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.

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.

 

Acute Self Awareness for Food Habit Change

Christopher Lawrence here with the Healthy Transformations program, healthytransformations.ca. I wanted to touch base with you guys on a very specific tactic you can use to have success with stepping into food habit change. Why, because it’s hard, it’s really hard, especially during certain times a year. The key thing that you can do is create acute self-awareness, but there’s nothing cute about it, terrible pun. So what’s acute self-awareness? Basically what this means is that you start to document specific times of day or specific circumstances where you’re not eating compliant to the way that you wanna be eating, which might be the Healthy Transformation’s way. Look at this I’ve got one sleeve rolled up like those guys in the 50’s or whatever that would maybe stick a pack of cigarettes in there, .

So, you know, so acute self-awareness. So the idea is that you start tracking once during difficult times where you’re not eating compliantly to the way that you would like to be eating which might be the Healthy Transformation’s way. So when I say acute self-awareness I’m talking like down to the micro-details. I’ll give you an example. I realized for me, that if I get gas, if I fill up with fuel on a Friday night, I’m probably gonna buy a bag of chips. I don’t know why, it’s something that I probably did for years and years and years, right from the time that I was a teenager, without realizing it. It’s the end of a long week, end of a long day, I’m tired, I wanna go home, I wanna celebrate, I wanna relax with a bag of chips. And so if I get gas on Friday nights, I’m probably gonna buy a bag of chips. I could sit there an analyze for years about why that habit has been so difficult for me to change and break, and I could go to a bunch of therapy, which might be really helpful, you know, or sit there and lament and feel guilty or feel stupid or feel useless, feel like I’m never gonna get this figured out, or I could just stop getting gas on Friday nights. So this is what acute self-awareness can do. All of us have habits just like this the goal here is to actually go and become acutely aware of them so that you can change them and then make the easy choice. And I’m going to do another video blog about the easy choice and what that means, but essentially the idea is that the easy choice for me is to not get gas on Friday nights. And it might be something different for you, but that’s the easy choice for me. If I don’t get gas, I don’t get a bag of chips, and the world is right again. You can check us out, healthytransformations.ca and we do run a program right now it’s only once a year, our program fills up really fast so if you’re interested in it you probably wanna reach out right away. Talk to you soon, bye.

Angela Duckworth – Why We Can't Stick to Weight Loss

Hi folks, it’s Christopher Lawrence here without the transformations program. I wanted to share a really cool piece of research with you. This is called “Beyond willpower strategies for reducing failures of self control” “Beyond willpower strategies for reducing failures of self control” I wanted to read it twice just so that you could lock it in. So when we look at like weight loss or eating correctly, or exercising, or reducing inflammation in the body through adapting our food, why is it that we can’t seem to stay on track? With food there is a bit of a magic bullet. When you eat a certain way, you’ll produce certain results in the body. Certainly if you eat the healthy transformations way, you’re going to reduce inflammation, lose weight and beat the odds of having chronic illness but our behaviors there doesn’t seem to be a magic bullet, we hear things like, well, if I have a fresh start, or if I have a plan, or you know, maybe if I go do some behavioral therapy, then that’ll be the thing that fixes it. And sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. So why is that? What’s the difference? The really key thing with this is that there is actually no bullet for behavioral change or for managing behavioral change. And the challenge that we continually run into is why is it that, you know, when I did say, goal setting as my tactic for exercise that worked really well and maybe I added planning and tracking into that as one of my tactics that worked really well. But then when I did correct eating, I use those same tactics and it didn’t work. Why is that? Why is it? And we can drive ourselves bonkers with this stuff.

I know even with me for years and years and years, I was like, why is it that this works for me and this doesn’t work for me, or it doesn’t work over here when it worked over here. And so it’s like, we’re just taking a shot gun and trying to pinpoint the center of a target. But what does a shotgun do? it just kind of blast the whole thing away and it’s not pinpointed enough to kind of get the results. Well, if you’re feeling frustrated, it’s actually a very common thing because we don’t know what’s actually gonna work. There is no magic bullet when it comes to behavioral change, habit shifting, or anything like that. And what I love about this piece of research is that Angela Duckworth and her team Katherine Milkman and David Laibson, I believe is how you say their name. They are from the University of Pennsylvania, they are researchers, they’re psychologists who are researchers. I think all of them are psychologists, research psychologists. In any case, they put together a list, a detailed list of 22 different tactics that they could identify that had been researched to some level. Some to great detail and some to not so great detail. So what that tells me is that there’s probably even more tactics out there, but these are the ones that they could find that had been researched, that had some effect. And what they’ve come to is that, not one tactic works for one person all of the time for whatever that goal or habit that they’re working on is, it could take a combination of tactics, a lot of trial and error.

So if it seems a little bit frustrating, a little bit overwhelming, a little bit confusing about why sometimes something works and why sometimes it doesn’t when we’re looking at behavioral change, it’s because of this because, we don’t actually know what the combination is gonna be for you that’s gonna make it work. What’s cool about it though, is that we have a whole bunch of different options that we can choose from, and what I like about this article is that they actually go right into and there’s a nice little cool diagram in here. They talk about self deployed versus other deployed, and situational versus cognitive. And so we have lots of options to choose from and so if this is something that you’re interested in, you should check us out healthytransformations.ca and you can learn more about this and how it applies to weight loss and you can reach out to us and attend one of our info sessions.

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