Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scaling Back the Stress with Guest Blogger: Olivia Starke

Chat with author Olivia Starke
today at the Book Boost!

She's here to share her low stress methods to getting healthy in the new year and here's what she had to say...

The first day of January marks the start of a new diet for many people. There are countless eating plans to choose from, new ideas for fad diets, new exercise gadgets with big promises—it’s enough to make your head spin. I’m not a fitness or health professional, but I’d still like to offer a few common sense tips I’ve learned over the years to help those on the diet roller coaster.

* Throw out that cursed scale! This is an ugly little mechanism that can set you up to fail. We are more than the numbers that little needle points to, and depending on bone structure, natural amount of muscle weight, and fluctuations in monthly water retention, you can yo-yo. Seeing the needle creep up five pounds could simply be water from stress or hormones.

Comparing yourself to a ‘national standard’ can be equally disheartening. What works better is going by how your clothing fits. If your jeans are still tight after 3 days then adjust your eating/exercise.

* It takes ONE WEEK to gain fat. If you overindulge one day—or even two, all is not lost :) And don’t beat yourself up, just increase exercise, and maybe eat some more veggies for a few days to make up for it.

* Pay attention to your natural eating cycles. There are days in the month I want to eat everything in sight, and I accept this as normal for me and I don’t obsess over it. I usually end up eating less after, and it balances itself out. I also allow myself to put on a few pounds in winter—again I’m just following my body’s rhythms.

* If you’re craving a decadent dessert, grab a cookbook and find a wonderful recipe to make it yourself. Creating it, then serving it beautifully plated allows you time to get that craving under control so you’ll eat smaller portions. Plus, you’ll probably avoid the guilt of indulging when you’re involved in the creation. I keep baking supplies readily available, including common substitutes for baking such as cinnamon apple sauce for oils and eggs.

* Fall in love with hot salsa! Healthy, fat-free, and low calorie, you can pair it with most main dishes, and the spicier you can take it the better. It helps cut down on your portion size, plus you’re getting some veggies in the trade off. In the evenings if you get a salt craving, instead of potato chips grab some tortilla chips and salsa.

* Try a new workout—even if you think you’ll hate it. I personally abhor riding a bicycle, yet I love spin class after I finally gave it a shot! Don’t sell the idea short, you may find a new passion. I also discovered I love running—its meditation time for me.

Fitness isn’t one size fits all and it’s up to you to find what works best for your personality. Our bodies are amazing creations and I hope you’ll find your best way of honoring it :)

A Note from the Book Boost: I'm totally with you on the salsa! I'm a salsa fanatic. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing your tips with us and please tell us more about your newest release.


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Anonymous said...

Thanks for having me today! And to be completely contrary to this post and it's purpose, I'll give one lucky US commenter Sweets & Swag. Be sure to leave your name and email address, and that you're from the USA!

It's good to indulge the sweet tooth every now and then ;;)

steph beck said...

Great tips! My daughter and I have started doing dance workout tapes--it doesn't even feel like working out because it's soooo much fun :) I love the 'bake it yourself' tip. Working for sweets instead of going out and buying them is soo smart (and easier and on the pocketbook!)

Stephanie Beck
stephaniebeckauthor @

Lia Davis said...

Great post! I like to go for walks and love to cook. I agree with making your own meals and desserts. It's healthier and I control what goes into the meal.

liadavistd @
I'm in the US :)

Anonymous said...

Just about everything is better with salsa! Food, name it!
Patsy Hagen(USA)

Alexa said...

Great info, Olivia. I also find that if I'm craving something, I go ahead and indulge because otherwise I just eat everything else. BUT when I indulge, it's a fraction of the size piece I used to eat.

Unknown said...

Sorry I am late, Olivia. Great advice. Making things yourself means you control the salt, sugar and the taste so it is just the way you like it. Because I love to bake, I have started giving most of the pan away to my children and their friends. That way I get one piece to satisfy my craving and can look like the good mom. ;-D

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Patsy and Lia, winners of Sweets & Swag! Plus, look for a little something special in the mail Steph ;;)

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