BetterU 2014 – Week 6

Welcome to week 6 of the BetterU Challenge! (New here or want to find out more about this program? Jump back to the week 1 information here!)

Special thanks to Marni Hughes and Q13 Fox News – they are helping spread the word about the Go Red BetterU program! We are looking to help YOU participate right along with us. Are you going to join in on the BetterU program with us? If so we are honored to have you here! Leave messages below to say Hi, ask questions and shout it out that you’re doing the #GoRedBetterU program on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and more!

Here  is the link to the segment on Q13 news with from April 29, 2014. Chef Kirsten talks about breaking barriers and her 5 favorite healthy convenience foods. Catch up with Shirley and Kristi this week as well! Here are some clips from their video diaries. Here is the delicious healthy chicken chili recipe too!

Week 6

This week is focused on breaking barriers. We all have them, sometimes we create them to avoid facing difficult situations, or to avoid change. Many of us allow these barriers to create permanent “hang-ups” though, keeping us from creating positive change in our lives. When we face the barrier it is easy to throw our hands up and just go back to our old ways.

Barriers Require Solutions.

Work through obstacles that get in your way:

  1. Identify the problem. Sometimes the real barrier is not obvious.
  2. Brainstorm solutions. Think of any way around the problem. Don’t dismiss any idea yet. Just let the ideas flow.
  3. Pick a solution. Select what you feel is the best solution for you.
  4. Try the solution. Put your plan into action. If it doesn’t work, revise and try again.

Here are some examples of common barriers I hear, and some ideas for how to work through them. 

  • “I don’t like working out, it’s boring.”  Have a friend who works out in the morning call you to wake you up and encourage you to get up. Create a vision board or go back to your journal entries when you initially started this program, or your healthy lifestyle. Remember WHY you are a healthy, active person who lives a healthy lifestyle: You want a long, healthy life, you want to take care of your heart. Find an exercise partner or exercise class to help you stay interested.
  • “I never find time to workout.” Look over your schedule to see where you can find time, even if it’s 10 minutes, to do some sort of exercise.
  • “I get hungry between meals and end up buying unhealthy snacks.” Always keep low-calorie heart-healthy foods around. Use a shopping list, and don’t shop when you’re hungry. Are you dealing with cravings? See below.
  • “If I go to a buffet, I just can’t control how much I eat.” Take one minute at a time while you are in front of the buffet table and remind yourself that YOU are a healthy person and you live a healthy lifestyle. Put a small portion of healthy options first on your plate, enjoy one dessert or something else not necessarily healthy that is totally worth it to you, and don’t go back for seconds. Believe that you can do it and you will!
  • “I usually grab something on the way home from work because I am so tired, I don’t feel like/don’t enjoy cooking, or don’t know how.” Plan your meals a week at a time over the weekends and cook partial meals then so that you have most of your meal prepared and only need to heat it up and add finishing touches. Buy a new healthy cook book you’re excited to use, take a healthy cooking class or hire a personal chef.
  • “I can’t seem to resist my cravings for sweets and salty foods.”
    When you start having a craving, drink a tall glass of water. Fooling your stomach into thinking it’s full can guide you past the craving. JOURNAL your feelings and how you will feel if you were to give in to the craving and how you will feel when you resist the craving.

More on cravings, from Chef Kirsten

Here is a checklist to go through when you’re eating when you’re not hungry or it’s not time for a snack or meal. This is an important tool for us, but also to help our kids recognize why they may want to eat and not get into a cycle of emotional eating. If you’re planning your meals ahead of time, eating high quality food in the proper amounts and still wanting to eat when you’re not hungry ask yourself:

  • Am I truly hungry? On a scale of 1-10 how hungry am I? (If you’re truly hungry then have a healthy snack! If not, go on.)
  • Am I actually thirsty instead? Go drink a full glass of water and wait 20 minutes before deciding if you really need to eat.
  • Am I eating because I’m bored?
  • Am I eating because of another emotional reason? Journal instead.
  • How will I feel if I eat this (fill in the blank)? Do I want to feel this way?
  • What can I do instead of eating to make myself feel good?
  • How do I want to feel? Full? Stuffed? Light? Guilty? Proud? Satisfied?

Cravings can be the end of many well-intended healthy lifestyle changes and the beginning of month long binges for thousands of people! When you find yourself with a craving here is some help:
Identify where the craving is coming from. Is it a nutrition deficiency? For many of us, this is the cause. Cravings are our body’s way of telling us we need something. Sometimes it is proper nourishment, other times it is stress causing the craving and our brain is looking for a quick fix serotonin boost. Sometimes we need to go deeper and delve into our emotional reasons for cravings. This is when we journal then call a friend, go online for support, identify the problem without “stuffing” our emotions with food.

After identifying why you may be having the craving and determining it is not nutritional or emotional eating, give yourself permission to “give in.” While I don’t believe in labeling “bad” foods, (I think there is a place in even a healthy lifestyle for an occasional treat), when we tell ourselves “I can’t have that” it seems to make that craving for the foods that give the quickest boost, like junk food, even worse. When I recognize that I want something I tell myself I can have it…as long as I have something healthier first. Most of the time I find I am completely satisfied after my healthy snack and a big glass of water. Don’t keep unhealthy foods you crave and can’t resist in the house. If you have to go out for it you’re less likely to give in to the craving.

Eat to keep cravings at bay. I find when I stay well nourished and eat every 3-4 hours, my cravings pretty much go away. As soon as I have a few more processed indulgences than normal they seem to flare back up. When I research the countries with the least diet related disease and weight issues, here are the common threads: a healthy diet, appreciation for wonderful real food, eating often (not denying or depriving food) and enjoying a small sweet treat most days. Sounds like a pretty wonderful life, right? This is the lifestyle I have adapted and in the process I lost over 100 pounds and have kept it off for over 6 years now, without dieting or depriving.

Notes from the meetings:

This week the ladies all took a group walk. It is wonderful to see the relationships blossoming. I hope you’re enjoying watching Kristi and Shirley on Q13 Fox on their journey!


Have a wonderful week and congratulations on Week 6 towards a BetterU!

Chef Kirsten Signature

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Verdant Health Commission

Lynnwood Rec center



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