If you have a sweet tooth this is a great breakfast.
Last summer I discovered Peach Jerk Chicken Sausage. Its sweet and light and full of the taste of summer and barbecues.
You can always exchange the sausage for you favorite kind of sausage if you would prefer something else. Just make sure its a healthy choice. Check out How to Read Food Labels or get the free ebook on Basic Principles for Releasing Weight Naturally which gives a good overview on how to choose your foods.
For this morning’s hash I used Applegate naturals with 14g of protein for one link and only 2g of sugar.
If you love potatoes for breakfasts then using sweet potatoes or Yams is the way to go. They have a low glycemic index, meaning they won’t cause the spike in your blood sugar that white potatoes do. What’s wrong with the quick sugar high? Your blood sugar drops pretty fast and you are left with cravings later in the day as well as hunger around 11am.
Veggies are the mainstay for the Reset Solution approach as they provide the body with the minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients that many of us are lacking in. They also fill you up with the added fiber and they have a slow conversation to sugar.
Smoked paprika gives the has an earthy, smoky barbecue flavor.
This recipe is for two. To make life easier, double the recipe so you can freeze half of it for another morning when you don’t have time to prepare a cooked breakfast.
1 large sweet potato cut into small squares
2 sausages cut into small pieces or circles
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 red onion or 2 stalks of celery diced
1 red pepper and/or 1 zucchini diced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried Thyme or 1 tsp of fresh Thyme
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth or miso stock as needed
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add sausage and stir if you are using a sausage that is not previously cooked. (Applegate naturals are already cooked)
- Set aside. Lower heat to medium setting and add another 1 tbsp of oil.
- Add sweet potatoes and cook until well browned on all sides and tender, about 12 minutes. (if you don’t have time, you can steam them in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes before adding to skillet)
- Add 1 tbsp of broth if skillet becomes too dry.
- Add vegetables, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper to taste and stir till vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
- Return sausage to skillet, add chicken or miso stock, stir and cover. Steam till stock is absorbed, about 3-4 minutes.
Stress is a major trigger for weight gain.
At one of my diabetes prevention classes the other evening we talked about stress being part of life.
The fact is life is not smooth sailing.
We all hit bumps in the road. Illness, a family member getting sick, someone close to us dying, losing a job, a relationship breaking up, all these things happen to us at one time or another.
What really sucks is that stress predisposes us to weight gain. In fact for most people weight became a problem because of something stressful that happened in their life. Go back about a year from the time you began to have a weight problem and look at what was going on in your life. Discovering and releasing this stress is a major key in beginning to loosen weight loss resistance and preventing the typical regaining of weight that has been lost.
The fact that weight and stress are so intimately connected means we absolutely must have the ability to calm down the stress response in our body and our mind, if we are going to be successful with weight loss.
Chronic stress is one of the worst culprit for weight loss resistance and weight gain. No matter what kind of stress you are under, whether it’s good stress or bad, the body reacts in the same way.
Good Stress can be Bad too
Hang on a minute did you say good stress? Yes, good stress. Anything that over-stimulates our nervous system creates a stress response.
We don’t usually think of the good things that happen to us as stressful but they can be. Getting married, winning the lottery, finding the love of your life, discovering a brand new hobby or career path that keeps you up at night with excitement, all these will over-stimulate your nervous system.
Here’s How Stress and Weight are Connected
So what’s wrong with having an over-stimulated nervous system? When our sympathetic nervous system gets fired up, there’s a burst of adrenaline which enables the body to tap into stored energy for fighting or fleeing.
At the same time as the adrenaline jolt, cortisol pours into the bloodstream. Cortisol directs the body to replenish thr energy it’s assumed we have used for fleeing or fighting. The trouble is in our modern day world danger is rarely the same kind of danger that our ancestors were exposed to. We don’t or can’t run away from our boss or the traffic jam or a ranting spouse.
We are left with hunger signals meditated by the cortisol. On top of the demand to eat, the cortisol also predisposes us to lay down fat cells around and inside our belly area. Those protruding bellies most of us lament about are indicators of stress in our lives. This stress type of fat puts us at higher risk for diabetes and heart disease. Ugh!
What makes all this even worse is the brain also directs us to want sweet, salty and high-fat foods. These foods help the body produce serotonin, a chemical that helps calm us down and makes us feel better. This is why whenever we stress we want these unhealthy foods. Makes sense these foods are so addictive, they make us feel good.
What You Can Do about Stress Related Weight Gain
Obviously we can’t eradicate stress from our lives since stress comes with being a human. However you can diminish, lessen, negate, and weaken all these damaging effects of stress.
Our stress response evolved based on the need for increased energy. So moving your muscles will help burn off the cortisol so it’s not hanging around in your blood stream where it can do damage. Take a brisk walk, jump up and down or do some pushups.
In the midst of stress you can use slow deep breathing to give your brain the message it’s safe to relax. This will result in the brain switching from the flight or fight sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic relaxation response.
If you’ve never used your breath to calm yourself down, don’t be misled into thinking this is too simple. Its POWERFUL. Our breath changes depending on how we are feeling. By mimicking relaxation (slow deep breathing) the brain will signal the nervous system and body to begin to relax.
Calming Breath Technique
The more you practice the more you will teach your body the feeling sense of relaxation. Many of us are so chronically stressed that we have forgotten what the delicious feeling of being calm and relaxed feels like.
DON’T DEPRIVE YOURSELF
Don’t restrict your intake too much. Dieting is stressful to the body and studies show that your cortisol levels can increase by as much a 18%.
Cortisol also results in a blood sugar level spikes just like when we eat a lot of sugar, then you get a rebound blood sugar drop. This creates a biological drive that demands more sugar to feed the brain. The result is you have no choice other than to eat one of those comfort foods that give you a quick source of sugar.
When you are stressed give yourself a little of whatever it is that you are craving. Don’t let yourself get into a mindset of feeling deprived. If self-control is a problem, then buy a single cookie or a mini Hagen-Daz ice cream rather than a whole box or tub.
FOCUS ON YOUR EATING.
When we are stressed we tend to eat fast. When we are stressed our digestion is also not functioning well. Most of our blood is diverted to our limbs for fighting or fleeing. So eat slowly. Chew your food. Savor each bite. Pay attention to how you are feeling and to feelings of fullness. Studies show that by eating this way, we eat a lot less.
HOLD THE CAFFEINE
When you are stressed hold the caffeine. Caffeine mimics cortisol. What that means is your stress levels goes up even higher, resulting in stress hunger and more belly fat. If you are under a lot of stress or chronically stressed you may want to give up caffeine altogether.
TAKE A NAP
The best way to reduce stress is to sleep it off. When we don’t get between seven and nine hours sleep a night our bodies experiences this as stress. Getting six and half hours or less of sleep results in an increase in cortisol and weight gain. The stress of not getting enough sleep also increases appetite. So make sure you get your rest.
Stress is a fact of life but we don’t need to let our daily stressors contribute to our battle with weight. That is why the Reset Solution Program has a whole module and a lot of one-on-one coaching focusing on individual stressors and how to manage them for weight loss success.
By being proactive with these simple ways to reduce stress you will decrease the damaging effects that stress has on the body.
Uncontrolled stress makes us miserable. Be proactive. Make a conscious choice to take control. Be happier