Getting ‘back on track’ after Easter

danni-archer-weight-loss

Easter was two weeks ago, and it’s usually a time that my clients struggle to stay consistent with their eating habits.  Chocolate is everywhere you look, and even after Easter is done and dusted – there’s all those supermarket sales making it way too tempting to buy some more chocolate.

Children go on Easter egg hunts, and eat chocolate for breakfast, and eat all day until they have a tummy ache!  But us adults – oh, no – we’re much more restrained than that.  We eat our chocolate late at night, when the kids have gone to sleep and hubby is asleep in front of the tv.  We promise ourselves just a couple of eggs, but as the guilt washes over us after that tiny bit of indulgence, we decide to have just a bit more.  And a bit more.  And a little bit more.  And before we know it, we too have a tummy ache from all that chocolate.

Except no one knows but us.

And we just sit there feeling guilty, and shameful, and asking ourselves why we have no self-control.

If that scenario sounds way too familiar, you’re not alone.  I don’t have children yet, but for many years Easter has been a time when I go completely off the rails and fall into bad habits of eating junk food, and craving sugar, and the list goes on.  As soon as I had a little bit of chocolate, I’d convince myself that I might as well just “go all out” and eat whatever I wanted, because I’d already ruined my “diet”.  I had no idea how to enjoy chocolate in moderation, because I was so consumed by guilt and shame every time I ate it.

And that guilt and shame is what made me continue eating more and more and more.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been through my own experiences with weight loss and poor body image and yo-yo dieting.  Well, this Easter just been, I reached another milestone in my journey towards a better relationship with food.

I managed to eat chocolate in moderation, without feeling guilty at all.

And there were a few factors at play here.

Before Easter, I hadn’t been eating a lot of refined sugar, so that definitely helped my taste buds alter.  Your taste buds actually adapt to dietary changes, so when I did have a couple of Lindt milk chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday, they tasted so super sweet and I physically couldn’t eat any more!

Tip #1: When you’re eating a diet high in sugar (or fat, or salt, etc) your body gets used to level of taste response.  When you minimise your intake, your body adapts to that, so when you do have the food again (whether it’s high-sugar, or high-fat, or high-salt) it will be really intense and you won’t want as much of that food as you used to.

I also asked my partner to get me *less* chocolate, but the good kind! So instead of 10 Red Tulip bunnies, I got a large Lindt egg and a bag of solid Lindt eggs.  For me, mindset-wise, it was easier to enjoy Lindt in moderation because it is higher quality.  Eating a cheaper, less satisfying chocolate would have felt completely different, and I probably would have been more likely to feel guilty for it.  It’s like the difference between drinking a $30 glass of red wine versus a whole sack of goon.

Tip #2: Know what works for you and what will work for your mindset.  Plan in advance (like asking your hubby to buy you less chocolate, or only higher quality chocolates) to make it easier for yourself.

And perhaps most importantly, I’ve done a hell of a lot of mindset work.  And it’s ongoing.  I had 25+ years of being programmed to hate my body and hold onto an unhealthy relationship with food, so it’s definitely still a work in progress.  I’m practicing loving and accepting my body just the way it is, right now.  I’m seeing food as fuel and nourishment instead of counting calories or worrying about carbs.  I’m exercising as an act of self-care rather than an act of self-punishment.  Every single day, I am working hard to improve my relationship with my body and with food.  (And every single day, I help my clients do the same thing!)

Tip #3: Accept that these changes aren’t going to happen overnight.  Impatience in the process will only make it harder for you, and it’s important to acknowledge how far you’ve come – rather than constantly looking ahead at how much further you have to go.  Do the work, and little by little, you’ll find yourself changing the way you look at your body and your food.

And one Easter, you’ll be proud of yourself for finding that elusive state of moderation – enjoying chocolate without feeling guilty or shameful or “not strong enough”.

 

 

P.S.  If you feel like food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

P.P.S.  If you’d like to know more about how I help women do all of the above (without guilt, or shame, or blame) you can click here to book a free intro session via phone or video call.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read on Facebook

lilly

There’s tonnes of information on Facebook around healthy eating, weight loss, dieting and fitness.  Groups with hundreds of thousands of people wanting to know the ‘secret’ to losing weight.  Pages of companies selling pyramid scheme products without any real knowledge of health or nutritional medicine. Advertisements for weight loss teas and wraps that will dissolve your cellulite.  It’s overwhelming, and it’s kinda scary.  What do you pay attention to?  Who do you follow and which groups are the best? How do you know whether what you’re reading is true or not?

You probably already know that I’m not a big fan of the dieting industry.  And anything that invokes guilt, or shame, or blame, or body-hate is a BIG no-no in my books.  I’m a part of a few weight loss groups, out of interest as to what they are sharing and talking about in there.  And in one of the groups I’m a part of, which is mostly full of young girls, I scrolled across this image:

weight-loss-meme

.. and it broke my heart.

I spend every hour of my working days, every single week, helping women understand why they can’t lose weight, and why it’s not their fault.  Sure, if you’re living on drive-thru meals and bottles of Coke, then you can definitely blame diet.  But my clients aren’t doing that.  They’re doing the very best they can, and STILL can’t lose weight long-term.  They’ve tried strict diets and meal-replacement shakes and pills, and nothing has changed.  And they come to me for a different perspective – an alternative approach – and sometimes as a last resort.

I work with women who have undetected thyroid issues, and once corrected – their weight loss is so much simpler.

I work with women who feel out of control with their food cravings – and once corrected, it’s so much easier for them to stay consistent with their healthy lifestyle.

I work with women who have iron levels so low, I wonder how they get out of bed each morning (let alone exercise for an hour a day and spend 2 hours on meal prep).

I help women overcome insulin resistance and heal their metabolism after years of yo-yo dieting.

I use clinical testing to identify food intolerances – because yes, gluten and other intolerances can cause weight gain and fluid retention.

I teach women what to eat at each meal and throughout the day, so that their bodies are not in ‘starvation mode’ and they are able to lose weight without the dreaded rebound weight gain.

And I help women understand their bodies, and reconnect with their bodies, so that they can make lasting changes to lead to long-term weight loss and better health.

 

So please. don’t feel guilty if you’re struggling to lose that excess weight.

Please, don’t call yourself an asshole.

And please, don’t believe everything you read on Facebook and other social media.  There are a lot of people out there who don’t understand what you’re going through, and are ready to make you feel bad for where you are right now.  I’ve been where you are, and I wasn’t eating like an asshole – I just didn’t know all the things I know now.  I didn’t know what was going on with my body, and I didn’t know why I felt the way I felt.

And that’s why I share it all with you – so you can come out of the ‘not knowing’ and step into a world where health is easy, and simple, and fun.

 

 

P.S.  If you feel like food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

P.P.S.  If you’d like to know more about how I help women do all of the above (without guilt, or shame, or blame) you can click here to book a free intro session via phone or video call.

A healthy lunch menu!

danni-archer-weight-loss

danni-archer-weight-loss

On the first weekend of March, I had the pleasure of presenting a health workshop and catering lunch to a gorgeous group of women at a retreat run by Dawn of Always You Yoga & Relaxation. The ladies have been begging me for the recipes of everything I gave them for lunch, so I thought I’d share them here with you all.

* everything is gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian

 

ZUCCHINI SLICE

The recipe for my zucchini slice is right here.  It’s always a crowd favourite, and is a great meal or snack, hot or cold. I made it without the cheeses so that it was suitable for the dairy-free attendees 🙂

 

SALADS

I made two salads for the group.  The first is a greens salad with tomato and chickpeas, and a balsamic mustard dressing.  The second is a simple coleslaw with turmeric dressing.

GREENS SALAD

A large bowl of baby spinach and rocket leaves, topped with chickpeas and cherry tomatoes.  As for the dressing:

– 1 tablespoon honey

– 1 tablespoon seeded mustard

– 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

– pinch of freshly ground black pepper

SIMPLE COLESLAW

Shredded red and white cabbage, carrots and cucumber made up the base of this coleslaw, with a little bit of kale added in too.  And the very popular turmeric dressing:

– 3/4 cup whole egg mayo

– juice of 1/2 lemon

– 1 tsp ground turmeric (or fresh grated turmeric)

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– pinch of salt and pepper

 

So, there you have it ladies.  All the recipes you need to recreate our scrumptious lunch at Second Valley.  It was a pleasure to meet you all, and I hope you have taken the lessons learnt from the entire weekend and applied at least a little bit to your every day life.

And remember: health is about baby steps forward.

 

If you’d like to keep in touch with me, you’ll find my Facebook page here.

 

Danni xx

It’s Not Just About Calories and Exercise

danni-archer-weight-loss

Speak to many people about weight loss, and they’ll tell you that you just need to eat less and exercise more.  Simple, right?

Well, if it was actually that simple, I wouldn’t be so busy helping women lose weight.  Because honestly, my clients pretty much know what to do.  They understand that a calorie deficit *technically* should cause them to lose weight.  They’re minimising carbs, and eating salads and trying to do all the right things.  And while there is usually a handful of things they need to slightly tweak in their diet, there’s no major bombshells.  Not a whole lot that they haven’t heard before.  They’ve read enough dieting stuff online and in books to know what to do and what not to do.

So if my clients are already reducing their calories and exercising semi-regularly, why aren’t they losing weight?  Why are they sitting in front of my at my clinic, or in front of their computer on a video call with me?  Why are they still looking for answers to their weight?

Because it’s not just about calories (food) and exercise.

There is so much more that can impact your weight – both your likelihood to gain weight, and also how quickly you are able to lose that weight.

  • Thyroid function (a slow thyroid = slow weight loss)
  • Digestion (how often are you pooping?  Seriously, it affects your weight)
  • Liver health (impacts your weight and energy levels)
  • Toxic load (a toxic body wants to hold onto body fat, so this will slow down weight loss)
  • Inflammation (linked to higher body fat percentage)
  • Reproductive hormones (especially for women, when reproductive hormones are out of whack, you’ll have a really hard time losing weight and keeping it off)
  • Food intolerances (can cause fluid retention, weight gain, poor energy and more)
  • Insulin and blood sugar regulation (high insulin production makes it really hard to lose weight)
  • Metabolism and metabolic syndrome (can make you prone to gaining weight!)
  • Nutrient deficiencies (did you know every 2nd woman on the planet is iron deficient?  What you might not know is that iron deficiency impacts your body’s ability to produce essential thyroid hormones, thereby altering thyroid function and metabolism.  There’s lots of other nutrients that are essential to maintain a healthy body weight, too.  And certain nutrients can actually help speed-up weight loss, so if you’re deficient in those ones, you’re really gonna slow your progress.)

The list goes on..

So no, it’s not about calories and exercise alone.  It’s about all the other factors that are impacting your weight, and making it hard for you to lose weight.

If it was just about calories and exercise, wouldn’t we all be our healthiest weight by now?

You’ve tried the calorie restriction and excessive exercising a thousand times, and you’re still here reading this article.  So maybe now it’s time to look at what else is actually going on with your health and your weight, so that you can make long-term changes (not short-term fixes).

In my clinical and personal experience, the key to losing weight long-term is:

  • identifying the factors that are stopping you from losing weight, and
  • correcting those issues so that you are able to lose weight and keep it off, for good

So the next time someone tells you that you just need to eat less and exercise more, slap them!  (Not really, haha, maybe just direct them to this article).

If you’d like help identifying and fixing whatever is holding you back from losing weight, you can book a free introductory session with me by clicking here.

And if food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

Homemade Hummus

Combine: 1 tin rinsed and drained chickpeas, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup olive oil,
1-2 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp tahini (optional) in a blender and process until smooth. 

Add water (up to 1/4 cup) until desired consistency. 

Note: Tahini is optional but is recommended as it is a great source of calcium!

Chia Pudding

weight-loss-healthy-snack-ideas

weight-loss-healthy-snack-ideas

This is one of my favourite snacks – high in protein and omega 3 fats, high in fibre and a number of essential minerals, and it kinda tastes like a dessert! Winning.

Note: this is best when made the night before, soaked overnight

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (any colour)
  • 1/4 cup milk (any kind) or water
  • your choice of toppings (see below)

Method

  1. Soak chia seeds in liquid – preferably overnight – or until liquid is completely absorbed.  I find the easiest way to do this is put the chia seeds and liquid in a jar, shake it up and leave it soak in there.
  2. Top with whatever you like – my favourite is 3 tbsp greek yoghurt, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1/3 banana (sliced) and a handful of blueberries.  

For toppings, think: plain yoghurt, berries, banana, stone fruit, mango, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almond butter or other nut butters, bee pollen, cacao nibs, buckwheat kernels.. the options are endless!

Tip: If you find it a little bland, add more fruit or a bit of honey.  

Two-Ingredient Protein Pancakes

pancakes-breakfast-healthy-weight-loss

pancakes-breakfast-healthy-weight-loss

I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t love pancakes.  If you’re focusing on weight loss, or just looking for a healthy breakfast idea, these two-ingredient pancakes are perfect for you!  (I’ve also been known to eat these cold, with a slather of almond butter on top.. soooo yummy)

Makes around 4-6 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3-4 eggs, whisked

Method

  1. Just combine the eggs and banana and cook pancakes in a non-stick pan.  You can top your protein-rich pancakes with berries, nuts and seeds, and a little honey or pure maple syrup.

Note: stay away from artificial ‘maple-flavoured’ syrups in the supermarket – they’re just flavoured high-fructose corn syrup. You’ll have to spend more to get the pure stuff, but it’s so much healthier and tastier.

Easy Egg & Veg Cups

food-eggs-weight-loss

food-eggs-weight-loss

It’s true what they say – eggs really are the original superfood.  Whether you’re eating keto, wanting to lose weight, or just have a really healthy snack – these egg and veg cups are perfect!  Kind of like a cheat’s quiche.  They’re free from gluten and super high in protein and nutrients.  Have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy cold or heated up.  Super simple!

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • large handful baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 rashers bacon, diced
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled into pieces
  • 1/4 cup red capsicum, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp mixed dried herbs

Method

  1. Grease a 12x muffin tray. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Whisk eggs in a small bowl, season with salt, pepper and dried herbs.
  3. Add spinach, bacon, feta and capsicum to bowl and combine.
  4. Pour mixture evenly into muffin tray and bake for 40mins or until slightly browned on top.  Allow to cool slightly in tray before removing. Refrigerate once cooled completely.

A Natural Approach to Weight Loss

weight-loss-danni-archer-naturopath-adelaide

If you’re like most people, you have at one time or another thought about losing weight.  When you think of health professionals who can help you lose weight, you might think about a dietician, a personal trainer, or even a doctor.  But have you ever thought about seeing a naturopath?  As a qualified and experienced naturopath specialising in weight loss, I’m going to share with you some of the ways in which naturopathy can support you to safely and effectively lose weight.  Of course, you should always consult a health care practitioner before making any changes to your current diet or lifestyle.

What is naturopathy?

So you might even be wondering, what is naturopathy?  It is a traditional system of medicine focused on natural remedies including herbal medicine and nutrition, among other things.  Naturopathy was once seen as witchcraft, but has recently had a facelift and modern day naturopaths now utilise the most up-to-date scientific research to support their use of natural treatments.  Naturopathy is popular because it is safe, effective, and often causes less side effects than pharmaceutical medications.

Why should I see a naturopath for weight loss?

If you’re wanting to lose weight, a naturopath is a great choice for many reasons.  Naturopathy is all about treating the patient as an individual and as a whole person. This means that rather than focusing on one aspect of your health, you’ll be treated holistically.  The human body is complex and multi-faceted, and when it comes to problems with weight there is usually more than one cause.  Often, health care professionals will treat one cause, and after weeks or months of little or no results you are left discouraged and disheartened.  Treating holistically ensures that all aspects of your health and your weight are investigated and nothing is ignored or missed.  In this way, naturopathy ensures that you have the very best chance at losing the weight and living your healthiest life yet.

You’ve tried a thousand diets already, and you’re still here reading this blog post about weight loss, right?  Naturopathy provides a long-term approach to weight loss, so you can lose the weight, improve your health, and maintain that for good. No more dieting!

Some surprising factors that can influence your weight loss.

You might not be aware that the following factors can significantly affect your weight and/or efforts to lose weight.  A good naturopath will help you to identify and correct these issues, and thereby help you to shift the weight for good!

  • Your digestion plays an important role in weight loss.  If you regularly suffer from bloating, constipation, diarrhoea or stomach discomfort, chances are your digestion is a little under par.  If your body is not able to digest and absorb the goodness from the food you’re eating, your weight loss efforts may be thwarted.  Think of poor digestion like a car with an oil leak – you can put the very best fuel in the car, but with a leak you’re still only going to get half as far!
  • Your blood sugar is a term to describe the way in which your body processes sugars.  Extreme blood sugar imbalances often lead to diabetes, but you can also experience mild to moderate blood sugar imbalances, usually without even knowing it!  Symptoms can include shaking or mood changes when you’re hungry, headaches, sugar cravings, and anxiety or anxious tendencies.  Blood sugar imbalances lead to weight gain via a cascade of hormonal interactions including insulin and cortisol (your stress hormone).  Without addressing blood sugar imbalances, you may find it is very difficult to lose weight.
  • Stress levels are often high in todays society.  We are living in a fast-paced, busy world!  When you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol to help your body adapt to the stress.  Unfortunately for us, cortisol actually encourages your body to store fat, particularly around your middle section!  This means that during periods of short- and medium-term stress, when you eat meals, your body is signalled by cortisol to store the fat from that meal on your body, rather than burning it up as energy.  So stress = weight gain!  Without addressing your stress levels, you may be missing a giant piece of the weight loss puzzle.

In summary:

  • Naturopathy is a safe and effective system of medicine, backed by scientific research.
  • Weight loss is very complex, and can only be successful when treated holistically and individually.  By ignoring certain aspects of your health and weight, you may find weight loss efforts are completely unsuccessful.
  • Naturopathy can help you to lose weight by addressing all underlying causes and factors, thereby helping you keep the weight off for good!

 

And if food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

Four Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen

danni-archer-weight-loss-diet

Are you tired of spending hours in the kitchen?  Are you feeling guilty that your kids sometimes get takeaway meals instead of home-cooked?

Gone are the days when mum would be at home all day baking bread, preparing dinner and baking goods for the childrens’ school lunches – we are all busy mums and partners, running errands all day, some of us working half-time or even full-time.  Here’s a few simple tips to help you reduce the amount of time spent in the kitchen – so you can serve up a delicious homemade meal and have more time to spend with your beautiful children!

1. Read the recipe before you start

By reading the entire recipe before you start, you can figure out any times where you can have two parts happening at once.. E.g. boiling the water while you cut up the veggies and prepare the meat.. By not looking ahead, you could be spending twice as much time in the kitchen!  Don’t trust that all recipes will give you a heads up for things like boiling water or pre-heating ovens, read ahead and you could save yourself some time!

2. Cut and freeze veggies in advance

A really good habit to get into is freezing your own ready-to-cook veggies.  Simply cut up some veg, place it in a freezer bag or zip lock bag, and use it on those nights you are just too exhausted or too time-poor to cook healthy food.  How easy is a stir fry or steamed veggies when they’re already prepared?  Simply heat in a wok or saucepan, or place in a steamer, and cook up a good source of protein to go with it. It’s super easy, and it saves you money by doing it yourself rather than buying frozen pre-cut veg.

3. Use your food processor

Okay, so you spent a decent amount of money on a fancy food processor, but you don’t use it?  Why are you wasting your time preparing everything with a knife when you’ve got a machine to do it for you?  Food processors are great at chopping up onions, carrots, and other hard vegetables.  You can slice veg for a coleslaw, ground nuts, some will even grate cheese for you!  Have another read of your food processor’s manual and make sure you’re utilising all it’s features – I promise, the clean up is worth it when dinner takes you half the time to make!

4. Stop peeling all your vegetables

This one sounds just downright lazy, but hear me out – the skin on a lot of your vegetables actually contains a significant amount of fibre (for healthy digestion) and a heap of vitamins and minerals.  The only reason most of us peel our veggies is to make them look better, but it means that we’re missing out on a lot of goodness that is in the skin!  Plus, it takes up more time in the kitchen.  Vegetables like carrots, zucchini and potatoes can usually be eaten with their skin on – just give them a good scrub, and prepare as usual.

Healthy eating does not have to be time-consuming!  Small changes to your kitchen routine can make a big difference and save you heaps of time in the long run.

Keep an eye out for my new recipe book ‘Healthy Shortcuts’ set to be released in March 2018 for more time-saving kitchen tips & tricks, and super simple, healthy and budget-friendly recipes.