Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Living the good life

Pier at the Marina at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
I will probably be sharing a lot more what I'm learning in my Health Coach than expected because everything I'm learning I'm truly taking in and loving.

This idea of writing our happy memories and placing them in a "Memory Jar" and then reading them at the end of the year is pretty cool. I love looking back at something funny, family visits, something we ate, and games we played.  It's a great walk down memory lane.

But recently I read about an equally great idea from Dr. Oz.  It's called a "Good Life" jar.  In this case you are writing steps words that define what it means to live a good life and the steps you can do to achieve that.  For example, he wrote GROWTH - Do something I've been avoiding because of fear of not knowing enough or CONNECTION- take a lunch time stroll with a coworker.

I immediately loved this idea because I feel like it will make me more accountable to do things I avoid doing due to lack of time or what seems like lack of time. We should always have time or make time to live a good life.  This Good Life jar will help me fill the Memory Jar.

Some of my words will be:

FOOD - Try a new Vegan recipe

FUN - Go for a hike with my youngest

SELF CARE - treat myself to massage

COMMUNITY - do something nice for someone else, pay for coffee for a stranger, send letters to friends or family

GROWTH - read about something not related to work or school, something new

It's a start. I like to see this in writing because it forces me to really think about my focus. I generally have the words Self Care writing somewhere in my planner or calendar just so I can be reminded to take a moment and focus on me - my mind, body, and soul need nurturing, preferably not in a rush.

What are your Good Life words? Start filling that jar and see where it takes you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cravings post no sleep = danger

You ever have one of those sleepless nights...? I'm sure we all have at one point or another. Last night I woke up at 1:30 am - BAM! Wide awake with a long to-do list scrolling through my brain. I kept trying to check things off but I just could not do it.

Rather then fighting the list and trying to sleep I decided to actually get that list done already, so I got up, made oatmeal (without sugar) and coffee (only milk) and went to work.  Unreal how much I got done between 2:00 am and 6:30 am. THEN I was tired...UGH!!

Except I have to take care of the kids, get myself ready to teach a strength and a Pilates class, get some more work done, study, read, catch up on emails and have a meeting with one of my managers. OMG!!

Usually my go-to comfort is sugar or carbs in the form of bread - I just say I don't care today because my brain needs fuel so I'm eating everything and anything I want. But not this time. I decided to be proactive and NOT fall into the sugar pit.  I've done so well this week I can't ruin it now.

First, I need to get my head and energy in the right place and diffuse some of mother nature’s energy in my space. This is a favorite blend of my DoTERRA Oils:
Diffuse, inhale, restore.

Secondly, I need to eat well this morning so here's my menu between 3:00 and 9:00 am:

grain and seed toast
Lots of water today

I'm packing an apple, banana, orange and more water. I'm not letting sugar get the best of me, at least not added sugar.

How about you, what is your comfort or weakness food?  I'd like to know and maybe we can find ways to manage the cravings without overindulging.

Stay Well,

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Stress Eating and Diets - the struggle is real

Image source: Confident Body

Anyone who knows me knows very well that I do not like diet programs or products that make me skinny in ten days or that suggest I'll lose ten pounds in two weeks, etc. I have tried many different diet theories only to realize three things:

#1 They only work IF you follow the program exactly
#2 They stop working when you resume "normal" life
#3 They are expensive

One thing they all have in common is that fine print on the back that says something like "this product works best when combined with sensible diet and exercise regiment"Well come on now, that IS the problem for many people!  Does it take me to the gym? Will it prepare my meals? Will it slap that cookie out of my hands? NO! It will not. You still need to have the willpower to do all that on your own. So then what's the point of the pill, shake, or prepackaged meal?

I am a stress eater. I actually hate that label. But yes, this Fitness Trainer who often helps others get in shape and make good food choices has weaknesses. It is a struggle.  I will convince myself that I must finish that french baguette with butter so that I don't overindulge the next day... ha ha! Don't judge me, bread is delicious.

As we prepare for another military move I find myself eating certain foods I don't even love. They were just there, in my pantry. I'm not sure I even gave it much thought when it was happening, until I started feeling bloated and fatigued because everything I ate was loaded with sugar and, of course, carbs. UGH!!! Have you ever done that?

As I embark on a journey to reinvent myself in my career field I am, once again, learning and expanding my knowledge of all things healthy living. I have been reflecting on my actions and my reactions to stress. Questioning my relationship with food and researching ways to make better choices particularly in times of high stress. I will start with water - I need to drink more water, period! How about you, how's your water intake?

I am not a fan of eliminating food groups because I end up seeking them out or I spend countless hours figuring out my next meal or snack.  Instead I try (and need to try harder) to focus on what I should be eating and why. I love the idea of crowding out the junk instead - eating more of the good so there's no room for the bad.

Dieting affects my family as well - I'm either cranky or serving nothing but spinach for dinner. Have you tried feeding spinach to kids? They think I'm trying to poison them.  Confident Body, Confident Child wrote a great article on the consequences of dieting around children which also reminded me that my actions with nutrition can build the foundation for my children's relationship with food- I have so much to say about this but that's another post. So good to read different perspectives and points of view on this issue. Sometimes we get lost in our own needs and forget that our actions have an effect on those we love most. The last thing I need to hear is my 68lb, 11 year old saying he needs to lose weight or go on a diet, NOOOO!!! 

This doesn't mean I wont fail and grab something awfully delicious, but the least I could do is eat with intention and not to alleviate my stress.

We all have a story or weakness, what's yours?

Have the day you deserve,


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Vegetarian one meal at a time

In recent months I have been attempting to eat more like a vegetarian and sometimes I go as far as eating like a vegan. I say “like” because I’m not ready to give up meat all together or some of the other staple items such as dairy and eggs; but I am willing to learn and replace some meat dishes for two reasons, #1 we do not eat nearly enough vegetables in our home, eating vegetarian forces me to think outside the box when preparing meals; and #2  my oldest son became vegan so I decided to be more adventurous and try different foods. Also, he often sends me recipes and for the most part they are simple and delicious, but most important, nutritious.

Since his transformation I have been more intentional in my choices when we do eat animal products. Yes I do feel a little guilt because I know what he stands for with respect to our meat industry - that’s a whole other post. I have visited more local farms, shopping from locally grown and known farmers and making better choices to reduce our environmental foot print, again, another article. It really has been a great experience and adventure for my palate.

Our youngest and his favorite vegetable, Broccoli 
It can be challenging to feed a variety of vegetables to the rest of my family. I have managed to sneak in several meals that were 100% vegetarian and most times they eat it and ask “if not meat what is it?” or make interesting facial expressions. Other times they do an about face and claim they are not hungry and never will be again... ha ha!!

I came across Delish Knowledge, a blog with many delicious, nutritious and easy to make  recipes. I hope to share many of them here and hopefully you will also find some of these appealing. 

I am not a fan of kale, however this latest recipe from Delish Knowledge is a Tuscan Kale Soup. It  looks delicious and I’m willing to try it, plus I LOVE soups during cold winter days. Check it out and if kale isn’t your thing, visit her website and search the database using your favorite vegetables. Be adventurous.



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Back to School=back to fitness

It's time to get back to taking care of YOU! Back to school also means getting organized and making priorities and not just fitting in your time to exercise but making that a regular part of your day.

Just like your kids need to prepare the night before and pack bags, lunches or plan your schedule if you home school, add your day to that routine and pack your gym bag, plan your fitness routine, your meals, whatever you have to do to be ready to just go.

One of the things that used to hold me back was the idea that I could not leave my house messy, dishes in the sink, laundry on the couch, etc... well guess what, those things will be there when I get back from my workout. Now I make fitness a priority because it makes me more productive and happier the rest of the day.

I do teach fitness classes, this is my job, however I have to fit in fitness for me that does not require me to plan or think about anyone else.  Believe it or not, it's harder than you think to fit in exercise when this is what I do for a living.  I make it a priority by going to a different gym, where people aren't looking at me as their instructor, I run local trails, and join outdoor bootcamp and yoga classes. Because anytime I'm doing any form of exercise I'm giving myself the gift of happiness and health.

Are you on board, let's do this!

Stay well,