WOW, what a great day! Approximately 50 people gathered at Camp Max Straus eager to start a day full of health and fitness. It was so rewarding to see each person pass through the gates for the camp grounds into a 112-acre oasis. Mother nature was great to us. The weather was perfect for a “fun picnic with a purpose.” Serjik Grakasian.
At 10:00AM the group started with a Tabata warm-up. After the warm-up, we split into two groups. My group ventured onto the bunny slope hike and Dr. Chiman Lad, Dr. Sunjay Lad, and Narbeh Ebrahimian led a more aggressive hike into the Verdugo Hills of Glendale. 40 minutes later we all met at the camp grounds for workshops.
Our first workshop was led by Emil Der Gevorkian, a local physical therapist. He spoke to the group about the importance of R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. And I learned something new, now we have P.R.I.C.E. Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. I thought to myself, of course that makes sense, especially if you saw Kevin Ware’s gruesome right leg injury during March Madness. Protect that leg immediately! What I loved about the presentation is that Emil was able to address all physical issues, from young to the young at heart. The Q and A’s could have gone on for more than an hour but it was time to move on.
Dr. Chiman Lad and Dr. Sunjay Lad, a father and son duo led the next workshop. They spoke to the adults about plaque and it’s association with heart disease. The workshop was extremely informative and the focus was on prevention. What surprised me most about this workshop, is that so many of the adults had questions about basic dental health care. Once again, the Q & A could have gone on for hours, and I finally had to tell the adults to take a hike (literally) to their next workshop.
While Dr.(s) Lad were presenting to the adults, the kids were involved in a healthy nutrition workshop with Sharon Townsend Roth, from Healthy Kids Glendale. She was AWESOME. She had pamphlets for the kids that were in English and Armenian. I absolutely LOVED her teaching technique. She went through breakfast, lunch, and dinner and assigned the kids to be a macronutrient. Then she would take a macronutrient out of the equation and discuss why the equation would not work. The kids were laughing, completely engaged, and most importantly, the learning objective was a success.
So, you may ask, where did the parents take a hike? We had a workshop set-up in front of a baby waterfall and pond. The presenters were a mother daughter duo, Ida Karayan, PsyD, LMFT, CBT, and Ani Karayan-Avanessian, PhD (Healthy Souls, Happy Family). They began their workshop by tossing the parents a frizbee. The rest is history. Before long, parents were opening up with their everyday challenges of raising children. The mother daughter duo educated the audience with humility, humanity, and humbleness. Again, the Q & A could have lasted through our lunch break, but we had to move on.
Before lunch, we had a scavanger hunt for the kids. The kids were all given OH-Wellness backpacks filled with a “MyPlate” that teaches portion control, a water bottle, health promoting bracelet, health promoting pencil, and a tag. We had hidden jump ropes, frizbees, and flashlights. One teen was partnered up with three children and off they went. They were given five minutes to find 50 items that were hidden and then each team sat down and counted their findings. What, there is a tie? OK, off we go for another minute to break the tie. The teens were fantastic with their younger teammates. They were strategizing and the commeraderie between the ages brought tears to my eyes. I was incredibly impressed with all of the teens. Every time they would find something they would hand it off to their younger teammates, which made the behavioral objective a success. While observing the children, the judges and I noticed that the kids were not very creative in their hunt. This is very indicative of our society today. Children are so use to staring at electronics, that they are not creative when thinking out of the box, which confirmed the importance of having an activity that promotes creativity.
After an event filled morning we all sat down for lunch. I had been working with 7-Stop Pizza in Montrose on creating healthy pizzas. OMG, they were SOOOO delicious…thin whole wheat sesame crust, light cheese, and vegetables. Accompanying the pizza was a delicious green salad with tomatoes, black olives, and feta cheese. 7-Stop Pizza took the time to measure a serving size of their “secret” salad dressing to teach portion control. Their generousity in donating the food was much appreciated by everyone and we all cannot wait until they reopen, after a 4-month renovation, on May 1, 2013.
What’s for dessert? But wait, it’s a health and wellness camp? It cannot be good...WRONG! Graziella B., one of our volunteers, made her famous mango puree and Jello dessert. Each serving was individually packed to teach portion control. I remember sitting with one of the Dads while he was enjoying his Jello. He said to me that it was the best tasting Jello he has ever eaten. I want to have another one. I agreed, and then followed up by saying, “Oh, by the way, that’s a serving size”. Poor guy, you should have seen his face. Helik I. made the other dessert. It was the most gorgeous fruit salad. It had every fruit under the sun, plenty of every healthy seed you can think of, and non-fat yogurt to bind. HOLLY MOLLY CANOLLI, it was delicious. We also had a variety of healthy snacks for everyone to enjoy throughout the day. All of the snacks and beverages were ‘health based’ and can be purchased in our vending machines at Homenetment, Ararat.
After lunch, we broke into two groups. The children followed Narbeh Ebrahamian, a Senior at San Diego State and basketball player, and Azad Galustian, who is currenty achieving his Masters in Social Work and an Ararat basketball coach. They spoke to the children about Positive Sportsmanship. The children were totally engaged and focused. I am proud to say, these two young men are the future of the success of our program at OH-Wellness.
During that time, I took a brief moment to speak to the adults about the importance of “Leading By Example” and being positive leaders for their children. I handed out goodie bags with many goodies donated by our sponsors and a booklet providing information about current statistics on child health and the importance of the STARS (Structure, Technique, Ability, Reaction, Sports) program.
Let the games begin…
Game 1: The 1, 2, 3 game. This game requires partners to count up to three while taking turns. As the game progresses, the number two gets swapped out by an action, then the number three gets swapped by another action. Young and old partnered up and as one became eliminated, they were partnered with another winner. The face off was a 16 year old teen and an eight year old. It was FANTASTIC. They were so focused and determined.
Game 2: We partnered up two people, as they jump roped for two minutes. The team that jump roped the most prevailed.
Game 3: Family Tabata Basketball shooting. A family of four, or a made-up family of four, had 20 seconds to shoot as many baskets as possible, and then in 10 seconds hand the ball off to another family member. Each member had two chances. At the end of 8 cycles, the family that made the most baskets prevailed.
Last but not least, the parents played basketball against the teens. This was hilarious. The parents were determined to win. The win was by one point, however I think the parents will be taking Advil for a couple of days.
You know a day has been a success when everyone is laughing and no one wants to go home.
The program objective was met…THE END!
I thank the amazing volunteers that made the event such a success. Steve Artinian worked exteremly hard in gathering donations. We received generous donations from Glendale Adventist Hospital, Web Hawk, Lad Dentistry, New Look Skin, Closet World, Fertility Pacific Clinic, Skyline, Issagholian Family, Go Mediateam, and Arsine Aghakanian.
I would also like to thank all of the volunteers that presented. It wouldn’t have been half the success without their expertise and presentations.
And lastly, I would like to thank the amazing volunteers that helped us all day. Laila, Catherine, Masiss, Helik, Armond, Tomik, Ernie & Tami, Graziella, Roubina, Arteen, Jashu, Chiman, Sunjay, Armik, Narbeh, Ani, Shara, and MOM & DAD…You guys are AWESOME!
I recently read a post on Facebook written by IDEA Health and Fitness Association, which prompted this blog.
The posted question was:
“The biggest misconception about fitness professionals is…”
As you can guess, the answers came flooding in…
After reading all of the posts, I soon came to the conclusion that "We Are The Same Person" but we have made different choices!
Let me explain!
It is assumed:
1) That health and fitness comes easy to fitness professionals.
2) It is assumed that we do not feel pain.
3) It is assumed that we wake up feeling 100% EVERYDAY.
4) It is assumed that we do not get tired.
5) It is assumed that, just because someone is certified, that they are qualified to train.
6) It is assumed that all fitness professionals play sports.
7) It is assumed that a “certification” makes someone an expert.
8) It is assumed that all fitness professionals eat healthy meals ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT.
9) It is assumed that all fitness professionals make a TON of money.
10) It is assumed that just because the label “Celebrity Trainer” is in someone’s title, they can work miracles.
Need I continue?
And now the truth:
1) When I made a commitment to health and fitness at the age of 7, I was so scared to have the same chronic illnesses that are genetic to my family. I come from a family with Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Arthrosclerosis, Pulmonary Disease, and Stoke. At the age of 24, my cholesterol level was 240 (A vegetarian that exercises every day). I have to work hard to stay healthy!
2) There isn’t a day that I am pain free. I have severe arthritis in the cervical spine, a slipped coccyx, a labral tear repair in the left hip, which has caused chronic pain in my right foot due to years of compensation.
3) There are some days that I just want to sleep in…BUT here’s the difference, I LOVE MY JOB, which makes everyday a blessing!
4) I am up at 6AM and see clients until noon. I return to work at 3PM until 9:15PM. Oh yes, I also have a home, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and a PhD program that is taking FOREVER, and lesson planning for all of my classes and clients. Of course I get tired…BUT here’s the difference, I LOVE MY JOB, which makes everyday a blessing!
5) It saddens me that due to the nature of our business, we have "dumbed down" our profession. A house wife/actor/singer can go to a workshop for a day and become certified. A reality weight loss TV show can torture people and get HUGE recognition for the mental and physical abuse that they cause not only to the participants but also to those who are watching.
6) Have you seen me handle a ball? If so, you can attest to my poor hand to ball coordination!
7) A certificate is a basic exam. Commitment, education, extra effort, common sense, humility, humanity, humbleness, and leading my example make a health and fitness professional an expert.
8) Believe it or not, we do crave chocolate, bread, and a Skinny Margaritas, but here’s the difference, it’s 20% the time…not 80% of the time.
9) If only you knew. I made more 12 years ago than what I do today. Here’s my story, in 2002 I got laid off from a lucrative location based entertainment position. At that time, it was the glory days of our economy. I could have gone back into corporate, sat on my bottom, or bought another expensive handbag, but I decided to take advantage of my freedom and continue my education. There has been one constant in my life and that is health and fitness. I hit the books for 7 years straight to achieve the education and certification(s), and am now pursuing my doctorate. I have never been more tired and stressed, however, everyday I am mentally stimulated, and I LOVE MY JOB, which makes everyday a blessing!
10) No one, no one but you can work miracles. As a health and fitness professional, it is not WHO you train, it is about how you CONNECT! At the end of the day, it should be about ALL of the lives that you have influenced, not just WHOSE life you’ve influenced!
In a nutshell, I think it is safe to say we are the same person but we have made different choices.
To me, at the end of the day, “Happiness lies, first of all, in health.” George William Curtis
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of National Nutrition Month. The theme is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.” I love it!
As you well know, I am very vocal about fads. I am one that does not support “diets” or “fads”. I love this year’s theme, as it is realistic, attainable, and personal.
In my line of work, people tend to reach out when they have “fallen off the wagon” or have a goal in mind…some realistic and some not so realistic. It saddens me to see the extent to which people will go in order to fit in the tight (wedding dress) or get that bikini vacation body. It is often not well received when I state the facts that, as an adult, 70% of our body is LIFESTYLE.
My Top 10 recommendations that my clients have incorporated into his/her life for successful weight loss and maintenance:
- The client has a balance between healthy eating and physical activity
- The client is true to the way a healthy plate should look (ChooseMyPlate.gov)
- A client snacks every two to three hours. I used to provide meals for my clients however, in recent years I have changed my approach. I now offer a service that starts the day with a healthy breakfast, and three snacks to follow. The snacks are proportioned to a serving size three times a day, Mon – Friday, and the client is responsible for his/her lunch, dinner, and weekend meals. I have found the GREATEST success in this formula because most clients are “too busy” for breakfast and snacking however, they find time for lunch and dinner because most often it is a social event. The trick is to NOT be overly hungry for lunch and dinner so the portions are controlled.
- Clients that drink plenty of water (Coffee, tea, and iced tea does not count as water).
- Clients that drink alcohol sparingly.
- Clients that eat home cooked meals 80% of the time.
- Clients that limit processed foods.
- Clients that pre-plan meals.
- Clients that enjoy eating for a “purpose” as opposed to an “addiction”.
- Clients that log their food.
Join me in celebrating National Nutrition Month by incorporating these Top 10 successful tips for Optimal Heath. I am here to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
Best of Health,
I recently read an article in the IDEA Fitness Journal, January 2013. The article was titled “Kid’s Fitness Interventions Failing”. At first this article was quite alarming but when I read beyond the first paragraph, I became aware and eventually became validated about my ongoing theory on health and fitness.
The article summarized research from Plymouth University and the University of Exter, in England. The scientists analyzed 30 peer reviewed clinical trails, 14,326 participants, that were 16 years and younger. All studies included an accelerometer. “The systematic review found that physical activity interventions, on average, achieved small negligible increases in children’s total activity volume, with small improvements in the time spent in moderate or vigorous intensity activity (~4 minutes more walking or running per day), the clinical effort of which is likely to be minimal,” the authors reported (phew : ).
The article continued to state that the authors of the studies speculated that the QUALITY and intensity of the exercise intervention may have been somewhat low, which in return reduces the effectiveness.
And now my ongoing theory…
Health and fitness AT ANY AGE is not just about moving. I see this often with fad fitness programs, diets, etc. Seeing an immediate result is easy, however, long-term results do not happen that easily, hence the term “yo-yo” diets.
I am a firm believer that health and fitness leaders need to be QUALIFIED and lead by example. I am also a firm believer that Optimal Health cannot be achieved by physical activity alone. It is a commitment that includes physical activity, healthy nutrition, mental, AND financial health.
I am not surprised that the Kid’s Fitness Intervention failed, as it only addressed one aspect of fitness, and that is physical activity.
I have recently been put in charge of our facility’s vending machine. It is a challenge to find nonperishable foods that will appeal to kids as well as adults. I researched long and hard to find snacks that are healthy, proportioned, and tasty. After all, we all want to eat snacks that taste great. My theory is if ALL the choices are HEALTHY, then the child and/or parent will make a HEALTHY choice! Let’s see if my theory works : )
In my December blog I wrote about REALSITIC New Year’s resolutions. As I was writing my blog I began to think about myself, and my resolution(s). I have had a month to think about it, so here I go.
Before I share with you my resolution(s), I would like to share my definition of “resolution”. Side note: After the Ho Ho OH-Wellness brunch, thanks to a very clever client, we all confirmed that there is “real-time” and then there is “Jesika-time.” So now I will introduce something else, there is a “real-definition” and then there is a “Jesika-definition”! Onward! In my world resolution(s) mean improvement(s). I don’t like to use the word change, as to some, change sounds judgmental, final, and unrealistic. So, as per “Jesika-definition”, here are some things I would like to improve in the New Year:
- I would like to improve my sleep pattern between 7-8 hours per night. Lack of sleep increases the stress hormone called Cortisol. When the Cortisol level is increased, the body stores more visceral fat. The more visceral fat the body stores, the more fat surrounds the heart, which results in an unhealthy heart. I hear this often in people in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. “I exercise and eat well. I don’t know why I have so much visceral fat?” My reply is often, “How much do you sleep?” More often than not, the client is deficient in his/her sleep. By the way, I thought by taking “power” naps the Cortisol level is reduced, NOPE…it’s consistent sleep that we need!
- I would like to improve my stretching discipline. Toward the end of the year, I was hearing a lot of unusual sounds coming from my hip (I had a hip Labral tear repair in 2010). After seeing a physical therapist and my surgeon, I was soon reminded that I have to take more time to warm up and stretch. The great news is that my hip is 100% in tact and I have not developed arthritis. My surgeon attributes it to my commitment to fitness.
- I would like to pass the Certified Health Education Specialist exam. Seriously…how many times do I have to take this darn exam? However, I am realistic, I have to improve my brain endurance, just like the way I train my muscles, I have to train my brain. Sigh…
- I would like to improve my knowledge about food addiction. I studied addiction while in school, however I would like to learn more. I have started this path by reading a book called The Hunger Fix, written by Dr. Pamela Peek. It’s a great read!
- And lastly, I would like to improve the SUPER DOOPER HIGH expectations I place on myself. Yes, you heard me…I am way too tough on myself. I need to take a chill pill and let life take its course.
OK, I have it all in writing AND publically posted. YIKES! I invite you to write your improvements for the year and we’ll move ONWARD together.
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” - Dale Carnegie
Best of Health in the New Year,
The New Year is right around the corner and it is time for those resolutions again. For many, the New Year means changing bad habits into good habits. If only it was that easy, right?
With over 10 years under my belt as a trainer, I see and hear unrealistic promises, all the time.
Some examples are:
* Next year, I will give up sugar.
* Next year I will lose 50 pounds.
* Next year, I will exercise everyday.
* Next year I will quit smoking.
* Next year I will not eat any carbs (this one is one of my favorites : )
…Do any of these sound familiar?
I have a suggestion…can you PLEASE not be so hard on yourself? I never understand trainers that yell and push their clients aggressively. I find that people in general are so darn hard on themselves.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take baby steps. Don’t jump into anything that is unrealistic.
Here are some REALISTIC suggestions:
- Eliminate 1 piece of junk food a day. You will be amazed at how much of a difference that will make. Most “junk foods” run around 250 - 350 kcals per serving. One pound of weight loss is 3,500kcals. This means in one to two weeks you will lose 1 pound.
- Ease into physical activity. Strength train BEFORE you hit cardiovascular exercises. High impact at ANY age is jarring. Strengthening the muscles to support impact is optimal.
- Carbs are your friend. It’s the QUALITY of the carbs that matter. A healthy diet is approximately 30% Protein, 20 % Fat, and 45 – 55% COMPLEX Carbohydrates.
- Choose your calories from REAL foods, not powders, additives, or words that you cannot pronounce.
- STRETCH. We take stretching for granted. We spend so much time in a flexed position, that the act of relaxed stretching becomes torturous. The muscles need to elongate and get back to their natural state. It saddens me that most of today’s teens cannot even touch their toes.
- Pre-plan your meals. THIS IS A BIG ONE. The more organized you are, the more successful you’ll be at avoiding “comfort foods”.
- Make your HEALTH a priority. Trust me, everyone around you will understand. You cannot give 100% when you are at 50%.
- Set SHORT-TERM goals, which will eventually become LONG-TERM RESULTS. For example,
Week 1: This week I will exercise two times a week for 45 minutes.
Week 2: This week I will exercise two times a week for one hour.
Week 3: This week I will limit myself to one soda a day.
….Eventually, short-term goals will become long-term RESULTS : )
- Safe and REALISTIC weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week! This can be achieved with a deficit of 300kcals per day plus 300kcals burned through physical activity. In layman terms, give up one muffin a day and add an Ultimate Cardio / Cardio Sculpt class three times a week : )
I call it the 3P formula to Optimal Health…
Prioritize + Pre-Plan = PREVENTION
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~Jim Rohn
Happy New Year to you all!
Best of Health,
The definition for Optimal Health by the World Health Organization is, “Health is a state of complete, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease of infirmity.”
The definition for Physical Fitness in Wikipedia is, “Physical fitness comprises two related concepts: general fitness (a state of health and well-being), and specific fitness (a task-oriented definition based on the ability to perform specific aspects of sports or occupations). Physical fitness is generally achieved through correct nutrition, exercise, and enough rest.”
The common denominator in both definitions is WELL-BEING!
As a recent guest speaker at a local fitness organization, I gave my perspective on Health and Fitness to participants in a “Biggest Loser” contest. The basis of my lecture was that, fitness is not just physical activity, healthy nutrition, and kinesiology. Rather, fitness is physical activity, healthy nutrition, and PSYCHOLOGY.
It has been my experience that many of my clients are often looking for the “Secret” to Health and Fitness. It is my opinion that we all hold the “Secret” within our “Actions”. It is unfortunate that in our industry we have dumbed down the value of optimal health by making false promises. We have televised programs that glorify extreme measures for weight loss; we have fad diets that make false promises; and of course fitness programs that promise unrealistic results.
I would like to travel back in time to discuss the Health Belief Model, which was developed in the 1950’s by the United States Health Department to try to understand why people do not take preventative measures. Soon after the Health Belief Model was developed, the Transtheoretical Model came along explaining the Health Belief Model.
The Transtheoretical Model is divided into these stages:
- Precontemplation (Hmmm…maybe I should take care of my health.)
- Contemplation (I think my New Year’s resolution will be to start a fitness program.)
- Preparation (Let me buy some new sneakers.)
- Action (I registered for a class at OH-Wellness because I heard the instructor is AWESOME :)
- Maintenance (I attended classes week after week. I still really don’t like exercising BUT I LOVE the camaraderie, the way I feel, and the instructor is really motivational :)
Here’s the reality…approximately 80% of our population is between
Precontemplation and Contemplation.
These statistics validate the above:
- Over 50% of Corporate America is overweight
- Health care is the 2nd HIGHEST expense in corporate America
- Gaining 11 – 18 pounds of body fat DOUBLES the risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes
- 91% of Diabetes is PREVENTABLE
- 82% of Heart Disease is PREVENTABLE
- 70% of Stroke is PREVENTABLE
- 71% of Cancer is PREVENTABLE
- In 1985 the average American consumed 1,700kcals; in recent years, the average American consumes 2,900kcals.
Is it safe to conclude that IF health and fitness was that easy WE WOULD ALL be exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough rest; or that only 20% of the population would be in the Precontemplination and Contenmpenation stage?
As I come full circle. “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind, he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” - Buddha
The greatest challenge in my line of work is to get my clients to believe in themselves; if it’s in their ability to accomplish a plank, run a lap, or balance on the Bosu ball. This is true in all populations i.e. toddlers, teens, adults, and seniors. I have found that the common denominator is fear and lack of self efficacy.
As a health educator we are taught to do a “needs assessment” on a grassroots level to find out the demand for our health promotion / disease prevention program. As a trainer, we are taught to do a "baseline assessment" before we develop a fitness program. However, my experience has proven that no matter what the “textbook” teaches us, my # 1 concern is what the client wants.
It is so important to listen to our clients with humility, humanity, and humor. A very prominent therapist recently taught me, “we have to look at our own ‘junk’ first, in order to work with a non judgmental and open heart.” I have been holding onto these words, as I truly believe it is extremely important in many professions to realize that we all have “junk”; Especially in those of us that serve people’s fears and insecurities i.e. being out of shape or recently being diagnosed with a metabolic syndrome (Type II Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, and Cardiovascular Disease).
With the current economic crisis, many people are in the “survival of the fittest” mode. Insecurities are coming to the forefront. If it’s ageism, financial hardship, lay-offs, losing your home or relationship, or on the teen level…not “making the team”. All of the above can lead to unhealthy competition, health problems, and depression.
This said, one of my favorite quotes comes to mind:
“I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.” - Ken Venturi
If we can just believe in ourselves, and know that we can ALWAYS better ourselves, in the end, a positive outcome will prevail!
I am often asked, "What should I eat to achieve my weight loss goal?" Should I follow a low-carbohydrate diet, low-fat diet, blood-type diet, Atkins diet, South Beach diet, and now the new fad...Gluten Free diet?
First and foremost, as a health educator and personal trainer, I can only recommend and promote healthy eating habits, however, the best source for a prescribed diet is by a registered dietitian (RD). That said, I will share my basic knowledge on healthy habits as opposed to "fad diets".
To me, leading a healthy eating lifestyle is simple. I follow these general rules:
1) If I do not know the ingredients, I won't eat it.
2) If it doesn't change its shape or form within a week, I won't eat it. Generally, foods that have preservatives or are artificially grown (or enhanced) do not spoil...i.e. canned products, highly treated produce, meat, poultry, etc.
3) If the first three to five ingredients are sugar, sodium, corn syrup, or hydrogenated something or the other, I won't eat it.
3) If I don't like it, I won't eat it.
4) If I LOVE it, I will eat it sparingly.
5) 80% of the time I eat healthy and 20% of the time I treat myself.
6) I nosh every 2 - 3 hours.
7) No matter how late I come home, I always eat a source of protein to repair my overly worked muscles (Some of my favorites are nonfat vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit; Quinoa and Kale; nonfat Greek yogurt and honey : )
8) I drink approximately 4 - 16 oz of water per day, however I do not force water into my system.
9) I preplan my meals and snacks to avoid feast or famine.
10) I eat all colors of the rainbow.
11) I eat a high fiber diet (Fiber works as the rake in the arteries that cleans out unhealthy cholersterol)
12) I ALWAYS eat a well balanced breakfast (I literally roll out of bed and eat my preplaned breakfast).
13) And lastly, every quarter, I log my foods to make sure I am on track. My favorite site is Sparkpeople.com.
As I age, I do find a change in my metabolism, however, due to my commitment to a balanced lifestyle that consists of these simple rules, plus staying physically active, I accept the changes and adapt and adjust accordingly.
If someone were to ask my family...Does Jesika eat? They would all answer, Jesika LOVES to eat and she eats more than all of us. HOWEVER it's the quality of the choices I make, that makes the difference.
In closing, in my opinion, a healthy eating lifestyle is all about finding a healthy balance. I always say, no matter what changes you make in your diet or exercise plan, you will notice short-term results. It's the long-term goals that take small, little, itty, bitty, teeny, and tiny steps, which will help you achieve Optimal Health.