clean-fun-living-Experimenting with breakfast boosts vitality

Experimenting with breakfast foods is fun

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When you have bacon and eggs for breakfast, the chicken makes a contribution, the pig makes a commitment.
~Fred Shero

Experimenting With Breakfast Foods is kinda fun

Breakfast is the most intensely discussed and debated meal of the day by far when it comes to the never-ending quest to be “healthy”.

Breakfast wasn’t a celebrated event growing up.  It was “hurry up and eat” my bowl of cold cereal or risk being late for school.

I wasn’t always hungry or in the mood for it but I did what the grownups told me to do.   In my home, skipping breakfast was akin to blasphemy.  Well, at least the general shouting in my direction seemed to indicate something wrong.

Eating breakfast as an adult is a different story.  There’s growing evidence that eating a breakfast high in simple carbohydrates (think boxed cold cereal with milk, hot cooked cereal or a glass of fruit juice) increases the risk of Metabolic syndrome.

This has led to a growing interest in the health benefits of skipping breakfast entirely.

Cold Cereal and a Glass of OJ ain’t cuttin’ it

Metabolic syndrome is when multiple systems in your body have elevated levels (blood sugar, blood pressure, total cholesterol). Metabolic syndrome is a step on the ladder toward Type-II Diabetes diagnosis, heart disease and/or stroke.

While most medical professionals recommend eating something for breakfast, determining exactly what to eat is wide open to interpretation.

Until now…

Enter The Breakfast Experiment

Seven different breakfast foods over a seven day period. You make notes on how you feel right after you eat and then again two hours later.

Experimenting with breakfast boosts vitality by helping you understand how your body feels after eating certain foods.

Once you know the language your body uses to communicate how it feels to your brain, you can choose foods that boost your baseline vitality more often.

For instance, you could feel fine right after eating a bowl of fresh fruit, yet have outrageous hunger pangs less than two hours later.

Or eating a muffin with a cup of coffee acts like an instant laxative, then you’re totally satiated without so much as a hiccup until lunch.

Experimenting with breakfast in real time while keeping track of the results. This is Bio-Individuality© in action.

The Breakfast Experiment was a revelation for me. I am a pretty staunch traditionalist. Maybe it’s my New England upbringing I dunno, but it wasn’t until I stopped drinking cows milk in my mid-30’s that I ventured beyond the boxed-cereal-scrambled-eggs-n-cheese-pancake-waffle paradigm.

Nowadays, a can of smoked trout with salad greens competes regularly with green smoothies and bowls of steel cut oats for my first meal of the day. Even when my first meal is closer to Noon than 9 am.

Download 7_Days_7_Breakfast_Foods.pdf now and plan your seven-day eating adventure/journey today.

Your feedback, questions, comments, and rants are happily encouraged.

Always on your side.


Clean Fun Living - Intermittent Fasting

Using Intermittent Fasting to reduce body fat

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Yo, using Intermittent Fasting to reduce body fat around my middle and sides was genius.  It’s the perfect addition to my healthy bag of tricks.

The older I get, the faster I gain weight around my gut and lower-back-love-handle areas.  That look is no bueno…

The prospect of eliminating chips from my weekly rotation generated resistance and intense frustration.

When my health guy down at my local health food store recommended “temporary fasting”, I went and found all of info on what turned out to be Intermittent Fasting protocols.  Not a “diet” in the conventional sense, Intermittent Fasting is more accurately described as an “eating pattern.”

Why Use Intermittent Fasting?

Because it changed the way you think about gaining and losing weight forever.

For us guys, in particular, the major benefits of Intermittent Fasting (“IF”) are it primarily burns belly fat and back fat.

Lemme repeat that: IF burns belly and back fats (including your love handles and sexy muffin tops) first when done correctly. And because fat and weight loss is targeted, your muscle gains in the gym will not be lost by employing IF.

Let’s say you have an upcoming dinner party where you know the cook throws down in the kitchen. You know you’re gonna eat everything yet you don’t want to unravel your efforts to be healthy altogether.

Two Popular Intermittent Fasting methods:

The 16/8 Method.

Beginning at least 2 days before the party (Thursday for a Saturday party), you breakfast that morning, eating your first meal at noon and your last meal no later than 8 pm.

You skip breakfast again the following morning, eating a days worth of food between noon and 8 pm.

You can easily adjust your start and stop times a few hours earlier or later to suit your schedule.  The overall point is to fast for 16 continuous hours (sleeping, then skipping breakfast), then confine all your eating to an 8-hour window. Doing that at least 2 days ahead of that dinner party means you give yourself the caloric equivalent of an Amex Black Card to spend as you please.

Bonus points

You maintain your current weight at the very least when done correctly.  You’ll likely drop actual body fat weight by the time you hit the party making for a truly a guilt-free night.

No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, black coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages.

Taking supplements is generally allowed while fasting, as long as there are no calories in them.  Probiotics = Yes.  Fiber, Vitamin D or E = No.

The 5:2 Method. 

If enjoy breakfast and like to space out your meals this method works better.  You choose 2 non-consecutive days a week (Mon & Wed) wherein you eat a total of 600 calories for the day (Women only get 500 per day). You’d be surprised what you can eat on a 600 calorie day.

Example (using MyFitnessPal app)

  • Black Coffee or Tea = 0 Cals
  • 1 tsp (single packet) of Sugar in the Raw = 20 cals
  • 1 tbsp half-n-half = 20 cals
  • 2 extra large hard boiled eggs with any dry spices/seasoning & 1.5 cup baby spinach= 170 cals
  • 1 can Trader Joes Smoked Trout (drained) w/1tsp mayo (any spice or herb) with 1 cup wile arugula = 145 cals
  • 3 oz grilled salmon fillet & 2 cups steamed broccoli with lemon (and any spice/herb) = 171
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing = 70 cals (you really don’t need more than that)

Total calories = 596

Consider that our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available year-round. They often went for days on end with nothing to eat.  Their bodies evolved to function more efficiently without food for extended periods of time.

Humans have actually been fasting throughout evolution. Sometimes it was done because no food was available, and it has also been a part of major religions, including Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.

You already do a “fast” every day, while you’re asleep. Intermittent fasting can be as simple as extending that fast a little longer.

Clean Fun Living 2016 Holiday Eating Guide For Guys Who Know Better

2016 Holiday Eating Guide for Guys Who Know Better…

By | Awareness, Great Eating, Holidays | No Comments

If you love-hate this time of year like I do, then celebrating the season while aiming to do minimum damage to your waistline, blood-pressure, and sugar levels, and your mental health becomes the true gift that keeps on giving.

With the season in full swing, what’s your plan to get through the next 2 weeks with the least amount of damage to your health?

As the cold, harsh gray light of January approaches, you could change nothing and be that (stereotypical) guy who gets “resolved” to lose the pounds gained over the holidays, with a short-lived stint at the gym and yoga studios, swiftly aborted attempts at eating “clean”.

My 2016 Holiday Eating Guide offers you a different outcome this year.

I’m asking you to incorporate a bit of mindful awareness and a lot of preemptive common sense.  By taking a step back to ask yourself:

  • What do I want out of this time of year?
  • How exactly do I want things to go?

You reduce possible overwhelm and switch to autopilot in order just to get through.

I’m asking you to become more conscious in the moment; since it’s the only way you actually have any control.

To facilitate that, I offer you 11 simple tools and strategies intended to minimize weight gain and other detrimental side effects of the inescapable Holiday Excess Lifestyle Labyrinth aka (“HELL”).

We all could use a little more…

Clean Fun Living - Willpower

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Clean Fun Living - Set an intention to pay attention

#1 Set an Intention to Pay Attention

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Funny thing about willpower: the amount of you have is inversely related to the frequency of temptation you’re exposed to.

In other words, you have less and less willpower the more often you find yourself in situations where you want more of it.

Although I should know better as an experienced health coach. I’m human.  I love all the holiday food and festivities too much to be deprived.

So I boost my diminishing willpower with the following tips and strategies to have my (multiple slices of) cake while minimizing the burden on my waistline and level of guilt I will inevitably feel once all the celebrating ends.

I invite you to see which one(s) you can employ when you find yourself faced with far too many indulgences and your willpower has all but deserted you.

Eating: Mindful vs. Mindless
Mindless eating is easy just because the food is right there in front of you. Same with eating while distracted – a la standing and chatting at a party.

You do it more for emotional comfort than hunger. Simply put, it’s not paying attention to what you eat which leads to overeating on autopilot.

The key to mindful eating is simple awareness. Just by paying more attention to what you eat or what you’re doing at any given moment during the holidays you’re more likely to make beneficial changes.

Consider the following:

  • Who you want to hang with and be around that would be fun or most beneficial to your sanity and/or your career/business goals?
  • How much do you drink to overcome social awkwardness than to celebrate an occasion?
  • How “connected” do you feel to the flurry of holiday activity going on around you?
  • What time would ideally like to arrive/leave an event? Do you even want to go at all?
  • How hurt or offended would the host(s) be if you didn’t go?

Take Action
Book a 5-10 date with yourself at a time when you won’t be distracted (the bathroom is good for this). Take that time to focus inward. With eyes closed take some deep, cleansing breaths and visualize how you want your remaining holiday experiences to unfold.

Clean Fun Living - Set TWO Goals

#2 Set TWO Goals

By | Awareness, Great Eating, Holidays | No Comments

Your subconscious is also always open to suggestion.  In one recent Harvard study, people who were simply told that they did enough in their daily lives to meet the surgeon general’s recommendations lost weight and body fat without consciously changing a thing.

You can take full advantage of this awesome power of suggestion to set two goals this holiday season.
Your first goal is an ideal outcome you want by January 1, 2017.

That might be (a) getting all your major shopping before the week of Christmas or (b) not letting that competitive 1st cousin get under your skin.

Once you have an “ideal” goal, set an “acceptable” goal that you’ll be able to live with if all else fails (i.e., you get in at least one workout between Christmas and NYE or you only inhale half your usual number of Aunt Lou’s famous Meyer lemon squares).

Setting yourself up for success engages your subconscious to manifest the outcome you desire.

Take Action
Pick two goals for yourself that you be happy reaching this holiday season.

Clean Fun Living - Pick your battles

#3 Pick Your Battles

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Perfection is not an option.

Even if you’ve set your intentions and two goals you’ll inevitably find yourself in moments of weakness where you’re just like “eff it” I don’t care. I say then go for it with gusto.  Just give into the stress and overwhelm of the moment and do what you “have to” do. The moment too shall pass and you can pressF5 and refresh you willpower for the next one.

Your goals and intentions aren’t your enemy. They’re what you say you want.

The conflict arises when the/your powerful, long establish habits push back and say:

“oh hell no, we ain’t fitting to change nuthin’ round here”

Being mindful during the holidays is work, and your old habits are easily threatened. So remember this is an imperfect process that’s part of a larger journey toward living a healthier life at all times of the year.

Starting now puts you that much further ahead of the game and ensures whatever new behaviors you do attempt in January have a better chance of crowding out the “bad” habits that no longer serve you.

Take Action
If (and when) you do give into indulgence, give all the way into it.
Maximize your taste buds comfort and joy in the moment

Clean Fun Living - When they serve big, you eat smaller

#4 When They Serve Big, You Eat Smaller

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Since we live in a super-sized culture, we’re expected to want more, bigger, stronger and faster for our money all the time. What looks like a normal portion on a 12-inch plate or a man-trough sized bowl can, in fact, be outrageously huge.

A Cornell University study showed that even nutrition experts served themselves 31% more ice cream when using oversize bowls compared with smaller bowls.

The size of the serving utensil mattered, too: Subjects served themselves 57% more when they used a three-ounce scoop versus a smaller scoop.

Other studies at Cornell have shown that people are more likely to pour 30% more liquid into squatter vessels.

Take Action
Pour drinks into tall, skinny glasses, not the fat, wide kind. Use smaller plates and serving utensils when available.
Try a salad or dessert plate for the main course and a teaspoon to serve yourself.

Clean Fun Living - healthy holiday snacking perimeter

#5 Establish a Healthy Holiday Snacking Perimeter

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Food is everywhere during the holidays, especially sugar and salt laden ones.

@home:  Keep the holiday treats out of the homestead to the extent you can do so with kids, visiting relatives and significant others sharing the refrigerator. At the very least you can ask that they could be kept to a minimum.

@work: Try to keep communal office goodies out of view, either in an area that isn’t as highly trafficked as the kitchen, the break room, or in dark containers or covered dishes.

Better yet, establish a perimeter of your favorite fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Before you allow yourself a splurge, do something beneficial to your body, like doing a few shots of water, walking around the office floor once or twice, or climbing a few flights of stairs.

Before you allow yourself a splurge, do something beneficial to your body, like doing a few shots of water, walking around the office floor once or twice, or climbing a few flights of stairs.

Take Action
Delay that cookie or salted caramel indulgence until just before bedtime.
At that point, you’re less likely to crave another treat immediately than you would during your afternoon coffee break,
especially if the entire box or tin is no longer around.

Clean Fun Living - Use the Setting to Eat to Your Advantage

#6 Use the Setting to Your Advantage

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At formal dinners and seated events, eat with a small group when you can.

One study found that dining with six or more people can cause you to eat 76% more, most likely because the meal can last so long. (After an hour of staring at the stuffing, you’re more likely to have seconds.)

Sit next to a fellow healthy eater (there’s strength in numbers).

Or sidle up to that uncle who eats slowly, so his pace can slow yours.

Wait for all the food to be on the table before making your selections.

People who make their choices all at once eat approx. 10-14% less than do those who keep refilling when each plate is passed.

Take Action
At a big sit-down supper, be the last one to start and the second one to stop eating