Tag Archive: weight loss


Today I watched a documentary that I have been very impatiently waiting to see- Fed Up. It is a very well made, acurate portrayal of our food industry and why we are so sick in America. Do you ever watch something at home and feel like a crazy person because you are nodding along, and saying ‘preach it!’, and clapping even though you are alone and your child is sleeping? Just me…? Well, anyway, that is how I felt today. And, now naturally, I am going to preach to all of you.

It’s bullshit! Let me say that again so you know it didn’t just slip out the first time. It is complete and utter bullshit that we know so much about what makes us sick, but we never hear about it because of the massive amount of coroption. We know that fake food is killing us. We know that too much sugar is killing us. We know that we are killing (or at least giving disease to) an entire generation of children. We know this, and we do nothing.

So, I was pretty riled up when I first started writing this. I have actually deleted half of a post 2x now trying to find the right level of ‘intense’. I can be pretty…uh.. energetic sometimes. But, I didn’t want to scare everybody off, so I turned to Facebook and asked my friends if they wanted ‘tough love’ or ‘supportive encouragement’. I got your typical mixed bag response (and one ‘bacon’?) so I thought I would try and make everyone happy (because that usually works so well).

Tough Love: Stop eating crap. Wait, seriously, stop it. 1x per week! That is what you get. 1x to eat the junk! I’m not saying you can never have pizza and cupcakes, but you can’t have that shit every day. You just can’t. And, either can your kids. Every time you turn around, someone is trying to give your kid sugar, and it is often the parents. For the love of god- what do you think happens to a kid who has cereal for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner (that’s about 5x the recommended level of sugar for the day)? They get sick. Sick looks different for everybody, but it WILL eventually happen (Did you know that you could have a thin child that still has high blood sugar and fat around their organs? Sorry, but it is important that we don’t brush these things off because our kid ‘looks fine’.). And, I didn’t even mention juice and pop and gatorade and vitamin water and chocolate milk.

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Supportive encouragement: I know it’s hard. Making better choices for yourself and for your family seems impossible sometimes. We are all so busy, and we have picky children. Bottom line, we are all getting way too much sugar and sweetener. Try and make at least 2/3 of your meals at home, and stop giving your kids soda, juice, and gatorade. This will make a dramatic change in their over all intake. I would also highly recommend saving cereal for the weekends only or just 2 days per week.

Tough Love: If you are trying to lose weight, eating less is simply an exercise in futility. What happens when you eat the same foods, but less of them? You get hungry! How many days can you last when you are hungry all damn day? Not very many. This is why ‘diets’ fail. Change the food you eat to real food, cooked at home, and you WILL lose weight. Example of foods that are not ‘real’ or ‘cooked at home’: pasta, bread, rice, pasta sauce (out of a jar), salad dressing (out of a jar), Yoplait strawberry yogurt, lean cuisine, etc.

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Supportime encouragement: The old adage of ‘eat less, and move more’ is out of date. We need to really hold a microscope to what we are eating. If you think about the amount of exercise it takes to burn the calories in a soda or sugary coffee, you will quickly realize- all calories are not equal. In the movie fed up, they compare 160 calories of almonds to 160 calories of soda. The effect these have on your body are amazingly different. IF you are eating the right things, your body will thank you. What are the right things? Vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, nuts/seeds. Did it grow out of the ground (and can be eaten before processing)? Safe. Did it have a mother? Go for it. Can you forage for it? Go take a hike! Focus on protein, fiber, and healthy fat and you can’t go wrong.

Tough Love: Do you still need to work out? Of course you have to fricking work out! Our bodies were designed to lift and run and twist and move and have sex. This is a huge part of keeping our bodies healthy and keeping our brains happy. The point I am trying to make is that you can’t eat non-sense and expect to work it off in the gym. That only works for 18 year old boys… You need to eat right FIRST. Then, you need to also challenge yourself in the gym. Btw, reading a magazine on the elliptical for 20 mins. is not going to cut it- ever.

Supportive encouragement: Love yourself where you are right now. Not everyone is going to join cross fit and that is okay. Just remember- food is the most important thing. A close second is exercise. Challenge yourself to do more each time but don’t compare yourself to others. Take classes to get an extra push. Hire a trainer to teach you how to safely lift weights. Encorporate more playful activities into your life. Only running isn’t the answer. Only doing zumba isn’t the answer. But, mixing up your activity in a way that is fun and challenging is most certainly the answer.

Tough Love: Oh, my Paleo diet is a fad??? Please tell me how a diet based on vegetables, healthy protein, healthy fat, fruits, nuts/seeds, and limited sugar is a NEW and CRAZY idea??? Compared to the standard American diet, the Paleo diet crushes it in every category. Can people screw it up and eat too much red meat? Sure. Can people get too discouraged when they try the diet because they try too many complicated recipes and look for pature-raised bison-livers? Absolutely. But, does that mean the whole premise is bad? Of course not. I also strongly believe in supplements beyond this but that is a different topic for a different day…

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Supportive encouragement: If you are looking to change your diet in a way that cuts out the modern junk, I would stronly encourage you to give Paleo a shot. Give it at least 2 weeks to truly feel the effects (30 days would be better). All you need to do, is focus on plants and meats/eggs. Lots of veggies, good fat (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, grass fed butter), good protein, fruits, nuts/seeds, and limited sugar and dairy (no dairy if it bothers you). You can do anything for a couple weeks, and there is no ‘risk’. This is one of those things you have to commit to. Just cutting back on certain things (although that is a step in the right direction) will not have the same effect as making the leap. The biggest thing is plants first and then protein and fat. Fiber is like your sexy friend that loves to dance and has a british accent and helps you poop.

If you have any underlying health issues, or are pregnant, or are an endurance athlete, ask for some more professional help. In my humble opinion, any person in the world can and should eat this way, but understand that I am not a doctor! Just remember, if you do ask your doctor, make sure he/she knows what the Paleo diet actually is before they wave it off and call it ‘the new Atkins’. GRRRR!

Okay, I tried to find the balance there between tough and supportive. Hopefully everyone found their comfort zone. Let me know if you have any questions. I am playing around with doing one-on-ones and possibly a grocery store tour. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, let me know. Thanks for listening, and please please please watch Fed Up.

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Have you ever put yourself on the ‘back burner’ in order to be there for someone else? Has your health or happiness ever suffered because you weren’t looking out for your own best interests? Do you feel lost sometimes within your to-do list and lose yourself for days at a time?

If you said yes to any of these, you are in good company! Way too many of us have gone thru the same thing. Whether you are a wife putting your husband first, or a mom who all-of-the sudden only identifies herself as ‘a mom’, or an employee who gives so much at work that they forget to take a minute for your own sanity, we stand with you. Our health, our happiness, our inner-light, our self-ness, our peace, all suffer as a result of this sacrifice. I have said before, I am not impressed by the mommy-martyr. Even though it sounds a little mean, that is not how I intend it to be. What I am trying to say is that, being a martyr is the default. What is really hard, what is truly impressive, is the mom or lady or man or whatever that stomps their foot down and says, “What about me? I’m important damnit!” THAT is the stuff right there.

But, we get it. It’s super hard, and we all fall into this from time to time. That is why we are creating a new group* called “Let’s ReYOUvenate”. We are incredibly excited about it and have been working hard to create valuable content for those who are interested. But, fore warning, this is not a spectator sport. This is for those of you who are serious about making a positive change in your life over a 30 day period. And, the good news, it doesn’t matter what kind of change you are looking for! Some of you might want to lose weight. Some of you might want to get organized. Some of you might want to live more consciously. Some of you might want to just be a part of a community doing something positive in their lives. Whatever your motivation, we honor that.

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When:

The program will begin on May 4th and go until June 5th.

How can I join:

Because we want this to be a small, intimate group, it will not be open to the general public. Again, this is not meant for spectators. This is meant for people who are committed to making positive change in their lives. So, all you have to do is join Shaklee* with one of our regimen packs (current/active Shaklee members- check in with your distributor). We understand that each and everyone of you has unique health goals and that looks different for everyone. There is truly something for everyone with these healthy regimens. You will also need to contact the Shaklee distributor that you know and let them know “I’m in!” We would be more than happy to help you pick what is right for you.

What do you get in return:

-Amazing Shaklee products! Like I said, there is truly something for everyone. Each and everyone of these regimens are awesome.
-Free membership to Shaklee! With you membership you get 15-20% off of the products—FOR LIFE. There is never a renewal fee or a minimum purchase demand. Literally no strings attached.
-A community that cares! We are creating a community of like-minded individuals who are all trying to make a positive change. There will be friendship and guidance and support all along the way.
-Increased Accountability! (but not in a scary way) How many times have you tried to commit to something only to be frustrated and disappointed a week later. We will hold each other accountable by having regular check-ins, and mini-tasks to keep you on track.
-Chances to win prizes and free products! At various times throughout the month, we will be offering incentives and giving you chances to win a prize at the end of the 30 days. We want to reward your effort and commitment!
-One on one coaching! I will be offering coaching sessions to anyone that feels like they need a little extra support. Maybe you are confused about what to eat. Maybe you just can’t seem to find yourself past your sweat pants and to-do lists. Whatever your struggle may be, I will do my best to help and support you. You will always have a listening ear.

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Bring a buddy:

Not only can you bring a friend, we encourage you to sign up with a buddy or accountability partner. Hell, we will even reward you for doing so! We know that your chances for success increase when you have a friend to support you and encourage your new healthier lifestyle.

The Team:

Helping you along the way, you will have an awesome group of ladies on your side.*

-Candice Reimholz- ME!
-Brooke Hooker
-Renate Loeffler
-Jessica Winchester
-Rebecca Sayad
-Rebecca Rand
-Jenny Jeep Johnson
-Suzi Leigh
-Cait Arwen
-Amanda Donohoe

We’ve got community health specialists, registered dietitians, moms, doulas, lawyers, communication experts, athletic trainers, beauty specialists, medical sales professionals, etc. We are covering all of our bases to bring you the most well rounded help we can muster.
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On the fence?:

Well hop off! I know change is hard and you are worried about committing to something new. But, there is nothing to lose. Let’s jump in and have some fun together. Not to mention, there is (and always will be) a 100% money back guarantee. If you don’t like the products you buy, return them. No stipulations, no qualifiers, just call and say you weren’t satisfied. EZ PZ.

Who is in?:

Comment on the blog or on Facebook or contact your Shaklee gal from list above. We can walk you thru whatever you need. You will need to sign up between now and May 3rd to join this group.

You will not regret it!

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Questions: email me at creimholz@gmail.com

****I am an independent distributor for Shaklee. I (as well as the girls listed above) make money by selling Shaklee products. I am not a doctor, and encourage you to check with your doctor before starting a new health program. Shaklee is committed to safety, but it is always wise to check with your health care professional. All of the things I share are my personal opinions and experiences.****

Why Diets Fail

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Well, it’s February 13th which means you just realized your New Year’s diet failed. It’s okay, blame it on the 87 feet of snow we got or Obama. It’s not your fault. Everyone fails at diets. We’ve all said, “That’s it! This is the year I lose this weight!” And, then 2 weeks later (if you’re lucky) you fall off the wagon and roll around in pizza naked while doing a beer bong. (Just me???) Next thing you know, there’s money missing off the dresser and your daughter’s knocked up. I’ve seen it a hundred times…

Diets themselves are doomed for failure and I’m going to tell you why.

1. Diets are a temporary sacrifice to get us to an imaginary ‘Happy Place’. Diets should never be temporary. In fact, let’s take back the word ‘diet’. It should simply mean- what we eat. I don’t like how it has come to imply weight loss. What makes us think that a few months of cutting back to lose weight is going to work? Even if you do lose the weight, you return to normal eating habits and go back to where you started. This leads to years of dieting, yo-yo weight, and multiple cats. IT WILL NOT WORK.

2. Diets imply deprivation. You immediately start to think of hunger, sacrifice, boring foods, and sobriety. Blarg. It sounds depressing. You say things like, “it’s going to be hard but worth it” and “whenever I’m hungry I’ll just picture myself in a bikini and suck it up”. That’s inspiring!

3. Diets rarely factor in long term health. We are all just trying to look good naked, right? Most diets are about calorie restriction and ‘diet foods’ without factoring in yourself years from now. Will eating Lean Cuisines help you lose weight? Probably. Are those sodium and chemical filled foods good for your long term health? Nope.

4. Diets set you up for the binge. As I alluded to before, 2 weeks into a restricted diet, you will likely give in to the cravings. This is because your brain wants nutrients. You were already probably not giving your body what it needed, but now your brain is starving. And your brain, very much like Ivan Drago, will break you.

5. Diets have no END. There is no magic destination. There is no ‘once I get HERE, I’ll be happy’. If you are not happy with yourself +15 pounds, you will not be happy -15 pounds. No one has ever gotten into their skinny jeans and been like, “Great, I made it. Now I’ll just be satisfied right here and maintain this forever and eat rainbows and poop butterflies.”

So what is the alternative? F-it? No, the answer is no more diets.

This does not mean you don’t try to eat better and exercise more. It simply means you aren’t going hungry for weight loss. It means you no longer buy diet foods. If you have weight to lose, eat whole/real foods 95% of the time, and move your ass occasionally, you will lose weight. Your body will stabilize; find it’s sweet-spot if you will. After that, you can certainly transform your shape thru weight lifting and training, but you will stay around that weight. Warning, there is a good chance your ‘normal’ weight is different than Gwenyth Paltrow. But, it will be healthy. You know like a little curvy, healthy body fat percentage, pooping and ovulating… healthy.

Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, focus on what you can. Trust me, those crappy bagels in the break room at work are not worth it. Don’t be sad that you can’t eat those. Be happy about the delicious options you do have and how good you feel after you eat. We all know how you feel after eating fast food or other crap. Everything you eat is either making you more healthy and feeling good, or less healthy and feeling bad.

Instead of thinking 2 months from now, think 10, 20, 30 years from now. What kind of old person do you want to be? Overweight, 55, and going for your first knee replacement? Or, do you want to be the fun grandma that’s chasing her grandkids around and having sex with your husband? Do you want to be the 60 year old man with the big ol’ belly and the sleep apnea machine? Or do you want to be that old guy that’s doing yard work without his shirt on and all the women in the neighborhood are like ‘he’s kind of hot for 60’? Think Hellen Miren and Liam Neison. That’s your new goal.

Quit thinking ‘if I just lost 10 pounds…’. Goals are important, but make them meaningful. Have goals of increasing your energy, running a 5k, maintaining a healthy body fat percentage, getting rid of IBS/indigestion/anxiety/depression/acne, etc. ‘Skinny’ is no longer a goal. ‘Skinny’ means nothing.

Think positive. Changing your life by taking control of your health should be exciting and fun and wonderful. It’s not sacrifice; it’s awesome. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to be hard. Easy is laying on the couch with ice cream and facebook. But hard doesn’t have to mean bad. Each positive step in the right direction is a feather in your frickin’ happy cap. When you wake up without pain and exhaustion, when you run 3 miles without wanting to kill yourself, when you choose exercise over The Voice, you’ll realize hard can be very very good indeed.

Is this you?

Read this scenario and let me know if you can relate…. Is this you?

After a fitful night sleep your alarm goes off around 6. You ‘snooze’ about 3 times before you actually force yourself out of bed. Before you even get in the shower, you stumble down stairs for a cup of coffee. After the caffeine kicks in you start getting ready for work. Yawning every 3 seconds and longing to crawl back in bed.

Next, you sit down for breakfast. It is your ‘usual’, some ‘high fiber’ and ‘low fat’ cereal that isn’t even good despite the dehydrated berries thrown in. You have a glass of OJ and you’re out the door. At work you grab another cup of coffee (skim milk, zero calorie sweetener). It is 10 oclock now and your tummy starts rumbling. You know you aren’t going to make it to lunch so you grab a half a bagel out of the break room or you grab a handful of wheat thins.

For lunch you eat the turkey sandwich you brought. It is on whole wheat bread, low fat cheese, and low cal mayo with a diet coke and pretzels. You are proud of yourself for skipping the trip to Arby’s with the rest of your co-workers. You are feeling pretty good at 12, 1, and even 2pm.

All the sudden 3 o’clock hits and you hit a wall. You grab an iced coffee or another diet drink to get you thru the rest of the day. At home you make another relatively ‘healthy’ choice. You have chicken, and veggies (brocolli and potatoes), and wheat dinner rolls. With low fat milk of course.

You go about your hectic evening, scrambling to get it all done. By the time the kids are in bed at 8 you sit down for the first time and crash. TV, email, etc. At 9pm the pantry is calling your name. You stare at all the food in your house for 15 mins. before you decide against it. You have been working so hard on eating the right things and you don’t want to blow it. You go to bed hungry. You lay there for 45 mins because your mind is racing. You wonder WHY GOD can’t you sleep even though you were exhausted all day. You get a crappy night sleep. Repeat.

You have gained about 10 pounds over the past 2 years even though you are ‘eating healthy’ and you are getting pissed. You re-commit to doing more exercise because that has to be the problem. You also probably have some kind of chronic issue. Maybe it’s seasonal allergies, IBS, bouts of depression/anxiety, or joint pain. Oh well, you chalk it up to ‘getting old’ and this is what happens to everyone, right?

Wrong! It doesn’t need to be. You can literally choose not to feel this way, and eating the right food is your answer.

I have fallen off the wagon with my eating lately and can definitely tell the difference. I have gained weight and, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I got sick and stayed sick. Normally if I get sick it’s for like a day. I swear I was sick for 2 weeks this time around. I needed a little motivation to get back on track so I started reading “It Starts With Food” (Where I got the idea for this post). They do a great job of explaining all of the things I have been trying to say for the last year. They promote the whole30 movement if you’ve heard of that.

My big ‘aha’ moment came when the book laid it out like this: Everything you eat makes you either more healthy or less healthy. Every day we are deciding the kind of life we want to live by choosing what we put in our bodies.

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We need to re-think ‘healthy’. We need to pay attention to the research instead of using out dated food pyramids/guides. We need to stop doing ‘low fat’ and ‘diet’ everything. We need to eat food. If anything that I said above sounds familiar, please consider reading the book. Unless you understand the “WHY” behind the changes, you are likely to fail.

You can’t out train a bad diet in the gym and even though it seems to make sense that less calories= weight loss, it is not that simple. If it were, we wouldn’t struggle so much.

I hope that at least a few of you reading this are inspired to take action and take control of your life. I’m super excited to be back on the wagon! I would be more than happy to answer any questions. I love talking about this stuff!!!!!

me will tennisThe other day I posted on my candysbrain blog facebook page that I was in a bit of a work-out-rut. To snap out of it, I went to the local sled hill and did sprints. It was hard and I am sore but it was also great. In 20 min. I did a great work out that made me feel strong and powerful. I felt like I was doing some much need strengthening of my legs, glutes, abs, etc. I made the joke that ‘this ass is not going to lift itself!’ It made me realize that I had high-hopes for this summer and I am not where I pictured myself for the end of July. I had more of a Jessica-biel-type-image in my mind. (What can I say, I dream big) It is almost fricking August and I’m barely different than when I started (fitness wise, the weight is a food thing). I wanted to get some sort of ‘abs’ this summer. NOT achieved. I wanted to do a 5k in under 29 min. NOT achieved. I wanted to break a sweat 4-5 times a week (sitting on my porch drinking in the sun doesn’t count). NOT achieved.

So what is a goal failure like myself to do? Re-commit! That is right, start now. I don’t want to be the person with the mind set, well I blew June/July so might as well wait until next summer. That’s like having McDonalds for lunch and saying ‘oh well, today is shot. I’ll have ice cream for dinner.’

But, the hardest part of all fitness plans is the accountability part. How can I stay honest during the next 30 days or so?

That’s where all of you come in. I was hoping I could recruit some of you to join me in a fitness challenge. Logistically this gets tricky. I don’t want to and don’t have the time to blog every day about what my exercise plan is. Too time consuming and repetitive. BUT- I can post stuff to the Candysbrain blog facebook page! AND- I don’t want to do this alone and have it be all about me. I would love it if you joined me and posted stuff to the page, commented on my posts, share your tips, ask questions, etc. Any and all fitness levels are welcome. I realize not everyone is ready for sprints or extreme sports, go at your own pace. And, to be clear, this is for women AND men. Here are the little guidelines I thought we could use to keep us moving to. This is what I came up with but I would love to hear your ideas:

1. Minimum of 3 workouts per week

2. At least 1 workout each week has to be something other than running

3. At least 1 workout each week has to be something other than cardio (run, elliptical, bike, etc.)

4. At least 2 workouts during the month have to be something ‘new’ (something you normally don’t do: yoga, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, etc.)

5. Have some sort of objective measurement system. This could be weight, measurements (waist, hips,etc.), time for a mile or 5k, number of push-ups you can do, etc. It is good to have stats that you can measure yourself against.

And, depending on how involved all of you are… Wouldn’t it be fun to sign up for a 5k together?! If you’re not local, we can do it around the same time. If you are local, we can all run together! I might be a little optimistic here that you guys are going to join me, but here’s hopin’….

If you want to follow along and you haven’t ‘liked’ Candysbrain blog on facebook, please do so to stay informed. If you are “IN” for the challenge either comment below or on facebook. I am really excited and motivated right now.

Let’s do the damn thing!

I’m turning into a crazy person. I see it happening, I recognize the signs, I know that people are going to get sick of me, and yet I can’t help it. I can’t stop talking about food! I am reading another book about food and it is re-enforcing everything I have been saying. The book is called, “Salt, Sugar, Fat: how the food giants hooked us” by Michael Moss. I definitely recommend it! I’m only about 15% of the way thru it but I can see where it is going.

Basically, what I have been trying to get across to everyone is that processed food is bad. (I know, I’m like the first person to say this!) Well, at least 98% of it is bad for us. The problem is people know donuts are bad and oreos are bad and fritos are bad, but we give a pass to other foods. It doesn’t matter if it says “heart healthy” or a “good source of fiber”, etc. It’s bad! When is the last time you looked at the ingredient list on that ‘healthy whole grain’ bread you buy? Go ahead….I’ll wait. The bread has literally been engineered to have the exact amount of sugar to stimulate your appetite and the precise amount of salt and fat to give it the right ‘mouth feel’. This ain’t your grandma’s bread. Her bread used to go bad after 2 days. Her bread didn’t have high fructose corn syrup as the second ingredient. I know I pick on bread an awful lot. Are there worse things in the world than whole wheat bread? Of course! But, whole wheat bread disguises itself as a health food. (don’t even get me started on soy!)

But let’s back up a little. There was a need: The American people were getting busier and the food companies had the solution. We wanted fast, convenient food that tasted great. Food companies had the solution. They are a business. Businesses need to make money. The more we ate and the cheaper they made the food, the bigger the profit. Simple right? So, they use the cheapest ingredients that they can: chemicals, salt, sugar, and fat.

So, the American public started eating a LOT of this food. “Real food is too expensive and it takes too long”. Well not only do these foods not meet our nutritional needs but they change our relationship with food all together. Now we expect sweet, salty, and perfect texture- often from the same product. We actually crave more food and eat more calories as a result.

Okay, so now we are all fat and someone has to do something about this! God forbid we stop eating the crap, so we put pressure on the food companies. To appease the public they come out with low-fat cookies, and 9-grain bread, and lower sodium soups, etc. This takes super chemists because they also need the food to taste good. So more chemicals. On top of that, no one is getting enough fiber and vitamins. Simple, everyone needs a multi-vitamin and Fiber One Brownies! They are now meeting our new needs that their foods created!

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All the blame does not fall with ‘big food’. We keep buying the crap. Sure, is there a little evil empire thing going on, but we cannot be surprised that they care more about profit than the health or your kid. Every single day we vote with our dollars. You can buy Fiber One Brownies (that’s the picture shown) or you can have one of the other things with 5 gr. of fiber. Like: 1/2 cup of berries, 1/2 cup of broccoli, 1/2 cup brussel’s sprouts, 1 large apple, 1/2 cup kale or spinach, or 1/2 an avocado. You’ll be pooping like a pro in no-time!

Here are some things that you and/or your kids might eat that are not as healthy as you may think: wheat bread (all bread), granola bars, low-fat cookies, go-gurt, lunchables, Subway, Panera, margarine, cheerios, raisin bran, low-fat cheese, oatmeal, whole grain bagels, diet soda (all soda), etc. I could go on and on. Read labels. And not just fat and calories! Ingredients!

I will help anyone that wants it. I can tell you what to buy or how to cook or what to throw in the trash. All you have to do is ask. I promise you will be healthier, and happier, with less digestive problems, and lose weight. No gimicks. Just eating real food. Who else has changed their lives by making the switch?

announcementThis is a little mini-rant about why we are all crazy and about what you do NOT need to worry about eating! I have heard so many crazy things lately I feel like I am going to lose my mind. This will just take a minute…

This is for all of you chronic dieters that have cut out all of the fat and calories for years, the ones who measure your food, and are still struggling with your weight. This is for the ‘weight watcherers’ and the ‘jenny craigers’ etc. who did not lose weight (save the angry comments, I said for the ones who did NOT lose weight. I know it works for some).

No one gets obese on 2% milk! I know you switched to skim because it has fewer calories. I get it. But, no one has ever said, “man, if I could just get off the milk, I could lose these 50 extra pounds!”

No one gets unhealthy from egg yolks! Yes, I know, the bulk of the calories from eggs (and cholesterol) is in the yolk. I also know that eggs are a dieter’s best friend. If your breakfast is eggs and veggies, and you eat ‘real food’ for the rest of the day, you will not get fat or get high cholesterol.

No one gets fat from avocado or guacamole! We get fat from tortilla chips and beans and cheese and flour tortillas and margaritas- not from the delicious, nutricious, fiber-full avocado. How much avocado can you really eat when you aren’t eating all this other junk?!

No one gets chubby from yogurt! Oh, you need to switch to the fat free, sugar free yogurt? That is not what made you fat. Eating fake foods loaded with fake sugars and extra sodium and artificial flavors is a way bigger problem than a little full-fat yogurt. Look at the labels, yogurt should have fewer than 5 ingredients and none of them should be a color.

I heard some one say the other day, “But don’t almonds have a lot of fat?!” Yes, good healthy fat that our bodies (especially our hearts) NEED to function! You know what our bodies don’t need: diet soda, chips, low-fat energy bars, high protein breakfast cereal (you want more protein at breakfast? stop eating ‘lab’* carbs and start eating protein!!!!), diet bread (what does that even mean), double fiber bread (want more fiber? eat vegetables!), and the 6 Jack and cokes you have every saturday, etc. I think you get my point.

Filling your diet with ‘diet foods’ creates a life where you are:
1. Never actually satisfied
2. Always hungry
3. Constantly fighting cravings because your body is confused
4. Binge followed closely by regret and self-loathing
5. Yo-yo weight man

We need to stop focusing on ‘diets’ and focus on health. What is real? What is going to nourish?

News flash: Being healthy/thin/fit is not convenient. It will never be convenient. It takes more time to shop, more time to cook, more time to eat, more time to exercise, and more time to plan. You can’t have both quick and healthy. Now, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get easier. It certainly does. Once you establish a routine, it becomes like everything else in your life. And, the results are so immediate too that you will realize it quickly. It is such a typical american way of thinking that we can find an easy way to get healthy that won’t ‘interfere’ with our lives. Good luck America, it’s not working.

And….rant is over.

*I am going to start using the term ‘lab’ carbs to describe processed junk carbs. I am not anti-carbs! Fruits are full of healthy delicious fiber-full carbs our bodies need. I am anti anything that had to go thru 25 steps from farm to table; I am anti flourescent-orange cheese-flavored wheat-products that are ‘low-fat’.

Lately my focus has greatly been on my health and fitness. I have started working out more, I signed up for the Tough Mudder, and I completely changed the way I eat. When I think about the ‘why’ behind the changes, I come up with a lot of really good answers! Here is a small sampling:

-Overall health
-Heart Disease
-Longevity
-Energy
-Setting a good example for my children
-Yada yada yada

Good answers right?! And, technically they are all true. I think all of these things are incredibly important. But if doesn’t really tell the whole story. When I think about my REAL motivation, it’s not on that list. In fact, it’s a little less ‘evolved’. If I am completely honest, the thing that makes me say YES to the treadmil and NO to the pasta is just that I want to look good naked. There, I said it. That is the #1 thing that motivates me. If I were a trainer, that would be my go-to. “Oh, you don’t want to lift weights? Do you want to look good naked?” Hell, if I was a doctor, that would be my go-to. It’s hard to motivate a 30 year old to do what is good for their 65 year old self. It is NOT hard to remind people of how they look every morning when they are getting out of the shower!

I know that this probably shouldn’t be my #1 motivator, but I am guessing I am not alone. I don’t know if this will always work for me; I might evolve. But, don’t hold your breath.

cave woman

But, isn’t this our most primal and natural desire? Haven’t we always wanted to be the cave woman that can attract the sexy cave man? Doesn’t looking good naked, usually mean that we are healthy? (Now please notice I am not using the word skinny. Skinny does not always equal sexy or healthy. Let’s be very clear on that.) We do this because we know that we need to look good naked if we want to have sex with other people that also look good naked. You have to be fit or rich- one or the other.

With that said, I do have more energy and my heart is healthier and I AM setting a good example for my kids. That stuff is all great. It’s ‘gravy’ as they say. My 65 year old self will be very grateful (especially because my 65 year old self is going to look good naked like Helen Miren)!

I’m back and I can’t tell you how good it feels! We have had internet and then computer problems for weeks. I think this is the longest I have gone without blogging since I started last year. I have so much to talk about but I have to start with my new obsession! But, first a little background…

Like many of you, I have struggled with my weight since high school. I don’t mean to imply that I have a weight problem, but maintaining a healthy weight has always been ‘effort-full’. I am almost constantly ‘trying’ to lose a few pounds. Every year I am gaining and losing the same 5-10 pounds (see 5 pounds from february for a laugh). The crazy thing is that I could never figure out why. I am relatively smart, work in the health care field, read all the time, and ate a pretty healthy diet. You know: very few sweets, real food, healthy whole grains, etc. But still remained puffy in the tummy and would gain weight at the drop of a hat. It was obviously better when I exercised, but I never got rid of my stomach fat.

Recently someone asked me, “Have you read the book Wheat Belly? What do you think about wheat/gluten?” Honestly, I had done so little research on the topic because I have always thought that as long as I ate 100% whole wheat, I was choosing a health food. I would say things like: Grains are the base of our diet, and we need that extra fiber, and it’s good for our hearts. I take it back! All of it! I would consider Wheat Belly a must read! It changed everything I thought I knew about grains, wheat, and gluten.

wheat

Did you know a slice of whole wheat bread raises your blood sugar more than sugar?

One thing that I never took the time to research is what wheat does to our blood sugar. Right after you eat, you blood sugar goes up (a lot) and then 2 hours later it goes back down (a lot). Hence- being hungry 2 hours after eating breakfast and wanting to take a nap every day at 2pm. Maybe that was just me, but I suspect I am not alone here. I am not going to get into all of the details. Some people will take issue with this concept and that is fine. You can read the book and then decide for yourself what is right for you and your family. But I will tell you about my experience.

Within 1 week of cutting out wheat, I lost 2 pounds and 1 inch off my tummy. 2 pounds…meh… That’s not anything to write home about but the inch off my waist?! That was exciting. That puffiness that I accepted as my reality was disappearing. I am now 3+ weeks in and I am down 6 pounds and 1.75 inches from my waist. I have also been increasing the exercise a little. You can not take away from the combination of the two- no doubt, but I have never seen this kind of result before. I will say I am finally accepting the truth that ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’.

But, the weight and inches is a small part of the bigger picture. I feel amazing! I was never a bigger snacker (like cookies, crackers, etc.) but I did always get hungry mid-morning. I had breakfast #2 foods at work for 9:30-10:00am. I would justify this by saying, “I have a very physical job, I need extra calories.” Again, this was after a ‘healthy’ breakfast. Ever since I cut out wheat and replaced it with a higher protein, grain-free breakfast, I am not hungry in the morning. In fact I’m never hungry! I know that seems impossible, but it’s true. I eat when it is time to eat, and I eat until I feel satisfied. I have not been hungry OR stuffed since I went wheat free. This is not a will power thing, I used to eat until I felt ill regularly–like every day. It was because of that weird wheat relationship of feeling ravenous and then stuffed. This is the thing that I want to shout from the roof tops! (My poor family and co-workers are going to get so sick of me. Sorry guys!) I also don’t feel like I need to nap after lunch anymore. It’s glorious.

So what does wheat free mean?

No bread, no flour, no pasta, no cake, no cookies, no crackers, no cereal, nothing breaded, and almost nothing boxed/packaged. I know, it’s terrifying at first. And let me be clear. No one loves bread like I love bread! I used to make my husband take bread at weddings even if he didn’t want it. This way I wouldn’t be embarrassed going for a second roll. The other night when we were out to dinner, I had to have the waiter take the bread off the table before I rubbed it all over my face…I love bread. BUT, I love the way I feel right now more.

I eat lean meat, eggs, seafood, LOTS of vegetables, more fruit, healthy fats, nuts, and some dairy.

Let me be clear, because I know this will come up, this is NOT Atkins. The problem with Atkins or the people doing the Atkins diet is that it cut out ALL carbs and people were replacing bread with bacon and cheese. That is not what I am doing. If you are going to cut out wheat, you are going to need to replace it with healthy food. You are going to need to get your fiber from fruits and vegetables which is not hard to do. Fruits and Veggies are loaded with vitamins and fiber! In fact, I bet I am getting more fiber since switching. This is not about just switching to burgers with no buns!

I have actually been doing a lot of reading besides Wheat Belly. Right now I am reading The Paleo Solution and will probably lean into a paleo or hunter/gatherer type diet (more to come on this later). It’s an exciting concept though and it makes a lot of sense to me.

Now, I am not a doctor so don’t listen to me because I read something that one guy said in a book. Read the book(s) yourself and see what you think. He links wheat consumption to:

ADD/ADHD

Infertility

Weight gain

Diabetes

Skin Rashes

IBS

Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia

Insomnia

Hormonal Imbalances

and Many more chronic inflammatory diseases.

I have no idea if cutting wheat will help you at all, but I certainly think it is worth a 30 day trial and see how you feel. Especially if you suffer from anything on that list.

And, I know this is a long post but this is the final thing! This is NOT a diet! This isn’t something that can help you drop weight and then go back to your old carby ways. This is a life style change. You will gain weight when you load up on wheat whether it’s now or a month from now. Just remember, there are plenty of amazing real foods out there that are not made from wheat. It is not about depriving yourself.

I’ll update you as things go and I promise I’ll admit it if it doesn’t work out for me. I will be posting updates and meal ideas on Candysbrain blog facebook page. ‘Like’ me if you would like to see them regularly. There is a button on the right for your convenience! 😉

I’d also love to hear what you guys think. Feel free to leave comments.

****This is an addition to my original post, sorry, I forgot.

Buying Gluten-free products is not the answer though. Maybe a gluten free beer, or a gluten free fish sauce is a good idea- but gluten free bread? We just, flat-out, don’t need bread. We don’t need crackers. We didn’t evolve to have snacks while we are bored watching TV. Want a food with a little crunch? Eat a carrot. This way of eating should be replacing food that we don’t need with food that helps us thrive!

1. Your Job: The latest research shows that if you sit all day at work, and spend most of your evening sedentary as well, working out 3x/week at a gym is not enough! That’s right, those (few) of you that actually get in 3 workouts per week- it’s not enough. We have to find more ways to move every day. Walk on your lunch break, pace while on conference calls, do jumping jacks in the bathroom, do push ups before you get in the shower, etc. Move that ass!

2. Your gym membership: Okay, this might not be making you fat, but it is likely keeping you fat. A large majority of people have no idea what to do while they are at the gym. FYI, hopping on the elliptical for 20 mins while reading a magazine and then doing a couple weight machines followed by a steam room is getting you nowhere fast! If you are trying to LOSE weight you probably need a professional. Maybe this is a personal trainer, maybe this is a boot camp (I recommend Lake County Boot Camps, maybe this is a group exercise class, or maybe it is a high intensity DVD in your living room. You need high intensity and someone who is going to push you. Any of these is certainly is better than dickin’ around for an hour at the gym clueless.

3. Your kids: That’s right, your kids are making you fat. You probably made your mom fat (I just called your mom fat) and now your kids are returning the favor. You have no time, you can’t find a sitter, and you steal their french fries- I get it. You have to find away to get away from those monsters.

4. Your fake food diet: This may be the worst offender! You think you are making smart choices with your diet pop or by using splenda in your coffee. False! Artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Period. They are nothing but chemicals and convince your body to crave more sweet food because it is not satisfied. Low fat cookies? Low calorie bread? That translates to full of fake non-food created in a lab. Michael Pollan: Eat food, mostly plants, not too much. Jillian Michaels: If it doesn’t come from the ground, and it doesn’t have a mother, you shouldn’t eat it!

5. Your sleep: Or should I say ‘lack-there-of’? We are not sleeping enough. It’s almost like a sick badge of honor. “I’m such a hard worker and I’m so dedicated that I only get 4-5 hours of sleep a night.” BS! You need sleep. You heal when you sleep. Your body releases growth hormone when you sleep. Without this sleepy goodness, you get fat! Also, more sleep=less stress=better sleep=better health. Do it.