Healthy Shopping List
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Healthy Shopping List: Condiments

Boy, can condiments be a hindrance to fat loss! Today I want to share with you the condiments that end up on my healthy shopping list. 🙂

We all know that eating for fat loss can get a little boring at times. For this reason, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite condiments that I use to make my food taste delicious, but have little (to no) effect on my fat loss efforts.

Having foods that I enjoy is very important to me because I really want “living the fat loss lifestyle” to be sustainable for a lifetime. Some of the ingredients in my favorites may not fall in line with everyone’s goals (such as high sodium in the hot sauces), but for me, this is somewhere that I personally “give in a little” in order to make eating for fat loss more enjoyable.

It’s important to find this balance between making meal choices that will help you to achieve your goals AND preparing them in such a way as to make those choices sustainable. Here are some of my favorites:

Healthy Shopping List – Condiments

  1. Cinnamon – Great for flavoring oatmeal, oat bran, fruit, and protein shakes.
  2. Cayenne Pepper – Great on any meat or in soups if you like spicy things like I do!

    Healthy Shopping List

    Just do NOT get these 2 confused! 😉

  3. Vinegar (especially Balsamic and Red Wine) – I mix balsamic vinegar with mustard and stevia to make a delicious low-calorie salad dressing.  I use red wine vinegar on my ground turkey burgers on Ezekiel bread or in salads. Healthy Shopping List
  4. Yellow Mustard – Delicious on any meat or mixed with different kinds of vinegar and hot sauces. I’ve even dipped steamed broccoli in it. Yes, I LOVE mustard!
  5. Any no/low-calorie hot sauce – If you like spicy foods, put hot sauce in soups and on meat. I’ve even mixed it with mustard and dipped veggies in it or put it on salads. Sounds weird, but you should try it if you like hot sauce! My favorites: Frank’s Red Hot and Louisiana Hot Sauce
  6. Salsa – Use on chicken or shrimp and avocado salad (with Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime and a squeeze of fresh lime) and for dipping veggies into. Watch for added sugar, though. Healthy Shopping List
  7. Asian Chili Garlic Sauce, Thai Red Curry Paste, and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce – I put just a tad in soups or in ground meat to add a little kick! If you like a BIG kick like my husband, then spread it right on top of your meat or add extra to your own soup bowl. Healthy Shopping List
  8. All the Mrs. Dash spices – I use these in place of or in addition to sea salt and black pepper on just about everything!  Healthy Shopping List
  9. Liquid Smoke – Flavor meat, soups, or veggies with this delicious condiment. Your food will have a whole new twist when you use a little liquid smoke. My favorite veggie to use this on is roasted okra. Yummmmm! Healthy Shopping List
  10. 100% baking cocoaBaking cocoa is my favorite! It makes my protein shakes more chocolate-y! I add 2 Tbsp, along with stevia, to my coffee or with just plain hot water to make a mocha or hot chocolate. This is great for craving control! I add it to plain Greek yogurt with stevia to make “pudding,” and I’ve even mashed a banana with cocoa powder, stevia, water, and a scoop of chocolate protein powder to make a post workout pudding. Don’t judge. 😉 Healthy Shopping List
  11. Stevia – I used Sweet Leaf flavored liquid stevia drops and Stevia In The Raw to sweeten anything in place of sugar. 🙂 Healthy Shopping List Condiments

I would love to hear some of your favorite condiments that are fat-loss friendly! Please comment below and let me know what condiments are on your healthy shopping list. 🙂

xo -Jill


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Food Cravings. How do I stop them?

One major struggle that women have is food cravings.

UGH! I know. It’s so frustrating to *want* to eat healthily but have food cravings pop up in the afternoon or evening when your willpower is at its lowest.

As you can imagine, I receive many emails asking the following question:

Q: How do I stop food cravings?

A: Besides eating for fat loss and making good lifestyle choices (like sleeping enough and de-stressing), there 2 primary supplements that I use to control or stop food cravings. Supplementation is rarely my recommendation, but when food cravings are a huge issue, these supplements are worth a try!

At the end of this post, I’ll give a few secondary ways to stop food cravings as well.

  1. Stop food cravings with BCAAs

BCAAs are branched chain amino acids.

Simply speaking they are broken-down protein molecules.

Usually, BCAAs are purchased in powder form and added to water. They can be used for multiple purposes.

Many people use BCAAs when working out fasted. The purpose for this is to provide the body with amino acids so that muscle tissue is preserved. When you workout, muscle tissue can be burned ALONG with fat. BCAAs help to preserve muscle tissue without having to eat protein prior to your workout.

BCAAs can also provide the body with energy similar to ingesting carbs but without the insulin response. This is another benefit to drinking them prior to working out fasted. BCAAs are also great for muscle retention and muscle gain, particularly in the post workout window.  This is why most all commercial protein powders include BCAAs in them.

Note that if you are eating a protein packed meal after your workout, you do not need to also supplement with BCAAs at that post workout time period.

BCAAs have been clinically shown to balance blood sugar (glucose) which makes them an excellent hunger and craving suppressant. Given the fact that fat loss often (not always) requires a lower carb intake than people are used to, BCAAs can become your best friend for achieving leanness. They can help in regulating hunger and cravings by supplying the brain with the energy it needs.

BCAAs can also lower cortisol. These lower levels will offer the overlapping ability to suppress your stress induced cravings.

Dosage is 5-10 grams pre (fasted) workout. If you are taking them to suppress hunger and cravings, 5 grams is a good dose.

My personal experience:

Although I’m personally a huge fan of getting all of my nutrition without supplementation, BCAAs is one of my exceptions. Most days, I work out fasted first thing in the morning. Working out fasted is good for fat loss, but can cause muscle loss as well. Having more muscle is great for fat loss. BCAAs can provide the best of both worlds and allow me to workout fasted without the loss of hard-earned muscle. I also use them successfully for my own cravings. When clients report having cravings, this is one proven way I can recommend that regulate body functions that fight those cravings.

Here are 3 of the name brands that I have used that taste great!

  1. Momsanity BCAAs are my top choice. It has all natural ingredients, perfect ratios of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and has a nice fruit punch flavor. This one is my top pick because of the ingredients and ratios of the BCAAs plus it mixes well in my water bottle! I featured this product in a blog post on the benefits of BCAAs for women.
  2. The MRM Reload is watermelon flavored. It is sweetened with stevia and xylitol which I prefer over artificial sweeteners. It stirs well with a spoon. They make a version sweetened with artificial sweeteners, so be sure to check the label in the picture before purchasing. The one I have linked was the correct version at the time of this blog post. 🙂
  3. The Scivation Xtend needs a little shaking to get it mixed well. It’s sweetened with sucralose (same as Splenda) and can cause some people GI issue (mainly gas and bloating) if used often. It’s very tasty in the green apple flavor (think: Jolly Rancher).
The science:

If you’re interested in the science behind BCAAs, here is a great article from Metabolic Effect which is where I received my nutrition coaching certifications as well as one of my personal training certifications.

2. Stop food cravings with 100% cocoa powder

Obviously, if you can get a handle on food cravings, you are less likely to grab that unhealthy food that’s calling your name. Consuming baking cocoa will also release serotonin in the brain causing you to feel happy and euphoric. 🙂 As a bonus, it has almost no calories, it’s high in fiber, and it contains compounds that blunt hunger and reduce cravings. Through research studies, it has been shown to lower blood pressure and balance blood sugar. Good stuff for the fat loss lifestyle!! Check out this blog post about cocoa by Metabolic Effect if you are interested in reading more.

Here is a way to incorporate cocoa into your daily fat-loss lifestyle. Grab a mug of this yummy drink as an after dinner treat or to curb an afternoon craving!

Hot Cocoa Drink

Ingredients:

  1. Hot Water
  2. 1-2 Tbsp of 100% baking cocoa
  3. Stevia to taste
  4. Optional: add a pinch of cinnamon or cayenne pepper to the drink, add a splash of almond milk, or even flavored stevia drops (like Sweet Leaf Sweet Drops English Toffee), add coffee to make it a mocha.

Directions: Heat a mug of water. Stir in a 1-2 Tbsp of 100% cocoa. Sweeten w/ stevia or Truvia to taste (approximately 3 packets but depends on your preferences). Enjoy!

Another pre-mixed option is Metabolic Effect’s Craving Cocoa. It has excellent reviews from many followers of Metabolic Effect!

food cravings

Additional Ways to Stop Food Cravings

  • Eat small amounts of protein regularly
  • Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep
  • Add flavor to water (lemon, lime, Vitamin Water Zero)
  • Unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon sprinkled on top
  • Drink hot tea
  • Chew gum
  • Brush your teeth
  • Eat a pickle
  • Have a piece of lower sugar fruit (sweet craving)
  • Have celery with peanut butter (crunchy craving)
  • Make an effort to avoid things that you KNOW trigger temptation and cravings
  • Go outside —> Get busy.
  • Give it time to pass
  • Know that success breeds success. Giving in will sabotage success.
  • Assure yourself that it WILL get easier the more you succeed!!!

Have you tried any of these methods? If so, comment below with what works best for you!

xo -Jill

p.s. If you haven’t already, sign up for my newsletter to receive a free copy of my Lean Lifestyle Guide for Busy Women. The included meal plan is designed to help balance out your hunger, energy, and cravings. I know you’ll enjoy the guide!
p.p.s. For more “Q&A” style blog posts, click here. http://jilljacobs.me/category/qa/

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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{Guest Post} Got the nighttime or weekend binges? Here are 3 binge solutions to use TODAY.

I’m super excited to have a special guest poster today- Julie Stubblefield, founder of the Break The Binge program. Julie agreed to address a common issue among women, binge eating with her top 3 binge solutions. I get emails often from subscribers who state that *this* is their #1 struggle. I’m thankful to have Julie here to speak to this topic that she’s personally struggled with before losing and keeping off 70 pounds. (Woohoo!) She has been able to help hundreds of women change their bodies, relieve their minds, and heal their souls. Take it away, Julie……

Assorted Homemade Gourmet Glazed Donuts on a Background

Does this sound familiar at all? You follow a diet perfectly for a few days and just can’t hold out any longer; the chips or cookies are just too tempting. Or maybe you do really well with food choices until dinner and then you can’t stay out of the pantry for the rest of the night. Stress, extra work, and a busy schedule are often to blame, but there’s more to it than that!

Here are 3 ways to avoid the nighttime binge. (This applies to the weekends, too!)

Are you eating enough? – If you are looking to lose some pounds, then you have probably changed up what you are eating. Most people follow a calorie model, and it really bankrupts your ability to fight cravings that lead to binges. Why? Because the calorie model forces you to look at your allotment for the day and fit alllllll your foods into that number. So instead of focusing on the quality of our foods, we start looking simply at the numerical value they have in terms of calories. From 100-calorie packs to low-cal yogurt, we spend our day counting numbers instead of really seeing what’s going in our bodies. Which do you think would hold you over for longer? A 100-calorie pack of cookies or a small apple? Yep. The apple.

What to do – Dare to step away from counting every morsel. Focus, instead, on getting in protein and veggies first. They are dense in nutrients but light on calories naturally. When you work on getting those in first, by nature, you have less room in the belly for fats and carbs. Those aren’t ‘bad’ but should fall lower in the hierarchy of food importance if you are seeking fat loss.

Are you sleeping well? – One night of poor sleep can mess with your ability to make clear decisions about simple tasks (ever leave the milk out on the counter?). Several nights in a row or poor sleep inconsistently can really do a number on your urge to binge. Why is this? Well, your brain is mustering all it’s focus to do things like drive, work, multitask. These are important daily functions. When it comes time to make a decision about food, there is simply less resources to draw upon.

What to do – If sleep is a consistent problem, you will want to address it with your physician or nutrition coach. If it seems to be a sporadic issue, then there are a few things to help you make better food choices. Don’t rely on caffeine to get through the day (increases cravings like nothing else). Keep snacks on hand that support your goals so no thinking is involved. Know where you will eat out on days when you are simply too tired to think. Put it on autopilot and go where you know you will choose the best you can. If you have the munchies at night, simply go to bed. It helps you catch up on sleep and keeps you out of the pantry!

How do you mentally interact with food? – Is food a reward after surviving a stressful day? Is food what comforts you when you feel alone? Is food your ally when you feel like you are at war with the world? If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, you are most likely relying on food as an emotional crutch. You’ve may have even convinced yourself that there is no way you could handle x, y, or z without a dessert, a glass or three of wine, or a bag of chips. This can be tough because your natural, go-to response in these and similar scenarios is to grab foods that don’t suit your goals, and they don’t solve the issue at hand, either.

What to do – While it may seem automatic to grab your binge buddy, there is a small delay in your brain between being presented with a situation and making a decision. Capture that small delay and take a pause. It can be 30 seconds or a full minute. Think about what you are doing. What is the purpose of the food you are eating? Will it nourish? Or will it make your body feel poorly? Does that food choice actually solve or resolve any issue you are struggling with? Many times that simple pause is enough to make a different choice. If you still decide to eat foods that don’t serve your goals, then perhaps you can notice a trend over time. This isn’t a quick fix; it takes some time and patience, and often support to help you navigate these food relationships. You are worth it; don’t give up!

In summary, dealing with the nighttime or weekend binge comes from internal and external feedback. You may identify with one or all of the situations above. Or you may be able to slightly relate but know it’s still an issue. Just like we have our own genetic makeup, we have our own unique dance with food. The goal is to figure out your personal rhythm and then take the lead.

Who the heck is Julie Stubblefield?

biopic

After spending 15 years in the diet-cheat-diet cycle, Julie Stubblefield was finally able to shed and keep off her extra 70 pounds. She is on a mission to help other women understand that changing your body doesn’t have to be a hate- journey, while giving them a community of support and comfort.


Below is a top-level coaching service that I recommend. Coach Amanda will help you gain control over food to help you reach your goals!


FASTer Way to Fat Loss 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!