Did you get a Fit Bit or other Activity Tracker as a holiday gift? If your answer is YES! Than snaps to your gift giver for such a fantastic and worthwhile gift. Now for you! Use it! I promise you if you use it, it'll be life changing. But first, look across the room at that treadmill you got a few years ago, you know the one, you'll prob need to take some of the clothes off of it to find it, (I know, it makes a great clothes hanger). See it? Remember those great intentions? Now, look at your wrist and see the potential here. This is motivation! It can stay with you all day and can move you along at a pace that's comfortable for you...this is what I preach all the time; it's about YOU and your real life and sustainability! Your new activity tracker can work for you, but you've got to use it. If you're ready to realize those fitness goals that up to now you've only been wrestling with in your head, then let's do this. NOW. I've got some tips for you that will ease you in to making your activity tracker work for you, so it won't end up in your junk drawer, buried under old batteries and keys! (Treadmill/clothes hanger). Here are two important tips to get you going:
1. Put your charger in your bathroom! Yes, your bathroom. You probably, (hopefully), brush your teeth in the morning and at night before bed, keep your charger plugged into an outlet near your toothbrush, this way your tracker will always be charged, and you won't forget about it. Plug in at night and in the morning grab it and put it on so you can count each and every step, even the ones you take when make your morning joe!
2. Before you set a daily step goal, wear your tracker for three days and do your normal stuff. See what you do normally in your real life and know what your daily step count is. Take it from there...it's great that the Japanese pioneered the 10-k-a-day Rule, and it's a helpful baseline, but it's not for everyone. Let's deal with YOU so we can finally reach YOUR fitness and wellness goals. This is also a great exercise to see what you've truly been doing day to day. It can be incredibly eye opening. So, see where you are and then determine a reachable and reasonable daily step goal. You'll be at 10,000 plus before you know it, and will be shedding pounds and strengthening your body!
Want more help with using your activity tracker and making it work for you? Let me know, I can help!
I make these in my Vitamix but you can use a food processor or a good old-fashioned chopping knife and a mixer and it will work just as well. I love these muffins fresh out of the oven but I also freeze them in individual baggies and put one out on the counter to thaw at night so in the morning I have a fresh homemade muffin already for me in a to-go bag. I take one in the car for a quick snack between clients, etc. They’re incredibly moist. So tasty!
These take about 30 minutes total to prepare and bake.
1 2/3 cups flour (organic)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup raisins (you can do half dried cranberries too)!
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar (raw/organic) – or use organic apple sauce instead
2/3 cup olive oil
350 degree oven
Line muffin tin w paper liners (I love the ones from Whole Foods)
Place flour, baking soda, and spices in a mixing bowl and stir gently. Fold in raisins
Place carrots, apple, and ginger in mixer or VM. Grind to consistency you like, I like my fruit and carrots to be in tiny chunks but you can make them more smooth if you like.
Add eggs, sugar, oil, almond in with the carrots, apple and ginger and mix until well blended.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry and gently fold together all ingredients.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin (lined cups).
Bake for 20 min.
Easy as…muffins? :)
This will be delicious at the end of a long and somewhat dreary day. It took me 15 min to prepare this morning and I cooked it stove top in my Dutch Oven for about 2 1/2 hours. You can also pop it in the a crock pot so it’s ready when you get home if you’ll be gone all day. The method to my cooking & nutrition madness is that I typically try to only keep fresh, healthy, and good for me foods in my kitchen. This way, if I snack I’m snacking well! When I prepare a meal I always first think about what I have in my kitchen that I need to use up. Thank goodness this morning I had lots of fresh veggies and a bit of wine leftover! *
***Disclaimer: if you’re a professional chef or hard core cook, my style may irritate you however, if you’re casual and are just trying to eat well and get it done like me, it should be ok for you!***
What I used:
– 1 pound chopped organic, grass fed beef chunks
– Chopped organic carrots, potatoes, frozen organic peas, celery, onion, garlic,
– Splash of white or red wine (I used white, it’s what I had). 1 quart organic beef broth, salt and pepper, fresh or dried Dill and Rosemary, flour.
What I did:
– I added a bit of olive oil into my Dutch Oven and sautéed 1 whole chopped red onion & a few smashed garlic cloves, then I took my meat chunks and moved them around in a large bowl filled w about 1/2 cup flour (I sprinkled s&p and rosemary into the flour), once the meat was covered w flour I placed it into the Dutch Oven w the onion and garlic. I moved it around and added 1/2 cup of wine. I let the meat cook about 20 min until the liquid started to evaporate and then I added the broth. I cooked the meat on low for another 20 min and then added all of my chopped veggies and the rest of my spices to taste. It simmered for another hour and then I put it in the fridge and will re-heat tonight. Just cook until all the veggies are soft but not mushy. I’m picking up a loaf of fresh bread from a bakery in town on the way home later and slicing a few apples on the side. Yum!
Try it and let me know what you think!
There is nothing that makes us feel more fully well than being in balance and having control. Are you always searching for a new diet, workout, job, relationship that works for you? Maybe it’s not that you don’t know what to do; perhaps its that you aren’t looking into why you aren’t doing it. Why are you standing in your way? Grab a pen and paper and draw, doodle, write, jot and let yourself openly explore the truth about whats keeping you from being your most fit, healthy and happy self. Just get going with this one. The very moment you begin, you are doing it! GO!
The body is amazing. It knows when to go to sleep, when to wake up, and when to go to the bathroom. It maintains a temperature of 98.6 degrees, repairs itself when wounded and knows the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. Your heart never misses a beat. Your lungs are always breathing. The body is a super-computer, and it never makes mistakes.
Look at the foods, deficits and behaviors in your life that are the underlying causes of your cravings. Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist you in maintaining balance. When you experience a craving, deconstruct it. Ask yourself, what does my body want and why?
The eight primary causes of cravings are:
1. Lack of primary food. Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or the wrong kind), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of primary food.
2. Water. Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced.
3. Yin/yang imbalance. Certain foods have more yin qualities (expansive) while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). Eating too many raw foods (yin) may cause cravings for extremely cooked (dehydrated) foods or vise versa.
4. Inside coming out. Often times, cravings come from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors, or foods from our childhood. A clever way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of one’s ancestral or childhood foods.
5. Seasonal. Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods like fruit, raw foods and ice cream, and in the fall people crave grounding foods like squash, onions and nuts. During winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil and fat. Cravings can also be associated with the holidays, for foods like turkey, eggnog or sweets, etc.
6. Lack of nutrients. If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.
7. Hormonal. When women experience menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.
8. De-evolution. When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood sugar and may result in strong mood swings.
An uneasy mind will slow you down and hold you back from achieving your ultimate wellness goals. Many of us get in our own way by letting unfinished projects drain us of energy. You can drink all the smoothies you want and eat all the kale in the world, but truth is, if you are mentally tired you need to fuel yourself and take off some of the stress so that you will feel energized. You already know that it is all about balance. It is outstanding that you are drinking water, eating whole foods and working out, but you should also take a look at your emotional life and see if you have things like cluttered closets, piles of papers, overdue bills, incomplete craft projects and travel plans, or even unkept promises that are keeping you from feeling focused and complete.Make a list of your unfinished and nagging projects and try to take a look at how you can get these parts of your life cleaned up. You will lose so much emotional weight by working out this part of your life!
A solid plan can truly keep you on track when it comes to sustaining your wellness plan. Take control and do your homework when it come to your health at all levels. Many clients tell me that going out to eat with friends and family as well as for work really can take them out of the driver’s seat and leave them feeling like they have failed with their eating. I have done my research and you can too (let me know if you need some help, I’m here for you). There are tons of new sites out there that will guide you to some truly great places for healthy dining. You do not have to overlook your gluten, sugar, or other focuses when eating out…just plan ahead and choose a place that meets your needs. You DO have a choice. Many times clients share with me that friends and colleagues are thrilled to find a new spot that combines healthy eating with the social enjoyment of eating out. Here’s a great example of what I found in the NYC area.
Unrealistic expectations can be a total roadblock in achieving your goals. Avoid setting yourself up for what you may feel is failure. Begin managing your expectations and setting achievable and sensible goals. The foods you choose to eat in a day affect so many parts of your life, your energy level, body, skin, mood, the list goes on. If you are starting your day eating the wrong thing for you, you are doomed from the start.
Be realistic about eating and also about your fitness routine. If you are adding a new diet and new exercise routine to your already busy schedule, something will have to give. Try making comfortable changes in your schedule throughout your day. Allow for flexibility to get to the gym, or meet with your trainer. Plan your menu and shop on Saturday. Plan to enjoy time in the kitchen on Sunday preparing easy and healthy meals for your week. Cut down on prep time by purchasing pre-chopped/sliced veggies and fruits. When you decide to take on a new nutrition or fitness plan, consider giving yourself some slack to make changes comfortably. Alter your schedule, cancel a few unnecessary meetings, lunches and play dates, look closely at what you do in a day and allow time for you.
Ease into things, there’s no rush here. You are ready to get moving and that attitude is very important to your success. Give yourself a pat on the back for making the decision to change your eating and/or your fitness routine and then do what feels right to you. What works for your friend may not be for you, and that’s ok! Take a look at your goals and make subtle changes, add things instead of taking away, this will push out the bad and bring in the good. Remember, you need to like it to sustain it. The reality is that you may need to try a few new recipes before you find things that are good for you and that you like. You may hate Quinoa and despise Kale, take time to find similar things that you enjoy. The same goes for a workout, your trainer should be working with you doing what you enjoy, what makes you feel energized to help you get fit, let him/her know what makes you feel motivated and ask for more of it! Most importantly, take your time and figure out what feels good and tastes good and what works for you personally.
Add Green tea and drink your water. This is a simple addition to your routine and it will fill you up, give you increased energy and simply make your life better. In being realistic about your eating and fitness plan, know that you need to hydrate and you must nourish yourself. These are two easy things to add that will help you make a positive change.
Count on your Health Coach and Personal Trainer for professional guidance and support, you are not alone, don’t judge yourself during this process, you are only human, hick-ups happen, do your best and be confident in the fact that if you take this one day at a time and manage your expectations, you will achieve your goals and you will feel and look better because of it! Take a breath now. Relax and care about yourself. Be realistic about the changes you want to occur.
Remember that you want to be “well”, that means a lifetime of good health and energy, not just fitting into your swimsuit this summer. In order to sustain wellness, you’ll need to be realistic and develop an exercise and nutrition plan that is just for you, one that is consistent with what you do and who you are. Get to it!
New day, new week, consider cleaning out your pantry and getting a fresh food start.
Are your cabinets filled with a mix of good for you healthy foods and those unhealthy things that leave you asking why you bought them in the first place? Take a little time and sort through your pantry as you would your closet, getting rid of the bad and keeping the good, making room for some new and healthy items. You’ll be glad you did.
Trash the sweets, refined cereals and breads. Replace with the good stuff, organic, high-fiber, natural. Try to remind yourself to avoid packaging in general and fill up your fridge with fresh fruits and veggies. Rid yourself once and for all of high sodium canned goods, and if you don’t have them already, load up on antioxidant filled green teas. Check out all that new space in the pantry and imagine your body feeling and looking as great as your revitalized pantry! Yeah!