Category Archives: Lifestyle

How Caffeine Can Induce Anxiety

When stress is really high in my life, I get a lot of anxiety. Heart beating fast, shortness of breath and on the brink of a panic attack.

I started reducing my stress by doing some yoga, deep breathing, meditation and taking nightly walks.  I could feel my anxiety melting away.

Even though I was working hard to reduce my stress, the anxiety started creeping back in, but this was a little different.

I started noticing that anytime I would have a cup of coffee or two, I would get jittery and snippy. I had zero patience.

I thought maybe it was the type of coffee we were buying so we made the switch to organic. And while I am a huge proponent of organic coffee vs. conventionally grown coffee sprayed with tons of pesticides, it was not the coffee its self. It was the caffeine.

On top of this, I was drinking a few Diet Dr. Peppers here and there. But I started seeing that I was drinking more and more coffee and Diet Dr. Peppers and my anxiety was HIGH!

(Here is a video if you’d rather listen than read the blog)

I stopped drinking Diet Dr. Pepper and started paying more attention to how just 1 cup of coffee made me feel. I would start drinking coffee about 5:45 in the morning and would finish my first cup around 8:30, so about three hours on 1 cup of coffee. Yet by 9:30-10:00 my anxiety was super high. That’s when I realized, my body was still in a stressed state and caffeine was not helping me at all!

Caffeine is a stimulant and if you are stimulating an already stressed body, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Hormones take a hit

~Cortisol – a stress hormone, a little is good, but too much has your body in constant fight or flight mode, every little thing can have your body reacting as if it was under a major attack

~Thyroid Hormones – too much stress throws your thyroid functions out of whack and causes your metabolism to not function properly

~Hunger hormones – your gut/brain connection shuts down and you may have a strong desire to eat when you are not hungry

I had to circle back around to techniques that effectively bring down my stress, and try to not tackle my life and to do list all at once.

Again I did deep breathing and meditations, walked, added in long hot baths and did a little yoga.

I had to cut out the caffeine but there’s no way I could not have something warm and yummy to start my morning. That’s been my routine for the past 13 years and I really love it.

Thank goodness I found a coffee alternative that still gives me that little spark of energy without feeling like I have an IV drip of caffeine pumping through my veins.

And that is Crio Bru, it’s like a nice cup of hot cocoa and full disclosure I do add just a splash of coffee,  for a bolder taste.

This has been so wonderful for me. I really don’t miss coffee or it’s induced anxiety in my body.  Plus, I just visited their website and they have a holiday collection out now 😊!

If you are like me and want something warm to start your morning off with, but not into chocolate, look into decaffeinated teas or coffee.

Again go with organic if possible, so that you are not disrupting your gut health as conventionally grown teas and coffee beans are highly sprayed the pesticides.

 

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Top 3 Strategies to Enjoy the Holidays Without the Weight Gain

Question…  How much Halloween candy have you enjoyed already?

I have enjoyed my fair share of Snickers and Milky Ways, they were great but now I feel satisfied.  I have had 4 minis for the past three days. I didn’t start even eating them until this week.  Mainly, because they just didn’t sound good to me until now.

So many times we trip ourselves up because there are sweets in the house and because it’s there, we feel the need to eat it.

Or we tend to eat something we don’t really even want just because others are eating it.

In this video, I discuss 3 strategies to get you through the holidays by enjoying the foods you love and not gaining the typical 10-15 pounds by the end of the year!

  1. Become aware of your actions:  Are you eating something because you really want it or because everyone else is doing it?
  2. Be mindful of what you eat:  With each bite check in with yourself and ask does it still taste good?  If no, stop eating it.
  3. Balance your meals with adequate protein, veggies, and fats:  After a well-balanced meal, then enjoy your treats.  It won’t take as much to satisfy you and will keep your blood sugar in check.

I go more in depth in this video that I shared in my free closed Facebook Group Strength by Kris – Community the day after Halloween.

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My 12-Year-Old’s Meltdown At The Grocery Store

I don’t typically share my newsletters that I write to my inner circle, but this one got a lot of feedback on it, so I thought I should share as it can help bring awareness around the type of oils we eat AND how not parent LOL. No seriously….. I learned a big communication lesson this day.

So here it is…..

It’s been about 4 weeks since I made the announcement to my son Ayden in the chip aisle that we would no longer be buying chips made with vegetable oils that were not cold pressed or expeller pressed.

He looked at me like what the hell, head turned sideways and crazy eyes staring at me.  And then asked WHY?  I explain that vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and blends are so bad for our health if they are not cold pressed or expeller pressed but even then we need to watch how much of these oils we consume on a daily basis.

Ayden said so you are telling me I can no longer eat Doritos, Funyuns, Sun Chips, Pretzels….. all my favorite chips? I responded nope, not if they have the oils I just mentioned.

So he set off to read ingredients and find a chip he could have, I continued shopping.

He brought me the store brand of Doritos and I pointed out the oil, so he stomped off to find another brand.  He brought me organic pretzels and again I pointed out the oil and then he lost it.

Mom, this is crazy!  What am I going to eat for a snack?  You cannot do this to me!  Now my eyes were looking crazy and my head was tilted and all that was running through my mind was oh wow, he’s full on addicted to chips.

Not sure why I felt surprised by this, it is what he has for a snack every day after school.  And then I felt horrible that I allowed him to have a snack on a consistent basis that could really affect his health and cause potential heart problems.

He went on to ask if he was never ever allowed to have chips again? I explained I was not saying that he could have them every now and then but not on a daily basis and we will find something else to replace his snack.

He interrogated me… Like what mom?  You know I just want something salty and crunchy.  Ugh, that is my weakness too so I understood.  All I could come up with at the time to hopefully stop the dramatic scene we were causing was I’ll pop you some popcorn, OK?  Fine, he said.

Whew, I thought let’s finish up and get out of here!  And then he continued.  I can’t believe you are doing this to me, it feels like you just took away my life!  I turned to him and said loudly, Oh My Gosh, stop it right now, I do NOT want to hear another word, do you understand me?  He just glared but didn’t say another word.

I thought well mom great job, you really should have explained all this to him before entering the store, not in the middle of the chip aisle!

Once we got home, I sat him down and explained how vegetable oils are made, how they do not stabilize in our body, how they cause major disruption to the digestive process, how our body cannot use these types of oils or break them down so they ended up as hard little particles that get stuck in the arteries and then… he finished my sentence.  He said and cause heart attacks.

Yes exactly, I explained to him my concerns for him.  If you eat them every now and then it’s not as much of a risk as long as you are not eating a ton of other processed foods.

But when you eat them every single day, this can cause issues and as your mother, I simply cannot allow you to continue to eat something daily that I know can harm you.  

Along with digestive issues and heart problems, these oils inflame your body and can cause your allergies to flare up and you are more likely to have problems with your asthma.

He understood and wished I had explained that to him in the store.  I apologized, as I know I completely blindsided him.

Like I said it was about 4 weeks ago when this all took place.  He has had some organic tortilla chips made with expeller pressed sunflower oil.  But he is limited on how much.

This past weekend we were traveling to San Antonio for Hunter’s soccer tournament and we stopped at a convenient store for a break.  He asked for chips since it’s been a while.  I agreed to let him have a small bag of Funyuns and the next day a small bag of Doritos.

I paid dearly for allowing him to have the chips. He had gas every 30 seconds it felt like and the smell would nearly knock you out.

But I got the chance to point out his body actually doesn’t like that type of food.  I said the chips went to your stomach and started to get processed and digested but said hold up!  What is this?  I can’t do anything with this, so it sits and ferments and produces nasty stinky farts and an upset tummy.

Of course, he giggled but as we sat trying to study for his upcoming end of year math test, he was starting to get annoyed with the gas and smell too. It was a good lesson learned.

So I have popped popcorn, not from a bag.  I pop it on the stove and use real butter.  I have tried making potato chips but they ended up going in my eggs, lol.  I will try again on the thinner setting when slicing.

Overall it’s been a good adjustment and a less than normal gassy little boy.

I am asking you to please check your ingredient label as well if your diet consists of highly processed foods or you eat out all the time, as you too are at risk.  These types of oils are great for the shelf life of foods but not for the long life we wish to live since they do cause inflammation in the body, which leads to a host of other health issues including heart disease.

Restaurants are not frying foods in coconut oil or avocado oil, they are using the oils I mentioned above.  Most restaurants do not use real butter, most use a butter substitute, which is hydrogenated oil, and it’s not good for us either.

To understand more about these types of oils and what causes inflammation in the body, please check out my latest blog: What Is Chronic Inflammation And How to Reverse It.

**It’s not often you find a chip cooked in avocado oil, so I’d like to share a company that is doing things right!  Seite Foods, they make grain free tortilla chips!  You can buy online or find at Whole Foods.

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Nutrition – it can either strengthen our immune system or break it down and lead to sickness and disease.  

Most doctors will only hand you a prescription for medication and call it a day.  They won’t dive deeper to finding the underlying cause.

In most cases, it’s our nutrition or the lack thereof that sends our immune system spiraling down into sickness and disease.

That’s where I come in, to help you find the underlying cause and help you improve your nutrition so that you can start living life to the fullest again!!  You want to THRIVE not just survive!!

If you would like more information on 1:1 Nutrition Coaching, please complete the form below:

_________________________________________________

Want more personable insights on health and nutrition?

 Join my inner circle, web users see the form on the top right-hand side of the page, mobile users see below.

Follow on Social Media!

What Is Chronic Inflammation And How To Reverse It

The word inflammation is popping up everywhere in my world lately. So much so that I feel it’s a topic that I should cover and not only tell you what it is and how it is caused but also how you can reverse it.

Let’s start with acute inflammation that’s caused by a physical injury or virus. If you break your arm the body swells up around the break to protect it. Or if you get sick your lymph nodes swell and communicate to the white blood cells it’s time to fight because there’s an invader. This type of inflammation is good as it truly protects our body.

Chronic inflammation is caused by an irritant within the body and tells your white blood cells to fight 24/7. But because there’s no real threat to fight like a virus or injury, the white blood cells end up attacking our internal organs on a daily basis, which does end up causing a real threat to our health.

The top culprits for chronic inflammation are due to environmental factors such as diet (think processed foods, fruits and vegetables treated with pesticides, and factory farmed meats) along with air quality not only outside air but also in our home and chronic stress.

The Diet

First, let’s look at the typical American unbalanced diet. It consists of foods that are too high in carbs and very low protein or fats. In order to stabilize our blood sugar, we need higher protein, a nice variety of fats and lots of vegetables, some fruits, and some whole starchy carbs.

Diets consisting of highly processed foods will result in high levels of omega 6 fats. The main culprits in processed foods are vegetable oils or blends (canola, sunflower, safflower, corn, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, palm oil). Having too much omega 6 fats in the diet will raise the bad cholesterol such as LDL and lower good cholesterol such as HDL.

Food manufacturers LOVE these vegetable oils because it stabilizes the shelf life of the food. That should be your first cue to turn and run away.

Thanks to the site Thank Your Body,  they broke down the process of vegetable oils quite well:

“Step 1: Find some “canola seeds.” Oh wait, they don’t exist. Canola oil is actually made from a hybrid version of the rapeseed… most likely genetically modified and heavily treated with pesticides.

Step 2: Heat the rapeseeds at unnaturally high temperatures so that they oxidize and are rancid before you ever buy them.

Step 3: Process with a petroleum solvent to extract the oils.

Step 4: Heat some more and add some acid to remove any nasty wax solids that formed during the first processing.

Step 5: Treat the oil with more chemicals to improve the color.

Step 6: Deodorize the oil to mask the horrific smell from the chemical processing.

Of course, if you want to take your vegetable oils one step further, just hydrogenated it until it becomes a solid. Now you have margarine and all its trans-fatty wonder.”

Yes, they are great for stabilizing food, but they do not stabilize in the body. The body does not recognize these types of oils as a natural source and cannot break them down or use them at all.

They do not satiate our appetite (think of devouring a bag of chips, you can’t eat just one) and leave us wanting and craving more. The oils turn into little hard LDL particles clogging up our arteries. Consuming these types of fats will lead to major inflammation in the body.

Food Intolerance

Food intolerances or sensitivities to Gluten, Dairy and Sugar are another cause for major inflammation in our body.

If you are constantly bloated, gassy, have brain fog, migraines, or exhausted there’s an excellent chance you have a food intolerance or sensitivity.

You might understand how gluten and dairy play into intolerance, but maybe you don’t understand how sugar can cause intolerance?

Let me share a story with you. Through trying to figure out why I was constantly gassy and bloated I learned I have a major intolerance to both gluten and dairy. While my symptoms lessened dramatically, I would still have some bloat and gas that I couldn’t pinpoint.

I learned of High Fodmap foods that cause irritation in the gut. The one thing the Fodmaps have in common are the natural carbohydrate aka sugars found in the food.

Once I went down the list I could pinpoint foods that didn’t agree with me. This list brought so much awareness around my digestive issues and by removing them from my diet I also removed the inflammation in my gut.

Of course, if you know of certain foods you are allergic to, then you should stay away from those as well.  These foods cause an allergic reaction in your body inducing inflammation and some are life threatening.

Stress

Stress is the number one factor most of us visit the doctor. You might think, I am not stressed and that’s common as we just plow through the day without giving much thought to situations that affect us in a negative way.

Here’s how you can identify stress.

  • What does your to-do list look like on a daily basis? Is it jam-packed full and you wonder how in the world you will get this all done?
  • When everything on your to-do list isn’t marked off do you feel grumpy or irritated?
  • When someone asks you how you are is the first word that comes out of your mouth… busy?
  • Do you often have negative thoughts about yourself?
  • Do you bite people’s heads off without even realizing it?
  • Are you short on patience?
  • Do you cry often?
  • Do you lie in bed at night thinking of everything you have to do the next day?

There’s immediate stress such as hearing bad news, being in an accident, witnessing someone get hurt or running from a danger which triggers our fight or flight hormone Cortisol.

But most of our daily stress is caused from taking on too much during the day without any recovery time.

This kind of self-inflicted stress is what is landing us in the doctor’s office or hospital because our cortisol levels are constantly elevated and the fight or flight status is never turned off.

Having chronic inflammation in the body can lead to adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, allergies, asthma, and even depression.

Since all inflammation starts in the gut, it’s important to look at foods that will help heal the gut.

If we are not able to properly digest our food then we are not absorbing the nutrients such as vital protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This causes stress on the body to function and we cannot eliminate waste properly. And so the inflammation begins.

By supporting proper gut health we can begin to reduce inflammation and start to see immediate improvements in our health and digestion.

Improving Gut Health and Reversing Inflammation

First, let’s look at Prebiotics that are in our food that helps the beneficial bacteria in the gut grow:

  • Raw or Cooked Onions
  • Raw Garlic
  • Under ripe Bananas
  • Raw Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Raw Chicory Root
  • Jicama
  • Raw Dandelion Greens
  • Raw Leeks

Probiotics help introduce more healthy bacteria to the gut and start the healing process.

There are many fermented foods that have probiotics but it also might be necessary to also take a good supplement.

  • Garden of Life Probiotic Supplement was rated #1 in 2017 by Reviews.com
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Pickles
  • Sour Kraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Sea Vegetables such as seaweed and dulse

You should be eating or drinking fermented foods 3-5 times a week. If you are taking a probiotic supplement then you should take on a daily basis.

There are many herbs and foods that also help to reduce inflammation. Here are a few worth mentioning:

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne
  • Sage
  • Fish oil
  • Olive oil
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Bone broth – drink or use to cook with
  • Water – drink half your body weight in ounces per day

By removing foods that you are intolerant to, adding in foods that help you fight inflammation, reducing daily stress levels and removing yourself from toxic environments such as toxic mold or breathing in chemicals all day, you will start to see a dramatic improvement in your health.

Food is information to the body and by giving the body the right kind of nutrients to fight inflammation the body will know exactly how to put these “superfoods” to good use.

It’s important to note to be patient with yourself through the process of removing the culprits from your diet, your brain will not understand at first but soon your body and brain will thank you!

And remember what you put into your body good or bad has a direct impact on your health!

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Nutrition – it can either strengthen our immune system or break it down and lead to sickness and disease.  

Most doctors will only hand you a prescription for medication and call it a day.  They won’t dive deeper to finding the underlying cause.

In most cases, it’s our nutrition or the lack thereof that sends our immune system spiraling down into sickness and disease.

That’s where I come in, to help you find the underlying cause and help you improve your nutrition so that you can start living life to the fullest again!!  You want to THRIVE not just survive!!

If you would like more information on 1:1 Nutrition Coaching, please complete the form below:

_________________________________________________

Want more personable insights on health and nutrition?

 Join my inner circle, web users see the form on the top right-hand side of the page, mobile users see below.

Follow on Social Media!

Lose Weight Via Proper Breathing

Did you know that we lose fat through our breath? 

I know when I was first asked this question I honestly thought it was by eliminating waste from our body. But nope it’s actually about 85% through breathing out carbon dioxide and about 15% through sweat, tears, urine and feces.

Since most of the fats cells that are broken down in the body are eliminated via breath, it would stand to reason that we should learn how to breathe properly.

Let’s do an experiment, take a deep breath in… Did your shoulders and chest rise? If no, then great job! If yes, then we have some work to do.

When inhaling in, the stomach should expand out and when exhaling the stomach should retract back in. But most of us breathe up into the chest causing the shoulders to rise.

We are not taking in as much oxygen or releasing as much carbon dioxide as we could be.

So how does breathing properly actually help us to lose weight?

Stressed State of Mind

Stress is one of the main reasons our body holds onto fat.

  • It raises the hormone called cortisol in our body and when cortisol is too high, it messes with our thyroid gland that is responsible for our metabolism.
  • When cortisol is high then melatonin (sleep hormone) will be low and therefore we do not get enough quality sleep allowing our body to recover and repair properly.
  • Another reason we don’t want our cortisol to be too high is it causes massive food cravings, which doesn’t really work well with our weight loss goals either.
  • When we eat in a stressed state, our body does not properly absorb the nutrients we are giving it and will cause digestive issues such as gas, bloating and even diarrhea.

By learning some deep breathing techniques you can lower your cortisol levels quickly. You can go from fight or flight response to completely relaxed within less than 5 minutes.

Stress causes the majority of our health issues today like heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, diabetes, stomach ulcers, etc.

It’s a massive health epidemic that you can actually control with positive thoughts and deep breathing techniques!!

Don’t Suck It Up Buttercup!! 

 

Many of us walk around sucking in our tummies all day long or wearing Spanx to keep it all tucked in. While I get it, we don’t want to be walking around with it all hanging out, it’s actually really unhealthy for us. Constantly sucking in the tummy does not allow for proper breathing. Remember we have to inhale by expanding the stomach…

While sucking in the tummy doesn’t allow for proper breathing, it also compromises digestion.  We need to be able to effectively digest and eliminate our food for optimal health.

So let’s compromise, ask yourself this very important question often, “Am I sucking in my tummy right now?” If yes, relax your tummy and get in some nice deep breaths!!

Move Yo Body!

By moving the body via walking, dancing, biking, swimming, jogging, playing sports, lifting weights or doing HIIT exercises it forces our bodies to take in more oxygen and that’s a great thing as it allows us to breathe out more carbon dioxide (fat)!!

Most of us have desk jobs, it’s really important to take breaks often and get some movement. And then when you have free time during the day be sure to get in a nice walk or an intense 20 minutes of exercise or chase your kids around, that works too!!

I love leisure walks in the evenings as it’s nice and relaxing, I get to work on my deep breathing in nature and it lowers my cortisol levels allowing for a great night of sleep!!

Yoga is also great for connecting to the breath and challenging the body!!

Incorporate proper breathing techniques to keep stress low, add in great nutrition and consistent exercise and you have your formula for fat loss!!

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Nutrition – it can either strengthen our immune system or break it down and lead to sickness and disease.  

Most doctors will only hand you a prescription for medication and call it a day.  They won’t dive deeper to finding the underlying cause.

In most cases, it’s our nutrition or the lack thereof that sends our immune system spiraling down into sickness and disease.

That’s where I come in, to help you find the underlying cause and help you improve your nutrition so that you can start living life to the fullest again!!  You want to THRIVE not just survive!!

If you would like more information on 1:1 Nutrition Coaching, please complete the form below:

_________________________________________________

Want more personable insights on health and nutrition?

 Join my inner circle, web users see the form on the top right-hand side of the page, mobile users see below.

Follow on Social Media!

Cereal vs Burger ~ Which is the better option?

Recently I was having dinner with some friends (husband and wife) and we were talking about nutrition.

They have been actively making some changes on eating a little healthier. We were talking about how healthy fats don’t make you fat and they should be included in their meals every day. The importance of protein and so on…..

The wife said, hey let me get your opinion on something. My husband is all about looking to see how many calories a food has in it and he is trying to compare the same amount of calories in cereal that a hamburger has. Which is the better choice?

I said ok, so what cereal are we talking about? She said it was Raisin Bran.

Alright, I said, so here’s the deal…. The hamburger will always be a better choice for a meal. She was shocked!! She honestly thought the cereal would be better and her husband celebrated his win, LOL!!

So I broke it down for her. All you are getting with cereal is a ton of carbs and some fiber. The carbs will quickly break down into sugar and spike your blood sugar. The amount of milk you pair with it isn’t enough to balance out the carbs.

The hamburger has a nice portion of ground beef that provides animal fat and protein, you get some veggies with the lettuce, tomato, and onion and you also get a carb source from the bun. Overall it’s a much more balanced option than the cereal.

We talked about how all calories are not created equal. Let say I set my calories at 1800 a day and fill it with Doritos, powdered donuts, and cinnamon rolls. Sure I have met my caloric intake for the day, but I have caused my blood sugar to spike and crash all day and I would have literally zero energy. I’d be a hot hungry mess!

Or I could fill my 1800 calories with eggs, chicken, fish, fibrous veggies, whole starchy veggies, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. With this option, I have balanced out my blood sugar all day, providing me with a great amount of sustained energy. I have given my body something it can actually use to support my digestion and immune system. I would be full and satisfied all day.

Food is information to the body and as we just learned all calories are not created equal. What you put into your body has a direct effect on your health and energy levels.

When we add highly processed foods, our body takes it in obviously, but cannot run smoothly on it. It backfires so to speak. Digestion takes longer, we don’t feel so well and our energy takes a huge hit. It’s like adding regular unleaded to fuel a car that only accepts premium unleaded. The car isn’t going to run so well and there a 100% chance it will cause major damage if you continue to use regular unleaded.

Just like we depend heavily on our cars, our body is our transportation too. Without it, we don’t exist in this world.

Now let me ask you this since we are talking hamburgers. Which is a better choice…. A Big Mac from McDonald’s or a burger made at home with Grass-Fed Beef?

I hope you choose the burger made at home with Grass-Fed Beef. We can still enjoy our favorites but it’s important that we up-level our ingredients!!

Let’s stay ready, so if and when sickness comes knocking on our door, we can say no thank you, not interested. Instead of willingly inviting a harmful stranger in to take us down in our own home!

By staying ready that means eating whole unprocessed food, drinking enough water and moving our bodies!!

If you have been constantly eating the carb diet mentioned above and your health is in the tank, I have great news for you!

You can clean up your nutrition and your body will immediately respond with a sincere Thank You!! It’s not too late!!!

Improve your nutrition…….Change your life!

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Nutrition – it can either strengthen our immune system or break it down and lead to sickness and disease.  

Most doctors will only hand you a prescription for medication and call it a day.  They won’t dive deeper to finding the underlying cause.

In most cases, it’s our nutrition or the lack thereof that sends our immune system spiraling down into sickness and disease.

That’s where I come in, to help you find the underlying cause and help you improve your nutrition so that you can start living life to the fullest again!!  You want to THRIVE not just survive!!

If you would like more information on 1:1 Nutrition Coaching, please complete the form below:

_________________________________________________

Want more personable insights on health and nutrition?

 Join my inner circle, web users see the form on the top right-hand side of the page, mobile users see below.

Follow on Social Media!

3 Tips For Overcoming Resistance To Change

Picture this….. you decide it’s time to make a lifestyle change and you’re feeling determined and excited. You announce it to your family, giving them all the reasons why you want this change and declare it will happen! You have never been so serious or determined about any other change than this one!

You think your loved ones will be just as excited for you and the first ones to give you unconditional support. Yet after you are done with your declaration, they meet you with frowns and glares and not so supportive feedback.

They burst your big happy bubble and now you feel defeated before you even get started. You think how can I do this if they don’t support me?

I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is this is completely normal. Once you get started and stay consistent, they will more than likely give you their support.

The bad news is if you are always looking to change something, but never stick with it past two weeks, your family most likely won’t support you until they see you consistently practicing the change for a good month or two.

They are waiting for you to make it past the typical timeframe of which you always give up.

And…. if you are one to make the family participate in each change, then there’s also some underlying resentment brewing in them. They didn’t ask for any of the changes that you imposed on them. They see it as unnecessary suffering and will try to talk you down and will pull out all the stops if they feel you are forcing them to participate.

Here’s the thing. If you set out for change, honestly the only person you can control is yourself. Others have to want the change too in order for it to be successful and then and only then will you have each other’s support.

So how can you make this change a success?

  1. If you are notorious for making your family change with you. Let them know before you even state your change, that you are not expecting them to do this with you. Explain this change is for you and only you. Then watch them breathe a big sigh of relief! However, they might stay weary of you for a few weeks, anticipating the sneak attack!
  2. If your family refuses to support you, don’t let that stop you. Many friends and co-workers will support you. Or if you need consistent accountability and support, then consider hiring a coach specific to the change you are trying to accomplish.
  3. To break past the two-week point of which you find change too hard and give up. Start with breaking up the desired change into actionable steps that you can take two weeks at a time. This makes implementing change less overwhelming!

For example, let’s say the change is eating healthier. You know you should eat more protein, more veggies, healthier fats and work on getting your carb portions under control.

Start with one food group like protein.   Each day for two weeks you will work on finding all the lean protein sources you can and consume a certain portion size at each meal.

If after two weeks you feel this action has become easy, you will continue eating protein, but then you will add in another food group to master. However, if you feel you are still not quite there, then continue working on mastering protein for two more weeks.

You must also understand that change never occurs with overnight success. Each day is a practice and sometimes it’s a rough start. Focus on the good and continue to practice each day. Over time you will start to nail each actionable step.

If your change is a lifestyle change, then it’s important to understand you will be practicing for a lifetime. The practice never ends but the action becomes much simpler to implement. You will begin doing it without even thinking about it.

A lifestyle change doesn’t have a deadline; it’s just something you do every single day. So relax into it and just keep practicing!!

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Nutrition – it can either strengthen our immune system or break it down and lead to sickness and disease.  

Most doctors will only hand you a prescription for medication and call it a day.  They won’t dive deeper to finding the underlying cause.

In most cases, it’s our nutrition or the lack thereof that sends our immune system spiraling down into sickness and disease.

That’s where I come in, to help you find the underlying cause and help you improve your nutrition so that you can start living life to the fullest again!!  You want to THRIVE not just survive!!

If you would like more information on 1:1 Nutrition Coaching, please complete the form below:

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Healthy Hack – Chicken Piccata

I am so excited to share this recipe!!  I have been hacking my way through different traditional recipes using yogurt and this one turned out so awesome!!

You know that want to lick the plate good?

I really love the yogurt that I use as it has really good strains of live culture probiotics and it is very mild in flavor.  I use the brand White Mountain, but you can use any plain Greek yogurt if this brand is not available to you.

Soooo….. Let’s get started!

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Print Recipe
Healthy Hack - Chicken Piccata
A healthy hack on a traditional recipe! I used the brand White Mountain Bulgarian Probiotic Yogurt, but if this is not available look for a full-fat Greek Yogurt with live cultures in the ingredient label.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30-40 minutes
Servings
people
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30-40 minutes
Servings
people
Instructions
  1. On a cutting board slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise (or buy thin cut breasts) and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Zest the lemon and then cut in half and set aside
  3. On medium heat, place large pan on burner and heat olive oil, once oil is heated add in chicken, turn chicken every 5 minutes for 25 minutes until they are cooked through and nicely browned. Remove chicken from the pan.
  4. Add in wine, capers and lemon zest. Use a spatula to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan. This will add a lot of flavor to the sauce.
  5. Reduce wine to half the amount and turn off the heat
  6. Stir in yogurt
  7. Add a couple of drops of lemon juice
  8. Add in a pinch salt, pepper and garlic powder and stir to combine – taste to see if you need more seasonings.
  9. Enjoy!!
Recipe Notes

Pairings: You could pair this dish with pasta, veggie noodles of your choice or roasted potatoes and a nice salad.

In the featured picture, we used spiralized potatoes tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, baked in the oven for about 30 minutes or until tender.

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A Parent’s Reflection Within Their Child

I think it’s safe to say that as parents, we only want the best for our children.  Many parents work hard at helping their children to overcome self-doubt and insecurities. But what we don’t realize is through our own negative thoughts and self-talk about ourselves, we are sending those messages to our children.

There’s one topic, in particular, I’d like to touch on today and that is our relationship with food.  In talking with other parents, I hear some interesting stories about using food as a coping mechanism, yet there’s so much guilt built up around food.

I see a childhood history that led this parent to where they are now and it will continue to trickle down to their children unless the pattern gets recognized and stopped.

Many times our relationship with food stems from what we saw our parents doing.  If a parent restricted food and was constantly dieting, chances are we as adults are doing the same.

If a parent was constantly stressed and had late night binges on junk food or just couldn’t stay away from the sweets, again as an adult chances are we have the same issue.  These are just examples but hopefully, you get the idea.

For me, I lived with my mom growing up and she was always watching her weight.  My mom in my eyes never had a weight problem, but she was always trying to “diet and exercise”.

I followed her actions, but mine became quite an obsession which turned into massive food restriction(anorexia). Then I would get super hungry so I would eat and then immediately purge (bulimia).

I can remember as early as 11 years old trying the cabbage soup diet and would perform workout routines in my living room.

I remember laying on my side at night as a teenager feeling my stomach and if it was not flat enough then I’d need to restrict more food. And exercise more.

The reason I am sharing this is because I am a parent now and realize the impact I have on my children.  I now live a non-restrictive lifestyle and have a much healthier relationship with food.  If I want chips, I have chips.  If I want wine, I have wine.  I work super hard on self-acceptance as is.

When I work out it’s to relieve stress and build muscle, my boys never see me trying to lose weight.  They know I am trying to get stronger.  They do not see me trying to burn off or feel guilty about an indulgent meal.

Getting to this place Was. Not. Easy.  But it was necessary and it is necessary for you also, if you are in constant diet or indulgence mode, especially if you have children.

First look back to your childhood, what actions did your parents take around food and/or exercise?  What stories did they tell themselves? Did they call themselves fat, say they had no willpower, grab at their body with disgust?

Did they make comments like, if I eat this I will have to run/workout extra hard tomorrow? If they had a stressful day, did they overindulge in a particular comfort meal or drink too much?

As an adult, how many of the actions do you see yourself doing that your parents did?

Did you just have an oh WOW moment?  I know I did when I looked back on why I did certain actions!!

Now think about your current actions.  Do you struggle hard with food and exercise?

What do you say to your children when they are feeling down on themselves?  I am guessing you tell them they are perfect just as they are and of course they are!

But here’s the problem, you tell your child day in and day out that they are perfect as is, but if you aren’t treating yourself the same, then your words do not matter. Let me say this again…..  YOUR WORDS DO NOT MATTER!

If your actions say, I am fat, I am not happy, I struggle with food, I am punishing myself, I do not love myself, I am weak, I am ugly……. These are the messages that your children are picking up and transferring to themselves.

So as a parent, if this is you, there’s never been a more important time to re-write your story not only for you but for your children’s sake.  It’s time to make peace with yourself and become healthier out of love and let go of the hate.

In order to stop the ongoing pattern of how you treat yourself and how your child will treat themselves, open and honest conversations will need to occur.

You will need to acknowledge your actions and why you will be changing them.  First and foremost the change has to be for YOU, to break free from your parent’s stories, but also to change the story for your child.

It breaks my heart to see generations of stories that leave someone feeling less than, unworthy and weak. But I know with all my heart once it is recognized, the stories of the past do not have to be stories of the present or future and that life will change in miraculous ways!!!

We love our children with every inch of our being and only want the best for them, so let’s give that to them by treating ourselves with the same love.

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Considering 1:1 Nutrition Coaching?  Let’s connect and see if we are a good fit!  

Fill out the form below and I will respond back to you within 24 hours!

Want more personable insights on health and nutrition?

 Join my inner circle, web users see the form on the top right-hand side of the page, mobile users see below.

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The Messy Middle – No One Wants To Talk About

It’s no secret that change is hard!! But not many want to talk about how ugly and messy change can be. But I feel with such strong conviction that it needs to be talked about. So here we go……

Many of us set New Year’s resolutions and do really well with them the first two weeks or even the first month of January. There’s so much excitement around the change we are going to make and we have declared this is our year to implement this change and damn it we are going to stick to it!!!

So much thought and effort go into our resolution of change but then something happens. The next thing we know we are right back at the starting point. We have our head in hands crying and feeling like a failure. Massive negative self-talk occurs and we beat ourselves up worse than a nasty UFC fight. We are confused, angry and simply just give up until January rolls around next year.

This, my friend, is called the messy middle when shit gets real and hard. Sure we can start off great, but then old patterns start to creep back in. And unless we are aware of our patterns and why we do them, it will be like going 100 mph to 0 in no time. And we are left like, um…. What the ____ just happened?

Or life gets in the way of our intention for change. We get sick, our jobs have us super busy, our kids have other plans for us, family drops in without notice, and you get the idea!

Life can throw us off for a few days, weeks or even months. But again unless we are aware of what is happening, we tend to just go with the flow and our intention for change is left behind.

A few things to keep in mind while the messy middle approaches:

Awareness is key. It will feel like the universe has conspired to throw every single booby trap in the world your way. You must be aware that life will happen, acknowledge it and keep pushing forward even if it’s at 20% speed. You have to keep going.

Old patterns will start to creep in. You must be aware that this has NOTHING to do with willpower. This has to do with repetitive actions that have been taken and the message your brain has been given for years.

Although you might think I will be doing such and such today and send that message to your brain, a familiar situation will occur (stress, emotions, unplanned event) and because you have reacted to the situation the same for years, your brain overrides your previous thought and you find yourself reacting before thinking.

Ok, let me show you what that looks like. I’ll give you one of my examples. Let’s say for the sake of managing my stress better and truly addressing the issues, I tell myself I will not use wine as a stress management today. But then my computer crashes at work, the school nurse calls and my son is having an asthma attack, go get my son from school and get him into the Dr’s office,  a breaker blows in my house and I can’t get the stupid box open, and I drop my phone and it cracks.

Before I know it, it’s 5 PM and I have a wine glass in my hand washing all the stress away. My brain says oh you are experiencing stress overload, let me go through the filing a cabinet of actions and it quickly pulls out the wine card. And before I can even think to overrule it, I have a wine glass in my hand and I’m sipping away.

Now that I am aware of how I handle my stress, on days like this and I find the wine glass in my hand, I will usually catch myself halfway through the glass. Then I have to make a conscious decision to continue drinking wine or stop and go for a walk, do some deep breathing exercises or take a hot bath to relieve the stress of my day.

From being aware you can start to make new patterns in the messy middle instead of just the same old patterns that no longer serve you. But you have to make the decision to push through the muck and not get stuck in the quicksand!

You should also be aware if you are giving up a crutch you use for a certain situation, you will most likely experience the loss and go through a grieving process of letting it go. That’s normal too and part of the messy middle.

Self-compassion is a huge piece that most people miss while wading through the messy middle. Negative thoughts camp out in the brain such as; I am totally failing at this change. Why is it so hard for me and not others? I obviously can’t do this, I tried but it’s just not working. I suck. I am not worthy of this change.

Thinking these judgmental thoughts will land you right back at the starting point. These are stories that you tell yourself day in and day out and they keep you from getting where you want, obtaining your goals and the feeling of failure is deep seeded in your brain.

If there was ever a time to re-write your story and change the way you talk to yourself, it’s now. You deserve a different more positive story because you are simply amazing!!  The power to re-write your story is within YOU!!

If something is not working, don’t be afraid to step back from it to evaluate how to improve or find other ways to be more effective.

So many components go into our desired change and one thing can spiral out of control and make our day unnecessarily harder.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to eat better or get in exercise, but you constantly run late in the morning. You don’t have time to eat breakfast, so you skip it. Your energy is low all day and you don’t make the best choices at lunchtime. You are counting the hours to come home and sit on the couch or go to bed.

Time management is the culprit here and it’s time to start evaluating where your time goes in the morning. That one component, whatever it might be could be keeping you from making any progress on your intention to change.

Yes, the middle is messy, ugly and hard. But if you are not ok with staying the same and you deeply desire change, then you must push forward!!

You will come out a much stronger and confident person. You will inspire change in others. So don’t give up, get dirty, and keep pushing your way through. You are so deserving of it!!!

It really comes down to one simple question… How bad do you want it?

 

Considering 1:1 Nutrition Coaching?  Let’s connect and see if we are a good fit!  

Fill out the form below and I will respond back to you within 24 hours!

Want more personable insights on health and nutrition?  Join my inner circle, web users see the form on the top right-hand side of the page, mobile users see below.

Follow on Social Media!