Tuesday, April 28, 2015

3 Mindless Eating Habits You Need To Ditch Now to Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

Mindless eating habits. Admit it, at some point and time we have all dealt with or are in the process of dealing with mindless eating habits. Whether it be, late night snacking, convenience of vending machine junk food temptations, or just mindless nibbling throughout the day, it happens to the best of us. We start the day off with the best intentions and as soon as the first craving comes we are rounding third into junk food mania. These little trips to mania land soon end up messing with our health and fitness goals and suddenly the scale is moving up instead of down. Here are three mindless eating habits to ditch now to get back on track and how to cope with them.

Mindless Eating Habit #1 - The Convenience Snacker:  

Ahhh, convenient snacking is an inevitable slippery slope of temptations from vending machine candy bars, chips and crackers, to the office offering of bagels and doughnuts. The convenience and ready availability of these foods and the temptations and cravings they can cause can derail any weight loss journey before it has even had a chance to get going. To combat the convenient snacker trap, it is best to plan ahead to keep temptations at bay, your appetite appeased and your waistline thankful. Try eating fruit or cut up vegetables in place of the processed, fat loaded convenience foods. Make yourself up a batch of homemade trail mix to indulge your sweet tooth once in a while. Hunger cravings can hit at all times of day and what we reach for to appease that appetite has the greatest impact on our success or failures. Sticking with whole unprocessed foods will not only help your overall health but it will also retrain your body in what to crave. It is ok to snack throughout the day in between meals but breaking the convenience snacker habit is a must.

Mindless Eating Habit #2 - Not Staying Hydrated:  

Now, you might be asking yourself, what does staying hydrated have to do with mindless eating? The answer is everything! Keeping your body hydrated is one of the best ways to make sure you are actually fueling your body when it needs food. When the body is dehydrated it will start looking for ways to rehydrate. The rehydration signals could come in the form of overwhelming dry mouth, cramps, food cravings, and hunger pains. In many cases we mistake a rehydrate signal for being hungry and start reaching for food instead of good ole water. Staying hydrated throughout the day helps combat mindless eating on many levels. It will not only help keep your appetite in check but will also keep your body running smooth and efficiently. Always keep a glass or bottle of water nearby and when a craving hits, drink up and wait 10 minutes. If the craving dissipates, chances are you were just thirsty.  If the hunger cravings continue after rehydrating it might be time to grab a nice healthy snack. Stay hydrated my friends!

Mindless Eating Habit #3 - Portions, Portions, Portions!: 

In today's day and age portion sizes have gotten out of control. When you actually properly portion out your food it is pretty easy to see where all the access calories and fat are coming from. Most people don't realise that the snack option might only have 160 calories per serving BUT the package usually includes more than one serving and we usually eat the entire package in one sitting. This can easily double or triple that 160 calories we thought we were eating. When starting out it is a really good habit to weigh and portion all of your food so you can start to easily identify what an actual serving of what you are eating looks like. Eating out is especially tricky since most restaurants servings are double or triple what a real serving is. It is hard to imagine mindless eating coming into play during your dinner time rituals but if you are used to eating more than double what you should be eating it can become a slippery slope. Refueling your body throughout the day is key to not binge eating later. If your body is sending signals that it is "starving", chances are a big binge-fest is about to happen and before you know it, you have polished off your entire plate and a second or third is on its way. Take the time to really enjoy your meals. Eat in a slow and controlled manner. This will allow your body to assimilate your food properly and also give signals from your brain when you are no longer hungry. The average size of a stomach is about the size of a balled up fist. It doesn't take massive amounts of food to fill it.

Mindless eating habits can come in many forms but these three areas are common areas that many people struggle with when trying to lose weight. Remember that losing weight is about 80% diet and about 20% fitness and exercise. Fitness and exercise play a crucial role in any weight loss journey but the biggest impact will come from what you are feeding your body. Feed your body right and it will treat you right and get you to your goals that much quicker. Balancing out food and exercise together will get you there even quicker. Enjoy the journey and start breaking those mindless eating habits and start replacing them with new healthy habits and you will be amazed by the results.

New Star Health Solutions  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Springtime Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing - Delicious!

As the local farmers market scene gets ready for another bountiful year, it is time to start getting creative and using that bounty in unique and wonderful ways. This Springtime Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing is sure to be a hit with its blend of flavors and textures, and will leave your family and friends begging for more. A true spring and summer treat this salad delivers in a big way.

Springtime Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
2 teaspoons Finely Minced Onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 (16 ounce) Bag of Baby Spinach
1 cup Sliced Fresh Strawberries
1/4 cup Sliced Red Onion
1 (4 ounce) Package of Crumbled Blue Cheese
1/2 cup Roasted Almonds or Pecans or 1/4 cup of both


1.  Whisk vinegar, oil, sugar, poppy seeds, minced onion, worcestershire sauce and paprika in a bowl until the sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside.

2.  Layer in individual serving bowls a bed of spinach, sliced strawberries, sliced red onion, blue cheese and almonds or pecans. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately. Enjoy!

This salad can be made ahead of time, just do not pour the dressing over the salad until ready to serve. This recipe makes about 6 servings. Enjoying the tastes of spring and summer have never been easier. This salad is fresh, full of flavor and is packed full of great healthy ingredients and nutrients. A great crowd pleaser, this salad won't disappoint. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite springtime "go-to" salad recipe? Share it in the comments below and let us know what some of your favorites are. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

3 Tips to Help You Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Weight Loss

Sabotage! Sabotage! Sabotage! Weight loss journeys can be filled with self-sabotaging behaviors and habits and it is up to us to stare those habits down and get rid of them once and for all. Self-sabotage can break a great start to your weight loss journey and listed below are a few common self-sabotaging habits and what can be done about them. 

Sabotage Behavior #1: The Negative Attitude Dweller

Nothing (and I mean nothing) will set you up for weight loss failure faster than a negative attitude. Our attitudes can either spring us forward or hold us back and in the case for weight loss, our attitudes can be the catalyst for success or failure. No weight loss journey will ever be bump free just as no ones life is actually perfect. There are always going to be little bumps and plateaus that will annoy us along the way and having the right mindset can make the process a whole lot easier. We need to learn from our mistakes, garner the information we need to make changes and implement the changes in small actionable steps. Beating ourselves up throughout this process will only keep us in the bad habit behavior mode even longer. In fact having a "I can't do this" attitude can destroy all progress and put you right back to where you started or worse. Instead of automatically going to the negative mindset try looking at the situation from all angles and see what could be done differently and write it down. Use this experience as a learning moment and see what you can do differently. If you find you have hit a really big roadblock talk with someone you trust about it. Seek advice from someone you trust and someone who will lift you up and help you see other options that might work better for you. The truth is, during a weight loss journey anything and everything is possible and keeping a positive healthy attitude can really help push you on to the next level. Stay Positive!

Sabotage Behavior #2: Surrounding Yourself With Junk Food 

Okay, this one might be a little more obvious as a saboteur but you would be amazed at how many people try to start a weight loss journey with the mindset that you can avoid temptation by willpower alone. The reasons can range from keeping the junk food in the house because the rest of the family eats it, to just being a mindless habit and putting it in the cart, or the famous, "I will only eat one"mantra. The truth is, if we could only eat one, weight loss probably wouldn't be an issue. It is more likely that we use the rest of our family as an excuse to keep bringing it into the house and allowing it to tamper with our success. Telling ourselves we can keep away from it or will "only eat one" is like asking a dog not to chew a bone. It will tempt us right back into the very behaviors and habits we are trying to break and will in the end cause us to end up right back where we originally started. By eliminating the junk food from our homes we are taking away some of the mindless habits and temptations and create a better environment for success. This doesn't mean you will never ever be able to have a treat again, but it does mean you are making a conscious decision to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself and admitting that junk food no longer plays a role in that lifestyle. Ditch the junk food!

Sabotage Behavior #3: Not Implementing Regular Exercise 

For a weight loss journey and lifestyle change to be truly successful it needs to include regular  amounts of daily exercise. Starting off, 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise would be a great starting point. As your body adjusts to the changes you may want to increase the time. Also try to keep your workout routine varied and keep it exciting so you won't lose interest and so your body will still respond effectively. If you choose not to include regular exercise into your daily routine your results will not be what you expect. In fact, by not including exercise and not building up muscle tone you will actually be losing muscle instead of fat. This is definitely not what you want to do. Our bodies crave movement and respond so much better when we actually give it what it needs. Start off by just walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes per day and add things in as you begin to work up some endurance. Exercise doesn't have to be boring. Mix it up. Make it exciting and watch your results soar! 

There are many other factors that go into creating a successful weight loss journey but these 3 factors seem to be regular roadblocks that many of my clients struggle with on a daily basis. Of course eating a clean and healthy diet is going to be a catalyst for your success and may be one of the most important factors but this articles main focus is on self-sabotaging habits that we seem to feel helpless against when starting and maintaining a weight loss journey. Keep things simple, keep your attitude in check and get your body moving and you will already be well on your way to making some significant changes. No matter what your goals are, always allow yourself some patience and allow yourself time to learn new healthy habits. Get excited about the process and never give up! After all, it is a journey and journeys are meant to be exciting and memorable and leave us with many lessons learned and much wiser than when we started. 

If you are struggling with your weight loss journey and need help getting back on track, I am here to help. I am a certified holistic health and wellness coach and also a fitness trainer. Together we can create a plan that works for you and is set up for your success and your unique situation. Any questions? Please contact me at: jessica@newstarhealthsolutions.com or visit newstarhealthsolutions.com for more information.   

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What Every Parent Should Know About Nutrition

Raising happy healthy children is at the top of any parent’s priority list.  To be able to provide for our children and give them the best start they can possibly have is extremely important.  In a day where childhood obesity and diabetes rates are skyrocketing, it is vital to not only know about proper nutrition for our children but to also teach them by modeling it ourselves.  With so much mixed information available about nutrition it is hard to know where to start and what foods to be introducing.  Children’s nutritional needs can vary greatly from our own and it is important as parents to understand what those differences are and how to address them.

So what exactly is proper nutrition?  The textbook definition of nutrition is the process of providing or obtaining the proper food necessary for health and growth.  Sounds easy enough, but depending on where you garner your information from it can get pretty confusing.  There are many wonderful resources to turn to for great nutritional advice and guidance available in local libraries, online and in bookstores.  Talking with your family doctor about reliable resources would also be a great place to start.  Our role as parents is to help guide and teach our children about what proper food choices are and to make those choices readily available.  Learning about proper nutrition and which foods give the greatest nutritional punch can be a very fun and interesting family experiment.  Even if you have a picky eater in your house, experimenting with food and food choices can really help broaden a picky eater’s palate, especially when they get to help and get involved with the whole process.  Kids are more apt to try something new if they had a hand in helping prepare the new foods than opposed to just having it presented to them without any knowledge of it. 

According to the USDA My Food Pyramid Program, children should be getting their daily nutrition from sources such as grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat and legumes.  The more varied the diet the better the nutritional punch.  Some great examples of foods that deliver an exceptional nutritional value are things like kale, salmon, garlic, blueberries, eggs and even dark chocolate in moderation.  Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet coming in at a whopping 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and only 50 calories per 100 gram serving.  Kale is loaded with many nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K1, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese.  While not every child will go crazy over kale, there are plenty of other green leafy vegetables to choose from that will provide nutritional value.  Experimenting to find the right one that will not only help bring in great nutrition but also agree with your child’s appetite.  As was the case of Cecilia from Fort Worth, Texas.  She was having a heck of a time getting her two children to try anything new, especially anything green, so she had to get creative.  Her children were definitely not going to eat a big kale or spinach salad so she started baking the kale and spinach into some of her children’s favorite dishes like lasagna.  To her amazement they loved it.  She took the experiment even further by making a snack out of kale leaves by baking them with a few seasonings in the oven until crisp.  Her children gobbled them up and the “kale chips” soon became a snack her children begged for.  By getting creative Cecilia was able to provide great nutrition for her kids and also taught them that experimenting with food can be fun and exciting.  Blueberries are another extremely powerful nutrient dense food that children seem to love to snack on.  They are packed full of powerful antioxidants that help the body fight off infections and disease.  Coming in at only 85 calories for a 1 cup serving this is a great snack option for anytime of the day.

Another great way to stay informed and in the know about your children’s nutrition is to get very familiar with food labels and what all those extra ingredients are.  When you see an ingredient list a mile long and can’t pronounce any of them, you may want to leave the product on the shelf.  The more ingredients a product has in it the greater probability it is loaded with lots of preservatives, dyes and chemicals.   According to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.  This figure is staggering and many studies are starting to link the allergies and their rise to the excess chemicals, pesticides, and growth hormones that are being sprayed, injected and used as preservatives in our food.  If you feel your child is suffering from a food allergy or that your child is not getting their nutritional needs met it might be a good time to talk to your family doctor or even a nutritionist.  Working together, you will be able to come up with a plan tailored to your child’s needs, under supervision and with a diet plan that works and is safe for your child.  

Being informed and educated about nutrition and its benefits and risk factors will help keep your child’s health in prime condition.  While it may not guarantee they will never get sick it does give them a leg up in recovering from illnesses.  Investing in good health is always a benefit that your kids will thank you for as they get older.  Not only will they develop healthy habits early on in life but as they grow older and have kids of their own, they will be able to pass on what they have learned and generate another generation of healthy children.             

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Has Sprung! Top 5 Farmers Market Springtime Vegetables

In my area the farmers markets are just getting ready to open up which means the abundant spring harvest is in full swing and promises not to disappoint the taste buds. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year for many reasons. A more obvious reason is of course that it stops snowing and the temperatures start rising but the other reason is the promise of renewal. The earth starts to show signs of renewal through the spring plants and blooms which lay seeds of hope for a nice warm summer. The changing season not only means warmer weather but it also means fresh fruits and vegetables in plentiful supply. Here are my top 5 springtime vegetables that I look forward to every spring to eat up and enjoy to my hearts content.

Asparagus -  Asparagus is one of my favorite springtime veggies to indulge on. This wonderful green goddess is not only superb in a nutritional sense but it also tastes wonderful too! One cup of asparagus comes in at only 27 calories and is packed full of vitamins A, C and K, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, copper and manganese. Asparagus is also a great source of fiber. When buying asparagus look for bunches where the tips are tightly closed. The color should be bright and vibrant and the stalks should be nice and firm.

Salad and Cooking Greens - Springtime always yields some of the best salad and cooking greens. Springtime varieties of Spinach, Arugula, Chard, and various Lettuces are always a welcome addition to the plates of many after the cold winter season. If you are looking to add more greens into your diet, try adding a couple handfuls of spinach to your morning smoothie or add some chard to your favorite pasta recipe. There are so many different ways to cook and prepare greens that they aren't just reserved for salads anymore.

Carrots - Depending on where you live, carrots can grow year round. But for those of us in the northern states, carrots are a wonderful sign of spring. Their bright vibrant color is a welcome sight after the long white winters. Packed full of many vitamins and nutrients carrots are a must have during the spring harvest season. There is something about a freshly picked carrot, fresh from the farmers market that just can't be beat. It is crispy and sweet and just bursting with flavor.

Beets - Beets are quite the powerhouse springtime veggie. With their vibrant deep color and rustic flavor beets are a great source of potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A,B & C, folic acid, beta-carotene and much more. Beets can be roasted, boiled and even juiced. Here is a great beet juice recipe that I love to drink on occasion. Perfect Morning Beet Juice.  

Radishes - Radishes are at their sweet, crunchy best during the springtime. They are a great addition to some of your favorite side dishes and salads and have quite a few health benefits. Radishes can help aid in digestion, are high in vitamin C, phosphorus, zinc and can also help keep you hydrated. Add a few radishes on top of your salad or sandwich and enjoy!

And there you have it. My 5 "must haves", fresh from the farmers market in the springtime. Nothing says springtime to me more than seeing the arrival of the farmers market and these wonderful veggies. What are some of your favorite farmers market finds in the springtime? Which one do you look forward to the most? Share in the comments below. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Top 5 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating Right Now

Nourishing our bodies and keeping them happy and healthy is a daily quest. Take a little bit of the mystery out of that quest by incorporating these 5 healthy foods into your diet and reap the benefits and rewards. Caution:  Side effects from eating these foods can include feeling good and looking great,

#1.  Dark Chocolate:

This one is very near and dear to my heart.  I love chocolate and don't know too many people that don't enjoy a good piece of chocolate now and than. Rich in flavonoids which are antioxidants shown to reduce the "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, chocolate, when consumed in moderation can have some wonderful health benefits. A dark chocolate bar contains about 53.5 milligrams of flavonoids.

#2.  Spinach:

Growing up I remember my mother telling me to eat my spinach so I could grow up big and strong like Popeye. While I never wanted to grow up looking like that sailor, I always like the idea of having a healthy strong body and spinach definitely helps make that a reality. Spinach is a power house green that is loaded with good things like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are great for eye health. Also, spinach has been shown in recent studies to be one of the most effective foods in helping to fight off cancer.

#3 Lemons:

Lemons are in a league all their own. Packed full of 100% of our daily vitamin C needs and full of citrus flavonoids that have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, lemons are a great healthy choice to add into a healthy diet plan. A great way to add lemons to your daily routine is to add a couple slices to your water throughout the day. Not only will it add a little flavor to your water but it will also help keep your body cleansed and detoxified.

#4 Blueberries:

Blueberries have been touted as a super food now for a while and for good reason. Not only are these succulent berries wonderfully tasty but they also are rich in antioxidants and have been shown in recent studies to even help with memory function. One cup of blueberries is about 84 calories and can be enjoyed guilt free.

#5 Almonds:

Almonds are not only a delicious little nut but they are also full of nutrients including magnesium, iron, vitamin E, riboflavin, and calcium. Almonds are a great source of fiber and may even help reduce food cravings. Snacking on almonds can not only help with weight loss but they have also been shown to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. 

These are just a few examples of some powerhouse additions to add to a overall healthy diet plan.  Eating clean wholesome foods will help bring about the greatest health benefits as you are getting all of the vitamins and nutrients straight from the whole food source. Try incorporating these five foods into your diet this week and see how good clean eating can feel.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

11 Day Re-Boot Detox Program - What's It All About?

I have been busy, busy, busy.  I just relaunched my website a couple of weeks ago and since then I have been working super hard on my new 11 Day Re-Boot Detox Program. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to work with a health coach  this is the perfect opportunity to do so. 

Small investment = Big returns.

This program is essentially designed to re-boot your metabolism, cleanse your kidneys and liver and have you feeling revitalised and energised. It takes a three-pronged approach into addressing your overall health and wellness all while cleansing the body and even shedding some weight. The 11 Day Re-Boot Detox Program comes with a complete suggested meal planner guide, detailed shopping list, recipes, exercises, email support, coaching calls and much more. It is a great way to kick off the spring season and get your body ready to enjoy the summer to the fullest. Here is just a sneak peek at what the program offers:

  • Eliminate foods that are wreaking havoc on your body and creating unwanted bloat
  • Learn which foods fuel your body instead of those that leave you feeling tired and foggy
  • Reduce or alleviate gas and bloating
  • Improve your digestion and experience regular bowel movements
  • Properly absorb and assimilate your foods so that your digestion and metabolism will be at top performance
  • Eliminate sugar or coffee cravings that leave you feeling tired
  • Reduce inflammation that leads to bloating, headaches, and poor digestion
  • Learn tools to de-stress in the real world
  • Feel grounded, alert, powerful, and ready to take on the world of eating clean every day of your life
  • Jump start and reboot your metabolism

If you are interested in learning more about this program and have questions, please feel free to contact me at: jessica@newstarhealthsolutions.com

  or, if you are ready to start now, click the link below to purchase and get signed up! Let's shake off the winter blues and Re-Boot!

11 Day Re-Boot Detox Program