Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Salad - A Quick Complete Meal

I hear from my clients over and over one of their biggest obstacles to transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is the nutrition part. What do you eat? Folks who have partaken of the standard american diet their whole lives are not equipped to eat healthy. So my mission is to give them the "tools" to change their eating healthstyle.

Let's start with salads because usually my first advice to someone transitioning to a healthier healthstyle (after advising the addition of a quality multi-nutrition supplement) is to add a salad everyday. Why? Because a salad can be a complete meal! It's easy, quick and nutritious.

Let's start with the salad dressing. The dressing is where lots of people go wrong! Opt for a dressing without preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, or chemicals like "stabilizers," or "emulsifiers." Read the ingredients before you buy any commercial salad dressing! Choose for health! I like several versions of Annie's salad dressings. Also, you can use fresh-squeezed orange juice or lemon juice as a dressing. Olive oil and vinegar makes a good dressing for your salad. You can even get vinegars which are flavored! Try Honey-Mustard dressing: mix together a little honey and your favorite mustard and a dash of your favorite balsamic vinegar. Or make a cucumber dressing: Blend in your blender 1 1/2 cups nonfat cottage cheese 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped , 1 cucumber, chopped with or without skin, a dash of Salt and pepper to taste.

The Salad

Greens - I steer clear of iceberg lettuce for more nutrient-dense leafy veggies. Try field greens, a little kale, baby spinach, escarole, romaine. Stick with the darker lettuces which offer more vitamins and phytochemicals. Though cabbage isn't green, it's a good choice!

Vegetables - Think colorful! Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, green beans, snap peas, carrots, radishes, avocado, bell pepper, beets and cucumber. When possible use organic veggies! There are studies which conclude organic foods contain about one-third higher amount of antioxidants than non-organically grown veggies.

Fruit - Raisins, apple slices, blueberries, orange slices, raspberries, blackberries give a salad some zip! Fruit also adds an explosion of health-enriching antioxidants to your salad!

Protein - Your salad can be a complete meal by adding a form of protein to it. Turkey, chicken, tuna, tofu, nuts, cheese, beans and/or eggs. Go easy on the cheese!

Grains - You can add a little bit of pasta to your salad. Stick with the whole wheat or multi-grain variety of pastas.

Here's a great recipe from Dr Ben Kim (

Sweet Potato and Lentil Salad Recipe
Makes about 8 small portions
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into half-inch pieces 2 cups green lentils, rinsed and drained 1 yellow onion, finely chopped 2 large carrots, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely minced Extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and pepper 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (optional) Small handful torn parsley leaves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes, or until tender and caramelized. Give the sweet potatoes a good stir about halfway through.
3. While sweet potatoes are roasting, use a large pot to cook onions, carrots, garlic, and oregano in olive oil over medium heat. Stir frequently and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly tender. Season with black pepper.
4. Add green lentils and four cups of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat, then set heat to low, cover with a lid, and let simmer for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until lentils are nice and tender.
5. Allow lentils to cool to room temperature. Gently fold lentils and other vegetables in with roasted sweet potatoes.
6. Give sweet potatoes and lentils a good drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and parsley, and enjoy.

Try this healthy and filling salad with a crisp green salad and a slice of a crusty baguette.
Many thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow for sharing this recipe. Be sure to check out her newsletter at

Bon Appetit!

As you transition to a healthier healthstyle I would strongly suggest (as recommended in the 2002June issue of JAMA) you supplement your nutrition with a quality multi-nutrition product. Consider VitaOne -Super Nutrition Made Easy

Here's what one of my clients says about VitaOne:
"I have to admit VitaOne is the best vitamins I have ever taken. I have fibromyalgia and possible lupus. These vitamins have helped me so much to feel better. I have more energy, and now can run after my 1-year-old Grandson. I could tell a difference after only one week of taking them. I HIGHLY recommend these brand of vitamins!! Eat healthy, exercise, and take your VitaOne's and you'll be amazed at the difference you'll see. I have even lost 42 lbs, and I contribute part of that to the VitaOne's cause of the increased energy, I coud move again, and get in exercise. Thanks Pam for telling me about these. I think I've been taking these 7 months now...don't remember lol....but so glad I started them :)"

To Your Health!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Forget The Scale

Obsessing over your scale is probably the worst thing you can do.

In the big scheme of things it's not about weight.
It's about health.

Eat for health.
Move your muscles.
Manage stress.

There are hundreds of "diet" books with so-called "secrets" to losing weight. There are a lot of ways to lose weight... which don't enhance your health. But if you aim for health.... you get the best of both...

Make healthy eating a fact of life.
Aim for health and the rest follows.

I like the Shrink It Weight Loss System because it encourages a sane healthy eating regimen, exercise and supplementation. Since our produce has been found to have 5-40% less vitamins and minerals supplementation is a must.
Shrink It supports GOOD HEALTH HABITS.

I offer free health coaching (30 min via phone per wk and unlimited email contact) to anyone who purchases the shrink it system.

Small Changes Big Benefits

What with the continual onslaught of food industry advertising of processed foods... convenience foods,... drive up windows at fast food places (for the latest greatest upsized combo) etc. No wonder we have an obesity epidemic. And no wonder our medical system is in the shape it is in.

Many people have literally grown up with "THAT" kind of advertising inundating them and that kind of eating being a natural, "normal" type of eating for them which isn't healthy at all. Walk down the cereal aisle and see what kids are being inundated with today. It's horrendous. Kids are now turning up with Type 2 diabetes which is an adult disease... and the number one killer of kids is now cancer. Look at what they are eating!

Every time we turn on the tv we are lied to about the "healthiness" of processed foods. For folks who have grown up with this inundation to move to a healthier way of living is a huge shift in thinking and doing.

But we must do a paradigm shift in thinking. Well first we have to START THINKING and stop allowing the advertising agencies to program our buying habits and appetites.

First, understand that eating processed food is NOT normal. We've been conditioned to eat processed foods. They are nutrient-poor. We must get back to eating whole foods.

Once had a client , a young mother of three, say to me "But Pam how do you not eat processed foods they are all around you?" ...... Well, it would be easy if we could all have a veg chef move in with us ... I've wished for that myself.

You have to remember two things:

1. It's a choice - what you eat becomes a part of your body. What you eat determines a lot not just about your health now but also in the future.Think heart disease,diabetes, cancer, arthritis, etc. Those are largely preventable!

Dr Dean Ornish did a study which showed that what you eat can turn on or keep from turning on the bad genes in your body. It showed we have an amazing amount of control over our health that most of us aren't taking advantage of.

You can choose what is good for you and the more you do so the more of a habit it becomes. You don't have to deprive yourself. Just make better choices and use portion control. (Not to forget exercise!)

Lots of people have problems with the exercise... I tell them (after they get the ok from their doctor to start an exercise program) to start out with 10 minutes in the morning. Give yourself, your future health, your stress level.... just 10 minutes in the morning. No 10 minutes isn't enough but it's a start. You have to start somewhere.

What can you do in those 10 minutes? You can work out with free weights or a Leslie Sansone walking dvd, get on your elliptical or treadmill, etc. There's a lot of things you can do with that 10 minutes. But, of course, check with your physician first to make sure there's no reason to not start an exercise program... especially if you've been sedentary for a long time.

I guarantee when that 10 minutes becomes a habit..... you'll be seeing and feeling the results and want to do more than 10 minutes.

2.The healthiest foods are located around the perimeter of your grocery store (i.e. whole foods). Another way to look at this is if its in a box or a can or you need a chemistry book to understand the ingredients then you don't want to eat it. You really don't hardly need to step into the center of the store. This revelation I know takes the biggest paradigm shift in thought and do. Most people need to learn how to plan their meals and cook much differently. I have found it's easiest to gradually add the "whole foods" mindset a little at a time. Jumping in with both feet is a sure disaster.

Make small changes. Make one good new health habit a week. In a short time you'll feel like a new you!

Would love to support you in your transition to a healthier healthstyle! Subscribe to Empowering Wellness newsletter at the free ebook will help you get started!

Eat For Health

This is what I tell my clients..... Look at it this way .... if you love your life, (you DO don't you?) ....... you will want to take care of your body. If you were diagnosed with a life threatening disease you would change your unhealthy eating habits .... you might even exercise more (if you could) ... but you wouldn't be doing those things because of what the scale said or how you feel about how you look. You'd be doing those things because you love your life and didn't want it cut short.

Why wait till you get sick? And as you answer that question keep in mind the most dangerous answer is "it won't happen to me". Health is not something you can be lackadaisical about. There's a time factor. You may be seemingly healthy now...... but unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise will catch up with you....

Instead of waiting and REACTING to illness:
Why not do all you can now to support your immune system and optimal wellness?
Why not do all you can now to PREVENT illness?
Why not adopt a healthy life routine and healthy eating habits now?

Doing anything less is playing russian roulette with your life. It honestly is. And if you follow a healthy life routine with attention to MOVING and eat a healthy diet based on whole foods .... you will lose weight without obsessing over what your scale says.

If you’re not feeling and looking your best, well, let me say..... you are better than that. It’s time to be relentlessly who you really are! Get some gumption ... enough is enough ..... no more excuses .... fight fat right back!Force your fat to sweat.... build muscle. Get ENERGIZED.

Freedom blossoms as fat dissipates and your true physique emerges! It's empowering when people start to notice.... empowering when you get complimented... empowering when you notice you have the energy you used to have! Your self esteem will be boosted off the map when you have to buy smaller, better fitting clothes, even a new bathing suit. You'll find health is the new wealth!! The real you is empowered to be the best you..

MY TOP TIPS.......

READ labels....banish artificial sweeteners from your life.
READ labels ... banish high fructose corn syrup from your life.
READ labels.... know that MSG is hidden behind ingredient terms such as yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed soy protein,citric acid,Calcium caseinate,Sodium caseinate,Gelatin. Those who eat more monosodium glutamate weigh more.

See study:

Eat a percentage of your food raw... your body needs the enzymes. Drink water. MOVE!!!!! Your muscles were meant to be used..... using your muscles helps your body to work right. And last but not least muscle burns more calories than fat.

Consider the Shrink It Weight Loss System. It encourages healthy eating, exercise and supplementation. The June 2002 issue of JAMA recommended supplementation due to variance in peoples eating habits and the decreased nutrients in our produce. Vitamins/minerals in our produce has been found to be 5 -40% decreased.

Lastly, know that health is freedom. Illness lessens your choices in life. Don't take your health for granted. Eat for health!

Fad Diets --- UGH

There are tons of fad diets out there.....
Follow the money... that's what they are about.
You can throw out most of the fad diets/books.

The way to lose/manage weight is to eat for health and get off your couch and MOVE your muscles. Period. There are no magic secrets or easy ways.

Think about this. Do you see any fat animals in the wild?
They eat what God gave them to eat.

Isn't that what you should be doing?

Think NUTRITION. Eat for health. Move your muscles regularly.
And your weight will normalize.

Don't know where to start?

Subscribe to Empowering Wellness newsletter at Get the free ebook which will get you started on your transition to a healthier healthstyle.

Weight Problems and Common Sense

I believe folks simply need to use their common sense and follow a common sense nutrition plan. God gave us what we needed. Whole foods. Have you seen any wild animals with a weight problem?

We have an obesity epidemic..... and incidence of chronic disease is climbing. Why? Because we don't eat nutritionally well, our diets are predominantly made up of processed foods and we don't move our muscles enough.

I like the shrink it weight loss system It encourages both healthy eating and exercise. I especially like that it gets folks in the habit of supplementing their nutrition (as was recommended in June 2002 JAMA issue). Its a healthy sane system. (and I'm giving free health coaching support with the purchase of the system).

What did YOU eat yesterday? Any fresh veggies? It astounds me when I go to the grocery store and I see carts piled high with processed foods and not one fresh veggie or fruit in the cart.

Isn't it time you stopped the madness?

Subscribe to Empowering Wellness newsletter at Get the free ebook which will help you get started on your transition to a healthier healthstyle.

Why Is Belly Fat So Bad?

Besides the obvious negative asthetics of belly fat; it indicates a real health problem in the making.

There are two types of fat in your abdominal area.... the first is subcutaneous fat. It covers up your abdominal muscles from being visible and lies directly under the skin.

The second type of fat lies deeper beneath your muscles and around your organs. This is called visceral fat and studies have shown it is the more dangerous. It releases more inflammatory molecules into your body on a consistent basis.

Inflammation in your body is the basis for many health problems. However, both kinds of fat contribute to the development of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, and various forms of cancer.

Would love to support you in your transition to a healthier healthstyle. Subscribe to my Empowering Wellness newsletter at (and get a free ebook to get you started!)

Diets Don't Work

Have you ever perused the diet book section at your local bookstore?
There you will find a zillion different diets all promising you the same thing.
Which one do you choose?

I say none of them.

I say you already have all you need. You just need to use your common sense.

What's making you fat?

You have an unhealthy diet. You never think about nutrition. Your diet consists mostly of processed foods and you imbibe soda and expensive coffee drinks daily.

And you rarely get off your butt and get any exercise.

I'm sooooo hoping you don't smoke too. UGH.
OR spend a lot of time in an environment filled with second-hand smoke.

Considering that 85% of all disease can be directly attributed to lifestyle don't you think it's time to get your act together. As hard as it is to change bad habits it's still MUCH easier to stay well than to get well. You NEVER want to be in the position of having to try to get well.

So, ready to clean up your healthstyle?
Where oh where do you start?

You start between your ears.
Yes, between your ears.
Your biggest obstacle to transitioning to a healthier healthstyle is what you're telling yourself.

What have you been telling yourself?
Geeze, I hate myself. I'll eat better tomorrow. I'll start exercising tomorrow. I'll never look that good. Be real. You've never heard anyone say: "I look wonderful I think I'll start a diet today."

In transitioning to a healthier healthstyle your first task is to stop talking negatively to yourself. When you have a negative thought replace it with something positive. Always.

Next realize diets don't work.

"Diets" have become in our culture synonymous with a temporary way to eat.
In transitioning to a healthier healthstyle you must resolve to eat healthy and partake in regular exercise for your lifetime. You don't want to be healthier or lose weight on a temporary basis. You want to be healthier and maintain a normal weight for your lifetime. So think of it that way as you exchange your bad habits for good ones.

So how do you transition to eating healthy?

Well, start out in small ways.

Add a salad every day.
Start eating breakfast everyday.
Eat two fruits everyday.
Once a week eat a vegetable you've never eaten.
Three meals a week have a totally veggie meal.
Clean your kitchen pantry out. Dump anything that lists high fructose corn syrup or any kind of artificial sweetener or anything hydrolyzed in the ingredients.

Not an all inclusive list.... but it'll get you started.

Oh yeah and one more thing......

Subscribe to my Empowering Wellness newsletter at
Read the free Ebook you get with the subscription .....

To Your Health,

Pam Murphy,M.S.,RRT