Welcome to Week 3!

We're back!

This week is all about making the most of summer while also keeping you feeling great! We're reducing sugar and also learning how to keep eating healthy simple while you're on the road or at home. This will keep portions in check and you'll also stay on top of your fruits and veggies too.

Don't forget to keep up with your steps , 30 minutes and exercise of the day!

Don't forget it's time to check-in. Drop me a line to check-in or set up one of our live check-ins. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a a great day! I'll see you tomorrow!


"Life is short even in the slowest days." - John Mellencamp

Weekly Assignment #1: How will you spend the rest of the summer? Design your month.

Tomorrow is August. Incredibly, we're entering the last full month of summer! The other day I told my friend that the summer is going by way too fast and I haven't had nearly enough fun yet. Don't get me wrong, summer has been wonderful! It's been filled with fun and laughter with the people I love most in the world. But, it's also been busy and I still haven't made time for some things that I truly enjoy. This is why it's important to sit down sometimes and simply check in with ourselves. Set our intention and then make a plan to make it happen. 

"I only have so many summers left and I intend not to waste them being old" - John Mellencamp

Who knew John Mellencamp was so wise? I love his thoughts on the preciousness of time. As time passes, we all begin to acknowledge that we only have so many summers left. This could be a grim thought but I prefer to think of it as one that lights a fire and propels us to relish each day. What do you want to make happen this summer? This could be something as big as taking a vacation or something as small as finish reading a book. Or, maybe you want to hit a goal of being able to do 30 push-ups at one time? We're on all way to this one! 

Our challenge this week is to sit down, be still and answer the following questions:

  • How do you want to feel when the end of summer arrives? 
  • What are some ways that you can achieve that feeling?
  • Describe at least 3 things that you want to do. Yes, relaxing by simply watching the ripples on a lake is definitely a possible answer.
  • Who are 3 people that you want to spend time with? 
  • How will you take care of yourself so that you will be healthy, feeling strong and able to do everything you want to do?
  • Now, pull up your calendar and chart out when and how you'll accomplish the above. 
    • Need to coordinate with your partner or friend? Text them right now. Don't wait.
    • Want to take that kayak ride that you still haven't taken yet? Pick a date. Put on the calendar. Then work out logistics.
    • Write it down and you're halfway there. 
  • What are the barriers to achieving any of the above? How can you anticipate them and push them aside?

Bonus Challenge: Take time for your Moai.

Even if you're an introvert, be sure to include some socializing time. Social interaction is a consistent thread among the Blue Zones around the world, the areas where people tend to live the longest and healthiest. It's no surprise that people tend to be happier when surrounded by happier people. When surrounded by less happy people, then tend to be less happy. In Okinawa, people typically have a Moai which is a group of about 5 friends who stick together through thick or thin. If something good happens to one, it happens to all. If something like a death or illness occurs, they all stick together to support that person. This helps to increase the entire health and well-being of the group.

Who is in your Moai? Who is there for you? Maybe it's not 5 people but rather 1 person. Plan to connect in person or via phone or facetime. Tell them how much they mean to you!

Last part of your challenge, once you've outlined your summer, then be sure to take 5 minutes at the end of each day to create tomorrow's to do list.

A plan each day helps to insure that you'll achieve your goals for the summer. And, you'll have a clear idea each day of what's most important to get done, where you're going to fit in your activity that day and what tasks need to be checked off. Here are some tips that can help when creating your list:

  • Think through your day from when you get up to when you're going to wind down for the day and block out time for everything from eating to driving. For example, 7 a.m. Leave to drop off kids, 7:30 Drop off kids. 
  • Do not overload the list. The list is what you can reasonably accomplish. Do not put everything you need to accomplish in life on the list :) Instead, place what is reasonable for the next day. Create a second list of items to be tackled in 1 week, 1 month, etc. These can be gradually moved on to your daily list.
  • What are the 3 most important items to be done tomorrow? Tackle these first to prevent procrastination. 

That's your first challenge of the week! I recommend answering the first set of questions right now. Then, finish reading the next 2 challenges.

Have some fun in your design! Can't wait to hear about it!

Summer will be Sweeter with Less Sugar!

Weekly Assignment #2: Reduce Added Sugar Intake to Less Than 24 g of Added Sugar*

Have you ever noticed that the more sugar you have, the more you want? This week we're going to reset our sugar cravings. I know you're thinking, "in the summer, Laurie? Really?!" Yes. I promise you that you'll still enjoy the summer and you'll feel great too!

Why? We all know that if we consume too much sugar, we can gain weight. But, too much sugar has other effects on our body as well. Sugar has has been shown to cause inflammation in our bodies and tax our immune system. Studies have also linked too much added sugar to:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease 
  • Worsening of conditions such as depression and anxiety
  • Memory and learning difficulties
  • Hypertension
  • Increase in triglycerides
  • Lower levels of HDL
  • Disrupted sleep

Sugar also tends to put us on a blood sugar roller coaster which causes our energy levels to go up and down. When we're in the low energy phase, we want more sugar. And, as if this isn't enough, sugar has even been shown to accelerate the aging process! Yikes! 

In fact, a recent study in JAMA views overconsumption of added sugar as an independent risk factor not only for cardiovascular disease but also for diabetes, dementia and liver cirrhosis. Added sugar does not include naturally occurring sugars that we find in foods like fruit and milk. Rather, the study looked at added sugar in items like soda, candy and other added-sugar foods like bread and pasta sauce. 

Why are we concentrating on added sugar? Naturally occurring sugar like the kind we find in an orange isn't as concerning because the orange is also packed with fiber, antioxidants and vitamins. All the good stuff in life!

Tips to reduce added sugar this week? 

  • One of the big questions I get is, "what do I do if I have a birthday party?" If you have a special occasion like a birthday and want to have a piece of cake, go for it and enjoy it. You can also reduce your portion size. And remember, you don't have to finish the whole thing . And, you can actually skip dessert. I promise you'll still have fun at the party. 
  • Are you on vacation and want that nightly ice cream? Don't worry, you can still have a treat. It is vacation after all. A few ways to reduce sugar is reduce the amount to a kiddie cup and skip the cone. You'll have saved a LOT of sugar and calories and still enjoyed your ice cream. Just try to balance it out the rest of the day with healthier, nutrient dense choices.
  • Be on the lookout for sugar's code words on food labels. If it ends in an -ose, say adios. It's probably sugar. Here are a few other code names for sugar:
    • Fructose
    • Maltose
    • Glucose Solids
    • Malodextrin
    • Honey
    • Maple Syrup
    • Molasses
    • Agave Nectar
    • Invert Sugar
    • Cane Sugar
    • Cane Juice
    • Corn Syrup
  • Add some flavor to your water by tossing some fruit, mint, lemon or cucumber in your water. 
  • Use unsweetened cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, etc and add your own sweetener. You'll use much less than the food manufacturers will put in the item.
  • Use spices like cinnamon, vanilla extract and cardamom to add flavor so you'll need less sweetener 
  • Craving dessert? Try some berries. If you really need a something sweet, top your berries with some 70% or more dark chocolate which has less sugar.

That's it! Since we all want to look and feel our best, your 2nd challenge this week is to consume less than 24 g of added sugar/day (1 tsp- 4 g.)* 

*The latest proposed sugar guidelines from the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization.


Building a Healthy Plate on the Road and at Home!

Challenge 3: Practice 50:25:25.

No one wants to count calories in the summer or pull out a food journal when they're on vacation. Though, feel free to go for it if you can!

One way to keep portions simple and choices easy is to follow the 50:25:25 rule at each meal. It's a great way to start practicing moderation each day!.

Here's how to do it! Build your plate with the 50:25:25 design.

  • 50% of your plate is Fruits and/or Veggies. This is super important. Whether you're at home, at a restaurant or on the road, fill up 50 % of your plate with veggies or fruits at each meal. If you're ordering at a restaurant, always start with a salad. Or, have an apple before you head out to dinner if you're starving.

  • 25% of your plate is Lean Protein. Fish, eggs, chicken, pork, turkey, beans, and lentils are all examples of lean protein. 

  • 25 % of your plate is Whole Grains. Whole grains are unrefined and unprocessed grains. Whole wheat bread, oatmeal, farro, buckwheat, bran, popcorn, whole wheat spaghetti and quinoa are all examples of a whole grain. Whole grains contain fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and a recent study even found that they help to increase our metabolisms. 

  • Remember, if you have bread with dinner or other appetizers, this all counts towards your meal.

  • To make it even easier to order healthy, simply look for keywords.

    • If you see any of these words, consider them like red and yellow lights on the road. In other words, stop or proceed slowly.

      • Fried, Crunchy, Rich, Creamy, Cheesy, Deep Fried, Battered, Tempura, breaded, crusted, golden, buttery and sizzling

      • Bbq, glazed, teriyaki, and honey-dipped typically indicate added sugar

    • When you see these words, consider them a green light:

      • Roasted, Grilled, Steamed, baked, braised, rubbed, seared, sauteed, spiced, fresh and seasoned

Whether you're eating at home or eating out, the 50:25:25 rule will keep you on your game. 

Challenge #3 this week is to practice 50:25:25.

Good luck with your 3 Challenges! 

I'll see you tomorrow with your first exercise of the day!

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