Becoming and Staying Strong through Adversity

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Step 1 – Caring for our Body and Pushing Past Our Limits

Ten years ago in 2003 I was sad, fat and unhealthy, and going through a really bad year.  I was separated from my husband of 28 years, my son was having big troubles with the law and drugs and I was without a job, living on my savings.  I was 50 and did not know what I was going to do.

The first thing I learned was we have to get up every day.  We have to get our body working – with some exercise.  We have to take in the right nourishment, nourishment that will help our mind and body to perform even when our heart is breaking.

There are some tricks to staying positive in the face of so much adversity.  One I used, and use today, is to stand in front of the mirror, with a loving smile and say:  “I am beautiful, I am loving, I am lovable and I am worthy of love.”  This allowed me to feel that there would someday be someone else in my life to give all my love and passion to.

I also decided that I would get in the best shape of my life and make my ex-husband drool!  I did!  I quit eating junk food, soothing my sadness with Ben & Jerry’s and chips, and moved to healthy protein shakes, veggies, fish and chicken.  I ate very little sweets, gave up dairy and especially my beloved cheese.    I started taking my supplements every day, morning and night and added fish-oil fatty-acids, fiber and everything USANA’s scientists recommended.  (www.energyunlimited.usana.com).  I rode my bike, swam and ran with my dog.  I joined a gym and hired a trainer.

I lost 24 lbs in three months.  I got off my anti-depressant.  I cleared up my skin.  I dated some great guys and learned I was beautiful, loving, lovable and worthy of love.  I learned life does not end with divorce.  Later that year, when my son passed away in October, I almost collapsed, but, I kept going. I stayed off anti-depressants and doubled my fish-oil capsules (which are natural anti-depressants).

I honor his memory by speaking to youth groups about breaking through addictions with exercise and nutrition.

If you are in a bad place and feel trapped, make sure you are taking care of your body.  This will give you the strength to Be Lean and Strong and overcome all adversity.  In my next post I will talk about Step 2 in Staying Strong in the Face of Adversity — the Support of Friends.

Love,

Deb Dutcher, Energy Unlimited Coach

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Why I Admire Fitness Models and Trainers

Here I am at 60, watching gals in their teens, 30s, 40s and 50s The Girls heading to competitionworking-out and training for their first fitness competition — bikini model!  I am so proud of what they do and all the discipline they apply to their daily regimen — every day, for weeks and months!  My motto is to Be Lean and Strong at Any Age, and, if we follow even half of what they practice, I am sure we all will! 

Here are some tips I have learned from the fitness models and trainers I work with, who are all on USANA vitamins, minerals and optimizers, I am happy to say!

– Eat five to six times a day, small, complete meals — lean protein, veggies, whole grains

– Drink at least half your weight in ounces of pure water a day, and drink one glass before and after exercise

– Exercise at least one hour a day (one hour is to maintain, more is to lose)

– Don’t eat the five no-nos:  processed sugar, processed starch, high-fat dairy, high-fat protein and trans-fats

– Don’t drink empty-calorie drinks

– The really serious ones in their 12-week pre-competition phase eschew anything but lean chicken and fish, and power-down tons of broccoli, green beans, asparagus, green and chamomile teas.  Very little fruit, which does not work for me.

I follow much the same program, but I am more lenient with myself and my clients.  I figure we deserve a “cheat day” about every 9 days.  More and I will gain weight, less and I am rather bitchy.

But, on the days I pretend I am a fitness-model in training, I can drop 2 lbs a day!  So, if you want to lose weight and firm-up fast, just try eating and training like a fitness model for a week!

Are Belly Bugs Making You Fat?

belly crampAre you bloated, constipated and full of gas??? Know how to get rid of it, for good? For years I struggled with intestinal issues and extra belly-fat. After adding probiotic supplements and high-fiber foods, these problems are gone!!! There is a great article in the April issue of More Magazine that explains why. Here is a quick summary: First, there is electrical communication between the brain in your head and the one in your digestive tract. (Who knew? — Guess this is what the butterflies in the stomach are about…) Second, the brain in the gut is made-up of a network of nerves in the digestive tract. Researchers have discovered a new player in the second-brain — the trillon little bacteria that live mainly in the inner walls of the large intestine. Current medical research is showing that probiotics do amazing things for us — beyond restoring the good bacteria balance we need and helping us absorb our nutrients, they can contribute to lowering stress and disease and helping us lose weight. A French study-team, led by Michael Messaoudi, the scientific and medical director of ETAP, a research lab in France, says his studies are showing that, even as the brain alters gut action, so the gut alters the brain. Researchers have known for years that stress can change the bacterial conditions. When your big brain senses a threat, glands pump out stress hormones that trigger several chemical responses in your gut. This can alter the balance of good and bad bacteria. Most of us are under so much stress that is no wonder we are gassy, constipated and bloated!

The right strains of probiotics are the Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus. I take a supplement with 12 Billion live bacteria made-up of both of these, every other day! What a difference it has made! You also need to feed the little buggers — they like soluble fiber from foods like: oatmeal, chicory, bananas, wheat, garlic, onions, flaxseed, artichokes, barley, legumes and raw dandelion greens. We are supposed to consume 30-35 grams of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, a day. Most Americans get less than half that amount. For that reason I also snack on raw veggies, whole fruit and high-fiber nutrition bars.

You can get probiotics naturally from these sources: yogurt with “live” or “active” cultures, kefir, cheese, sauerkraut and kimchi. But, as I am dairy-intolerant and do not care for sauerkraut or kimchi, I take mine in a powdered form, mixed with a cold drink. The research also says you have to avoid a hot drink for one hour after dosing with your probiotics.

I encourage you to add a good probiotic/prebiotic program to your regimen. It will help you feel great, look great and fend-off illness (I have not been sick for years, since starting on this daily program….)

Here is to your health! Be Lean and Strong at Any Age!

How to Keep the Weight Off for Thanksgiving

Thinking about how to keep off the holiday pounds after that Thanksgiving feast?  Super-simple: Eat a really healthy breakfast with protein and fiber and vitamins (my choice, my Super-Chocolate Nutrimeal shake, using one scoop of the Chocolate Whey, one of the Dutch Chocolate and one of the French Vanilla — all from USANA of course),  get some exercise before the feast and walk after.  Nibble on the crudites and walnuts, not the cheese ball.  Eat the veggies and turkey, then some of the potatoes and heavier stuff.  Small portion of the pie, skip the whipped cream or only one dot of it.  The real stuff goes a long way!  Homemade cranberry relish and not the canned stuff — too much sugar.  One glass of wine.  Chew slowly and savor and you will not gain weight! HAPPY THANKSGIVING, Everyone!

Favorite Tricks for Staying Lean

So, we are coming up on the holiday season — you know, that time when you find more sweets and savory foods appearing everywhere, just to tempt you!  Well, you can have some of them, but not all of them, unfortunately.  My trick is to treat myself sparingly and load up on salads and lean proteins to stay full.  I also use my protein shakes and nutrition bars to stave off hunger so when I go somewhere, I can nibble on that goodie and not pay for it on the scales later.  The other trick I tell my clients is, when you eat something extra fat, buttery, sweet or salty, you need to have a good sweat-session within a few hours.  That way the extra calories move into the muscles and not onto the tummy or hips.  Sometimes we cannot do that, so the other option is to eat small the next day.  Ie:  Sunday I have a birthday and will eat a small portion of chips, salsa, cheese and crackers, plus the birthday cake (from which I will scrape off the icing).  The next day will be protein shakes, salads, and exercise.  It will all even out!  At 60, I cannot cheat every day or binge on a regular basis. But, don’t think I am not eating fun and tasty food.  I am!  I just make sure it has low sugar, lots of fiber and stay away from processed foods.  In my next blog I will share some great holiday recipes you can use and no one will even know they are not full of calories, fat or sugar!

Hello world!

Here we go!  I am starting a blog.   What I will do is share my favorite quickie fat-burning exercises and delicious but super-healthy recipes.  I will also tell you which vitamins and minerals and antioxidants do what to your body.  As a Certified Nutrition Consultant and rep for USANA for over 11 years, I have learned a thing or two and have helped hundreds get healthier and reach optimal weight and have oodles of energy, safely!  Hope to hear from you on your own concerns.