Food Label Friday: Start Here

Take a look at the food label below.

Go ahead, I’ll wait. 🙂

See where it says “Start Here”?

Don’t miss that, because if you are anything like me that is NOT the first thing you look at. My tendency is to look at how many grams of carbs and sugar, then I might take a look at the fat content.

Which is fine, unless I NEVER check the “Start Here” section. Because that is where the label tells me two key facts:

1) Serving Size. This is important because the number of grams of protein, carbohydrate and fat in the label below are PER SERVING.

2) Servings Per Container: This is what sneaks up and bites you sometimes. If you just look at the calories, you might think that number is the calories in the whole container. For instance you pick up that pint of decadent ice cream and look at the calories. “Only 300” you think to yourself, “That’s not so bad.” Until after you down the whole thing only to realize later there are FOUR serving per container and you just ate enough fat and sugar for a whole week.

Some foods are less obvious than others. We know if we pick up a carton of oatmeal or boxed cereal there are multiple servings per container. But things like the aforementioned pint of ice cream, or bottle of soda or sports drink usually contain multiple servings.

So always make sure you “Start Here”.

Until next time!

foodlabel

 

Resiliency

noun

1. the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.

2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
source: dictionary.com

I am a sucker for these video montages, and while this video is pretty cool, it was the title of it that caught my eye.

Resiliency.

It’s your ability to get back up when you are knocked down.

But is it something you either have or you don’t, or can you develop resiliency?

I say resiliency is something that can be nurtured, developed and strengthened.

How?

When you have a big enough reason why to get back up, you won’t stay down.

When you have a purpose that drives you, you won’t stay down.

When your reason is bigger than your doubts, you won’t stay down.

Sometimes you get saved by the bell, but usually it’s just a choice we make.

I get up, or I don’t.

It’s my choice.

Quotable July 22, 2015

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Are Habits Hard?

What is a habit anyway?

Google it and the definition that comes up is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”

That last part may SOUND like a bad thing, but it really depends on the habit, doesn’t it?

What if was HARD to give up eating vegetables at every meal, or HARD to not eat protein?

What if it was HARD to miss your workouts, and HARD to sleep less than 8 hours?

What if it was HARD to skip meal planning and prep?

That would actually be pretty cool wouldn’t it?

That’s what the “New Normal” we are working toward is all about.

Making the “right things” hard NOT to do.

So how do we do that?

 

Monday Motivation: It Starts With One Foot On The Floor

I don’t know if you are reading this while you are still lying cozy in bed, but either way, at some point today you have to throw off the covers and put one foot, then the other, down on the floor.

Sit there for a minute, that’s fine. Get your bearings, but don’t sit there too long.

Embrace your day, no matter what’s next.

You did the hardest part. You stopped hitting the snooze bar and actually got up.

When you wake up, don’t immediately think about work, or the kids, or going to the gym.

Just think about putting your feet on the floor.

Start there.

 

Good Habits: Food Label Friday

foodlabel

One of the most important habits to develop when it comes to making great food choices is reading food labels.

Like most of our habits, reading food labels is a skill that takes much practice.

Many manufacturers do whatever they can to hide, obfuscate, and maybe even mislead (within the confines of the law of course) what you are really eating.

Here’s some examples:

FAT-FREE!
Some fat-free labeled foods may be 50%, 60%, or in some cases 100% fat and they say “fat-free” on the label!

A can of “fat-free” cooking spray. It usually says on the front of the container, “for calorie free and fat free cooking.” If you turn the can around and examine the FDA regulated nutrition label, you’d find that there are zero calories per serving, zero calories from fat. The question becomes, if there aren’t any calories . . . what in the world is in that can? That’s when you look at that tiny print on the ingredients panel. You’ll find that the only significant ingredient in that can is vegetable oil, corn oil, or canola oil, foods that get 100% of their calories from fat! Yes, the fat free cooking spray is 100% fat!

HERE’S HOW – . The law says, “if there’s less than half a gram (.5 g) of fat in a serving (remember those words, “in a serving”) a food can be labeled fat free. The catch is, nobody regulates what the food companies refer to as a serving size.

If you go back to the tiny print on that spray can, you’ll find that a serving is equal to two-tenths (2/10) of a gram. Is there less than half a gram of fat in a serving? Of course. There’s less than half a gram of anything in a serving that’s .2 grams in its entirety. This loophole allows the cooking sprays, pure fat, to be labeled fat free.

The same is true of the fat free butter spreads, the fat free butter substitutes, and the fat free liquid butter for popcorn.

Is less than 0.5g of fat gonna kill you? No, but you need to be aware this stuff goes on all the time. (And who uses 1 serving size most of the time anyway?)

SUGAR by Any Other Name
Some foods don’t use the word “sugar” even though they have as much sugar as a chocolate chip cookie. They fail to include the actual word sugar on the ingredient list but instead USE glucose, fructose, corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk, dextrose, etc. – which are all names for, you guessed it. Sugar.

Then there are the sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, malitol, and glycerol which by law do not have to be listed as sugars on the nutrient panel. A snack bar might say “Sugar Free” and list glycerol (or glycerine) on its ingredient panel. Sugar alcohols do affect blood sugar and can spike insulin levels limiting fat release and leading to greater accumulation of bodyfat.

There is also a difference between the “Nutrition Fact” label and the “Ingredient List”

For instance a product could have “sugars” in the nutrition label but no sugar in the ingredient list. This would indicate there is no added sugar to the product. This is a best case scenario, but you don’t want to crazy on any sugars, natural or not.

Of course as mentioned above, you have to watch out, because “organic cane juice” is a little more obtuse than putting “organic white sugar” on the label.

So before you put that item in your cart, turn it around and look at the label.

Yes at first it will take some time, but it’s not like you will have to do it for the same item next time you shop.

How many items do you purchase in the typical grocery shopping day?

Some you won’t have to worry about at all – fruits and veggies don’t have labels at all, and I am pretty sure you can figure out that double fudge chocolate swirled cake bites don’t belong in the cart – no matter what’s on that label.

So sharpen you label reading skills – your body will love you for it!

Habit Mastery

Mastery is not easily achieved, is it?

We want to be really good at something, but rarely do we stick with it long enough to be really great at it, to master it.

When I was a kid my parents wanted me to play a musical instrument. I wanted to play the trumpet. For some reason the school band said I couldn’t, how about the trombone instead? I “played” it for awhile, hardly ever practicing, until for some crazy reason my parents let me drop it and play the clarinet. That lasted about 10 minutes too.

I regret not sticking with it long enough to get good at it. My sister is a wonderful pianist, and I can attest she put the hours and hours of practice in it took to get there.

Same thing with skiing and golf. To enjoy those, you have to practice. Otherwise you are just falling down hills and chasing little white balls into the woods and ponds.

When I was learning to ski, the instructor took me step-by-step. Learning to stop, learning to turn, learning to stay upright for more than 10 yards. He didn’t just put me on the black diamond and tell me to go for it. And golf? I got a free lesson from a pro at a driving range because he felt so bad for me. True Story.

Why do we think that creating new eating habits is any different?

You need a step-by-step approach here as well.

Find the low-hanging fruit first. What’s the one thing you can do that will make the biggest “change” impact.

For instance which one of these things would have the MOST impact on if you adopted it today?

  1. Planning your meals
  2. Preparing your meals
  3. Eating slower

Don’t choose all three, just pick one. There is no wrong or right answer, just your answer. Work on getting really good at the one before worrying about anything else.

Ask yourself these two questions.

Which one can I do?

Which one will I do?

And then get doing.

Need help? Stay tuned.

 

What is your “Catalyst for Change”?

My partners over at Fitness Revolution (the reason I am in Kentucky a lot) tell what they are all about with this simple sentence…

“Fitness Is A Catalyst For Change.”

They know that being healthy and fit really does change lives.

That got me thinking about why we change.

What drives us to stop doing what we have been doing, turn around, and go completely the other way?

My journey from “fat to fit” begin with when my son Derek died.

That was a really big catalyst.

But I don’t think huge events or even tragedies in our lives are necessary.

Fitness Revolution knows that taking action, in this case pursuing fitness, will start creating the change we are looking for.

When we stop thinking about changing, planning to change, or maybe even convincing ourselves we can’t change and just start doing something, a funny thing happens.

We change.

 

Flipping “Your Gap”

Gratitude.

Does a gratitude mindset really make that big of a difference.

I think we know in our hearts that it does, but science actually backs that up as well.

This video hit me hard. My mindset is in “future mode” so much I hardly ever even think about far I and we as a company have come.

In this video Mindvalley CEO Vishen Lakhiani talks about “The Gap”.

And it explains why so many of us never really find the joy in the journey I wrote about a few days ago.

The concept doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs and visionaries, it applies to those of us whose “future” includes losing 30 or 40 pounds,or  running that half-marathon, or getting that first chinup.

Watching this might be the most valuable 4 minutes you invest in yourself all week (month? year?)

Feeling Like It

You ever “not felt like it”?

As in:

  • I don’t feel like eating veggies at breakfast.
  • I don’t feel like going to the gym.
  • I don’t feel like planning and prepping my food.
  • I don’t feel like turning down my 3rd glass of wine.

Me too.

Look at it this way.

You have a hole to dig, and for that task the appropriate tool to use is a shovel.

You would never ask “How do I get myself to feel like a person who uses a shovel?”*

That would be kind of silly.

You either pick it up and dig the hole, or you don’t.

Action always trumps feelings. Take action, and you will feel like it, not the other way around.

The reward is in the doing.

(* Thanks to Steve Chandler and his book “Time Warrior” for the inspiration.)

 

 

 

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