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Weight Management

My greatest gains in overall health have come from refining my practices around food, exercise, and mindfulness (self hypnosis).

Emotions

Stress and elevated emotions can contribute to sluggish digestion and weight gain, especially around the waistline. Whether through hypnosis / [guided] meditation, journaling/written release, or counselling, emotional awareness and management are critical aspects of weight management.

Physical Activity

So many of us don’t make time and yet our bodies are designed to move. We have evolved into two types of people, both of which are viable for survival: energy conserving (like bears) and energy expending (like rodents). Now that obesity threatens the health of wealthy nations, the latter personality type can be adopted through hypnosis/meditation even if it is not your tendency. Ultimately, the best type of exercise is the kind you’ll actually do.

Food

Through personal research and experience, I’ve found that no matter how much exercise I get, I can still gain weight and inches if my food choices are not optimal for my body. In addition to green smoothies, here are some other tips for food-based weight management

  • drink water or herbal tea 30 minutes before meals
  • chew food thoroughly
  • breathe deeply before, during, and after each mouthful
  • put your fork down between bites
  • take smaller bites
  • take a break half way through the meal to chat, breathe, reflect, or connect with a companion
  • notice your surroundings
  • notice the colours and textures of your food as you eat
  • mix shredded lettuce & other raw leafy greens into all meals, especially if you don’t like salads
  • make whole/natural food choices at the grocery store
  • when you decide to have treats, make a point to thoroughly and slowly savour and enjoy them
  • if you don’t like so-called healthy foods, find ways to bring the flavours and textures of foods you do like into healthier realms. e.g., learn to make healthy, tasty sauces using ingredients like lemon juice + olive oil, tahini + lemon juice + water, tamari + ginger.

If you have not been able to make such changes consciously, exploration and rehearsal through hypnosis can help you to make such changes more easily and quickly.

Green Smoothies

Digestion begins in the mouth with chewing and saliva. Could/would you ever be able to chew your food as well as a blender? If not, let the blender do most of the chewing for you and give your stomach a vacation.

Choose at least one from each column if not two.

My daily favourites are bold.

Many recipes available online! Just google Green Smoothies.

Fill at least half the height of food pile within the blender with filtered water before blending.

When in doubt, use equal amounts of each item or a handful of each item.

Another way to conceptualize the portions: place all prepped ingredients on a plate. Think of how long it would usually take you to eat all of this food with chewing. Consider also that raw food has more live enzymes (digestibility) and nutrients than cooked food, all of which are made more available to the intestines by the blender, so we need less volume of food than usual.

Use organic ingredients whenever possible, especially when using apples, spinach, and strawberries. See www.ewg.org for listings of the most dangerous non-organic produce.

Scrub and then trim dead or uncleanable areas from all produce.

-My blender is a Vita-Mix Turbo Blend 4500, but lesser blenders can do almost as good a job with smaller food pieces and longer blending times.

Consider making notes as you go so you can more easily replicate what works best for you and avoid what doesn’t work.

 

Fruit

Vegetables

Protein

Supplements (measure according to their directions)

Other

Contrary to some cautions about food combining: I’ve found it’s OK to mix fruit and vegetables when they are raw.

I find some vegetables too hard to digest, but this is a personal thing. E.g., I avoid including the stems of kale and broccoli.

Raw food has more protein than cooked, but some people add extra protein, which also helps to counteract the sugar spike from fruit.

This is a great way to consume extra Fibre (Alpha Science Laboratories Ultimate Fibre or Pure-le Natural Fiberrific +probiotic)

Tender, fresh herbs are excellent for health and flavour. Cilantro is excellent but the flavour is strong compared with Parsley, which blends in well. Basil is nice for a change – I find it comes out tasting citrus-y.

Apple (organic!)

Carrots

Hemp hearts

Green food supplement

e.g., Prairie Naturals Blueberry Greens Force

Coconut butter or oil

Cranberry

Kale (organic!)

Almonds

Chia seeds

Parsley

Pear

Cucumber

Cashews

Raw Cacao is high in minerals.

Banana

Collards

Nut butters

Aloe

Blueberries

Spinach (organic!)

Tahini

Trace minerals

Ginger (nickel-quarter slice to start)

Strawberries

Lettuce

 Sunflower seeds

Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid (Flax / chia / fish oil)

Sprouts! My new favourite super food. Alfalfa, mung, fenugreek…so many more to try. Very cheap and easy to grow at home in a simple sprouting tray.

More ideas – Pineapple, Chard, Mango… experiment!

 

What I don’t like

Although many others like these ingredients, I find them difficult to digest (or too sweet):

Banana, broccoli, cabbage, kale stems, beets.

More ideas & Notes

Dessert smoothies: Cacao + a bit of banana + almond or organic cashew butter

Mango + pineapple + canned lychee is a really good combo for lovers of tropical flavours.

Pineapple + Celery. Sounds strange, right? But it’s GREAT. They balance each other out for a light, refreshing treat.

Pineapple + coconut milk = Pina colada! This is decadent. And believe what you want, but based on my experience and research, coconut milk is NOT fattening or heart-threatening.

Fresh mint, cacao, coconut milk = chocolate mint

Arugula and cilantro taste strong in smoothies, but if you love these foods, you’ll love them in smoothies.

This is far easier than hand chopping & cooking your food. A good blender can take even hard fruits & vegetables WHOLE (e.g., vitamix ~ $500). An average kitchen blender prefers “stew” sized chunks.

Blending works better if you blend everything at once vs. blending a bit then adding more solid foods. You can reduce water for transporting larger amounts (like making a pitcher full for a road trip) and then add water in a smaller drinking jar. Unless you like it thick…

Yes, the food has been premasticated by the blades, but chewing lightly contributes to digestion by mixing saliva into the food.

After having 2 x 500ml smoothies per day for a month and one healthy solid meal per day (steamed whole grain with steamed vegetables and natural sauces), I found it difficult to return to a Standard American Diet. Eating a side plate of roasted potatoes feels heavy and devoid of nutrition. That’s right: I can now taste the nutritional value of a meal.

After trying my hand at gardening for a few years, I’ve noticed a trend in what the urban wildlife prefer to steal from the garden: the youngest sprouts/shoots of any planting. i.e., most seedlings are already perceived as too tough and not all fully grown fruits/vegetables appeal to them either. This for me resonates with the prevalence of “sprouting” in the homes of my most nutritionally advanced friends: loaded with enzymes, easily digestible fibre, and presenting the potential of the SEED, nature’s power-packed fuel cell.

And then there’s soaked whole flax seeds. I drink it daily with hot water and lemon. It’s like a colonic from the inside!