Tired of being tired?

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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

How to Build a Balanced Smoothie

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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

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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.

 

 

"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.

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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.

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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 Forgiveness Can Help You Combat Cravings

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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. 

A Health Coach's Case for Chocolate

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I never judge a client's need for chocolate. Chocolate is the only ingredient that is its very own food group.

Okay, not really—but it seems as if it should be. Powerfully comforting, creamy, delicious—many people eat chocolate at least several times a week.

Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter— serotonin—in the brain. It can also be a good source of magnesium. If you have over the top chocolate cravings, you could be deficient in the key nutrient.

But, eat the wrong kind, and you’ll get loads of sugar, calories, and junky ingredients.

How to Eat Chocolate Responsibly

Chocolate begins life as raw cacao beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, however—think commercially produced candy bars—the fewer healthy components remain.

So how to get the most out of your chocolate fix?

  • Choose dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.
  • Know your percentages: the number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao.
  • Go raw—or as unprocessed as possible.
  • Watch your portions. It is easy to overdo it. One trick to try, keep chocolate out of sight to avoid temptation.

Are you a chocoholic? No judgement here! But don't forget it is just part of a diet, not the whole thing ;-)

 

Mindfulness and Your Biggest Food Cravings

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Let’s talk about one of my former weaknesses from before my Health Coaching days - brownies. I have always had a bit of a sweet tooth, and loved to bake. After a long day, I would find solace in whipping up a batch of warm, flavorful brownies. There was something about the process that gave me peace, but ultimately the timer would go off and I would be overwhelmed with the desire to have a taste. And then another taste. And another. You get the idea. Once I got started, it was hard to stop. Sometimes I would go to bed with a stomach ache because I overdid it so much. After awhile, I knew I needed to do something different.

It’s easy to overdo it when we are faced with our favorite foods. They bring us happy memories from our childhood when we would stir together a batch of cookie dough with our family. Or remind us of celebrations. Many times it has very little to do with the food itself! For me, the warm and chewy brownie was the ultimate treat. The smell, taste, and texture gave me all kinds of good feelings.

So, what did I do? I started eating more mindfully. If I asked myself why I was craving that brownie, I would struggle to come up with a reason that had anything to do with the brownie. A lot of times, I was stressed out. Or tired. Or just looking for an outlet. Also, I realized that if the brownies were in the house, I would eat them regardless of whether I was hungry. So I stopped having the ingredients on hand and instead, took a walk. Or made a cup of tea with a drizzle of honey to satisfy my craving for sweets. 

If I was really wanting a brownie, I took on a new approach. I made a new personal rule that I could only eat brownies from a bakery. I’m talking super delicious, super decadent brownies that cost way too much to justify on a regular basis! As a health coach, I’m all about sustainable change. If you tell yourself you can never have a brownie - or whatever your weakness is - ever again. You will certainly fail at some point. If you give yourself permission to indulge once in awhile and have some parameters around it, you may find you don’t even want it.

What’s your biggest food craving? Next time you are craving it, consider asking yourself the following question: "why do I really want _____?” Consider that answer, and dig deeper. Ask yourself again, “why?” Think about what might be a good alternative. If you are craving something for an emotional reason, you will never fulfill that need with that food. You need to address what’s underneath the surface. Staying mindful of your food choices can be a good start and help you stay on track with your health goals as well!

Need help with your cravings? Set up a free one-on-one phone session with me and let’s talk about it! 

Craving Something? Make This Swap

When you are craving a specific type of food, did you know it could be your body's way of telling you that it needs something? Check out the below chart to see if there is a food swap you can make to address your cravings.

After you've made a swap, consider how you feel. Are you still craving the original food? If so, your craving may be related to something completely unrelated to nutrition. Stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, and habit are very common culprits! 

Need help managing your cravings? Let's do a 1:1 free consultation next week to talk it over! Sign up here.

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How I (REALLY) Kicked My Daily Coffee Habit

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It used to be a bit of a running joke. My coworkers would look at me curiously and say, "oh, you're off coffee again?" I was forever taking short, one to two week breaks from coffee, only to jump right back on the caffeinated bandwagon. 

I honestly never liked how I felt when I was drinking coffee. I have a lower caffeine tolerance, and it only takes a cup to start making me jittery. I start talking faster and mentally running circles around myself. And coffee is known to amplify stress levels throughout the day, which frankly I didn't need. I'm a pretty laid-back person, so it never felt authentic. But at the same time, it felt necessary just to lift my brain out of the fog in the morning.

My daily coffee would give me the trusty surge of energy to crank out my morning's work, but then I would be left coming down from the caffeine high - and hard. It became tough to avoid sugary food in the afternoon, which I was craving just to bring my energy level back up. It was a bit of a roller coaster, but it still pulled me in each morning.

Last fall, I re-committed myself to a life without the highs and lows of caffeine. It wasn't easy, but there were a couple of easy steps I took to get there. Now coffee is a "once in awhile" treat, vs. a daily must have. After all, I do really like the taste of coffee. It's just that I am choosing IT vs. coffee choosing me each morning!

1. Switch to tea. I know, some of you are thinking, "there's no freaking way I am going to get what I need from tea." I like tea, but I was skeptical too. But, I found a really great organic green tea with lots of flavor that did the trick. I also added solid green tea extracts for a little extra dose of goodness. Granted, there's some caffeine in green tea, but less.

2. More water. After my first cup of tea, I would switch to water or peppermint tea. Often we feel tired when we're dehydrated, so it is a simple hack to drink a bit more water to keep me from turning to coffee for hydration. Side note, coffee is a diuretic. So, not only are you on an energy roller coaster, but you're also zapping your body of fluids!

3. Sleep. Yeah, this is an obvious one. I was terribly sleep deprived, getting just about an hour too short of sleep each night. That doesn't sound like much, but it added up. Prioritizing sleep so I woke up feeling more rested made the next morning's need for a quick pick-me-up much less.

4. Exercise. I had a gym membership right around the corner, so I made a regular effort to get my workouts in and after a week or two I felt more sustained energy throughout the day. It helped me sleep better, too. Win, win!

When things are shifting out of balance and I start reaching for coffee more, I look closely at each of the above four tips and see where I am falling short. Usually it's the sleep thing, but it's all connected!

Are you in dire need of coffee each day and looking to lessen your intake? Give these simple tips a try and let me know how they work for you!