10 Tips for Shedding Unwanted Weight Effortlessly and Bringing Harmony to Your Body

We hear so much about the latest diet fad and how to lose those extra 10, 20 or 30 pounds withweight some special pill or drink. Many of us have grown up seeing advertisement after advertisement for the next big weight loss program or quick fix. This leads to yo-yo dieting and feelings of failure and inadequacy when we can’t lose the weight we want to lose.

For many cancer survivors, excess weight is one more crappy side effect of conventional treatment, and can add to the lack of energy, strength and balance we feel once treatment is done.

The truth is losing weight is just one part of the picture. And very often fad diets and magic pills might help with weight loss but they create imbalance and stress in the body, weaken the immune system, create fatigue, disrupt proper hormonal function and even put us on an emotional rollercoaster. Even if the weight is lost, it is likely to come back and there are usually other issues in the body that are not addressed or resolved.

When we begin adding in real, whole foods, mostly plants, and focus on that on a daily basis, rather than going on a strict diet or restricting certain foods, the results are amazing, real and long-term. How we eat, our health, our weight – these things are all a result of a lifestyle shift. Rather than going on the on-again, off-again dieting route, instead, it could make all the difference if we begin to make changes in food and diet that we plan to maintain permanently.

To make this work, we can’t be eating in a way that causes deprivation of foods we love, starvation from not getting enough nutrient-dense calories, or an inflammatory, imbalanced environment in the body.

We’re saying get stop dieting, stop counting calories and points. Get real with food and with yourself. Eat in a way that is enjoyable AND health-promoting. Eat more veggies. Eat whole grains. Eat more plant proteins. Eat healthy fats. And as you do, you will naturally crowd out the processed, sugary foods and too much animal protein. You will also find a balance that works well for YOU. After all, there is no one right diet for every body.

To get you going, here are 10 specific tips that you can begin today (or try one new tip a week) for losing unwanted weight effortlessly and bringing harmony to your body:

  1. Pick one leafy green veggie, like kale, spinach, or collards and add it in on a daily basis. Need a recipe to get you started? Try our Cashew Kale recipe!
  2. Make a nutrient-rich smoothie for breakfast.
  3. Replace white pasta with brown rice or quinoa pasta. Add green vegetables to it.
  4. Stop getting on the scale every day. Focus on eating whole, clean foods and getting some movement into your day and the weight will come off.
  5. Include apples, veggie sticks with hummus and nuts as snacks instead of packaged, processed foods.
  6. Cook with coconut oil. This oil helps boosts your metabolism and has amazing health benefits.
  7. Check out our 20 Food Faves and add some to your fridge or pantry.
  8. Want a sweet treat that also packs a powerful punch with health-boosting good fats? Try our Pumpkin Chia Pudding.
  9. Plan ahead with meals. Make your plan for the week and shop accordingly, so you are less likely to get takeout and make a packaged, processed dinner at the last minute.
  10. Make a tasty soup and enjoy leftovers with a colorful salad for lunch the next day.

 

Recipe: Creamy Winter Squash Soup

 

Photo credit: Xeniaii

Photo credit: Xeniaii

This is a warming, comforting soup for the winter season. Pumpkins and squash are vegetables which grow on the ground, providing grounding and earth-connecting energy. They are rich sources of beta-carotene, precursor to Vitamin A and an important antioxidant.  Delicious and nutritious (and easy) – now that’s our kind of soup!

We love encouraging people to get in their kitchens and have fun! This means embracing the mentality of openness, curiosity and exploration. Since pumpkins and squash come in many sizes and varieties, we are only giving relative measurements. Take the challenge and adjust, taste and adapt as you go. Try different types of winter squash and different combinations of seasonings to find your favorites. Soon you will begin to gain more confidence and competence in the kitchen!

Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

About 2 cups of onions, diced or sliced in half moons

2 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. white pepper

Additional seasonings such as garam marsala (about 1 ½ tsp)

About 6 cups of squash, in chunks

Vegetable broth, enough to just cover squash

About 3 apples, cored removed and sliced (I like Pink Lady or Granny Smith)

Directions:

Warm oil in stock pot over medium high heat. Place onions and about 1 tsp sea salt in pot and sauté til soft, about 5 minutes. Add another teaspoon of salt, pepper and spices and, stirring, sauté for another 3-4 minutes.

Place squash chunks and apples in pot and add vegetable broth, enough to just cover squash.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, simmering for about 45 minutes or until squash is tender.

Remove pot from heat and insert immersion blender, blending until soup becomes smooth and creamy.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Gentle Post-Holiday Detox

 

Mandarin

© Gertfrik | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos, stockfreeimages.com

As we say goodbye to the winter holiday season and welcome in the new year, many of us are likely realizing that we may have not always made the healthiest food choices. A few too many sweets. Too many salty treats. Big festive meals that left our bodies feeling weighted down rather than light and limber. And then the holiday drinks! Even those of us who made mindful food choices most of the time still may be feeling sluggish, worn out and overfed.

This is the time of year that that slightly mysterious word “detox” flies around. We may hear of friends stocking up on lemons and cayenne pepper. Others may try spend a day or two being “good” with what they eat, (or not eating anything) only to ping-pong back to comfort food and indulgences within a short time.

But what does it mean to detox? Every day our bodies are bombarded with toxins – from the air we breathe, to the products we put on our bodies, to the food we eat and beyond. The body is designed to deal with the toxins it encounters. But when the burden is high – when our air, work and home environment and personal care products are loaded with toxins; when we rely heavily on processed foods, sugar, meat and other potentially taxing foods such as wheat and dairy – we are outmatched, and our health suffers.

Rather than going to extremes with fad detoxes, we believe in supporting the body with real food. To aid in the detox process, take a day or two or more (listen to your body for clues on how best to go about this) and commit to eating food that is as clean and pure as possible. Focus on vegetables and fruits and purchase organic if possible. If you have a juicer, drink freshly pressed juices throughout the day. Some of our favorites are carrot and kale-wheatgrass-apple-lemon. But really, the sky is the limit: juice some cabbage, red beets, broccoli stems, melon – and create your own, good-for-you cocktail!

Along with the fresh juice, we love to make a big pot of soup! Perfect this time of year and so easy to make! Start with some stock and then chop up and toss in every type of vegetable – root veggies, cruciferous friends and also some leafy greens. Eat chunky as is or puree for a smooth soup.

As you are cleaning up your eating act, make sure to support your body with lots of water and herbal teas (dandelion root is great for supporting the liver, a critical organ in detoxification), movement (brisk winter walk, anyone?) and some quiet time to reflect and renew.

When you are ready to add in more beyond juice and soup, include some whole grains (try quinoa, oats or millet),  more raw and cooked veggies and clean protein. Nuts and seeds are great winter protein sources and spices and herbs are cancer-fighting and add a kick to your dishes.

By supporting your body and your health in this way, you’ll feel better, have more energy and be off to a great start in 2013!