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Yes, We Are A Little CoCo

Heels To Laces is on a mission to break through the clutter of health and fitness and make it easier to live healthier – and have a ton of fun doing it.

As always, we love interaction so email us, comment, share and send your thoughts.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
“Good health is more than just exercise and diet. It’s really a point of view and a mental attitude you have about yourself.” ~Albert Schweitzer

TRUTH OR DARE
Each week we will present you with a truth or dare. It’s your job to tackle it with gusto and make it happen. Often, by just focusing on one change…just one, it’s much more palpable and achievable and becomes the jump start you need.

Truth: Flush it out.
How much water are you really drinking? You probably answered “plenty – I drink throughout the day.” But are you really? The human body can survive for up to 3 weeks without any food. Water? Maybe 1. Our bodies are made up of more than 60% water (your brain is 90%!). Want a tell-tale sign if you are getting enough? Check the toilet (it’s ok, we won’t look). Clear urine , you are an H2O rock-star.  Anything darker than a faint pale shade of yellow? Guzzle up. Same with your bowel movements – hard bowel movements or constipation can be indicative of not enough water.

It is the easiest fix possible to feeling good and optimizing the health of your body. Water gives you energy, relieves headaches (sign of dehydration), removes toxins from your body, gets rid of aches and pains, prevents cramping (especially during exercise), boosts immunity, helps keep you “regular”, moisturizes and plumps your skin and promotes weight loss. Not too shabby huh?

We typically recommend to get it in first thing in the morning to ensure you flush your body of the overnight toxins. Drink 1 liter before you leave the house. And then throughout the day.

ASK THE EXPERTS
We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts. Today, we are taking over the role.

How do you feel lately? 
Are you crankier, anxious, fuzzier, less patient, full of cravings, tired, feeling a little out of control? Many of these feelings are directly correlated to your eating (and drinking) habits. Look – we get it – Winter is tough. You are inside – a lot – and all you want to do is eat. Forget about the weekends with dinners and friends and just not wanting to cook. So off starts this roller coaster of poor eating habits and consuming too much of the wrong foods.

How do we get off the gerbil wheel and get back in control?
It’s not all or nothing and starving yourself for a day or two to “make up” for the extra calories. This daunting idea of having to give up everything and deprive yourself will only set you up for failure or cause you to go to the opposite extreme. We will stick to our theme: pick one thing to change. One thing. And do it every day. You’d be surprised how altering your mind set will often set you on the right track.

Suggestions to pick from:

  • Drink a cup of water with every meal/snack (now we’ve talked about water twice…settling in?)
  • Stop eating after 8 pm
  • Try time-restrictive feeding (TRF) – eat only within a 12 hour window (ie. 9 am – 9 pm)
  • Eat breakfast
  • Eat 3 decent meals and snack on only fruits in-between
  • Give up the daily caramel latte
  • Remove candy from your diet (unless it’s a square of raw cacao)
  • Remove your go-to high carb comfort foods (pretzels, popcorn, cereal) and replace it with something light and filling (apple, banana, organic yogurt)
  • Avoid eating any food on the couch (always sit at a table/counter when you eat)
  • Brush your teeth after eating (this really works!)
  • Refrain from drinking cocktails Monday-Friday
  • Eliminate added and white refined sugar
  • Drink a glass of cleansing tea every night before bed
  • Add 20 minutes of exercise every day
  • Add 10 minutes of meditation every morning

By placing the focus on one thing – it makes it much easier to succeed and other pieces will naturally fall into place. Less emphasis on “I need to get it together” and feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start, and more emphasis on improving one manageable thing that will get you to a more attainable goal.

WHAT’S TRENDING
Ah, the infamous words “Gluten Free”. Everyone and their sister is gluten free. As we all know, we are the biggest supporters of a gluten free diet. But what does that really mean? Gluten is a protein mostly found in wheat, rye and barley. The word gluten means “glue” – it holds the structure of food together. Gluten is an ingredient used in many processed foods including salad dressings, soy sauce, potato chips, lunch meats, candy bars (notice they are all processed?) Originally a gluten-free diet became a new weight loss fad that stemmed off of people with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease removing it from their diet and not only feeling great, but losing weight.

Are there benefits to removing gluten from your diet? Without a doubt. Gluten is a processed ingredient that is foreign to the body. The proteins in gluten are gut irritants and cause inflammation. And they mess with your microbiome (gut flora) that regulate your immune system, digest your food, synthesize nutrients and send hunger/fullness signals to your brain. However, people think they can simply substitute gluten foods with packaged gluten-free options. And, there are plenty – from pancakes to breads to cookies. We are here to tell you, that is not a healthier solution.

We picked up a typically gluten-free cracker on the shelf and the first few ingredients were (from highest content to lowest): corn starch, white rice flour, palm oil, modified corn starch, dextrose, guar gum, monocalcium phosphate…. Chances are, you do not want these additives in your body – nor will they fuel it for a healthy life. Many of the gluten-free options out there fit into the CRAP (Carbonated drinks, Refined sugar, Artificial flavors/Colors, Processed foods) American diet and can actually make you sicker.

If you want to truly follow a gluten-free diet opt for more veggies and fruits. Use nut flours vs. wheat and processed flours. Try to avoid packaged foods. Eat whole FOOD (Fruits/veggies, Organic lean proteins, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Drink Water). If you follow this path to a gluten-free diet, you will truly reap the benefits.

WHAT WE’RE OBSESSED WITH
Sometimes, you just gotta have it.

Whisper Sweet Nothings…
Just need to have that crunchy chip and want to avoid the processed corn/grain? These cheesy little crunchers do the trick. With one ingredient: Parmesan cheese, they will keep you satisfied. Careful not to bring the bag to the couch. Just sayin’.

May-Oh!
One of our favorite finds is a mayo – made from avocado oil. Made with cage-free organic eggs and vinegar, the avocado oil increases nutrition absorption, has antioxidants and anti-aging properties that support a healthy immune system and is a great source of vitamin E and beneficial omega-9 fatty acids. This mayo has a rich, full-flavor and supports both a paleo, SCD, Whole30 and primal diet. No sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, canola, soybean or industrialized seeds, artificial preservatives, fillers and trans fats (read a typical mayo jar and you’ll see the difference.) Comes in 2 flavors: regular and chipotle lime.

Give Me Some Color
President’s weekend is around the corner! If you are traveling (like most of the East coast) to some warmer climate and have been trapped inside for months, you may need a little somethin’ so you don’t scare off the natives. We have searched high and low for a safer, easier, streak-free self-tanner and we are pretty sure we found the winner. This find is formulated with organic and natural ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, green tea and witch hazel. No orange hands or by-products. They believe in their product so much, they guarantee the results. Sooo natural.

THE DISH ON DELISH
All of our recipes will always be quick, healthy, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, mostly dairy-free, SCD legal and Paleo friendly. And yes, all sorts of deliciousness.

This bread recipe from Gastro Chef is a great SCD legal, grain-free alternative to wheat or multi-grain breads. We modified it slightly after several experiments and we are pretty confident we perfected it.

Coconut Flour Bread

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole eggs
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 4-5 Tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 Tbsp unpasteurized honey
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp applesauce or SCD yogurt
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut to garnish

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a small bowl, using a hand blender, beat egg whites until they are stiff and set aside
3. In a larger bowl, combine the whole eggs, honey, butter and yogurt or applesauce and beat until smooth.
4. Add coconut flour, salt and baking soda and mix well.
5. Fold in egg whites until well mixed
6. Line bread loaf pan with parchment paper and coconut oil to ensure bread won’t stick to pan and pour in the batter
7. Top with unsweetened coconut if you wish to give the bread a nice garnish
8. Bake for 45 minutes – then cover the top with parchment paper for another 15 so the bread cooks all the way through and the top doesn’t burn. Keep checking to make sure it’s not over-cooking. You will know if it’s cooked through if the top is firm when you push down in the middle of the loaf.

Cool completely before removing from pan

We double this recipe (we know, 14 eggs!) but it’s the only way it truly fills up a loaf pan. We use 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 ghee butter (4-5 Tbsp each).

Once cooled, slice into thin slices and wrap in parchment and then into a container or baggie. Freeze or keep in the refrigerator.

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WANT TO SHINE?
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Heels To Laces will be on a temporary hiatus for President’s weekend returning in full force the week of February 19th…stay tuned.

Disclosure: some product recommendations are affiliate sites, which simply means we get a small compensation from the companies that sell the products we endorse. We will never endorse a product we do not personally use or love. Opinions expressed are solely those of Heels To Laces.

 

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14 Reasons Why You Are Still Not Losing Weight

Sometimes we feel like we are doing everything right, but the weight still doesn’t come off.  Following are some possible reasons why the scale isn’t moving in the right direction.weightlossblog

1.  Eating In Front Of The Television Or A Computer

It is easy to overeat when you aren’t paying attention.  Instead of bringing food to the couch or desk, step away from the screens and focus on enjoying your food.  You will feel satisfied and have less of a tendency to overeat.

2.  Overindulging In Low-Fat Foods

Low-fat foods may appear healthier, but they are often full of additives, artificial sugars and extra sodium. Even though it feels like you are eating lighter,  you may end up eating more than you anticipated.

3.  Overdoing It With Artificial Sugar

Study after study, including a recent one out of Yale University, has shown that when you eat artificial sugar, your bodies crave more sweets. Your taste buds may be ok with the fake stuff, but your brain isn’t fooled.

4.  Thinking Cardio Is The Only Exercise Needed

Everyone needs cardiovascular exercise for heart health, but incorporating weight training also has major benefits. Weight training builds muscle mass, increases metabolic rate and makes your body stronger and leaner.  This higher metabolism keeps you burning calories long after you have left the gym.  (See our earlier blog Heels To Barbells).

5.  Skipping Breakfast

It’s true – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. People who eat breakfast regularly lose more weight. Eating breakfast each morning jump starts your metabolism and keeps your cravings in check. It’s important to keep it healthy and balanced: include protein to give yourself sustainable energy and fiber to fill you up for hours.

6.  Working Out On An Empty Stomach

Research has shown that when exercising on an empty stomach, the calories burned will come from muscle, not fat. You want to keep those muscles since they burn more calories than fat. The more muscle mass you have, the better it is for weight loss. Not only will fueling your body help you avoid losing muscle, you will have more energy to push yourself through your workout.

7.  Overeating Healthy Foods

Yes – nuts, avocados, whole wheat pasta and olive oil are all good for you, but those calories still count.  Keep track of your portions as you enjoy these foods.

8.  Eating Straight From The Fridge Or The Kids’ Plates

Everything you eat counts – whether it is a handful of the chips from your son’s lunch or a few bites of leftovers from the fridge.  Even if you toss down these few bites without thinking, they still count.  My little trick – try chewing gum when making food for others.

9.  Turning A Healthy Salad Into A Landmine

Be conscious of what you put on your salad.  Creamy salad dressings, croutons, bacon bits, dried fruits and cheese can literally add hundreds of calories.  Try other lower calorie choices such as chickpeas, shredded carrots,  lemon juice or balsamic glaze.

10. Lacking Portion Control

This is a crucial key that can derail any attempts at weight loss.  You may need to initially weigh your food to learn the appropriate portion sizes.  Once you get the hang of it, you will be better able to judge what is a portion.  And just as importantly, you need to learn to recognize when you are full. At that first feeling of fullness, either remove your plate or cover your food with a napkin.

11.  Not Drinking Enough Water

Water not only keeps you hydrated, but drinking water on a regular basis helps with weight loss. Additionally, filling up on water before a meal helps encourage portion control. A recent study even found that drinking cold water can speed up metabolism and discourage cravings for sugary drinks like soda and juice.

12.  Never Indulging

In an otherwise healthy diet, enjoying a treat now and then isn’t going to ruin your weight-loss goals, and it may help you stay on track  by keeping you from binging.  A study found that a daily variance of as much as 600 calories  (that means some days less and some days more – not always an extra 600 calories) won’t reflect on your waistline, as long as you maintain a healthy diet in the long run.  Try not to waste these calories eating cold leftovers straight from the fridge; if you are going to indulge once in a while, choose something you really love and sit down and savor it.

13.  Eating The Wrong Post Workout Snack

A post-workout snack is just that — a snack. And unless it’s mealtime, what you eat after an average workout should be around 150 calories. Since healthy foods like trail mix can be high in calories, measure out a serving instead of mindlessly chomping straight out of the bag.

14.  Forgetting To Journal

Writing down what you eat is an essential way to monitor daily caloric intake. A study from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics surveyed 123 women and found that those who were the most successful at losing weight used a food journal to keep track of their food intake.  And with today’s apps, there is really no excuse. (I use MyFitnessPal.)

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My Hangover Cure

In case some of you were still wondering, our name, Heels to Laces, celebrates the fun of going out with our heels on, but always remembering to put our laces on the next day. We believe in finding the balance between fun and work.  And nothing addresses this theme better than today’s blog.14-hangover-140612

We have all been there – a few too many drinks the night before and you wake up with a hangover.  Your head is pounding and all you want to do is dive under the covers. Hangover symptoms are a product of dehydration, hypoglycemia, and the poisonous side effects from toxins in our drinks.  There are lots of suggested cures out there, but there is only one that I have ever found to work. Time and time again, I have resorted to exercise. Pure and simple – sweat it out!  Yes, some health experts may not believe it works, but if you find a healthy cure that can fix your ailment, why not go for it?

I had heard about using exercise to get through a hangover, but I never really had the motivation to give it a try when I was feeling lousy and tired.  However, on a skiing trip a couple years ago with my sisters, I had no choice.  The three of us were on vacation together for the first time, without kids and spouses/boyfriends, so we had an excuse for a little over-indulgence.

After a late night of too many drinks, we had to get up early to hike into the backcountry for some off-piste (outside the boundaries) skiing.  So there we were, at 8am, meeting our guide and completely hungover. He showed us how to use our transponders, pick axes and shovels in case there was an avalanche – very reassuring!  After riding the gondola to the top of the mountain, we strapped our skis onto our backs and started hiking.  At this point, all three of us weren’t sure we were going to make it – our heads were pounding and we were above 9000 feet in altitude, but we didn’t really have a choice, so we just got going.

After about 30 minutes of sweating, huffing and puffing, we reached our first peak and we realized that we felt great.  My headache was gone and so was my hangover.

Ever since then, I have used exercise as my weapon against the morning hangover.  Exercise raises your metabolic rate, which helps you clear toxins associated with metabolizing alcohol. Exercise also helps deliver oxygen to your cells, which can increase the speed at which you detoxify harmful compounds.

We are not condoning weekly hangovers, but it is human to overindulge sometimes. The next time you do, remember to drag yourself out of bed and run, hike or get to the gym – whatever it is you do – and sweat it out!  One other tip – drink lots of water, both before you go to bed and when you first wake up.  Too much alcohol leads to dehydration, so it is crucial to keep drinking.  Water will not only help hydrate your muscles and organs, but, like exercise, it will also aid in flushing out the toxins.

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