When my clients come in to see me, I hear two different things:
1. I do really well for breakfast and lunch, but when I get home from work, I eat non-stop until I go to sleep.
2. I eat really well when I am at home, but when I am at work, there are so many sweets, I can’t stay away.
These are two opposite problems but with the same solution: change your environment to work for you!
If you struggle with the first problem I listed, chances are you are likely not eating enough throughout the day. You feel like you are doing well because you had oatmeal for breakfast and half a sandwich for lunch, You didn’t notice that you were hungry because you were busy, but then you get in the car to drive home, have some time to think and realize you are starving. By the time you get home, you eat anything, so you go for the chips or the sweets, the quick things. When you are eating quickly, your body will become too full before your brain realizes it. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes after eating for you to actually feel full.
The solution is to eat more balanced throughout the day, eat your oatmeal for breakfast, but maybe add in a piece of fruit that you can eat at your desk for a mid-morning snack. Or, instead of eating a half of a sandwich, go ahead and eat the whole thing. At home, make those go-to snacks hard to get, keep the chips and sweets in hard to reach places and put a bowl of fruit on the counter or cut up vegetables in clear containers that you can see right when you open the fridge.
If the second problem sounds more like you, planning ahead may be your best option. Often times, at work or when eating out at restaurants, there are choices that you wouldn’t usually buy for yourself to eat at home such as donuts, french fries or pizza. These foods are calorie dense and nutrient deficient, but are full of those appealing components: salt and fat.
If you know there will be foods that will be tempting at your job, keep some fruit or healthy granola bars at your desk and eat that instead of heading to the break-room for a sweet treat. If lunch is being brought in, look ahead at the menu and request a meal that works for you or bring in your own meal from home. I always like to bring in leftovers from dinner the previous night.
Eating out at restaurants is another common dilemma when trying to eat better and change your lifestyle. Almost all restaurants have their menus online these days, so if you know where you are going to eat that night, take a quick peek at the menu beforehand and find something that will work for you. If that is not an option, look for words such as grilled, roasted and baked. These all indicate methods for cooking that use lower fat. Also, avoid sauces and gravies, opting for a red sauce on pasta rather than a white sauce. Many restaurants are open to substitutions as well, so ask for an additional side of vegetables or ask for your main to be prepared with no salt or oil, most restaurants want your return service, so they will work to prepare the dish the way you want it made.
When it comes to fast food, sometimes this is the only option, there are some ways to make the best choices there too. Fast food chains are required to have their nutrition facts available to the public, so if it is not posted, ask for the nutrition info before ordering. A lot of times, it may seem as though the salad is going to be the best option; however; this is not always the case. Some salads at fast food restaurants have more salt and fat than a simple hamburger. So again, it is about ordering what YOU want. Ask for a salad, but without the meat and with the dressing on the side. If I am in a pinch, I will order a kids meal, it is the right portion sizes and healthier options, such as apple slices are available in place of fries.
So if you are on the path to living better and eating well, don’t be discouraged. Going out to eat, socializing with your co-workers, or coming home to relax after a hard day at work do not need to be traps to get you off track. Simply do a bit of planning and work to make your environment fit you.
Share your tips for eating health on the go in the comments section below!
One of our recent CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) graduates, Joe, was kind enough to share his success story with us.
Since completing the 12-week course, Joe has a renewed vigor for life (and cooking, to boot!) He’s dropped excessed weight, dramatically reduced his cholesterol, and now has an abundance of energy he didn’t before.
Read about his personal journey:
Family history is cause for concern…
Prior to CHIP, I always had tried to minimize intake of red meats (opting for mostly poultry, pork, and fish), salts, sugars, butter, egg yolks, etc., and drinking only skim milk. Heart disease runs in my family. I lost my dad at age 57 after a quintuple bypass and a valve replacement. His four brothers all had open heart surgery or angioplasty with placement of stents in their 50’s/60’s. My own brother, who is quite active, had his first heart attack at age 55. I also have several cousins who have had heart attacks around 50 years of age.
I turned 50 in August of this year. I had been taking baby aspirin as a precautionary measure.
Wake up call…
I had a bit of an awakening in mid-July when a sore calf muscle ended up being the only symptom for a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in main vein in my leg) and bilateral pulmonary embolism (blood clots broke free from the leg, traveled through the heart, and lodged in both lungs). After the fact, I was told how lucky I was and that many people die from this.
On my way to a fishing trip in late July, I got a call from a good friend saying she was considering taking a class called “CHIP” and thought it might be a good match for me. She sent me the info, and also borrowed me a book titled “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.” I began reading the book and then attended the information session for the CHIP class.
Deciding to take the CHIP-plunge…
Ultimately, I signed up to take the CHIP class.
During my very first CHIP class, I received a call from my vascular specialist telling me that my arterial plaque build-up was not terrible, but that it was more than there should be for a male that is 50 years of age. He recommended that, although my blood cholesterol did not exceed 200, that I begin taking statins immediately. At that point, I countered his proposal.
I told him what I was going to attempt through whole food, plant-based eating and that I would like 3-4 months to drop 25lbs, and attempt to get my total blood cholesterol below 150. He agreed that that was a great approach. Most people are reliant on the quick fix, i.e. the drugs, and don’t address the underlying cause.
Let the [CHIP] journey begin…
I completely threw the switch to no meat, no fish, no dairy, no processed grains or sugars… Within two weeks, I began to notice the loss of my excess weight, my energy level was increasing, and I was getting an increase in mental clarity. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of foods and the phenomenal taste. Initially I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to be so sick of beans.’ But here’s the kicker … the recipes fold in various ingredients where you’d least expect it… Caesar salad dressing, the best I’ve ever had, and yes, made with garbanzo beans! Chocolate chip cookie dough, the kind you don’t bake … again, made with garbanzo beans. The soups, the stews, the main dishes… crazy delicious! Turns out, I love to cook! Banana pancakes, waffles, nachos with cashew cheese, sweet potato black bean stew… all the fresh ingredients… Your taste buds change and begin to pick up on flavors that you never knew existed.
Each class begins with a meal prepared by volunteers who are helping to promote better health through whole food, plant-based eating. Each class has a theme -- heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, etc. There are guest speakers, grocery store tours, food preparation demos, recipe sharing, interaction with the other “CHIPers,” plus more.
The results are in…
Over the course of 12 weeks (18 sessions), not only do you note that you feel better, but everyone in the class shows physical signs of weight loss … faces slimming down, clothes fitting looser, people in general happier.
In the first six weeks, my total cholesterol dropped 10%, and I was down 12 pounds, despite eating like a horse. No calorie counting, no buying premade meals from some plan, almost everything from raw ingredients.
I can’t say enough about this class … best money I’ve spent, hands down. It will pay for itself in reduced health care bills, not to mention the reduction in food costs due to no longer eating out as much. Even better, rather than being on a slow health decline as we age, you actually have that energy to be interactive with kids, grandkids … living your best life possible, enjoying it rather than enduring it.
Spreading the word…
I share my newly acquired knowledge with everyone … family, friends, nurses where I get my blood tests done, random people at a music concert, my dentist and dental hygienist, co-workers … Many see my excitement and are planning to attend the next information session to learn more.
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It’s your turn! Are you interested in having your own success story to share with others? Attend our next FREE informational session about CHIP on Monday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m, at Seventh Day Adventist Church in Rochester. Food sample provided!
You can also learn more about the program on our website at www.rochesterclinic.com/chip1
Healthcare costs in the U.S. are on the rise. It is estimated that 70-80% of healthcare costs are due to chronic disease, and the main reason for a trip to the doctor.
Exactly what is chronic disease and what can you do about it? Chronic diseases are conditions that cannot be prevented or cured by vaccinations or medications, nor do they go away on their own.
Common chronic diseases:
● Elevated cholesterol
● Type 2 diabetes
● Coronary heart disease
● High blood pressure
However, living significantly longer and increasing quality of life is a reality, even for those with these chronic diseases. Modifications in lifestyle will lessen and potentially eliminate chronic conditions, and therefore increase quality of life and reduce medical expenses. You have the power to take charge of your health. This is lifestyle medicine.
Lifestyle modifications include:
● Plant-based, whole food diet and nutrition
● Physical activity
● Stress reduction
● Family/social support network
For more information on Rochester Clinic, the services and programs we offer, please give us a call at
We are happy to answer your questions and get you on your way to a healthy life!
Whether you’ve fully adopted a plant-based diet or are simply dipping your toes in the water, there’s no doubt that wholesome food is at the center of one’s wellbeing.
Here we’ve rounded up five of our favorite cookbooks that are chock full of nourishing recipes and nutrition tips that are sure to assist in your healthy eating goals:
1. Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook
If you watched the Forks Over Knives documentary (read more about it here , along with the rest of our top documentary picks), you know what FOK is all about – the concept that degenerative diseases afflicting so much of the U.S. today can be controlled and even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. This cookbook features 300+ plant-based recipes which place fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes in the lime light.
2. The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes
This cookbook came to fruition thanks to The China Study; a book touting one of the most comprehensive nutrition studies ever conducted which reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health and can halt or even reverse many diseases. The China Study Cookbook shares 120+ plant-based, nutrient-dense recipes that promote optimal health.
3. The PlantPure Nation Cookbook: The Official Companion Cookbook to the Breakthrough Film
PlantPure Nation, yet another noteworthy documentary created by the same producers as Forks Over Knives, provides this trusty companion cookbook boasting 150+ plant-centric recipes. It’s also filled with tips, tricks, and grocery lists for people interested in a whole food, plant-based diet.
4. Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes
Inspire healthful, plant-based eating among the whole family with this must-have cookbook from Dreena Burton. From delicious school lunches to appetizing on-the-go snacks, this book supplies more than 100 kid-tested and approved recipes and serves as an excellent reference for parents raising young ones on a whole food, vegan diet.
5. Crazy Sexy Kitchen
Don’t let the risqué title of this one deter you. Author and cancer survivor Kris Carr attributes her triumph over cancer to her lifestyle changes, most especially her diet. After embracing a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods, she soon discovered the transformative power of nutrition and felt better than she ever had. This cookbook offers 150+ recipes that includes everything from fresh-pressed juices to delectable desserts.
Also recommended: Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, But I Could Never Go Vegan
What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Share on our Facebook page !