When I put my rings on recently, I couldn't believe how tight they were and how puffy my fingers looked. I knew it was time to get back on track!
Are your fingers puffy? Your rings are tight, maybe your joints are a little stiff and sore. You think “Am I getting old?”
Of course there are many factors that can contribute to this, but I know my fingers are puffy, my rings are tight and a little stiff because I TOTALLY fell off the wagon over the holidays. My scale tells the truth too. In my book, puffy fingers are a sure sign that I need to get back in line with my health habits. - PRONTO!
This month, I will be taking you along with me on my journey to clean up my act and feel better. And, it all starts with food.
I know it is a cliche and none of us want to believe the food we eat has that big of an impact. The truth is - IT DOES!
When you do a quick search online about how many calories the average person consumes during the holidays, you will be surprised to learn that number ranges from 4500-7000+. HOLY BANANAS!! That is insane my friends. The recommended intake for women is 1600-2400 and for men 2200-3200 based on dietary guidelines. However, these are guidelines and often times might be more than we actually need. It is really about quality versus quantity in some cases.
While a medical study published several years ago dispelled myths of average weight gain over the holidays of five pounds, the reality of the impact of indulging was shown to be closer to a one pound gain. While the scale may not have moved too much, puffy fingers can be a sign of inflammation in the body.
Inflammation is part of your body’s natural defense mechanism. We need inflammation to help protect and heal from an acute injury. However inflammation becomes an issue when it is chronic in the body instead of acute. This type of chronic inflammation can often lead to trouble such as chronic disease and weight gain. If you are suffering from general soreness, sinus trouble, stomach upset, fatigue, mood swings to more complex issues such as heart disease, high cholesterol or blood pressure, auto immune disorders, diabetes…chances are inflammation is a contributing factor.
So how do we deal with this inflammation - it is a multi-step approach. The two biggest contributing factors are inflammatory foods and stress. So, as I eluded to earlier - let’s talk about the food. There are a lot of articles, books, movies and podcasts that will tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat.
My approach this week to get back in check is simple:
Drink more water
Reduce the overall amount of food - smaller portions
Significantly reduce sugar grains and starch. “The white stuff”
One of the most important tools in helping me get back in line is journaling/tracking my food. I use an app on my phone to log what I eat. It helps give me perspective and keeps the afternoon snacking at bay, especially when I know I only have 483 calories left for the day!
I really like the “Lose It” app. https://www.loseit.com It is available on The Apple App Store and Google Play. This app can track your calories, macros, water intake, blood pressure, weight, blood glucose levels. It has thousands of pre-loaded foods available in the data base.
I am aiming for 1250 calories a day to achieve my personal goal. I am eating somewhat of keto inspired diet - higher healthy fats & veggies - lower carbs. I am loading my plate with tons of vegetables. The calorie intake you should have is different for everyone based on your unique health circumstances and goals. Talk you your doctor or health provider to help figure out what is right for you if you are unsure or have questions. My favorite ways to enjoy veggies:
Cut veggies for snacking
Here is a great salad recipe to get you started from Paleo Running Mama:
Here is a green smoothie recipe that is a great way to pack in the greens from Dr. Hyman:
I also love Daily Harvest smoothies delivered straight to my door.
Here is a soup recipe loaded with good stuff, easy to freeze or reheat for lunch:
I am replacing all my drinks with water other than my morning coffee.
Eliminating the “white stuff” is HARD!!!! I have a sweet tooth in a major way. However, I know from prior experience, the best way to ladle this I like ripping off a Band-Aid - just cut it. The first few days are hard, but you will overcome the cravings. Just drink water, eat a carrot, go for a walk, practice a quick deep breathing exercise……. The craving will pass. Re-training your tastebuds is a process. Real whole food is delicious when it is prepared correctly. And remind yourself - you are eating for health - not for recreation. Eating veggies and cutting back the “white stuff” will indeed help reduce any chronic inflammation in your body.
One of my favorite stories from health coaching is from a middle age woman who initially wanted to lose some weight, but we spent a lot of time talking about her life, goals, and how she was feeling. We discussed the importance of non-scale victories and picking JUST ONE THING to focus on and change. She choose to eliminate gluten form her diet. Within a few weeks she reported feeling better than she had in YEARS. Less aches, improved mobility, better sleep. THIS IS A REAL VICTORY!!! When you feel better - life is better! We can’t trade health for anything.
Jump in with me to reduce the “puffy hands” and feel better.
What is going to be your ONE THING?