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Hi, I'm Diana. Several years ago I lost a bunch of weight by completely changing my attitude toward food and exercise. Since then I've learned a few things about keeping it off and I'm still learning. Even if I'm constantly fighting off a few pounds, I can't imagine where my weight would be now if I hadn't made such a drastic life change. I'm a health coach for the Prevent program by Omada Health, and previously I was a Weight Watchers leader. Hopefully my silliness will help make your journey to health a little more fun. More about me here.

Photo by Karl Ko

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Wednesday
Jul222015

Take the Stairs

Being a health and fitness superhero doesn't always feel manageable. But sticking with making super decisions on a regular basis can be. The mundane stuff that takes effort everyday doesn't have to always be a struggle. One way to mak it easier, is to recognize what you're getting out of it, and to always have the benefits at the forefront of your mind. Many of the positive things we want for ourselves in the long term come from making the harder decision in the moment, but knowing the end goal makes that decision a whole lot easier.

Try this exercise: Take a piece of paper and write out four lists, things that are difficult about being unhealthy, things that are easy about being unhealthy, things that are difficult about living a healthy lifestyle, and things that are easy about living a healthy lifestyle.

Okay, go do that now, I'll wait.
No really, get a piece of paper and do it, it'll take two minutes.

Now, do you notice anything about your list? Most of the things in the "why being unhealthy is easy" column are short term pleasures (donuts!). Most of the things that are in the "why being healthy is hard" column are short term efforts (stairs). And the other two columns are the results we get if we choose either the "easy" way (chronic health issues) or the "hard" way (vitality and happiness!). What's clear is that in the long term, being unhealthy is much, much harder.

Each day, I get excited to metaphorically, "take the stairs" by making the harder choice in the moment. I don't do this because I have to, (I'm a grown up after all) I do it because it benefits me by bringing me happiness through excellent health. It's not that we "can't" indulge in unhealthy behaviors, it's that we choose not to because we want other things more. Those things could be more years with loved ones, more energy, to feel pride in ourselves, to lose weight, etc.

I love this quote for a reminder to make the harder choices each day. "There is a price to be paid just for living. We try to opt out but we can't. You either pay the price in hard work or you pay it in regret."

So make the harder choice in the moment! Or, if you're looking for a mantra, you can say, "take the stairs" and apply that as a metaphor to all things in life.

Wednesday
Jul222015

Young at Heart

Life can be easy. Don't make it harder than it has to be. Find joy in every day. Run around, laugh, and snuggle. =)

Wednesday
Feb182015

My all-time best recipe: Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

Do you like scalloped potatoes? Of course you like scalloped potatoes. This is the soup for you. There aren't actually potatoes in it at all, but you won't miss them. This is one of those recipes that seems to break the universe's laws of calorie to flavor ratio. A giant bowl of cheesy deliciousness comes out to about 250 calories? Oh heck yes.


Cauliflower Cheddar Soup
makes 8 servings, 2 cups each

2 heads cauliflower

2 bell peppers - This is where your soup gets it's color from. I think orange peppers make the prettiest soup, but red or yellow ones will also work.

8 cups chicken broth - preferably homemade

9 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese - I use Cabot Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese from Costco.

1 1/2 tsp. salt

Optional Garnish

bacon, baked and crumbled - 6 slices

green onion, diced - half a bunch

sour cream - 4 oz.

pepper to taste


Cut the cauliflower and bell peppers into large chunks. Add cauliflower, bell peppers, and chicken broth to a large pot. Bring chicken broth to a boil, then let simmer for 30 minutes to steam the vegetables.

Cut the cheese into large chunks.

Blend cooked veggies, chicken broth, and chunks of cheese in batches. Fill the blender most of the way with cooked veggies, fill a little more than half way with broth, and add some of the cheese. Place a dish cloth over the top of the blender and hold it down firmly when you turn on the blender. (Note: if you skip the part with the dish cloth, there is a very real danger that you will cover your kitchen and yourself in boiling hot liquid. Learn from my mistakes!) Repeat until all the soup is blended. If you like, you can use an immersion blender instead, but the texture of the soup will be much smoother and creamier if you use a regular blender.

Add salt and stir.

All the toppings are entirely optional. This soup is incredible all on it's own, but toppings certainly make it more visually appealing. Add a sprinkle of crumbled bacon, diced green onions, and/or a dollop or sour cream.


Nutrition

2 cups of soup with no toppings:

163 calories
11 grams fat
11 grams protein
5 grams carbohydrate
1 gram fiber

2 cups of soup with 3/4 of a slice of crumbled bacon, 1 Tbsp. of diced green onions, and 1 Tbsp. of sour cream:

244 calories
18 grams fat
15 grams protein
6 grams carbohydrate
1 gram fiber


Having some of this soup in my fridge and/or freezer makes it easy for me to stay on track. It's quick to reheat and fills me up. I think it takes my general stress level about food way down, because I know I have something ready that's delicious, filling, and healthy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Monday
Nov172014

Low-carb?

As a country we are overwhelmingly overfat, and the data that goes along with our obesity epidemic certainly supports the idea that carbohydrates, especially grains and sugar, are at the heart of the problem.

But what is a carbohydrate exactly? And which ones are good and bad? I mean, whole grains are good for you right? Well, not exactly. It turns out, they're only slightly better than refined grains. And intact grains are better than whole grain. Still, many people, including myself, choose to forego grains alltogether due to lectins, which are potentially gut damaging proteins. And all that complexity exists in just one subcategory of carbohydrates! 

If you're looking to get your hunger (and therefre weight) under control, reducing carbohydrate intake is a great way to do that. Here's a resource I put together to outline which foods are carbs, fats, and protein, and which of each category is going to contribute to excellent health. Use it while navigating a grocery store or restaurant menu. Cheers!

Wednesday
Nov052014

Out of sight, out of mind

This is the week when all the leftover Halloween candy comes into the office or sits around the house. How’s everyone doing? What’s your plan to keep it from tempting you?

Here’s a link to find a Halloween candy buyback near you. This group has created a network of dentists who buy back candy and then it all gets sent to our troops overseas! http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/

Now that's a  (•_•)    ( •_•)>⌐■-■   (⌐■_■)  sweet deal.