Tag Archives | healthy eating

A closer look at what some people claim is a healthy diet and how to improve it.

Are You Healthy?

By Susan Howard

So… are you?  “Of course, I am healthy,” you retort.  I had wheat toast with almond butter for breakfast, a salad for lunch, Cliff bar for a snack, and a bean and cheese burrito for dinner.  To you, I say, “Yes, those are all fairly healthy choices especially if you are working out 4 to 5 days a week.”

I hate thinking of food as the gate keeper and myself as a prisoner in my own dietary life.  If, however, you are not getting the results you desire, you must look more carefully at the choices you make.

Back to that eating day, let’s look and assess…

Although the day’s calories contain a salad, the intake is a bit light on vegetables and has no fruit at all.  On top of that, there are hidden calorie bombs.  Almond butter, although good for you, can be over-served jacking up your calorie and fat count.  A thin layer of something creamy and delicious ..read more

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Find out which fats are okay for your diet.

FAT is FAT is FAT

By Susan Howard

Okay guys so what’s the story with fat?  Well, you should have some in your diet. Are all fats equal? Yes and no. Some fats are better for you than others.

Recommended fats are those from olive oil, avocado, fish and nuts.

So, the question is, what about all the other fats?  Can we have butter, or coconut oil, or trans fats?

The word on trans fats is still a no-go.  Most packaged foods have removed trans fats so you don’t have to worry as much about that, but be mindful of fried foods like french fries or doughnuts as they may have trans fats in them.  Continuing on with butter and coconut oil… Both have come back into favor over the last decade.  Yes, these fats are okay to consume, but don’t go crazy.  It’s still recommended that about 10 to 20 percent of your diet comes from fat.  So, good or bad, it’s still fat.

Which brings me to my ..read more

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Some healthy foods might not be good for everyone. Learn to eat what's good for your body.

What’s Good For Ya

By Susan Howard

Recently I was talking to a new client and she said, “I know salad is good for me, but every time I eat it, I get a huge stomach ache.”

“Well, it seems, salad isn’t good for you.”

Nothing is right for everyone.  Yes, fruits and veggies are generally good for fiber and nutrients, but if you have major stomach cramps after eating something you have to think about whether it’s a match for your system or not.

“Try warm vegetables instead of raw salad,” I suggested.

Healthy fats, lean proteins, vegan, carb free diets are all fine for some of you.  If you find yourself bloated or tired after a meal you need to question that.

Some of the mean intruders are the acid levels of citrus foods, coffee, and raw vegetables.

Other people have issues with diary or gluten.  Be mindful, take care of yourself.

You are you, honor that.  You deserve to feel good in your body.

Stay Ready.

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Don't worry about others when you work out -- fitness and healthy living is a personal experience.

One Size Fits None

By Susan Howard

Out on a 3 mile jog, my wife can run quickly past me kicking dust up from her heels as I plod behind.  I, on the other hand can get on a bike and speed past her little chicken legs, especially while hill climbing.  We are not the same in so many ways.

She has more slow twitch muscle fibers that suit her endurance runs, while I have more fast twitch muscle fibers that burst me up an incline at quick speeds.

Everyone is different.  Some people like red wine, some white (sorry Aziz).

The optimum workout for one person is not the best for another.  The optimum diet is not the best for another.  I think I was born a vegetarian and have to this day not really enjoyed eating meat products. In LA, the carb-free thing is really popular, but I hate it.  My body craves healthy carbs, it’s what I look for.  Certain seeds, nuts and products I ..read more

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Consider how you feel when you eat and if tense situations affect your digestion.

Skip the Stress

By Susan Howard

Everyone that knows me knows that I have digestion issues.  Ever since I was a kid, I had trouble eating foods that agreed with me. I am likely lactose-intolerant.  I can’t eat too much fat, dislike most proteins, and am constantly at war with food.  Often, I choose simple things, like white rice and veggies or peanut butter toast. I am boring. Beyond this genetic abdominal curse of gurgles and cramps, I have started examining my moods when I eat.

When I sit down to eat, how do I feel? Am I in a rush? Am I annoyed? Is the energy around the dinner stressful? If the answer to any of these questions if yes, I skip the meal. Later on, if I am hungry, I grab some toast or a quick snack.

I am not saying you should starve yourself, but am merely presenting the idea that you will not comfortably digest and process your food if you eat ..read more

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Tradition

By Susan Howard

I often write about habits and being a fitness professional. The pinnacle quandary to address is, “What are our habits and how can we change them to create a healthier lifestyle?”

I am going to shock you.  Ready?

Some of your habits, you will want to keep.  Yep, even the “bad” ones.

I have a tradition — when I get my car washed I go to a little bakery, grab a coffee and a cookie, and do some work.  It’s got AC, free water, and Top 40 radio pumping.  It also allows me to maximize my free time of which I have little.

I have been off sugar for the last 5 months, so going to the coffee shop was a bit of a challenge.  But it makes sense for me and I love the hang.

So having worked out for over an hour, I knew that I needed to get something besides my earl grey tea.

I paced back and forth, and landed on ..read more

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Full, Stuff, Nauseated

By Susan Howard

Some of my clients always have been and always will be lean.  They are the long skinny ectomorphs that couldn’t gain a bunch of weight if they tried.  I was talking to one such client thinking that if someone were to pay her $100,000 to gain 100 pounds, she would be unable to do so.  Try as she may, she could not put on a bunch of fat.

I wondered, other than genetic predisposition, why this was?  Why is it that some people really blow up and gain a ton of weight and some won’t.  What was she doing that other people weren’t?  What was the magic formula to living Spanx-free?

So I asked her and here’s what I got.

She said, “I never, ever overeat.”

Boom.  She dropped the bomb just like that.  Under NO circumstances, at NO time does she overeat.

She continued, “I start to get nauseous if I get too full, it’s uncomfortable, so I never do it.”

“Everyone gets ..read more

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Personal Trainer Susan Howard shares advice on why we binge eat and assures readers that it's okay.

The Morning After, Stories of Binge Eating

By Susan Howard

“I had a horrible night last night,” my client begins. “I binged.” And so it goes, the tale of the morning after and for my big weight loss clients, this habit is especially a scary one that feels shameful and out of control.  “I am scared,” they continue, “that I am going to put all the weight back on.”

Of course you are.  Even the science thinks so.

Once you lose a large sum of weight, the fat cells remain, but have just shrunk down in size.  You cannot lose the cells. Stinks right?  That’s why it’s best never to get overweight in the first place.  Those little fat cells are hanging out asking to be filled up. “Hey, what’s the story, why am I so small now?  When am I getting filled up again?”

Here are a few causes for binge eating, beyond emotionally charged stress eating and plain old habit:

Taking in too little calories. Anything under 1,500 for an ..read more
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