Fitlandia

healthy lifestyle

Envisioning a healthy summer

Episode 39 – Envisioning a Healthy Summer

We have a special treat this week as Christa King, Fitlandia’s Founder and CEO leads us through a Mind Zoning® session about envisioning a healthy summer.

 

If you’re new to Fitlandia, Mind Zoning® is similar to a guided meditation where your brain is invited to relax, slow down and get focused, but differs from meditation because it incorporates the idea of creating a new thought pattern. Meditation is about clearing thoughts and creating peace and space in your mind whereas Mind Zoning® takes it a step further to create new neural pathways designed to support your healthy goals.

Summertime Traps

Summertime can be a trap for a lot of people. It’s the time when healthy patterns of eating and exercise take a back seat to vacations; BBQ’s, parties and fun.

Many people begin the New Year with great energy and hope for a healthy lifestyle. They start losing weight and begin developing healthy habits, but when summer approaches, there’s a mentality of, “Yay, I’m on vacation, I can eat and drink anything I want.” The mindset is to eat and drink while on vacation and then get back on track once back home. The tricky part for those of us with sugar addiction or a reliance on alcohol, is that we may not get back on track and instead this behavior can drive us back to old patterns once our brain realizes how good the sugar or alcohol tastes and feels.

Staying on  Healthy Track

  • Be moderate
  • Be thoughtful
  • Be mindful of what you eat and drink
  • Plan activities during vacation or trips with friends, or BBQ’s or gatherings
  • Build awareness
  • Make good conscious choices that help support a healthy lifestyle

Let’s Begin

(**Caution** Do not drive or operate machinery while Mind Zoning)

  • Find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted
  • Position yourself in a comfortable seated position
  • Taking a few deep breaths, allowing your mind and body to relax
  • Starting at top of your head
  • Closing your eyes
  • Bring your attention to the very top of your head, imagine there is now this beautiful slow-moving cascading waterfall
  • It comes over the top of your head so slowly and goes down the back of your hair, over your head and neck
  • As it slowly passes by, notice how it is relaxing you and washing away any stress
  • Now across your shoulders – leaving behind a completely relaxed body
  • Cascading down your arms and torso
  • Noticing how you’ve become heavier in your chair or wherever you are
  • You’re able to sink further into relaxation
  • As that slow-moving cascading waterfall passes over your hips, your thighs and your knees
  • Passing over  your calves, your ankles, all the way to your toes
  • Noticing this beautiful, slow ever-streaming flow of water
  • So comforting, so relaxing, taking you into the most peaceful space right now
  • This beautiful wide-open place in your mind where you can release any stress, any chaos of the day
  • Letting this beautiful slow-moving water remove it, wash it away leaving a completely relaxed body behind

Now we invite the deepest part of your mind to start to think about your trips, adventures and plans, vacations far away, or nearby picnics and BBQ’s, or a family reunion or a birthday – whatever you have outlined for the summer.

  • You’ve been on this journey of health and wellness
  • Creating the very best version of you
  • Embracing a life of vitality, and becoming more conscious of a daily practice of:
    • eating healthy foods
    • moving
    • connecting socially
    • filling your mind with positive thoughts and goals

As you think of your plans for the summer, call upon that Super Hero in your mind (that part of your brain that can do anything), trusting that if you can think it, you can become it.

Call on your Super Hero now, and when you think of your plans for the summer begin to wonder how would that Super Hero comes into play to help you have the healthiest summer you’ve every had.

Maybe your Super Hero would have you:

  • go to bed earlier than ever have on vacation so you can get up early and get some exercise in before you start your adventures
  • pop out of bed to get outside in your location for a brisk walk or run
  • do a 7-minute hit workout

Your Super Hero helps you come up with ways to help you incorporate movement in everything you do, like:

  • taking a hike in one of the cities you’re visiting
  • doing a walking tour
  • planning a day of shopping where you’re walking the entire time

And now your Super Hero comes in to help you eat healthy for the entire summer by:

  • bringing a healthy dish to a potluck
  • choosing high-quality proteins to eat at a friend’s BBQ
  • finding it easy to forgo those common things like chips, or grains or any kind of processed foods and sugar

Your Super Hero makes it easy for you to make the healthiest possible choices in everything you do this summer.

Its also a good reminder that if you do choose to have alcohol or processed food or sugar; that you release any guilt or shame with that, knowing that it will not serve you. Instead just realizing that there could be setbacks, there could be consequences, there could be delays, but there is no guilt.

As you engage that Super Hero in you, notice how easy it is to have the healthiest summer you can imagine. You’re able to overcome any obstacle at all. If you’re traveling somewhere that is hot, or live somewhere hot, just notice how easy it is to get up early when it’s still cool out and take advantage of that brisk, fresh morning air. When we do that movement first thing in the morning, we set ourselves up for a successful day.

And now I’m going to invite the subconscious mind to connect with your inner Super Hero and call upon them anytime if you need a boost, reinforcement or a nudge of motivation. Your Super Hero is there for you. You might notice how easy it is to call upon them to strengthen you in those moments when you’re challenged. You can call upon that energy and engage in that energy and keep moving forward to have the healthiest summer yet. When you’re ready, open your eyes, coming back to this present time and space, feeling refreshed and energized.

Fitlandia is genuinely on a mission to end dieting and turn that failure rate of 67% into a success rate of 70% or greater by not only being able to create a healthy lifestyle but to maintaining it by engaging the power of the mind.

Head over to iTunes, subscribe to the podcast and give us on honest feedback on today’s Mind Zoning®. Let us know what you”ll do differently this summer and we’ll feature your intentions on a future podcast.

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Episode 38 – The Falsehood of Everything in Moderation

Dr. Jerome Craig is back to talk about the falsehood of “everything in moderation.” This idea of moderation is tossed around so much in the diet industry and they both agree that it’s setting us up for failure.

The Truth About Moderation

  • If you don’t want to change, then everything in moderation works great! It maintains the status quo.
  • If you want to make health and wellness changes in your life, then moderation is not going to work.
  • If you’re using moderation as an excuse for not changing, it’s working – there will be no change.

Dr. Craig provides an example of a patient who is a type 2 diabetic, on multiple medications, life not going well and who wants to change but cannot give up his daily chocolate-coated almonds. Dr. Craig appealed to the patient that he needed to get away from the almonds, that they were a sugar addiction and he needed to give them up.

“The only way to break an addiction to something is to give it up” Dr. Craig explains.

It’s not going to serve you to have only a little of whatever substance you’re addicted to, whether it be alcohol, sugar, refined carbs or potato chips. The substance fires up the pleasure areas in the brain, and releases serotonin and dopamine, so our mood changes, we feel good – and we want more. We consume more, then we crash and feel crappy. We can’t simply have three potato chips or one drink and hope that the addiction stays at bay. That’s why “everything in moderation” truly does not work.

Fitlandia’s No Fools’ Detox

Those NFD focuses on eliminating 5-6 foods for 30 days to  to identify which foods are trigger foods for you, as well as get a clean break from them. At the end of the program, participants are guided to reincorporate one food at a time and track their body’s response so they get a clear sense of which foods work for them and which do not.

During the program members are often faced with their friends and family telling them that elimination diets are just a fad and they’ll be fine as long as they use “moderation.” It just doesn’t work like that. Just as you can’t tell an alcoholic to drink in moderation, you can’t say this to a sugar addict either. She supports them in dealing with these external challenges while they make their break.

Stop Saying the “F” Word: “I’m Fine.”

If you want change you have to take some sort of radical steps to at least get started. The radical changes don’t have to be forever, but moderation is never going to serve you in the beginning. Once you achieve your weight and health goals, you may find that you still have certain foods or substances that are problematic for you.

  1. Defining what works for you and your body
  2. Understanding what’s happening when we’re back on a ‘slippery slope’
    • Life circumstances?
    • Trying to self-soothe?
    • Not enough exercise?
    • Not enough breath work?
  3. Everything in moderation can lead us back to an old pattern

Christa shares her personal struggle with donuts and wine. These are things that she limits to rare instances, but has learned to pay attention to cravings and to take appropriate action, not the substance, if and when they do occur, ask herself, “What’s going on, what am I doing, or not doing?”

Occasional, Rare, and Never: What Foods Should Go Into Which Bucket?

The ideal scenario is that we can have sugar, refined carbs and alcohol “occasionally,” but through your journey you may find that’s just not possible. Start by thinking what each category means and where you might start to identify opportunities to make changes.

Occasional

If you’re not addicted to a food or substance and it is not a problem for you, then a few times per month is fine. (4 x/month)

Rare

A problem food or substance should only be consumed on rare instances. Using food as a reward or a celebration needs be limited to special occasions, but certainly not on a frequent basis. (1 x/month)

Never

Abstain completely from addictive foods or substances. If you’re triggered by a food to the point where you know it isn’t serving your goals, but you can’t control consumption of it and it takes you back to a daily pattern, it’s likely time to release it for a longer period of time (3+ months) or forever.

Final Tip

Become mindful of what foods or substances trigger something in you and takes you away from your goals so that you can be fit for life, and not dieting. The only true possession we have in life is our body so you’ve got to take care of it so it takes care of you.

Additional Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-sugar-makes-you-addicted/

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/01/15/262741403/why-sugar-makes-us-feel-so-good

Dopamine Deficiency, Depression and Mental Health

Use the buttons below to subscribe, rate and review our show. In your comments, let us know what is your “occasional” or “rare,” or “never” foods. If you have additional questions, post them in your review and we’ll answer them on a future show!

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Episode 36 – Stories of Transformation: Jeneen

Jeneen Haven – Another Inspiring Story of Transformation

Real people making real like changes and delivering strategies and tips. Jeneen found Fitlandia on Facebook as she was looking a support group that aligned with her beliefs of eating whole food, not a diet club, or anything fad-like. She joined the Fitlandia FB group and connected with Christa. Jeneen now works as a holistic health coach and shares her journey of weight loss and what she has discovered along the way about herself and her relationship with food.

Jeneen’s Transformation Journey

Over 10 years ago, Jeneen and her family moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Boise, ID to start a business. She encountered winter for the first time, the challenges of entrepreneurship and a life that felt out of control. She realized that the one thing she had control over was herself. She weighed 230 pounds, felt embarrassed and ashamed; like she didn’t belong or wasn’t good enough to be with the other moms at her children’s school or at church. It was at that moment she decided that she was done being fat. Jeneen took an honest look at herself and acknowledged that she was obese.

She bought a YMCA membership, made a green smoothie daily, dropped the older kids at school each day and went directly to the gym. She checked her younger ones into daycare and hit the treadmill daily. Jeneen didn’t like the treadmill, but she did like “Law and Order” – and would watch the hour-long show before exiting the machine to get her children from daycare. They would then eat a healthy lunch, vegetable snacks in the afternoon, and a plant-based, protein evening meal with the entire family. She repeated this routine for ten months and dropped 80 pounds. There was no magic – just positive, healthy changes.

Jeneen’s Beliefs Around Food

  • Food is love
  • We celebrate with food
  • It’s a way to connect with her children
  • Being a good mother by baking homemade goods
    • Sweet rolls
    • Sugar cookies
    • Granola with honey, oats wheat flour and dried berries
    • Calorie-dense foods
    • Grain-based diet

Jeneen’s health transformation came when she let go of grains and began emphasizing veggies instead. Christa reminds us to, “Make every plate 50-75% vegetables, whether you are eating paleo, vegan or Whole 30.” And the importance of limiting fruits – it’s not the adage of “eat your fruits and vegetables,” its now, eat your vegetables and occasionally some fruit. The fructose in fruits can easily be stored as fat unless we are moving enough to actually burn the sugar.

Your Family Should be Your “Why” and Not Your “Why Not”

For years, Jeneen used her family and being a mom as an excuse not to take care of herself.

“How can I put my kids in daycare?”

“How can I not bake for my kids?”

“How can I not decorate cookies on Valentine’s Day?”

“How can I be so selfish?”

Using Weight as a Protective Shield

Jeneen’s feelings of not being as good, as pretty, or as organized as the other moms were the beliefs that kept her obese. The weight created a buffer to take herself out of the comparison with other women/moms who she felt she didn’t stack up against.

Jeneen’s mother is obese and growing up she felt a connection with her at a core level. She had fear that her mother wouldn’t love her if she lost weight and changed “tribes.”

Lasting Changes

Once Jeneen started to experience the increased confidence and freedom of releasing the weight, she could reap all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle; a few of them include:

  • Shopping for clothes in regular stores
  • Eating healthy and exercising to get off medications
  • Endorphins kicking in
  • Exercise increased from walking to weight lifting = feeling strong!

Christa gives a shout-out to resistance training, which supports the brain on so many levels. The benefit we women get with developing our strength and our muscles is so amazing.

Not Feeling Deprived

During Jeneen’s weight loss journey, she allowed herself a weekly treat of boneless buffalo wings. After eating healthy all week, she and a girlfriend would meet and share a basket of wings. This helped her to stay on track while enjoying the social connection with her good friend. She also had a weekly date night with her husband and she would choose a salad and protein. These activities were a testimony that she could still enjoy foods she loved, but in the right proportion.

There are general guidelines that create the highest level of success for most people, but then it’s about creating a lifestyle and an eating plan that works for life.

It’s important to understand what works for you and what your triggers are

Emotions Drive Specific Cravings

Angry = crave spicy

Stressed = crave salty

Sad = crave sweets

Happy = crave sweets

This discovery helped Jeneen realize that not only did she crave these types of foods at specific instances, but that she is now more mindful of using any type of food to numb emotions.

Become curious to when, what, why we are eating. What’s going on? What are the feelings?

Jeneen’s Take-away Tips

  • Make your children your “why” and not your “why not”
  • Change patterns learned from family of origin and model good behavior
  • Set boundaries – don’t sacrifice peace, joy and confidence
  • Do it for yourself – I’m worth it, I care how I look and how I feel
  • Make fitness and health non-negotiable
  • Investing in “me” does not take away from “them”

You can learn more about Jeneen and her work at: http://healmomfirst.blogspot.com/

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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30 Days of Mind Zoning® via Facebook LIVE

30-Days of Mind Zoning® via Facebook LIVE

Oh my gosh, I’m so excited (and crazy scared) that I’ve decided to take the leap and go live on Facebook EVERY DAY for the month of June, delivering 5-minute Mind Zonings® to my awesome, loyal following. And I really want you to join me.

The History of Mind Zoning®

For those of you new to Fitlandia, Mind Zoning® is the foundation of everything we do to help you get fit today, but stay fit for life and put an end to dieting. These audio recordings are much like guided meditations that help create new neural pathways in the brain so that eating healthy, moving daily, and having positive thoughts becomes easy. Sounds great, right?! Check one of them out here: Healthy Suggestion Surge. I developed this process through my own journey of leaving the wild, corporate exec world and transitioning to a Certified Hypnotherapist, Life Coach and Nutritional Therapist. Through this, I realized the diet and fitness industry were broken because no one was addressing the mind along with food, movement and community.

Our Core Values

As I started to build Fitlandia, I wanted to ensure we addressed the most hectic lifestyles: busy moms, execs, entrepreneurs, etc. Making time to prepare meals and move every day can be tough. So everything we do at Fitlandia addresses these times crunches. We have loads of 30-minute recipes, workouts as short as 15-minutes, and soon we’ll have…

5-Minute Mind Zonings®

While I’d love to say to everyone reading this, “Take 30-minutes each day to meditate,”I know that’s a tough hurdle when making dramatic lifestyle changes. Realizing the mind is so powerful, I knew that even carving out 5-minutes per day, every day could have significant benefits. Hence, 5-minute Mind Zoning®.

It’s because we share a crazy-busy lifestyle that I was inspired to develop this collection. Every day in the month of June, I’ll be recording a brand new MZ to then mix with gorgeous spa music and/or binaural beats to launch the collection in the Fall of 2017.

Facebook Live EVERY Day?

I really struggled with the idea of going FB live everyday in June. That means I have to get out of my PJs, put myself together, maybe even shower EVERY day. I haven’t done that since I was in the corporate world. And truth be told, I probably won’t do it now either. I’m going to commit to delivering great content and let go the notion I need to be completely done up to deliver it. I mean heck, your eyes will be closed anyhow – HA!

So I thank you in advance for accepting me as I accept all of you – perfect in imperfection…and some days still in my workout clothes – or with bags under my eyes. 

How I Developed the Content

Ok, now onto the good stuff – the line up of Mind Zonings®. I carefully crafted this schedule based on 3 key things:

So for those of you thinking about making a healthy lifestyle change, it’s a big notion for your brain to get on board with. Learning how to create new habits and release old ones is very similar to what one experiences in the 5 stages of grief. Denial, bargaining, even anger are common. Dr. Jerome Craig and I discuss this in the webinar Grieving Your Old Lifestyle. Our willingness to change evolves over time too. Having a bit of understanding about these stages can be a giant relief for someone trying to embrace where they are today and what next steps to take.

The design of the Mind Zoning® schedule is meant to build upon the previous day; therefore, starting with day 1 and seeing it through every day with me will have the best impact on behavior by the end of the 30 days.

The Daily Line Up at 12PM PT

Drum roll please. Here’s the day-by-day line up starting June 1, 2017. I’ll provide a brief intro on the topic then launch right into 5 minutes of bliss.

When you tune in every day at 12PM PT, please ensure you’re in a place where you will not be interrupted or distracted. It’s only a few minutes and this is a real gift you can give yourself – a mental break in your day. Ahhhhh…

Safety first: do not listen while driving or operating machinery.

Dealing with Denial

It’s easy to deny the true state of our health and fitness because it can literally feel overwhelming. Join us for help with accepting where you are to then create a path forward.

Become Aware

Feeling resistant to change, unmotivated to move, unready for help? Today’s Mind Zoning® will give you permission to accept where you are so you aren’t feeling forced to change against your will. We’ll then invite your mind to become aware of the opportunities that do feel safe as an easy next step.

Navigating Anger 

Have you ever felt angry looking at others around you that can seemingly eat anything they want while you have to limit certain foods to manage your fitness? That “why me” syndrome is common and normal. Today, we’ll help you navigate those feelings so they become productive v. disruptive.

End Bargaining

As part of the process in giving up an old, unhealthy lifestyle, there’s bargaining involved…and lots of it. You may have had thoughts of “Well I can eat just one,” or “If I do this exercise, I can have a few drinks.” While this is a normal part of adopting a new lifestyle, these are pitfalls that tend to maintain the status quo. Get savvy on how to release the bargaining trap.

Ready for Change

Maybe you’ve already started your journey to fitness with doing some research, connecting with others, or talking with your doctor about lifestyle changes. Celebrate those actions and take them to the next level today as you’re ready for change.

Pros and Cons

Connect with your “why” on a deep level to understand the deep drivers to the change you desire. Maybe it’s better health, increase self-esteem or more energy. Listing out all you hope to gain, while also outlining you’re giving up, can help you see how positive this overall endeavor really is making action that much easier.

It’s Time to Act

Take even the tiniest of actions and turn them into real transformation. When we repeat behavior each day, our mind develops a new, lasting thought-pattern that serves your fitness goals.

Visualize Your Future

Your mind loves a roadmap to follow. Create the blueprint for the body, mind and soul you desire through visualization. You’ll then get to connect with the emotions of having already achieved all your goals, which solidifies the plan. You’ll notice how much more motivated you are to move, think and eat well every day.

Reframing Thoughts

You are what you think. Period. With our brains naturally geared toward a negative bias, we have to practice reframing all negative thoughts and turning them into positive ones. Having this switch will do wonders for releasing old behavior that no longer serves your goals. Go from “No, I can’t,” to “Yes, I can!”

Ditch Diet Myths

You remember the days of “No pain, no gain,” right? And you’re still being bombarded with quick-fix promises through pills and powders. These old dieting paradigms have been proven to fail you. It’s time to ditch them and focus on adopting a lifestyle for good. It’s time to end dieting and get fit for life.

Prioritize Your Day

We’re here to tell you, you DO have time to exercise and make healthy meals. Yes it requires planning, but also knowing how to prioritize your time. Find tips to become more efficient in your tasks, as well as clearing our your calendar to make you fitness a priority in your day.

Setting Boundaries

If you’re a natural caretaker, you’ll want to tune into this Mind Zoning® for sure. Making yourself the priority is foundational to showing up as your very best for others. Give yourself permission to set healthy boundaries so you can put yourself first, guilt-free.

Get Over the Hump

During the change process, people can look back on that past life, feel a deep sense of loss and become depressed. Here you can reconnect with your why and purposing driving your desire to live a healthy lifestyle.

Find Your Tribe

Did you know you’re 3x more likely to stick to a healthy lifestyle when you’re connected with others on the same journey? Visualize the type of people that will elevate your fitness goals so you can then go out and find them!

Power in Vulnerability

Identifying and communicating where we struggle opens us up to a world of support. As we mentioned yesterday, it’s about leaning on your tribe when you need them. There’s power in vulnerability so open your heart up to receive the love and support.

Goal Setting

Our minds love something to look forward to. Our behavior then falls in line to support achieving it. Set a clear, attainable goal today that you can feel proud of once you’ve achieved it. This wins build upon themselves to continue a successful health journey.

Find the Right Food

Not one dietary plan works for everyone and it can take years to find what is best for you without this Mind Zoning®. Learn how to track your meals and tune into your body to create the best possible meal plans for you and your goals. The following 3 tracks will also help you along the way.

Jazzed to Journal Part 1

Let’s get you over the idea that food journaling is a painful, tedious process. Go from feeling furious about the practice to feeling curious about what it will reveal.

Jazzed to Journal Part 2

Let’s get you focused on tracking your macros (protein, fats and carbohydrates) along with your energy, mood and hunger levels to find what ratio works best for you.

Jazzed to Journal Part 3

Struggling with a health concern such as obesity, high blood pressure, skin disorders, auto-immune disease? Tracking your food before starting an elimination diet then during and after can help you become certain about which foods to put on your -no-no list to feel your best.

Sleep Essentials

Make restful sleep your number 1 priority. Without solid restorative sleep, you’ll be at risk for a myriad of health problems. This Mind Zoning® will guide you to a nightly routine of good sleep hygiene to promote the rest you need and deserve for optimal health.

Make it a Lifestyle

End yo-yo dieting and ditch the idea you’ll maintain weight loss “once you get there.” Today’s the day to embrace a permanent, healthy lifestyle and give up the on-again off-again cycle of deprivation and over-indulgence. It won’t happen overnight, but instead it’s unfolding everyday.

Healthy Eating Out

It’s not an oxymoron to think you can eat out and still have it be healthy. Break through this perceived obstacle and open your mind to the possibility of eating healthy anywhere. Whether is engaging some pre-planning or asking for modifications, you can do it anytime, anywhere.

Becoming Resourceful

Your mind is a powerful muscle. Strengthen it by opening up to the possibility that you have access to everything you need to be successful. Tap into your inner wisdom to get answers that will break through any fitness barrier. You’ve got this.

Motivation to Move

Imagine the desire to move everyday. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to be time-consuming. Give your mind the space to imagine all the health benefits from a daily practice.

Get Unstuck

Sometimes we all get in a rut. Let Mind Zoning® reconnect you with your goals and reignite your passion for fitness. Keep moving forward and let nothing stop you from living the healthy life you deserve.

Overcome Plateaus

Our bodies are miraculous instruments geared toward our survival. This Mind Zoning® will help you connect with you remind to find and accept your ideal weight or give it the reassurance it needs to continue to release excess weight being carried.

Inspire Others

Tap into the very heart of who you are and your unique approach to inspiring someone new on their journey. By sharing your wins, stumbles and recovery you’ll spread the mission to put an end to dieting so we can all be supported to live the healthiest possible lives together.

Getting Back Up

We all have our stumbles, but with Mind Zoning® you don’t have to let them take you back into an old lifestyle. Recover faster and easier from any hiccup. Remember you have this collection to go back to any time to support whatever it is you may need.

Celebrating You

You are a magical, powerful being. Your ability to transform your life is endless. Connect deeply with your incredible resolve to life the healthiest life possible. You are capable of anything and everything you imagine. Go after it today and every day.

 

Pop on Over to Facebook, give Fitlandia a “like” and stay tuned for the launch on June 1, 2017!

Ready to get the early release access? Sign up for the Fitlandia Newsletter (no spam!) and get first dibs on the mixed, 5-minute Mind Zonings® due out in the Fall of 2017.

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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 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)

Want More? Subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday!

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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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