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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekly Challenge #5: Sugar Free Week!

After all the indulgences of the holidays, you may be feeling a little tired and rundown. And am I the only one with jeans fitting a little tighter? Here's a challenge to help you get back to basics and start eating clean once again.

This week, eliminate the refined sugar from your diet. No soda, cake, cookies, scones, muffins, candy, ice cream, etc. One week. GO!

(But you weren't eating that stuff anyway, right?)

Of course this doesn't mean eliminate fruits and veggies and other sources of natural sugar - keep eating your fruits and veggies as usual.

What non-sugary food item satisfies your sweet tooth? Share your favorite in the comments - it might become someone else's favorite, too.

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekly Challenge #4 - A Complaint FREE Week!

In week one, we talked about paying attention to the positive things in your life. This week's challenge is a play on the same idea: Whatever you feed grows.

This week, continue to feed the positive by eliminating negative words from your life.

How many times in a day do you engage in negative self talk? "I can't do this!" "My hips are too wide!" "I'm too slow a runner!" And how often do you complain about other things? "My husband never puts his dirty clothes in the hamper!" "My mother in law calls too early in the morning!"

We all do it, and it can a hard habit to break!

Give yourself a little visual (and physical) reminder of this week's challenge. Put a rubber band around your wrist and wear it like a bracelet. When you catch yourself in a complaint, give the band a tug. SNAP SNAP!

When you stop complaining, you have no choice but to focus on the positive. And by feeding only the positive, the good stuff grows and grows.

Have a GREAT (and complaint free) week!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stefanie found her Mojo!

My name is Stefanie Valencia. I started Mama Bootcamp in March of 2009. At the time I was 25 years old and had 205 lbs on my 5'2" frame. I went back and forth between a size 16 and size 18 dress size. I had always been overweight. I remember as a child in the 3rd grade thinking, "I can never wear what those little girls are wearing. I'm too big." I eventually grew up into an overweight preteen, teenager and finally adult. I had never once looked at myself thought, "I look beautiful." Instead, I avoided mirrors, cried when I went clothes shopping, and hated every single picture of myself. Year after year after I told myself, "This is the year, Stefanie. This is the year you get healthy." And, year after year the days came and went.

I was working at a preschool when I met Pantea Dunn. Her children were enrolled in our school. A co-teacher and I had been talking to her, and she had mentioned how she goes to Mama Bootcamp. The two of us decided to go. I was not really sure of what I was getting involved in. I didn't exercise. Run was not a part of my vocabulary. BFAS was definitely not on that word list either. Water? I only showered with it. I drank a soda or 2 a day. Fast food was not a sometimes food but almost an everyday occurrence.

So there I was, with all of these healthy women, at 7:30 am in the morning, ON A SATURDAY!! I made it through the core warm up and then came time for cardio. I remember Lorri Ann asking, "Who's walking?." I sheepishly raised my hand. Obviously, I was going to walk. She said to follow a woman because she knew the route. I thought, "Great! she's pregnant. I can keep up with her." Little did I know, the pregnant woman would pass me up by a quarter of a mile. The whole time I'm sweating, I have shin splints and I'm strugging to keep up. This woman was pregnant! So pregnant I didn't see her again because she had her baby. Then as if it wasn't bad enough I hear feet quickly coming up from behind. An old man, who I believe to be bionic, begins to pass me up. He says, "you're not going to let an 82 year old man pass you up are you?" It was at that moment that I decided enough was enough. I was 25 years old, and a pregnant woman and 82 year old man passed me up. P.S. He caught up and passed the pregnant woman. I signed up that day. I got my measurements done that Monday and by the next Saturday (after lots of Epsom salt baths and unbelievable muscle soreness) I officially began my new journey.

The process was not magic, as Lorri Ann continually reminds us. After all, 25 years of lifelong bad habits are hard to kick. Its been a little over a year and a half, and I have to admit, I still fight those habits. I hated vegetables, and still am not a raw vegetable kind of girl. BUT! I found ways for me to like them. I made sure that I threw vegetables into almost everything that I ate. I gave up soda, and if I needed a fix, forced myself to drink diet instead. My 32oz water bottle was my every day, every where companion. It still is. I stopped the fast food and I did my homework. I began walking 30 minutes a day around Maidu. I then decided I wanted to run. I wanted to be one of those outer loop girls. So I started giving myself small goals. I would jog 10 feet then walk. Until I was jogging 20 feet, then 30 feet, until finally I made it around the whole loop. I'm sure I scared a lot of people. Because I was huffing and puffing so badly that I sounded like i was in Lamaze or having an attack. But I kept on going.

Which brings us to today. I am 57 lbs lighter. 102 inches smaller and in a size 8 dress size. Today, "run" is a part of my daily vocabulary. I even have love and run in the same sentence now. I can look in the mirror, I don't cry when I go shopping anymore, and I jump in front of that camera.

As far as my ultimate body goal, I still have not arrived. I am still in process. I will keep running until I hit my goal, and when I do, I still won't stop running.

I have to remind myself that its not about my size, its not about the numbers on the scale, and its not about I look to everyone else. Its about being healthy and loving myself enough to take care of my body. Movement and healthy eating is my new lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, I still eat that cookie, and I eat out for dinner with friends, but I know that I am in charge of my body. I am the only one taking care of it. When I eat a little too much, its OK. I do the next right thing for me. I go for that run. I add in another bootcamp session. I say no when I need to say no.

The most important message I could say is love yourself. You're worth it. Oh, and "nobody ever died from the burn." So, "Go to your happy place! and give me 20 torso twists, 20 bicycles and 20 push ups! 5 sets!"

Meet Stephanie:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Heidi found her Mojo!

I started looking at Mama Boot Camp when I saw an article in one of the local children's magazines. I saw the before and after photos and testimonials from women who had been successful with the program. I knew I was ready to make changes to live a healthier lifestyle because of all the reasons you hear, but never quite give credit to (I wanted to be around to watch my son grow up, I wanted to look in the mirror and be happy with the self I saw looking back, and I wanted to try to get off the medication I was taking for hypertension). I had heard people give these reasons for weight loss/getting in shape, but until I hit "the breaking point" (150 pounds), I never took it seriously.

I can only say that I loved boot camp so much I decided to sign up for another 12 weeks. Now my goal is to continue to lose inches and body fat percentages (maybe a few more pounds too). Marilyn (the Elk Grove coach) was so supportive, as were the other "campers" that always pushed me to do better. I found running partners and friends that knew words of encouragement I did not even know I needed. I loved that I was held accountable through food logs and code enforcers. Being a teacher, I think I was afraid of what Marilyn's red pen could mean (only kidding). She was never harsh, only constructive ideas were given as feedback to help me be even more successful. I could have never imagined looking forward to getting up on a Saturday morning to meet and work out at Elk Grove Park, but even on the rainiest, coldest days I was there. I can honestly say I had never been committed to working out and losing weight until I found this program. Now I realize this is a lifestyle change, and I love it! Of course sometimes I "fall off the wagon," but I realize that this is not my lifestyle now, so it is easy to pick back up on the things I know I need to do for myself.

After the first 12 weeks I feel amazing. I love getting comments from people I haven't seen in a while as well as from those who have helped me meet my goals along the way. I am excited to see what the next 12 weeks bring, and I am looking forward to completing more 5Ks in the new year.

Here's Heidi before Mama Bootcamp:

And here she is after just 12 weeks of MBC:

Way to go Heidi!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekly Challenge #3 - Make an Appointment for Fitness

If you ask an average woman on the street why she doesn't exercise regularly, odds are the answer will be "I don't have time." And the truth is, there isn't a single one of us who has enough time to do everything that needs doing.

Most of the important "to do's" in our lives are scheduled in advance. Dentist? Doctor? Hair cut? Lunch with a friend? Send a card for Aunt Dianna's birthday? Just about all of these things get planned in advance - written on a calendar, note, list, etc. Something as important as your own health deserves at least equal attention!!

This week, schedule an appointment for fitness. Sit down with your calendar (or favorite tech gadget) and set the date and time for your workouts. When will you exercise? Where? What specifically are you going to do? Record it all wherever you keep track of all your other appointments. And then...

KEEP THE APPOINTMENT. You wouldn't stand up your doctor, boss or best friend would you? Give yourself the same courtesy and respect.

By Sunday night at 7pm, have your schedule set. For a little extra accountability, let your coach know what your schedule is, and email her after each of your appointments.

Now go get your calendar and plan for a great week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Krista! You won the $35 gift certificate from CSN Stores!

We hope you enjoy your new sports duffel bag and body bar!

Winner chosen by random drawing using true random number generator from random.org.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Weekly Challenge #2: Drink your Water!

There is no question that drinking water is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your overall health. Everyone knows that, right? But...are you drinking your enough?

Here's your challenge: Drink 80 ounces of water every single day this week*. Be sure to be done with the first 40 by noon, and the second 40 by 6. You'll look great and feel even better. Your body will LOVE you for it!

For more about water, see this post.

Have a great week!

(*don't do it just this week, do it EVERY week!)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Don't forget to enter the CSN Stores giveaway!

Have you entered to win the $35 CSN Stores gift certificate yet? Don't miss your chance! The last day to enter is this Sunday.

Enter HERE

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Life Coaching Corner

(From Lorri Ann Code)

How is your “trust-o’-meter”? I recently had an experience with a ‘frenemie” …and did not even see it coming! My Definition of a ‘frenenmie’ (definitely not Webster’s!): a person who gives ‘lip service’ to being your friend but their actions to not match their words, in fact, they are actually an enemy in disguise and parading as your friend. Can be scary stuff depending on how deeply they are entrenched in your life! This caught me so off guard that I had to do a little soul searching on what happened. I thought I knew better! I trusted my instincts with everything so how could this person slip under my highly functioning radar? Well, apparently my ‘trust-o-meter’ needed a tune-up!

One of my coaches (thank you Coach Marilyn) shared this with me and what is so amazing is, it was exactly what I needed. It gives, simple questions to ask yourself to see if the people in your life are people you can count on! I believe I am not alone in experiencing frenenmies and it is great to have “tools” that help all of us navigate through true friends and the snarky frenemies!

Who's Never Going to Let You Down?
By Martha Beck
Oprah.com February 17, 2009

You've got a no-fail means of recognizing the really dependable people out there—a nifty inner gizmo Martha Beck calls a trust-o-meter. The problem: Over the years, it may have gotten a little out of whack and now need a little fine-tuning. (Or maybe a lot.)

I'm writing this in the African bush, where I've just watched five lions dismantling a dead buffalo, a hungry leopard stalking impala, and several baboons snitching part of my own breakfast when my back was turned. Out here, my safety depends on the knowledge, courage, and selflessness of just a few human beings. Some of these people I know well; others I've barely met. We are of various colors and creeds, sharing only a conflict-riddled ancestral history. Yet I feel safer at this moment than I once felt in my suburban American bedroom. It's not that I'm blind to life's fragility or the dangers around me. It's just that I possess a gift offered by many mistake-filled years: At my age, I have a pretty good idea what and whom to trust.

It's because I've learned to depend on a handy little inner mechanism—you've got one too. Call it a "trust-o-meter," a bit of hardware preinstalled on your hard drive the day you arrived, tiny and vulnerable, from the stork factory. Ever since, your trust-o-meter has been programmed up the wazoo, first by caregivers, then by you yourself. If your inner software is working well, your trust-o-meter is guiding you safely through life's many hazards. If it isn't, you smash into one disappointment or betrayal after another. The good news is that no matter how faulty your trust-o-meter, it's never too late to debug the system. Trust me on that.

Or not.

Read this; then you make that call.

Step 1: Testing the System
Step 2: The Scientific Method
Step 3: Learning to Trust Everyone and Everything

Step 1: Testing the System

"As soon as you trust yourself," wrote Goethe, "you will know how to live." To discern between people who might save your life and those who might ruin it, you must be reliable, honest—in a word, trustworthy—toward yourself. And we do this far less often than most people realize.

I'm about to reveal one of my favorite life coaching tricks, which I've used on literally thousands of people. In the middle of a speech or coaching session, I'll suddenly say, "Are you comfortable?" Most people look startled, squint at me as though I'm a few chocolates short of a full box, then assure me that yes, they're comfortable.

"Really?" I'll say, earnestly.

Yes, they insist, getting a bit annoyed, they're totally comfortable.

Then I ask this: "So, if you were alone in your bedroom right now, would you be sitting in the position you're in at this moment?"

It takes them all of 0.03 seconds to answer, "No." But it takes them much longer to come up with the answer to my next question:

"Why not?"

Some people will just sit there blinking, as if I've asked them to explain why they didn't invent spaghetti. It takes them much consternated thinking to come up with the answer—which is, of course, that the positions in which people sit in public settings are generally much less loose than the positions they adopt when unobserved, in a room designed for rest and relaxation.

In short, they're a bit uncomfortable.

Now, the problem here isn't the discomfort itself—people can handle a world of hurt if necessary. The problem is that they aren't conscious of their own discomfort, even though it's obvious. They lie to my face in clear daylight, believing they're telling the truth even though they know (and I know...and they know that I know) they're lying.

Do you find that last sentence confusing? Welcome to denial, which, oh, honey, it's true, ain't just a river in Egypt.

Denial exists because human infants, though equipped with trust-o-meters, are built to trust, blindly and absolutely, any older person who wanders past. Life would be brief, incredibly complicated, and unbearably frightening for any baby who didn't invest automatic confidence in her caregivers, who suspected adults of deception whenever they said, "Drink this; it's good for you" or "Those people are evil" or "Grandma will take care of you." We all have faith in the people we encounter during our early youth. If they deserve this, our trust-o-meters are programmed to function accurately, and we're well on our way to a life of wise discernment.

Sadly, however, few child-rearers deserve the unmitigated trust babies invest in them. Some adults, purposely or (far more often) accidentally, give children unhealthy drinks, from tainted water to Jack Daniels. Others, out of malice or (far more often) ignorance, create unwarranted fear and prejudice. Sometimes Grandma is a psychopath or (far more often) a short-tempered neurotic whose idea of childcare involves strapping the kiddies into her Cadillac so she can cruise the red light district searching through binoculars for her ex-boyfriend's car.

If something along those lines happened to you, you've been conditioned to attach the definition "trustworthy" to people who are, in fact, untrustworthy. If your parents let you sip their whiskey as an expression of affection, you may be wired to swear by alcoholics. If you were raised by white supremacists, you may rely on lunatic skinheads. If your beloved Grandma was a stalker, obsessive jealousy may inspire your confidence. You'll be extremely uncomfortable the whole time, but you won't recognize the discomfort.

This is why denial is so baffling: You have no idea you're in it. Rather than thinking, "I am now displaying unwarranted trust," you just feel...off. Confused. Maybe a little crazy. Maybe a lot crazy. Something seems wrong, and over time, it feels wronger and wronger. Those of us with badly calibrated trust-o-meters usually think the wrongness must be in us, that if we can somehow think or work or love better, our painful relationships with the alcoholic racist stalkers in our lives will somehow become perfect.

For those of us who want to know if we have defective trust-o-meters, the evidence is blessedly obvious: Our relationships and life situations don't work. We're lying to ourselves, pretending we're at ease when we know we aren't, so, in the converse of Goethe's dictum, we don't have a clue how to live. We're often rudely awakened, bitterly disappointed, shockingly betrayed. If this happens to you once, perhaps it's bad luck. If it happens repeatedly, there are bugs in your system. To check, take the Trust Test. If your score indicates that your trust-o-meter functions well, you can stop reading now. But if the quiz reveals a problem, it's time to recalibrate.

Step 2: The Scientific Method

All child-rearers—myself among them—are confused, mistaken, or ignorant about some things, so don't waste time insisting that your parents fix every glitch in your programming, or flagellate yourself for not spotting their errors. Just start using the scientific method to reboot your trust-o-meter. This involves three basic steps: making predictions about how the world works, looking for evidence to either support or disconfirm those predictions, and changing your hypotheses in light of what you see to be true.

Start by thinking of someone important to you, and rate your trust in that person on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = lowest possible trust, 5 = highest). Then, evaluate the person by recalling your observations of his or her behavior.

Here are a few obvious questions I've found very helpful in quantifying the trustworthiness of people in my own life. The first three are the "yes" questions; if Person X is completely trustworthy, you'll answer yes to all three. The second three are the "no" questions—if Person X deserves your trust, the answer to all three will be negative.

The "yes" questions:

1. Does Person X usually show up on time?

2. When Person X says something is going to happen, does it usually happen?

3. When you hear Person X describing an event and then get more information about that event, does the new information usually match Person X's description?

The "no" questions:

4. Have you ever witnessed Person X lying to someone or assuming you'll help deceive a third person?

5. Does Person X sometimes withhold information in order to make things go more smoothly or to avoid conflict?

6. Have you ever witnessed Person X doing something (lying, cheating, being unkind) that he or she would condemn if another person did it?

These questions might seem trivial. They're not. As the saying goes, "the way we do anything is the way we do everything." I'm not saying we have the ultimate power or right to judge others. But if you trust someone whose behavior doesn't pass the six screening questions above, your trust-o-meter may well be misaligned. If Person X rated more than one "no" on the first three questions, and more than one "yes" on the second three, they don't warrant total trust at present. If you trust someone who blew all six questions, you need some readjustments. You don't have to change Person X (you can't), but you do need to take a hard look at your own patterns of trust.

By the way, if you're now rationalizing Person X's behavior with arguments like "But he means well" or "It's not her fault; she had a terrible childhood," your trust-o-meter is definitely on the fritz. These are the small lies we use to tell ourselves we're comfortable when we aren't. It's not the end of the world if Person X lies to you. Lying to yourself, on the other hand, can make your life so miserable, the end of the world might be a relief.

Step 3: Learning to Trust Everyone and Everything

"The Master...trusts people who are trustworthy," wrote Lao Tzu, my favorite philosopher. "She also trusts people who aren't trustworthy. This is true trust." Many earnest do-gooders skew this to mean that everyone is noble at the core, every crazy stranger should be invited to sleep in the children's room, every elected official is intelligent and just. But that's not "true trust"; it's another version of denial, like the one Pema Chödrön calls by the memorable label "idiot compassion."

So what does it mean to "trust people who aren't trustworthy"? I pondered this earlier today, as I watched the lions devour the buffalo, the leopard attack the impala, the baboons stealing breakfast. I am very wary of these beasts, but that doesn't mean I don't trust them. I depend on them deeply—to do what they usually do. Lions and leopards can be trusted to eat animals about my size. Baboons can be trusted to steal food whenever possible. Because I know this, I adapt my behavior to avoid getting eaten or pilfered.

By the same token, if someone in your life pulls in a dismal score on the Trust Test, perpetually failing to keep promises, tell the truth, quit drinking, or show compassion, this is exactly what you can depend on them to keep doing. Addicts can be trusted to lie. Narcissists can be trusted to backstab. And people who reliably do their best, whose stories check out against your own observations, can be trusted to stay relatively honest and stable.

When you spot faulty programming in your trust-o-meter, you may experience some deep grief. You'll have to acknowledge what you already know, deep down: that your alcoholic dad may never be reliable, that you may have picked an irresponsible partner, that the friend who never supports you probably never will. You may face some tough choices as your debugged trust-o-meter directs you away from familiar negative patterns and into new behaviors. But as you more accurately predict what will happen, you'll feel a new, growing confidence. Your life will begin to work.

This is why I feel so much safer today, in the bushveld, than I once did in my home. Yes, it's a jungle out here, but it's a jungle everywhere. Life, in fact, is just one big wilderness. But you were born for this wilderness, and you have the instruments to negotiate it safely. Does that thought feel comfortable? Really, truly comfortable? As soon as it does, you've found your way to the first part of Goethe's promise: You can trust yourself. And because Goethe was a trustworthy person, you can rely on the second part of his promise following automatically. You really will know how to live.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gratitude (and advice for living)

Something we should all read at least once a week!!!!

Make sure you read to the end!!!!!

Written by
Regina Brett,
90 years old,
of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Don't waste today, you don't know if you will get a tomorrow.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ready, set, GIVEAWAY!

Remember the fabulous giveaway from CSN Stores that we mentioned last week? Now is your chance to enter to win the $35 gift certificate!

How to enter: 
Visit CSN Stores and check out their huge selection of products. Decide what you would buy if you won the $35 gift certificate and leave a comment on this blog post
Winner will be chosen by random drawing and will be announced on the blog on Monday, January 10th.

Enter today! This contest ends on Sunday, January 9th at 11:59pm PST.

Good luck!

Weekly Challenge #1

Happy New Year!

Mama Bootcamp is kicking off a great 2011 with a series of weekly challenges. Rise to each challenge in addition to keeping up with your Bootcamp(s) and homework, and make this your favorite year yet.

Challenge #1: An Attitude of Gratitude
Start off the year by actively being thankful for all the good things in your life. Remembering to be thankful for the good stuff - big and small - can help you get your "attitude on right." Whatever you focus on gets bigger and more important. So instead of focusing on the less positive (something you are angry about, negative feelings about a job, etc.) and making those things more important, take a minute to feel thankful for the positives in your life.

Start keeping a Gratitude Journal. Every day, write down three things you are thankful for. Every entry must be different every day.

What a great way to start 2011!

My Gratitudes for today:
1) I am grateful for my husband and daughter.
2) I am thankful for my good health and the health of my family.
3) I am grateful for my new waterproof jacket that kept me dry during my first bootcamp of the year!

We'd love to know what you are grateful for - will you share?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Glycemic index

Happy Saturday everyone! How was bootcamp this morning?

As your Mama Bootcamp Food Coach, I (Allison, aka Allibrew) would like to share some information on the "glycemic index" (or GI) to help you build better snacks. Understanding the basic concept of the GI can greatly aid in your ability to combine foods in a way that helps to keep your blood sugar even, preventing spikes and "bonks". You will also reduce cravings and maintain a good energy level.

From the South Beach Diet website:

What is Glycemic Index?

Glycemic Index or GI Index is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels. It measures how much your blood glucose increases after eating.
Low Glycemic Index index food (less than 55) produce small rise in blood sugar and insulin level. Foods with GI index between 55 and 70 are consider intermediate-GI foods. High Glycemic Index food GI numbers (more than 70) make our blood sugar and insulin levels rise fast.

Research shown that low GI foods can:
  • improve glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes.
  • benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. 
  • low glycemic diet reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.
  • prevent heart disease.

Building Snacks
My basic snack formula is this:
  1. Choose a "vehicle" such as whole grain bread/toast, oatmeal, crackers, or fresh fruits or veggies.
  2. Add some protein and/or good (monounsaturated) fat such as nuts or nut butter, seeds, avocado, lowfat dairy or soy products, lean meats.

Fresh fruits and veggies offer so much in terms of nutrition and disease-fighting antioxidants but some (especially fruits) can have a higher glycemic index. On their own, these foods can create fluctuations in blood sugar, but pairing higher glycemic index foods with a little protein and/or monounsaturated fat will make a world of difference.

Snack examples:
  • Apple slices with peanut or almond butter
  • Mandarin oranges and a small handful of almonds
  • Oatmeal with bananas and walnuts
  • Raw veggies and hummus
For more information on the glycemic index or to look up the GI rating of common foods, visit the South Beach Diet Plan website, here.

For more food tips, recipes, and more, check out my healthy living blog GetNatured. Suggested posts: