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Be Random


 

Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, August 13th, 2013

 


Sometimes, despite eating healthy, exercising, meditating and all that good stuff, you can still find yourself dragging through the day looking for a little pick me up.

 

Before you reach for that triple shot Americano, try a little random act of kindness instead.

 

For me, this daily habit started, well randomly, by letting the person with only two items go ahead of me in line at the grocery store. Then it was pulling the garbage cans up the steep driveway of my elderly neighbor. Each little act gave me a euphoric hit that became quite addictive. Just one random act a day improved my mood for the whole day. Soon, I found myself looking forward to what I might do each day to make someone’s day a little brighter. Pay for the Slurpee’s for the two teenagers behind me at 7-11(Don’t ask what I was doing at the 7-11, the Twinkies were not for me I swear), sitting with a widowed neighbor for a brief visit, handing an extra Starbucks card to passing military personnel, offering to take group pictures for a vacationing family in Portland, and the list goes on and on.

 

Studies show that performing random acts of kindness can:

 

  • Lower Stress

  • Lower blood pressure by releasing oxytocin, (the same effect as snuggling a baby as a matter of fact.)

  • Decrease awareness of physical pain

  • Decrease feelings of anger and frustration

  • Create a sense of happiness and well being

 

The effects can last for hours or even days. Sometimes the opportunity just pops in front of you and sometimes it takes a little forethought but it works either way.

Even my husband is in on the act. Though it is nice to do these random acts without recognition, He and I often can’t wait to get home to share with each other what little bit of kindness we did that day. It sets a nice tone to our evening ahead as well.

 

Be good to yourself by being good to others and enjoy. Now I am off to see what kind of random mischief I can find.


Sherri Sacconaghi, AADP, NASM-CPT

Certified Health Coach

www.themissionofnutrition.com

503-621-7549

"Inspiring you Towards a Healthy Body and a Joyful Life".

Bookmark with:

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Beyond the SPF


Article posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, July 22nd, 2013

  


It is summertime so that means a lot more time spent outdoors in the sun. (you know, the bright thing that pops out every once and awhile around these parts?) We all know it is important to us sunscreen to protect our skin from damaging rays, but wait, there is more you can do.

 

What we put IN our bodies can help protect our skin along with what we put ON our bodies. There are some delicious foods that help protect your skin from the sun and some have even shown a link to a decrease in skin cancer. Who knew? So while it is important to keep slathering on the sunscreen, try adding some of these foods for a sun protection boost.

 

  • Tomatoes and Watermelon. Both of these popular picnic foods contain the antioxidant lycopene, which studies have associated with a decreased risk of skin cancer. Research shows that eating lycopene-containing foods regularly can increase your skin's protection from the sun by 33 percent! So load that basket and hit the park.

 

  • Salmon. This fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties that are not only good for your heart, but also great for protecting your skin. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids are also helpful in fighting off free radicals in the body, which can occur as a result of overexposure to U.V. rays. This could help cut your melanoma risk in half! Throw a salmon burger in place of that hamburger on the grill tonight.

 

 

  • Carrots and Sweet Potatoes. These orange-colored veggies have nutrients in them called carotenoids that actually build up in the skin when you eat them, offering increased protection from sun damage. Nothing more convenient for the pool, park or trail than a bag a baby carrots.

 

  • Green Tea. In general I’m a coffee girl, but green tea does so much for our bodies. It enhances cardiovascular function, demonstrates anti-cancer activity, supports the immune system, detoxifies the body, aids weight control, and also protects skin cells from exposure to UVA and UVB rays. Okay, I’m sold.

 

  • Dark chocolate. As a self declared chocoholic, this must be why I rarely burn. Studies show that cocoa can make the skin 25% less sensitive to the sun. Just ditch the milk chocolate and keep it dark with at least 70% cocoa. Try dark chocolate in a s’more, your kids will never know the difference.

  • Turmeric. This yellow root contains a profoundly beneficial compound that possesses superior anti-inflammatory activity, boosts metabolism, an protects your skin. So burn fat, not your skin with this tasty spice.

 


Sherri Sacconaghi, AADP, NASM-CPT

Certified Health Coach

www.themissionofnutrition.com

503-621-7549

"Inspiring you Towards a Healthy Body and a Joyful Life".

Bookmark with:

Deli.cio.us    Digg    reddit    Facebook    StumbleUpon    Newsvine

Free, Fit and Fun!


Article Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi, July 8th, 2013

 

 


If you have some free time this weekend and are looking for something easy to do that does not require a lot of money or pre-planning, I have some ideas for you. These activities will save your sanity and your bank account, and if you do it right, you may have some fun while you are at it.

 

These weekend ideas are free, fun and will help your mind, body and spirit. And note that I do not mention the treadmill even once, so all of you skeptics can breathe easy and read on.

 

 

  • Have a pantry potluck. Go through your pantry and make a meal from only what you have on hand. Not only will you save money, you can clean out your pantry while you are at it. If you have not used the canned tuna from 2010 by now, it is probably a good idea to toss it.

 

  • Have a weekly “Meal Prep” day. Invite a friend over and prep a few meals for the week ahead. You can chop, dice, and whip up a casserole while dancing to your favorite tunes. Pop your creations in the freezer and you are ready to go.

 

  • Journal. When you find yourself with a moment of peace and quiet, take a few minutes to jot down your thoughts. Things for which you are grateful , goals you have for yourself, steps you will take this week to take care of yourself. People who make this a daily practice, report a more positive mood and outlook on life.

  • Take it Outside. If your kids are going stir crazy, and your house is an overwhelming mess ( or is that just my life?). Throw some sandwiches in a basket, add a buddy, a ball and a book and head toward your local park. Sounds simple but sometimes a little fresh air and change of scenery can be a welcome change of pace.

 

  • Help A Neighbor. This is my favorite! We all have someone in our neighborhood who could use a hand. An elderly neighbor in need of yard work, a single parent in need of childcare, or a lonely dog in need of a daily walk. These acts of kindness are not only appreciated, they are an amazing mood booster as well.

 

And if you are really ambitious, pick a closet in your house and start organizing (that picnic is sounding better and better isn’t it?). Have a fun and frugal weekend.

 


Sherri Sacconaghi, AADP, NASM-CPT

Certified Health Coach

www.themissionofnutrition.com

503-621-7549

"Inspiring you Towards a Healthy Body and a Joyful Life".

Bookmark with:

Deli.cio.us    Digg    reddit    Facebook    StumbleUpon    Newsvine

Fire up the 4th

 


Article posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, July 1st, 2013

 

 


Eating food for weight loss does not mean bland and boring. In fact, adding some spice to your menu not only adds flavor, it can also give your metabolism an extra boost for maximum burn.

 

So this Fourth of July as you fire up that grill, throw on your favorite protein and whip up your world famous side dishes, throw on a little heat and burn baby burn.

 

Here are my top three picks for spicing up any meal.

 

  • Chili Powder: Canadian researchers have discovered that spicing up a fatty meal with chili powder significantly increases levels of diet-induced thermogenesis. (the heat your body generates during digestion…i.e., calorie burn). They've also found that chili can actually help reduce your appetite.

 

  • Turmeric : The liver is an important fat burning organ. Turmeric can enhance the detoxification of the liver and protect cells from damage done from trying to digest the less than healthy fare we put in our bodies. It also suppresses the growth of fat tissue.

 

 

  • Mustard Seed. A tiny mustard seed contains selenium, a weight loss aid, and the amino acid tryptophan, which makes us feel happy and satisfied. There are omega-3 fatty acids in mustard, as well as a good number of essential minerals our bodies need. ( so yep, even the mustard you throw on a hot dog this weekend will count.)



Mix the three together and use it on grilled meat and seafood for a delicious BBQ rub. Or try this delicious recipe.



Shrimp With Turmeric and Mustard Seeds

Adapted from: Flavoring with Spices

Serves:4

1

pound medium size raw shrimps (about 16)

¼

teaspoon turmeric

¼

teaspoon chili powder

4

tablespoons sunflower oil

½

teaspoon mustard seeds (black or yellow)

4

garlic cloves, crushed

1

fresh hot green chili, finely chopped

1

tablespoon torn fresh cilantro leaves

teaspoon coarse sea salt (or to taste)

 

Peel the shrimp, but leave the tail fin intact. Place the shrimp in a bowl. Mix the turmeric and chili powder together, sprinkle over the shrimp, toss well with your hands ensuring all the shrimp is coated with the rub.

Heat oil in a large skillet and, when very hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start popping (about a minute or so), add the crushed garlic and saute until golden, (about two minutes), then stir in the chopped green chili.

Add the shrimp and saute over high heat for about three-four minutes until they become opaque. (Ensure the pan is not overcrowded and all the shrimp lay comfortably on the pan—this will help cook the shrimp evenly). Remove immediately to a serving plate—do not overcook. Sprinkle with coarse salt and the chopped fresh cilantro. . Serve with quinoa or rice.



Who knew fat burning could taste so good. Have a happy safe and spicy 4th of July.

 

 

Sherri Sacconaghi, AADP, NASM-CPT

Certified Health Coach

www.themissionofnutrition.com

503-621-7549

"Inspiring you Towards a Healthy Body and a Joyful Life".

Bookmark with:

Deli.cio.us    Digg    reddit    Facebook    StumbleUpon    Newsvine

Go Green

 


 

Article Posted by Sherri Sacconahgi, June 25th, 2013

 

greens By now you are fully hydrated with last weeks fat flush water, so lets take our weight loss plan one step further. Carbs. Whoops, get those visions of pizza and bagels out of your head. We are going green.

 

I love good healthy brown carbs like quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat pasta. They are an important part of a healthy diet, but to lose the extra pounds fast, get your carbs from green vegetables. Spinach, broccoli, green beans, lettuce and zucchini are not only nutrient rich but, they are loaded with fiber, which will help keep you full and keep things moving.

 

Substituting green vegetables will help assist in weight loss because they rank very low on the glycemic index. Veggies, thanks to the fiber, take longer for the body to absorb and therefore your blood sugar does not spike up as fast. This allows your body to use the food as fuel and it does not need to store it as fat. The added bonus, you will not feel the sluggish crash you get after a pasta dinner or a big sub sandwich.

 

No need to overhaul your whole menu, just make some simple swaps. Many starchy sides have a veggie alternative. Here are some examples.

 

  • Lettuce wraps. Swap your sandwich bread for lettuce leaves. Wrap it around a deli sandwich, sautéed veggies and hummus or even a big juicy burger. Another idea. Make tuna melts on red pepper halves instead of bread. (technically not green but you get my drift).

  • Zucchini Pasta: Using a vegetable peeler cut the zucchini into lengthwise ribbons. Heat one Tablespoon of olive oil in a pan; add the zucchini and sauté for about 3 minutes. Top with a healthy tomato based sauce.

  • Veggie Puree: A great way to use veggies on the verge of being tossed, this one is my favorite. Steam any vegetable siting around (kale, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers and celery are my go to combo). When soft, transfer to a blender and puree. Blend slightly for mashed potato like texture, or more so for a thick soup. Serve it toped with a grilled fish or chicken for a light summertime comfort food.

 

Looking for something a little heartier to put on your plate? Try Freekeh. It is a roasted green grain made from immature Durham wheat. Packed with protein, low in carbs and high in fiber, this is a perfect alternative to rice.

 

Go green for the next week and feel a little lighter for the hot summer ahead.

 

 

Sherri Sacconaghi, AADP, NASM-CPT

Certified Health Coach

www.themissionofnutrition.com

503-621-7549

"Inspiring you Towards a Healthy Body and a Joyful Life".

 

Bookmark with:

Deli.cio.us    Digg    reddit    Facebook    StumbleUpon    Newsvine
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