie, muffin, donut or other favorite sweet treat contains about the same amount of calories that you burn from a really great 1 hour workout.

So you are you really “earning” the cookie at all?

No, you are simply equaling out your hard earned calorie deficit and leaving yourself exactly where you started.

There is no need to feel ashamed! A cookie is by no means the end of the world.

It is GREAT to enjoy a cookie every once in awhile. But for no other reason than to enjoy it.

No reward. No harmful triggers to the brain. No falling back into old addictive behaviors. Just savoring a cookie and being okay with that!

Shame is Not the Answer.

The brain is a tricky thing and understanding it is the first step to being able to effectively mold it and create permanent lifestyle habits that will lead you the healthy life you desire.

Rewards work in our brain because of our ancestor’s need of basic survival. This is important when considering food because when our ancestors could eat, they could live.

Unfortunately, this system in our brain can now fight against us in a time when we can find plenty of food easily on the shelf at the store or in our very own pantry.

When we eat, our brain releases chemicals that make us feel good and tells us we are doing something right. But today, we have to make these associations with the right foods to support a healthy lifestyle.

Making these permanent changes is not about your willpower, it is about encouraging your brain to make positive choices that are associated with the healthy lifestyle you want. You can learn more about this in our article, Willpower is a Myth and a Lie. Learn How to Change Your Habits for Good!

So next time you finish that amazing workout, give it a second thought before reaching for that cookie and try creating new reward responses in your brain. Give yourself a nice big glass of cold water, find a positive quote for the day, or snack on a bit of tasty fruit. Your body AND your mind will thank you!

Ready to adopt new thought patterns and perspectives to support your healthy lifestyle? Download the Mind Zoning® app for FREE today!

References:

Grohol, John M. “MIT explains why bad habits are hard to break.” World of Psychology: Psych

Central (2005): https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2005/10/20/mit-explains-why-bad

-habits-are-hard-to-break/

Yau, Yvonne H. C., and Marc N. Potenza. “Stress and Eating Behaviors.” Minerva

endocrinologica 38.3 (2013): 255–267. Print.

Berridge, Kent C. “Food reward: Brain substrates of wanting and liking.” Neuroscience and

Behavioral Review 20.1 (1996): 1-25.

Articles for inspiration:

https://wayofgray.com/cheat-meals-good-bad/

http://sixpackforgirls.com/avoid-ruining-your-diet-over-the-weekend

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-to-overcome-food-addiction/

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=1990

https://paleoleap.com/reward-yourself-without-food/

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-food-addiction-works/


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Episode 28 – Stories of Transformation with Gina & Kris Robert

Long-time (30 years!) friend of Christa, Gina Robert and her husband Kris, join the Fitlandia Podcast to talk about their incredible lifestyle overhaul. They’ll share how they managed to make amazing healthy changes in spite of both of them having full-time jobs and 4 children, 2 of them under 10! This episode is filled with laughs as they all speak openly about what it takes to make a permanent lifestyle change.

 

The show opens with Christa cracking up as Gina says, “She looks just like she did in high school, except without the bangs.” After the ladies recall they’ve known each other for over 30 years, first meeting in high school, they settle in to talk more about their collective fitness journeys. Through the power of Facebook, they’ve been able to watch each other’s transformation over time.

Kris shares his story of growing up in sports and how he started to lose his healthy fitness habits in college to focus on his studies. He also notes the typical college lifestyle of not-so-healthy food in the cafeteria and drinking. As a teacher he found he was stress eating too. He would make attempts over the years with Weight Watchers and/or brief stints at the gym.

Kris was  diagnosed morbidly obese and found it increasingly difficult to find clothes that fit. He knew he had to make a change.

Gina then brought to his attention a challenge at Fit Body Bootcamp where they both signed up! Feeling a bit skeptical at first, Kris then became hooked through their challenges where he’s now

  • lost over 60 lbs since September 2016
  • has all normal blood work, including cholesterol for the first time in his life
  • lost 15% body fat
  • inspired now to help others on their own fitness journey
  • reversed digestive issues

Gina was personally motivated after her daughter turned 2 and after having a c-section, she wanted to get her body, especially her stomach feeling fit and doctors told her to reactivate these muscles. Well that inspired her to look at her total body the same way – that it was time to reactivate ALL of her muscles to get fit.

Previously, they would let their healthy food spoil so now they are saving money by making time to cook and using the healthy food they buy. Gina’s gotten very creative using spices and veggies to change up using base proteins like chicken – and even her kids are gobbling it up!

Kris and Gina then go on to talk about their #1 tip: PLANNING for meal prep.

Sunday is their big prep day together and they’ll take the time to get all of their veggies prep. When they do need to eat out, they just make healthy choices.

Christa, Kris and Gina commiserate on the negative attitudes they hear from others on how hard it is to give up X or they don’t have enough time for X. It’s just a matter of changing habits. Christa then talks about the power of Mind Zoning® to change the neural pathways in the brain.

Together they all discuss how unhealthy foods are a part of our culture and how to integrate the occasional treat. They are sticking with their new diet because they finally know what it feels like to feel normal and how that outweighs that brief moment of indulgence with cake. Kris wraps up with his favorite tip to have your favorites on hand. Try new things, yes, but when you’re really busy, have your go-to meal available. Final thoughts from them all – have positive thoughts! Get the Mind Zoning® app free here.

“Focus on what you’re gaining and not what you’re giving up.” – Christa

 

Show Gina & Kris some love and head over to iTunes or Stitcher (click below) to download this episode, give us a rating and tell us what you got out of hearing their story today.

 

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12 Ways to Make Healthy Eating Fast and Easy!

We’ve packed over a dozen tips for making healthy eating fast and easy. If you or a friend think healthy eating and preparing your own meals is too time-consuming, then this is a must watch.

 

And if negative thoughts about living a healthy lifestyle are crowding your mind, head over to the iTunes store and download our FREE Mind Zoning® app.

Listen to the Healthy Suggestion Surge each morning and evening (just a quick 2.5 minutes!) and watch as your habits start to transform.

 


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Episode 27 – Intro to Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Episode 27 – Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping) Releasing Yourself From a Stressed State of Mind

 

Today we welcome Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Therapist Jen Richards, founder of Matrix Rejeneration, who is here to tell us about Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as EFT Tapping. EFT Tapping, or “tapping” is an effective self-help technique which combines cognitive and exposure therapy with acupressure in the form of fingertip tapping on 12 specific meridian points. At the end of the podcast, Jen outlines the steps for us to follow to practice tapping so we can benefit from this quick and simple technique.

Jen’s Story

From her earliest days, Jen suffered with her body image, and by age 17, she had developed anorexia which eventually transformed to bulimia. For next 15-20 years, she lived in limbo not knowing how to eat or nurture her body in a healthy way. She battled depression and her thoughts often felt chaotic when it came to eating. Jen eventually tried tapping and saw immediate results. She says, “I understood why I had developed patterns with eating and the unhealthy relationship I had with food.” This practice can release us from past emotional traumas, stress, or pain and replace those emotions with a state of well-being, giving us back a life of love and healing.

With the success Jen had experienced herself, she knew she could help others by becoming an EFT practitioner and coach, especially to women suffering with body issues. “Once we heal ourselves, we then can inform and inspire others,” she exclaims. Jen has witnessed many triumphs using this technique, and her mission is to empower women so they can step up and step forward into the person they’ve always wanted to be.

How and Why EFT Tapping Works

What happens with stress?

Our bodies are designed to survive and evolve, we are naturally programed to look out for dangers that would interfere with that process. When we encounter things we’re afraid of, or a certain stress, our body goes into a fight or flight mode. We simply can’t digest food properly in this stressful state because our energy is being used for the body to be in survival mode.

Our autonomic nervous system unconsciously reacts and regulates bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate and other reactionary responses. The amygdala part of our brain, which recalls memory, decision-making and emotional reaction warns us of danger. This causes our body to release an overload of hormones like insulin and cortisol, which are not only fat-storing hormones, but also play factors in weakening our gut bacteria, causing food intolerances and digestion issues. Our thyroid stops functioning properly and even the mitochondria in our cells are diminished, limiting the effectiveness of the metabolic systems we need to burn and digest foods correctly.

These negative thoughts we have about food, ourselves or our actions, set off these hormonal responses and with 37.2 trillion cells in our body, we send those cells into action.

“When we get afraid, it neurologically transforms us.”

How Did Modern-day Tapping Start?

In the 1980’s, clinical psychologist, Dr. Roger Callahan, was working with a woman with an incredible fear of water. This woman’s fear was so great that she was unable to even bathe her children. Without finding success in any current remedies, he read about a similar technique used in ancient Chinese medicine. Pressure was applied (by touch or with needles) to the meridian points that flow through the body. These channels are like energy highways through our systems, commonly referred to as “Chi”.

He discovered when we have a sick feeling in our stomach there’s a meridian point that corresponds with the stomach just under the eye. Dr. Callahan started to have his patient tap on her eye and as she focused on the feeling, eventually the feeling started to leave her stomach and she overcame her phobia. To this day, she is still not afraid. This is when Thought Field Therapy, or TFT, was born.

Dr. Callahan worked along Gary Craig who developed EFT, expanding the practice of tapping. The fundamental difference with TFT being, silently thinking about the problem whereas with EFT, the statement is verbalized.

The Meridian Points – Where to Tap 

Karate chop – side of hand

Eyes – between the eyebrows

Side of the eye

Below the eye

Below the nose

Chin between your lip and chin

Below your collarbone(s)

Under the arm (lady’s bra strap)

Crown – top of head

Work from top to bottom and don’t worry about getting it right, even if it’s not perfect, you’re doing some healing in an energetic way!

The Mantra Statement

Besides the physical tapping motion, we incorporate the cognitive piece by developing a mantra statement. This type of exposure therapy gets us talking about our emotions and keeps our energy flowing so we can begin to release them.

Start with how you are feeling, “Even though…”

When acknowledge a craving, for example, start with how strongly you’re feeling it, where you feel it in your body and associate the feeling with a shape and a color.

“Even though I have this craving for _____, this _8/10 craving for _____, and it’s all in my ______, this big _____ _____, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

For example, Christa has a lot of stresses in her life, a busy job, home life, finances, etc. She feels the stress in her stomach, and she visualizes it as a big red blob. She ranks the level of her craving as 8/10. When she feels this type of stress, she tends to crave a glass of wine.

Christa’s mantra statement would be something like:

“Even though I have this craving for wine, 8/10 level craving for wine and it’s all in my stomach, this big red blob, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

Let’s Put it All Together 

Use your mantra as the set up statement, and begin with the side of the hand – the karate chop.
(Repeat 2-3 times)

“Even though I have this craving for wine, 8/10 level craving for wine and it’s all in my stomach, this big red blob, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

Then, starting at the top of the head and moving through each pressure point, verbalize the “feelings” part of your mantra statement. (Repeat 2-3 times per point)

“This craving, this craving in my stomach, this craving this big blob, this red blob in my stomach, I so want a glass of wine, so want this glass of wine, this craving of wine, this 8/10 craving, I feel it all in my stomach, this craving for wine, this 8/10 craving, I feel it in my stomach, this craving, this big red blob, this craving for wine, this craving.”

Breathe a big deep breath in, let it out and check back in with yourself to see if the craving level has lessened or changed.

Focus on the detail of the feelings at each of the points to release the intensity of the craving.

Tapping helps us discover why we’re really craving something, and to recognize the corresponding emotional reason(s) behind the craving. This is a great tool to use in the moment to decrease our stress level. It gives us access to the frontal lobe of our brains so we can start thinking more logically.

Try to journal while you tap to write down any awareness’s and follow the journey of releasing yourself of your connections you have with food. When we write the issue down, we bring it to life and can see how it may have been restricting us. We can give these thoughts love and not continue to let them control us. “Write it down, and give them the light and the love they actually deserve so you can invite the lesson back to you so you can work through it and grow,” Jen comments.

Your brain is trying to serve a positive function when you crave sugars, alcohol and/or refined carbs. It knows it makes us happy but applying tapping instead will remove that guilt, frustration and shame that follows from performing those behaviors. Now you can create a new pattern that follows and serves your greater good.

“When we shift the brain to gratitude we shift the energy so we shift our biology,” Jen explains.

It all comes down to our thoughts; our thoughts create the blueprint of our reality. The amazing thing to note here is that we have the power to reprogram our DNA by changing the energy flow within our cells.

Jen highly recommends this book, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles by Bruce Lipton.

Tips:

  • Tap whenever you need to, try to get into a relaxed state and then start tapping through the points.
  • Use EFT to start focusing on loving yourself. Gratitude is the best state for relaxation and it is this state that our body is in a positive place to work in it best nature.
  • Don’t wait until you weigh less to start loving yourself.
  • Give yourself a break!

Click below to subscribe to the Fitlandia podcast and post up your comments on how you can use EFT in your fitness routine. We’ll feature your comments in a future post!

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Episode 25 – How to Get More Vegetables on Your Plate and Make Them Taste Great

This week Christa meets with Certified Health and Nutrition Coach, Monica Metz, to discuss how to get more vegetables onto your plate while making them taste great. They’ll be providing some helpful tips and tricks about how to prep your produce and make healthy eating easy for anyone.

Motivated by Health Concerns 

As most people would attest to, a plate full of steamed broccoli doesn’t quite get the mouth watering and doesn’t seem to satisfy most. No different than the rest of us, Monica was an occasional salad eater and wasn’t thrilled by filling up her plate with mostly vegetables. After years of struggling with migraines, high cholesterol and a pre-diabetes scare, she started to look into ways to make a change for her and her son.

Monica became curious and starting looking through blogs online. This is when she became mesmerized by raw foods. Not only are raw foods extremely appealing to look at (color is key), but she was also able to follow how others were incorporating these foods in their everyday lifestyles.

“Most people are motivated by some weight loss or some sort of diagnosis like high cholesterol…”

Like most of the bloggers Monica followed, she then turned her passion into getting her certification online from the institute for Integrated Nutrition based in New York. Now, she primarily helps people online through group teachings and calls to actions through different health plans and detoxes. She has created a platform that helps teach the lifestyle for healthy choices and positive changes. With daily accountability calls and a system built as more of a “healthy food retreat” than a diet plan, Monica guides you to a lifetime of happiness in a much happier body.

Now About Those Veggies

Most of us know we need to eat more veggies, but with busy schedules and processed foods so accessible, what’s an easy way to get more of these greens in?

It’s important to start with asking yourself how many vegetables are you eating currently?

We’ve all sworn for a period time, we’re only going to eat salads and veggies, to only find ourselves pulling up at a drive through or being unhappy and hungry by the end of the day. We don’t want to create an emotional resistance against these foods by simply adding in more vegetables than we are currently consuming. Eventually, we can get to that ideal 50-75% of your plate being vegetables but that takes time. If we make an effort to add in a little more plant based foods every day these small wins will start creating healthier lifestyles.

Don’t worry we’re not getting to the part where we tell you to only eat kale salads because they’re going to start tasting better than a burger. Although, salads are an amazing way to pack in all kinds of veggies. The body and brain likes variety, so salads are a great way to get it all in! We’re talking about real foods here, which are meant to be enjoyed. If you have a topping you enjoy, as long as most of the salad is veggies, add it and ENJOY IT!

Practical Tips

Another reason many times we frown about salads is because of the store-bought dressing. These dressings are usually packed with unhealthy fats and refined inflammatory oils and sugar. Not to mention, they just don’t taste as good as the ones we can make at home.

Here’s an easy way to make dressing at home:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea Salt/ Pepper to taste

Add a touch of lemon or Dijon mustard for a full-flavored dressing that you know is healthy.

Preparing your dressing and veggies ahead of time sets you up for success and a healthy meal. Here are some other prep tips that Monica likes to use:

  • Frequent, short trips to the store
  • Rinse and spin greens in advance
  • Use a food processor

The basic foundation of a great salad includes:

  • Chopped veggies such as: peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, carrot and celery
  • Savory nuts, seeds, olives
  • Healthy fats like avocado and olive oil

Another great way to pack in some nutrients are with green smoothies. Experiment with adding in some of Monica’s favorites below:

  • Romaine – different from iceberg that lacks nutrients, romaine has mild flavor and mixes well with berries.
  • Frozen beets – buy it cubed and leave frozen. Beets are great for blood pressure and help with oxygen efficiency so they make for a great pre-workout snack! Mix with berries or cherries!
  • Mix in some carrots, cucumber, zucchini, or even left over sweet potato. Try it out!

If raw vegetables are hard for you to digest, try some of these roasting tips:

  • When roasted veggies, try to mix in raw coconut oil or avocado oil for baking/cooking instead of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Roast 45 minutes to an hour with oil, salt & pepper. Sprinkle with rosemary or garlic for more flavor.

Roasted broccoli or cauliflower are great to add into sauces later in the week or to make a salad dressing. Simply puree and add in some citrus, garlic, tahini (add warm water), or cumin. Drizzle on some veggies or salads to mix it up.

Another way to transform your cooked veggies after the fact, is to toss them in with some coconut milk, tahini or softened nuts with homemade chicken broth which makes for a full-flavored soup!

An Instantpot pressure cooker will make this a life changing way to transform these veggies with a quick, easy way to make rice or black beans to complement them. Although having all the nice equipment helps, the right ingredients are all you need.

Final Tips:

  • Simplify.
  • When you go grocery shopping, start in the produce aisle, pick what calls you and what you get excited about it. You can too, can be an intuitive cook.
  • Big batch cooking will save you time for your busy schedule but most importantly, when you reframe your vision about cooking it will become more fun.
  • Appreciate the food and it will start to feed your body, as well as your goals.
  • Cooking is a beautiful practice, embrace the idea that this is your time with your food.

Ready for some deep support on transitioning into a healthy lifestyle?

Sign up today for the No Fool’s Detox and save $125 when you register before 3/16/17.

We’ll get you loving your veggies and your body in this 30-day support program.

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