Posted: 09/02/2011 11:57 am From Huffington Post
I am so excited to be writing for the Huffington Post after following it since its inception.
In compiling my first blog, I instantly thought about all of the political and socially relevant topics I would love to discuss, such as my fear of the banking system collapsing (I’m seriously considering stuffing my mattress), my fear of the decline of our educational system, and my fear of hyper-consumerism destroying the heart of America. That sounds like a lot of fear, but what comes with my concerns is a tremendous love and belief in Americans. I am in a unique position in that my television career has given me tremendous access to the masses. Everyday, people contact me with questions and share with me how they feel about themselves, what their struggles are and what really matters to them. I get a real sense that this country is in a mass depression (sky-rocketing anti-depressant and mood stabilizing sales back this up). There is such a feeling of being out of control, in the way of threats from other countries, fears about finances and issues about body image. It’s more important than ever in today’s uncertain society to take total control of the one thing that you can – your body and your health.
I’m writing this on the heels of a national tour in Australia funded by the egg farmers. Eggs happen to be one of my weight loss superstar foods, so I jumped at the opportunity to spread the word about them. It was the first time I had been to Australia and I found some surprising differences. Australians look like Americans. They drink like Americans; yet in terms of health knowledge and nutritional savvy, they are behind us. Where they are right with us is in weight gain and obesity numbers. It seems wherever fast food chains flourish and governments permit processed foods to be consumed, citizens pay a heavy price.
As a culture, the tide needs to start turning away from celebrity obsession and quick tips for how to get Jennifer Aniston’s butt or Cameron Diaz’s arms by summertime. People need to realize that being healthy means being balanced and happy. Finding happiness, not being a size 0, should be the goal for which we all strive.
Here in the States, we’re body obsessed and completely preoccupied with weight. We look up to celebrities and ask them about their diet and fitness regime as if they have the magic pill for a perfect body. But, if you had to be on a 50-foot screen, deal with paparazzi all day, and could afford delivery diets, chefs, and expensive personal trainers, wouldn’t you be fit and thin? It’s a performer’s job to be exemplary and to set themselves apart. Celebrities have that special star power that comes from inner confidence and sex appeal. Otherwise, we would not worship them like we do.
I challenge you to stop looking outward for your body ideal but to set realistic goals for yourlifestyle. Don’t pull out a picture of Gisele and post it on your refrigerator. Instead, find a picture of yourself when you were happier with your body and look to that. If you have never had a good body image, focus on making your body the beautiful machine that was given to you. Your body is not your enemy. It is perfect and will naturally balance itself if you give it the right fuel and care.
I love giving exercise and diet tips. I will always include plenty in my blogs because I love talking to people about them. I truly believe that if you set just three simple, small goals for yourself, you will succeed in losing weight and getting more fit. Start with these three tips:
1) Drink three liters of water a day. Water helps to detoxify the liver. The liver is the number one organ responsible for metabolizing fat. An extra benefit is that water improves the skin.
2) Add nutrient dense, organic foods to your existing diet to produce significant weight loss. Make sure to consume two fruits, three to four veggies, two free range meats (poultry) or fish, two good fats (avocados, eggs) and two slow digesting carbs (quinoa, brown/wild rice or oatmeal) per day.
3) Always attach a fitness goal to a weight loss goal. Humans by nature are competitive. My clients get excited about workouts when I set a goal for them to attain each week. For example, find some stairs and time yourself running up and down 20 times; then beat your time each week. Grab a jump rope and try to jump for 100 rotations without stopping or go from five military style push ups to 20 by the end of a month. Even better for yourself and the world, enter a 5K run for charity.
The key is to keep it so simple that your brain has no excuse to sabotage. So if you are not a person that likes to cook, don’t get a “healthy cookbook”. You will last about two weeks and then naturally start defying the thing you don’t like to do. If you are someone who thinks they hate workouts, then don’t get an expensive gym membership. Instead, go online and look up classes that sound fun or that you’ve always secretly wanted to try like boxing or hip-hop dancing. You are more likely to stick with it if it’s not something you dread.
I changed my life by getting control of my body. I could never have achieved what I have without having the powerful energy that comes from feeling strong and sexy. I’m here to tell you that it is never too late and you are never too far gone to find your inner athlete and passion. As you do, you will open doors that you never thought possible and look at your life through new eyes!
Philadelphia goes meatless on Monday
Move over, Philly cheesesteaks.
When veggie-leaning cities like Aspen, Colo., and Los Angeles declared meatless Monday resolutions, no one batted an eye. But when the carnivorous home of the Philly cheesesteak publicly encouraged skipping meat earlier this month, it became clear that going meatless is no longer a fringe health trend.
Cities are just now adopting it, but the Meatless Monday idea isn’t exactly new. It started in 2003, when Johns Hopkins researchers recommended cutting meat consumption by 15% to lower the risk of preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Sid Lerner, then a donor to the university, did some quick math. “15% of 21 meals is roughly 3 meals, or one day,” says Lerner, who founded The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit organization that promotes healthy Monday resolutions including Meatless Monday. “We quickly discovered that Monday is the powerhouse of motivation and behavior change; it’s the perfect day to kick-start healthy weekly behaviors.
While city resolutions such as Philadelphia’s are usually just symbolic (no one’s getting arrested for downing a steak-smothered sandwich), the city leaders who spearhead them say they’re a step in a healthy direction.
“We see the resolution as a conversation starter, something to get people to think more about their diets as a whole,” says Dr. Alison Perelman, director of strategic initiatives for Philadelphia councilman Bill Green. “It’s definitely been successful in that regard.”
However, in other parts of the country and around the world, Meatless Mondays are really being put into action. In Durham, N.C., the Meatless Monday campaign has garnered more than 1,372 personal pledges and the participation of dozens of restaurants, including unlikely eateries such as The Pig and Dame’s Chicken and Waffles.
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly backed the movement and Israeli hospitals and restaurants have gotten on board. Cities in Holland, Korea, Indonesia, Sweden, and Brazil have also shown love to the meatless movement. “A city council putting up a banner is very gratifying, but what really makes Meatless Mondays work is when local groups get restaurants, schools, and hospitals involved,” Lerner says.