• Chef Organic

Happy New Year, 2017

Welcome to a wet and snowy 2017 in Reno/Tahoe! Hopefully you've now sorted out what day of the week it is and are starting to get into a routine for the new year.

It's time to get those ubiquitous New Year's resolutions going. The sooner we start them, the better we'll feel about ourselves. It's the small steps at the beginning of every day that set the tone for the entire day and the week.

What are your resolutions, and how do you plan to keep them?

My main goal is pretty typical: lose the 10 pounds I put on in 2016 (I'll accomplish this by cutting my food intake, eating more mindfully and getting back to deliberate exercise.) By deliberate exercise I mean going to the gym, instead of just skiing and hiking.

Incidental exercise (the kind we do by just having fun) doesn't seem to cut it when our metabolism slows down after 40. So it's critical to either cut food consumption to a more appropriate level or exercise more. If you really want to get in shape quicker, you'll do both.

My top ten quick tips for dropping some excess pounds are:

1. Do weigh in every morning. Weight can fluctuate throughout the day but when you're on a mission to drop a few pounds, seeing the numbers on the scale go down is great motivation to keep at it.

2. Substitute veggies in for fruits in your smoothies. (spinach instead of strawberries, kale instead of blueberries). Keep the banana but freeze it, use half and use water for the liquid instead of milk or almond milk. I like organic hemp powder or pea protein in my smoothies which is additive-free and pure protein, rather than using a vitamin supplement or other powder with lots of ingredients. The simpler the better.

3. Drink less alcohol. I'm in the mindset right now of why bother at all with it while I'm trying to lose weight. Every time I have a glass of wine, I want to eat more, so I just don't drink wine when dieting.

4. Work out right before your biggest meal. I like to work out in the later afternoon before dinner because I'm less inclined to eat a big meal that negates the effort I just put in at the gym. This is purely psychological. But I am much more mindful of what I eat in the evening when I've just invested time and effort into exercising.

5. Skip the bread. See #3. Bread expands in the stomach and just makes you hungrier, has no nutritional value so it's empty calories.

6. Try to get in 3 miles a day of power walking, running or elliptical training. As long as you're getting your heart rate up. For a quicker burn, do a hard exercise class. Sweat.

7. Eat at least one salad a day for one of your meals. Don't load up on nuts. Mostly greens, veggies and make it fun by toasting some pumpkin seeds with sea salt. My downfall is cheese, so I skip it and have half of an avocado or pumpkin seeds instead. Prep your greens up to two days in advance so when you don't feel like making a salad, it's already made.

8. Make your own salad dressing. In a blender throw a couple garlic cloves, fresh parsley, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, a few drops of honey, sea salt, dijon, filtered water and then olive oil. Blend on high to emulsify. You can always thin out with fresh lemon juice before adding to your salad.

9. Eat sour and spicy snacks instead of crackers and chips. Think pickles(all kinds of veggie pickles available), cornichons, homemade pickles. Raw celery with your hummus, or just raw celery. I buy the 5pack of organic celery at Costco, wash a head a day and cut up to snack on. It really is negative calories and satisfies the need to put something in your mouth.

10. Drink water with fresh squeezed lemon juice and/or apple cider vinegar throughout the day. I prefer lemon juice for the vitamin C. It's more interesting than plain water and it's better for you. It will also help cut your appetite a bit.

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