Calories: to Count or Not to Count?

It’s all about calories in vs. calories out, right? So, should we be counting calories or not??

Woman Looking at Vegetables in Refrigerator ca. 2003

All calories are not created equal. 500 calories of fruits or veggies is not, in any way, equal to 500 calories of processed food made out of a hundred ingredients, most of which are chemicals, or sugar, but certainly not food that will fuel your body properly. So, what’s the point of counting calories when calories are not what we should be measuring at all?

Shift the focus from calorie counting to eating whole, real, seasonal foods that fuel your body, satisfy your taste buds, and make you feel good. No diet, no restriction, no labels, no counting, and no one-size-fits-all attitude…because, let’s face it, that’s just no fun at all. Besides, when we’re eating real, healthy foods, our body becomes more in-tune with our hunger and satiety, in other words, when we need food, and when we’ve had enough.

pea on fork

We should be aware of (especially for weight-loss) portions and proportions. A portion is simply the amount of the food we’re eating. It’s not necessary to measure the precise weight/size of everything we eat; however, eyeing approximate portions ensures that we’re not eating far more or less than what we need (which is different for everyone.)

Proportion is the ratio of nutrients; protein, carbohydrates, and fat. It’s important to eat a balance of each nutrient (hence the term ‘balanced meal’) as each performs a different function in the body.

Counting calories is irrelevant, so spare yourself and focus on nutrition. Lastly, counting calories can often lead to food guilt, which is a huge waste of time and brainspace (is that a word?) Likewise, exercising simply to burn the calories we’ve consumed, or are planning to consume, is one of the most miserable things ever. Eat to fuel your body and work out to challenge, strengthen, and energize your body for endorphins, health, and fun!

For more on portion control, eating right for you, losing weight, or to get your own customized meal plan to meet your nutrition goals, email kiley@onehealthyhamptons today.

One Healthy Breakdown: can you count enough reasons not to count cals?

 

Whole30 Adventures with Teach. Eat. Repeat.

Meet Rachel and Anna of Teach. Eat. Repeat. I’ve been following their Whole30 adventures and just had to share the healthy goodness with you! Not only have these two ladies made huge healthy changes themselves, but they’re also helping others to do the same, all while lesson planning, wedding planning, and meal planning in the hustle and bustle of NYC. Read on for their total Whole30 run-down and healthy onion ring recipe below!

meet usSo, what exactly is this Whole30 and why should we all know about it?? Whole30 is a program that was founded by Whole9 creators, husband and wife team Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. They published an awesome book called It Starts With Food that describes the tenants of the program and how food can literally change your life in one month or less. 99% of their resources are available for free on their website because they want you to take the program and share it with everyone you’ve ever met. We started Teach. Eat. Repeat. to spread the message, the “love and lettuce” as we call it, because of what a difference it’s made in our own lives.

So, what are the Whole30 rules? You can find the official rules here or our own interpretation below (they’re most simply, though regrettably, expressed in a series of “nos,” but don’t fret because there are a whole lotta yes’s to come!)

1. No added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. This includes maple syrup, honey, agave, splenda, coconut sugar, etc. Read your labels and say bye bye sweet tooth.
2. No grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and nasties like maltodextrin.
3. No legumes/soy (sauce, lecithin, peanuts, lentils). They make exceptions for green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas, because you consume more “pod” than “bean,” and the green stuff out weighs the lugumey-ness. You can read the full “Legume Manifesto” as to why.
4. No dairy. The only exception to this is clarified butter or ghee.
5. No carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
6. No alcohol, not even for cooking. We know, we know.
7. No “sex with your pants on” aka, no making versions of your favorite “cheat foods,” with compliant ingredients (no banana ice cream, date brownies, coconut flour pancakes, eating almond butter straight out of the jar…). If it’s a food or substance that you can’t control yourself around, don’t eat it. 30 days is enough time to let go of bad habits, overhaul trigger foods, and change. your. life.
8. No stepping on the scale or taking body measurements for the duration of the program. It’s about so much more than numbers, people. You can weigh yourself before and after, but we’ve found that no-scale victories are the biggest victories.
9. No cheats, no slip, no excuses. Or you start over.

Why so strict? Go big or go home, folks. Each of the foods on the “no” list represent either a. a potential allergen or b. an immune disruptor. Certain foods could be having a negative impact on your health without you even realizing it. Since your immune system is largely housed in your gut, your body may not be able to completely repair itself and fight off invaders at the same time. In order to discover the foods that may or may not harm your body, you strip out all of the potentially physically and psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. And then reintroduce them, group by group, little by little. By following the 30 days and the reintroduction program, you can see exactly how your body responds to each food. As Melissa says: “imagine you have 10 cats, and you’re allergic to cats. If you get rid of 9 of them, will you feel better?” Maybe? Yes? No? How will you ever know unless you get rid of all 10 once and for all?

With that said, let’s move on to the yes’s. You can eat as much healthy protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fat as you are physically hungry for. Ideally, you don’t have to read any food labels because all of the food you’re eating are whole, natural, and unprocessed. Unfortunately, there are hidden sugars in things like tomato sauce, pickles, and canned foods, so it’s important to be mindful of these while shopping.

So, no labels and no alcohol? Umm, how do you do that?! We did the Whole30 program together in October for all of those reasons above. We started for different reasons. Rachel had done one before while living in Miami and lost a ton of weight. When her boyfriend of four years broke up with her, she went on a six-month bender, but one day, enough was enough. Anna started because she wanted to lose a few more pounds before her wedding. In January, we recruited more friends to our team. We needed a team because the shopping is hard. The meal planning is hard. The motivation becomes hard and sometimes, when everyone around you is knocking back fireball shots faster than Pitbull can say “Fireball dunDUNdundundundun,” you need someone’s smile from across the bar to tip your lime and seltzer at knowingly.

January 1st is a traditional start date for Whole30. The founders of the program run a big national push for people to start on January 1st, and so by default, you end up with a HUGE online network of teammates. It’s all over their blog, instagram and forum and you connect with thousands of other people who are also committing to this lifestyle. We figured the more the merrier.

How did we feel? This is a tricky one. We’ve felt different ways on different days. On day one, we felt awesome. On days two and three, we felt hungover. On day seven, our pants felt tighter than when we started (wtf?!). On day twelve, we had the most realistic food dreams about tings we don’t even crave in real life (Anna woke up crying because she thought she ate truffle covered goat cheese in the ocean in the South of France with her best friend). But the moral of the story is around day fifteen, we started to feel this unbelievable energy. In our line of work, you have to be on your toes, on the move, and on-stage all day long. Having boundless energy and endless positive things to say to children isn’t just important, it’s the difference between loving teaching and despising life. The energy created motivation to keep going and it’s just continued to snowball.

How do we prepare for a working week on the Whole30? Not going to lie, it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of prep, but it’s totally worth it. We both prep a bit differently, but we’ve found what works for us individually and we love making shopping and cooking dates together and with a group of friends, it’s actually a lot of fun.

So, 30 days has come and gone…why are we still going? We feel really, really good, that’s why. We’ve never slept better, had more energy, or been more in control of our food choices. That said, we also haven’t rid ourselves totally of all of our “emotional” food issues, though we’ve come a long way. We still crave sugar after dinner or wake up drooling because we want bacon. We continue the journey towards that elusive thing called “food freedom.” We want to indulge happily and guilt-free when we choose, not when our mind tells us it’s time for a sugar rush. We want to reach a “goal weight,” or have my wedding dress fit perfectly. Mostly though, we want to keep on feeling really good for all of the milestones we have coming up as well as life in general!

FullSizeRender(18)Anna and Rachel just started another Whole30 on March 1st and their experience has convinced me to hop on board this spring as well. If you’re interested in joining us in April for One Healthy Whole 30, stay tuned for more info, resources, and motivation. In the meantime, check out Teach. Eat. Repeat. and poke around the Whole30 site too! Feel free to email talktoteacheatrepeat@gmail.com with any questions for Anna and Rachel! Last, but not least: Whole30 Onion Rings:

onionringsGame Day Recipe: Whole30 Onion Rings

What you’ll need:

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ coconut flour (Note: if you only have one or the other, that’s totally fine. We like the mix, but it really doesn’t matter).
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Two mixing bowls
  • Baking sheet
  • Cooking Spray

What We did:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400degrees
  2. Slice the onion.
  3. Mix the flours and spices in one bowl. Mix them around a bit so they’re good and friendly with each other.
  4. Crack eggs into the other bowl
  5. Use one hand to dredge the onion through the eggs and then plop into the bowl with the flours.
  6. When they’re all coated, bake for 20 minutes. Make sure they’re not touching. After 10 minutes, flip the rings so both sides get toasty.
  7. Serve alone, with guacamole or whip up some Whole30 mayo and mix it with Buffalo sauce for a spicy, creamy treat.

Give yourself the touchdown cheer! You just made some healthy onion rings!

One Healthy Breakdown: thanks for the inspiration, explanation, and energy!

Ya Snooze, Ya Lose

You’ve heard it a hundred times: 8 hours of sleep a night! Let’s face it – for most of us, that’s almost impossible really, really, really hard….

MP900181418…but now that these adorable puppies got your attention, let’s talk about why sleep is SO important! It’s not just about feeling rested (although isn’t that such a great feeling?!) Sleep, along with hydration and nutrition, make our bodies efficient, from the inside out to our very top layer of skin cells. Lets uncover all of the benefits of sleep, including, yes, you guessed it: weight loss.MP900385227

Sleep literally creates energy, so we function efficiently in all walks of life, at all stages of life, from the classroom to the gym, at the office, with our families, and beyond. Healthy sleep aids brain functioning, memory, creativity, and focus to ensure we’re on our A game. With a big exam or job interview approaching, the smart thing is to spend those wee hours sleeping instead of cramming.

The immune system is most efficient at prevent illness and disease with ample sleep. Sleep also controls inflammation and balances hormones linked to mood, stress, weight, and appetite. The likelihood of losing weight and keeping it off long-term is far increased by good quality sleep.

With ample sleep, we’re able to efficiently metabolize food, absorb nutrients, cleanse toxins, rebuild muscles, strengthen bones, and control our appetite. That’s right, the difference between a poor night’s sleep and a good night’s sleep can be the difference between choosing healthy foods and…not. Hormones that cue hunger and fullness are thrown off by lack of sleep, as are cortisol levels, causing unnecessary stress, which also adds to weight gain, and the vicious cycle repeats.

Along with healthy eating, regular exercise, and emotional balance, we can become better versions of ourselves with the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Like recharging a battery or filling up a car with gas, sleep is the ammunition that fuels our bodies, a huge factor in mental, physical, and emotional health. If we ALL got enough sleep, imagine the possibilities…!

One Healthy Breakdown: Do your body right – get your eight hours tonight!

Easter Basket Upgrades

It’s no secret that Easter is a super duper sugar-coated holiday. Trade in the pastel Peeps, massive chocolate bunnies, and jelly beans galore for some healthier treats that even the bunny himself would get egg-cited for.

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  • DVD’s
  • Dark chocolate
  • Organic lolli-pops or fruit snacks
  • Dried fruit
  • A jump rope
  • A yoyo
  • Seeds to plant
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Chapstick
  • Nuts
  • Sunscreen
  • Coconut
  • Stationary
  • Popcorn
  • Stickers
  • Gift cards
  • Arts & crafts
  • Dark chocolate covered nuts & seeds
  • Yogurt bites
  • Play-doh
  • Toothbrush
  • Books/magazines
  • Fun socks and other accessories

One Healthy Breakdown: bet you were expecting carrots to top the list, but that’d be egg-stra boring!

Love Grace Juice Cleanse – Sunlight in a Bottle

I recently tried Love Grace Foods‘ three-day juice cleanse. This was my first ever juice cleanse and guess what? I survived! …a little cleaner, greener, and lighter from all of that bottled sunlight! Love Grace shipped me (door to door service from NYC!) five full juices plus a ginger bomb for each day. Allow me to introduce you to the colorful wonders: Super Cider, Purify, Restore, Green Sunshine, and Longevity Tonic. With names like these, you know it’s made with love.

lovegraceAlthough I liked some juices more than others, I loved the variety of organic ingredients. I loved knowing that I was truly eating (well, drinking) a rainbow, with about 20-30 varieties of fresh produce daily, way more than I would ingest normally. Although the cleanse provides a calorie deficit, each and every one has nutritional value and is instantly absorbed due to the nature of Love Grace’s juicing. This isn’t a ‘get skinny fast’ cleanse, it’s SO much more. Love Grace’s ingredients don’t just flush the body out, but also replenish the good stuff we need long-term, like cancer and Alzheimer fighters.

Juicing is detoxifying, cleansing, rejuvenating, and inspiring. This cleanse was just the refreshing kick I needed. Speaking of kick, these cold-pressed, organic, raw, juices pack a powerful punch. Like that blink a few times, woah that’ll wake ya right up! Especially that ‘Ginger Bomb Elixer,’ it’s packed with anti-bacterial and antiviral ingredients to rev the metabolism and up your energy, preventing the body from slowing down due to the lack of calories. The shot is super intense, yet totally refreshing.

photo 1 My favorites included the Purify, (breakfast of super greens sweetened with coconut water) Super Cider (apple, carrot goodness) and, of course, the Chocolate Superfood Smoothie (banana, flax, cacoa, goji berries, dates, and more.) This Chocolate Smoothie literally got me through the cleanse, it made it all worth it – the chocolately light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, Love Grace allows customers to customize their cleanse and purchase juice a la carte. Good news for me, now that I’ve tried them all out and picked my faves. Hello, chocolate for dinner everyday.

photo 3In all seriousness though, these daily protein smoothies provide the sustenance an active body needs. Made of way more than just produce, they’re thick and satisfying. The superfood smoothies and the ginger bombs are what set Love Grace apart from all of other juice cleanses on the market, and that I like.

The other huge perk of juice cleansing was the convenience factor. With a fridge stocked with juice, I didn’t have to think about grocery shopping, meal planning, or cooking. I happened to be attending an all day Re:TREAT while I was cleansing, which conveniently allowed me to focus 100% of my attention, instead of having to think about prepping and packing meals. I cleansed in every sense of the word; physically and mentally.

So, I bet you’re dying to know: was I hungry? Yes. Not even going to lie, at times I was starving, but not to the point that it effected my body other than a grumbling tummy. I didn’t get headaches or lightheaded, not even from the torture of replacing my normal morning coffee with peppermint tea. I didn’t go to bed starving and I made it through intense workouts just fine.

So, was it worth the hunger pangs, lack of snackin’, and coffee cravings? Yes. It was worth it to wake up feeling lighter, cleaner and leaner throughout the entire day, and it gave me a new appreciation for everything I put in my mouth. Plus, the results didn’t reverse themselves (even after my much-anticipated post-cleanse breakfast of *healthy* pancakes.)

One Healthy Breakdown: Yes, I’d absolutely juice with Love Grace again, but next time around, I’ll probably customize my own cleanse. If you’re looking for an easy, reliable first cleanse or even a long-term healthy upgrade, (made with love) check out Love Grace Foods.