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Five Savvy Ways to Jumpstart Weightloss



Whether your motivation is a New Year’s resolution, planning a special outfit for an event or aiming for a Summer bod -- fitness, diet and weight loss are top on the self-care hit list.  Am I right? We prioritize health and wellness and “finally losing the weight” at times when we feel most motivated.  Here’s the thing: if all it took was motivation, we’d be there!  And if it was about going to the gym or dieting, everyone would be getting results.  The bottom line is that it takes more than motivation and the standard strategies.  For results, we need to SHIFT from our notion of motivation, willpower and drastic action to a plan that focuses on simple, do-able, daily steps designed to SUPPORT your body’s innate wisdom.  Keep reading to learn the top 5 things to put on your daily action plan so you can ditch diets and stressful strategies and get closer to your goals, starting now.


1.      Break a Sweat:  Go for a short hike with friends, or a brisk walk or become a Wogger, like me – I’m a proud Walking Jogger. I walk a bit, jog a bit; wash, rinse, repeat.  Then, at least once a day, have a dance break.  I double-dog dare you to pop on some rockin’ tunes and dance around.  Grab a YouTube yoga video or something cardio (I love the Fitness Marshall videos – popular, fun music and cardio dance combined). Why not the gym, you ask?  2 reasons: #1, People fail to go to the gym due to lack of motivation. There’s always something better to do and driving to the gym becomes a low priority.  And, #2, gym workouts can put so much stress on your body that you produce more cortisol and halt weight loss.  If the gym is your zen zone, by all means keep doing your thing, but if it’s not, know that you are allowed to find your own rhythm… you don’t have to train insane in the gym.  You do have to break a sweat, activate your muscles and get your heart rate up a little doing something that you enjoy.


2.      Drink Water:  I know you read this all the time and it sounds like the simplest advice. Drink at least 8 ounces of water a day… blah…blah..blah!  Gorgeous, I am telling you right now that without enough water that’s exactly how you feel (and you may not even know it).  Even as a Health Coach, I didn’t really believe it.  I used to get maybe 4-6 glasses of water every day in the lineup with a couple cups of coffee and some tea.  I figured all was well, all things considered.  But, I was way wrong, and you likely are too!  Especially in the summer and especially on sweaty days or days with higher activity, our bodies need more water.  Eight (8), eight-ounce glasses of fresh, clean, no frills added W-A-T-E-R is what’s on tap, for real.  Not only is it something your body has a critical need for (for basic metabolic functions and pretty much every bodily function), but it also keeps you out of the trap of sugary drinks with lots of empty calories.  Ditch everything else for a week and switch to plain water.  This step alone can result in a few pounds of weight loss, better sleep, improved skin tone, better focus and more energy. 


3.      Mock Me: Alcohol contains sugar, stresses the liver and sets off insulin resistance – all of which can result in weight gain. So, if you are looking to lose some weight, take a break from alcohol and opt for the mock!  Not only are mocktails super refreshing and fun but they allow you to feel festive and engaged at social events without sabotaging your health! Many mocktail recipes can be found with a simple Google search, but you can also join me for a Mocktail or Kombucha Class for hands on tasting fun!


4.      Prioritize Produce: When people look to lose weight fast it’s often at the expense of proper nutrition.  Short term “solutions” can add up to long-term weight gain because of the negative impact on metabolism and digestion. Instead of doing something drastic, shift your approach and prioritize produce.  Summertime means greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  If you are looking to burn some calories this summer, you need to eat well. Eat Clean. Ditch processed foods. Eat the rainbow daily. Your body will respond with slow, even weight loss while you enjoy the bounty of summer gardening!


5.      Sleep: You’re not alone if you’re wondering what sleep has to do with weight loss.  What’s wild is that improving sleep almost always improves weight balance and overall health!  Studies show that insufficient sleep affects appetite and satiety hormones. It also impacts the ability of our fat cells to respond to insulin (if you’ve heard of “insulin resistance” this is it).  Without enough sleep or enough good sleep, we experience increased levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin and decreased levels of the satiety/fullness hormone called leptin.  Sleep deprived study participants consumed about 300 calories a day more than when they are well-rested, with the calories coming from higher-fat and higher carbohydrate foods. Long story short -- Don’t compromise on your sleep.


Cause I love ya, I can't wait to connect with you some more.  Reach out on Facebook, tag me on Instagram or email me -- sarahlawrencehealth@gmail.com .  I want to hear about your summer savvy weight loss wins, your warms and wonders about everyday health.





Spring Lentil Soup

Welcoming Spring with a warm lentil and mushroom soup.  It was 50 degrees here in New Hampshire today, but the ground is still blanketed with snow.  In the early days of a new season, we are invited to lean in.  Transitioning is often more comfortable when we work with food to aide the shift.

So, a pot of beautiful Spring Lentil Soup is in order for our family table today.  Rich with immune supportive mushrooms, this soup could be had in the depth of winter (but I would make it thicker and more hearty with the addition of white beans).  

To make it:
Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot and saute~
1 large onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander

Add ~
1 cup each diced celery and carrot
2 cups crimini or button mushrooms, minced
1 cup green lentils
6 cups vegetable or mushroom stock

Simmer until the lentils are tender and the broth is rich... about 45 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with a salad.  On our table tonight -- torn Romaine and Kale with caramelized yellow beets and maple walnuts  -- its' about the most perfect pairing.  

Sarah Lawrence

Quick and easy

The theme for me on this crisp Fall day was "quick and easy." Breakfast was cucumber, kale, apple and ginger juice. 3 minutes, alive and an easy way to open the day. image Lunch was a bowl full of baby greens topped with warm miso broth, carrots, mushrooms, and scallions.  Made this bowl brilliant by adding a twirl of pickled ginger.  Using warm broth is one way to stay high raw without giving up the comfort of warm foods. image Dinner was leftover miso soup. Felt like a sweet treat so I ran with some ChocolateCoveredKatie inspiration and whipped together a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter and a few drops of liquid stevia in the vitamix until smooth. Topped the fluffy mousse with a sprinkle of coconut and a bit of raw cacao powder. (CCK made her concoction in a big batch, froze it and used it as a pie filling... definitely an idea for a day when I've got the time to pre-plan!) image Spent maybe 15 minutes prepping/cooking today.  Eating well doesn't have to take a lot of work. What are your favorite quick meals?

Sarah Lawrence

Polenta Pizza (gluten free vegan yumminess!)

Polenta Pizza (makes 6 servings) 2 cups polenta 5 ½ cups water 1/3 cup nutritional yeast ½ tsp sea salt 1 tsp pepper Topping ½ cup tomato sauce ½ cup shredded non dairy cheese, like Daiya Prep a 9 x 12 glass baking pan by rubbing or spraying with oil.  Set this aside. Bring water to a boil in an appropriate sized pot.  Add polenta slowly and whisk continuously as you are adding the corn meal; messing up this step will mean lumpy, uneven polenta… so stay alert and whisk, whisk, whisk!  Whisk in the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.  Stand near the pot because for the next 20 minutes you will be on hand to whisk every minute or so… we don’t want the polenta to burn or get too stiff. When 20 minutes has passed, the polenta should be stiff-ish but still creamy.  Spoon it into the prepared glass dish and press it into the corners while smoothing the top to make it an even layer.  Next, top with the tomato sauce as you would pizza dough.  I like to spoon it on and spread it to the edges.  If you prefer a saucier top, add more sauce to suite your taste.  Finally, top with your cheesy shreds.  You can pop the whole thing into a hot oven for a few minutes to gently melt the cheese, but I don’t find that necessary.  Just wait about 5 minutes for the polenta to set up firm and then slice it and serve.   [caption id="attachment_509" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Polenta Pizza with herbed broccoli and salad"]Polenta Pizza with herbed broccoli and salad[/caption] Nice, soft change from crispy GF pizza crusts.  This is a big hit with our 5 year old whose favorite food is pizza!


Easy Vegetable Sushi Roll (gluten free vegan goodness)

[caption id="attachment_315" align="alignright" width="300" caption="YUM!"]YUM![/caption] Oh how I love sushi!  It's so healthy and is super easy to make at home.  Hope you'll give this one a whirl.  It's worth it! Play with vegetable combinations.  Some of my favorites are avocado, cucumber, carrot, scallion and mung bean sprouts.  Try sweet variations with fruit like mango and kiwi to make a fun roll for kids.  Be creative and enjoy your food! p.s.  For another fun veg roll recipe, click here to check out my fresh Spring Rolls in the "It's All in a Day!" post.  They are fun to make and you can use whatever veg you have on hand. Vegetable Sushi Roll  Basics: Bamboo sushi mat or bamboo placemat or a piece of parchment paper 2 sheets of raw or toasted nori 1 carrot, cut into long, thin strips (julienned) 1 cucumber, seeds removed and julienned to match the carrots Condiments: wasabi paste pickled ginger soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s amino acids (gluten free if you need it like me!) Rice: 2 cups cooked sushi rice (I used leftover steamed thai rice) 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1/2 tsp stevia powder 1 tablespoons rice wine Rock and Roll: Combine rice wine vinegar, stevia and rice wine in a small bowl until the stevia dissolves.  Reheat your leftover rice for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  Put the rice into a large bowl.  Pour the vinegar mixture over the rice while you gently stir the rice.  The object is to cool the rice while coating it with the vinegar dressing. Now that the rice is ready, let’s get moving.  This is a quick meal considering we’re using leftover rice. Lay your nori shiny side down on the mat of your choice.  A bamboo mat makes rolling much easier, but if you don’t have one you can use a stiff placemat or even a piece of parchment paper.  I don’t want equipment or lack of it to stop you! Nori, face down; time to spread half of your rice.  Scoop about ¾ cup of rice onto the nori.  Rice should be sticky and glossy but not wet.  Moisten your hands with cool water and use your fingers to spread out the rice into a thin layer.  We are aiming to cover the nori with an even layer of rice.  Starting with wet hands means that the sticky rice won’t stick to our fingers right away. [caption id="attachment_311" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Veg Sushi Step 1"]Veg Sushi Step 1[/caption] Once the rice is laid out we’re going to place our veggies.  So, lay out a row of julienned carrot and cucumber about 2 inches from the bottom of the nori sheet.  We want the veggies to be even from side to side so everything stays together and looks pretty when we cut this into slices. [caption id="attachment_312" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Veg Sushi Step 2"]Veg Sushi Step 2[/caption] Magic time is upon us!  Lift the bottom edge of the sushi mat and begin to roll toward the top edge.  You need to press firmly on the roll to keep it tight.  Continue rolling to the top edge and press the mat at the top to seal the roll.  Repeat the procedure with the second sheet of nori.   Using a serrated knife, slice each roll into 6 or 8 pieces and serve with a dab of wasabi, braggs or gluten free tamari and a heap of pickled ginger. [caption id="attachment_313" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Veg Sushi step 3, rolled and ready to slice"]Veg Sushi step 3[/caption] Want to check out another version of my veg sushi roll on Food.com?  I’ve been making this stuff for a while now and it just couldn’t be easier!  Click here: http://www.food.com/recipe/tofu-maki-vegetarian-sushi-41104#ixzz1GWvr2Up2 [caption id="attachment_314" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Vegetable Sushi Platter"]Vegetable Sushi Platter[/caption]