Pumpkin Spiced Belly

Pumpkin Spiced Belly

It’s Pumpkin Spiced EVERYTHING season! If you have been to your local grocery store, restaurant or coffee shop, you have seen all of your favorite items transform into pumpkin spiced versions. You might enjoy this fun fall flavor, but it’s important to know what you are actually consuming.

Let’s start with one of the favorites, the Pumpkin Spiced Latte! This coffee creation looks, tastes and smells like fall. So what’s the big deal? Well, depending on where you are getting your drink there is probably Caramel Coloring in it. Caramel coloring is found in many beverages and is on the list as a possible cancer-causing ingredient. Next, we have the excess amount of sugar, especially if we add the whipped cream. A typical 16oz pumpkin spiced latte contains about 50g of sugar! That’s as much sugar as in three Ding Dong cakes!

If you are ready to dump out that drink, there is good news! There are many healthy alternatives. You could make a pumpkin spiced smoothie or a homemade pumpkin spiced latte.

Pumpkin Spiced Smoothie:

½ C of Pumpkin Puree, either made at home or canned (not pie filling)

½ C of Plain Greek yogurt (not favored, that’s sugar)

½ C your milk choice; dairy, soy, almond, rice, etc.

½ C or a handful of ice

Dash of pumpkin spice


Toss all items in your blender and blend. If you would like to sweeten it up, add either 1 Tbsp. of honey or some stevia to taste. Blend again, add some pumpkin spice and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spiced Latte:

            1 C of coffee or your choice of espresso

½ C of your milk choice; dairy, soy, almond, rice, etc.

1/3 C Pumpkin Puree

1 Tbsp. honey or stevia


Heat the pumpkin puree in a saucepan and add the stevia or honey. Once warm, combine in a blender the puree, coffee or espresso, and milk option. Blend for a few seconds to froth up and pour into mug. Add optional whipped cream and pumpkin spice to top.

If eating delicious pumpkin treats are more your style, there are some great alternatives there too. A traditional slice of pumpkin bread contains over 400 calories! If you aren’t trying to grow a pumpkin spiced belly, the swaps below are great waist savers! The post-holiday version of you will be thankful you have made these healthy swaps!

Cut your Sugar:

Most recipes call for too much sugar. Try removing just 1/5th the amount that the recipe calls for. Better yet, swap it out with honey, stevia or a mix of these to cut the sugar and calories.

Swap the fat:

Plain Greek yogurt is an excellent swap for butter and oil. If you are just starting to make healthy swaps in your cooking and baking, try a half and half recipe and keep half the butter or oil and use yogurt for the other half. Try swapping in healthier oils such as olive or coconut in place of canola or vegetable oil.

Pack the Protein:

Adding a scoop or two of protein powder into your recipes is an excellent way to add that protein punch! Many good options come in chocolate and vanilla which works well with many recipes.

 I hope you enjoy these healthier swaps and have a Happy Pumpkin Spiced Season!

My secret weapon for weight loss

My secret weapon for weight loss

Posted By: Katie S.

Ideal Wellness offers an incredible new body sculpting technology, called LipoMelt, that uses light therapy to shrink fat cells in your body giving you instant thinning results! It sends the fat from inside the adipose (fat) cells out into your circulatory system to be removed naturally by your body. The initial session takes only 45 minutes since you have measurements taken both before and after the session to show you the results. Each session following only takes a total of only 30 minutes! That’s right, you could body sculpt on your lunch break! Here is a little bit about my very first time trying LipoMelt body Sculpting.

I was skeptical when I heard about LipoMelt body sculpting therapy and how it is supposed to just “melt the fat away”. I went into the treatment room and was told what to expect and how it works by the technician, but I was STILL a bit unsure. During your visit, you are in a very relaxing spa like room where you will change into your swimsuit, bra, and panties or for men basketball shorts. Once you’ve changed the technician will measure your upper arms, thighs, abdomen (in three areas) and hips. They record the measurements, then you lay on your back on top of one of the light therapy pads. The technician applies the other LipoMelt pads to your abdomen, arms, and thighs with an optional face mask. Once the pads are secure they turn the lights on for 20 minutes, during this time you will feel a gentle warming sensation from all the red lights on the pads while you relax and listen to music or take a nice nap. Once the 20 minutes is over the technician then comes in, removes all the pads for you, and measures your body again. During my visit, I melted away 4.25” and was amazed at my immediate results.  I came in for the second time, about 48 hours after the first, and melted another 2.25” off my body. I lost a grand total of 6.5” in 48 hours and only 40 minutes of therapy time! It’s recommended to come every 48 hours until the desired results are achieved, the technician said most people will do a series of 4-5 weeks 3 times a week.

Once the pads are secure they turn the lights on for 20 minutes, during this time you will feel a gentle warming sensation from all the red lights on the pads while you relax and listen to music or take a nice nap. Once the 20 minutes is over the technician then comes in, removes all the pads for you, and measures your body again. During my visit, I melted away 4.25” and was amazed at my immediate results.  I came in for the second time, about 48 hours after the first, and melted another 2.25” off my body. I lost a grand total of 6.5” in 48 hours and only 40 minutes of therapy time! It’s recommended to come every 48 hours until the desired results are achieved, the technician said most people will do a series of 4-5 weeks 3 times a week.

I couldn’t be happier about the whole experience and I invite you to come in and try it as well!

Surprise benefit of lost weight

Surprise benefit of lost weight

Posted By: Coach Corrina

Like so many of us, I could rattle off a list of standard answers when asked the question, “why?”  But how honest am I actually being? Perhaps I should ask myself why I’m being asked why, so that I can provide specific reasons instead of generic ones.  Often, fully contemplating the answer in its entirety has a direct link to the level of success – or failure – you will find when embarking on a new phase of life.

When I made the decision to lose weight, I had a number of reasons for deciding to do so.  Most of those reasons were health related, of course, but not all of them.  I had high blood pressure and had become pre-diabetic; but, the biggie for me was that I was not happy.

While knowing that these reasons were valid, I had to think about them differently before they would serve their purpose. Sure, in regards to the medical reasons, of course I wanted to be healthier.  I mean, come on, really?  I knew I wouldn’t want to have to self-monitor my blood sugar levels or take a medication every day if I hadn’t lost weight. But there were many factors that I didn’t consider when listing my general health as a why.

Anyone can say, “I want to be healthier.” But what does that really mean to you?  To me, I didn’t realize what it truly meant until I actually became healthier.  I no longer have issues with my blood pressure and I’m no longer at risk of becoming diabetic, but what I didn’t believe before going on the diet was just how much better I was going to feel all the time.  I have more energy, I sleep better at night and I AM happy.  Have you ever experienced a trip to the grocery store on a day when you’re tired or maybe even a little bit grumpy and people avoid eye contact and get out of your way when they see you coming?  How about on a day when you’re smiling and there’s a bit of pep to your step?  On these days, people – strangers – will smile back at you.  They might even give you a greeting!  Positive interactions with people around you, even if only a smile, will lift up the spirits and improve your entire day as well as your attitude.

Now, back to “I want to be healthier.”  I already mentioned that I have more energy and sleep better these days, but the simple desire to feel better or healthier is just that: simple.  The real question here is why do I want to be healthier?  Look at it this way.  The healthier I am, the less time I will have to spend visiting the doctor’s office; and, less time spent there also equals less follow-up visits, lab work or other diagnostic testing to be done; I’m saving countless phone call hours, waiting on hold or playing phone tag for days at a time.  So, what’s my biggest healthcare-specific benefit of being healthier?  I don’t have to pay for all of these doctor visits and testing to be done and I don’t have to participate in the run around of fighting with the insurance company over what is covered, what should be covered and what’s not. When I started I didn’t realize that would be a benefit to the lost weight I achieved.

All of the reasons listed above are for myself.  The motives for your own desire and drive to succeed are imperative to your own success.  However, I still have one remaining reason that I, personally, want to be healthy.  I want more time with my loved ones.  Hopefully, the healthier I am, the longer I’ll get to live; and, perhaps my loved ones will see how beneficial a healthy lifestyle has been for me and decide to do the same, potentially extending their own lives, as well as others around them, too!

Weekly Wisdom: Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving! Being prepared with your foods is the key to success during the holidays. Going to Thanksgiving dinner? Plan out what you will eat ahead of time so that you are not tempted to cheat!

Thanksgiving Recipes can be found here:Ideal Protein Thanksgiving Recipes

There are three types of people you can be today; the Iron Willed dieter who will stay 100% on track. The One Day Pass dieter who will allow perhaps an extra restricted or more dinner protein, etc. Or the Hog Wild dieter who will say anything goes! We highly recommend option 1 but option 2 works as well if you keep moderation and all of your hard work in mind. If some deviations do sneak in be sure to keep the next few days very low carb (no restricted) and drink lots of water. Do Not decide to be option 3! Not only will your body and mind not be happy the next day but you will retain excess water and experience bloating, hunger and cravings the day(s) following the feast.

Helpful Tips:

  • Keep extra Ready-Made shakes on hand and have one before you go out to dinner or a party. Being full or content before you go will help keep temptations at bay.
  • Wear clothes that are a little tight. This will remind you to stick with the diet! Bonus: You can show off that new figure you have worked hard to achieve and it will bring some well-deserved compliments to help keep you focused on how far you have come!
  • When you know you have a party to attend, save your restricted treat for the party. While everyone is munching on cookies and cake, you’ll feel like you’re getting a treat too.
  • ABSOLUTLEY NO ALCOHOL IS ALLOWED! This will not only set you back 3 full days but it can cause a severe incidence of hypoglycemia and you can potentially pass out. It’s very dangerous- Don’t do it! Remember: Alcohol=Sugar!
  • This is ONLY 1 DAY that you have to sacrifice for a LIFETIME of holidays when you can eat what you want. You will be to your goal next Thanksgiving and that pumpkin pie will taste even sweeter!
  • Need to bring an item to a potluck? Bring a veggie tray with IP veggies & WF ranch dip, or the IP deviled eggs, your family and friends won’t even notice the swap!
  • Using your Ideal Protein Thanksgiving Bag swaps and your turkey for the 8oz of dinner protein Thanksgiving can be a very Ideal Protein friendly meal!

“Failure to plan is planning to fail.”

Ideal Protein Thanksgiving Recipes

Weight Loss at Halloween?

Weight Loss at Halloween?

Can you have weight loss at Halloween? Yes, we know you can! Why not lose weight through the holidays now and this season rather than gain? Halloween can be tricky with candy, EVERYWHERE!

Here are some of our top tips to stay on track when Halloween is trying to give you a Trick!

Go Trick-or-Treating: Yep, go for it! Take your kids out, you’ll get some exercise and fresh air. Feeling tempted to sneak a treat? Bring an Ideal Protein Bar or a hot travel mug of coffee or tea with you to get you warm and full.

Delegate: Do you have a friend or older child not going trick-or-treating that can man your front door? Put someone else on the job of candy handouts so you aren’t even around it. Have someone else pick up the candy for you from the store or if you need to purchase it keep it in a closet or the garage until the 31st!

Buy the icky stuff: Do you love Snickers or Mars Bars? Then if you must buy candy for trick-or-treaters then buy some Skittles or Starburst or candies that you don’t love. This way you won’t be as tempted to snack all night.

Are you enjoying maintenance this year for Halloween? Try some of the tips from our Pumpkin Spiced Belly article to make healthier pumpkin recipes this year.

Whatever tips you use this Halloween remember this is only temporary. If you love the candy at Halloween it’s very important that you start developing new habits now in Phase 1 that will help you avoid sabotage next year at Halloween when you are in maintenance. Those “Fun Size” candies are not so fun the next week if you’ve over indulged and are doing a week of phase one for a Tune Up!

A+ in Health with these Back to School Tips

A+ in Health with these Back to School Tips

It’s after Labor Day and we all know what that means, summer is winding down and the kids are heading back to school, and moms and dads everywhere are doing their happy dance. The one thing we are dreading is the sleepy kiddos as the long days take a toll on their minds and body. We are also patiently anticipating the round of runny noses, sneezing and coughing we see the kids bring home from school.

It’s unavoidable to miss all of the germs that the kids bring back from summer break and share with each other while in close proximity in the classroom. But, it’s important to be prepared so the germs don’t hit your kids, parents and teachers too hard.

Pump up your immunity: 

One of the simplest ways to fight germs is to have your immune system prepared. Have your kids, and you, take a few key supplements and foods to help improve your immune system function.

Vitamin C — Time to stock up on oranges and other vitamin C packed fruits and veggies like pineapple and mango. Even cauliflower, broccoli and kale pack as much or more vitamin C as an orange.

Echinacea — You don’t need to take Echinacea year round, but back to school time is a great time to take some. A simple way to prep your immune system is to take 500-1,000mg per day for about two weeks.

Omega 3 — Omega 3 fatty acids are very beneficial for your overall health as well as your immune system. This is a great daily supplement to be taking because our bodies do not produce Omega 3 and must be consumed from our foods or supplements.

Keep your supplies clean:

As great as it is to encourage kids to share, we need to make sure if one kid is under the weather they aren’t also sharing their cold. Parents need to make sure they know what to share and not to share. Make sure you wipe down backpacks, lunch pails and school supplies. Remind your kids not to share lip balms, ear buds or other personal items.

Sleep and Stress: 

Back to school can be a big stress for not only parents but students too. Make sure you are taking time each day to talk to your kid about how school is going and if they are struggling in any area.

Sleep is also very important. Going from staying up late on summer nights to waking up early to catch the bus can wear kids, and their immune systems, down. It’s recommended that school-aged kids get anywhere from 9-12 hours of sleep per night. If your child needs to wake up at 6 a.m. to catch a school bus on time, they need to be going to bed around 8 p.m. If this is not feasible, consider cutting back on after-school activities and getting into a good evening routine with your kids.

Have a Happy and Healthy Back to School season.

Emily Countryman is a board-certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness https://idealwellness.comlocated at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at info@idealwellness.com.

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