End the Weekend Madness

Are you guilty of eating great all week and then throwing down all kinds of junk food and alcohol on the weekend? 

Do you feel like you would be closer to your goal if you could just get a better handle on the weekends? It’s like you take 2 steps forward and 1 step back OR worse, 1 step forward and 2 steps back.

I am raising my hand and waving it like crazy!  I too can be guilty of the weekend overeating.

Let’s be honest, the weekend sometimes starts on Thursday night, am I right?

Weekend fun at the brewery!

Weekend fun at the brewery!


I believe there are two reasons we tend to go overboard on food over the weekend:

·        We are out of our normal routine.  Sleeping in, eating random meals, staying up too late, etc…

·        We view weekend days as a reward or celebration instead of just another day.

This week I want to give you some tips on how to get your weekends back in control and start reaching your goals! 

 1.      Wake up about the same time as weekdays.

Think about your weekends.  Do you like to sleep in on Saturday or Sunday morning?  It is so nice to not have to get up and rush around to get to work, get the kids to school, feed the dogs, etc…  BUT, when you sleep in, you are throwing your body off its routine which can lead to more hunger, cravings and low energy. 

Instead of sleeping in, try to get up at your regular time (or at least close to your weekday time).  You will not upset your system and it can help you stick to more of your healthier habits (following tips).

2.      Eat a normal-sized and balanced breakfast at your usual time.

People tend to skip breakfast and eat a brunch or have a larger mid-day meal on the weekends.  This can set your hormones into a frenzy!  Eat a healthy breakfast at your normal time.  This will set your hunger hormones into motion and keep you from having cravings.  If you eat a large meal later in the morning or for an early lunch, it can make it hard to know when to eat next and you may tend to overeat in the evening.  It’s best to keep your eating routine close to the same.

Another thing people like to do is make a “special” breakfast on the weekends like pancakes, waffles, French toast, etc…  That is fine, but be careful to not overeat these higher-sugar meals, especially if it’s later in the morning or noon.  This is a good way to set off a whole string of sugar cravings for the rest of the day!  Be sure to eat protein and fiber with your sugar. If you want waffles or pancakes – try adding in some protein powder to the mix OR at least add some eggs or other protein to your meal.

3.      Cook at home instead of eating out.

Weekends are also a time to be social and get out!  This often means eating out at restaurants with friends.  This is fun and should be done occasionally, but when you make your whole weekend about eating out and indulging in foods you don’t normally eat on the weekdays, you are setting yourself up for possible weight gain and/or resistance to weight loss. We all know that restaurants load up on extra oil, salt and sugar.  All of these things are not good for our “girlish figures.”  Ha!

One way to combat this is to start cooking more at home.  Invite friends over, cook new recipes, try new foods.  You can still keep the social, fun and adventurous aspects by cooking new things!  You may even save some money doing this too!

 4.      Make Better Choices When Eating Out

 Ok, so I know you will want to eat out some, that’s part of the fun of the weekend.  When you are not cooking, then try your best to make some healthy choices when eating out.  Aim for lean proteins, veggies, healthy fats and satisfying, fiber-filled starches.  Reduce how much bread you have from the breadbasket, how many chips you eat, skip the fried foods and limit your alcohol.

 Almost every restaurant you go to has a protein and veggie option!  Try new types of proteins and new salads! You can also check the menu before you go so you know what to order.

 5.      Exercise

The weekend is a great time to get out and move your body! If you exercise hard all week, then make the weekends about movement, not necessarily hardcore workouts.  Find a new park to walk around, ride your bike (or rent one), go hiking, try swimming, find a free class at a local park, play tennis, do a fundraiser walk, etc…  Just move your body! 

By exercising and eating at home more, you can certainly see some positive changes in your body!

6.      Plan ahead.

Just like the weekdays, it’s a great idea to plan your weekends ahead of time!  Make a menu, schedule in your exercise, and set your social calendar for a healthy weekend.  When you don’t have a plan, that’s when it’s easier to just eat out, skip meals and waste away your weekend staring at the TV watching Netflix.  It’s ok if you want to rest and watch some TV, but when you have a fun and healthy plan in place, you will feel more motivated.  You can even schedule in some naps!

7.      Be the leader.

When it comes to the weekend, it’s easy to let everyone else take over your time off.  This can mean your kids, your kids’ activities, your friends, your family, etc…  It’s YOUR weekend, be the boss of your time and do what you need to ensure you get the rest, the exercise and the nutrition you need. 

Also, if you do go out or have people over, you can be the leader by eating healthy and offering healthy options to your guests as well.  If you do go out, you don’t have to eat unhealthy food just because other people are.  Be the leader and order better options, you might just encourage the others to do the same!

 8.      Don’t stay up too late!

The weekend is time to rest, so why do people stay up so late?  Staying up too late is the reason you need to sleep in, which means you may skip a meal which leads to overeating your first meal and then your entire system is all whacked!

Not only will it make you want to eat poorly and skip exercising, it will make Monday even harder.

Even though I make this tip last, it’s probably the most important!  When you get to bed at a decent hour, you will wake up easier and it will be easier to stick to your healthy plans!

 There really is no magic cure for the weekend binges.  Not only will it help by keeping your schedule close to normal, cooking more and exercising, but having a true desire to stay healthy is important.

If it’s important to you, you will find a way. 

If it’s NOT important to you, then you will find excuses. 


Weekend Pumpkin Protein Pancakes or Waffles

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• 2 cups old fashioned oats (I use certified gluten free oats)

• ½ cup of vanilla protein powder (I use plant-based)

• ½ Tbsp baking powder

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1 Tbsp. cinnamon (adjust to your liking)

• ½ Tbsp. nutmeg (adjust to your liking)

• 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)

• ½ can of pumpkin puree

• 2 eggs

• 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup (could skip if want less sugar)

• 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Start by blending the oats into an oatmeal flour. Put oats into your blender and puree until a fine powder. After blending, put in a separate bowl and stir in baking powder, salt and spices.

Add milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, syrup, cider vinegar, and vanilla to blender and puree 20-30 seconds, or until combined.

Add the dry ingredients into the blender with wet ingredients and blend until smooth. You will need to scrape the side of the blender several times to get all the ingredients mixed in.  Add more milk if it’s too thick.

Let mixture rest for about 5 minutes while you heat a large skillet over medium heat. Grease the skillet with a little extra butter/ghee/oil or nonstick spray.

Scoop batter into skillet (I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup for this). Cook 3-5 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface. Flip pancakes and cook another 1-2 minutes or until cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.


Do you need more support, motivation and accountability to eat better, exercise and live your healthiest life? I have a program JUST FOR YOU! Contact me today at raeanne@raeannemullins.com and set up a complimentary consultation to see how I can help you!

Are you Always Hungry?

If you often feel hungry, you are not alone!

 During the week I spend most of my mornings teaching fitness classes and training women.  I always make sure to eat a filling and nutritious breakfast before I go.  I do my workout before going to train others (I workout with my online group – want more info on how train with me at your own house?). 

Well, today I have been STARVING!  I was in a hurry this morning so I grabbed a protein bar and a banana.  I am not kidding you when I say that I was SO hungry just one hour after I ate that breakfast.  By the way, this is NOT my regular breakfast, but it was quick and easy and better than nothing.

 Does this happen to you?  Well, let’s dig a little deeper into this hunger issue.

 There are many reasons to feel hungry. Of course, the most obvious one is that you are actually physically hungry. Perhaps your stomach is empty, your blood sugar has dropped, and your hunger hormones are having a party.

 But other times, the hunger may not be physical hunger. It may be a craving or an emotional trigger. These are common reasons why some people eat too much. It could be brought on by a certain type of diet, stress, or other things going on in life.

 It’s easy to mistake “psychological” hunger for “physical” hunger.

 Let’s talk about the difference between both of these types of hunger, and give you some tips how to figure out which is which.

 And, of course, I will give you a very filling recipe too!

 

Physical hunger vs. psychological hunger

Your "physical" hunger is regulated by the body through your hunger hormones. And of course, it should be. You don't want to be completely drained of fuel and nutrients for a long time. So, you're body is programmed to seek food when your body physically needs it. Some of those physical needs are that your stomach is empty or your blood sugar has dropped.  Symptoms of hunger are fatigue and a growling or grumbling stomach.

 

"Psychological" or "emotional" hunger is eating to overcome boredom, sadness, stress, etc. It's based on a thought or feeling. It's what happens when you see a great food commercial or smell a bakery. It's not from your empty stomach or low blood sugar.  Something usually “triggers” your desire to eat food.


So, here’s how to tell which is which:

 Eight steps to figure out if you’re physically hungry or not

1 - The first thing you need to do is stop to evaluate. Scarfing down that protein bar at the first sign of hunger isn’t necessarily going to help you.

 2 - Now that you’ve stopped. Pay attention to where this hunger is coming from. Can you actually feel or hear your stomach growling? Did you skip a meal, and haven’t eaten in hours? Or are you seeing and smelling something divinely delicious? Perhaps you’re bored, sad, or stressed? Take a peek into all these areas and really pay attention.

 3 - Have a big glass of water. Now observe your hunger feeling for at least a minute. Really dig into the source of the feeling. It can be easy to jump to a conclusion, but that may or may not be the right one. So listen to your body and mind very deeply.

 4 - If you do find that your feelings may be the source, then face them. Acknowledge and observe them. They may just be needing comfort and recognition, even if they sound like they need food. Try deep breathing, having a stretch, or going for a quick walk to release some of these emotions; this also gives your mind a chance to focus on something other than the feeling of hunger. I often tell my clients to do a quick burst of exercise, like jumping jacks, for 1 minute. 

 5 - If you’re pretty sure that your body physically needs nutrition, just wait a few more minutes to make sure.

 6 - Now you can be fairly sure whether your hunger was from emotions, boredom, thirst, or actual physical hunger.

 7 - If it's physical hunger, feel free to eat healthy and nutritious food. To fill you up the food you eat should be high in protein, fiber, and water. Eat slowly and mindfully. Chew well and savor every bite of it.

 8 - Rinse and repeat at the next sign of hunger.


Today, as I was thinking about what I was going to eat after I was done training, I personally went through most of these steps BEFORE grabbing a snack.  I know that I didn’t eat my normal amount of protein or fiber that I normally eat for breakfast and blame that for being physically hungry.  Yes, I WAS truly gut hungry, not just wanting to eat.  This is one of the biggest lessons I learned while I was losing weight many years ago. 

The feeling of hunger can manifest for many reasons. Of course, if you’re physically hungry and need the food and nutrients, then this is what it’s for!

 But often, there is an underlying psychological or emotional reason you might feel hungry.

 Now you know my eight steps to figure out if your physical body is hungry, or if you’re bored, sad, or stressed.

 Use this process over and over again to feed your body what it actually physically needs (and not overdo it).


Recipe (Filling): Slow-Cooker Roast Beef and Potatoes

This is a classic recipe that I used to despise as a kid. I think it’s something you learn to enjoy more as an adult!

Serves 6

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  •  2 onions, sliced (do this and go to step 1 before preparing the rest of the ingredients)

  • 4 lb beef roast

  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled & chopped

  • 1 lb carrots, peeled & sliced

  • 2 celery sticks, sliced

  • 2 dashes dried thyme or sage or parsley

  • 2 cloves garlic crushed

  • 2 dashes salt & pepper

Instructions

Place a layer of sliced onion at the bottom of the slow cooker. Put the lid on and turn up to high; this will start caramelizing the onions while you wash and slice the rest of the ingredients.

 When all ingredients are ready, take off slow cooker lid and add meat and the prepared vegetables, garlic, herbs, and spices.

Cook on high for 3 - 5 hrs, or on low for 6 - 8hrs, or until done.

 Serve & enjoy!

 Tip: You can substitute different vegetables if you like. For example, you can use sweet potatoes in place of the regular potatoes; or parsnips instead of carrots.


If you are really struggling with overeating and /or finding meals that truly satisfy you, consider setting up a nutrition consultation with me! We will review your current diet and favorite foods and determine if you are getting the nutrients you need to feel physically satisfied. We can also talk about ways to work with your current habits and triggers to reduce the urge to eat when you don’t really need to. Email me at raeanne@raeannemullins.com if you are ready to schedule your first appointment!

5 Tips to Making Cooking Fun

Here's How to Make Cooking More Fun

 If you don’t love cooking, maybe I can help to make it more fun for you?

 Mostly I really enjoy cooking!  I especially love it on the weekends when I have a little more time to try cooking something new.  However, I know that sometimes I don't find cooking to be all that fun. I can get into a rut just like everyone else.

 So that's why I've listed my best "fun" cooking tips for you. Here you go!

 Fun Cooking Tip #1

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Check out new recipes.

 Sometimes just seeing the beautiful food photos and reading the recipe can spark some inspiration and fun in your kitchen.

 You can head to your local bookstore. Or look up your favorite nutritionists, chefs, bakers, and other online foodies. Maybe do a quick search on Google or Pinterest to see thousands of new ideas.

 I really love looking at Pinterest for recipe ideas.  You can find anything you desire on there!

 Perhaps you have some ingredients in your fridge that are just waiting to be eaten. This is a good time to jump online and search for recipes that have those foods in them as ingredients! 

 Pro Tip: Searching through recipes can be so fun and inspiring, and can also end up taking waaaay longer than planned. So, consider setting your timer when you start browsing. The last thing you want is to take too much time looking, that you don’t leave enough time for cooking.

Also, when you do save the recipes, don’t forget to go back and look at them!  I catch myself always looking for new recipes and then I realize I already have so many in my library!  You don’t always have to find something new to cook – think back to old recipes or to ones you have been wanting to try and haven’t yet.

Fun Cooking Tip #2

Make grocery shopping fun and inspiring.

 When you’re at the grocery store, try something that you haven’t had in a while. Is there a seasonal fruit or vegetable you haven’t had for months? What about a childhood favorite? Did you come across something totally delicious at a restaurant or get-together lately?

 Or, browse around the store looking for something you haven't had before; something that is completely new to you. Be adventurous and fun. Then you can go to tip #1 to find new and inspiring recipes when you get home.

 I spend way too much time in grocery stores.  I do it on purpose because I love to find new and healthy items.  It’s amazing how many food items there are that are very unique and tasty! I especially like specialty health food stores.

Fun Cooking Tip #3

Keep it simple!

 Sometimes when I see a great food picture, I immediately get inspired to make it. But if I look at the ingredients or instructions and they're too long, I stop. While there are times when I'm inspired and dive into a new great recipe; when I'm not all that inspired, I need to keep things simple.

 A few ways to keep things simple are to:

●       Search for recipes with 10 or fewer ingredients, and five or fewer instructions;

●       Search for recipes that can be made in one pot or pan;

●       Buy ingredients that are ready to cook with (pre-washed salad greens, diced squashes, frozen vegetables, etc.)

Fun Cooking Tip #4

Put on some music and invite someone to join you.

 Do you have kids that need to learn the critical life skill of cooking? Perhaps your partner would love to join you? What about having a “cooking party” where everyone brings something and pitches in on the process?

My husband and I have some friends that we like to share dinners with on the weekend.  We take turns cooking meals and it’s so fun!  Give it a try!

Fun Cooking Tip #5

Invest in some kitchen swag!

 Having proper kitchen tools makes cooking so much easier and faster. When's the last time you sharpened your (or bought yourself a new) knife? Could dicing carrots with a dull knife be draining the fun from cooking? Or is blending a smoothie with a crummy blender, leaving it too chunky to enjoy, making you feel less excited to try new smoothie recipes? I know it does for me.

 

Super Duper Easy Recipe: Chicken and Veggie Bake.

Super Duper Easy Recipe: Chicken and Veggie Bake.

You know that cooking is key to healthy eating. And, yes, it does get boring from time to time.

 Try one (or all) of my fun cooking tips to inspire you to get over to your kitchen and cook yourself some great dishes.

 You already know your health will thank you.


Recipe (simple and fun): One Skillet Frittata

Serves 4

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  •  8 eggs

  • ¼ cup almond milk, unsweetened

  • 1 tsp olive oil, extra virgin

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

  • 1 handful baby spinach

  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into thin coin

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 dash herbs and spice to taste (parsley, sage, paprika, turmeric, etc.)

  • 1 dash salt and pepper

 Instructions

 Preheat oven to 375F.

 Whisk together eggs and almond milk.

 Heat an ovenproof skillet (e.g. cast iron) on the stove with the olive oil.

 To the hot skillet add garlic, spinach, and zucchini. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the spinach wilts and the zucchini starts to soften.

Add the tomatoes, herbs, spices, salt, and pepper.

Pour in the eggs.

 Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until eggs are set.

 Serve & enjoy!

 Tip: Feel free to substitute your veggies and use what you have on-hand. Try diced pepper instead of tomatoes, or chopped kale instead of spinach. Have fun with this!


Coming up next week (June 12), I will be launching my 90-Day Lifestyle Transformation Accelerator! I will be accepting only 10 participants because I want to be able to really focus on these individuals. Cooking will be one component of the program! I am so excited!! Keep your eyes open next week for details! Is this summer your time to make some big shifts?

Mindfulness and Meditation for Weight Loss?

Mindfulness and Meditation...Do They Really Work?

 Well...yes, they do really work. The fact is, science shows definite health benefits for people who use mindfulness and meditation.

 Before we dive in, let’s just make sure we’re on the same page when we say “mindfulness” and “meditation.”

 “Meditation” is the ancient practice of connecting the body and mind to become more self-aware and present. It’s often used to calm the mind, ease stress, and relax the body.

 Practicing “mindfulness” is one of the most popular ways to meditate. It’s defined as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”

 Mindfulness meditation is well studied in terms of its health benefits. I’m going to talk about a few of them below, and refer to it as “mindfulness” for the rest of the post.

 The link between mindfulness and health = stress reduction

Have you heard the staggering statistics on how many doctors' visits are due to stress? Seventy-five to ninety percent!

 So, if you ask me, it makes a ton of sense that anything that can reduce stress can reduce health issues too.

 Mindfulness reduces inflammation, reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and improves sleep. All of these can have massive effects on your physical and mental health.

 I'll briefly go over the research in three main areas: mood, weight, and gut health. But know that the research on the health benefits of mindfulness is branching into many other exciting new areas too.

Mindfulness for mood

The most immediate health benefit of mindfulness is improved mood.

 In one study, people who took an 8-week mindfulness program had greater improvement in symptoms according to the “Hamilton Anxiety Scale.” They were compared with people who took a stress management program that did not include mindfulness. It seems that the mindfulness training was key to lowering symptoms.

 Other studies show that mindfulness has similar effects as antidepressant medications for some people with mild to moderate symptoms of depression.

 While mindfulness isn’t a full-fledged cure, it can certainly help to improve moods.

Mindfulness for weight

Studies show that people who use mind-body practices, including mindfulness, have lower BMIs (Body Mass Index).

 How can this be?

 One way mindfulness is linked with lower weight is due to stress-reduction. Mindfulness can reduce stress-related and emotional overeating. It can also help reduce cravings and binge eating.

 Another way it can work for weight is due to "mindful eating." Mindful eating is a "non-judgmental awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating." It's the practice of being more aware of food and the eating process. It's listening more deeply to how hungry and full you actually are. It's not allowing yourself to be distracted with other things while you're eating, like what's on TV or your smartphone.

 People with higher mindfulness scores also reported smaller serving sizes of energy-dense foods. So it seems that more mindful eating = less junk.

 Mindfulness about food and eating can have some great benefits for your weight.

I work with my clients a lot on mindful eating and it really makes a difference for those who continue to practice!

Mindfulness for gut health

Recent studies show a link between stress, stress hormones, and changes in gut microbes (your friendly bacteria and other critters that help your digestion).In theory, mindfulness-based stress reduction could be a way to help prevent negative changes in the gut's microbes.

 Also, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) seems to be linked with both stress and problems with gut microbes. In one study, people with IBS who received mindfulness training showed greater reductions in IBS symptoms than the group who received standard medical care.

 The research here is just starting to show us the important link between stress, gut health, and how mindfulness can help.

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Now that you see science is confirming some amazing health benefits of the ancient practice of mindfulness meditation., will you try it more? Remember it’s good for moods, weight, gut health, and more.

 Do you regularly include it in your life? If so, have you seen benefits? If not, would you consider trying it?


Recipe (Relaxing Teas): Relaxing Herbal Teas

There are many relaxing herbal teas that would be great after meditation.

 Try any of these by steeping in boiling water:

 ●       Green tea (has a bit of caffeine, or you can choose decaffeinated green tea)

●       White tea (also has a bit of caffeine, or you can choose decaffeinated white tea)

●       Rooibos tea

●       Peppermint tea (or steep fresh peppermint leaves)

●       Ginger tea (or steep slices of real ginger)

 Serve & enjoy!

 Tip: You can add a touch of honey if desired.


Cherish Your Gift

A special gift.

Have you ever had someone give you a gift, like a piece of furniture, jewelry, a painting, or even a small figurine and no matter where you move or what you do, you always take that gift (whether you like it or not) because someone special gave it to you?  

Have you ever kept old hand-me-down furniture in your house because you don’t want to give it away because you don’t want to disrespect it?

Have you ever taken really good care of things that someone else gave you?  Like keep them clean, keep them out where people can see them, tell people about the gift?

Well, I think that is how we should treat the biggest gift of all.  The biggest gift we’ve ever been given.

The gift that God gave us.

Our body.

I’m amazed and honestly, even angered at the way people care or rather don’t care for their bodies. This special, unique, completely miraculous thing that we all have is truly a gift from God.

If you don’t believe in God, then how in the world did we come here?  How did we become a thing? How can you explain having lungs that work in unison with your heart? How can you explain breathing? How can you explain your digestive tract processing, absorbing and distributing nutrients?  How?  (BUT that’s a whole different discussion).

I am in awe of this incredible machine that we all have.  We have all been given such a spectacular and intelligent vehicle to carry our soul around. 

We have feet that keep us up; legs that move us forward and backward; we have arms that hold the things we love; we have hands that create; we have brains that control how we feel, think, see, and hear; we have tongues that help us taste all the food we eat; we have amazing energy systems that run efficiently or adjust when they aren’t well.

But when we don’t take care of our body, all these wonderful parts of our body will start to fail.  Yet, our body is so freaking amazing that it even adjusts and continues to thrive by changing energy systems, by adapting to using any resource it can to keep us alive. 

Your body is the most amazing gift you will ever receive. 

Our body is strong, resilient, and powerful when we treat it appropriately.  It’s even strong and resilient when we don’t treat it appropriately, but it won’t last that way as long or as happily. 

I have been through times of not treating my body the way it deserves.  I still am not perfect about food, exercise, rest and stress management, but when I see people mistreating their body day in and day out, I want to scream! 

Mistreating your body looks like this:

·        Smoking

·        Drinking in excess

·        Using illegal drugs

·        Stuffing fast food in your mouth daily or weekly

·        Sitting on your rear end all day long

·        Taking handfuls of over-the-counter drugs to ease pain too often

·        Taking handfuls of prescription drugs

·        Staying up all night watching TV or playing video games

Mistreating your body can also look like this:

·        Not eating enough

·        Exercising too much

·        Jumping from diet to diet

 Unfortunately, not everyone has been given a fully functioning body.  Not everyone has legs.  Think of people with serious diseases and kids born with spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy, cancer, missing limbs, etc… OR even veterans that have been in serious accidents, losing body parts.

 I bet those people wish so much that they could get up and run, play and do all the things that WE ARE capable of, but don’t fully appreciate.

 When we are born with all our parts working correctly, I believe it’s our responsibility to take good care of this gift. So, I get a little frustrated and upset with people when they don’t. 

 Yes, we will get sick, we will have physical complications, we will get injured, we will not be perfect, but we better damn well do the best we can to honor our God and to honor ourselves by taking the responsibility of loving and caring for this body.

 Some people treat their cars and other possessions better than they treat their own body and life.

 I decided a long time ago that I am going to live this life to the fullest and on top of my priority list is my health.  Without health, I won’t be able to do all the things that I desire to do before I leave this planet. 

 I have mountains to climb, countries to visit, oceans to sail, and people to meet. 

 I honestly don’t care if that sounds selfish.  To be my best to those around me, I have to be MY best and no one else is going to take care of me like I do

 I don’t mean to sound like I’m on a high horse.  I don’t think I’m any better than anyone else.  AND that’s just it!  I’m not an exception.  I’m not any better than you. I’m not better than anyone.  I just made the choice and decision to care.  To stop making excuses.

 Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your life by eating treats in moderation, drinking a glass or two of wine, or having lazy days watching Netflix.  That’s fine!  When your normal day is not moving or only eating a bunch of junk, that’s when there becomes a problem. 

 I don’t want you to look back at your life and think “I really should have tried harder when I could.”

 If you are reading this and you have excess weight to lose, chronic illnesses, inflammation, are addicted to drugs, alcohol or smoking, spend too many hours working, overeat unhealthy foods, skip exercise/movement, or find yourself jumping from one diet to another, please just stop and think about it.

 What can you do to honor this incredible gift? What can you do right now to take action?  What can you do to start appreciating what you have instead of breaking it down more?

 Here’s the other part of this; it’s not just about how you look.  It’s not about your dress size or looking hot in a bikini, it’s about truly striving to keep your body nourished, strong and capable so you can live a high quality, amazing life!

 I’ve made it my purpose and passion in life to help people live a healthy life.  I love more than anything to see someone move from a place of hurt (physically and mentally) to a place of pure joy.  It’s possible.  I’ve done it and I’ve seen it be done over and over.

 The hardest part for me is that I can’t do it for you.  I can’t make you want to be your healthiest.  I can’t eat for you, exercise for you or even cook for you (unless you pay me A LOT).  ONLY YOU have the choice and the power to be an amazing you.  Mind, body and soul. 

 I am ready to help more.  I will be accepting only 10 women into my upcoming program that starts later in June.  If you have more than 30 pounds to lose, are ready to put aside your excuses and truly start living your best life, please consider working with me.  You can email me now to get on the pre-registration list and receive 10% off the program fee.  More details will be available soon!

What the heck is the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load?

Glycemic this and glycemic that. Does it matter?

 In the last couple of weeks I’ve heard these terms thrown around quite a bit and not necessarily in a correct manner, so I decided it was time to give you a little more information on the topic.

 You'll notice that they both begin with "glycemic." That's one tip that they have to do with sugars and carbs. Not only how much sugar is in foods, but more importantly, how it affects your blood sugar levels.

 In general, diets that are high on the glycemic index (GI) and high in glycemic load (GL), tend to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

 FUN FACT: Starches like those in potatoes and grains are digested into sugar; this is because starch is just a bunch of sugars linked together. Digestive enzymes break those bonds so that the sugars become free. Then those sugars affect your body the same way that eating sugary foods do.

 Glycemic Index (“how fast”)

The most common of the two terms is “glycemic index” (GI).

 As the name suggests, it "indexes" (or compares) the effect that different foods have on your blood sugar level. Then each food is given a score from 0 (no effect on blood sugar) to 100 (big effect on blood sugar). Foods that cause a fast increase in blood sugar have a high GI. That is because the sugar in them is quickly processed by your digestive system and absorbed into your blood. They cause a “spike” in your blood sugar.

 So, you can probably guess that pure glucose is given a GI rating of 100. On the other hand, chickpeas are right down there at a GI of 10.

 Regarding GI: low is anything under 55; moderate is 56-69, and 70+ is considered a high GI food.

 Remember, this is a measure of how fast a carbohydrate containing food is digested and raises your blood sugar. It's not a measure of the sugar content of the food.

 How the carbohydrates in food affect your blood sugar level depend on other components of the food. Things like fiber and protein can slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, and this can make even a high-sugar food, low on the GI scale.

 So, lower GI foods are better at keeping your blood sugar levels stable because they don't increase your blood sugar level as fast.

 FUN FACT: Can you guess which food has a GI of higher than 100? (Think of something super-starchy) White potatoes! They have a GI of 111.  BUT, that doesn’t mean you should never eat a white potato.  They are good for helping with muscle growth, recovery and more!  Just be aware.

Glycemic Load (“how much”)

The glycemic load is different.

 Glycemic load (GL) doesn’t take into account how quickly your blood sugar “spikes”, but it looks at how high that spike is. Basically, how much the food increases your blood sugar.

 GL depends on two things. First, how much sugar is actually in the food. Second, how much of the food is typically eaten.

 Low GL would be 0-10,  moderate GL would be 10-20, and high GL would 20+.

 Example of GL and GI

GI GL CHart.JPG

 So, let’s compare average (120 g) servings of bananas and oranges:

 As you can see, the banana and orange have almost the same glycemic index.; this means they both raise your blood sugar in about the same amount of time.

 But, the average banana raises the blood sugar twice as high (11) as the orange does (5). So, it contains more overall sugar than the same amount (120 g) of orange.

 Of course, this is all relative. A GL of 11 is not high at all. Please keep eating whole fruits. :)

What does this all mean for your health?

Certain people should be aware of the effects that foods have on their blood sugar. People who have diabetes or pre-diabetes conditions like insulin resistance need to be aware of the glycemic index and glycemic load of foods they are eating regularly.

 The GI and GL are just two factors to consider when it comes to blood sugar. Some high GI foods are pretty good for you but if you want to reduce the impact on your blood sugar, have them with a high-fiber or high-protein food.

  If you are at risk of diabetes or heart disease, you might try swapping out some higher GI/GL foods and replacing with lower GI/GL foods.

 Oh, and try this low GI recipe I have for you.


Mediterranean Salad

mediterranean-chickpea-salad-1526077481.png

Serves 2

  •  1 cucumber, chopped

  • ½ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • ½ cup black olives

  • ¼ red onion, diced

  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp garlic

  • 1 tsp basil

  • ½ tsp oregano

  • 1 dash sea salt

  • 1 dash black pepper

 Place first five ingredients together in a bowl.

 Add remaining ingredients to a jar (to make the dressing) with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously.

 Add dressing to salad and gently toss.

 Serve & enjoy!


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