2017: Love Your Body

2017 – new year, new you!

I hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start. This time of year can be so motivating for lots of people. New Year’s resolutions are under way, many of which involve wanting to improve health and wellness habits. I am 100% on board but want to kick off this year with a post to help you rethink your resolutions. I hope this post brings some positive thoughts and helps you shift your mindset as you take on your fitness and wellness goals this year.

a key takeaway before we start – do not be too hard on yourself, do the best you can, celebrate small successes and always love yourself.

okay now lets get into it…

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Whether you are looking to lose weight, gain weight, or get more toned – most women struggle with body image…

Some of you might not realize this, but it is basically unavoidable in the society we live in these days.

Our phones, computers and TVs are inundated with unrealistic expectations, but that’s not the only source of your self-criticism. So many girls and women are talking about their bodies – all the time! Women talk about the way they want to look whether its big changes or small OR they are talking about the food they should or shouldn’t eat. I swear if you make a point to listen around you, you will be shocked at how often these types of conversations are occurring!

Okay so let me pause and add some real talk for a minute –

I vividly remember being a senior in high school when a girl sitting next to me in class started talking about how her thighs were touching and how she wished they didn’t. This was the exact moment in my life I really started to become aware of my body image. Not once before this comment had I ever thought about it or critiqued it for that matter. But after that moment everything changed…

I suffered from body image anxiety which led to restrictive eating and a lot of stress and emphasis placed on food. This lifestyle occurred on and off during and after my college years. It started with wanting to lose a little of my freshman fifteen and quickly turned into an obsession. Without even realizing my life spiraled in a direction I did not want it to. I constantly thought about everything I ate, how many miles I was going to run each day, and whether or not I should go out to eat with my friends because of course that would mean more food and drinks (aka calories)..

Thankfully since then, I have come a long way and my body has changed into something much healthier. Now my body is capable of doing SO much more. Now I have the stamina to run 10 miles, do sled pushes, and simply have enough energy to get through a day; all things that were not possible in those cloudy days.

So how do we change this environment?

We need to change the way we talk out loud and the things we share; especially on social media. Women should be talking about the powerful things their bodies are capable of, the amazing milestones they experience in their careers, and the priceless connections they make from networking and branding themselves. Enough with the daily ab photos in my Instagram feed and bring on the group photos at spin class and laughter with friends over coffee.

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If you are interested in learning more about shifting your body image mindset, setting realistic health goals, and feeling overall healthier & happier, contact me!

Supplements 101

So many of my clients and followers ask me about supplements; there are so many supplements out there to take; so how do you know which are right for you?

Supplements are a great tool for boosting your overall health since they are a quick and easy way to add essential vitamins and minerals to our diet…

Supplements are also great for coping with illness and speeding up recovery..

So what’s the catch?

Not all supplements are made the same way and not everyone needs supplements. I highly suggest talking with your doctor about what supplements are right for you, if any at all!

Most vitamins are manufactured in bulk and unfortunately contain additives and fillers. I recommend doing some research before buying vitamins and not being afraid to spend a little more money on something so important to your health.

Okay so how do you know if you need supplements?

If you eat a relatively healthy diet most of the time you are probably getting the essential vitamins and minerals – it can’t hurt to take a multivitamin but you might not need to. To determine what other supplements your body needs my first advice would be to start listening to it. Journal your emotional and physical feelings each day for a week or two; scribble down when you feel tired, weak, have a breakout, etc and then talk to your doctor to see if you are deficient of any key nutrients.

As a health coach, I personally take and recommend the following supplements for everyone daily:

Probiotic!!

  • Probiotics are SO important – these days a good amount of our food is processed or contains hidden additives and even if you eat really clean now, you probably grew up eating macaroni and cheese, pizza, pop tarts, etc. All of this takes a toll on your gut and you might not even realize it. Taking a probiotic truly cleans up your insides and regulates your body again. Trust me on this one – give it a week and you will notice a difference!

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My favorite = Garden of Life RAW Probiotic Line

Vitamin D (only in the winter months)

  • Sunshine truly makes you happy, am I right? Well in the late fall and winter months your body rarely sees the sun which is a huge source of vitamin D for your body. Taking a Vitamin D supplement in the winter is an easy fix to keep your body feeling great, positive, and you bet, happier. My favorite brand is Garden of Life  – they make both a pill and spray.

Vitamin C (during cold season and especially when you have a cold coming on)

  • This one is a no brainer! Vitamin C is the best choice when you are trying to avoid, prevent, or cope with a cold or illness. Eating foods rich in Vitamin C is always the first choice but adding in a Vitamin C supplement during the flu and cold season really gives your immune system a boost and decreases the likelihood of catching the next gross virus floating around town. My favorite brand is Garden of Life – they make both a pill and spray.

Protein & Collagen Peptides

  • Protein supplements are great if used on occasion and are all natural, no additive products. Protein drinks, smoothies, etc are amazing for post workout snacks and meals. When it comes to Protein I LOVE Garden of Life products, Naked products, and Vital Proteins.
  • Collagen Peptides – what are they? Collagen Peptides are short chain amino acids naturally derived from pasture-raised, grass-fed collagen protein. Collagen peptides contain the same amino acids as gelatin which are identical to the protein found in skin, nails, hair, bones, cartilage, and joints – meaning all of these areas of the body benefit wonderfully from adding these amino acids into your diet. Vital Proteins products are the best and have products that combine protein with the collagen peptides – making it a two in one practical product

vital proteins collagen peptides

My Favorite = Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Food Guilt

“Ughhh why did I eat that second cookie last night?”

                           “Did I really need that bread before dinner?”

It is safe to say just about everyone has these types of thoughts all the time – I call it food guilt. Food guilt occurs year round but definitely heightens during the holiday season. There are SO many parties and gatherings filled with all types of foods (usually not the healthiest options) and plenty of cocktails.

So how do you avoid food guilt?

Unfortunately, this feeling is very hard to avoid and takes a long time to master, but luckily for you, there are better ways to deal with it…

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How you deal with food guilt will be what defines you during this season, because truthfully, when we try to put too much control over food, it usually causes a spiral in the wrong direction. Putting such emphasis and control over food takes the pleasure out of eating and who wants that?! You want to truly enjoy every bite.

As a health coach, I work to help others create sustainable healthy lifestyles. I don’t believe in diets or calorie counting. I believe everyone has to live a balanced life. I believe in the concept of the 90/10 or 80/20 rule. Therefore, I believe you should indulge around the holidays – I mean, you don’t get your Grandma’s pie just every day!

In order to tackle food guilt you need to tune into your body. Learning to listen to your body is the greatest tool you can use…

Okay, so you listen to your body the next morning and you hear those negative thoughts, what do you do?

Think about the positives – seriously, take a minute to take a deep breath and maybe even write it down! Did you spend quality time with people you care about? Did the cookies or pie taste amazing? I dare you to think of two positives. Today is a new day – learn something from how you felt. Maybe you did overeat and physically did not feel good, so next time, remember that ‘not so good’ feeling as you approach the dessert bar for a second time. Did you enjoy the first cookie? Yes.. Do you need the second? Maybe not…

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When are you done reflecting, move on. Do something for YOU and get back into the game. Maybe for you that is a workout, a healthy meal, or a good time with friends and family…

Always remember one night isn’t going to kill you so be kind to yourself.

 

If you are interested in learning more about tackling food guilt or want to hear more about my coaching packages, contact me, I would LOVE to hear from you!

 

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Holiday Hustle

And just like that we are into the holiday season – how does time go by SO fast?!

This past weekend I made a quick trip to Home Goods where it really hit me (as I stared at aisles of Christmas decorations) that the Holiday season is fast approaching. This time of year happens to be my absolute favorite, but also comes with a lot of added stress. Two months of jam packed family events, work socials, cookie swaps, decorating and endless amounts of shopping can take a toll on you mentally but also physically on your body.

Stress has so many immediate negative effects on the body. These effects can be both mental and physical. Stress can induce chronic disease, anxiety, depression, heart attacks, panic attacks, and other difficult health issues. Matter of fact, 90% of all chronic disease is caused by stress, and to make it worse, about 70% of the population knows that they are stressed out and only about 25-30% try to do something about it.

Is this ringing true to some of you?

Do you wish you could slow down during this time of year?

If so, I am here to help…

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The Holiday season should be a special time, one where you can reflect on your year’s accomplishments and share genuine time with family and friends. So here is the trick, it’s so simple – just add mindfulness. You might be thinking “oh sure, that’s easier said than done” or “what does that even mean?”

The definition of mindfulness is;

mind·ful·ness
noun

1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”

2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Okay so how do you put this into practice? Here are a few examples of how easy it can be to add mindfulness during the holiday hustle;

  • Say No – You do not have to attend every holiday gathering you are invited to!! Seriously, it is important to prioritize your time. Choose to attend events that mean something to you or have friends or family you would love to see attending.
  • Self-Love – Schedule time for you. Your weekends might be fully booked but put some time on your calendar (literally block it off) on a Wednesday or Thursday evening just for you. You can simply do nothing – lay on the couch, read a book, take a bath. You could attend a yoga class, take a nap, or go get your nails done. This doesn’t have to be for long – even 20 minutes moms!! Tell your husband to play a board game with the kids and retreat upstairs. These little acts of self-love will allow you time to reflect and slow down allowing you to truly enjoy all the hustle and bustle that follows.
  • Give Back – This is what the Holiday season is truly all about, right?! Make an effort to schedule one event or activity to give back this holiday season – don’t just write a check to charity, really go out and help someone. The joy and satisfaction this brings is like no other.

I hope these three tips help you reset and head into the Holiday season with a different outlook 🙂

I am very aware that some of the Holiday stress comes from the endless events of eating and drinking (which may seem like a nightmare for those trying to stay on track or lose weight) so click here to read how to tackle those negative food guilt feelings!