Want to Skip the Salad? Try This Tonight Instead.

When you think about healthy eating, salads and green vegetables usually come to mind. But how about adding a little more variety to your plan?

adam-jaime-119568-unsplash.jpg

Roots like carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnips, are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods do, they help regulate them. When roasted, they take on a delightfully sweet taste that is still savory.

Why Eat More Root Veggies?

Long roots – carrots, parsnips, burdock, and daikon radish – are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body. Round roots – turnips, radishes, beets, and rutabagas – nourish the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and reproductive organs.

Carrots and potatoes are the most common root veggies.. Here are a few others to explore:

  •   Beets contain an abundance of antioxidants and are highly detoxifying.

  •   Burdock is considered a powerful blood purifier. This long, thin veggie is a staple in Asian and health food stores.

  •   Celeriac, also known as celery root, is rich in fiber and with a respectable amount of antioxidants.

  •   Jicama is crunchy and refreshing and contains a generous amount of vitamin C. It’s a favorite in its native Mexico and South America.

  •   Onions are rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, making them prized for their ability to strengthen the immune system.

  •   Parsnips, which look like giant white carrots, boast a sweet, earthy taste. They’ve also got plenty of fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium.

  •   Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also rich in calcium, molybdenum, and folic acid.

  •  Sweet Potatoes contain unsurpassed levels of beta-carotene and are also rich in vitamin C, phytonutrients, and fiber.

Excited to add more roots to your diet? Here’s an easy recipe:

Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25-35 minutes Serves 4 to 6

1 sweet potato
2 parsnips
2 carrots
2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga
1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in other favorites, like squash)
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  • Wash and dice all vegetables into bite-sized cubes.

  • Place in a large baking dish with sides.

Method:
Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.

Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.

Tip: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.


Don’t forget about my New Year Specials:

1) Better manage stress: In my brand new program - 21 Days to Less Stress, you'll receive a daily lesson from me via email for 21 days. It's a great way to start the year off strong and learn the tools you need to have more resilience against stress all year long. Learn more: https://www.gosimplewellness.com/stress-less-program

2) Stop overeating, improve diet, or manage cravings: I have FREE openings for my Conquer Cravings Strategy Session this month. These go fast, and I'll add in sessions as I have time. Sign up here: https://my.timetrade.com/book/Y6YHR

How to Reverse Your Worst Diet/Stress Habits.

How to Reverse Your Worst Diet/Stress Habits.

close-up-composition-data-669986.jpg

Time for a moment of truth - have you already noticed your jeans getting tighter? Or are you having digestive issues thanks to all the holiday indulgences? Stressed to the max about the holidays? When it comes to reversing your worst diet and stress habits, you need a solid goal, a strong plan, and accountability to keep you on track.

 My 60 Day Jumpstart program is the perfect way to kick your health goals into action. You'll get a 1:1 strategy session with me over the phone, weekly email/SMS check-ins for accountability and course-correction, and a call at the end of the 60 days to keep momentum going strong. 

Join my 60 day Jumpstart program, and you'll kick off January resolutions on the right foot. Prices will be going up in January, so secure intro pricing before 12/31! Learn more and reserve your spot today gosimplewellness.com/jumpstart

Gift Cards Available!

Give the Gift of Better Health

Grey Gold Ornamental Hotel Gift Certificate.png

Looking to give the gift of better health to a loved one? The 60 Day Jumpstart program is a perfect gift! Purchase the program in my online store, and mention that it is a gift in the comments. I'll send you a gift card and redemption instructions within 24 hours: https://squareup.com/store/go-simple-wellness.


-----------

Are the holidays adding too much weight, stress, and temptation? Join my 60 Day Jumpstart Program and lock in the 2018 rate before it goes up in January! 60 days of 1:1 support from a health coach - right when you need it most! 

How to Create a Bedtime Routine You Can't Wait to Start Tonight!

When people come to me with problems getting quality sleep, I often suggest creating a bedtime routine as the first place to start. The reaction is usually, “what? I’m not a kid!” Hang on, hear me out! You’ve just spent 18+ hours working, playing, eating, solving problems, fiddling on your phone, and actively using your brain. Even if you’re just relaxing and watching Netflix or on your phone close to bedtime, your brain is being stimulated. Plus, if you’re tech-ing it up all the way until you go to bed, you’re exposing yourself to lots of blue light which lessens your body’s ability to produce melatonin - the hormone that helps you get to sleep.

Having a bedtime routine is an essential form of self care. You’re letting your body know it is allowed to slow down and prepare for rest. So what does an adult bedtime routine look like? Here’s the good news, it’s whatever YOU find relaxing. 

A few ground-rules: 

  • Set your phone down and put it in another room for an hour before bedtime. It’s too engaging and tempting. Whatever is on your phone can wait until tomorrow!

  • Plan to start your bedtime routine around the same time each night. This will help train your brain that it’s time to sleep.

  • Experiment! Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to try new things.

Step 1: Set up your sleep space

The best sleep comes in a cool and dark room, with clean linens and not a lot of noise. You can take your sleep game to a new level by diffusing essentials oils or using a room spray. My favorite sleep enhancing oil is lavender, but you can also give roman chamomile or ylang ylang a try. Keep the phone out of the bedroom! Get an old-school alarm clock instead of using your phone to wake you up in the morning.

Step 2: Prepare yourself for sleep

There are lots of things you can do to set yourself up for sleep. I recommend starting this process between 20-45 minutes before you actually want to fall asleep. Lower the lights in your surroundings to create a calm environment. A few ideas for your routine are below. Note that things that qualify as “screen time” aren’t included (late night TV watchers, sorry!)

  • stretch

  • drink a glass or warm tea or milk - just not too much so you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom!

  • read a book

  • take a warm shower

  • meditate

  • self massage

  • listen to relaxing music

  • listen to an audio book or podcast

  • do a brain dump of all the things you want to do tomorrow

  • write in a journal

  • do a visualization - visualize your ideal day

  • Bedtime hygiene - wash your face/brush your teeth

Step 3: Go to sleep!

When you’re ready to fall asleep, it’s time to turn off the lights and get into bed. If you’re still struggling to fall asleep, I recommend doing a guided body scan meditation. You can find a good walkthrough on YouTube. It’s a great way to relax your muscles at the end of the day. Sweet dreams!

Are the holidays adding too much weight, stress, and temptation? Join my 60 Day Jumpstart Program and lock in the 2018 rate before it goes up in January! 60 days of 1:1 support from a health coach - right when you need it most! 

Tired of being tired?

IMG_3882.jpg

What if you had energy to do things you wanted to do and not just the things you HAD to do? How would life be different if you weren't falling victim to cravings day after day? Several years ago, I would have not had an answer to those questions, because I didn't believe it was possible. After all, I couldn't manage my cravings and always was lacking energy. I felt like I could sleep all day and STILL would need more. Being that tired, the idea of anything changing seemed far fetched. Fast forward a few years and after some simple diet and lifestyle changes, my energy level in a better place and I rarely get cravings. What seemed unimaginable actually IS possible. It is doable for you too. 

I want to talk to 5 people this week who want to stop feeling tired all the time or want to finally be done with cravings. Totally free. Zero obligation to do anything further. Get your spot scheduled on my calendar: https://my.timetrade.com/book/Y6YHR

Three Mindset Shifts for Weight Loss

adult-beautiful-face-774866.jpg

You’ve been trying to lose weight for years. You had some success, then you hit a roadblock. This happens over and over again. So, what’s the biggest thing in the way of your continued success toward your weight loss goal? Sure, eating habits play a big role. Getting enough exercise and sleep also contribute. But there’s one thing that many people don’t consider when they are embarking on a goal to lose weight.

Let’s talk about mindset!

Our brain has a knack for setting us up for failure or success. If we have the wrong mindset, we could be sabotaging ourselves toward our goals without even knowing it. There could be deep-seeded beliefs or feelings that take over subconsciously, and the next thing you know the number on the scale hasn’t changed at all (or worse, it has gone up!)

Here are three mindset shifts that can help you break through your weight loss goals:

  1. Believe it is possible. Believing something is possible is the first step in achieving something. If you don’t think you can do it, you won’t be able to. 

  2. Believe it will be okay. Change can be daunting. Maybe we think our loved ones will be jealous if we lose weight (when they could lose some too). Or we might attract attention we don’t want if we weight less. Or we don’t know what we would wear. Know that you will STILL be able to handle any challenges that come your way, and trust that the benefits of losing weight will outweigh any of your concerns.

  3. Know that what you weigh is not your identity. Some people see themselves only as overweight, or it’s just part of their identity. You are you, no matter what your size. 

Take a few minutes today to consider where your mindset might be holding you back toward your goals. Could one of these mindset shifts help? 

If you've been struggling to lose weight, why not join my 60 Day Jumpstart Program? It's packed with the accountability, inspiration, and expert advice you need to get back to feeling more like yourself!

Using Vision Boards to Make Your Dreams a Reality

adult-adventure-backpack-287240.jpg

Remember that trip you wanted to take to Europe? Or that craft business you wanted to start? It’s easy for time to pass us by without making any progress to toward our goals unless we focus on them with intention. What we focus on is what grows, so why not keep your goals in plain view? One great way of keeping your goals at the top of your mind is through a vision board. 

How does it work? It’s actually pretty easy. Just grab some poster board and some magazines, and cut out images, words, and quotes that focus on how you want to feel and what you want to achieve. Say you really want to travel more, so grabbing a travel magazine with photos of your desired destination will help it seem like more of a real possibility. It’ll be there, right in front of you every single day. Seeing it repeatedly and knowing that is something you are striving for will help you work toward traveling vs. just wishing you could go.

Vision boards work well because they are so visual. If they focus on how you want to feel, or how you want to spend your time, they will be more likely to become a reality. But, they don’t HAVE to be visual. I created a “Vision Wall” which was essentially several sticky notes with goals for various areas of my life. Things I wanted to do, learn, and be. What I wanted in my daily life. Where I wanted to travel. Goals for my business and myself. I used fun pens to write them out, and put the ones that I wanted to focus on most right next to the doorway in the bedroom. That way, every day it was the first thing I was seeing as I left the bedroom. 

Keep your vision board (or wall!) in an area that you don’t mind leaving it up - but also somewhere you’ll see it every day. It might seem a little strange to have it displayed so publicly, but it is also a great way for your spouse, partner, friends, or family to know what you’re aiming toward, so they can be supportive. In fact, you and your partner can both create your own, and see how they intersect. Maybe you’ll find a fun new mutual goal to strive for together.

Get the most out of your vision board by taking action! What would it take to travel to Europe? When could it happen? Make a list of what needs to happen and when, then start knocking things off the list! You’ll be sipping champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower before you know it, and all because you lent a bit of focus (and action) toward your goal.

If you're having a hard time reaching your goals, why not join my 60 Day Jumpstart Program? It's packed with the accountability, inspiration, and expert advice you need to get where you want to be!

Have Fun EVERY Day to Lower Stress

action-feet-fun-906023.jpg

Having fun is the best stress reliever. Having a good time can help lower your blood pressure, and can help you find perspective on a problem you’re facing. But, I hear a lot of people tell me they don’t have time for fun. Ugh, honestly that’s when you need to have fun the most! 

I suggest that people make time for at least 30 minutes of fun per day. Literally, put it on your calendar and treat it with the same importance as a doctor’s appointment. These 30 minutes shouldn’t include any expectations. The only thing it needs to “do” is be fun to you. It doesn’t have to seem fun to anyone else or be Instagram-worthy. You don’t need to accomplish anything -  this is just for your enjoyment only.

Where some people get stuck is deciding what to do for fun! It can be way harder than you think. We are so wrapped up in our day-to-day activities, that separating what we enjoy vs. what we know has to get done can be challenging. If you’re struggling with what to do to fill your 30 minute fun time block, or just want some more ideas, maybe it’s time to take a walk down memory lane! 

Think about it - what did you do for fun at age 9? 

Were you way into riding your bike around town? Did you love sitting out on a bench reading Babysitter’s Club books? Were you playing in the pool? Did you lose time drawing or coloring? Were you always out playing games with your friends? Use these clues from younger you to find out what might be fun. You don’t need to pop wheelies on your bike in your neighborhood, but maybe you could take your bike over to a trail and just ride for fun - not for speed or with a particular destination in mind. If you loved reading, pick up a new fiction book. Non-fiction books tend to be a secret way of “working on ourselves,” which is great - but not for pure enjoyment. Remember, we have no goals with this “fun time.” 

I challenge you to make a list of everything you remember doing for fun as a kid. Then, make another column and list how you could incorporate each of those activities in your life now. Maybe you’ll try coloring and be super bored, and that’s okay. We evolve as we get older, and maybe that’s just not the activity for you any more. Or maybe it needs to be adapted to be more interesting to you these days. Remember, we’re trying to have FUN here - so if something is not as great as you remember, move onto another thing on the list. 

A word of note. Our days have a finite number of hours in them, and there are a lot of things that you need to make time for, including at least 30 minutes of exercise. So, if something you loved doing as a kid qualifies for exercise now - you can feel free to combine those 30 minute time blocks into one! If you can find an activity you really love AND it gets you moving, I’m obviously on board! 

If stress is dragging you down, or you have some eating habits that could use work, why not join my 60 Day Jumpstart Program? It's packed with the accountability, inspiration, and expert advice you need to get back to feeling more like yourself!

How to Build a Balanced Smoothie

smoothie.jpg

Do you love a good smoothie? Smoothies can be a great breakfast option. You just blend it and go - no utensils necessary. However, a lot of smoothies don’t make the cut to be considered “healthy." Where many smoothies go wrong, is in the lack of ingredients. A lot of times, smoothies are made with only fruit, ice, and some form of liquid (usually milk or yogurt). This leads to a tasty smoothie, but one that is loaded up with sugar! There’s very little protein or fat to go with all the carbohydrates you are consuming. You’ll be hungry in an hour, and spike your blood sugar in the process.

It’s easy to remedy this, without affecting the taste too much. How do you do that? By adding in lots of goodies! Add-ins pack a nutritional punch, and help you maximize the amount of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals that are in your smoothie. 

Here’s the basic formula for a balanced smoothie:

Choose your liquid – water, coconut water, or dairy-free milk

Choose your greens – kale, spinach, parsley, Swiss chard, collards, or lettuce

Choose your fruit – banana, apple, berries, mango, or leave out the fruit

Choose your fat/protein – hemp seeds, hemp protein, nut butters, avocado, coconut oil, flax or chia seeds

Add a superfood – maca, raw cacao, bee pollen, shredded coconut, goji berries, camu camu, or any other of your choosing

Add bonus flavor (optional) - cinnamon is my favorite! You can also add a pinch of cayenne if you’re feeling adventurous

Here are some of my favorite add-ins:

  • Shelled hemp seeds
  • Protein powder (try MRM Veggie Elite in Vanilla)
  • Maca
  • Raw Cacao
  • Shredded coconut
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Dark unsweetened cocoa powder

-------------

Simple Balanced Smoothie Recipe

Serves 1

1 cup dairy-free milk

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

1/2 frozen banana

1 heaping cup fresh spinach

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal or chia seeds

 

 

Add everything to your favorite blender or smoothie maker and blend!

Do you need help managing your cravings? Join my brand new 60 Day Jumpstart Program and get started on your way to better health this week! Now is a great time to get healthy.

 

 

To drink coffee or not? The answers you've been looking for!

Coffee is one of those things - you either love it or hate it. You know if you like the taste or not (or if it’s just a reason to drink sugar and cream). You know how it makes you feel (i.e. your gut, your mind, etc.).

Not to mention the crazy headlines that say coffee is great, and the next day you should avoid it!

There is actual science behind why different people react differently to it. It's a matter of your genetics and how much coffee you're used to drinking.

NOTE: Coffee does not equal caffeine. Coffee contains between 50-400 mg of caffeine/cup, averaging around 100 mg/cup. Coffee is one of the most popular ways to consume this stimulant. But… a cup of coffee contains a lot of things over and above the caffeine. Not just water, but antioxidants, and hundreds of other compounds. These are the reasons drinking a cup of coffee is not the same as taking a caffeine pill. And decaffeinated coffee has a lot less caffeine; but, it still contains some.

Let's look at caffeine metabolism, its effects on the mind and body, and whether coffee drinkers have higher or lower risks of disease. Then I’ll give you some things to consider when deciding if coffee is for you or not.

Caffeine metabolism

Not all people metabolize caffeine at the same speed. How fast you metabolize caffeine will impact how you’re affected by the caffeine. In fact, caffeine metabolism can be up to 40x faster in some people than others.

About half of us are “slow” metabolizers of caffeine. We can get jitters, heart palpitations, and feel "wired" for up to 9 hours after having a coffee. The other half are "fast" metabolizers of caffeine. They get energy and increased alertness and are back to normal a few hours later.

This is part of the reason those headlines contradict each other so much - because we’re all different!

The effects of coffee (and caffeine) on the mind and body

NOTE: Most studies look at caffeinated coffee, not decaf.

The effects of coffee (and caffeine) on the mind and body also differ between people; this is partly from the metabolism I mentioned. But it also has to do with your body’s amazing ability to adapt (read: become more tolerant) to long-term caffeine use. Many people who start drinking coffee feel the effects a lot more than people who have coffee every day.

Here’s a list of these effects (that usually decrease with long-term use):

  • Stimulates the brain
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Boosts energy and exercise performance
  • Increases your stress hormone cortisol
  • Dehydrates

So, while some of these effects are good and some aren’t, you need to see how they affect you and decide if it’s worth it or not. 

Coffee and health risks

There are a ton of studies on the health effects of coffee, and whether coffee drinkers are more or less likely to get certain conditions.

Here’s a quick summary of what coffee can lead to:

  • Caffeine addiction and withdrawal symptoms (e.g. a headache, fatigue, irritability)
  • Increased sleep disruption
  • Lower risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
  • Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Lower risk of certain liver diseases
  • Lower risk of death (“all cause mortality")
  • Mixed reviews on whether it lowers risks of cancer and heart disease

Many of the health benefits exist even for decaf coffee (except the caffeine addiction and sleep issues).

NOTE: What’s super-important to note here is that coffee intake is just one of many, many factors that can affect your risks for these diseases. Please never think regular coffee intake is the one thing that can help you overcome these risks. You are health-conscious and know that eating a nutrient-rich whole foods diet, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep and exercise are all critical things to consider for your disease risk. It’s not just about the coffee.

Should you drink coffee or not?

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether you should drink coffee. No one food or drink will make or break your long-term health.

Caffeinated coffee is not recommended for:

  • People with arrhythmias (e.g. irregular heartbeat)
  • People who often feel anxious
  • People who have trouble sleeping
  • People who are pregnant
  • Children and
  • teens.

If none of these apply, then monitor how your body reacts when you have coffee. Does it:

  • Give you the jitters?
  • Increase anxious feelings?
  • Affect your sleep?
  • Give you heart palpitations?
  • Affect your digestion (e.g. heartburn, etc.)?
  • Give you a reason to drink a lot of sugar and cream?

Depending on how your body reacts, decide whether these reactions are worth it to you. If you’re not sure, I recommend eliminating it for a while and see the difference. 

Recipe (Latte): Pumpkin Spice Latte

Serves 1

3 tbsp coconut milk
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pumpkin puree

½ tsp maple syrup (optional)
1 cup coffee (decaf if preferred)

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until creamy.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can use tea instead of milk if you prefer.

----

Are you dealing with crazy coffee cravings or feel like your eating habits are out of control? Join my brand new 60 Day Jumpstart Program and get started on your way to better health this week! Now is a great time to get healthy.

----

References

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-coffee

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/a-wake-up-call-on-coffee

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-your-coffee-habit-help-you-live-longer-201601068938

http://suppversity.blogspot.ca/2014/05/caffeine-resistance-genetic.html

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-coffee-should-you-drink/

What, and HOW, to eat for better health

Oh my gosh – nutrition and diet info is everywhere! It's no surprise that a lot of clients initially come to me feeling confused, and having tried everything other the sun - without consistent results.

Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it's certainly not the “holy grail” of health.  

Let's focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it. 

What you eat and drink

The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don't get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that's simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.  

You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don't forget to also pay attention to what you eat. Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.

Every day this is what you should aim for:

  • A colorful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
  • Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” - you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads. Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible.  You don't need to overdo it here. Just make sure you're getting some high-quality fats.

How you eat and drink

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought. Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?nWhen it comes to how you eat let's first look at “mindful eating”.

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savor every bite.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes. This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less.  Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full? Slowing down meal time will help your brain catch up with your body, and help you not overeat.

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

And don't forget about drinking your food. Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!), but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.  

Don't get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack. And don't gulp it down too fast.

If your smoothies don't fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.

Recipe of the week: Chia Peach Green Smoothie

Serves 1

big handful spinach

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 banana

1 chopped peach

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

BONUS: Add in hemp seeds for a big protein boost!

Add ingredients to blender in order listed (you want your greens on the bottom by the blade so they blend better and have the chia on the bottom to absorb some liquid before you blend).

Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the almond milk.

Blend, Serve and Enjoy!

Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions.  Try swapping different greens, fruit or seeds to match your preference. 

---

Are you dealing with cravings or feel like your eating habits are out of control? Join my brand new 60 Day Jumpstart Program and get started on your health goals this week! Now is a great time to get healthy.

---

References:

http://summertomato.com/wisdom-wednesday-salad-dressing-is-your-friend

https://authoritynutrition.com/20-reasons-you-are-not-losing-weight/

http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

 

"Oops, I ate too much again!" - How to get back in control

You know how we talk about how we overeat at the holidays? Everyone does it. And honestly, overdoing it once in awhile isn't going to kill you.

But sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time. Nobody talks about that, so let's dive into ways to tackle overeating!

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals. (Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

Tip #1: Start with some water

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it's too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food. But did you know that it's possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.

Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (...just sayin').

Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism. Win-win!

Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”

You've heard of mindfulness, but have you applied that to your eating habits? This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.

Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.

How to do this? By taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savoring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less. When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full. So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.

Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.

Tip #3: Start with the salad

You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish. But don't start there. Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they're full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They're “satiating." And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you're about to indulge in a large meal.

Recipe (Water, jazzed up!)

If you're not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses, here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

  • Slices of lemon & ginger
  • Slices of strawberries & orange
  • Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
  • Chopped pineapple & mango
  • Blueberries & raspberries
  • Fresh herbs like mint or basil

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning.  They're already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.

---

Are you dealing with cravings or feel like your eating habits are out of control? Sign up for a FREE Conquer Cravings Strategy Session with me this week! Now is a great time to get healthy.

---

References:

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/

 

http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

 

How to hack your metabolism so you lose more weight

This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.

You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight. But what exactly does this all mean?

Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body. It's how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

  • Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
  • Allow activities you can't control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
  • Allow storage of excess energy for later.

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate." This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!)

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

  • Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
  • Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).
  • Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate.  One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you're not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What affects your metabolic rate? In a nutshell: a lot!

Thyroid Function

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid.  This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you'll burn.

Body Composition

But that's not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate. How big you are counts too! Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial!  As you can imagine, muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does.  So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be. Even when you're not working out. This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program. Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.  

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don't want to happen.  So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Exercise

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they're doing “work”.

What you Eat

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate. Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food. This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF). You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.  

Fats, for example, increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate. Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow. By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

Stress!

And don't forget the mind-body connection.  There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

Can your eating habits, stress levels, or exercise routine be improved for better metabolism? Why not set up a free Beat Stress Strategy Session with me? I have openings in the next 2 weeks and I'd love to work with you to give you strategies so you are maximizing your life! 30 minutes well spent!

Ready? Snag a spot on my schedule right here: https://my.timetrade.com/book/K5QSS

----

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism/

The Key to Finding Balance in Your Busy Life

“Work-life balance was a mistake from the start. Because we don't really want balance. We want satisfaction.”— Matthew Kelly, author

Balance is a sticky subject among many people. We have careers, partners, children, family commitments, charity work, classes, hobbies, worship time—plus, big desires to improve our health. How can one possibly balance so many things?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret here: You can’t.

Balance. Is It A Myth?

“Harmony” is an easier goal than balance.

Harmony means everything is co-existing in a spirit of cooperation. But whatever you want to call it —harmony, balance, or “fitting it all in”— there is a secret to doing more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.

Want to hear it?

I just need to warn you that although the equation sounds simple, it actually takes massive willpower to execute. It also requires that you get absolutely clear on what you want your life to look like, and what you do not want in your life.

Ready? Okay, here’s the secret:

  • First ask yourself what isn’t serving you. What doesn’t need to be in your life? What is dragging you down? Keeping you awake at night?

  • Have you identified a few things? Now get rid of them. (Or fix them. Now.)

  • Next, ask yourself what you want in your life—or in this week or day? What do you want to accomplish?

    What do you want to do? Who do you want to be with? Focus your energy on these things. Anything that doesn’t fit into this larger scheme... let it go (or learn how to say “no”).

    Ready to dive in and make a few changes? Give these tips a try and see how much more harmonious your life can be. No balance required.

If stress is dragging you down, or you have some eating habits that could use work, why not set up a free Beat Stress Strategy Session with me? I have openings in the next 2 weeks and I'd love to work with you to give you strategies so you are maximizing your life! 30 minutes well spent!

Ready? Snag a spot on my schedule right here: https://my.timetrade.com/book/K5QSS

----

How to Keep Your Serving Sizes in Check, and Stay Sane While Doing It!

food-salad-restaurant-person.jpg

Quick Quiz: How many portions are in a bag of snack-size whole grain crackers? Or a small bottle of locally-pressed juice? Or a dish from your favorite restaurant?

Hint: it’s not “one.” Often, the above products contain two or two-and-a-half servings per package. Can YOU Eat Just One?

Sure, you could go ahead and enjoy just half the bag, but are you really going to do that?
Don’t beat yourself up if the answer is no: If you place food in front of most people, they tend to eat it all. It’s just the way we’re wired.

The Perils of Supersizing

Eating too much food in one sitting is hard on your body. Here’s why:

  • Food is meant to be spread throughout the day. Overdosing on too much food at one time causes pain, upset, and sluggish digestion.

  • A surge of glucose is released into your blood. Your pancreas has to work overtime, pumping insulin through the body to absorb all that extra glucose. This can make you feel spacey, weak, irritable, or headachy.

  • Thinking there is some type of emergency, your adrenal glands go into “fight or flight” mode and release adrenaline and cortisol, which is the body’s natural response to stress.

  • When your blood sugar levels finally plummet, you experience wicked cravings for more food—specifically simple carbs or sweets.

  • Research has found that immune system function is affected for at least five hours after consuming large amounts of simple carbohydrates.

    5 Tips to Kick Portion Distortion

  • Don’t over order – go for salads, soups, and appetizers, which are typically more reasonably sized than entrees. 

  • If you order an entree, ask for a box right away and put half of it in your container for a meal another day. Or, split your entree with your friend or partner.

  • Choose high-fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains to keep you feeling full and energized.

  • Chew well to aid digestion and give your brain time to register you’re full before you overeat.

  • Get enough water. Often we mistake thirst for hunger.

  • Carry your own snacks. Stock up on snack-sized containers and fill them with baby carrots, air-popped popcorn, or nuts.

Are you dealing with cravings or feel like your eating habits are out of control? Sign up for a FREE Conquer Cravings Strategy Session with me this week! Now is a great time to get healthy.

How Forgiveness Can Help You Combat Cravings

pexels-photo-789694.jpeg

Have you ever downed an entire package of chips, crackers, or cookies? Ate pizza or cake until you felt sick? Drank more coffee or wine than your body wanted? Had an overwhelming craving that you acted on, and then totally regretted it?

Do you remember how you were feeling at the time? Sometimes we overeat to help distract us from emotional pain. Think about it—have you noticed that sometimes when you overeat you’re not hungry at all? What you are is lonely. Or angry. Or sad. Or resentful. Or frustrated. Or something else.

Food makes us feel good, so it is natural for us to turn to food to help us cope with uncomfortable feelings. But, turning to lots of food is merely a temporary "fix," and one that often makes us feel worse. It is more effective to address what's going on emotionally.

So what hurt are YOU holding on to? 

Tap Into the Power of Forgiveness

Forgiving is not easy, even for the most enlightened among us. But, you may need to forgive yourself, or a loved one, or even a set of circumstances. If you’ve been allowing your present health to be controlled by past hurts, I urge you to commit to forgiving. These steps can help:

  • Talk to sympathetic friends and family about your desire to forgive. Chatting with others is tremendously comforting.

  • Write a letter to the person you’d like to forgive. You can decide whether or not you send it.

  • See the situation from the other person’s perspective—your own perspective may change.

  • Don’t forget to forgive yourself. Most of my clients are harshest with themselves. Know that everyone falls short sometimes, and choosing to let it go can be very healing.

  • Understand that you are responsible for your own attitude. Don’t let holding a grudge keep you from feeling free, open, and powerful in your own life.

    Forgive and watch how much easier your relationship with eating becomes.

Are you dealing with cravings? Sign up for a FREE Conquer Cravings Strategy Session with me next week! Don't wait to get started on your journey to better health. 

Should You Eat More or Less Fat?

Are fats good or bad in your diet? Well, it depends. There are some fats you should make a big effort to avoid, and others you should consider eating more often!

Heavily processed, hydrogenated “trans” fats used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. They can compromise the cardiovascular system, immune system, and contribute to behavior problems. They can also lead to weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure, and liver strain. You should limit these fats in your diet. 

That said, our bodies need fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair, and nails, and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly. I personally don't shy away from fats, as long as they are the healthier, high-quality kind.

pexels-photo-142890.jpeg

Where to Find Healthy Fats

  • Avocados, olives, and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 rich organic eggs.
  • Whole nuts and seeds, and their butters like almond butter or tahini
  • Look for the highest-quality organic oils when shopping. Words to look for: organic, first-pressed, cold- pressed, extra-virgin, and unrefined. Avoid expeller-pressed, refined, and solvent extracted.

Use Healthy Fats:

For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil.
Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut, and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings.

For most of my clients trying to lose weight, I suggest considering adding MORE healthy fats to their diet. It seems counter-inuitive, but actually it helps you stay full and satiated. Which means you will be less likely to reach for another, less healthy, food option when you're hungry.

Are you dealing with cravings? Sign up for my FREE Conquer Cravings Strategy Session. I have openings next week!
 

When You've Tried Everything Else

If you’re like many of the women I work with who are struggling with high stress, low energy, and big cravings, you’ve probably already tried a few things... "relaxing" and watching Netflix, relying on coffee in the morning, or cutting foods out.

Each time you try something new you get excited and think “this is it... this time it’s going to work!”

But then when each new approach didn’t work, you’d beat yourself up and end up feeling like there was something “wrong” with you.

It is not your fault! The simple truth is that by nature, quick fixes don’t work. Deprivation doesn’t work. 

In your heart of hearts, I’m guessing you know this already.

Here’s what I want you to know. You can conquer cravings, have more energy, and manage your stress. 

This is what I teach my amazing clients...I show them how simple and EASY it is to feel more like yourself - energetic, present, and light. 

32089350_1733182720106521_5413141733498159104_n.jpg

And this is exactly what I’d love to show you.

That’s why I’d like to offer you a FREE Beat Stress Strategy Session. I’ve opened up 5 slots on my calendar for over the next 2 weeks, and I’d love to speak with you during one of them.

Click here to book your free session>>

During this call, I’ll help you determine how best to achieve the results you want, WITHOUT feeling like you’re sabotaging yourself anymore. You’ll get an action plan to help you reach your unique goals.

If you’re tired of feeling like you’ve tried everything and you’re ready for a different (and more effective) approach — then I know I can help and I look forward to connecting with you.

Warmly,

Sara

P.S. Spots for these FREE calls will fill up fast, so if you know you want help with your stress, cravings and energy, I encourage you to grab one of these spots! Click here to schedule now.