Gone are the days….

Where’s the Muffintop?

……of 21 inch waist lines!!

Sad, but true, muffin friends, waist lines around the world are expanding, and it’s ganna take a miracle to turn back the evolutionary clock. Thanks to the SAD (Standard American Diet) way of eating that has rocked our world over the past 50+ years, we have officially become muffintop nation. From TV dinners to fast food restaurants, to big box stores and coffee houses, American culture has gone from bad to worse when it comes to food and lifestyle choices. Sadly, we have advanced ourselves right into obesity….go figure, literally!

Welcome to Generation MT 

Our muffintops tell a story of evolutionary change in America.  They are a dead give away of something gone awry, and an important visual barometer of more serious health related issues lurking beneath our belt buckles…..as mid-section fat grows, so does a clustering of other negative health factors, which is why I am on a muffintop mission. I see it as a win, win….You look and feel better, and we save a sick nation, one person at a time…..

Muffintop phenomenon, which involves a high ratio of mid-section fat in comparison to other areas of the body, is a fairly new human physiological trend, and is largely (no pun intended) due to changes in diet and lifestyle over the past 75 years…Blows my mind to think that in less than 100 years of the entire history of mankind, we have created a “sick” culture. To me, that is one of the most serious and profound acknowledgements we can make today.

That muffin you are sporting is the direct result of a culture attempting to do things bigger, faster, and cheaper…..Thank you Uncle Sam!!

Here are some of the main reasons why we have become a Muffintop Nation over the past 50+ years…..

1) Empty calories – due to processed, packaged foods, which deliver very little nutrition…

2) Toxins – from both diet and the environment.

3) Stress – due to higher paced, more competitive lifestyles.

4) Sugar and fake sweeteners- need I say more??

5) Simple carbohydrates- Americans have come to love our pastas, breads, and pastries.

6) Pharmaceutical drugs- Yea, drugs can make you fat, toxic, and cause other health imbalances…. not to say there are not benefits when appropriately prescribed, but drugs are over prescribed and a big part of muffintop nation.

7) Dining out- Fast and convenient is what we want, poor quality food and illness is what we get.

My book goes into these at length, in addition to how to address and reverse their effects on muffintop, but today’s take-away for you is related to empty calories.

So here’s the skinny on calories…

don’t count calories, count the nutrients in the calories

Nutrients per calorie, a very important aspect of muffintop control, and one of the main reasons why we have become generation MT. Americans are the most over fed, under nourished country in the world, and that has happened due to over consumption of calories that deliver little or no nutrition. So when you begin your muffintop makeover program, a big part of what we will be doing is making sure that every calorie you consume counts! You will re-train your body to learn to be sensitive again to the hormones and metabolic functions that support fat burning.  If you’re reading this, chances are your body has become very efficient in fat storing. The good news, however, is that through diet, exercise, and supplements, we can train it to become efficient at fat burning again, and nutrients per calorie will be an important part of that happening….

The Muffintop Makeover program involves removing toxins stored in your body via a 14 day liver cleanse (can’t lose fat very easily if you are toxic) followed by 30 days of fat burning nutrients in addition to a clean nutrient dense diet. There is a 30, 60, or 90 day program for you to choose from… to get started, just email me at heather@muffintopmakeover.com and we can decide on the program that is right for you.

So glad you stopped by today….please check out our facebook page at www.facebook.com/muffintopmakeover, and join our healthy living book group.

Book group link:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/332028896820837/

Yours in good health,

Heather Morgan, MS, NLC

 Heather 😉

 

Book Club Update

January Book Club Update

Welcome to Muffintop Makeover!

Whether you’re checking back in, or checking us out for the first time, I’m glad your here…

Muffintop Makeover is a health coaching site dedicated to helping you to get rid of your ever-lovin muffin. Our site is currently getting a makeover of its own, and will soon be more than just a blog. Here you will be able to access my belly fat burning programs, recipes, questionnaires, exercise tips, and much more…..

Healthy Living Book Club update:

This months book….

FOOD RULES, Michael Pollan

It’s a quick, easy read and has lots of great words to live by. A perfect book to start our healthy living journey off with…It’s not too late to join us, so go get yourself a copy and jump over to our facebook group and say hello….

http://www.facebook.com/groups/332028896820837/

February’s book...

Naked Calories, by Mira and Jayson Calton

Looking forward to having Mira, the author, join us here on the blog next month as we read her new book! The info in this book will have you looking at calories in a whole new way….

Another book worth mentioning….

A Course in Weight Loss, by Marianne Williamson

I have another book I want to recommend to everyone as an “add on”…. I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who has battled with weight. It addresses the mind’s roll in weight management and offers 21 spiritual lessons that are EFFECTIVE . There is a work book, and this is an ideal book for you each of us to do on our own in addition to our monthly reads….Join the book group and let us know how it works for you! I will be discussing this on the book group site as well…..

Well, that’s it for now….thanks for following and sharing this blog and book club with your friends. We are growing like crazy thanks to you all! Looking forward to  an educational and inspirational year ahead…

Warmly,

Heather Morgan, MS, NLC

Health Coach and Muffinista :)

Do you know the Muffin Man?

 Do YOU know the muffin man?

I’ll bet you do… he’s at the beach, the bars, the coffee shops, and even at the gyms. Fact is, you don’t have to do a whole lot of muffin huntin to find a man with a muffintop today. America IS the Muffin Man!

Yep, it seems there is a certain kind of muffin that needs a little lovin. Whether they like it or not, men are sporting muffintops, and something needs to be done about it.

Problem is, last time I checked at the cafes and the football games, there didn’t seem to be too many men worried about their muffintops. Burgers and beers in hand, the muffin men seem content. I can count on one hand the men who have approached me to lose weight verses the hundreds of women. But in fairness to men, it’s not that they don’t care, I just believe there is a difference in priorities between men and women. Women are generally the ones who are seeking the answers when it comes to eating and looking better, where as men, the emphasis on how they look is generally not as important.

So how can we help our muffin men to help themselves?

I have a whole chapter on this in my book, because it’s important.  Women aren’t the only ones who have hormones that effect their weight. Just like women, men go through a change of life called Andropause. They have muffintops for many of the same reasons women do, and yet, they are very different creatures behaviorally and biochemically.

When it comes to muffintop for men, here are the major contributors:

1) lack of play. (exercise)

2) Over eating poor quality foods

3) Not sleeping enough

4) high stress

5) Toxins from work and environment

6) lack of nutrients

Could any of this be your man? If so, have him take my muffin man quiz (will be posted on this site when it’s had it’s makeover in February) and lets get him on the right program. He needs to know that the best thing he can do for his family is to be healthy, and besides, helping our men get rid of their muffintops and moobs means we get to keep our girdles and bras all to ourselves…. :) Now if that’s not a motivator, then I got nothin.

So the next time you see your man going back for thirds or laying on the sofa watching football when he hasn’t exercised in days, tell him you no likey lovin from a muffin, and ask him to check out my muffin man program. It’s designed especially for men’s unique metabolic needs, and it takes their need for simplicity and baby steps into consideration and it works. :)

Lastly, if your man comments about your muffin, just kindly repeat the following:

Thanks for stoping my Muffintop Makeover. I’m just getting going, so I’d really appreciate your help in sharing this blog (below) and be sure to check out our facebook page, because that is where the daily action is.. www.facebook.com/muffintopmakeover . We also have a book club where we read one healthy book per month. Check out some of the past posts for details, or go to our book group on facebook (it’s a separate page from our fan page). If you want to know more about me, or my work as a nutrition coach and author, check out past posts or contact me directly (below).

Hope to see you back here soon as we “makeover” this site to include our book club, MMO Challenge, Muffin Man, muffintop fashion, and more…. I’m so excited!!

All good things,

Heather Morgan, MS, NLC

heather@muffintopmakeover.com

Morning Makeover #2

Rise and SHINE

Hi there, ready to RISE and SHINE?

The good news is, I’m not talking about sinks and silverware, or even shoes, that’s seriously so 1960’s…. I’m talking about YOU. How about we help YOU shine, and then you can dress up in an adorable 1960’s number and shine on with your beautiful self….that’s what I’m talkin about!

How does your morning go?

Here’s mine:

I wake up with no alarm at about 5:15.

I move the pile of puppies off of me — my 2 schnoodles stock pile on top of me at night, which is not great for the beauty rest, just sayin’….

Molly and Tallulah

…then, I start my morning meditation/prayer…. approximately 15 minutes of deep breathing and setting intention for my day. By starting my day off filling my body with oxygen I set the pace for a calming effect on my central nervous system in addition to energizing my cells. I am actually calming myself and energizing myself at the same time….is this possible? YES. Infact, through slow deep breathing, I calm the systems that ultimately affect muffintop. I help reduce stress chemicals in the body, yet the abundant oxygen flow provides cellular energy and mental focus.

Does that mean we can trade OXYGEN for COFFEE??? Hmmmm….

I then RISE and stretch for a few minutes while continuing to breathe….healthy glow starting to flow….

After getting work out clothes on, the schnoodles and I head downstairs for work. My chi is rockin and early morning is great for creative process, so I write. But not until I’ve had a room temp glass FULL of water.  I start hydrating right away, a principle I learned at the CHEK institute. Warm green tea, or occasionally organic coffee to follow…

So lets see….

  • Oxygen, check
  • positive thoughts, check
  • stretching, check
  • hydration, check
  • creative production, check

Have you ever gotten up and instantly started to stress about your day? If you do, chances are your breathing is shallow, your joints most likely feel stiff, and the first thing you drink is probably coffee. That’s most people. By starting the day like that we miss out on a golden opportunity to get a head start on a healthy day. By just paying attention to these minor things, we can have a huge impact on our day….

Enter food….. I love greens in the morning. I NEED greens in the morning. Breakfast usually goes something like this:

  • hard boiled egg, fresh organic veggie juice, nuts.
  • turkey bacon, egg salad on an endive
  • egg over easy, or left over dinner meat, on top of left over cooked veggies.
  • smoothie loaded with nutrients, healthy fat, protein and carb, ie. kale, frozen berries, coconut milk, seeds, nut butters, protein powders, probiotics, etc.

Notice there are no grains here…I have them once in a while..quinoa or gluten free slow cooked hot cereal with healthy fat (coconut milk), spices, walnuts, seeds, protein powder, etc., but only once a week, at the most. My main staple in the morning is mostly MEAT and VEGGIES.

More hydration + first round of supplements….What I take varies, depending on what is going on in my health regime, but I always take the kick ass nrft2 activator, Protandim, and VitD….

QUALITY IS EVERYTHING WHEN CONSUMING SUPPLEMENTS. I preach local, fresh, organic foods, and I preach high quality supplements. Unfortunately the good stuff, the stuff that is most effective, is usually only available through health care professionals, and there is a reason for that….

It takes knowledge and understanding when it comes to knowing how to supplement safely and effectively with therapeutic quality and dosing of supplements. The store bought stuff, in order to keep it safe and affordable for everyone, usually has fillers, lesser quality ingredients, and low, non-effective doses. I know this because I spent four years studying nutritional medicine and was trained by one of the top professional companies in the U.S., Designs for Health. Even the best diets need to be supplemented. We burn though so many nutrients with our high paced lifestyles, and even the best food sources do not yield enough nutrition to make up for what we are lacking and need. Bummer, but true.

Lack of proper nutrients is a huge part of why we have muffintop. Our metabolic pathways are made up of nutrients. If you want to have a great metabolism, you need loads of nutrients. First from high quality food, and then from supplementation. Many of my clients come to me for weight loss. I always run a Comprehensive Metabolic Profile on them, which involves a blood spot and urine test and helps me to determine nutrient deficiencies, fatty acid imbalances, detoxification functioning, neurotransmitter imbalances, food sensitivities, and more. This allows me to recommend a targeted supplementation program that boosts the aspects of their well being that are lacking. THIS IS HOW SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD BE USED, to make up for what is lacking, and to support daily functioning. I appreciate people giving themselves a daily boost in the basics, but, more often than not, if they are poor quality, thats just money down the toilet, literally.

HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD BE GETTING YOUR SUPPLEMENTS THROUGH A PROFESSIONAL. Knowing what supplements YOU need is key.  A health professional such as a Chiropractor, a nutritionist, a holistic MD., or an OMD is trained in nutritional medicine.  They are also trained in how to properly assess what is needed. FYI, most general doctors are not. If you ask a general doctor for a vitamin program they will look at you like you have three heads. Don’t fret, it’s just not they way they are trained.  They are trained to treat you with pharm drugs, not nutrients. It is what it is, so move on to someone who knows nutrition. We see Dr’s for emergency medicine, and we see alternative health professionals for preventative maintenance. Two different, very needed aspects of addressing our health.

Exercise.  After kids are off to school, I work for a bit and then head to the CrossFit gym.  CrossFit is great for conditioning. Being Conditioned should be your fitness goal. There is a difference between being in shape and being conditioned. CrossFit is my number one recommendation for getting rid of muffintop..

Morning is the best time to exercise, studies have proven this to be true. And the best exercise for your muffintop is high intensity short duration bursts, involving a multitude of training techniques that confuse your muscles and keep you on top of your game.  If you are doing the old school approach to exercise, such as aerobics classes, time on treadmills and weight machines, or running, you are probably not getting the results you need to take care of that muffintop.

As this blog continues to take shape (no pun intended) it will be a fully functioning site with food plans, exercise plans, supplement plans, all designed for fat burning and metaboic happiness….So stick around, lots of GREAT things in the works.

Thanks for making it all the way to the bottom of this long post. I hope it was helpful for you. See you next time,

 

Heather Morgan, MS, NLC

heather@muffintopmakeover.com

Morning Makeover #1

Morning Makeover

 

OK, Muffinista’s, it’s time to take a look at your morning routine…..We absolutely CANNOT make over your muffintop without getting THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY straight!

Breakfast in America is one of the main reasons why Americans have developed muffintops. Now I’m not just talking about a bit of excess fat or roundness, round people have been around for many centuries, and when in the right place and right porportion, a bit of fat is not such a bad thing. I’m talking about the type of fat specific to the mid-section that is present unproportionally to other areas of the body.  This type of fat poses specific health risks and is accompanied by certain biochemical markers such as insulin resistance, high cortisol, poor liver functioning and more.

BREAKFAST in America needs a major MAKEOVER and here are my TOP 5 REASONS WHY…

1) Breakfast foods in America are laden with simple carbohydrates and sugar. #sugarfeedsmuffintop

2) Breakfast is the meal where the most processed foods are consumed. Hot and cold cereals, boxed bars, pop tarts, yogurts, and even many of the meats, dairy and eggs are processed and poor quality.

3) Breakfast is the meal that is most often skipped, yet, it’s the most important time to fuel your body.

4) Morning is the time when you need an abundance of micro and macro nutrients to support your metabolism and daily activity.

5) The first meal you eat each day sets the pace for how your body will manage blood sugar the rest of the day.

THE AMERICAN BREAKFAST BITES THE BEGAL….There, I said it.  Trust me, nothing good is going to come out of you eating a Yoplait Yogurt or a Carnation Instant Breakfast bar… and don’t even get me started on the fake breakfast meats, and soy products. Not only are most breakfast foods lacking the good stuff, they also give you the bad stuff, too..Yipee, double whamy!

SERVING UP SOLUTIONS…..

EAT DINNER FOR BREAKFAST…Assuming your dinner is healthy and composed of good quality protein, fat, and complex carbs….(I’m not talking about pasta and garlic bread here)

BTW, when I say carb, I mean low glycemic veggies, fruits, and certain grains in moderation, such as brown rice and quinoa. Whole, sprouted, organic, grainy breads in moderation as well….

Dump the cereals and eat REAL FOOD. Meat and veggies. Yep, seriously, change your mindset if you think you need to eat some sort of grain for breakfast. Most grains in America are crap. They come from leached soils, are genetically modified (which is freaky in itself) ,and deliver little nutritional value. They are also pro inflammatory, which can cause discomfort in joints and contribute to other health issues. You are much better off getting your nutrients from vegetable and fruit sources, nuts, seeds, etc… A good book to read on this subject is Inflammation Nation.

HEAR THIS: We way over-consume grains in America, and we’ve got the muffintops to prove it. I’m not saying don’t eat any, I am saying you need to take the time to get educated about how and when to eat them in your diet. I go into this more in my book, because grains are reaping havoc on peoples health in America. Another good book is called Dangerous Grains….

ABOUT EGGS….Eggs are a great source of protein, amino acids, bvitamins, and healthy fat. Don’t let anyone tell you not to eat the YOLK.  Bad cholesterol in your diet comes from unhealthy fats and lack of movement, among other things, but not from dietary cholesterol.

I heart eggs, but unfortunately, many people are developing sensitivities to them due to over consumption and poor gut health. Again, something I go into further in my book, but for now, eat your eggs, but try to rotate them in your diet every few days to avoid developing sensitivities….

My mini optimal breakfast food list for you:

lean organic meats, including herring and canned fish

eggs                                                           nut butters

seasonal vegetables                            nuts and seeds

seasonal fruit                                         beans

Healthy fats – avocado, coconut oil, coconut milk, olive oil, butter in moderation

Smoothies with high quality whey protein powder, greens, coconut milk, flax seeds, and a million other great things that I will share with you as we go along…I heart smoothies because they are such a great way to load nutrients into your body…Stay tuned to next week when I post some great nutrient smoothie recipes.

Tomatoes, sprouts, greens, fresh veggie juices with protein on the side

Alright, you can have grains in moderation… organic, sprouted, gluten free is best..swedish rye crackers topped with protein and fat, slow cooked cereals with protein and fat.

PAY ATTENTION, this is IMPORTANT…every time you eat, be SURE to combine protein with healthy carb and fat.  They are best friends and don’t let one be without the others.  This will keep your blood sugar happy and healthy, it will help prevent cravings, and will help you to avoid storing fat around the mid-section…..

Well, gotta wrap up for today….I will continue next time with more morning routine, so stay tuned…

Also, a few new surprises coming next week, including details about the muffintop makeover challenge, book club, and new additions to the site.

Will you please help me by sharing this blog with your friends? Also, remember to “like” our facebook page and join our BOOK GROUP on Facebook…we’re reading FOOD RULES this month, join us! :)

So glad you are here,

Heather Morgan, MS, NLC

heather@muffintopmakeover.com

 

 

Ready to ditch the girdle?

Time to Ditch the Girdle!

 

This is it, friends, time to ditch the girdles and put on our pretty girl panties for 2012….

If there were ever a year for you to make positive change, this is it.

Why, because SHIFT IS HAPPENING!!

The past few years have been rough, and during rough times, it’s not uncommon to ignore our health. Whether it’s finances, lack of time, depression, or distraction, stressful circumstances can make it harder to focus on our health….Stress causes disease, and STRESS CAUSES MUFFINTOP.

SHIFT HAPPENS.

Yep, one constant is change, and shift is happening.  We are realizing we should not take things for granted. Not our jobs, our money, our relationships, and, most importantly, NOT OUR HEALTH.

A new year is always a time to reflect, but this year seems to have a little bit more enthusiasm behind it. I think this is because people are starting to let go of their fear….  They are coming out of their unstable circumstances (or learning to deal with them) and starting to put the pieces of the puzzle back together with a new, smarter perspective about what’s important in life….

INSPIRED ACTION IS YOU.

You are SMART and INTUITIVE. You know that eating processed and sugary foods makes you feel tired and cranky. You know that the skinny carmel latte you order from Starbucks is adding to your muffintop, even though it’s called skinny. You know that not exercising right and not sleeping well is aging you and adding to your muffintop. You also know that stress affects your hormones, and that all of these things are the reason why you have a muffin that grows more and more each year…and you also know that you need to do something about it.

THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR MUFFINTOP….

Addictions, such as sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can cause disease over time.  Your muffintop is just the early warning symbol of greater issues, so believe me when I tell you that HEATHY IS THE NEW SKINNY. You need to get healthy from the inside out in order to lose your muffintop. Your muffintop says, “I have had a lot of stress, lack of proper sleep, too many carbs and sugar, and not enough muscle building exercise.” Every muffin has a story behind it, what’s yours?

ACTION IS NO OPTION.

Hear this, muffin mates, life is too short to hide behind your habits…every day creates an imprint on your health. Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it. Whether you are a highly disciplined rockstar, or a relatively weak wannabe, you still need a plan for becoming healthy from the inside out, we all do, and we all need support in staying that way.

2012 is our bi***, muffinistas, and YOU are going to dominate your weaknesses, because you CAN. You are important, and the best thing you can do for your family is to BE HEALTHY. I have seen way too many moms leave their children due to disease, and we need to do what we can to prevent that from happening. You are getting healthy, your muffin is going bye bye, and we are going to do this together….

So here’s the plan:

Join our healthy living book club, because knowledge is power. If you are reading healthy books each month, trying the recipes, and adopting a healthier way of life, it will be come a habit, and at the end of the year you will be living a much healthier lifestyle, and so will your family.

1) “like” our fan page, because that is where the action is…www.facebook.com/muffintopmakeover

2) Add yourself to our facebook group (Muffintop Makeover Book Group). This is different from the fan page. The book group is a forum for all book club members to discuss the books, etc….The fan page is where announcements and misc. information is shared.

3) Subscribe to this blog. We have awesome guest bloggers in line, such as authors of the books we will be reading, other top health and fitness experts, and even a celebrity sighting or two ;0… and last, but not least,  a senior level fashion designer consulting us on muffintop fashion. :)

4) Form a healthy living book club of your own, because studies show that healthy people hang out with healthy people, and conversely, people with poor habits hang out with people with poor habits. True story. You can download the cool invite for this from our fan page to send to your friends. Meet once a month to share goals, discuss books, sample recipes, and more…

So stick around in 2012, we are going to get inspired, have fun, and make incredible changes together.

Please share this with your friends by clicking on the facebook link below…your friends will be glad you did so they can join us as we….

Yours in excitement and gratitude,

Heather Morgan, MS, NLC

heather@muffintopmakeover.com