Chef Jason Roberts

Spring's a Great Time to Start Shaping up for Summer

Chef Jason

G’day all,

Spring is upon us and with it comes new hopes, new goals, happy faces, an incredible variety of fresh ingredients, and summer is only a few months away. Yay! It’s also a time when fad diets rear their ugly heads, with thousands and thousands of people trying to get their summer bodies back. Some, with small-portion frozen meals that are laden with preservatives and packed in foil. Some, buying the latest and craziest abdominal masher that will only become part of next year’s trash pile.

Here’s the thing, I’m not a fan of the word "diet." If you really look at the word it’s "die" and ends in a cross (t). That can’t be good! Now, I prefer the term lifestyle change, especially since weight loss, permanent weight loss, is not about a diet; it’s about a mindset, behavior and lifestyle change. Weight loss and the journey of good nutrition, exercise and a positive attitude ultimately leads to good health for both mind and body. I decided the best way to bring this to you would be by sharing my own story, in hopes it motivates you.

My personal weight loss journey started with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. I live in New Jersey here in the States, and we got hit pretty hard. Those who received the worst of it lost homes and loved ones. For we lucky ones, most of us were just without the modern conveniences of lights, water, power or a way to get around. Even though many stocked up on food, there was no power to cook it. In survival mode for a few weeks, as we all were and not being able to cook at home, we all sought out the food that was open, available and convenient. For me it was pasta, pizza and sweets. I know, I know, the worst. Especially since I have an allergy to gluten. Unfortunately, at the same time, I got the winter blues. Here I was stuck in the NJ winter, while friends and family home in Sydney were in the midst of an Aussie summer… swimming, surfing and having a great time. So, I turned to food for comfort, but not the right food. Starchy, full of empty calories. It tasted great going in, but it wasn’t so great once it got there. Instead of it making me feel good, it actually made me feel worse.

 I, of all people, have always known that when you put over processed white flour, white sugar, white rice and any of the other white foods into your system, you don’t get the greatest results back. Cause and effect. I was tired, not focused. I gained weight and my skin got blotchy (I later realized how gluten intolerant I really was). It made me self-conscious and unhappy, which was exactly the opposite of what I turned to "comfort" food for. The last straw was whilst doing a live show in the Midwest. I saw some heavy pictures of myself on the big screen and throughout the weekend; I just didn’t have the energy that I normally exuded onstage. It was at that point I decided I needed to make a change. A serious change!

Now let me stop here a second. Weight loss is a personal journey, which is one of the reasons that I need to remind you that we are all individuals and we all have different needs. The decision to lose weight or change our body’s composition is a personal one. That is where the key lies. Once you make the decision to do it, the rest is easy. It’s that initial attitude change that is important. Some, like me, can be self-motivated. Some need a training partner or a trainer, or just need to have family encourage them to exercise and eat well. Whatever the reason, it all starts with the decision. Once that’s made, the rest is good to go.

BodyKey by Nutrilite is a system that fits into my lifestyle. It offers me a meal replacement shake, appetite control chews for when I have the urge to indulge, aloe shots for digestive health, and a great fun website that helps me monitor my success. It makes me accountable! But in telling you this, I need to let you know there is no quick, easy way to weight loss. It has to be done gradually and sensibly and starving yourself is not the way to go. Smaller food portions, eating more often and snacks that aren’t loaded with preservatives and additives, is the way to go. Mother Nature herself has an entire garden of wonderful ingredients for you to choose from to help you feed and nourish your body with good building blocks, for good health and nutrition. And, once you start to notice the little changes to your appearance / physique and mental attitude, you’ll want more.

For those that would like to know more about a gluten-free lifestyle, check out the gluten-free section of the site for tips, info, recipes and the latest news. This month, the arrival of spring also brings great opportunities for excellent recipes using fresh ingredients, so check out the recipes section.

Till next time...

Cheers & Good Eating!