2015 Advent Calendar – Day 9

You’re sweet enough as it is!
       Good Morning!

Today I want to continue building on our Wednesday theme – the subject is sugar – you probably guessed it by the title! Let’s get right to it!
 I know you hear tons about sugar already but I want to shed some light on key information as it relates to the holidays. I have been a weight loss coach for many years and I have seen many levels of sugar addiction.  It’s fascinating to see how many different people with different backgrounds are all affected by sugar.
I want to talk today about hidden dangers of sugar and what you should know now (before the holidays) because what you don’t know can in fact harm you or the ones you love most. The holidays are almost upon us so we have to hurry up and take a serious look at this!

Most people know that sugar is not good for them, but for some reason, they think the risk of high sugar intake is less of a problem than having too much saturated/trans fat, sodium or even calories. If you really understood what sugar was doing to your body, you might just put it at the top of your “foods to avoid” list and prevent your loved ones from over consumption during the get-togethers.

Sugar and alcohol have similar toxic liver effects on the body
I bet you didn’t see this coming! Well it’s unfortunately true. The authors of a 2012 paper  published in the journal Nature showed evidence that fructose and glucose in excess can have a toxic effect on the liver the same as the metabolizing of ethanol – the alcohol contained in alcoholic beverages.
Sugar already hides in many everyday “non-sugar” foods
Many people attempt to avoid the typically known sugary culprits prior to the holidays (candy, cookies, cake, etc.), they often are surprised when they discover some of their healthier preferred foods also contain lots of sugar. We are talking tomato sauces, fat free dressings, tonic waters, marinades, crackers and of course bread. You knew about bread but since it is the taxi that transports many other foods, as Lise likes to say, I figured I’d mention it again. She is totally right, it is!
An overload of sugar may shorten your life AND significantly affect the quality of your life.
A 2013 study  estimated that 180,000 deaths worldwide may be attributed to sweetened beverage consumption. The authors summarized that deaths occurred due to the association with sugar-sweetened beverages and chronic disease risk such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. “Just say no” to the glass of soda – it’s not worth the risk!

The list could go on and on but I want to point out a relevant link between sugar and this time of year. Many of us have traditions over the holiday period. Some have cookie exchanges, bake offs, baking days (I raise my hand on that one) and so on. This is just the first part of the holiday sugar battle. The second is going to those events!  I want you to consider that all those events had a “first time”.  You might consider starting another first this year… just remove one of those traditions and replace it with a sugar free alternative!


Christmas time is well known for being a sugar-coated holiday, and if you are determined to not fall off the wagon (and feel like crap because you did), get in there with a plan! I’ve got a few key tips to share:
  • Explain to people what you’re doing, early on. This way they won’t feel offended when you don’t take their special Christmas cookies, which they are probably proud of and eager to share. (They might even try to send them off with you to save themselves from eating the whole batch!)
  • Pack healthy snacks and bring them to share. IP offers nuts, chocolate soy puffs and many recipe ideas you can make with the chocolate drink that you can eat and share guilt-free. You can also just bring a nice platter of veggies, they always get eaten!
  • Ask /serve warm drinks like tea or coffee, they satisfy the cravings to eat just for fun.
  • If you diet, don’t drink alcohol! Not only is alcohol high in sugar, but one or two cocktails can really, really weaken your resolve. Plus you’ll feel hypoglycemic (i.e.  like ”crap”) the next day, and isn’t the whole point of the “avoiding sugar” thing to feel better and get healthier?
  • If you’re still new to the low / no-sugar game, pass up making cookies and candies this year.  You will reach a point when you can make sweets without eating them all, but until then, be kind to yourself and don’t put yourself in temptation’s way.
       Making changes isn’t easy! I want you to think that with every change you propose, you will get some resistance but you will also inspire someone!  No food will ever replace good quality time with family and friends!  After all, isn’t it all about coming together to talk, share gifts, sing and reminisce? You really are sweet enough as it is, and your kind of sweetness won’t jeopardize your health!
Have a great Wednesday!
Coach Carolyne xoxox
… and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!
PS:  Get healthy recipe options on our Facebook page and our Pinterest!  Click on the links for direct access!
Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 8

The gift of flavour takes a little thyme!!!
              Hi!  My name is Carolyne and I am the weight loss coach at our downtown (Sparks st.) clinic. I also spend one day per week at our Prince-of-Wales location as well as one day at our Orleans location. I have been a weight loss for over 8 years now and I LOVE my job. I also LOVE cooking. As a mom running a house of four, I do all I can to feed my family healthy foods but like most people, I do not have much extra time during the week or weekends to prepare meals that take hours to make or cook…

The basis of cooking simple healthy recipes requires a little knowledge of spices. But without my mom’s amazing cooking growing up, I probably would not have the interest in spice blends like I do now. Who knows!

Butter will not save your overcooked green beans but onion powder can!
I think the best way to give a wow-factor to your meals is by adding SPICES! Spice blends are even better than just plain salt and pepper…But you know that!
Today I wish to share a gift idea with you that I am making for my parents and friends. Mom, please pretend to be surprised at Christmas, I know you read these emails lol!
I want to offer the gift of time and flavours! Not many people take the time to make their own blends and instead they get knock-offs/less delicious pre-made store blends. Not only do they taste less good but store bought spice blends are often full of ingredients you truly want to avoid.
I think you will love this simple, homemade, cost effective gift idea! The main issue is people don’t have time to make these blends. So for the holidays, instead of doing 14 trips to stores to find inspiration and ready-to-go gifts. I’ll go out once, stop at Michael’s for jars, pens, labels and maybe ribbons if you’re feeling fancy. Then I stop at a spice shop and get what I need and voilà! The rest I do in peace at home J How sweet is that!!


If you do go to Michael’s – get your coupon ready first or show it off on your smartphone. They aren’t fussy. They always offer a coupon on an item of your choice! Usually it’s 20% to 50% OFF any item at regular price.

            Why are homemade blends better than store bought?

The food labels on the bulk of store-bought seasoning mixes are full of fillers, preservatives and other unwanted fake flavour enhancers.
As you know, homemade blends can be adjusted to your liking and taste better.
Store boughtblends may contain unwanted ingredients that can include:
  • Modified food starch
  • Sugar – of course…
  • Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
  • MSG
  • Hidden gluten
  • Natural flavourings – not so natural most of the time..
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Spices (This sounds innocent…but what exactly are these anonymous “spices”?),
  • And potentially more unwanted ingredients.

Avoid all those by doing it yourself!

A list of spice blends to try out this holiday season:

Taco Seasoning – I love this in the slow cooker with poultry or ground beef

Italian Seasoning – Any dish that needs a lift

Rajin’ Cajun – I love this on eggs but will work on anything
Lemon Pepper – Great on everything!
Garam Masala – Amazing with poultry
Pumpkin Spice For many recipes

              If you can’t see yourself offering spices as a gift, I want you to consider making it for yourself.  You will not only get a blast of flavour but you’ll also be eating clean. I for one like to offer gifts to those I love that help them feel better and I think this is also a great opportunity to be creative!  Have fun!

Have a great Tuesday!
Coach Carolyne and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!


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2015 Advent Calendar – Day 7

More than meets the eye…
              Hello everyone my name is Josée, I am a weight loss coach at the Montreal Rd clinic. I’ve been working in the health, fitness and rehabilitation field for more than 10 years, I am very passionate and enthusiastic about educating others with improving their health. Being healthy is a term widely defined and has a lot of layers to its definition.

What motivates me, and keeps me going is being able to make a small difference in someone’s lifein hopes that they feel enlightened and inspired to make new positive changes to improve their overall sense of well-being. At the same time, being able to experience these struggles and positive revelations with people, throughout the process of achieving their goals, INSPIRES me.

If you’re looking for a change…. I’ve got something in store for you that is “more than meets the eye…”, a little hip-hip-hurrah! into your Monday!!!!

Did you know that the CHAYOTE “fruit”(oh yes I did say fruit) is phase 1 approved under theselect vegetable list???   For those of you who are new to chayote, I did a bit of research to tell you more about this “fruit” and its origin.
What’s that!
“Chayote (Sechium edule) is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash.”  (Wikipedia)
“The chayote fruit is used in mostly cooked forms. When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash, it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crispy consistency. Though rare and often regarded as especially unpalatable and tough in texture, raw chayote may be added to salads or salsas, most often marinated with lemon or lime juice. Whether raw or cooked, chayote is a good source of vitamin C.” (Wikipedia)
“The fruit does not need to be peeled to be cooked or fried in slices. Most people regard it as having a very mild flavor by itself (though some find it unpalatable). It is commonly served with seasonings (e.g. salt, butter and pepper in Australia) or in a dish with other vegetables and/or flavorings. It can also be boiled, stuffed,mashed, baked, fried, or pickled … Both fruit and seed are rich in amino acids and vitamin C. Fresh green fruit are firm and without brown spots or signs of sprouting. Smaller ones are more tender.” (Wikipedia)
Now you know the most important information to know about chayote… but wait…
            I have found over the years that information is not enough to propel anyone towards a supermarket to buy something new.  What really works is a recipe. I found this one for you online and if the taste comes anywhere close to the above picture count me in!  You can find the recipe by clicking here!
I also want to thank Susan, one of my Saturday dieters, for this great tip!  She has been adding ¼ cup of sired chayote into her IP maple oatmeal for breakfast and in her own words it’s her “hearty breakfast in the morning and it brings out that yumm sound everytime” lol

If you’re having a hard time getting all your veggies in for the day this is a great way to get started early.  Simply add some sired chayote using a teaspoon of grape seed oil and cook it for 3-4 minutes till tender and add it into your warm IP apple oatmeal or maple oatmeal and voila!  You can even try it in your IP pancake!
Wishing you all a happy week ahead, till next time

Josée  😉

PS: If you have great ideas of your own for using chayote, please send them to me at josee.foodwisewl@gmail.com Thank you!
Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 6

Don’t worry, be happy!
              Everyone agrees that Sunday is a day to be at peace, to relax, to take it easy and to be happy.  There are hundreds of pictures on Google Image that relate to Happy Sunday so I decided to make this our Sunday theme!
Why is happiness important especially in relations to weight loss?  It’s simple, because people typically put the cart before the horse!  I hear it all the time:  I will be so happy when I reach my goal weight!  I will be so happy when I can get back into my size 10 pants!  So my question is: what are you now?  Does happiness have to wait until you reach your goal?
Happiness – Is that even real?
 Wikipedia defines happiness as “a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”  The issue isn’t so much that we don’t know what it is but rather that we continue to look for it “in all the wrong places!”
People start a weight loss program thinking that it will bring them happiness!  “When I lose 25 lbs, I will be happy!”  –  “When I get back in control of my diet, I, for sure, will be happy!” Sound familiar?  Why is it then that people lose weight all the time and gain it right back?  Is it because they can’t deal with being happy?  Of course not!
There are a few things to look at relating to happiness and weight.  Let’s start with the fact that lack of happiness is the leading cause of weight gain!  People most often gain weight when they are unhappy, in which case, the food is intended to supply the missing happiness. The big problem is that the food brings very short lived happiness then the void or unhappiness returns. The brain then kicks in  with what he thinks is a brilliant idea… more food!  That’s should return the state of happiness in theory. This vicious circle then goes round and round and the weight comes on just like that!
The second fact is that happiness isn’t something we can find on the outside, it is something we must cultivate on the inside. There are billions of dollars spent yearly on advertising making a compelling case that happiness can be found in “stuff” – vacations, new cars, bigger homes, a different job, a different spouse… and the list goes on!  I’m not saying that you can’t be happier in a better car or in a more fulfilling relationship.  What I am saying is that it may not be the answer to your particular source of unhappiness.
An interesting thing to know is that our lack of happiness also has a purpose… it is there to confirm that you need to change direction.  The acute presence of unhappiness  always leads to a breakthrough.  The sooner you look at the source of your unhappiness, the quicker you will be enlightened as to the potential solution.
Now, I know what you are thinking… “I’d rather not know because the likelihood is that there’s nothing I can do about it!”  Am I right? Fear is among the leading reasons why people don’t do anything!  Fear of failure, fear of what other people think, fear of the unknown!  I want you to think that there is nothing that you cannot do!  I am the living proof of this! Becoming an entrepreneur in my late 40’s with everyone saying that most people fail a few times before they succeed… I had every reason to not even attempt what I do now!  And yet, courage in hand, I went full steam ahead!  I didn’t do it alone and there lies the key.  You can do anything you want just remember that you don’t need to do it alone!  You are surrounded by people who can help you and that holds true for anything you want to change!

A list of articles that will 
enlighten and empower you!
What factors are crucial to well-being?
Expectations: use them or be used by them.
The Secrets of Happiness

Forget about money. Don’t fret about youth. Acting happy will make you happy, and more tips.
             I met a guy a few years ago at a trade show and he was selling happiness… well OK, he wasn’t so  much selling happiness as he was selling the method to acquiring it!   Really!

There was something odd about this guy, he was smiling way too much and when I stopped at his booth, he shared that he had lived a good part of his life being unhappy until he decided one day to research a way to change that! Stephen L. Whiteley did a lot of research and basically tried most methods out which finally led to him writing and publishing a book called Happiness Works! Get Yours Here!  The book is packed with information, well worth the money and the

Get yours here!

time spent reading it!

 There is no better time to be happy!  Take my word for it, being thin isn’t going to bring you happiness.  Do the work now especially if you are in the process of losing weight. It will serve to anchor  your weight loss efforts for a truly lasting effect.
Have a great Sunday

Lise and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!

PS – Thank you Karol for your feedback on yesterday’s email!  Because of you I now know that I can get a bunless burger at Big Smoke Burger at the Rideau Centre in Ottawa!  Super!  😉

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2015 Advent Calendar – Day 5

Apparently time flies… even when you’re not having fun!
               It seems that we are constantly in a rush;  during the week, we dream of the weekend thinking that we will have more time… and then we blink and it’s Sunday night again and we’re getting ready to go back to work.  First thought is: where did the time go!!!

One of the first things to suffer, when we are short on time, is food.  I don’t need to commission a study on this, all I have to do is look at the drive through lanes during morning and evening rush hour!
Although we had a great post on Thursday about what to do at the food court, I wanted to drill a bit further into the subject because this is part of the “lifestyle changes” that everyone talks about when they are discussing lasting or sustainable weight loss.

Today then, I will give you a few more ideas for restaurant fast foods as well as one for home made fast food… meaning that you can make this quick and easy same as if you were simply driving through at the golden arches!

This is going to surprise you!!!
Most of us look on a menu for options that will fall into the guidelines of our diet program or protocol especially at a fast food joint and if nothing fits we either choose another place, refrain from eating or throw caution to the wind and cheat.
Very few of us would ever think of doing what I’m about to suggest… Asking  for no bun around the burger!  When I did the research for today’s email I came accross the idea and was totally surprised by it’s simplicity!  Like most cities, Ottawa doesn’t lack burger joints.  What you need to keep your eyes on is the carbs of course, especially the hidden carbs (i.e. in the condiments).  Ketchup is loaded with sugar so tell them you don’t want any!
I also learned today of something called an
Un-wich!  What is it?  It’s a sandwich without the bread!  Be it a burger or a wrap, the bread has been replaced with lettuce!  I love it!  There are restaurants in the U.S. that already have it on the menu, none in Canada that I know of for now but between us, we can already start using the term as a way to remind ourselves that if we don’t ask, we won’t get!  Next time you are at a Wendy’s, you can ask for a chicken burger in a lettuce wrap or simply in a bowl.  They will actually serve it to you that way!
Here are a few more ideas:
Five Guys Burgers & Fries – There are two in Ottawa (Burger – Lettuce wrap or in a bowl)
McDonald’s & Burger King – (Breakfast sandwich without the English muffin)
Subway – (Chopped salad or bunless breakfast sandwich) 
Wendy’s – (Bunless burger or grilled chicken Sandwich – or “un-wich”)
I saved the best for last…
Panera Breads – One in Ottawa located on Hunt Club close to Merivale
I learned through my research that they have a hidden menu!  They have amazing items on that hidden menu that are perfect for the Ideal Protein diet.   Here is what I found: “For a breakfast meal, ask for the Power Breakfast Egg Bowl with Steak at 3g net carbs or the Power Breakfast Egg White Bowl with Roasted Turkey at 4g net carbs. For lunch or dinner, order the Power Mediterranean Chicken at 7g net carbs, the Power Mediterranean Roasted Turkey Bowl at 7g net carbs, or the Power Steak Lettuce Wraps at 6g net carbs.”  Ref
I was so excited that I called the restaurant to confirm that they truly do have a hidden “Power” menu (just in case it’s only in the U.S.).  Elliott the manager was more than happy to confirm.  The only thing they don’t currently have is the last item – Power Steak Lettuce

Wrap… everything else is there. Elliott was very nice so if you go there and see him, please tell him that Food-Wise sent you! Who would have thought that a place called Panera Breads would be happy to forgo their namesake!


For those times when we are too rushed to even go through a drive-thru…
This is one of my best tricks… Veggie Omelet!  I can literally whip up an omelet with spinach & mushroom in less time than it takes to get in the car and go the 2½ kms to the nearest fast-food! All it takes is eggs and whatever vegetable you have in the fridge.   You might even consider keeping canned vegetables for this type of emergency.  I personally don’t much care for canned asparagus and mushrooms but in an omelet, who’s going to know?
              This looks a lot like the face we make when we embark on a restrictive diet… but it doesn’t have to be this way!
Remember that all you learn while you’re on the diet is going to serve you for years to come.  If you don’t learn it now, there will come a time very soon when you wish you had paid attention!
Every Saturday until Christmas, we will give you tips on fast foods at home or at a restaurant.  Knowing that time isn’t always on our side, this will be useful “time and again”!

Lise and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!

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2015 Advent Calendar – Day 4

Ever get the feeling that you are out of control?
For the last 4½ years I have claimed that people are often addicted to the foods that contribute the most to their weight gain.  I don’t believe that everyone is an addict but I do think that there are many who are and who don’t even know it (or possibly don’t want to know it).

Why do I insist on talking about this?  Consider it my “intervention”;  bottom line is, I care enough to help people out of the darkness and into the light.  Believe me, not everyone likes me for it but I’m willing to take the risk.  I actually consider it a personal quest to pursue the enlightenment of people in the hope that it may make a small difference in the world (or at least our community).

What is an addiction?
According to Psychology Today, ” Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol,cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.”
“… most addictive behavior is not related to either physical tolerance or exposure to cues. People compulsively use drugs, gamble, or shop nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction.” Now I think we’re getting somewhere! “Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior. The focus of the addiction isn’t what matters; it’s the need to take action under certain kinds of stress. Treating this kind of addiction requires an understanding of how it works psychologically.”
“When referring to any kind of addiction, it is important to recognize that its cause is not simply a search for pleasure and that addiction has nothing to do with one’s morality or strength of character. “
Are you feeling how liberating this last sentence is? I for one, spent my entire life right up to about 6 years ago thinking that I had no willpower and I was weak and that was why I always regained the weight I had lost! If you think of yourself in those terms you are, right this minute, spending your time in the wisest way you could! Continue reading and indulge in the feeling of not being alone!

A list of articles that will 
enlighten and empower you!
Understanding the true nature of addiction.
Paying attention to cravings takes away their power.
How is a craving different than plain old wanting?
              As we embark on our Christmas ramp-up, those of us who are addicted to carbs and sugar (in all it’s forms including the liquid kind – i.e. wine and drinks) will need to be armed with solid NEW information.  We already know the old stuff and it has had limited success with us so far.  Take a moment to read the articles included here.  They are short for the most part and offer new insight.
Every Friday until Christmas, I will be expanding on this important subject.  My approach is gentle.  Why?  Because I think you have been hard enough on yourself! the last thing you need is additional pain.
Get some rest this weekend, the Food-Wise team will do the work!  Expect new emails on both Saturday and Sunday!   I love you lots,

Lise and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!


Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 3

Some stuff is just too good not to repeat!
       Hello my name is Melanie and I coach at the Orleans clinic.  At this time last year, I hadn’t yet started my journey but here I am, 95 lbs lighter and coaching others on their journey.
It gives me great pleasure to be in charge of “throwback Thursdays” as I know that in the last 4 years, there have been posts worth repeating.  I also know first hand that for some of you, like me, this will be your first time getting this information.
So guess what day it is! No! It’s not Friday, well not yet anyway – it’s throwback Thursday! A day where I dig into our archives to bring back memorable and valuable stories.
Here’s one that couldn’t come at a better time.  Are you planning on braving the malls this weekend?  Read on for great tips on how to stay on track with your diet.
From 2013 Day 13
This weekend promises to be a big one at the mall. When you are not quite done shopping and realize it is 1:00 pm and you’re hungry and tired, the choices can be daunting. Should you abandon the mall and get yourself home quickly to eat, only to have to return later to get the rest done? We all know what parking is like. If your car is already parked and you have gained some momentum, don’t abandon your shopping excursion because you need to eat. We have compiled a list of places that you can go to and still remain compliant with phases 1, 2 & 3 of your program.
As I have said countless times, this is the best time of year to be dieting and here’s another opportunity for me to show you why… Practice makes perfect! If you didn’t have to make these decisions at the mall right now, you would likely not learn what choices are good for you for future situations.
So here are a few tips to surviving at the mall.
If there is a grill, head that way first. The Japanese cuisine is actually perfect for what you are trying to achieve… which is to get lots of protein, stay away from fried foods and ensure you get two cups of vegetables.
At the Gloucester Mall, you can find a place called Tokyo Grill. Awesome food right around $10. You can even double the meat for only a few dollars! Incredible! Ask that they cook it with no sauce (you can add some soya sauce at the end). Tell them you don’t want rice, they will actually increase the portion of vegetables without you having to ask. I trust you to stick handle the few pieces of carrot out of the way and enjoy!

At some of the other malls in Ottawa (and many other places in Canada and the U.S.) you can find a restaurant called Teriyaki Experience. Check out their menu online. Same idea as with Tokyo Grill, you can double the meat and get a super meal for about $12.

Here are the locations in Ottawa. They define their food as: “Quick, water-based cooking done right in front of your eyes. Great for take-out with sit-in options as well.”

1200 St. Laurent Blvd.
(613) 746-5067
2121 Carling Ave.
(613) 729-8050
110 Place d’Orléans Dr.
(613) 501-1282
2323 Riverside Dr.
(613) 730-8181
50 Rideau St.
(613) 695-1600
100 Bayshore Rd.
(613) 519-0388
240 Sparks
240 Sparks St.
(613) 800-0450
900 Exhibition Way
(613) 232-2929
855 Campeau Drive
(613) 435-1092
         A few more ideas…


            Now if you are at Costco and your entire family is lobbying to eat there, go for the smoked meat! Leave the bread and eat the meat. It’s not the leanest meat but in a pinch, it will certainly do! You can buy a tray of veggies in the store to complement your meat… et voila! You can even have the dill pickle! LOL

There are a few novelties since last year (2013). The first one and this is a big one is the salad bar atFarm Boy! If you are mall hopping, make a quick stop at Farm Boy (and this holds true for any day of the week not just shopping days). Over the last 8 months, each store has been retrofitted to have a salad bar. On the one side there are mixed salads, but on the other side, they have fresh ingredients and protein that you can put together to make a super lunch/dinner. If you were planning ahead and brought your IP pack with you (and I suggest that you should ALWAYS have one with you in case of emergency), then all you need are vegetables. You can even purchase single servings of the Lemon Garlic dressing that is so yummy. Did you know that the Greek dressing and the Italian dressing (Farm Boy brand) are acceptable too?  
Another delightful discovery is Freshii. Sadly, there are only two locations in Ottawa (one on Sparks street for all you downtown workers and one on Laurier for University of Ottawa patrons) but my, what a place to have a great lunch! They offer so many choices of ingredients for your “build your own salad” that you won’t know where to start. Everything is fresh and because you make the selection of each ingredient, you don’t need to remove anything. Just dig in!

           OK, finally, we should take a look at the really bad places… like the double arches and other places like it!   But first, a quick story! When Rachelle (she was our amazing Orleans coach a few years back and now she coaches on Sparks as a back up to Carolyne) and I returned from a training weekend in Boston back in October 2011, we stopped at Exit 17 on Hwy 40 (near Hudson). We were tired, it was 8:30 pm and we were hungry.   The only thing that was open was Burger King! Rachelle, eager to not step off Phase 1, especially after having spent the entire weekend doing a perfect job of staying on (even at Cheers in Boston), made a great suggestion.

A double burger each with a salad. We took the two burger patties from our burgers and broke them into pieces over the salad (after scraping the ketchup and other condiments and using the bread to soak up the excess fat). We also reclaimed the two slices of tomatoes from the burger to add to the salad. I had a single pack of Walden Farm’s Ranch dressing in my purse that we shared… Are you getting the picture? We were both so pleased with this solution and I hadn’t even been the one to come up with it.   Kudos Rachelle!
I hope these tips will help you in a pinch. There is always something you can eat. The more you practice, the better you will get at making the right choices. It is still not the ideal situation to go to a fast food… but if you have to, better be prepared!
On these parting words, enjoy your weekend, try and plan for all eventualities and don’t skip meals! You’re not doing yourself any favours by going too long without food… your body AND THE SCALES will be only too happy to show you why next week!
*******End of 2013 Day 13 post*****
Hope you got as much out of this one as I did!  Have a great day and weekend, I’ll be back next Thursday with another great post!

Melanie 😉

PS. I know you won’t take this as a license to go to the fast food joints every day. You don’t want to make a habit of it (especially with all the MSG restaurants put in their food) but at this time of year, we are just scrambling to get everything done with the little time we have. Solutions are what we need!

Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 2

Are you aware that sugar is the problem?
       I know that you don’t want to hear this but like most troubling situations in life, it is better to know than to be left in the dark wondering why things are not going the way you want them to.  Am I right?
For the past 4½ years, I have been harping on this subject, I even left a great federal government job, with lots of security, to start this business so that I could help teach people about the effects of sugar!
For a long time I felt alone in my world with nobody else spreading the message, but at long last others are coming to my aid and because they have funding and sponsors, they can back my theory with research and expert advice.
There is a reason why I am so determined to discuss this subject… it’s because at Food-Wise, we are determined to guide you through your last diet!  I mean it!!!
Have you seen this movie?
Skip the popcorn and the soda but do sit down to a     2 hour, mind blowing, learning session!  Why do I call it mind blowing? Because I just saw this movie last week and even with all that I know about the effects of sugar, I was astounded!
I know that most of you know some of this information, and at the very least, you know that sugar is bad for you.  Even with that, I want you to be ready to be shaken to your core!
You might be thinking that I’m exagerating but sadly, I’m not.  What will affect you the most is that many of the people you trust are behind this tragic situation.  It’s like waking up one day only to find that your sleeping with the ennemy!
What got me really excited about this movie and the real reason why I wanted to tell you about it is that for the first time someone agrees with me that it’s not about willpower!   OK, now before you go any further, watch this trailer and get a sense of what I’m so hyped about.
Did you watch the trailer yet?  If so, you may have decided to see the move.  If so, I have done a bit of research and there are a few ways that you can aquire the movie:
–  HMV $16.95 (it’s in stock)
–  I-tune $6.99 (to buy) or $0.99 (to rent)
–  SolarMovie.ac (free if you create a free account)
I can’t wait for you to give me feed-back on this. When I discovered years ago that I was a sugar addict I was so relieved!  Why?  Because I finally knew for sure that it wasn’t my lack of willpower that got me in trouble.  I was able to start building my plan from there and since then, I have been able to keep my weight from big fluctuations.  Sure I  can still put on weight but rather than waking up with 50 lbs extra, I can get a handle on things at 10 or 15 lbs!  What a difference!
          On a final note, if you are not currently on a weight loss program but would like to take advantage of this month to get back in control, I invite you to join the Fed-UP 10 day challenge! 

          You can click on this link to get registered.  See what happens in 10 days!  You might see a huge difference in your joint inflammation… you might get the best night sleep in a long time, you just might drop a few pounds! Come on, you can do this!
           If nothing else, you will learn that sugar isn’t always dressed up in a red and white suit (and I’m not talking about Santa Claus here)!  Sugar has many faces and many names and it is in your best interest to learn more about it!
Have yourself a great day, love you lots!
Lise and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!
PS: A special thank you to all who have sent me feedback on Day 1.  It is truly heart warming to hear from you, I love you all so much!
Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 1


If I D.I.D. it… 
WOOD you?
        It’s not a typo!!!  I meant to write it this way!  Wood is the symbol representing the 5 year anniversary, and today we are starting the fifth edition of the Food-Wise Advent Calendar.  If you are seeing this for the first time, you are in for a treat.  If you are a veteran, please know that you are among the top reasons why we continue to put out this daily December post.
So for the newbies, what am I talking about? We all know about the Advent Calendars sold in stores. Well in ours, you open an email instead of a cardboard window and get either a recipe, a tip or a thought.  December is the most difficult month to be pursuing a weight loss journey, but if you push through, it is also the month when you will learn the most.
Now last year, we gave our dieters a challenge and asked if on December 24th, they wanted to be able to say: “I D.I.D.it… I Dieted In December… (and learned a ton of new tricks and recipes doing it!)”. Many took on the challenge with great success.  What you probably don’t know is that when I first did my Ideal Protein diet, I started on November 25th so I Dieted in December (D.I.D.) which is likely one of the reasons why I’m such a big supporter of the idea. I learned a lot because of the multiple challenges and by the time Xmas rolled around, I was down 12 lbs instead of having gained a few.  People were complimenting me all the time and I felt amazing!
So this year, I am putting myself through the same challenge as I had, way back when, and I’m asking you: If I D.I.D. it,  wood you D.I.D. it too?
Before you decide, I want to share with you Lucia’s story.  Why? Because she D.I.D. it last December and it kept the momentum of her journey going.  I asked her permission before sharing this with you and because she is so proud of her accomplishments and hopes to inspire  all of you, she agreed!
My name is Lucia and here’s my story…
For the last few years, I was very aware that I had gained 50 lbs in what seemed like overnight.  I was trapped in my body and I hated that feeling –  this actually gave me anxiety attacks.  So I started running and wow, was it ever difficult.  I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t keep up with my friends.  I realized I had to do something to lose this weight (again – lost it 4 times in my 53 years – did every diet that exists).  In the meantime, I had been watching a colleague lose weight and she looked fabulous, but what amazed me were the awesome lunches she was having! When I spoke to her she said her sister, Lise had a weight loss business, Food-Wise.  She told me about the program, but I was skeptical, because after all I was the master of dieting and I had convinced myself that nothing would work for me.  But after watching her for the last 2 years, she has still kept her weight off.  I thought, hmm, must be something to this.
So I called Lise in June made an appointment, and then cancelled it.  Did the same thing in August but then in September 2014, I called her again, and this time I went to see this lovely lady and she saved my life.  I was determined after speaking to her because she made so much sense! I started the program and loved it! It was so easy, and I started feeling like myself again. I lost weight almost every week, but most importantly, I became more self-confident as I got smaller! I lost weight on my birthday, I DID IT (I Dieted in December) and I went to the Dominican in January and lost 3 lbs to boot. In all I lost 48 lbs,  I reached my goal in March 2015 and I have maintained my weight ever since. And, I know I will never gain this weight again, because I now understand how my body reacts to food! I am not exaggerating when I say that I have never in my life had such wonderful meals, especially breakfast.  Who knew that the secret to losing weight and keeping it off was to actually eat food!! And bonus, now I race, and I can keep up with the best of them!

Thank you, Lise! Thank you Food-Wise!

PS: This is how I look now?  Click here!
During the next 24 days, we will cover a number of subjects all of which I assure you will be relevant and help you during this more challenging time of year.  Every day of the week will have a different theme.  There will be fun stuff and of course more serious topics and even Throwback Thursdays!
Remember, I will be dieting it too so you won’t be alone!  Get ready for an amazing journey!
          Before I sign off I wanted to share with you the significance of the 5th anniversary WOOD:  

          “In ancient times, trees symbolized strength and wisdom.  By the fifth year of marriage, the married couple is developing strong, deep roots like a venerable oak tree and is gaining insight…”
            How does this apply to us?  Well the pair is you and us as an organization.  We have definitely grown deeper roots and continue to make a commitment to bringing you the best coaching. 
           The thing that surprised me is that in modern times, the symbol for the 5th anniversary has changed… to cutlery!   Let us celebrate this 
5th edition and continue our journey to health.
One last thing…
If you do not want to continue receiving the Advent Calendar, you may unsubscribe at the safe link below!  If however you want to use this month to increase your knowledge, get tips, recipes, gifts ideas for dieters and so much more… then stay put and look for each daily installment in your Inbox!
We love you lots!
Lise and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise Weight Loss
Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

Skewed Gratitude

At this time of year when the leaves are mostly on the ground, the cold is setting in and we feel happy when the temperature reaches highs above 15°C, we all know what is coming.  For Canadians, the month of October is marked by Thanksgiving celebrations and for many, it is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for.

I was reading an article lately and it really made me think about gratitude and the art of positive thinking. Some people start the day with a prayer of thanks, others end the day with one, but for many, we show an attitude of gratitude throughout the day whenever the inspiration grabs us.  Please understand that gratitude has nothing to do with religion.  Whether you are thanking God, the Universe or people around you, this includes you.

Now, let me show you a different twist to this attitude of gratitude.  Have you ever started the day on the wrong foot?  You know what I mean… you get up, step into a mess that the cat left for you during the night, get to the kitchen only to realize the fridge stopped working and the smell is starting to invade the house. You get into the shower and realize there is no soap, get into your car and get all the red lights on the way to work and finally arrive 15 minutes late!  Sound familiar?

In my family, I am known for my ability to think positively and although I do practice this habitually, the article I read lately took it one step further as it had to do with being thankful for all the things that didn’t happen!  Even with my positive attitude and my non-stop expression of gratitude, I had never thought of that!  Let’s rerun the above scenario:

You get up and step into a mess that the cat left for you during the night and you are thankful that she is not seriously sick; get to the kitchen only to realize the fridge stopped working and the smell is starting to invade the house but you think how thankful you are that you weren’t gone on holidays when this happened because with only a few hours of outage, the food is still salvageable.  You get into the shower and realize there is no soap but thankfully, you bought some recently when you did groceries so all you have to do is stretch to the vanity and grab a bar; get into your car and get all the red lights and think that with all that has happened this morning if you get into work a few minutes late, you are still doing well.  You are thankful for the time to decompress at each red light before starting your day.  If it weren’t for all these lights, you might drive too fast and increase your possibility of getting into a serious accident…  Wow, what a difference!

More than just part of positive thinking, scientists’ research shows that “Downward Counterfactual Thinking” (psych talk for this way of thinking) has a real and prompt effect on our level of happiness.  It can help improve your mood in the moment, so why couldn’t it help with long-term happiness, maybe even prepare us to deal with major challenges!  “As a paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology points out, small daily boosts of positive emotion improved life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms over time.”

Can you see how this can help you stay on track when trying to reduce the effects of stress on your eating habits? People report to me that their number one reason for eating off plan is stress!  The biggest issue that people have is stress and not surprisingly, that is also the top thing that people seem to have the least solutions for!  You can’t go on holidays every week; you can’t take time off work every time something stressful happens, but you can always think of how fortunate you are that it wasn’t worse!  Try it for yourself and see how effective this is!

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Lise and the coaching staff at Food-Wise Weight Loss