31 January 2013

It's all math baby

How is your New Years Resolution of losing weight going?

Mind is going great.  Because I am good at math.  Let me teach you.

I think we make this weight loss thing WAY too complicated.

Here is what it boils down to.   

Are you ready?

If the calories in EXCEEDS the calories out you GAIN.

If the calories out EXCEEDS the calories in you lose.

See the teal & green columns?

See.  That isn't hard.


Look yourself up on this chart (from WebMD)

Moderately Active*


 I use about 2000 calories a day.  So if I want to lose 1 pound a week I need to keep my calories at 1500 / day.  If I want to lose 2 pounds a week I eat 1000 calories a day.  The problem here is any "diet" that goes below 1200 calories a day for a woman can get dangerous.  

Which is where Take Shape for Life comes in. Our parent company Medifast has developed Medically Designed Meal Replacements.  They give your body everything it needs to thrive during a calorie reduced weight lose program.

With my clients I use the 5+1.  You eat 5 Medifast meals and one regular meal.... a Lean and Green.  It doesn't get simpler than that.  No appetite suppressants.  No extra vitamins.  Just 5 Medifast meals & 1 meal you cook.  


And suddenly you find your calories out EXCEED your calories IN and BOOM... you are losing weight!

The beauty of TSFL is you learn portion control.  
You lean to eat small frequent meals.  
You learn the Habits of Health.
And I help you get from your fat loss stage through the purple transition and on to the dark blue which is your personal Optimal Health.

On the 5+1 Take Shape for Life I get about 1000.  And boom... there is my 2 pounds a week weight loss.  

Now... go & do your math. 

Let me know if you want my help in getting yourself healthy!  That is what I do!

Read my Getting Healthy story.
If you are interested in learning more about getting and staying healthy please contact me!

Jennifer Z. Lewis
 Certified Health Coach
Web site: teamlewis.tsfl.com

28 January 2013


One of the things we Americans love is our pasta.  

I know I do.  

But lots of carbohydrates don't support our weight loss efforts. 

When I have a craving for spaghetti and meatballs I opt out of the spaghetti part and make this:


1 pound lean ground beef
1 T mustard
2 t reduced sodium soy sauce
2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 t hot sauce
1 clove garlic
1 egg

Mix everything in a bowl except the meat.

Add the meat. Work as little as possible to get it all mixed. up.

Now I have tried 2 method of cooking these.

The mini muffin pan... bake in the oven way.  (350 deg for about 15 m btw)

And the brown in a pan way.

I MUCH prefer the pan way. The browning is better.


Don't forget to weigh your portion size.  If you are doing the 5+1 with me you need to keep it at 5 ounces.

Now all you have to do is add your "green".  I picked steamed broccoli.  1 1/2 cups of it to be exact.


Read my Getting Healthy story.
If you are interested in learning more about getting and staying healthy please contact me!

Jennifer Z. Lewis
 Certified Health Coach
Web site: teamlewis.tsfl.com

25 January 2013

Lean & Green in a Restaurant

Restaurants are not our friend when it comes to weight loss.  

The portions are huge.  

There are hidden fats, HFCS, calories, sodium, carbohydrates and artificial ingredients everywhere.

Did you know that crispy beans WITHOUT sauce at PF Chang's will run you 895 calories.  

A chicken chopped SALAD at the same restaurant will run you 670 calories.

Cesear salad at the Cheesecake factory will cost you 860 calories.

And those are things you might order if you were being calorie conscious.  Salads, beans, etc.  

If you wanted to splurge you might order the BBQ pizza and consume 1120 calories.  
And that is the LUNCH portion.

Let's put those calories into perspective.

First a minute on exercise.
If you  believe that exercise alone will get you thin... take a minute and read THIS please.  I'll wait.  It is worth a read whatever you believe.  Good info to have.

Ok... so back to putting those restaurant calories into perspective. If you are doing Take Shape for Life with me and are in weight loss mode you are consuming between 800-1000 very carefully balanced calories a day.  Go back up & look at the calories again.  

So what's a person to eat?

The same thing you do at home of course.

Lean & Green

At any restaurant you should be able to come up with a lean protein and vegetable combo.  You may need to be specific with the waiter.  Leave off the croutons for example   No dressing.  Ask how is that chicken prepared.  Find out if the salad has candied nuts and cranberries in it.  Get chatty.  It is your health at stake here!

One of my clients and closest friends always says...
NOTHING tastes as good as skinny feels.

One of my go-to restaurant meals is the Grilled Chicken Caesar salad (no dressing, no croutons).  You can find that almost anywhere.  Even fast food places like Subway.  Most restaurants will provide you with nutritional content if you ask. Some have them right on the menus.

Be aware of trick words like "low-carb" or "skinny".  Lots of restaurants have options they say are healthier and they may be compared to the 2200 calorie burger and fries.. but that doesn't mean they are healthy ENOUGH.

Here are some examples of things you can order and stay on plan.
"Naked" salad with grilled meat
Grilled chicken or fish with steamed vegetables
Meat & Vegetable Kababs are great.  No sauce please.
Chicken & Vegetable fajitas are a good choice.  No sour cream or guacamole or tortilla.

THIS is a link to the dining out guide published by Medifast. 
If you have a mobile device and you eat out a lot... download this file and search for suggested menu items when you are ordering.


Read my Getting Healthy story.
If you are interested in learning more about getting and staying healthy please contact me!

Jennifer Z. Lewis
 Certified Health Coach
Web site: teamlewis.tsfl.com

23 January 2013

Chicken soup for one

Chicken Soup for One

Sometimes when you are trying to get healthy or lose weight you default to meat and salad.  

But  it is winter and I understand the need for soup.  

Soup can be great.  Full of good thing.  

Or it can be full of things that don't support your weight lose efforts.... like butter or cream.  

So if you are craving soup like I was here is one solution.

Take all your Lean and Green ingredients... and heat them up!  Sounds simple because it is.

Here are the ingredients.

Chicken soup for one

6 ounces pre-cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 C mushrooms
1/2 C celery
1 C spinach
1 C low sodium chicken broth
spices (more on this later)

Throw the mushrooms, celery & chicken in a pan sprayed w/ oil.  Saute until fragrant.

Measure 1 C low sodium chicken broth & slowly add to pan while stirring.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of something.  I used Thai seasoning.  I love this stuff.  You can add 1/2 teaspoon thyme, oregano, whatever.  Just make sure the seasoning doesn't have any salt or sugar and you are good to go!  If you are using thyme you might need to grind in some pepper. This Thai seasoning has red pepper already in it.

Get a bowl.  You'll need a bigger size bowl for this.  Put the raw spinach in it.  If you want, you can add the spinach to the pan and cook it.  I like to do it this way:

Pour the hot soup over the spinach.  Let sit for a minute or two.


Don't try to tell me THAT doesn't look amazing right?

Happy winter.


Read my Getting Healthy story.
If you are interested in learning more about getting and staying healthy please contact me!

Jennifer Z. Lewis
 Certified Health Coach
Web site: teamlewis.tsfl.com

21 January 2013

A 30 day Habits of Health Challenge

As you may know I'm a Certified Health Coach.  

I represent a great program called Take Shape for Life.  

I can help you get and stay healthy.   

One of the tools I use is a book called Habits of Health by Dr. Anderson.  Right NOW he is doing a 30 day Habits of Health Challenge.  If you care at all about getting and/or staying healthy go to THIS web site and sign up. 

 You will get emails for 30 days with small challenges designed to improve your overall health.

Here was today's lesson #1.

Lesson 1:  Your Changing World

The Habits of Health Philosophy
Welcome to the beginning of a life changing journey. I am excited to help you leave behind the world of obesity for one of vibrant, long-lasting health. Most health programs immediately force you into an extreme workout with an extreme diet, promising unhealthy levels of weight loss in an unrealistic amount of time. The result: the diets fail, and any weight lost returns quickly and with vengeance, leaving you even less healthy than when you started. 
The Habits of Health approach is designed to help you make a sustainable life change . Exercise and diet will be important parts of your journey, but they treat systems of unhealth rather than the cause. The first step in living a healthier life is changing the way you think about yourself and about health. Once you have made a mental change, making and maintaining the physical change will be much easier.
Your Changing World 

Our body's innate design has served us well-for our first 3 million or so years on earth. Our elaborate system of energy conservation and 40 billion fat cells helped us use every calorie efficiently and hoard energy when needed. Usually, back when we hunted all day for energy sparse food, our daily calorie consumption matched the effort we expended to get those calories, enabling us to maintain a balance of energy in and energy out. We may not have lived long, but we were lean, mean, fighting machines.
While our natural tendency is to store energy, our bodies haven't adapted to living in a world with constant exposure to abundant calories , and because our bodies are designed to conserve energy, we gravitate to machines and devices that rob us of the muscle-building movement that could help offset that higher intake. On top of this, we lose on average a pound of muscle per year after age 20. Since each pound consumes 50-70 calories of energy in a twenty-four hour period, by the time we're forty we've lost about 1,400 calories of energy expenditure a day!
Further complicating the problem is nutritional pollution. Over 90 percent of the food we eat is processed, meaning that in addition to all of those energy-dense extra calories, we're eating a diet that's:
  1. High glycemic (e.g., high fructose corn syrup)
  2. High fat
  3. High in salt
  4. High in chemicals
With the steady creep of Sarcopenia, shrinking muscles, and with high-glycemic foods turning on insulin to put your body in constant fat-storage mode, you have a recipe for metabolic syndrome-a cluster of symptoms that affects over 70 million people in the U.S. alone, a downward spiral of medication, doctor visits, and hospitalization.

Our simple to follow plan begins by getting you to a healthy weight, but to get there we first have to look at and adjust your current habits. Health is ultimately a result of choices. Essentially, you are either making obesigenic choices or leptogenic choices. Obesigenic choices make you obese and leptogenic choices make you think.

Today:  Your Weekly Habit of Health
Most of us are not working labor intensive jobs, so our daily activity is limited.  Make the leptogenic choice to take the stairs whenever you can. If you start out by going up one flight and taking the elevator the rest of the way, that's perfectly fine. The goal is to do more than you were doing before, and small improvements are a lot bigger than they seem.

Tomorrow we will evaluate your food and drink intake as well as your energy expenditure.  

Read my Getting Healthy story.

If you are interested in learning more about getting and staying healthy please contact me!

Jennifer Z. Lewis
 Certified Health Coach
Web site: teamlewis.tsfl.com

19 January 2013

Beef Stew

  Beef Stew

Wait... I thought we were promoting weight loss here you say?

We are?

But it's a BEEF STEW recipe?

Yup... I know.

Pretty great right?


3 pounds lean stew meat
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 T oil
2 T chili powder
1/2 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 C red wine
1 C low sodium chicken broth
1/4 C tomato paste

*Notice this is a purist version of beef stew.  There aren't any carrots or potatoes.  There is no barley, etc.  If you are looking for a beef & barley recipe I did one last winter that is awesome... it is HERE.  Today we are making beef stew to promote weight loss.  The difference is we need protein with out the starchy vegetable   You can have that later.  Right now we are focusing on getting all those Christmas cookie we ate off. 

So here we go. Preheat your oven to 325.

Toss the meat in the salt and pepper.

Get a super heavy pot and put the oil in.  Heat over med-high.

Dump in half the meat.  Sear on both side, set aside.  Repeat with the other half of the meat.  Sear and set aside.  You'll know when your sear is done because the meat will release from the hot pot all on it's own.  If you try to pull it off & it is sticking... give it another minute.

Now chop the onion & press the garlic.

Throw into the pot.  Cook while stirring for 5 minutes.
(one of the things that is so great about this recipe... you only dirty ONE pot).

Now put the tomato paste in and stir while cooking (the pot has been over the heat this entire time btw).  Cook for about 2 minutes.

In the mean time measure out your wine & broth.

Slowly add the liquid.  Bring to boil.

Now add back in all the seared meat & collected juices. Bring to boil again.

Put the lid on and stick it in the oven..... for about 3 hours.

This is what you will get.  Can you smell it?  Your neighbors will.  And invite themselves over...

So if you'll remember we are trying to maintain good health here.  So... although yes you can eat beef stew... you shouldn't eat a whole plate full.

So get your scale & measure about 5 ounces of stew.  That is 1 serving.  

Then add a nice basic salad. 

And enjoy your yummy Lean and Green!


Read my Getting Healthy story.
If you are interested in learning more about getting and staying healthy please contact me!

Jennifer Z. Lewis
 Certified Health Coach
Web site: teamlewis.tsfl.com

17 January 2013

Vegetable Omelette

Vegetable Omelette

Ever have one of those days were you need to fix your Lean and Green but realize there is no meat to be found?  Nothing thawed... no fresh... nothing.

But you have eggs don't you.  Everyone has eggs.  

This recipe is for those days.  
Or the days you just are really craving an omelette.  
Or the days you want breakfast for dinner.  
You get the idea.

Here is what you need.

3 eggs 

Goodness that is a short list.  But this is THAT easy a thing.  

Now for the "fine print".  If you are doing TSFL you may have 3 whole eggs 1x a week or 2 every day if you choose.  You may also use a combination of whole eggs and egg whites or all egg whites.  The quantities you are allowed are in your quick start guide.  As for the vegetables. Please also refer to your Quick Start Guide.  I used 1 C raw spinach, 1/2 C white mushrooms, 1/2 C tomatoes.  Any combination would work.  

Throw the tomatoes and mushrooms in a non stick pan.  

Saute until they are soft & yummy.

Add the spinach.  Cook until wilted.  Remove.  We are using the same pan to make the Omelette because who likes extra dishes... no me!

Mix up the eggs.  Grind in some pepper.  Don't salt at this point.  You can add it later to the finished product IF you need it.

I just let the eggs sit in the pan on medium-low w/ a lid over it and cook them through.  I'm not a fan of runny egg.  Cook yours how you like.  Now put on the toppings (which are already cooked and warm).  Fold over... and.....


Read my Getting Healthy story.
If you are interested in learning more about getting and staying healthy please contact me!

Jennifer Z. Lewis
 Certified Health Coach
Web site: teamlewis.tsfl.com