A Health & Lifestyle Coach’s Guide through the Holidays

With the Holiday Season in full swing and the year coming to a close, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to sit down and talk to a new close friend of mine and women entrepreneur; Stephanie Ferisin. Stephanie is a health and lifestyle coach based in Boston, MA and is going to share with everyone a little about her journey as a woman in business as well as some key tips for staying grounded and healthy during the stress of all your holiday parties and festivities.

Stephanie
Stephanie Ferisin; Health & Lifestyle Coach

 

1. Can you tell us a little about your business and the journey it took to get where you are today?

I help men and women make peace with food and feel at home in their bodies. Because everyone deserves freedom over food, health and happiness.

I know what it’s like to feel powerless around food. It doesn’t feel good. Especially when you know that if you could just get over this “eating thing,” you could step into your full potential. The thing that we don’t realize is that when you try to tighten your grip on controlling food, you swing in the exact opposite direction, eventually. You binge and you feel disappointed, like you lack willpower or control.

But I can tell you now that it’s only when we stop fighting to control our weight that food loses its power over us; we clear our minds of the constant obsession – the calorie-counting, scale-weighing, guilt-induced dieting – and we create more brain space to do what we love to do.

Trust me, I would know. After nearly ten years of battling my weight, I finally dropped my end of the rope. I’ve healed my relationship with food and my body and am now dedicated to helping others do the same.

In 2014, I founded Stephanie Ferisin Health & Wellness with the intention of helping men and women struggling with body image and weight management issues find freedom over food and confidence in their skin and their step. Since then, I’ve learned so much about myself. Being a female solopreneur is both scary (talk about stepping out of your comfort zone!) and liberating at the same time. Similar to my journey in improving my health and healing my relationship with food and my body, I’ve found that there is incredible power behind our mindset. Think about it: the way you do anything is the way you do everything, right? Better yet, the way you eat is the way you live your life. For me, that’s meant trusting myself when taking risks. I trust that I may make mistakes along the way (I’m perfectly imperfect. We all are.), but I’ll learn from them and grow from the experience.

2. With 2014 coming to a close, what advice do you give to your clients looking to make changes in the coming year?

As this year comes to a close, I’m thinking about all of the incredible changes I’ve experienced – I started my business, became a barre fitness instructor, got engaged and have solidified friendships with people who are more like family, who love and support me. With the coming of the New Year, I know many people start thinking about health-related (or really, weight-related) goals. Perhaps they want to lose weight, “slim down,” get toned muscles, you name it. But so long as they are preoccupied by the size and shape of their bodies, they will be fighting for control. And by now you know that trying to gain control over your weight is not the answer to achieving long-lasting health and happiness.

So as you prepare to set your intention for the coming year, consider the following: “When we decide the journey matters as much as the result and that we want to have a good time, most of the time, we radically change our personal definition of success.” – Danielle Laporte

It’s not about the goal, it’s about how you feel when you get there. So if you’re looking to make positive changes in your life — your health, your career, your love life, your social life — consider thinking about how you’d really like to feel along your journey. To help you get started, I’ve outlined the steps you can take to identifying your core desired feelings and getting crystal clear about what you want. Enjoy!

5-step exercise to identify your core desired feelings:

  1. In each of the areas of your life (listed below), describe how you would like to feel.
  • Lifestyle/livelihood, Body/wellness, Relationships/society
  1. Narrow down your core desired feelings to 3-7.
  • Stay away from bold words like confidence and success
    • Go deeper and ask yourself, “What is confidence?”
    • Ex: confidence is feeling acceptance
  • Don’t rely on outside forces to define your reality
    • If you want to feel acceptance, how can you set the rules up for yourself? Can you practice more self-compassion and find acceptance with yourself? Ask yourself: “What can I do to bring this feeling to the moment? How can I set up the rules for myself?”
    • Remember, you can’t choose what happens to you but you can choose how you feel about it
  1. Declaration of core desired feelings
  • Write it down on a piece of paper and place it somewhere visible. It’s your reminder when you feel like you’ve gotten off track.
  1. Question your motivation
  • Why do you want what you want? Who am I trying to please?
  1. Check-in
  • If you find yourself sliding back to old habits or thought patterns, ask yourself: “Am I moving towards or away from my core desired feelings?”

A big thank you to Stephanie for sharing these amazing tips on getting through the Holiday Season and beginning a new journey into 2015. I hope everyone takes something from her message and enjoys the next few weeks with friends and family!

If you want to work or learn more about Stephanie’s Health and Lifestyle coaching visit her website at www.stephanieferisin.com

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.

All About Sprouted Grains: Cereals & Breads

Recently, I have become a frequent cereal eater again thanks to a company called; One Degree Organics. I stumbled upon their products in Whole Foods Market and immediately loved their mission and most importantly their ingredients.

One Degree Organics is a great company that prides itself on its’ organic and sustainable line of products. I have recently fallen in love with their cereals. Each cereal is composed of a handful of ingredients that you can read and completely understand what they are. The cereals are made with sprouted ancient whole grains that are both vegan and organic. There are GMO free and contain no other additives or added sugars. The cereals are high in fiber and very low in fat and sugar contrary to many cereals on the market these days. They are a great source of grains and pair amazing with some almond milk and a sliced banana or handful of berries. My favorite flavor is the Honey O’s (yes, just like Honey Nut Cheerios, but much healthier). One Degree Organics also makes lots of other products including breads, flours, and seeds.

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What is Sprouted Grain?
Sprouted grain differs from whole grain in three fundamental aspects:
1) sprouting activates food enzymes
2) sprouting increases vitamin content
3) sprouting neutralizes antinutrients like phytic acid which bind up minerals preventing your ability to fully absorb them

What are the Benefits?
Increased Digestibility – Sprouting breaks down starches in grains into simple sugars so your body can digest them easily.
Increased Absorption of Minerals – Sprouting breaks down enzyme inhibitors, so your body can more easily adsorb calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
Increased Antioxidants – Sprouting releases more antioxidants that are naturally stored in the grains and seeds.
Increased Vitamin C – Sprouting produces vitamin C
Increased Vitamin B – Sprouting increases the vitamin B2, B5 & B6

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Another great company to consider when looking to buy sprouted grain products is Food for Life. They have extensive lines of breads, tortillas, waffles, buns, and cereals. I love their line of sprouted grain breads, which are a perfect way to have toast or a sandwich without all the added chemicals and processed flours found in other bread brands! It is important to feed your body carbohydrates often even though many “diets” like to rule them out. Carbohydrates are our main source of energy and provide the ideal fuel for our body to function, as well as many essential vitamins and minerals. Complex carbohydrates provide long-term energy and help jump-start your metabolism. I recommend scanning both websites to take a closer look at all their products as well as their nutritional facts, they are a great swap to introduce to your diet instead of processed grains!

https://www.onedegreeorganics.com/product_categories
http://www.foodforlife.com/product/breads/7-sprouted-grains-bread

Holiday Baking: Paleo Style

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Baking!

I do not follow the Paleo diet per se, but I do however, always like to search for Paleo dessert recipes. Why? Usually all Paleo recipes do not contain dairy, added sugars, or carbohydrates. The diet focuses on eating whole foods and nothing processed. The ingredients are always natural and the recipes always come out tasting just as good as if you made them with flour, sugar and butter. It also makes it a lot easier on your stomach after you have had one or two too many 😉

I have tried these first two recipes and loved both; especially, the Dark Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies. These cookies have become a new staple in our house ever so often. The Chai Pumpkin bread is also delicious and ended up being a nice breakfast treat and snack. I highly suggest spreading some pumpkin butter or almond butter on top after you heat up your slice for a few seconds.

Dark Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies:

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Recipe Fed & Fit Cookies: http://fedandfit.com/2013/01/30/paleo-dark-chocolate-chip-walnut-cookies/

Chai Pumpkin Bread:

chaipumpkinbread

Recipe Team J & A Chai Pumpkin Bread: http://www.teamjanda.com/chai-pumpkin-bread/

These next two recipes are on my baking bucket list; Pumpkin Pie this week just in time for Thanksgiving, and then I will save the Gingerbread loaf for some christmas baking in the coming weeks!

Pumpkin Pie:

pumpkinpie

Recipe Sweet Roots Paleo Pumpkin Pie: http://wellandgood.com/2014/11/13/recipe-sweet-roots-paleo-pumpkin-pie/

Gingerbread Loaf:

gingerbreadloaf

Recipe Primal Bites Gingerbread Loaf: http://primalbitesblog.com/2013/11/29/paleo-gingerbread-loaf/

Note: Trader Joe’s is the best place to find bags of all the different types of nut “flours” and meals!

Exploring New Studios: DanceFit

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This past week I decided to continue exploring new studios in the area in order to mix up my routine; and the next on my list was DanceFit Studio. I tried out their HotBarre class last Thursday and went again for a second time last night. Lets just say I have fallen in love with this little studio.. DanceFit Studio is located in Natick and offers a variety of fitness classes for all ages that focus around different types of dance. For Adult Fitness they offer Zumba, BalletFit, CardioBalletFit, Pilates, PopFit, BlastFit, HotBarre, and a Deep Stretch & Tone class. I have only been to their Hot Barre class twice but can’t speak highly enough of the owner and one of the instructors; Gina. She makes her classes up beat and very instructional as well. I learned a lot about ballet in my first class which I didn’t expect going into it. HotBarre is a quick 45 minute class in 94-96 degree heated room. It incorporates a lot of the same technique as Pure Barre but with a bigger emphasis on ballet postions and movements. Many of the rountines require small weights to add extra strength conditioning throughout the class. I really enjoyed this class because it was very different from what I am used to and fun to incorporate ballet dance into a fitness class; It brought back memories of doing Ballet as a child. The heated room allowed me to challenge myself and stretch my muscles further than I thought possible. Gina ends each class with a few minutes of stretching and breathing to make it a very relaxing experience and a perfect way to end the evening. I am excited to continue to try the rest of the adult fitness classes she offers because I know they will all be just as great. You definitely feel sore everywhere the next morning too!

dancefit3

DanceFit also has a studio in Brookline for those of you who live closer to the city and want to try out their classes! Another great perk is that one of their membership options is virtual classes, so you can take them from your own home or while traveling! All in all, I <b>highly</b> recommend anyone looking to switch up their routine and try something different to try out this dance fitness studio.

Sign up for their new client special and try two classes for the price of one : http://www.dancefitstudio.com/barre–fitness.html