Preventing a Vitamin L Deficiency

By Rosie Battista

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Have you ever heard of Vitamin L?

Vitamin L is the best-kept secret. It is not something you want to leave out of your diet. It is a necessary vitamin, and if you have a deficiency in it, you may be missing out on a higher well-being, satisfaction, and happiness level.

What is Vitamin L and where can I get it?

Vitamin L is short for Vitamin Love and refers to not only what you choose to eat but with what kind of loving practices and environment you choose to eat it in.

Let’s look at two scenarios…

1) Can you imagine going into a restaurant where everyone was angry, annoyed, and rushing? When they served you, they threw a paper plate of food carelessly on the table. Then, they proceeded to take your chair away and you had to stand and eat?  And then they told you that you had five minutes to eat it. That negative energy and experience surely went right into the food you were eating because it affected your ability to enjoy it and most likely digest it.

Well, fortunately, this is not likely to happen in a restaurant that is still in business, but think about how many times you treat yourself this way. Standing while eating, eating in the car, eating on the run, grabbing and picking anything in sight, or driving through a fast food restaurant where you have no idea who prepared the food (or even what is actually in that food) that you are shoving in your mouth. This is what we would qualify as a low Vitamin L situation. The more meals we eat like this, the more likely we are to develop a deficiency, perhaps in the form of an unhealthy relationship with food, low energy, or unhealthy body weight.

Now, lets look at another scenario...

2) Close your eyes and remember walking into your home, with your mama or grandma in the kitchen, the smell of her good cooking calling you to the table. Remember how she served it on her best china? You may not even remember what the food tasted like, but you remember the feeling of eating it. This is Vitamin L.

 Good news is that you dont need Mom or Grandma to have sprinkles of love; you have the ability to sprinkle your own food with Vitamin L. With this idea in mind, you may not only choose healthier selections, but healthier preparation and increased enjoyment. The intention behind it, the passion in it, and the joy around your meals— these are the ingredients for Vitamin L. 

Where Are You Deficient?

Where are you depriving yourself from this necessary supplement?  Lets start with a list of areas where you might be low in Vitamin L.

1.   Do you stand while eating?

2.   Do you throw a meal together without paying attention to what you were doing?

3.   Do you eat on paper plates?

4.   Do you save your fine china only for guests?  

5.   Do you buy the finest ingredients that your budget will allow?

6.   Do you enjoy the time you spend in the food store selecting the foods that you going to put into your precious body?

7.   Do you fail to take your allotted lunch break at work?

Your body is the vehicle in which you live on this earth so taking care of it is of the utmost importance. The more you love yourself, the more you love your body, the more you love your life.

Here are 5 easy tips for adding a dose of Vitamin L to every meal. Remember that practice makes a habit happen.

1. Mind What You Are Eating - Since everything you take into your body goes into your bloodstream, then into your cells, and then becomes part of YOU, minding what you are eating is crucial to health and well-being. Ask yourself at every meal— is this the best and most loving choice I can make for my body right now? Then proceed to choose foods that have minimal ingredients, food that is as close to natural form as possible, grown from the ground and not produced in a factory. 

2.  Dine Daintily - Use candles or try chopsticks, two simple tools that can be used in your daily eating practice to slow it down and make it special.  When you find you are standing over the sink, eating in your car or at your desk, you take the pleasure out of the experience and youll get hungrier faster.  Using a candle calms you down, setting the atmosphere for a nice slow dining experience. Using a utensil, like chopsticks, that you may not be familiar with, will slow you down even more and add a whole lot of fun to your meal.

3. Spice it Up - Can you try a new spice to kick up your food? This week I grated fresh ginger onto an arugula and goat cheese salad. It was so yummy. Ginger is a great anti–inflammatory food.

4- Grace and Ease- Take it easy while your meal is in front of you. Before you dig in, take a deep breath and notice the aroma of the different smells and how the food looks on your plate. Eat with your eyes before you start with your mouth. Before you stick your fork in, give thanks for the food and kudos (or kisses) to the chef.

5- Pretty Plating - Use different and odd size plates to serve up your food.  Place your food on your plate as if you are painting a pallet. Is your food colorful (a variety of vegetables and fruits in pretty slices?) For crying out loud—don't save your best china dishes for the once-a-year holiday guests. Treat yourself to the best every single day.

Rosie Battista, Holistic and Spiritual Health Coach and author and creator of Sleeping Naked Over 40. Find more from Rosie at Rosiebattista.com

Rosie Battista, Holistic and Spiritual Health Coach and author and creator of Sleeping Naked Over 40. Find more from Rosie at Rosiebattista.com

The Scoop on Cheat Meals...

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Before we discuss what a cheat meal is, let’s clarify what it is not…

Cheat meals are not cheat days or entire weekends of diet debauchery. They are not an all-out eat-till-you-can’t-move, want-to-puke-fest. And if you’re not cutting calories and increasing your training, and have cheat meals multiple times a week, it’s not a cheat meal—you probably just have a crappy diet. Cheat meals require planning and self-control. A really big component is the planning part. When done right, ordering a really enjoyable meal that is off of your “typical” meal plan can not only feel totally guilt-free but also make you more successful in accomplishing your fat loss goal.

“Cheat meal” implies that you are cheating on your diet, which is actually not the case. A “cheat meal” is a planned, built-in component. You are not cheating on anything. For this reason, you may seem it also referred to as a “refeed meal,” which is definitely more appropriate.

Why Should I Have One?

 The psychological component is real. For those of you who have embarked on a depletion diet for fat loss, you know the trials and tribulations of sweet potato, asparagus, and grilled chicken on repeat. It’s not that clean food can’t be yummy and delicious, it’s just that it will never be pizza, donuts, and penne vodka. One 2015 study proposed that  “including planned hedonic goal-deviation activities in the initial goal implementation plans may actually be beneficial for long-term goal attainment, such as by occasionally having a chocolate cake when on a diet.” (Journal of Psychology 2015)

 Researchers found that when planned cheats are built into a long-term plan, they help reinforce willpower, self-regulatory ability, and motivation. And no surprise, it also helped improve positive emotions around the experience.

 The reason it is so important to plan your cheats is that we sometimes overemphasize a lapse in our diet. Making one bad choice can lead to total abandonment of the goal altogether or cause us to say, “Oh, what the hell.” Here is where cheat meals turn into cheat weeks.  Breaking up a long-term goal into intermittent goals has shown to make people more successful with sticking with it.

When Should I Have One?

Life gives us plenty of opportunities to have a cheat meal. If you’ve been on a diet for even a week, you know how difficult it can be to avoid the social activities with the best non-diet foods. When embarking on a long-term weight loss goal, take a look at the month ahead. See what activities may be a good time to have a planned cheat meal that naturally works with your important life events. These may include your birthday, anniversary, a wedding, or even big holiday like Thanksgiving. In my experience, diets are really good at ruining holidays and holidays can be really good at ruining diets. Rather than let that happen, plan a cheat meal for yourself. All this means is that the week or weeks leading up require heightened focus and discipline on your healthy dietary habits.

The number of cheat meals you can have ranges from 1 meal every 5 days to 1 meal every 14 days. This is all going to depend on where you are at in your fitness journey. The reality is, if you are currently storing a lot of extra body fat, you should not have one as often. If you are on the leaner side, you can get away with having one more often. Below is a general guideline based on body fat percent.

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 What Should It Look Like?

It can really look like whatever you want; however, to get the most out of it, choose mostly carbohydrates…Yea, I know it sounds horrible ☺

Excess carbohydrate consumption in the body will go to refueling glycogen storages (in your muscles) first, therefore less is available for being stored as fat. Refueling your muscles with glycogen could have a great training effect for your next few workouts and storing less fat is always a good thing when the goal is fat loss.

  1. Sushi Rolls – Mostly carbs and protein
  2. Pasta and a glass of wine
  3. Waffles with syrup
  4. Bagel
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What Do I Do After?

You may or may not wake up the next morning not feeling great, or less lean than you were prior to your cheat meal. Don’t stress.

  1. Drink a lot of water. Chances are that part of your temporary weight gain is due to retaining water from your high carb meal. Drinking more water will up-regulate the hormones that make your body release water (a.k.a. you’ll pee more).
  2. Go back to your normal diet. Do not compensate the next day and ditch your healthy habits. Have a normal day.
  3. Workout a little bit harder or for a few minutes extra. You’ll probably feel a little stronger than if you were in a more depleted state, so take advantage of it with some heavy weights.

4 Quick and Sweaty interval training circuits

Body Weight Tabata Circuit (~20 Minutes)

Tabata is a very specific interval style workout. One circuit lasts only 4 minutes—but boy is it a long 4 minutes! You’ll feel both your muscles and your lungs burning. A tabata circuit involves a 20-second hard work period followed by a 10-second rest period. This is then repeated for 8 rounds, for a total of 4 minutes.

I highly recommend downloaded a free tabata timer on your phone. There are quite a few available in the app store. This allows you to focus on the exercise at hand, rather than the timer. For a challenging workout, try these 4 body weight exercises and complete a tabata round of each exercise. Complete all 4 minutes of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise. 

Five Machines Worth Using!

Five Machines Worth Using!

A great way to assess trends in the fitness industry is to look at how gym layouts are changing and what types of equipment are taking up the budget.

Today, free space in gyms is a hot commodity and box-style, open-warehouse gyms are all the rage. Facilities boast about having green turf, and functional training, kettlebells, medicine balls, Crossfit, and even powerlifting are some of the hottest buzzwords in fitness right now.

Weighted exercise machines (those that are plate-loaded or have a weight stack and pin) have somewhat taken a back seat, and may even be looked down upon, by the more functional folk.

Top Five Ways to Support Your Spouse’s Weight Loss Goals

An estimated 45 million Americans are on a diet each year. Chances are, your spouse is one of them. Recently, my wife decided that she wanted to lose 20lbs. Although I think she is perfect, I know that losing weight will make her feel more confident and comfortable in her own skin.

So, I sat down and seriously asked myself… Am I hurting or helping the cause?

In my opinion, if you’re not onboard, you’re part of the problem.

The fact is that having a positive support system at home has been proven to help with achieving and maintaining healthy behaviors. So, why not support your spouse in being the best version of themselves? After being married for only 18 months, I can testify that a happy wife is most definitely a happy life.

Top 5 Ways to Eliminate Evening Snacking

When it comes to weight loss, an Achilles heel for many is evening snacking. To clarify, we are not talking about having a late dinner. Regardless of the time, if you are due for a meal, you should eat. What we are addressing here is reaching for the pretzels, chips and ice cream, post-dinner.

Eliminating this habit can and will do great things for your waistline.

Four Simple Tips for Weight Loss

By Mike Occhipinti

 

One of the most frequently asked questions are “what do you eat” or “what should I eat if I want to lose some weight?” If you are one of those people who find yourself asking or wondering these questions, you might find this article as a good stepping stone to get you on your way. Now let me state I am not a nutritionist or dietician, but I can share with you some tools I have seen personally work for me and my clients. Lets talk about four simple ways to get the ball rolling.