How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Ever Worrying About Weight Gain

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  The holiday season has officially arrived. There is something special about breaking bread together and enjoying good food. Usually the food is a little too good and we tend to overindulge leading to that infamous holiday weight gain… or is that just what happens to me?!  

A few years ago, I would worry so much about gaining weight over the holidays. I would skip meals, so I could indulge at a potluck or obsessively exercise to mitigate the damage of a big, unhealthy meal. This was not only stressful, but totally inefficient. Every year I would end up gaining weight, feeling bloated, tired, and like a failure. Then in January I would join the masses in recommitting to healthy lifestyle changes.

This cycle was exhausting and no way to live.

I wanted to enjoy the holidays in a healthy way, including the FOOD– without guilt or stress. You, too, can make peace with your plate and enjoy a stress free holiday without worrying about gaining weight.

First, you must make up your mind and prioritize committing to a healthier relationship with food and your body.

Next, incorporate these simple strategies into your holiday social calendar and reap the benefits.

holiday weight gain

 

Take the focus OFF the food.

Focus on fun, family and friends. Often I’m so busy socializing that I forget to eat or end up eating less!

 

Don’t Skip Meals

Skipping meals to save up your calories for later on will backfire. You’ll end up eating much more than you normally would have, because you’re so hungry. This causes your body to store more of the excess calories as fat.

You don’t have to starve all day to earn your dinner. Before the big meal, eat lighter meals like smoothies, salads, fruits and veggies throughout the day instead.

 

Build a Better Plate

You’re face to face with a beautiful spread of delicious foods. What do you put on your plate?

Fill up on fruits, vegetables and salads to get your nutrients. These foods usually have fewer calories and will fill you up quicker, preventing over doing it on mom’s stuffing.

Go easy on the calorically dense options, specifically dessert. Of course you will and definitely should enjoy some pie but limit yourself to one slice. Try not to have one of every dessert on the table, but if you must, then at least share with someone.

 

If you don’t LOVE it, don’t eat it.

Sometimes a few bites is all you need, then move on to the next thing on your plate.

 

Don’t Drink Your Calories

Alcoholic drinks, sodas or juices are big culprits for weight gain.That wine or cocktail you’re sipping on can easily and quickly add up to the same amount of calories in a full meal.  

Sip slowly. Hydrate with water between drinks. Limit the number of drinks you consume.

I don’t know about you, but I much rather eat my calories than drink them.

 

Eat Before You Eat

Never go to a food gathering hungry. Having a satisfying snack before going out will help you have more control over your food choices and portions.  

 

Stay Consistent with Exercise

The holidays bring about a lot of stress and hustling & bustling. This is a time of year you need to workout more than ever because exercise helps you combat stress. You’ll instantly be in a better mood and equipped to handle whatever curveballs come your way. It’s also a great way to balance out some of the extra calories you’ll likely be consuming.  However, it’s super important to remember that you don’t, and should never, feel like you must exercise to eat. Exercise to maintain your weight and to feel energized, focused, strong and healthy.

 

Potlucks

If you’re going to a potluck style gathering, be that person that to bring a healthier dish. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I usually bring some fruit, a green salad, or just simple roasted veggies.

 

Eat intuitively

Listen to your body’s cues. Does it feel full? Bloated? How will you feel tomorrow?  Are you eating in a way that nourishes and honors your body, or the opposite? Be sure to chew your food and enjoy how it tastes. Eating mindfully will help you stop eating when you’re full.

 

And if you accidentally go overboard... Be kind to your body, forgive yourself, let it go, and do better tomorrow.

 

Now go enjoy that pumpkin pie, girl! Feel confident that you are going to make better choices this holiday season and maintain a healthy weight.

When you’re eating right, you feel energized and vibrant. People around you pick up on that, and without even realizing it you’re inspiring them to live better, too.

Living a healthy lifestyle is about eating well, feeling good and celebrating life, so go do that!

 

 

Happy Holidays,

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How to Make the Most of What’s Left in the Year: Revisit Your Goals

Happy October! Oh my goodness, can you believe there are only 3 months left before the end of the year?! As I think back to January 2016, when it was a brand spanking new year and everything seemed possible, I get a little panicky realizing I’ve fallen short in reaching a few of my goals.  goals

 

Can you recall what kind of resolutions and goals you set for yourself back in January?

Check back in with yourself, have you reached your goals? 

It’s okay if you haven’t! The important thing is that it’s not too late to make the most of 2016. We have a brand new month before us this week, so let’s set some goals.

Ask yourself this..

What were your biggest accomplishments last month?

 

What could have gone better?

 

What are your top 3 “to-achieves” for this month? For the year?

 

What steps will you take each week that will move you closer to achieving these 3 things?

 

Now look at your calendar or planner and put in reminders for yourself each week. Write your top 3 “to-achieves” in there too.

 

Whatever goals you’ve set for yourself DO. NOT. GIVE. UP.    It’s not too late.

Remember that YOU are a #goalgetter! Just do your best and be consistent.

Here are my goals for the end of the year (in no particular order):

  1. Read 1 book a month (because personal development is everything!)
  2. Create a fantastic giveaway for you, my lovely readers, to make healthy living easier
  3. Finish crocheting some Christmas gifts (Yes, I have picked up crocheting as a new hobby– don’t judge me!)

 

YOUR TURN–

>>>> Share your top 3 to-achieves before the end of the year (or for this month).

 

 

xo,

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20 Ways Exercise Can Literally Make You a Better Person

Why do so many of us fail to maintain a consistent fitness regimen? Usually it’s because we lose motivation after failing to see results. That happens because we exercise to a achieve a long term physical goal, but in reality we want results NOW. Because it takes some time to see these physical benefits we begin to lose hope and eventually give up altogether. If we change our perspective on exercise and decide to workout for the instant benefits, knowing we actually WILL see results immediately, suddenly the thought of sweating it out at the gym becomes a bit more alluring. Right?!

exercise

I’m no good at waiting around for things, like most of us, I want to give 100% up front and reap the benefits as soon as possible. The same is true for exercising. When I first heard that exercise could make me a better person I was a little skeptical. Then I thought about it more, adopted this new outlook on exercising, and realized YEAH, it really does make me a better ME! That’s when I committed to the idea that working out was an investment worthy of my time.

 

Here’s a list of all the amazing benefits of exercise that you can enjoy instantly-

 

  • More Energy
  • Better Focus
  • Improved Sleep Quality
  • Mental clarity
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Sparks inspiration and motivation
  • Strengthens your Heart
  • Teaches Patience
  • Boosts creativity
  • Makes you a better role model
  • Reduces PMS
  • Builds self esteem
  • Improves posture
  • More conscious of making healthy food choices
  • Improves your relationships
  • Great time to catch up on personal development (like podcasts and audiobooks)
  • Teaches Discipline
  • Increases productivity
  • Makes you smarter
  • Boosts happiness

 

Exercise because you love yourself…

… not because you feel the need to achieve a specific physical aesthetic or a certain number on the scale. If you achieve everything on this list by exercising, not only will you enjoy exercise more consistently and be more active, but you will find it easier to let go of whatever weight you’re holding on to.

So every time I am dragging my feet to do some sort of exercise, I remind myself that I’ll be better for it, and I think of all these reasons listed above.

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Now there are a couple of caveats with this whole thing. You MUST find a form of exercise that’s enjoyable for you. If weight lifting is not your cup of tea, then try yoga. If you’re not keen on the idea of running, then start with walks or hikes. Begin with workouts that will elevate your heart rate yet but won’t completely wear you out. If you hate the type of exercise you’re doing, then you won’t feel happy at the end of it and you definitely won’t stick with it. Find the right type of physical activity for you and start reaping the benefits of exercise asap! 🙂

 

 

Be Your Best Self & Live Your Best Life

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How to Get Your Fitness Groove Back

How to Get Your

 

Recently I found myself in a serious health and fitness slump lasting several weeks. Oopsy! It happens. There had just been so much excitement lately and I was grateful for every minute of it– traveling, hosting guests, celebrating, and just life in general! Life gets busy. That’s just a fact! But how does one stay healthy when they’re so busy? How do you pull yourself out of a slump? I’ve learned it’s important to live a little, not take yourself so seriously and find YOUR version of balance. 

The old me would have freaked out and felt guilty for getting a little fluffly and “slipping up”. New me (balanced me) is more forgiving. Instead of cutting calories like crazy or doing extreme exercise to try to mitigate the damage, I re-focused and re-motivated myself. The hardest part about getting back into a health and fitness routine is the actual getting started part. We all know WHY we should adopt these healthy habits, but just can’t seem to work up to taking action. That first step is THE most difficult, but once you take it the momentum begins building up. It may feel like your momentum is dead and gone, but you absolutely can bring it back to life.

 

Here’s what I do to pull myself out of a slump & get my groove back–

Get Inspired baby!

I am a very visual person so I’m very inspired by photos. Platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube really help spark my fire. So while it doesn’t help burn calories, it will get you into a better mindset. So scroll away and pin that sh*t. I’m also very big on reading so I enjoy checking out other blogs and news related to the wellness arena. Reading other people’s’ stories especially motivates me to get off my tush and get back to those healthy habits asap. And a killer Spotify playlist helps get me in the right mood to get moving and be active. 

Be warned, however, that sometimes images online and in the media have negative effects on us. They might actually make us feel bad about ourselves because we think we have to aspire to these false body images. If you find yourself feeling this way then redirect to more encouraging forms of media or just avoid this step altogether.

Check out one of my previous posts for more on finding inspiration and getting motivated.

 

Weaning off the addictions..

All those biscuits, chocolates and pizzas taste soooo good they become addictive. One of the toughest things to overcome after I’ve gone on a bender are the cravings! It’s amazing how quickly the body becomes addicted to the sugar, salt, fat and chemical additives of foods. Choosing a spinach salad over a warm burrito suddenly becomes a ridiculous thing to do. At this point, I just give in to the cravings…if it’s convenient, that is! So I make it very inconvenient. First, I clean out my cupboards of anything unhealthy or foods I tend to binge on (goodbye tortilla chips, see you later almond butter).  Second, I make it a point to eat out only once (max twice) a week. Ensuring that most of what I consume is homemade will already help me eat a little better.  And once I add consistent exercise back into the equation, things start to get a lot more comfortable and controllable.

 

Getting my fitness groove back..

Consistent exercise makes me a better person. For real! We all know that nutrition is 80% and exercise is 20% of our results, but the two are so very connected. When I workout, I feel better about myself which in turn, makes me want to fuel my body with nourishing, healthy foods. Boom! That’s where the magic happens. This works for me because I want instant gratification. Working out instantly makes me feel better and confident about getting back on track.  When I slip up, I always focus on finding my exercise routine again, THEN I work on nutrition. It works best for me this way, but you might find a different “formula” for yourself.  

fitness

Once I’m inspired, I find a little motivation. I take that tiny bit of motivation and exercise. At first my workouts are short and I kinda hate it but I come back the next day, and the next, until it becomes a habit again. I start building up that momentum and feeling good, remembering how awesome I feel after a good sweat sesh. Then I slowly start becoming more conscious of my food decisions because I like feeling this good and I don’t want to undo that. Day by day I keep up with the exercise, the nutrition, and keep the fire burning with positive inspiration. Sure, things come up in life and I get off track but I don’t drown in guilt or punish myself (and neither should you).

Always remember to just go back to basics until you find that groove again.

 

Your Turn

I would love to know how you maintain YOUR balance. How do you get your groove back after a setback?  We stand to learn so much from each other so share, share, share! <3

 

If you’re struggling with finding your way to a healthy routine shoot me a message. I reply to all of my emails and love getting to know my fellow readers & help them find easy solutions to their challenges. PrescribingHealth@gmail.com

 

 

With love,

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Two Dollars and a Dream- Creating Your Wealth

DREAM

Did you take a chance, but didn’t win the Powerball? Sorry to hear that, but the good news is you still have a chance at getting rich! All it takes is two dollars and a dream.  

May I present to you Madam C.J. Walker, America’s first self-made millionaire. She was the first woman in history to start with nothing and earn her own fortune. This inspiring woman dared to dream when all odds were against her, took a chance, and created her own wealth by turning her biggest struggle (hair loss) into her greatest success (a line of women’s hair care products).     

 

A DREAM DEFERRED 

We all have dreams in life.  They may change, take time to achieve, some may flourish, while others wither away. The dream for me was always to help people improve their well-being AND become rich, too, so I became a pharmacist.  I now realize my intentions were a bit materialistic, but don’t tell me you have never had a similar selfish dream of doing something great while making a lot of money.  Well, this dream turned out to be a classic example of how money won’t make you happy. I was working too much, constantly felt sick, stressed, and as a result neglected my health and relationships.  Sure I was making good money and I was sort of helping people, but was it worth my health and happiness? Was it really the dream I had in mind? (Please note: This is not at all meant to say that I do not have full respect and love for the profession of pharmacy)  Looking back on this time, I realize how I let my dreams wither away for a while and just settled.

 

REALIZING THE DREAM

Finally frustrated with how unfulfilled and unhappy I was, I decided to make a change. That change was to give myself permission to start dreaming again!  After working solely as a pharmacist for about a year, I realized I wanted to make a bigger impact on health and wellness by focusing more on prevention rather than treatment (which pharmacists are doing a lot more of these days, by the way).  I wanted to help people feel good about themselves inside and out, bring awareness to the connection between our diet and diseases, and prevent/minimize medication dependency.  More than that, I wanted to feel good about myself and stop neglecting my own health.

I underwent extensive training at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a holistic health coach.  I did tons and tons of research to become an expert in my new found passion, and combined it with my PharmD knowledge. I became my first client, practicing what I was preaching by infusing positive changes into my own life. Not only did I heal my body of asthma, excess weight and stress— but I found my joy, my energy, and renewed my health.

Let me just tell you, in all honesty, this took A LOT of work, both internally and externally.  I had to deal with so many personal fears, limiting beliefs, overwhelm and anxiety, but I want you to know this: YOU are worth investing in. Your DREAM is worth investing in. These kinds of investments will help you create true wealth, no matter what odds are against you. Just take a look at how much Madam Walker had to overcome– poverty, racism, abuse, and much more, I’m sure.

dream

 

CREATING MY WEALTH 

Today I can say I have been able to not just lose weight, physically, but emotionally too. I’m not 100% where I want to be yet, but I am well on my way. (We’re all a work in progress, right?)  I’m still practicing pharmacy, but in a new and exciting setting of corporate wellness! I’m practicing as a health coach, too AND investing in myself a lot more. I get to do the thing that brings me joy everyday by helping clients successfully reach their health and wellness goals.  The dream took time to actualize, and continues to be a work in progress, but changed my perspective on the real meaning of being rich. I wasn’t after the money this time, I was after the improvement of my health and the value of my life.   Walking on this journey helped me to realize that THIS is what real wealth is all about.  It’s about impact and not at all about money.  It is a different kind of wealth–  the kind that enriches your life with purpose, passion and fulfillment. Money can’t buy health, precious moments, true friendships or a new life.

I don’t want my life to be defined by the abundance of my possessions, but rather by the richness of my works.

For me, finding fulfillment and true wealth in my life was about believing in the worth of my dream, making a career shift and taking time to invest in my personal health and relationships. What is it for you?  You don’t need to have it all figured, but you do need to be willing to invest in yourself.  You don’t need other people to believe in you for you to believe in yourself.

 

I know everyone was worked up about the Powerball and a little disappointed not to have won, but hey, you took a chance and gave it a try.  Now why not take a chance on yourself?

It’s true you only need $2 and a dream to stand a chance at winning, but those $2 come in a different kind of currency: faith and action. Today I hope you invest in renewing your faith and aspire to take meaningful action in achieving your dream.  Like Madam Walker, let us create our own rags to riches story.

 

So let’s go get rich! How will you start living a richer life today?

Health is Wealth,

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My word for 2016: Looking back & Leaping forward  

2016

 

As 2015 comes to a close and 2016 begins, I can’t help but look back on everything that occurred over the past year. Did I make the most of this year? Did I accomplish all that I set out to do? Each year I choose a word that will be my theme, or guiding light, for the next 12 months.  My word for 2015 was COURAGE – I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and allow myself to dream bigger. I did! Looking back, I think I definitely took a step outside of my comfort zone this year and lived courageously by traveling through Europe, deciding to finally pursue my passion, serving on a mission trip in Spain, moving across the country and so much more.

It’s amazing how quickly a year goes by, yet how much occurs in that short span of time. And as this year ends I see how far I’ve come- how I transitioned from dreaming small, to dreaming big; From chasing dreams, to living them as my reality. If I keep pushing forward and pursuing like this, how much greater will 2016 be?  I’m grateful for what I have learned and experienced this year, and look forward to this next year being even better!

My word for this coming year is FREEDOM. My goal is to fearlessly pursue freedom. I want freedom with my time, with my finances and with my dreams. My desire is for freedom from having to fit a certain mold or follow the usual life path.  For a long time I allowed myself to be paralyzed by all of my fears and anxiety. I would joke that I am a “square” and don’t like change- but No, the truth is I was afraid of change and afraid of not being in control. Letting myself get away from that mentality, just a little bit has already been so freeing, but I am ready to take it to the next level in 2016 as an entrepreneur, dream builder, and servant leader. I am giving up feeling inadequate and unworthy, and choosing instead to find confidence in my body and continue prioritizing my faith, health and fitness.  I am determined more than ever to live a life by my own design and pursue the purpose God has laid out for me.

2016

 

A few other resolutions I have for 2016 include:

  • learning to rock out with my new ukulele
  • eat a whole food, plant based diet more consistently
  • practice yoga at least once a week
  • read at least 6 books this year
  • lead by example and be the best dang health coach I can be!

 

 

What’s your word for 2016?

What are your healthy resolutions for this new year?

 

Whether 2015 was your best year yet or the worst year of your life, be encouraged that there is still so much for you to achieve and succeed at in 2016.  Dream big for 2016.  Don’t remain stuck in your past, rather leap forward into this brand new year and write out the next chapter of your life. Set some healthy resolutions, focus in on your priorities and the people/things you value.  Kickstart the year with these intentions and implement strategies that will keep you on track to meeting your goals. Design your own goals and discover your passions. I hope you will go boldly into this new year with an optimistic perspective and a heart ready to embrace beautiful new adventures this upcoming year.

 

2016

 

So here is to 2016!

May it bring light, love, and freedom to us all.

 

The best is yet to come,

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Why I don’t have a Christmas Tree this Year + Beating Holiday Stress

holiday stress

It’s a busy time of year for all of us with holiday events, commitments, traveling, deadlines at work, too much spending, shopping for gifts, cooking, and overall a whole lot of holiday stress. Oh wait, but isn’t it also supposed to be the most happiest time of year?

My husband is finishing up finals while I basically work two jobs– as a pharmacist and wellness coach 😉 In the past three weeks alone, we have driven to Florida, attended various holiday parties, been to a potluck, celebrated my husband’s birthday, my best friend visited for a weekend, we drove to Atlanta, GA andddd today we will be driving to Florida again.  When am I supposed to finish my Christmas shopping?! Bah Humbug!

Despite all the hustle and bustle that goes on, this really is my favorite time of year. The issue is that we all too often forget to take a minute to enjoy what’s really important.

My life seems pretty FULL, but I want to make sure it is  FULLfilling.

I decided not to decorate this year simply because I’ve been too busy and well, honestly, it’s just not worth it since I will only be home for two weeks, then off to Florida until after the New Year. Instead I will focus my energy on intentional and fulfilling activities like making plans to spend time with family and friends while in Florida, or working on my wellness business, staying on track with my nutrition and fitness, and reading books that feed my mind and spirit. These are things that help me grow, help me be a better person to others and strengthen my inner peace so that I can stand up tall when stress strikes. 

Instead of being overwhelmed by the holiday stress, why not allow yourself to embrace the happiest time of year?  It’s not about the perfect dress for the holiday party, getting the most expensive gift to give, or spending all of your time worrying about this or that. Focus on fulfilling, life-giving actions that are not just going to help you be your best self, but allow you to be so much more to others too.  

holiday stress

Here are a few of my simple tips to avoiding holiday stress:

  1. When buying gifts, set a budget – if you tend to overspend, then pay for all of your purchases with cash
  2. Don’t worry about finding the perfect gift– You should love the giver more than the gift.  After all, it’s the thought that matters and if they really don’t like it, most gifts can be returned or exchanged.
  3. Make the holidays more low key– if you don’t get around to decorating or to sending out your annual christmas cards, don’t sweat it. Life WILL go on.
  4. Stay away from toxic people– spending time with some of your family or friends may not be the most relaxing part of your holiday so limit your time with these people into bite-sized portions so they don’t kill your happy holiday vibes.
  5. Express Gratitude– every single day, take a moment to think of all of your blessings and see how much life anxiety is alleviated with this practice.
  6. Stick to your regular diet – Yes, all of the food around the holidays is delicious, but if you find yourself skipping meals just to be ready for big dinners, you might actually find yourself eating more. Enjoy the good food and decadent desserts,go for it, but in moderation.
  7. If you do eat too much, don’t beat yourself up about it – It is the holidays, after all, and only comes once a year. Forgive yourself an indulgence and do better the next day 🙂

 

Less stress, more joy!  Ask yourself, if your holiday season is FULL or FULL-filling? What can you do to avoid stress, and instead, be more intentional about enjoying this Christmas? 

 

Happy Holidays,

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Foods That Make Your Brain High: Trigger Foods!

trigger foods

Can you believe we are less than 60days away from 2016, a brand new year! It’s crazy how quickly this year flew by, how much happened and yet how much I feel like I have left to do.  It’s right around this time that I pull out my list of goals I write out at the beginning of every year. There are goals on there that I have accomplished, a few that I still plan to conquer by the end of December, and some that I totally forgot about.

What kind of goals did you set for yourself this year? How many of them did you accomplish? Many of us will include a health and fitness related goal on this list. That goal, for me, seems to always be sabotaged by the holiday season.

Perhaps you love the holiday season (as i do) or maybe not so much. One thing most of us do have in common, however, is that we’re surrounded with baked goods and delicious (but not so nutritious) food seemingly everywhere—potlucks, work-related events, birthdays, etc. Year after year it’s the same cycle: try to get fit all year long then BOOM holiday season wrecks all our progress and sets us right back to where we started. This is so frustrating! Can you relate to this?

I am BREAKING the cycle this year. I am announcing and declaring it to you all so I can be held accountable. Will you do the same with me? Let’s promise we will not eat our way through this holiday season and will not end 2015 with an increase on that scale. I am committing to this goal and to myself.  What’s your END OF YEAR COMMITMENT??? I want you to write it in the comments below OR private message me with it because if you say it, write it, declare it, you’re more likely to stick to it and achieve it. So who is with me?!

commit to fit, trigger foods, goals

Now while committing and being accountable to a goal is great, a goal without a plan is not going to get us to success.  So I took some time to really think about what causes my nutrition to falter during the holidays. I narrowed it down to a few things, but the MAIN one for me (and this might be different for you) was trigger foods.  I did some research and came up with a strategy to help me (and you!) make smarter decisions around trigger foods.  Having a strategic plan in place will help us avoid overeating & destroying our healthy lifestyle commitments.  So here’s what I found out…

Trigger foods are those foods which we have no control around. The words balance and in moderation do not exist around these foods. We all have our trigger foods. Usually they are those foods high in sugar, salt, and fat. This is not the same thing as eating a favorite food, a comfort food, or having a craving. This is about food that’s addicting and tricks your brain into thinking you need more of it, even if you really don’t.

 

How can identifying and understanding trigger foods help us achieve weight loss?

Food triggers signals in your body that tell your brain to release feel-good hormones.  This response can produce addiction pathways similar to those caused with drug addiction. Your brain literally gets high! These signals in the brain and body lead to overeating by telling your brain “this is just too good to stop eating” and the next thing you know you’ve consumed the whole pint of ice cream or your staring at the bottom of an empty chip bag.

Some experts describe trigger foods as “gateway” foods. I was amazed to find that the effect of these foods on the brain and body can last up to 3 days!  This explained alot to me…  It is why one unhealthy indulgence for a person can often trigger a “relapse.”  One bad choice, leads to another and another, day after day. This is how we fall into a slump on our health journey.  Don’t be discouraged, though. That’s why it’s called a jounrney– there will be road bumps and hills but keep your foot on the pedal always moving forward. Do not give up because of a day, a week, or even a month of bad eating habits. It can be overcome! Learning to identify and strategically fight back against trigger foods will, in turn, help you maintain your ideal weight and fitness goals.

trigger Foods

Which foods make you feel out of control?

A few of mine include pastas, chocolate, almond butter, and ice cream.

 

What strategies can help you when you’re faced with a trigger food? 

 

  1. Identify and Eliminate- 

First, identify what the trigger food is. Are they salty or sweet foods? Maybe both! I don’t deprive myself from eating these because I believe in an 80/20 type of diet, which allows for indulging every now and then, but I know all too well that if I actually keep any of those foods in my home they will torture me. Even if I keep them out of sight, just knowing they are easily accessible in my home will make me want to eat it and eat it all. This will leave me feeling guilty and bad about myself afterward. And who wants that? So I’ve learned to simply eliminate them from my grocery list and meal planning.

 

  1. Remember that feeling- 

I have implemented journaling to help track my trigger foods and any emotional or environmental patterns that might be related. It’s helped me learn a lot about myself and my triggers.  It is also a great way to remember how I felt after overindulging– physically and emotionally.  Recalling my goals and how good I feel to see progress makes me think twice before giving in to certain foods. The feeling of sluggishness, fullness, and being bloated can give me extra motivation to reach for a fruit or veggie, instead of something high in sugar and fat.

 

  1. Find an alternative-

This is one thing I am always experimenting with. I constantly try to find healthier substitutes for my trigger foods and often it does the trick. If ever I really just need the real thing, then I may give in but I try not to make that a habit. Some of my favorite swaps include roasted edamame with salt instead of chips, cacao-avocado pudding instead of chocolate, banana nice-cream instead of ice cream, and edamame pasta instead of regular pasta. I’d love to hear what some of your healthy alternatives are too.

 

  1. Move On- 

When the inevitable happens and you DO give in to those trigger foods, it is important to move on.  It’s going to happen! Yes, I am going to sample all of the desserts on Thanksgiving.  It’s okay that it happens as long as it doesn’t happen ALL of the time. Just promise to do better the next time 🙂 Refocus on your long term goals, have a strategy in place, and get some one to stay accountable to.  Keep moving along on your health journey, speed bumps and all.

 

Stay healthy this holiday season. Finish the year off strong! Don’t forget to comment below with your end of year commitments/goals.

 

with love,

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Overcome Overeating

OVERCOME

What comes to mind when you think of food?

What comes to mind for me are feelings of comfort, joy, family, and energy. How we view the food we eat, what we see it as being, impacts our whole attitude towards it. In my opinion, food is good! It is part of creation and provides nourishment, strength and even celebration. So therefore I often find myself asking “Why shouldn’t I indulge a little?” As soon as that thought crosses my mind, it’s as if I have already given myself permission to overeat without even realizing it.

Too often I have ordered an oversized, artery clogging, calorie-dense dessert after dinner (all for myself of course), knowing I probably shouldn’t but also telling myself “it’s okay because it’s a special occasion.” Or every time my mom or a family member serves me a heaping plate of food, “I have to eat it all or they will be offended,” I think to myself. Or that feeling of failure when I realize I just accidentally ate the whole bag of popcorn while watching Scandal. What about year after year of feeling regret following the holiday season because of weight gained from overindulging. Isn’t the purpose of Thanksgiving to stuff your face? No! Can you relate to these situations?

My excuses to overeat were becoming more of a habit. One day I just realized there would always be something to celebrate, someone offering me more food, a movie to watch, or a special event to attend. If we are being really honest with ourselves, we know that we often overeat those foods that AREN’T so good for us—I know this is true for me. I was undoing all of my hard work at the gym by overeating. I was tired of feeling so out of control and decided to overcome this consuming habit. Overeating doesn’t just destroy your physical progress, but actually increases body fat and results in negative health impacts like chronic diseases. My health and my life are more important than buttery popcorn, decadent desserts, and greasy fries. Is yours? I’m determined to start 2016 off with better habits and that includes overcoming overeating!

Why don’t I have more self-control?

I would ask myself this ALL THE TIME. I realized part of my overeating was because I wasn’t paying attention while I ate. I noticed I would often overeat if I had my dinner or snack while watching TV.  I was also more likely to mindlessly munch if I was stressed and rushing, because I would inhale my food instead of taking time to chew it properly.
Food addiction is another main reason it can be difficult to stop eating when we’re full and satisfied. If a diet includes many processed foods high in saturated fats, added sugars, and salt, the body becomes addicted. It begins to experience similar changes in the brain as drugs cause and dependency develops.

Restrictive dieting can also destroy any chance of self-control you might have. Labeling any foods as “off limits” usually leads to overeating later on, because we always want what we can’t have right? 😉 And the final blow to our lack of self-control is sabotage. Yes, our willpower is sneakily crushed by things like advertising, fad diets, convenience, social and cultural pressures. I mean, seriously, I get hungry just looking at Pinterest!

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How do I overcome overeating?

Everyday we make several decisions when it comes to what we put into our bodies. If I was going to overcome overeating and break the cycle, I had to implement some strategies. So here is what I came up with, what I continue to practice daily, and what I find works for me.

Yes, we were made to consume food, but food was never supposed to consume us. You can overcome overeating by addressing your mindset first. Reinforce your commitment to your health by immersing your mind and spirit in positive experiences, whether it be a book or self care practices (like a warm bath, getting a massage, speaking out positive affirmations). These things make you feel good about yourself and bring you confidence that overindulging in food will not.
Stop mindless eating by pausing before a meal to bring awareness and gratitude to what you are about to eat. Give your meal your full attention by not eating in front of the television or even at your desk at work. Break your food addictions by eating nutrient dense foods made with whole, unrefined ingredients. Foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and unrefined tubers/starches provide a higher nutrient value are not as calorie heavy as processed convenience foods. They are also generally higher in fiber and are more likely to fill you up at a lower calorie cost. While we should strive to eat healthier foods, if you’re REALLY craving something allow yourself to give in to that craving, but in moderation. Give yourself permission to have a little, otherwise you’ll binge on it later.
When it comes to societal sabotages, all you can do is learn to recognize them and develop healthy habits strong enough to overcome them. Change the channel when you see a food commercial (if it has a commercial, it’s probably bad for you), plan to leave half of your meal, check the menu in advance and plan to order a healthier dish, share your dessert, and don’t think it is OKAY to eat something you know is bad for you just because every one else is eating it.

The struggle to say “NO” to temptations may be painful in the moment but it’s just that- it’s momentary! Don’t trade healthy food for junk food. Don’t give up the fulfillment of a healthy life for a temporary moment.

A few more tips:
Make it inconvenient! Stash your unhealthy foods on a high shelf or behind a stack of heavy plates. Your less likely to eat it if it’s hard to get to.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind– Hide that candy dish that’s always sitting on your desk.
Eat slowly and drink water between bites, chew food thoroughly. It can take 12 to 20 minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain. Give your body time to process what you’re giving it.
Don’t Skip meals– Waiting more than 3 hours between meals will increases your chances of overeating at your next meal.

This holiday season, I believe that you can overcome overeating. I won’t lie to you and say it’s easy. It’s something I have to be mindful of often, but keeping these tips in mind I find myself overeating LESS often.  That’s what I strive for, progress not perfection!  Do not start 2016 off with resolutions that reflect failures from this year. End 2015 by defeating destructive behaviors like overeating. It will take a lot of work but be persistent in your efforts. Hardwork pays off.

xoxo,

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Find your Motivation this Fall

5 tips to finding your motivation this fall

Let’s keep it real, we all have seasons in our life where our health takes a backseat. Do you know the feeling? Your just so busy focusing on a million other things that your left with with no energy or motivation to think about eating healthy and working out…  You’re working late, getting ready for the holidays, it’s cold and rainy out, you’d rather watch football or stay in bed watching Netflix and eating cookie dough ice cream…  We all have these slumps and feel unmotivated at times.

 

We acknowledge that our jeans are tighter, our energy level is lower and our cravings are out of control, yet still just can’t seem to get that fire inside that will cause us to actually do something about it. I’m here to tell you it’s okay. It’s normal. It happens! But don’t let it happen for too long, okay?!

 

With baby steps you can get started on the road to positive change and get out of that slump.  Let’s discuss some ways to break out of the rut. These are tips that have helped me personally and I hope will be beneficial to you as well.

 

  1. Set Goals & make them S.M.A.R.T.

Without a goal, how do you know where you’re going or what you’re working towards? Choose just ONE short term and one long term goal you hope to achieve. These goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, results-focused, and time-bound.

For example, my long-term goal this year was to run a half-marathon in November. My short term goal was to begin running just once a week and work my way up to 4 times a week. Track your progress and make your goal visual (write it down or create a vision board).

 

  1. Find Your “WHY”

Ask yourself what the reason behind your goal is. Why is achieving a particular health & fitness goal important to you?  Why do you want to get out of this funk and get back into shape? What is the motivation behind wanting to change your life?  If you lack a strong connection to the reason why you’re doing something, you will lose motivation quickly.  You have to change your mind before you can change your life. When things become difficult, busy, or tiring, remembering your WHY will empower and inspire you to keep going.

 

  1. Get Support

Whether it’s your family, friends, or an accountability group of some kind, be sure to get support DAILY.  Lean into you support net to maintain motivation and stay on track. Celebrate your victories and lift each other up during difficulties.  Find a workout buddy and plan to meet at least once a week for a workout.  Get involved with a live or online support group to keep you accountable.  Check out local health centers or meetup groups too. Email me anytime or join my wellness club. I’m always willing to help as an accountability buddy because I know how much it has & still does help me.

 

  1. Make it Fun

If you don’t love it, you won’t stick with it! Find a way to make health and fitness lifestyle fun for you. This will make you more likely to stay motivated and reach your goals. Find out what works better for you: working out at home, in a gym, or in a class? Do you prefer exercises focused on stretching, strengthening or intense high-impact workouts?  Learn new ways to make your favorite recipes healthier, take more walks, you’re your bike, share your journey on social media… Whatever you choose to do, get creative and make healthy living FUN.

 

 

  1. Don’t Quit

Regardless of all of the tips and habits you will incorporate to help you keep the motivation burning, there will be times the wind will blow at you with such a great force that your fire may begin to diminish. The most important thing to remember is DO NOT QUIT.  It’s in the moments where you feel like quitting, that your usually about to have a breakthrough. If you slip up for a few days or a week, remind yourself it’s okay. Remember to be gentle with yourself and love yourself.  Get back up, continue to try again, and don’t quit. We all fail at one thing or another, what matters is that we learn from it and move forward. Don’t let a small bump in the road, keep you from continuing your journey to a healthy, fulfilling life.

5 motivation tips

I have now given you the tools to start building a healthy lifestyle. It is up to you to change your mindset and begin practicing healthy habits.  Remind yourself of all the benefits you stand to gain from achieving your goal. Realize there are seasons & slumps & bumps in the road where motivation comes and goes, but remind yourself that your motivation won’t go away permanently.  Commit to making your health and happiness a lifestyle.  Set goals, know your WHY, find your fitfam, make it fun and don’t quit! I believe in you. You can do this.

 

with love,

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