‘The Guide to Staying Thin’

Most of us spend countless hours worrying about eating healthy, exercising and dieting? Worry no more…in town for a signing of her book, The Little Book of Thin, at True Juice in Winnetka, nutritionist Lauren Slayton, founder of Foodtrainers, shares her advice on getting thin and staying thin.

On what to eat, Ms. Slayton discusses five items to eat and five items to avoid, “You’re on your way to thin if you’re…

•    Eating FISH – at least four meals a week. Fish may not help you lose weight but it helps you lose more body fat (yes inches) when you lose. Not a fish eater? Omega 3 eggs, walnuts and seeds are another source.

•    Speaking of seeds have you heard of hemp seeds or chia seeds? They both contain these desirable omega 3′s but there’s more. Hemp seeds have another “good” fat that helps with belly fat, and chia seeds swell when digested so they help with appetite. Sprinkle either on a yogurt or salad, or add to a smoothie.

•    In the vegetable department you can jump on the kale bandwagon, it’s a good bandwagon or the other vegetable in this category the ‘crucifers’ or cruciferous vegetables are strong anti-cancer foods and contribute to fullness and decrease fat absorption or storage (that’s good). Other crucifers are Brussels, cauliflower or broccoli.

•    With fruit, I looked at sugar, calories and fiber. Two of my favorites are papaya and Asian pears; there’s nothing wrong with berries but it’s good to branch out. Watch the fruit though, it’s not unlimited and too much sugar of any type gets stored as fat (I know, we even have to watch the fruit).

•    If you haven’t tried a green juice or matcha powdered green tea give either or both a whirl.

I’ll be blunt – soda, bagels, artificial sweeteners, cold cereal and gum. These are all ‘break-up foods’ in The Little Book of Thin for good reason. Pick whichever of these foods you ‘need’ the most (likely your “worst” food relationship) and start your breakup there.”

Mixing things up a bit in your food preparation, can help – literally. Ms. Slayton suggests purchasing a Vitamix. Ms. Slayton shares, “Vitamix is a blender but calling it just a blender doesn’t do it justice – it’s an incredibly powerful and efficient blender that does many things. It makes smoothies (and makes greens in your smoothies disappear because it’s so powerful). It’s great for soups. It blends and heats them, no pots required! You can make dips and sauces. It’s quick and effective.”

Getting to the gym is half the battle, the other half is being motivated. As women hit middle age with a slowing metabolism, maintaining a specific weight is difficult much less losing weight. Ms. Slayton shares, “I hear from new clients, ‘I am eating the way I always have and gaining weight,’ and they’re right. We can’t eat or diet like we did at 25 when we’re 45. Our metabolic rules change every 5 to 10 years so exercise quantity and type and caloric consumption have to change to weigh the same.”

Is it necessary to take extra vitamins/supplements in the winter? Ms. Slayton suggests, “First, because we aren’t outside much in the winter and aren’t getting vitamin D from the sun even when we are, a vitamin D supplement is very important – at least until spring. Second, it’s stress relieving to spend time outside, so bundle up. We don’t want all of our activity to be what happens at the gym. Walking, shoveling snow, sledding with the kids, it all counts and it’s all important too.”

And what is Ms. Slayton’s connection to Chicago? She explains, “Although Foodtrainers is based in NYC, we have clients all over the country and in other countries now too (thanks to fax, Skype, email). My trip to Chicago was actually inspired by a Foodtrainers’ client who read the book and wanted us to come share it with people in her community. Ask and you shall receive…if only it were that easy with our weight and wellness.”

Well said.


About Cindy Burns

Currently writing for TCW's 'Woman About Town' column, Cindy Burns covers Chicago's social scene, events, fashion, and interviews women and men who are making a difference in the world. With an M.A. in American History from DePaul University, Ms. Burns is an author, freelance writer, avid reader and researcher. Ms. Burns has spent over 20 years serving on charitable boards and organizations, and currently serves as a member of the Women's Board of the Joffrey Ballet and the Women's Auxiliary Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago. She is also an Honorary Member of the Children's Service Board of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital. When Ms. Burns isn't running around Chicago covering current events, you can find her biking, on the tennis courts, or hiking in a mountainous region of her choice.