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Prep for Success: How Meal Prep Can Help You Lose Weight

Eating healthy meals can be a struggle for busy adults. It seems easier to grab a quick bite out during a busy day than take the time to prepare a meal.

In fact, 20% of Americans admit they eat out at least once a week. This means people are choosing convenience over control.

The good news is, with some simple meal prep strategies you can combine convenience and control. Meal prep allows you to create healthy recipes for easy access throughout the week.

Choosing healthy meal prep options over less healthy fast food also helps with weight loss. A study from the National Institute of Health found that regular meal prep was beneficial to weight loss and decreased obesity. How does meal prep help you lose weight?

Weight Loss Benefits of Meal Prep

When you choose to plan ahead, creating healthy meals for the week, you give yourself more control over what you’re eating. When you go into your week prepared, you cut out the need for quick fixes when hunger strikes.

Control Nutrient Intake with Healthy Meals

With prepared meals, you have control over the nutritional value of your meals. Every person is different when it comes to their weight loss needs. With some simple planning and ahead-of-time prep, you make sure the foods you need are available.

You have complete control over the types of food you prepare. This means you can create snacks, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that will meet your schedule needs. This cuts down on the quick dash to the fast food line or prepared foods section of the grocery store.

If you know you’ll be on the run through the day, you can create meals that travel well. You can also have meals ready in the fridge when you get home, so all you have to do is stick it in the oven.

Whatever your schedule requires, you control the foods available. By planning around these schedule needs, you ensure a balanced diet throughout the day. You also have the ability to plan for portion control.

Meal Prep Makes Shopping Easier

When you start with a plan, it’s easier to pick the groceries you need for the week. You can go into the grocery store knowing exactly what you need. This means you can plan your meals around high-quality foods and cut out the need for unhealthy snacks and prepared foods.

Healthy meal prep involves using downtime to create ready-to-go meals around foods that promote weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. High protein, healthy fats, and nutrient-rich vegetables are a staple with meal prep.

By planning meals around these nutrient-rich foods, you cut out the guesswork. This means having several standard meal prep recipes to plan around.

Planning Healthy Meals Decreases Food Obsession

One of the biggest problems with traditional diet plans is the obsession that takes over. When you start worrying about what not to eat, your mind can become obsessed with the rules of the diet.

If you focus on having food ready for when hunger strikes, you can reduce that food obsession. Focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t relieves the stress involved with dieting.

Meal prep helps you relax about where your next meal is coming from. You have a plan, you have food available as soon as you’re hungry, and you don’t have to worry about on the spot calorie counting or nutrient analysis.

By planning ahead you relieve the stress involved with making good food choices. You can plan for high protein and healthy fat meals for those times you know you’ll have a slump. This can cut out some of those cravings that derail your weight loss efforts.

Meal Prep Allows for Variety

Let’s face it, when we eat on the go, choices are limited. Fast food and quick grab foods only have so many options. This doesn’t have to be the case with healthy meal prep.

By preparing foods ahead of time, you can create several options to choose from for each day. This will help banish that food boredom that can come with dieting.

Meal prep allows for creativity and variety through the week. This keeps you from giving up and choosing something unhealthy. Plus, you cut out the need to choose from burger, chicken, or tacos every day that comes with a fast food diet.

How to Meal Prep

If you’re new to meal prep, make sure you start simple. Start with the meal that causes you the most trouble to get used to the idea. Pick some easy meal prep recipes to start, and slowly build up your options.

By starting simple you give yourself time to get used to the idea of meal prep. It also helps to get your family involved. Discuss favorite recipes and dietary needs for everyone.

Another way to keep it up is to schedule the time. If you plan the time for meal prep, you’re more likely to stick to that schedule.

Pick a specific day and time each week to plan and prepare your meals. Stick to that schedule. Treat this time just like you would any other priority on your schedule.

It’s also a good idea to plan and schedule the meals you plan to create. Get the foods that require the most prep out of the way first, and move on to simpler foods.

Knowing what recipes you plan to create also helps. If you have several meals that involve chicken, you can cook it all at the same time and separate it for the individual recipes. Make meal prep as easy as possible for yourself so you can stick with the process.

Beyond Meal Prep-Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

Meal prep is just one aspect of creating a healthy lifestyle for weight loss and maintenance. To get the most out of your health goals, it’s important to educate yourself and get advice.

Dietary supplements can also help as you work towards those health goals. Programs that are supervised by health professionals can help you find the right supplements or lifestyle needs for your weight loss goals. For more information about dietary programs, check out the ChiroThin program and find a doctor near you to help you get started.

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Why You Need More Sleep to Lose Weight Naturally

It’s hard to lose weight. We know that well in the US. Our culture of obesity means we’re facing a major health crisis.

As such, fad diets, shred workouts and medical procedures are all the rage. They offer a quick short-term solution. But without a full lifestyle overhaul, the weight always comes back.

The best kind of weight loss occurs when we lose weight naturally.

That’s because natural weight loss means our lifestyle is healthy. Who doesn’t want to improve their lifestyle for a long, healthier life with more energy? A long life means more time for the people and things we love.

A big part of having a long, healthier life is the quality of sleep we are getting at night. Most people don’t associate sleep with weight loss, but they really should.

Does Sleep Impact How We Lose Weight Naturally?

That’s the question we seek to address in this article. It’s no secret that when we don’t get enough sleep bad things happen.

But how many people really know about the connection between sleep and weight loss?

On the surface, it’s easy. Getting sleep sets you up to make good decisions about your day. Maybe after some serious shut eye, you’ll take a medium coffee or hot tea, instead of a venti latte with extra caramel sauce.

Maybe you’ll have the energy to cook a dinner that’s high in vitamins and minerals that inspire natural weight loss. Maybe you won’t get Chinese take out instead.

When you don’t sleep, you don’t have the clarity to make good decisions. Being under the influence of sleep deprivation is much like being under the influence of a substance. It affects all of your decisions.

That’s Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Maybe you’re thinking, “Okay, okay. I can see how a lack of sleep impacts some decision making, but not mine.  I’m good to go!” But bad decision making is just the tip of the iceberg.

Even if you have the mental clarity to power through a tough day after sleep deprivation, there are things about not getting enough sleep that you can’t control. Namely, hormones.

Specifically, we’re talking about leptin and ghrelin. These hormones are critical in signaling hunger and fullness in the brain.

When you’re tired, your leptin plummets. And your body thinks it needs to eat more food to compensate.

To learn more about leptin and ghrelin we are going to look at them individually and the role they play in how we lose weight naturally.

Ghrelin

Ghrelin (hormone) tells you it’s time to eat. The biological role of ghrelin is to prevent starvation and make sure you have the energy to get through the day.

If your stomach is empty, ghrelin is produced. But when your stomach stretches, presumably because you’ve eaten, the secretion of this hormone stops. Ghrelin helps to increase body mass.

When you only get a few hours of sleep and your body is tired, your ghrelin spikes.

That’s not a recipe to lose weight naturally. It’s a recipe to gain weight fast. Long story short, if you wake up tired from sleep deprivation, you’re going to be hungrier than you would otherwise.

Leptin

We know when you don’t get sleep, you eat more due to ghrelin. But what’s up with leptin?  What role does it play in our quest to lose weight naturally?

Well, leptin is also known as the “satiety hormone”.

We need leptin to ensure we don’t overeat. It shares the same receptor in the brain as ghrelin. And when the ghrelin stops secreting, leptin takes its place to tell us we’ve had enough.

But when we are sleep deprived we also deprive our bodies of leptin. Because the hormone plummets far below normal levels.

So What Does That Mean?

The combination of high ghrelin and low leptin means we wake up hungry and have trouble feeling full. The result is overeating.

Overeating leads to weight gain.

So if you have one or two days like this a month, you might be alright.  But if you consistently lose sleep, you are playing a dangerous game of Wack-A-Mole with the hormones that help you make good decisions about food.

Eating the kind of carby meals you might choose when your decision making is impaired by lack of sleep increases leptin.

Now you may be thinking, “Well, that’s great! If I don’t get a lot of sleep, I’ll just carbo-load in the morning to get my leptin back up for the rest of the day!”

But that’s not good either because playing with your leptin levels can increase the likelihood of leptin-resistance. And leptin-resistance means you have a hard time getting full. It’s a tell-tale precursor to insulin resistance which is linked to diabetes.

Enter Cortisol, Stage Right

And just when you’ve had enough of these hormones tearing down your weight loss goals, enter cortisol. Cortisol is “the stress hormone” that induces a fight or flight response when we are anxious.

Cortisol hormone plays a key role in retaining belly fat and obesity. Studies show that sleep loss results in elevated levels of cortisol that can impact your ability to lose weight naturally.

High cortisol in the evening actually makes it difficult to fall asleep.

You read that right. Lack of sleep affects your cortisol levels the next evening making it harder to go to bed at night. So don’t start yourself down that vicious cycle that results in tiredness and obesity.

The Quick Fix

Ok, so there’s never an effective quick fix to natural weight loss. But there is a quick fix to ending sleep deprivation. Go to bed early and sleep all night through.

If you think you may be stuck in the cycle of sleep deprivation and poor food choices, make an appointment to see your doctor or chiropractor. Look for other natural ways to go to sleep early.  You can even download apps on your iPhone or Android that help you sleep.

No excuses. If you want to lose weight naturally and live a healthy, happy life start with your sleep cycle. Because everything’s connected.

If you don’t believe me, head to our website for before and after photos that will change your mind about natural weight loss.

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How To Spot Someone Who Is Fit for A Weight Loss Program

A great question I’ve recently heard is…

“How do you know if someone is a proper fit for your weight loss program?”

First, find anyone that’s overweight. Anyone that’s overweight by 10 or 20 pounds or more is definitely a good fit.

You’re looking for anyone that is dealing with a lot of systemic things — like maybe type two diabetes, high blood pressure, or digestive distress. They’re not sleeping well at night. Their skin looks horrible. They look older than they actually are.

Don’t forget to do this with your active patient, and ask them if they know anyone else that is looking to lose weight in a doctor-supervised and healthy manner.

Those are some of the best ways to find out who’s qualified in your clinic.

People the are most qualified in your clinic are the ones that really want to get healthy.

They’re following your chiropractic treatment programs. They’re very receptive to doing something different, and they’re willing to do what it takes to make a difference in their health, even if they know they’re going to miss out on certain foods that they’re going to want to have over the next 6-8 weeks.

Those are the perfect people that you want to target– your qualified candidates to start your ChiroThin weight loss program.

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Add This Profit Center To Your Practice In 3 Steps

What are some three simple steps to add weight loss to your practice?

1. Look at your calendar.

We need to make some room to see weight loss patients.

You’re going to look at a typical 20-25 minute initial consultation, and then 20-minute follow-up visits every 1-2 weeks.

2. Identify and target who qualifies for your weight loss program.

Look at your warm market. Look at your active patients.

Anyone that is overweight and is experiencing pain, low back pain, type two diabetes, high blood pressure, and digestive distress, or they’re just not sleeping well at night — those are great people to target.

Do an email campaign to your non-active patients and see who you can help from there.

3. Ask for referrals, and do a workshop.

Ask people, “Who you know that could use our help to live a healthier and better life by losing 5, 10, maybe even over 20 pounds to get their life back to a point of health and happiness?”

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How To Lose Weight: A Beginner’s Guide

The harrowing statistics are in: 2 out of every 3 Americans are medically considered overweight or obese.

By now, we all know that medical risks associated with carrying extra weight. From diabetes to cancer to high blood pressure to cardiovascular disease, toting around extra pounds can seriously shorten and compromise the quality of your life.

Whether you’re trying to shed five pounds or two hundred, knowing how to lose weight (the right way!) is key to your long-term success.

Let’s get into what you need to know!

Diet is King

When it comes to knowing how to lose weight, you need to know how to eat. Simply learning how to dial in your nutrition can make a tremendous difference in your weight.

With that said, not all diets are considered equal. You may need to engage in some trial-and-error processes to find what works for you.

Let’s look at a few popular choices.

Calorie-Based Diets

These diets tend to follow a simple rule: eat whatever you want within a certain allocation of calories.

With these plans, you don’t have to omit any foods or food groups. Instead, you learn and value the principles of moderation.

For these reasons, many participants benefit from keeping a food journal to track what they consume. After all, we’re all guilty of mindless eating and snacking. If we don’t track it, we risk adding extra weight.

Specialized Meal Plans

From A to Z, from Atkins to Zone, there is no shortage of popular meal plans and structured diets available out there.

If you want to learn how to lose weight without too much effort (or time spent cooking), these plans might be best for you.

Typically, you’ll pay an upfront fee for the supplies and materials, and you may also pay for online communities or coaching.

Intuitive Eating

Today, many dietitians are touting the benefits of intuitive eating for its simple premise. You learn how to lose weight by learning how to listen to your body.

The idea here may seem radical, but it’s actually quite simple: we tend to eat based on all kinds of rigid food rules and regulations.

It’s only when we calm down all that mental chatter do we learn how to attune to our body’s natural needs.

Exercise is Queen

Even though exercise may not be an absolute essential when it comes to how to lose weight, it’s still very important.

Exercise helps burn calories, increase strength, and can stoke your metabolism. This is all associated with increased health, a fitter physical appearance, and improved energy.

Unfortunately, many people associate exercise with ultra-long marathons or intense weight-training sessions. It doesn’t have to be that way!

In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that we all get 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week. When you break that down, it comes to about 30 minutes for five days a week.

How to Lose Weight Exercising

The best fitness plan for losing weight and staying healthy? It’s the one you can commit to!

That’s right: it doesn’t matter if you love yoga, tennis, rock climbing, surfing, or simply dancing in the privacy of your home. As long as it gets your heart rate pumping, it’s good for you!

With that said, it’s important to engage in three types of exercise:

  • Cardiovascular (running, dancing, jumping, playing sports, plyometrics)
  • Strength (weights, body-weight exercise, exercise machines)
  • Flexibility (stretching, yoga, pilates, dance)

If you’re just getting started with exercising, go slowly! You don’t want to injure yourself.

Sleep Matters (A Lot!)

Want to know how to lose weight while you’re unconscious? May seem silly, but yes, sleep is critical to your physical well-being.

Unfortunately, many of us are sleep-deprived. We go to bed late, wake up at erratic times, and caffeinate ourselves to power through the day.

Unfortunately, poor sleep makes us feel groggy, which often impairs our body’s ability to properly use insulin. This makes us more likely to store up fat in all the wrong places.

Furthermore, a lack of sleep is associated with impaired thinking (kind of like being drunk on alcohol).

Therefore, it’s harder to hone in on your willpower and make healthy choices. That’s why the donuts or office candies may be calling your name- you’re tired, and you want a quick fix for energy!

Finally, think about the last time you tried to work out when you were exhausted. Chances are, you weren’t able to perform at nearly the capacity you desired.

With all this in mind, you need to prioritize your sleep, just like you prioritize your nutrition and fitness. Make it a point to go to bed at the same time each night. Aim to wake up at the same time each morning.

Your body (and your weight) will thank you!

Stay Hydrated

You know that water is important for hydration. As it turns out, water is also important for weight loss.

Many of us mistake hunger signals for thirst. The next time you find yourself reaching for a snack, pour yourself a glass of water instead. You may just be thirsty!

Furthermore, water can help power your workouts (which means you’ll torch more calories).

Finally, water can boost your caloric burn, which can naturally increase your metabolism. That’s because your body has to “work” to process the liquid coming in.

Best of all? Water is completely free. And, it doesn’t have a single calorie. Talk about a miracle drink!

Already Know How to Lose Weight?

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably been on a diet at some point. Maybe you’ve even lost some significant weight, but you’re unable to maintain your successes.

Don’t worry. Professional weight loss assistance is available to help you reach your weight loss goals. Be sure to check out our ChiroThin program today!

Recipes

Pico de Gallo with Chili-Spiced Grilled Steak

4 sirloin steaks
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pico De Gallo Ingredients:
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the pico de gallo, season to taste with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

3. In a bowl, combine the chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder; season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Sprinkle the steaks with the chili mixture on both sides, make sure it is evenly covered.

5. Grill the steaks 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness.

6. Let the steaks rest 4 to 5 minutes and serve topped with the fresh pico de gallo.

Serving Size = 3 ounces of steak and 2 cups of veggies

Recipes

Garlic and Herb Butter Top Sirloin Filet

4 top sirloin filets
1/4 cup soft butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2. In a bowl, whip together the butter, garlic, parsley, basil, and oregano.

3. Season each steak with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Bring a skillet to medium-high heat, and brown the steaks in the skillet for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

5. Top each steak with 2 teaspoons of garlic-herb butter, and place in the oven.

6. Cook the steak in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes, or to the desired doneness. Let the steak rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Serving Size = 3 ounces of steak with 2 teaspoons of butter

Recipes

Colombian Steak with Onion-Tomato Sauce

2 lbs. sirloin tip steak, sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Juice from 1 lime
Fresh cilantro to taste
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Season the steak to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

2. Melt 2 teaspoons coconut or olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the steak 4 to 5 minutes; set aside.

3. Lower heat to medium, and add the onions.

4. Cook, stirring for 6 to 8 minutes; then, add the garlic and cook another minute or two.

5. Add in the sliced tomatoes and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Pour the chicken or beef stock into the pan and cook, stirring until tomatoes are soft, 6 to 8 minutes.

7. Add the steak back to the skillet; season with cumin and pour lime juice into the mixture.

8. Toss everything and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.

9. Adjust seasoning as needed; serve topped with fresh cilantro and sliced lime.

Serving Size = 3 ounces of steak with 2 cups of veggies

Recipes

Carne Asada with Portobello and Bell Peppers

2 skirt steaks
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 serrano or jalapeño chilies, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Portobello and Bell Pepper Ingredients:
2 to 3 large portobello mushrooms, sliced, stems removed
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoons taco seasoning, NO sugar added
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. In a bowl, combine the lime, olive oil, cilantro, chili(es), garlic, oregano, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Pour the marinade over the steaks, and let marinate for 30 minutes.

3. Grill the steaks on both sides to your desired doneness (about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare).

4. Let the steak rest for a few minutes.

5. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion and bell peppers for 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Add the mushrooms, taco seasoning, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

7. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes stirring until it starts to soften, but is still firm.

8. Slice the steak against the grain, and serve with the portobello and vegetable medley.

Serving Size = 3 ounces of steak with 2 teaspoons of marinade and 2 cups of vegetables

Recipes

Turkey Chili Recipe

3 to 4 cups of shredded, cooked turkey meat
2 cups onions, chopped
2 bell pepper, chopped
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken or turkey stock
2 tablespoons chili powder or to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Green onions, sliced (optional, for garnishing)

1. In a large saucepan placed over medium-high heat, melt some oil and cook the onions and bell peppers until the onions are golden (about 5 minutes).

2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Stir well and cook for a minute.

4. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken or turkey stock, cooked turkey meat, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Give everything a good stir.

5. Bring the chili to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes.

6. Serve warm with freshly sliced green onions on top.

Serving Size = 3 ounces of turkey

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