The “Non-Diet” Approach to Weight Loss
Mountain Trek does not subscribe to any diet plan and in fact, we don’t believe in the concept of dieting at all, and yet we guarantee those who participate in our program will lose weight. And they always do. Why is that? Well among other things we make sure everyone who attends Mountain Trek, whether it’s at the British Columbia Lodge or our Rancho La Puerta programs workout their bodies for portions of the day but there’s more to it than that. Our guests always compliment us on the quality of the food (for proof look at our TripAdvisor comments) and very few have ever said they’ve gone hungry during the program. So what’s the secret?
Have you ever stopped to wonder why there are so many fad diets out there? The fact is, none of them work, certainly not for any length of time anyway. And don’t even get us started on trendy weight loss pills and claims of slimness in a bottle or with one type of exercise device sold on late-night TV. So many of us binge and then starve our bodies only to repeat the cycle that it’s no wonder we have trouble maintain a healthy consistent weight. Problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease are all a result of improper eating practices combined with lack of physical activity for which our bodies were designed for.
At Mountain Trek we’re not interested in short-term efforts for losing weight but rather we want to encourage a long-term lifestyle change for lasting health. A large part of it rests on the nutritional pillar of our program, which isn’t so much based on counting calories as it is about encouraging healthful eating patterns and nutrition. We focus on balancing blood sugars and the hormones Insulin, Glucagon, Leptin and Grehlin, in order to raise and maintain an Anabolic metabolism. Which is just one way of saying, we teach you about healthy eating habits that transform your health. Our guests learn how to “diet” without actually going on a diet and these are just a few of the tips they take home with them after a stay at Mountain Trek along with the support-structure and strategies for turning them into long-term habits.
#1. Eat Breakfast within 30 minutes of getting out of bed
#2. Eat two-thirds of your food in the first 9 hours of the day
#3. Eat multiple food groups every 3 hours during the day
#4. Eat slower and chew more
#5. Eat out at restaurants less
#6. Lower your intake of alcohol
#7. Eliminate or minimize artificial sweeteners
#8. Detoxify your body regularly (see below)
#9. Eat less processed food and more organic produce
#10. Drink more water
Detox Your Body This Month
If you read our tips for relieving holiday stress in last-month’s newsletter and then attended Mountain Trek’s Winter Program, chances are you’re feeling fit, healthy and happy. However, if you’re like most of us, you indulged a bit during the holiday season and are now looking to get back on track. Well, aside from the weight loss pointers mentioned above, there’s one other key thing you can do in order to encourage wellness and lose a few of those extra pounds that might have crept on what with all the holiday chocolates lying around. And the good news is that one thing is relatively easy to do.
Detoxification has been a tradition among most cultures on earth for centuries: from Scandinavian saunas to American sweat lodges mankind has understood the value of purging toxins through the skin. Essentially, the term refers to the process of removing injurious substances from our bodies, which can be biological (such as bacteria and viruses) or harmful chemicals like heavy metals, food processing compounds and cosmetics. (Nowadays processed foods contain more than 3,000 chemicals whereas at the turn of the century, the only preservative found in food was salt.) These toxins are continuously being flushed from our body through breath, sweat, urine, etc but problems arise if we can’t detoxify fast enough. What happens when we don’t purge these toxins quickly, our fat cells will get larger so the body can store the excess toxins and keep them safely away from sensitive tissue. When the toxins are more concentrated, our fat cells will also increase in size to keep them diluted.
In other words, detoxing is not only good for riding the body of bad biology and chemicals, it’s also a good way to ensure your body doesn’t start harbouring fat cells. Here are just a few easy actions you can take to support your body in detoxifying:
- Drink enough water throughout the day so that your urine is almost clear. This will help support your kidney’s removal of water-soluble toxins.
- Utilize exercise, saunas and steams to aid the release of stored toxins.
- Dry brushing your skin is another good way to encourage blood circulation, cell regeneration and toxin removal.
- Eat fibre-rich foods to aid your intestines in moving toxins out of the body. Constipation leads to toxin re-absorption.
- Eat organic, pesticide-free produce, and less processed food.
Bonus: Detoxification Talk By Kirkland!
Salmon Fennel Leek Chowder Recipe
This recipe will fill the emptiest of bellies and warm the coldest bodies. It’s intended to make a large portion so you can share it with friends or store it in the freezer for enjoying it later but if you’d prefer to make less, just halve the ingredient amounts.
- 1⁄4 cup coconut oil
- 4 cups finely diced onion
- 4 cups finely diced carrots
- 4 cups finely diced celery
Sauté above ingredients until they start to brown lightly then add:
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 16 cups veggie stock
- 2 cups finely diced parsnips
- 4 cups sweet potato diced
- 2 cups diced fennel
- 2 cups leeks
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. thyme
- 3 tsp. salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and add:
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 – 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- Pinch of cayenne
- 3 salmon filets – deboned, cooked and flaked
- 2 cans coconut milk
- Almond/coconut flour to thicken as required
Cold Weather Must-Haves
Winter is fully upon us now and for most of us, we’re experiencing shorter days, colder temperatures and an aversion to going outside. It’s only natural to feel a bit more lethargic this time of year; in fact, our ancestors spent the winter months immersed in cultural activities rather than hunting and gathering. However, with the plethora of processed snacking foods within arm’s reach, it’s important to surround ourselves with “must-haves” that promote health and well-being. Here are just five things that we encourage to have near you at all times in order to weather the colder months and encourage wellness.
#1. Ginger Lemon Tea
Enjoy a detoxifying and energizing ginger lemon tea every morning. There’s a reason ginger is called “the miracle root” – in fact, it’s one of nature’s best combinations of detoxifier, anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. You can read more about the tea and how to make it here. Plus it’s just nice to start your day with something warm.
#2. A Good Duvet
Sleep is so important any time of year but in the winter months when the temperature drops at night it’s important we’re comfortable. That doesn’t mean cranking up the thermostat, however, as most of us are not attuned to sleeping well in the heat. Keep the inside temperature of your house cool at night but cozy up under a good duvet or thick blankets and you’ll sleep more soundly.
#3. Warm, Hearty Recipes
There are many recipes on the Mountain Trek site for healthy and hearty soups and chili. They are made with vitality-nurturing nutritious ingredients and their warming qualities will dispel the day’s chill. A few we recommend are Bison Chipotle Chili and Squash & Turkey Soup.
#4. A Hot Bath
Lying in a warm bath filled with epsom salts is not only relaxing, it’s also a good way to detoxify. It’ll help remove any damp chill that has seeped into your bones and it will open up your pores and encourage toxins to exit your body. If you don’t have a bathtub, a hot shower is an OK replacement but a visit to the local gym for a soak in their hot tub is even better.
#5. Layered Clothing
A good quality pair of merino wool long underwear and a long-sleeved top is invaluable at warding off any winter chill when you’re out in the elements. Even if you’re just going for a walk to the corner store, remember to layer and dress appropriately as it doesn’t take long for the chill to sink in and when it does, it can take awhile to disperse it again.
Bonus: A Sun-Filled Getaway!
What better way to beat the winter cold than by escaping entirely and heading to sunny Baja, Mexico for Mountain Trek’s Rancho La Puerta program. Watch the video below and Kirkland will explain the highlights of the program and why it’s an excellent mid-winter vacation option.