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Wednesday, 01 January 2014 18:20

Undo the Holiday Indulgence

I don't know about you, but I'm happy it's the New Year. It's time to get back into a routine and away from so many indulgences. The holidays were fun and fantastic, but my body is on overload from the temptations that couldn't be resisted—sweets, heavy meals, drinks, and so on.

I'm ready to give my body (and mind) a fresh, clean, healthy start to 2014! It's time to detox. Whether you are local or not, you can join me. For those local, I am leading a group detox starting Tuesday, January 21 (time TBD based on participants). For those of you who are not local or who want to do it on your own, I also offer that as an option by phone and email. See here for details about group and private detox coaching.

To learn more about the 4-week detox, you can read a detailed blog I wrote over a year ago when I first did the detox, Cleansing and Detoxing: Fad or For Real?. I was skeptical at first because there had been so much hype about cleanses and detoxes. I take it very seriously what I choose for myself and my clients, and I fully support the Detox 360 which is the program I use.

It is not about fasting or deprivation. It is about eating real food. The focus is on cutting out the allergenic and inflammatory foods from your diet. You have to be committed as it does take some work, but you will be supported in a group or by me and you will see results. All of my clients who have done the program have had positive results. The program comes with quality supplements to help the detox process and a detailed binder to guide you along the way.

Clients have reported the following benefits:

  • "Have more energy"
  • "Notice clearer skin"
  • "Lost weight"
  • "Experience fewer digestive issues"
  • "Discovered food allergies"
  • "Have less inflammation and joint pain"

Here's to undoing our holiday and 2013 indulgences and giving our bodies a fresh, clean, healthy start to 2014! Who's joining me?

________

Dina Colman, MA, MBA is an author, healthy living coach, and founder of Four Quadrant Living. Dina has a private practice helping clients live healthier and happier lives. Her Amazon Top 100 book, Four Quadrant Living: Making Healthy Living Your New Way of Life, guides readers to make healthy living a part of their daily lives, leading to greater health, vitality, and happiness. Contact Dina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Published in Body Blog
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 13:56

The *Real* Secret to Weight Loss!

I was hoping the title would get your attention. Every one is looking for the secret to weight loss. I have seen many clients who say they have tried every weight loss plan out there, but the weight just keeps coming back. This blog is about the secret to long-term weight loss. It is about creating a new way of living—for life. It's about resisting the temptation of the grand promises of the latest shake, supplement, pill, plan, or product to lose weight. Those may work in the short-term, but invariably the pounds find their way back. And, they aren't healthy!

Just a few weeks ago, I had a client ask me what I thought about Sensa. She said she had heard about it on TV. I didn't know of it, but when I looked it up, I found out that it is a substance that you sprinkle on your food. It supposedly works based on the process and trigger of eating and feeling full. When we eat, smell and taste receptors send messages that tell our body it's time to stop eating. Sensa claims to enhance smell, thus speeding up the process which triggers the "I feel full" signal so that you "eat less and feel more satisfied."

Recently, I have heard about Body by Vi as one of the latest ways to lose weight. They want you to replace two meals with their shakes. Check out the list of ingredients in the Body by Vi shakes. Do you recognize any of the ingredients as real food? This may help you take the weight off, but it certainly isn't giving you the tools to keep it off which brings you back to the yo-yo dieting. And, if you really want to be healthy, don't you want to be filling your body with real food!?

My favorite quote from a client this week was when she said, "I'm not a fake human, so why am I feeding myself fake food?" This was after I had showed her the list of ingredients in the Medifast bar she was eating. Now she eats a bar whose ingredients consist only of nuts and fruits.

So, now the moment you have been waiting for... What is the secret to weight loss?

The secret to weight loss is simple. Eat real food. Exercise more. Reduce stress.

I know, you've heard it before, right? But, given all of the posts I have seen recently on Facebook and clients I have been working with, somehow Sensa, Body by Vi, and Medifast are winning. Our bodies are losing with these methods, but it's not weight that we are losing, it's health.

The key to success is to commit to it. Take the guesswork out of it by just committing to this new way of life. Deciding whether or not to eat that cupcake is no longer a difficult decision because you have already made that choice in your head not to. Now you are just playing it out throughout the day. Another key to success is to engage others—whether that be a health coach, family member, or friend. Tell others what you are doing and let them keep you accountable. Sign up with My Fitness Pal and track your food for a week or two to see exactly what you are eating and how it measures up. It's not about counting calories, it's about tracking your food to help you stay accountable and see the choices you are making in a day.

It does work! I've seen it over time with my clients. Not only do they lose weight with this plan, but they are also happier and more energetic than they were before. They start to feel so good about themselves, that the temptations no longer have power because this new feeling of health now wins out.

Eat real food

For those with only a few pounds to lose:
If you are currently eating packaged, processed, and fast foods, making the switch to real food will lead to weight loss. Eat lean meats and eggs, load up on the veggies (for weight loss and health, you just can't get enough of this food group!), snack on a few nuts, enjoy fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth, and eat healthy fats (like avocados, coconut). Avoid sugar, alcohol, soy, caffeine, and dairy. Eat limited healthy grains like brown rice and quinoa.

For those who have more than a few pounds to lose:
You will benefit from removing all grains and legumes from your diet (commit to 30 days and go from there). Grains include wheat (breads, pasta), rye, oats, corn, rice, sprouted grains, and quinoa. Legumes include beans, lentils, and peanuts. Sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash are good substitutes for your typical "starch" in the meal because of their texture and substance. It's about eliminating the inflammatory, allergenic, unhealthy foods from your diet.

I do recommend shakes—shakes that have real food, not that just consist of a packaged powder and water.

Here is my daily shake:
2/3 coconut water
1/3 coconut milk
1/2 cup blueberries
generous handful of spinach or kale
healthy shake powder with vitamins, probiotics, and detoxifying nutrients
other additions: fish oil, chia seeds, flax seeds

Of course there are many variations on healthy shakes with numerous recipes available on the internet. Be creative with the fruits and vegetables you add to your shake, like celery or avocado.

For a good summary on eating well, check out Eat This Way.

Exercise

The more calories you burn (while eating well), the more weight you lose. Here are a few ideas. For more detail, read my blog Movement by Gypsy

  • Change your framework. A standard theme I have found with my clients is the guilt that comes with the “should” of exercising. Leave behind the “should” and find your “want.” Think of “exercise” as movement that brings you joy, not as an obligation that hangs over your head.
  • Think outside the box. Jumping rope is good cardio and reminds us of our childhood days. How about a game of hopscotch, Frisbee, or basketball with the kids? Or turning on the stereo and dancing around to your favorite tunes? The point is, be creative. If it gets you moving, it counts as exercise.
  • Think inside the box. Some people like the gym. If you are one of them, that’s great. You don’t need to be creative like the rest of us to get exercise into our lives. Keep it up! For those of us who need a little nudge to get to the gym, think about how to make it more enticing. Can you go at a certain time to watch a show you like? Download some new tunes that are reserved just for your gym workouts? Meet a friend? Try a new class?
  • Talk and walk. Instead of meeting your friends for coffee or lunch, meet them for a walk. You save money and you get some exercise. You’ll spend so much time gabbing, you’ll forget your legs are doing a lot of walking.
  • Do it with a group. It is easier to cancel out on yourself than someone else.
  • Count your steps. Wearing a pedometer can make walking fun and motivating. Set a goal of at least 7,000 steps a day..
  • Keep moving. Try to make movement part of your daily life rather than something you do at a certain time of day that counts as “exercise.” For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park in a far spot at the grocery store, or do your own gardening.

Reduce Stress

Many people may not realize this, but stress absolutely can play a role in weight gain for hormonal and psychological reasons. On the hormonal side, when we are stressed, we release hormones like cortisol which serve us well in periods of stress (it makes us alert and ready). Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy. This leads to an increase in appetite. An increase in appetite means we eat more and we weight more.

On the psychological side, eating is often tied to our emotions. When we feel stressed (or tired, angry, etc), we often turn to food for comfort. The more mindful we become about our eating (and the reasons we are reaching for the unhealthy food), the better chance for success we have in the long term.


You can do it!

If you want to really lose weight for good, don't buy into these expensive, do-it-quick schemes. Yes, it may take a little more work than adding water to a faux-food shake mix, but have fun with it. Get the family involved in meal planning. Ask friends to sign up for an upcoming 5K with you. Take a class on meditation. 

There is a lot of content on the Four Quadrant Living website about living a healthy life, so take some time to explore it and vow to make a change today. It may take time to change your body, but it takes a split second to change your mind. If you have been wanting to eat healthier or exercise more, change your mind about it today. The results in your body will follow.

I'd love to hear from you, so chime in below. What is your favorite healthy shake or meal? What is the form of exercise that brings you joy? What are your best ways for reducing stress? How do you involve your friends and family in your healthy living? 

 

Be sure to get your free 47 page Getting Started Guide: Taking Your First Step on the 4QL Journey by signing up for our newsletter at the top right of this page. It is filled with a 4 quadrant health assessment as well as health tips for each quadrant including 5 Steps to Mindfulness, 12 Tips for Fad-Free Eating, 6 Ways to Closer Connections, and 9 Ideas to Detox Your Home.

 ________

Dina Colman, MA, MBA is an author, healthy living coach, and founder of Four Quadrant Living. Dina has a private practice helping clients live healthier and happier lives. Her book, Four Quadrant Living: Making Healthy Living Your New Way of Life, guides readers to make healthy living a part of their daily lives, leading to greater health, vitality, and happiness. Contact Dina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Published in Body Blog
Monday, 31 December 2012 08:54

The 2-0-1-3 Plan

Less than half of Americans make resolutions and just eight percent of them are successful in keeping them. That's why this year it's time to try something new, the 2-0-1-3 plan! The plan is about starting off the New Year with intention, motivation, and accountability for health. Forward this on to your friends and family and let's see how many people we can get on board to join in. Be sure to write your plan in the comments section below. Here's how it works.

2  Come up with TWO actionable and doable healthy living ideas. Be specific. Make them very customized for you. Think about your weakness areas. How do you do in the areas of stress management, having fun, sleeping well, eating healthy, exercising, having nurturing relationships, and living in a nontoxic environment (this can be related to your emotional or physical environment)? Are you pretty good about working out, but don't take any time for stress management? If so, don't put exercise on your list, but rather, put something that will reduce your stress. Commit to work on the areas that receive less of your focus. You will see in the examples below that the ideas are both manageable and quantifiable. Try to be as specific as you can, and don't overcommit. You can always overdeliver.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Meditate for five minutes three days a week first thing in the morning to start the day grounded.
  • Spend less time with those people in your life who make you feel worse about yourself (you can be specific with names, if you want).
  • Do not drink alcohol during the week, only on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Get 7,500 to 10,000 steps at least four days a week (wear a pedometer to track it).
  • Go to bed by 11pm every night so that you get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  • Make one fun plan a week that makes you happy.

Commit to doing the ZERO "do it now" item. What is the one thing that has been on your list for years to do that you know would benefit you in some way—career, health, relationships, personal—but you just have never done it? Commit to it to do it this year.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Get out of a toxic relationship that has been bringing you down.
  • Make a change in your job if you feel miserable every day. (Sometimes this may not be possible due to financial constraints, but oftentimes even if we believe this to be the case, we do have choices that we have not allowed ourselves to believe in. Now's the time to believe in them and explore them.)
  • Go on the trip you've been talking about taking for years. If your spouse doesn't want to join you, go with a friend, by yourself, or an organized group.
  • Hire a health coach and lose the weight for good.
  • Find a workout regime you like so that you look forward to exercise rather than see it as a chore. For some ideas, read Movement by Gypsy.
  • Join a support group (e.g. AA, Al-Anon, loss, cancer). If you need help, there are groups out there for you. Sharing your pain with others does help.
  • Write your memoir.
  • Volunteer.
  • Take classes.

1  Choose ONE word for the year. Come up with one word that you want to represent you in 2013. Give it some thought because you want it to really encompass what you want for the year. When you have decided on your word, write it out in big letters and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. Put it on your bathroom mirror, by your computer, on your vision board, at work, in your wallet. When I turned 40, my word was "authenticity" because I decided it was time to accept me for who I was at my core and be true to that self. The great thing about having a word for a year is that it becomes a part of who you are for life.

Here are a few ideas: faith, love, forgiveness, dream, health, peace, strength, hope, play, truth, trust, imagine, and share.

3  Write THREE items a day in your gratitude journal. I've read about gratitude journals for years and have never done one. I'm pretty good about being grateful in my life, but have never actually taken the time to write them down regularly because I wasn't sure what it would give me (and it seemed like one more "to-do"). I started doing it a week ago, and I'm actually enjoying doing it and am getting a lot out of it. I have a little spiral notebook that sits right on my desk near my computer. Every day, I write down 3 things I'm grateful for. Go find a pad of paper or extra journal and put it somewhere handy. This could be near the entryway, in the kitchen, by your bed, in your office. I write my items toward the end of the day, but find the routine that works for you. You can even make it a family gratitude journal and have everyone write in their entries, or get a separate journal for each person. Your gratitude entries can be both large (e.g. grateful for love in your life) or small (e.g. grateful for the warmth of a fire).

In keeping my journal, I've noticed that my husband pops up on my gratitude list daily. I never would have consciously appreciated these little things, but having to think about what I am grateful in a day makes me mindful of all that he does for me. We've been together over 25 years, so I sometimes forget to be grateful for him. It's the little things that have made the list this past week like "having a husband who always secretly fills up my gas tank," "having a husband who exercises," "having a husband who goes out at 10pm to the market to buy feminine products because I'm not feeling up to it and just realized I'm out." See if any patterns emerge for you in your gratitude list and let us know.

Changing your perspective is a huge factor in happiness and stress management, and a gratitude journal helps with this. It's hard to hold on to anger, resentment, and unhappiness when you are writing down things you are grateful for. I like having gratitude in the forefront of my mind because it sets a positive tone for the day since I'm always on the lookout for what will make the list.

2-0-1-3  Take some time this week and think about your 2-0-1-3 plan. Be sure to comment below and let us know. It is helpful to share it with others to make it more real and to help hold you accountable. I've shared my 2-0-1-3 plan in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you. Let's make 2013 a year filled with health, happiness, and ... (insert your word here!).

And, of course, if you need help with making any part of your 2-0-1-3 plan happen, 4QL can help you!

Update: You can see other 4QL Fans' 2-0-1-3 Plans in the Comments section below and their pictured One Word here. Be sure to post your plan below and send us your One Word photo so it can get posted to our website too.

  

Be sure to get your free 47 page Getting Started Guide: Taking Your First Step on the 4QL Journey by signing up for our newsletter at the top right of this page. It is filled with a 4 quadrant health assessment as well as health tips for each quadrant including 5 Steps to Mindfulness, 12 Tips for Fad-Free Eating, 6 Ways to Closer Connections, and 9 Ideas to Detox Your Home.

 ________

Dina Colman, MA, MBA is an author, healthy living coach, and founder of Four Quadrant Living. Dina has a private practice helping clients live healthier and happier lives. Her book, Four Quadrant Living: Making Healthy Living Your New Way of Life, guides readers to make healthy living a part of their daily lives, leading to greater health, vitality, and happiness. Contact Dina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Published in Mind Blog
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 10:33

Seven Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

It is November which means the holidays are rapidly approaching. Later this month we will be tempted by pumpkin pie and stuffing. Soon after that it will be December and the temptations of sweets and desserts will abound. There is no doubt that the stress of the holidays and the availability of unhealthy food can be a challenge to our healthy eating plan.

Here are a few ideas to stay healthy during the holidays.

1. Eat mindfully. For example, when you are at the Thanksgiving table, mindfully eat your favorite foods. Savor the stuffing and pumpkin pie. Part of health is pleasure. If we deprive ourselves of our favorite foods or feel we cannot (or should not) join in with special meal sharing with our friends and family, it affects our health in other ways. Stressing about eating is counterproductive to our health. Give yourself permission to enjoy the holiday meals. Just enjoy them mindfully.

2. Throw it out. If there is leftover Halloween candy or food from a holiday party, it is okay to throw it out. If someone bakes you cookies, you can freeze some for later. Do not feel obligated to eat all of the unhealthful food that comes your way. It is okay to mindfully indulge, but there is no reason to mindlessly indulge daily from now until New Years. It may seem like a waste of money to throw out food, but it is better than compromising your health.

3. Eat your vegetables. Load up on vegetables so you fill up with healthy foods. This will help prevent you from going overboard with the not-so-healthy food choices.

4. Go small. Use smaller serving plates to keep portions under control. We consume an average of 92% of what we put on our plate, so it is worth paying attention to what we feed ourselves. A two inch difference in plate diameter—from 12" to 10" plates—results in 22% fewer calories being served. Assuming a typical dinner has 800 calories, a smaller plate would lead to weight loss of approximately 18 pounds per year for an average size adult (Small Plate Movement).

5. Switch it up. Eat with your non-dominant hand to slow down your eating.

6. Leave it. Decide that it is okay to leave food on your plate if you are full.

7. Wait. If you are still hungry, allow a few minutes before reaching for seconds. It takes 20 minutes for the fullness in our stomach to reach our brains which is why we can reach the point of being stuffed. Waiting before you go in for seconds may give you enough time to realize that you are not hungry anymore.

The holidays do not need to mean the choice between weight gain or deprivation. Find the middle ground and enjoy your favorite foods this holiday season.

_________

Dina Colman, MA, MBA is an author, healthy living coach, and founder of Four Quadrant Living. Dina has a private practice helping clients live healthier and happier lives. Her book, Four Quadrant Living: Making Healthy Living Your New Way of Life, guides readers to make healthy living a part of their daily lives, leading to greater health, vitality, and happiness. Contact Dina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Published in Body Blog
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Published Articles

Green Exercise: Good for the Sole and Soul
Natural Awakenings, March 2011

Sustainable Danville Area: Find Your People
Danville Today News, February 2012 (Page 6)

Are Genetically Modified Foods Making Your Child Sick?
Active Kids, June 2012 (Page 23)