1T olive oil
1lb brussels sprouts, quartered
1 firm, tart apple, diced
1 med yellow onion, diced
3oz thin pancetta, coarsely chopped
2T sherry vinegar
3 3/4c pure maple syrup
1/8t crushed red pepper flakes
½c spiced pecan pieces
1. Heat oven to 400°F
2. Combine brussels sprouts, apple, onion, oil, s&p; toss to coat
3. Roast 20 mins, until tender
4. Sautée pancetta in large skillet over med heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain
5. Whisk together vinegar, syrup, red pepper flakes
6. Toss brussels mixture with ½ (or more) dressing & pancetta
7. Top with spiced pecan pieces
Last month’s blog covered the topic of long-term weight loss success. The age-old question, how do I lose weight and keep it off? The recent article titled 7 Habits of People Who Lost 30+ Pounds — and Kept the Weight Off is certainly relevant to that question. The study participants are on the National Weight Control Registry & have successfully lost weight that has been maintained for at least one year. While none of this information was new or earth shattering, it is a good reminder that successful weight loss & maintenance require life long healthy habits, not a diet.
They eat fewer calories than the average American
Over the years science has shown a calorie is not just a calorie. It’s the quality of calories that is important. 100 calories of fiber-filled apple slices can help you feel fuller longer than 100 calories of licorice. Counting calories is helpful, but can be a tedious process that is not conducive to your lifestyle. This is where portion control can help; controlling portion size will help you determine the right amount of food (i.e. calories) for you.
They eat often, up to five times a day
While research has not always consistently shown that people who eat more frequently weigh less-the registry participants in this study eat more frequently. Eating 5 times a day breaks out to 3 meals & 2 snacks. Eating more often may be a good strategy to help with hunger; a ravenous state often results in poor food choices. Aim for well-balanced meals that contain plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein & healthy fats. Snacks can include things like nuts, fresh fruits & veggies, string cheese & Greek yogurt.
They stick to a consistent diet
Weight loss participants eat a fairly consistent diet, whether it’s a weekday, weekend, holiday, or vacation. Results show that those who ate a consistent diet the entire week were 1.5 times more likely to maintain their weight within five pounds. This was over the course of one year compared with those who ate a healthy diet strictly on weekdays, while indulging on the weekends.
They don’t skip breakfast
More than half the study participants eat breakfast daily. Aim for a breakfast with a balance of protein, fat & carbohydrates— like two eggs scrambled with vegetables and maybe 1/4 of an avocado, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, and one cup of fruit — can set the tone for the rest of day. All this can build up to better food choices throughout the day & minimize the risk of making poor food choices resulting from ravenous hunger.
Read full article here
We recently heard Simon Sinek’s messages about empathy. He suggests that to practice empathy in the workplace we must — daily — make the well-being of others (our teammates, our customers, our health inspector, etc.) a conscious, visible, intentional priority.
This theme also connects with this article about the mood elevator.
The Mood Elevator is an awareness tool…used to describe our moment-to-moment experience of life. It encompasses a wide range of feelings and together, these emotions play a major role in defining the quality of our lives as well as our effectiveness.
Behaviors found on the “higher” (positive) floors of the mood elevator include:
1. Positive spirit/vitality. Creating an environment where there is teamwork, mutual support (AND EMPATHY), and cooperation…where people are fun to be around, proud of what they do, and willing to put in the effort that is beyond normal expectations.
2. Collaboration/trust. Creating frequent and open two-way communication… maintaining openness and trust…with high levels of (EMPATHY) feedback and coaching.
3. Appreciation/recognition. And rewarding performance.
4. Agility/innovation/growth. Encouraging people to innovate, create, and be open to change. Empowering people, and having a bias for action and an urgency to move forward.
5. Customer/quality focus. Having a high focus on, and awareness of, quality and customer service.
6. Ethics/integrity. Acting with honesty…Core Values and ethics are very important and decisions are made for the greater good of the organization. Seeing healthy differences and diversity as strengths.
7. Performance orientation. Having high expectations for performance and accountability for actions and results. Being a self-starter.
8. Direction/purpose. Providing a sense of direction and purpose…with clear alignment and connection with the organization’s strategic goals.
Live the above and you’ll be more creative, joyful and productive. Promise.
1½c napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 asian pear, julienned
1c carrots, julienned
½c red pepper, julienned
½c green onions, thinly sliced
2t ea minced garlic & ginger
1T fresh cilantro
2T ea low sodium soy sauce & rice wine vinegar
pinch crushed red pepper
1T sesame oil
2T olive oil
to taste s&p
1. Prepare veggies, place in bowl
2. Mix dressing ingredients
3. Pour dressing over veggies, mix well
Note: use tamari vs. soy sauce for gluten free
The National Weight Control Registry, (the largest prospective investigation of long-term successful weight loss maintenance) has shown that only ~ 20 % of overweight individuals maintain their loss after one year. Given this less than stellar long-term success rate, I was intrigued by this article explaining the concept of reverse dieting. Reverse dieting, not a term I was familiar with until fairly recently, is a term typically used in body building circles. Reverse diet describes “a period after a calorically restricted eating protocol (i.e. diet) during which you slowly work to increase calories back to a maintenance level.” In layman terms it is essentially “easing” back into normal eating, after following a strict eating plan & vigorous exercise (i.e. dieting), by adopting sustainable eating habits. The goal of reverse dieting (when used correctly) is to promote long-term weight maintenance (i.e. keep off the lost weight) & to stop the unhealthy cycle of yo-yo dieting. One benefit of this plan is that it gives dieters structure, something they desperately need once they have reached their goal weight. Often people return to their pre-diet habits, resulting in weight gain that exceeds the pounds lost. Working with a nutrition professional, such as a registered dietitian, can assist you in coming up with a plan that works for you.
When we see or experience two people or two concepts that are silky smooth, fine tuned, natural, beautiful….we may say (or hear), “you know…they’re like Fred and Ginger.” Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers knew how to dance.
In Culture isn’t enough, the Fred and Ginger are Culture AND Brand.
Timely, especially as we work on our company meeting agenda where the word “brand” is spotlighted.
On the topic of Culture, it’s true, “happy, engaged employees do indeed produce better results.” Employees get and stay engaged for a variety of reasons. Having the chance to do what you do best every day, hearing appreciation, getting coaching and honest feedback so you can grow and be successful…the things that turn you on, turn on your team, too.
“But if you want to do more than survive — if you want to increase your competitiveness, to create real value for your customers and employees, to future-proof your business — having a good, generic culture isn’t enough. You should cultivate a culture that is aligned and integrated with your brand.”
How to do this:
1. Adopt a single brand purpose to inspire, focus, and guide everything your organization does. Start with why your organization exists (not what you do or how you do it). And why is NEVER “to make money.” Customers do not seek us out because we do something to make money. MG’s why? Articulated by many in many different ways — but all seem to center around wanting to make lives better (our customers, our employees, our growers, and on and on).
2. Articulate one set of core values and use them to shape what you do inside your organization and out.
3. Check in on how you are doing. Are you performing well in both areas? Are employees engaged and feeling good about their work; and are you making lives better every day?
Can you hear the music and see the silhouettes gliding across the dance floor?
1-2 red beets
1-2 golden beets
2T fresh mint, thinly sliced
1/4c pistachios, chopped
1/4c fresh orange juice
1T white balsamic vinegar
1T local honey
2T olive oil
to taste s&p
1. Spiralize beets, cut beet noodles in half
2. Place beets in bowl with mint & pistachios
3. Combine dressing ingredients in jar, shake to blend
4. Pour dressing over beets, toss
Note: can prep the day before, but wait to combine with dressing until close to serving
I love our mantra, Make a Difference Every Day. I love wearing my MG tee shirt that reminds me to set this daily intention and helps me share the message with everyone around me. And yet, sometimes, I fall into the trap of measuring the difference on the wrong scale. While some days it’s huge — something you plan for, commit to, and do (like organizing a full day of service in your community; helping build a Habitat house, etc.); the rest of the days, it’s not.
“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily difference we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”
— Marion Wright Edelman
And that’s what makes this mindset…and our actions that support it, every day…so magical.
6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
4 cans, 1 ea: cannellini, black, kidney, pinto
3 ripe peaches, chopped
1½c bbq sauce
½c maple syrup
½c bourbon or apple cider
1/4c balsamic vinegar
2T grainy dijon
1t ea chili powder, smoked paprika, ginger
to taste s&p
chopped fresh basil
1. In dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp, 5 mins
2. Add other ingredients, stir well
3. Bake on 350°F for 45 mins
4. Garnish with fresh basil
I have been a devoted Fitbit wearer for many years now and am always interested in what research has to say about the effects of the devices on not only our weight but other health related behaviors. Despite my dedicated commitment to achieving my 10,000 steps a day, I am under no illusion that achieving my step goals will result in automatic weight loss. In truth, my weight has remained relatively unchanged throughout my years of Fitbit use. Some may find this frustrating, but my purpose in using this device is to remind myself to move throughout the day rather than the goal of weight loss. The health benefits of movement throughout our day has been well documented and this is motivation enough for me. Regarding weight loss, research has shown that fitness tracker wearers are no more likely to lose weight than non-wearers. Part of the reason for this may be due to the fact that users rely on the devices’ daily calorie burn number to determine how much food they eat. Additionally, a recent study showed that 7 popular fitness trackers reported inaccurate caloric burn estimates (the number which many rely on to estimate calories in vs. calorie out). So, what is a fitness device devotee like myself to do?
Food First, Exercise Second:
research has consistently shown that diet is more important than exercise for weight loss.
Avoid Food Rewards:
food should never be a reward for steps walked or calories burned. Use non-food rewards to celebrate success.
It’s All Relative:
almost all monitoring devices (scales, diet trackers, exercise equipment monitors, wearable fitness trackers, etc.)-have margins of error. Consider the data relative and only use this data as one tool to help you achieve your fitness goals, be it weight loss or just overall health. Data is most useful when it is viewed and compared over time, rather than relying on one variable alone.
Waist vs. wrist:
for the die-hard data fans, waist wearable devices are more likely to be accurate than their wrist device counterparts.
Remember the goal of a fitness tracker should be achieving good health, not weight loss. While a fitness tracker can be a useful tool in your weight loss journey (if that is your goal) never rely on this instrument as a single tool for achieving success.