What Can Happen If You Don’t Eat Correctly…

Hello! Healthytransformations.ca is where I’m coming from, my name is Christopher Lawrence, and I bet your wondering what happens when this crazy guy screws up his food, like, cause you know, your all thinking Christopher’s so perfect! Nobody’s thinking that, they never have, but if your thinking jesus it seems so easy for this guy, its not actually. Sometimes I screw up. So, and sometimes, you know, its very delibrate for me, where I’m like I’m gonna change what I’m doing for a while cause I wanna see what happens. So I have this segment that I’m going to call, I’m going to have to look at my notes here, I guess Christophers stupid healthy- Christophers Stupid Health Experiments. So I’m going to talk about two of them, because that’s all there are and hopefully I’ve learned my lesson.

So I decided once that I wanted to know what would happen to my weight, like if I could actually make myself put 10 pounds on overnight or what would happen if I just ate whatever I wanted. So I did that for a week, I ate whatever I wanted for a week, and I did actually prove to myself that I can put 10 pounds on in a 24 hour period. So some of that would be food volume and water weight, inflammation, not necessarily fat on the body. It is possible. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and also it was disgusting, because I felt gross. So here’s kinda the outcome of that. I got sick for six weeks, it took me six weeks to get my body back on track. I ended up with one of the worse colds that I’d ever had, and it just would not go away. So that was a challenge.

The second time I did this I thought I’m gonna change what I eat, I’m gonna eat some higher glycemic foods, but they’ll still be “healthy foods”, so I’m gonna focus on grains and potatoes and that kind of thing and I’m gonna eat lots of those for a while. So then I ended up with gout, if you don’t know what gout is its inflammation, or sorry, its a form of inflammation, its a form of arthritis. It comes in the form of uric crystals being stuck in your joints, and they can’t seem to get movement, and the place where they usually settle is in the joint of the big toe, which is where mine settled, and it took me actually a couple of months to move from it. But here’s the funny thing, gout, western medicine, I love western medicine, I have an incredible family doctor, their model says that gout comes from dehydration, it comes from alcohol, it comes from eating to much shellfish, there is a couple of other things, but I measure my water. I don’t drink less than 2 1/2 liters of water a day, usually its more. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t eat shellfish. It also comes from eating too much red meat, but I don’t eat red meat either, which is not a healthy transformations program, I want to be clear, lots of those things are allowed in the program, I just don’t eat them for other reasons. So anything that kinda goes on the record of causing gout is not something that I do, or I’ve already done what’s preventative. Strange, right? So what we have come to learn is that gout is an inflammatory reaction, and is not just limited to the things that are listed, you know, on your short list of six items that might typically cause gout. Clearly, because I have it, and then, or experienced it anyway. Also I met somebody else who had gout and they said theirs was caused from chocolate, from the consumption of chocolate, which wouldn’t be typical at all. So even some things that we think might be benign can have an issue.

So this is what can happen when we don’t eat correctly, and its so easy for me to pinpoint because I eat correctly all the rest of the time and I actually don’t really get sick very often at all. Its very rare. Even if I get a cold its usually one or two days until its gone, max? Maybe max? Like, it doesn’t take much. So I can pinpoint very quickly that the dietary changes are contributing to other things in my life that might not be considered that way. So you might look at your health stuff and read some of these other blogs on healthytransformations.ca and learn about some of the impacts that food is having on your body that we might not actually relate to, health stuff. Take care! Healthytransformations.ca, Christopher Lawerance, Bye Bye.

Favorite Tactics for Behavioural Change

What are some of my favorite tactics for behavioural and habit change as it relates to food and weight loss and sustaining that forever? I know you’re dying to know. Christopher Lawrence Change, no sorry. Christopher Lawrence, that’s my other company. Christopher Lawrence Healthy Transformations dot CA. I wanna share with you what my favorite tactics are for behavioural change or habit change. And you can learn more about these too from a research article that was done by Angela Duckworth, who is one of my absolute favorite researchers on earth. She wrote an article called Willpower.. Nope sorry haha I know that word wasn’t it. It’s called Beyond Willpower, Beyond Willpower, Strategies for Reducing Failures of Self Control. That’s what it’s called. Whew, that’s a mouthful! So, these three things come from her research article. These are my three favorites, for myself what work for me. But there’s 22, 23 different tactics that you can try. One is called fresh start framing.

So fresh start framing is where we look at the next day, we do this all the time. Fresh start framing is like, oh this is a fresh start. So then we lean into changing the habit. The more we do that, the more likely we are to be successful with changing our food related behaviors. This is why smokers, on average, they need to try quit smoking? I don’t know if that makes sense. The cessation of smoking takes usually seven different attempts. It’s seven attempts to quit smoking I think. Shit, somebody help me with this! It takes, on average, seven attempts to quit smoking. So on average, somebody who’s trying to quit smoking, it might take them seven times to stop smoking. The same could be said of food. I don’t know how many times it is with food and changing food behaviours. I think food is very complex because we’re quite wrapped up in it, mentally, emotionally, physically, sometimes even spiritually for people.

So I like fresh start framing. It’s a fresh start. You see this all the time. New Years’, the number one goal for people is weight loss at New Year’s. But only 8% of people who set a New Year’s resolution for weight loss actually achieve it although on our program it’s much higher, significantly higher because we focus so much on behavioural change and correct science, that’s really important too. Fresh start framing can be the first of every month, it can be every Monday morning, it could be the next day. And guess what, It can even be just your next meal. So just because you started your day with a donut doesn’t mean the rest of the day is shot. We think that it is though, we fall off the rails. At lunch we’re having a bag of chips or maybe we’re eating a burger or whatever. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have a fresh start framing right now. One of my ways of doing that is actually by getting new stationary. I know it sounds really weird but I love really colorful pens. And I love new, oh I’m dropping them everywhere. Oh that light, if I lower myself it looks like I have a halo. Haaa-lelujah. Okay so, I love colorful pens and I love new notebooks and this kind of thing. I don’t know why, I just do. I don’t question it. So I use it to my advantage. So if I need a fresh start, I’ll go buy a new pen or a new notebook. And I’m compelled to use that notebook to track my progress. In a really weird way, stationary is a fresh start frame for me and it helps hold me accountable, which helps me lean into practicing that new habit of eating correctly.

Which leads into my second favorite tactic which is planning and tracking. I love planning and tracking. It works really well for me, for some of my goals not for all of my goals. But it does work really well for some of my goals. I keep it simple though, I think with food people over complicate what needs to be done for planning and tracking. And then it takes so much effort just to do the planning and tracking, it is not worth it. So I keep it super simple. I just kinda track, did I get my greens? Did I get my veggies? Did I get my protein? And did I get my fats? I kinda leave it at that. I don’t really make it more complex than that. They’re just simple check boxes, usually. I don’t write down everything I eat. Some people do and that works really well for them.

My third favorite tactic for behavioural modifications or changes as it relates to food is mindfulness. Using opportunities to actually taste my food, smell my food. If you ever eat out with me, or even here, you’ll often see me smell my food before I do it. It’s just a reminder that I’m about to eat something so I’m not just shoveling it into my mouth. Having been a little bit bigger, I think I had the mindset and behaviours that come with the over consumption of food. So I would eat without chewing a lot of the times. I really try to slow myself down and create a lot of awareness and mindfulness around my food so that I’m actually tasting it. I hope that’s super helpful. ‘Cause guess what, we’re all superstars! There’s a halo again, hey-lo. Hey, low. Check us out, Healthy Transformations dot CA. Remember to have fun with your food and keep it simple, keep it healthy, do not over complicate it. Talk to you soon, bye!

Restrictive vs Freeing

https://youtu.be/IRPlOt6ywT0

It’s Christopher Lawrence with Healthy Transformations Program. How do you guys put up with me? I’m so weird. Stay weird, hashtag, stay weird. Oh man, I was gonna go on this whole tangent about how in my life for a period of time, I used to call the hashtag a hash brown, so hash brown stay weird. But we won’t go there, we’re not gonna talk about that today. What I do wanna talk about today is a word that sometimes people use when they’re trying to change. Oh yeah, Christopher Lawrence, with Healthy Transformations Program .ca. That’s fun, hey? It looks cool. Okay, I’m gonna stop being a weirdo. Okay, yeah, so I wanna talk about two things that are, two words that are really important, and one word that’s actually really key when it comes to eating healthy and sustaining that forever. When people switch their diets to something that’s healthy, sometimes the word that we hear them use, Dr. Breen and myself, sometimes the word that we hear them use is that it’s restrictive. And so maybe, maybe compared to what you’re used to eating, you could have that perspective that it’s restrictive. But, there’s another way of kinda looking at that, which is maybe it’s not restrictive. Maybe what’s restrictive is being overweight and having chronic health issues, having an inflamed body, all things that I’ve experienced myself, and I can tell you, eating the way that I eat now is what produces freedom. Eating the way that I used to eat was restrictive because I was constantly sick, all of the time. And so, you know, you might just consider that. Like, is eating healthy restrictive or is eating healthy freeing? And, you know, I’m not saying that it’s easy but there’s this kinda term, right, which is like tough choice today, easy choice tomorrow, right? Or easy choice for life or tough choice today, easy life tomorrow, maybe. Right, so sometimes we’ve gotta make the tough choice to ourselves.

One of the things that I have to remind myself of is that I’m not so great that I don’t also have to say no to myself. Sometimes I have to reject myself, meaning, you know, I want that bag of chips, I want that donut, I want that piece of cake with icing on it. That’s at least what my heart and brain tell me in that moment, but I know that it’s not what I really want longterm and I don’t want what comes with it. And so sometimes I have to remind myself that, you know, Christopher, you’re an adult and sometimes you’ve gotta say no to yourself just like you have to tell a child. And I think we all kind of have that inner child, especially if you struggle with food. There is a child inside of you that is screaming, all the time for the bad stuff. It’s like I want it and I want it now, and I’m an adult and I can have it, damn it. And that’s a very true statement actually, is that you can have. The question is, do you really want it? You know, when you understand what comes with it, when you understand how inflammation works. Anyway, Christopher Lawrence, healthytransformations.ca. Please reach out to us. Let us know how you’re doing and let us know if you have interest in our program. Lookin’ forward to connecting with you. Take care.

In My Kitchen, Don’t Need to be A Chef

Christopher Lawrence with the HealthyTransformation.ca program. I’m so weird sometimes. I just wanted to do a real quickie today. When it comes to healthy food and healthy eating sometimes I think we go overkill with our behaviors and habits. Like if you’re not used to being in a kitchen, you’re not used to cooking healthy meals, you’re not used to cooking period and then you set this new goal that’s like, I’m gonna eat healthy, I’m gonna lose weight, I’m gonna reduce inflammation in my body, and you’ve got this plan, you’ve got these beautiful recipes, you get it all setup and then you crash because that’s not something that you’ve done before. I mean the problem is inherit in the problem. I don’t quite know where I’m going there, but you understand what I’m saying right?

It’s like if you’re not used to cooking that way to expect to eat healthy and become a Michelin chef at the same time when those are things that you haven’t done already, can be problematic, you’re working on too many things at once. Me, I’m a convenience guy. I don’t really like to spend more than three seconds in my kitchen a day for meal prep and planning. Maybe it’s ’cause I’m lazy, I think it’s because I believe that I’m too busy. That was my cuckoo clock, I don’t know if you heard it . It’s cute, it’s actually my spouse’s. Anyway, where were we here? Oh yeah, we were talking about you know if you’re not already a Michelin chef to expect to cook really healthy meals and change your time and your habit and your lifestyle you know that’s a tough thing to do. And for myself like I don’t like to spend more than three seconds in the kitchen and why is that? Well maybe it’s because I’m lazy but I actually think it’s ’cause I believe that I’m busy, and that spending a whole bunch of time in the kitchen doesn’t really feel productive to me, which is totally counterintuitive to eating healthy, I recognize that.

But the reason that I shared that with you is because I have been able to maintain my weight loss and keep inflammation down in my body by eating correct food conveniently. And I do that through some really simple tactics. I eat a lot of salads ’cause they’re really easy, here’s a container of greens, I take a handful, I put it on a plate, I slice some cucumbers, tomatoes, some really beautiful fruit and vegetables and put that on top and then maybe some olive oil, and maybe a balsamic vinegar of some kind. I like savory salads too so sometimes I actually add a little bit of salt , to bring out the flavors a little more. But you don’t have to be a Michelin chef to be in the Healthy Transformations program, you don’t have to be a Michelin chef to eat healthy and maintain and sustain weight loss. Work on one thing at a time. If you wanna eat healthy and you’re not a cook, then maybe don’t start by becoming a cook, maybe you start by eating healthy and learn how to do that conveniently you know, just like it’s convenient to grab a chocolate bar or bag of chips or go through a fast-food drive-through. If that’s your habit already, work with who you are not against who you are. So if that’s who you are find a way to make that work and make correct choices. You can do it, I know you can. Christopher Lawrence, healthytransformations.ca, please reach out to us we would love to hear from you about how you are doing.

Cheryl’s Heathy Transformation

Image of Cheryl's Healthy Transformation.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

[Cheryl] – My name is Cheryl, I’m a bus driver. I’ve been doing that for 24 years. And I’ve pretty much been overweight since I had my first child, so that’s over 30 years ago.

What was it like for you to feel overweight?

[Cheryl] – Well, it’s been a constant battle for me. I’ve always said, oh, don’t get any bigger, ’cause then you won’t be able to shop in the regular stores, and well that– So it’s just always depressing when you’re overweight you gotta shop for big clothes, they’re more expensive for one thing but yeah, it was very depressing for me, so I went through a lot.

How did you hear about the Healthy Transformations program?

[Cheryl] – From my best friends, from Sandy, she actually works for Dr. Breen and she’s the one that actually told me about it.

What made you join the Healthy Transformations program?

[Cheryl] – Well I knew about it for about three years, and then Sandy and Shayne joined in the second year. And I just noticed the transformation in them and just, I couldn’t believe my eyes, like just the amount of weight they both lost and how healthy they felt, and I’m like, oh wow, I gotta do that. And I did. Didn’t matter how much it was gonna cost, come hell or high water I was gonna do it because I needed to change me. It was worth every penny.

What kind of results did you notice?

[Cheryl] – Oh jeepers, quite a few things. First and foremost was the weight started dropping. And then I was able to walk longer and now I can run upstairs, I could never ever do that. I could bend over, tie my shoes, that was always a difficult thing to do because this was always in the way. Right, and just more energy, and I can think clearer, I think too, and happier, definitely happier, for sure, yeah.

How much weight did you lose?

[Cheryl] – So far, 65 pounds and still have about 20 more to go to get to where I want to be.

What did you love about the Healthy Transformations program?

[Cheryl] – Well the meetings were absolutely key for me, they taught me a lot about food. What goes in your body and what it does to your body and when you taught me how to get rid of the inflammation when we did that first part, the detoxing, that was crazy and then not having the sugar, like all of that combined was so much to take in at first but then it all came together as we went to class ’cause we’re all accountable, and I went, didn’t miss a class I think, only except when I went to Australia. But anyway, yeah, just learning about food and what it does to your body and how much other kinds of foods that you can eat that are so much better for you. And so that for me was a good thing. So now I don’t have the chips and the junk food and I don’t have any of that in my house anymore.

Doesn’t that make you also feel so confident?

[Cheryl] – It does, and you know what, I can still bake cookies and whatnot and I still don’t eat them. So it’s pretty good.

What was the hardest part?

[Cheryl]- The hardest part, I don’t know, I was so focused, I just wanted to lose the weight for me, so I just put it in my mind that this is what you gotta do, and there’s no ifs, ands or buts, there’s no changing and no going back. So it really wasn’t hard because once I put my mind there, that was it. So for me I was just really focused.

What did you think of the facilitators?

[Cheryl] – Dr. Breen is a genius! Very very smart, intellectual, just goes in and delves into everything and reads everything and then he gets back to you on that. And of course there’s yourself who’s wonderful and funny and attentive, and yeah, insightful. That’s what I meant. Insightful, yeah.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of joining?

[Cheryl] – Well I’ve actually talked to a few people about it and yes, money is an issue and that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t really do it the year prior ’cause I kinda had to save up some money. But it’s, I mean, you don’t wanna be this way for the rest of your life, you don’t wanna grow old, and then end up in a wheelchair or with a walker, you want your last years to be healthy. And to me, it was a no-brainer. Doesn’t matter how much it’s gonna cost ya, your life, it’s the only one you have. You need to be healthy. And for anyone who’s really thinking about it, just do it. Like Nike says, just do it. Do it.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

[Cheryl] – Just that it’s a fantastic, HT has just been absolutely wonderful. Great experience and I recommend anybody thinking of doing it, just do it.

A Journey of Discovery

Image of Healthy Transformations - A Journey of Discovery

I’ve been heavy my whole life. I’ve bowed down before the bread and potato gods repeatedly for 50 years. And I’ve paid the price with my health, my energy and my happiness.

When I attended a Healthy Transformations information session, I was intrigued enough to sign up on the spot. I was honestly tired of doing the same things over and over and seeing the same depressing results. I felt like this was my last hope.

Eating In The Box

For the last three months, I’ve been “eating in the box” – a TON of greens and veggies every day, a moderate amount of protein and a general avoidance of the things I used to base my meals around: processed carbs. 

And the results have been worth it! I’ve dropped 30 pounds already, and that made moving easier. I’ve started riding my stationary bike and have racked up over 50 miles, a little at a time. 

I Feel Like I’m Being Rewired

I feel like I’m being rewired: I look forward to eating salad as the centerpiece of my meals. I routinely turn down my husband’s homemade bread – not because I have to, but because I’ve done the math and the satisfaction of eating it isn’t worth trading my success. Last week, I voluntarily consumed a salad with kale in it. Kale. Nature’s misfit toy. A plant so indestructible that even the SNOW can’t kill it.

It Isn’t Just About Following a Meal Plan

The program isn’t just about following a meal plan, though. We also work on modifying the mental patterns that form the habits of a lifetime. I’m learning to:

  1. Name the emotions that used to drive me to eat seconds (or thirds)
  2. Recognize the cues that trigger me to desire unhealthy foods – and change the routine to get the same “payoff” in a healthier way
  3. Redefine words like “treat” or “indulge” to separate them from food

It’s a Year-Long Journey

It’s a year-long journey, which seemed insane at the beginning, but I get it now: the program takes that amount of time to ensure that the new eating behaviours have become the new normal, while at the same time, ensuring we understand cravings, emotional eating, and ways to keep ourselves on track when we stumble or when life gets hard.

The Group Setting Has Been So Helpful

And the group setting has been so helpful: sharing successes reinforces that we can each achieve great things. Every program session begins with the victories we’ve achieved, and I’ve felt so supported by the group when I share mine.

If you’ve been on the fence about making changes, or investing in your health, I’d advise you to embrace the possibilities that Healthy Transformations opens. They aren’t selling quick-fixes to your health, based on dodgy science. 

Healthy Transformations is the real deal! 

Marie Davis is Director of One Day Web Group, an online marketing agency that produces amazing websites, email and digital marketing campaigns. Her go-to salad contains mixed greens, grape tomatoes, cucumber, pumpkin seeds, olive oil and too much vinegar. She still distrusts zombie kale.

My Weight Loss Story

https://youtu.be/F2pr7N1S-Ho

Hello, hello, it’s Christopher Lawrence with the HealthyTransformations.ca program here in Calgary, Alberta, and I am coming to you to talk a little bit about my story and my journey with weight loss and reducing inflammation. Holy crap, it’s been a journey. I’ll keep it brief, though, because some of you might be wondering like, what does this guy know about it? Well actually, I was working in corporate Calgary in a company that was amazing but just not a good fit for me, and extremely stressed out, extremely depressed, and 50 pounds heavier than I am now, what? Yeah, so if I had done this video 10 years ago, my face would have looked like a big pink balloon, although everything kind of looks a little blue right now, the sun is kind of setting. So, it was a bit of a journey, and a lot of it had to do with stress reduction, but nothing kind of replaces, you know, really supports weight loss like fixing food, and that’s what the Healthy Transformation’s program is all about, so. By the time I started the Healthy Transformation’s program with Dr. Mike Breen, we co-founded it together, I had already lost most of that weight, but, I had another 10 pounds to lose so I actually lost that 10 pounds with the first group that we facilitated. And it’s been a heck of a journey.

I’d like to tell you that it was a straight line, I went straight from being this much to this much and reduced inflammation and everything went perfectly, I’d love to tell you that, but I would be lying, it has not been a straight line. Even today I still struggle a tiny little bit in certain situations where it’s like, maybe I find myself just binging on junk food for an evening or something and I always feel like crap after. It’s not about being perfect, but it is certainly about increasing your average-ness of eating correctly. What I can say is that with time and reinforcement and acute self-awareness and practice and practice and practice, never perfection, perfection, perfection, with those things, I have been able to maintain my weight loss for more than five, well actually probably closer to eight years now, time is flying by, and you know what? I am not getting any younger, at least chronologically. Physiologically, I think I’m way younger, I can do things that I couldn’t even do five years ago and 10 years ago because my health is so much better.

Anyway, I don’t know if that offers any support or information to you, or motivation is what I meant to say, but please do reach out if you have any questions. Dr. Breen and I just love to encourage each other, each other, we like to do that, too, we love to encourage people and each of you to have success on whatever journey you’re on, so. Christopher Lawrence, Certified Master Coach Practitioner, HealthyTransformations.ca, thanks for tuning in. See ya next month.

Community / Influencer

https://youtu.be/GeFspTwi5kE

Why am I wearing a parka? Christopher Lawrence with the Healthy Transformations Program. Dr. Breen is not with me, but I bet he’s wondering why I’m wearing a parka indoors. Actually, I’m gonna go hang out with some friends in a few minutes, friends that I really like, who I surround myself with, who are really supportive, and sometimes they challenge me too much. Kyle, if you’re watching this, you’re not a good person. But what does that have to do with Healthy Transformations, weight loss, changing food behaviors, and food related behaviors, and food habits, and that kind of thing? Well, actually, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to do a video, perfect opportunity to do a video, enunciation matters. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to make a video because I was reminded about how important it is to surround yourself with the right community. When we talk about weight loss, reducing inflammation, all of that happens through eating correct food. It’s the eating the correct food sustainably for the rest of your life, that can be a bit of a challenge. So, one of the ways that we do that is we look at all aspects of your environment.

So, what are some of the aspects of environment that we want to, does it look like I’m floating on the ceiling right now? Yeah. Wooo. What are some of the aspects of your environment that you want to pay attention to? I’m just gonna talk about one today, but that one is about community and culture. So, certainly who we hang out with, influences what we eat. If we go out, think about this for a second, if we go out with a group of friends, and the first person orders a salad, the people after that might also order a salad. You know, and that sometimes happens, that sometimes doesn’t. I know that lots of folks have changed their mind about what they’re gonna eat, based off of what somebody else ordered. Where I see this mostly happen is at dessert. If the first person says that they don’t want dessert, mostly everybody else does too. So if you’re like, “I need to be the first person, “cause if everyone else has dessert, “I’m gonna have dessert, so when they come and ask, “I’m gonna say I don’t want any dessert.” And you just kinda cut everybody else off. Chances are, they’re probably not gonna order dessert either. The funny thing is, sometimes we can say no to dessert, but then our friend gets it, they bring two spoons anyway. “I didn’t want dessert, dammit! “Why’d you bring two spoons?” But now I feel compelled to try it, and you know, sugar’s like crack for some of us. Not me. So it can be a little bit challenging to stay away from.

So, the idea is that you surround yourself with people who like to eat healthy, when you can. And you become an influencer and a leader when you’re making choices. And this is one of the key ways that we can adjust our environment. Kinda cool, right? And then you become a little bit of an influencer in a super subtle way, and it can have a massive impact on your friends and family. Folks, Christopher Lawrence, healthytransformations.ca. I don’t know what that means, it’s some symbol that people do. I’m just excited about life! Okay, guys, Christopher Lawrence healthytransformations.ca, we will catch you in the next one. Please do reach out to us if you have any food related questions. Dr. Breen and myself are here to help!

Make The Easy Choice

https://youtu.be/YBJBEONM0us

Hello, team, Christopher Lawrence here with HealthyTransformations.ca. I’m wearing my sweater ’cause it’s a little bit chilly in my house. My spouse likes to keep the temperature at minus 17 in winter and minus 20 in the summer. So I’m cold. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. What we’re here to talk about is what I like to call make the easy choice.

So what this is about is when we are faced with a food craving, especially in a cultural situation, the, it’s so easy to give into that. And this isn’t about eating 100% correctly, 100% of the time without making any mistakes ever, forever, for the rest of your life. Although, I have met a couple of people who are pretty close. I’m not one of those people. So what do we do instead when we’re trying to change our food habits and work on behavioral modification for our food, maybe it’s also exercise, anything health-related? We wanna implement something called make the easy choice. So I’ll give an example. During the holidays, during the holidays, sometimes when I’m around family, when I say sometimes, I mean a lot, when I’m around family, I can find it very difficult with all of the spread of food. Like there’s food on the table all the time, nonstop, so it’s really easy to overconsume and get too much of even the right kinds of food. And it’s really easy to overconsume on the kind of food that might be incorrect for my body and my physiology, which would be anything with sugar. You too, just in case you were wondering. So it’s really easy to overconsume on that stuff. But so then, what do you do when you’re in that situation? Well, here’s what I do. It’s really hard for me to make the decision when it’s in front of me and I’m already hungry and it’s sitting there and it still smells good. I mean, I’m not gonna lie. Like, you know, some smells for me, it’s like I have no desire anymore, it smells gross to me. But some smells, they still get me and I want that food, even if I don’t even feel hungry. So where’s the easy choice in that case? Well, in that case, I might actually bring my own food, which I have done before. I’ve got a new salad, which for me is a traditional Christmas salad. It’s got some cranberries in it. It’s very, it’s, I don’t know, it’s just, it’s lovely. And so I might bring some of my own food and say, “That food over there, I’m not allowed to have,” because that’s a statement that works for me. You might also use, “I’m choosing not to have it,” or, “It doesn’t support my health,” or, “It’s not in line with who I wanna be,” or, “It’s not in line with my value system.” That food isn’t for me. This food is for me, right? And so that has helped me before. And even if I can’t bring my own food, even that kinda thinking seems to help.

I also try to fill up with the main meals. So I’ll make sure that it’s like, okay, with the main meal, this will eliminate my need for dessert because I’m gonna make sure that I get everything I need with that. I also play with timers. Like, I’m not gonna eat for 2 1/2 hours. And when that 2 1/2 hours comes up, I’m gonna grab a small or reasonable sized handful of nuts. And those are all easier choices for me than walking in without a plan. So the easy choice in that case is walk in with a plan. Walk in with my own prepared food. Walk in having already selected the kinds of food that I’m gonna eat that day. That’s an easy choice. I gave another example of this in another video where I talked about if I get gas on Friday nights, I am probably going to get a bag of chips on that Friday night. So the easy choice is to get gas on a Thursday morning or a Wednesday evening, some time of day that isn’t a trigger for me. Why are Friday nights a trigger for chips when I’m at the gas station? I don’t know. But they are. So instead of overanalyzing that and freaking out about it and saying, “What’s wrong with my stupid head,” I just say, “You know what, that’s just the way “that I’m built right now.” And I could overanalyze that and try to change it, which would be going against the grain of a habit that’s been there for probably close to 20 or even 30 years. Can you believe that I’m 40? ‘Cause I can’t. And you better not either believe that I’m 40. Anyway. Yeah, so, you know, where’s the easy choice? And the easy choice might be getting in front of where that behavior happens. That’s where the easy choice is.

So I hope that’s super helpful. Oh yeah and one more tip. Sometimes the easy choice for me is actually doing meal prep. If I get all of my meal prep done, you know, the night before or a couple of days before or even for the whole week, which is rare for me, I tend to do it a day or two in advance, but if I get it all done, then that’s the easy choice. And when that food is prepared, I feel compelled to eat it. ‘Cause I’ve got a plan, I don’t want it to go to waste. It’s really hard for me to stray from it actually. So that works for me. It’s an easier choice to come with a plan and prepared food than it is to, you know, kinda walk into my workday maybe, walk into the office and not have a plan for food and kinda just wing it. That is never good news with me. Some of you are perfectly fine with that. Not me. I use it as an excuse to eat garbage. And then I feel like what? Garbage. And then my body hates me because I’m treating it like garbage. Okay, that’s enough of that. Thanks, folks. Hopefully that was helpful. You can check us out, HealthyTransformations.ca.

Bugs In Your Gut

Word Count: 635 words Approx. Reading Time: 2.5 – 3 minutes reading time

It may sound like science-fiction to many, but your gut bacteria may have more of an influence than we think. A recent study involving mice and microbiomes shows a link between our gut bacteria and appetite, showing that what we eat today has a future effect on our cravings and hunger tomorrow!

Bugs in our Gut

Our guts are immensely complex systems that contain many species of bacteria; in fact, bacteria genes outnumber human genes by 100 to 1!  Many gut bacteria manufacture special genes called peptides that can regulate and influence hunger. An interesting study shows that people who desire chocolate have a different microbial breakdown, despite eating identical diets. Another study shows that mice raised in a germ-free environment prefer more sweets and have more sweet receptors. While more research is needed, this shows how important the food we choose to consume is to not only our overall health but also our craving and food tastes.

But, Our Brains Too?

Scientists have long known that microbes live inside us. Still, it is only recently that science sees a connection between our mental health and microbiome and the role it plays in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and autism.

Evidence shows that the bacteria in our stomachs influence our minds, also contributing to depression and isolating feelings. Scientists discovered differences in the amygdala, a region that is responsible for processing social emotions, between mice and germ-free mice. One study shows that mice that were given fecal transplants from depressed humans also became ‘depressed,’ giving up when captured much earlier than the control mice, showing how our gut microbiomes influence our mental state.

Additional studies show that children with autism have different patterns of microbial species in their stool, signifying that there is a link between our stomachs and our minds. As much of the studies have yet to prove cause and effect fully, more research is needed. Still, scientists are confident that bacteria play an essential role in our mental health.

What’s Next for Research

Doctors hope to continue to gain a better understanding of how our microbiomes influence our brains to treat psychiatric and neurological conditions better and clear up some of the misconceptions about the science. More clinical trials are needed to assess the influences guts have on various conditions.

What Can We Do About It?

Understanding how an ecosystem of microbes impact our stomachs and our overall health is an important step in educating ourselves to the importance of diet throughout life. As we are germ-free when we are born, our gut bacteria are influenced by the environment and what we consume. This means that we can change our microbiomes, reducing inflammation and positively influencing our mental health.

What You Can Do to Alter Your Microbiome

Well, studies show that one of the most important factors in reducing disease and improving the gut microbiome is diet. Good thing it is one of the most accessible factors that you can control in your life. Understanding the adverse effects a western diet has on your health and gut is vital to both your physical and mental health. A study of mice shows that after just 12 weeks of a western-style diet made them both obese and diabetic, doubling their weight – only 12 weeks! Their colons were dominated by pro-inflammatory bacteria, and their entire bodies showed signs of inflammation. Do you still want that bowl of Cheetos now?

The Bottom Line

Our guts play a more significant role in our overall health than we had known. With more attention to our diets, we are able to positively change our microbiome. By eating a diet rich in leafy greens, lots of vegetables, and removing packaged and processed foods, your gut will thank you, and it looks like your brain will too

Christopher James Lawrence is a Co-Founder of the Healthy Transformations Program with Dr. Mike Breen.  He is also the Chief Value Officer and Founder of Change My Life Coaching and Co-Founder of Change My Business Coaching — a fast growing whole-life, leadership and business coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind.  He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”.  Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker that truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him here.