Tag Archives: weight loss

Losing Weight & Being Healthy

17 Ways to Achieve Weight Loss Through Healthy Eating
Lisa Larson

While it may seem a little odd to have a weight loss article on a metaphysical site, really not so. To do the work we do as psychics and animal communicators, we need to be balance in both body and mind. And when we are tired all the time, from carrying around so much weight, or simply not feel good about ourselves because of it, we have to work that much harder to find that balance that is so productive in our work.

Weight loss does not have to be the roller coaster nightmare that people make it out to be. For many people, simply changing the focus from losing weight to becoming healthy, will facilitate the weight just ‘falling off.’

1. Don’t diet. Eat healthy.
This is the first and most important rule. In most cases, if you change your diet with the intent of just becoming healthy, the weight will just fall off.

Vegetarian_diet2. Eat a balanced diet.
Don’t subscribe to the “all this” or “all that” diets. You’re going for health, remember? To be healthy, you need to eat balanced meals with all the elements. Carbs are not the enemy, overeating – carbs or anything else – is.

3. Use a salad plate instead of regular sized plate.
Eating is psychological. If you use a smaller plate, you trick your subconscious, into thinking you have had a full meal.

4. Order your salad with dressing on the side.
Only god knows why people have to serve salad that is swimming in dressing. Order your dressing on the side and put on just enough to make it moist. Usually no more than a tablespoon full or so will do, depending on the size of the salad.

5. Substitute, substitute, substitute.
Probably 80-90% of the things you can think of that you would feel ‘guilty’ about eating when you’re on a diet, you can find a substitute for. Want ice cream? Get frozen yogurt. Like cream in your coffee? Try 2% low-fat milk, or better yet, non-fat or soy milk. Here are a few others:

Eat cheese, but make it 75% low fat cheese.
It’s made by Cabot and and can be found at Trader Joe’s.

Eat chips, but make sure they’re baked.
Again, we get these at Trader Joe’s. Potato chips, corn chips … just make sure to check the labels and get the ones lowest in fat per serving and calories per serving. (Know, however, that baked goods may be high in salt, so if you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist.)

Eat macaroni salad, but make it with non-fat sour cream. Vaclav_Maly_-_Cabbage_Market_060
Practically anything that can be made with mayonnaise, can be made with non-fat sour cream instead. So many terrible, fattening, un-healthy foods are that way because of the mayonnaise or salad dressing they’re made with. Some of the things we make with non-fat sour cream are: macaroni Salad, cole-slaw and waldorf-salad. Or substitute non-fat yogurt or a small amount of healthy olive or walnut oil, depending on what you’re making. Non-fat sour cream or blended cottage cheese is also and option for making creamy salad dressings or dips.

Replace butter with Olive Oil or Earth Balance w/Olive Oil.
If on a special occasion, you really want to use real butter, you can get whipped butter (I like the Land ‘O Lakes) but use it sparingly-only as a spread, not in cooking. You can also substitute applesauce for butter in things like cake and cookie mixes.

Eat french fries, but bake them instead of fry them.
I get Ore-ida Golden Crinkles: 3 grams fat/serving.

Eat onion rings, but look for bakeable ones at the health food store.

Drink Soda, but only natural soda, & ‘spritz’ it!
Mix it half and half with club soda. There are lots of natural sodas at the health food store, without high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.

To cut down on calories, I buy club soda and make a “ginger ale spritzer,” by mixing Santa Cruz Ginger Ale (or natural soda of your choice) and standard club soda. Half soda to half club soda is a happy medium, although sometimes I just mix in just a splash for taste. Bubbles & taste without guilt.

Replace white refined sugar with unrefined raw sugar.
Do NOT use artificial sugar substitutes such as Equal or Splenda. These artificial substitutes are terrible for you. Sugar is not the boogie-man it’s made out to be. Refined, processed sugar – which has all the nutrients processed out of it – deserves that connotation, but the broad term ‘sugar’ – not necessarily so.

Furthermore, the problem is not always the sugar itself, the problem is with the things that sugar is combined with, like “high-fructose corn syrup” and “partially-hydrogenated oils.” Those are the dirty little secrets the food industry does not want you to know about.

Even if a product is made with raw sugar, those other ingredients make that food a terrible, terrible choice to put in your body. One reason sugar has been so demonized by the food industry, imo, is that there is a huge market for sugar substitutes. They are money makers, and what better way to get people to buy them, than to demonize sugar???

There are some newer more natural substitutes out there right now, and of course, there is always honey, but a lot of these things are really not any different calorie-wise than sugar. A teaspoon of sugar in your coffee is only around 17 calories. When baking, some people substitute honey or molasses, I use raw, unrefined sugar and simply use less than the recipe calls for. That, in addition to substituting applesauce for oil, makes whatever I’m baking far healthier with far less fat and calories.

6. Don’t buy things with more than 5 grams of fat per serving.
Make it a habit of reading every label of every thing you buy. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t splurge once in a great while, but if you develop a lifestyle where you’re eating healthy on a daily basis, a splurge for something special will not be the end of the world. To cut fat per serving:

Stop eating fried food.
There’s nothing remotely healthy about fried foods for you.

Stop eating fast food.
There is nothing remotely healthy about junk foods for you.

Don’t eat donuts – ever.
There is nothing remotely healthy about donuts for you.
Seriously. Google “donuts” and “health”. They taste great, I won’t deny that, but doing drugs feels good to a lot of people, too. It doesn’t mean they should go out and do them. Consider doughnuts the heroin of healthy eating, the heroin of losing weight. There are no substitutes to my knowledge, (I wish there were) but there are plenty of sweet healthy choices to choose from which can make you forget about doughnuts forever. (Okay, not completely forget, but not crave.)

Stop eating red meat and pork.
(If you are so inclined, become a vegetarian.) When I stopped eating red meat and pork, the weight just fell off. These meat products are not only bad for your weight, the fat in them is bad for your cholesterol. Once you start looking, you will be amazed at all of the wonderful meat substitutes that taste great, are high in protein and versatile in recipes.

We regularly have low-fat tacos with ground meat substitute and 75% low-fat cheese from Trader Joe’s. As vegetarians, we hurt for nothing, eating things like substitute soy bacon, (Morningstar Farms), veggie dogs (Yves) and chicken breasts (Quorn.) If you are eating a lot of meat, you will be amazed at the weight loss by taking just this one step.

7. Don’t deprive yourself.
Sounds odd, after the list I just gave you, but with those exceptions, do not deprive a_squirrel_eatingyourself of foods you can substitute or eat in moderation. Can you not live without chocolate? Fine. Have it on occasion, as a treat, but limit yourself to 1 or 2 pieces, don’t eat the whole box. We get semi-sweet chocolate chips from Trader Joe’s that have no partially-hydrogenated oils. I limit myself to 7 chocolate chips if I have a chocolate craving. That’s 80 calories, and I am satisfied that I have treated myself to chocolate, but I don’t feel I have done something horrible with regard to my weight.

Cookies? We found healthy cookie dough, pre-cut at our local health food store. 80 calories per cookie. We bake them just one or two at a time so they we won’t be tempted to eat too many. Just remember, everything in moderation. The more you deprive yourself, the more it’s like telling someone not to think of the pink elephant. Can’t stop thinkin’ about it. If you continually deprive yourself of all good tasting things, your willpower, eventually, will wane.

Ice cream? This one is easy! Substitute low-fat frozen yogurt. Tastes the same, with a fraction of the cholesterol and calories. But remember, eat one serving and no more. No more taking the carton out of the freezer, standing at the sink with spoon in hand, and devouring the whole thing. Mod-er-a-tion. Moderation. Is there an ice cream flavor you can’t do without? Okay, on a special, special occasion, treat yourself – to ONE serving. Mod-er-a-tion. Moderation.

Pizza? Certainly! One of the most unhealthy things about pizza is the high fat content of the cheese. So order a vegetarian pizza with no cheese! Wait, before you dismiss it, try it. It’s really good. And you might find that after eating it without cheese for a while, you won’t even like pizza with cheese any more. If you really, really can’t fathom that, however, search around. There are pizza parlors that will substitute low-fat, low-cholesterol cheese. So now you can have your pizza and eat it too.

If you can’t have it in the house, then buy it only when there will be enough people there to eat the rest, or give it away to a neighbor the next day. Remember, you’re changing to a healthy lifestyle. Savor how good that tastes!

8. Get to the root of the problem, through therapy.
Figure out why you have a weight problem. Once you figure out and work on the root of the problem, you won’t be subject to the “yo-yo” syndrome of gaining, losing, gaining, losing, gaining, losing. You will just lose, and not gain it back significantly because, psychologically, you will no longer need the weight as … protection … or whatever reason you find you carry it. (Protection is a common one.)

9. Stop eating anything with partially hydrogenated oils.
(Okay, so this really has more to do with health, than losing weight, but we’ve already established that your focus is on eating healthy.) As I mentioned before, make it a habit of reading every label of every thing you buy.

10. Stop eating anything with high-fructose corn syrup.
Junk food companies just love high-fructose corn syrup because it’s an ingredient that metabolizes in your body in such a way as to trick it into not knowing it’s full. Just google “high-fructose corn syrup appetite” and you will be bombarded with a plethora of articles telling you how it’s bad for your weight and why. Make it a habit of reading every label of every thing you buy.

11. Stop eating anything with Canola Oil.
Despite what you’ve heard, canola oil is bad for you. It’s genetically engineered. It’s hard to find things without it, but more and more foods are replacing it with healthier oils. Read your labels.

12. Eat protein for every meal.
Make protein your friend. It helps you stay satiated longer.

13. Never *never* skip breakfast.
Skipping breakfast sets you up to binge later on in the day. Make it something healthy like whole grain, fruit and protein. My new favorite is 1/4 cup raw oatmeal, a small handful of walnuts and raisins, ground flax, a couple of tablespoons of yogurt and soy milk. Breakfast is the meal that sets up your whole day. Don’t set yourself up for failure by skipping it.

14. Have smaller meals & eat healthy snacks several times a day.
Well, if you do one, you’ll probably do the other. In other words, have healthy snacks throughout the day and you probably will not feel the need to gorge yourself at regular mealtimes. Raw veggies are great for snacking, if you can add some protein, like a piece of low-fat string cheese or a small handful of nuts, even better.

15. Don’t eat for 3 hours before you go to bed and drink lots of water.
Oh, you’ve heard this before. Blah, blah, blah. Good advise, but nothing new here. Water keeps you hydrated and not eating before bedtime gives food time to metabolize before you put your body to rest for the night. I know people get sick of hearing these two things, but they should be common knowledge to everyone by now, but these two things are important, so I thought I should list them anyway.

16. Move every day.
Even if it’s only light stretching, just get your body moving. The more you do, the more you will be interested in exercising. You might try some light yoga routines or just simple stretching.

Again, daily exercise should be common knowledge to you. What I’d like to do here is give you tips you might not have thought about in this way before. Exercise is always such a hard hill for people to climb because they get discouraged.

So, I’m not saying, “just go exercise”, I’m saying if you just make a 5 minute effort a day to simply stretch, move, etc., that 5 minutes will turn into 10, 10 will turn into 15, and it will eventually turn into cardiovascular exercise because the better and more limber your body feels, the more you will want to exercise (at least 3-5 times/week) because it feels good and makes you feel healthy. But if that idea is daunting to you, just start with stretching 5 minutes, every day.

17. Meditate every day.
This sounds like an odd thing to have in a list of tips on weight loss, but this goes to the idea that I am encouraging you to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself. Daily mediation, or even just occasional meditation, balances your mind, body and spirit.

The more you train your subconscious to be peaceful through meditation, the more you will feel good about yourself. The more you feel good about yourself, the less you will eat for the sake of eating. Strive to bring your mind (through therapy), spirit (through meditation) and body (through yoga or stretching) into balance, and you will be amazed at how your weight just falls off of you.

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A note about holidays. Holidays do not have to be the dreaded guilt-fest they have always been. Here is a sample of what our Thanksgiving dinner is like:

Tofurky with vegetarian gravy (supplied when we buy the Tofurky) and my homemade cranberry relish. Tastes so much like turkey, I can’t tell the difference, especially with the gravy and cranberry relish. Great in a sandwich the next day, as well! High in protein, low in fat and calories. No fatty skin.

Cranberry relish made with oranges and natural sugar. (I always use less sugar than what the recipe calls for.)

Waldorf salad made with non-fat sour cream and walnuts.

Yam &/or mashed potatoes made with ‘Olive Oil Earth Balance’ instead of butter. I usually use less than what any recipe calls for.

Steamed vegetables of some sort.

Garlic toast made with “Olive Oil Earth Balance”. You can also make this with a light dusting of olive oil and fresh garlic.

Stuffing: Onions and celery sautéed in olive oil. If butter is in the recipe, I substitute the “Olive Oil Earth Balance.”

If we have salad, we use an olive oil and vinegar dressing, or I sometimes make dressing with low-fat sour cream.

Where we splurge is on desert, but even that has healthy alternatives. We have found at various times, pumpkin pie at the health food store which has a wheat crust, no partially-hydrogenated oils, no high-fructose corn syrup and with only 8 or 9 grams of fat per serving. Those are a little harder to find, but I can’t recall ever not being able to find one with somewhere around 12 grams of fat/per serving. And these are healthy pies made with good oils. Read your labels and you can find them.

Of course, if you like to cook, you can always bake your own pie and make it as low and as healthy as you want, using the substitution tips you’ve found here and all over the internet.

We top out pies with whipped cream. This is your standard canned “whipped light cream”. Thanksgiving056_RJeditedWe do not try to find “diet” whipped cream or anything else because most of them have artificial sweeteners or some such unhealthy thing in them. If you are eating healthy as a lifestyle, you can have this treat for Thanksgiving with no guilt. Another option, if you want to be really good, is to top your pie with “vanilla frozen yogurt.”

Remember that this is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. If you want to look good, you need to feel good. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

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Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
1 (12-ounce) package Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 unpeeled orange, cut into eighths and seeded
3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar

Place half the cranberries and half the orange slices in grinder or food processer. Process until mixture is evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange slices. Stir in sugar. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Makes about 3 cups.
Recipe courtesy of Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.

My tip: when using a food processor, it tends to get too mushy, the more granular, the better. So lightly do the oranges first because they take more time to grind.

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Low-Fat Nachos

Spanish rice
1 can non-fat refried beans
1 can green chiles
75% cheddar cheese (Cabot), shredded
Chopped onion
Diced Tomato
Baked Corn Chips

Layer rice and beans on a large oven safe plate. Layer the onions, chiles and tomatoes on top of that. Cover with tortilla chips, then cover with shredded cheese. Finish off with cilantro and salsa to taste, on top.

Put in 350 degree oven until cheese is melted. Serve with non-fat sour cream &/or avocado slices or homemade guacamole.

Makes about 3 servings for my husband, about 10 servings for me. 😉