How Do You Take Your Coffee?

My morning starts at 5 AM each day, and the first thing I do before my mind even starts to work is make a pot of coffee.

It’s muscle memory to me after years of making coffee every single morning.

My iPhone alarm rings every morning at 5 AM.  I roll out of bed, walk downstairs, turn on my fireplace (yes, I love how a gas fireplace starts with the flip of a switch), grind fresh coffee beans, and make a pot of coffee for Matthew and me.

We drink it black in our favorite speckled coffee house mugs that we collect on our travels.

I find I drink it less for the energy jolt, and more because I love the coziness of my hot bitter drink every morning.

I frequently get asked is healthy coffee, which is a great question!

But I think an even better question may be, how do you take it?

Let me walk you through everything you should consider when reaching for your cuppa joe:

How to Choose a Healthier Breakfast Cereal + My Top 3 Tips and Recs

Have you ever walked down the cereal aisle and felt completely overwhelmed by all the options?

You stroll down the aisle and see a “Mom’s Best Raisin Bran” cereal box. 

You know, the one made from recycled paper, depicting wildlife, and informing you that their cereal is made with “whole grain oats” and “no high fructose corn syrup.” 

Simple and honest ingredients, they say.

That cereal looks and sounds really healthy, you think. 

Pleased with your decision, you put the cereal in your basket, and continue grocery shopping.

How frustrated would you be if you found out that the cereal you chose has 6 grams MORE added sugar than a serving of Lucky Charms?

Pretty darn frustrated.

You’d probably feel deceived, too. 

After all, you had the best intentions to eat healthier and serve your children a healthy breakfast!

You thought you were making a thoughtful choice…

To outsmart the marketers, here are my top 3 tips for choosing a healthier cold cereal:

1.      Read the ingredient list

The ingredient list will reveal a lot about the nutritional quality of the cereal. 

Is sugar, brown rice syrup, maltose, fructose, sucrose, maple syrup, corn syrup, honey, or invert sugar listed? 

Are there flavors and preservatives, like phosphates, listed? 

The more sugar and the more processed the ingredients, the better off you are finding an alternative.

Too much added sugar (more than 25 grams per day) can increase stress, anxiety, energy crashes, and weight gain. 

No thank you!

2.      Read the nutrition label

Pay attention to serving size.  Many cereal labels may look reasonably healthy, until you realize that those 200 calories and 7 grams of sugar are only for 1/3 cup serving! 

Most of us eat more than 1/3 cup of cereal, so choose one that packs a nutritional punch for each serving.

Limit added sugars and choose a high-fiber (4 grams or more per serving) for better heart health, mood, and weigh management.

3.      Choose less processed items

The less processed, the better.  Processed cereals have more sugar, sodium, and preservatives than is good for us. 

So, what cold cereals should you choose?

Ones that are high in fiber, high in protein, low in sugar, low in salt, and minimally processed.

My top cereal picks that check those boxes:

>>Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal, Golden Flax

·        This cereal has 8 grams of protein, no added sugar, and 6 grams of fiber per serving

·        All the ingredients are organic (wheat, barley, flax seeds, millet, lentils, soybeans, spelt, and sea salt)

>>Alpen No Added Sugar Muesli

·        This cereal has 6 grams of protein, no added sugar, and 5 grams of fiber per serving

·        The raisins provide both sweetness, fiber, and iron 

>>Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal

·        This cereal has 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber (wow!) to keep you full until lunch

·        This cereal does have 13 grams of sugar for those who do have a sweet tooth, but the fiber will help manage your blood sugar better

·        TIP: This is a great transitional cereal if you’re used to sweet cereals! Mix this with a no added sugar cereal to balance the sugars

 

Should You Eat Breakfast? Or Should You Be Skipping It?

You’ve probably heard that breakfast is an absolute must-have for young children and adolescents. 

But do adults need breakfast? 

And if they do, why?

Let’s take a look at what the research says:

Why you’re likely skipping breakfast:

Only about 30% of people eat breakfast!

Eating breakfast is a challenge for many people.

Do you resonate with any of the following reasons for skipping?

·        You don’t have enough time to eat breakfast.

·        You’re too busy to make breakfast. 

·        You’re trying to lose weight, so you don’t want the extra calories of breakfast. 

·        You think eating breakfast will make you hungrier throughout the day. 

·        You’re not hungry. 

·        You’d rather sleep those extra minutes

·        And then breakfast is controversial…

·        Should you be putting grass-fed butter in your coffee?? Well, that’s a whole ‘nother blog post…

If you’ve ever skipped breakfast or are in the habit of not eating breakfast, you’ll definitely want to keep reading. 

Once you see the benefits, you may just be motivated to become a breakfast eater 😊

Why you should NOT skip breakfast:

You ready for this? Here’s we go!

Should You Go Gluten-Free? What the Research Says

Why Go Gluten-Free?

Celebrities, like Victoria Beckham and Miley Cyrus have touted that gluten is bad for our health.

Many claim that a gluten-free (GF) diet helps with weight loss and getting into shape.

And if you’re like the millions who have tried the Whole30 diet, you’ve likely read their thoughts on gluten:

“Gluten is such nasty stuff…”

But if you’re curious what the research says about gluten and if you should be GF, read on!

What Does the Evidence Show?

According to current scientific research, there’s no evidence that supports the health claims of a GF diet for the general public.

In fact, gluten itself has several health benefits…

What is Gluten Anyway?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Who Should NOT Eat Gluten?

There are a few groups of people who should avoid gluten:

·        Celiac

o   Found in about 1 % of the population

o   An autoimmune disease

o   Can lead to malabsorption of nutrients and damage to the intestine

o   People with celiac significantly benefit from a strict GF lifestyle

·        Gluten sensitivity

o   Found in about 6% of the population

o   Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, gas, bloating, and diarrhea when eating gluten

o   Unlike celiac, there are no antibodies to gluten or damage to the intestine

·        Wheat allergy

o   Found in 0.1% of Western populations

o   The allergy is to wheat, not to gluten

·        Autoimmune disorders

o   Examples include lupus and rheumatoid arthritis

o   May see symptom relief when limiting gluten

·        IBS, T1DM, and psoriasis

o   Some data shows a GF diet can lessen symptoms

What About Weight Loss?

There are no published reports showing that those without celiac or gluten sensitivity lose weight on a GF diet.

And there are a few studies that actually show weight gain in overweight/obese people with celiac who go GF.

This weight gain may occur because, without the disturbance of gluten, people with celiac can better absorb other nutrients.

GF food does not mean it is low calorie.  In fact, some GF foods have more calories than their gluten-full counterparts.

And many GF foods lack whole grains and fiber, both of which can help with weight loss.

What About Gut Health?

If someone does not fall into the areas where a GF would be beneficial, unnecessarily cutting out wheat, barley, and rye means cutting out health-promoting starches.

These starches are critical for gut health, which helps:

·        Lower blood sugar

·        Reduce body weight

·        Improve immune status

·        Metabolize fat

·        Absorb vitamins and minerals

A GF diet may unfortunately reduce the good bacteria in our gut, which negatively affects our gut health.

What About General Health?

There are several health benefits of gluten:

·        May help lower triglyceride levels and LDL

·        Gliadin (part of the gluten protein) can help lower blood pressure

·        Gluten contains glutamine, an amino acid that boosts our immune system

Conclusion:

GF products are great for those who definitely need a GF lifestyle (celiac, autoimmune, etc.)

A GF diet:

·        Isn’t necessarily healthier for the general population

·        Doesn’t help with weight loss

·        May negatively affect gut health

And if you feel better on a GF diet, consider these:

·        Could you feel better because you cut down on excess sugar, fat, calories, and salt

·        Did you lose weight because you cut down on processed foods that happen to have gluten in them (desserts, white breads, white pasta, sugary breakfast items)

If you are GF:

Be sure to balance your diet so you don’t cause unintentional negative health consequences!

5 Quick Hacks to Reach Your Goals + FREE Printable

If you’ve set a New Year’s Resolution, you’re probably doing well with it so far!

At this point, you’re feeling motivated and excited about your goals and any changes you’ve made to your daily habits so far.

If you look back at previous years, did you keep your resolutions for the whole year?

If not, what month did you stop?

Most people don’t keep their resolutions for more than a few weeks- why is that??

Because the systems are not in place to make the new habit easy and rewarding.

So the question then becomes, how do you make the new habit and resolution easy and rewarding? 

Back in November, I decided I wanted to make daily exercise a habit for the rest of 2018.

I set a goal to exercise for 20-30 minutes per day.

So how have I done?  

I’ve exercised every day for 6 weeks, only missing a total of 3 days.  And I’ve carried this daily habit into 2019.

How was I successful in creating a daily exercise habit?

  1. I identified why I made the goal (exercise makes me feel good)

  2. I tracked my progress (checking it off the calendar and using Habit Bull felt incredibly satisfying)

  3. I found an accountability partner (well, hundreds of partners…I announced my goal to my email list and social media tribe)

  4. I posted everyday that I completed my exercise (this checked the boxes of both tracking and accountability)

  5. I never missed twice (when creating a habit, don’t break your momentum! If you miss a day, start again the next)

Your Action Step: Download and fill out this guide to make your goals a success! 

Work with Me

 You’re motivated to live a healthy, full life.  I’m here to help.

Are you a hardworking professional or active person who wants to feel healthier?

Do you have trouble with knowing how and what to eat to feel your best? 

Do you struggle with making time for yourself to be healthy?

Could you use expert nutrition guidance and an accountability partner?

I help people motivated to live a healthy lifestyle, but who don’t want to spend tons of time, effort, and overwhelm making that happen. 

My clients are super inspired to feel their best but haven’t been able to find a way of eating that works best for their schedule and how they want to feel.

If you’re ready to eat in a way that works for you, learn quick meals and snacks that actually keep you satisfied and feeling great, or even small tweaks you can make right now without overhauling your eating habits, I can help you get there. 

Click to learn about my Optimal Healthy Eating Package here!  It may be just what you’ve been looking for 😊 

The One Simple Hack to Stick to Your New Year's Resolution

Did you know that 92% of us won’t keep our resolutions? 

Yikes, those aren’t good odds!

But what if I told you there was a way to hack the system…

A way to make it much more likely that you will create and stick with a healthy habit?

Would you try it?

This hack is to enlist the principle of temptation bundling.

Temptation bundling is this:

To boost your chance of doing something you need to do (desirable, healthy, good habit), bundle it with something you already do and enjoy.

You’re more likely to do what you need to do if you pair it with something you want to do.

I realize I do this regularly with exercise…Something I know I need to do but can easily put off.

I adore YouTube videos and could easily watch hours of them every day.  Don’t ask me how I know this.

Earlier this year, I decided to pair exercise (something I need to do) with watching YouTube videos (something I already do and enjoy).

Several times a week, I will hop on a treadmill, set the incline at 12-15%, and walk at a good clip for 30-45 minutes while watching my favorite Australian and British vloggers.

When I paired these two activities together, I realized five things:

  1. The time I was working out flew by because I was distracted

  2. I wanted to walk for a longer time, because there would be one more video to watch

  3. I look forward to my incline walks

  4. My fitness improved, and I felt great after each incline walk

  5. I’m more motivated to put on my tennis shoes and workout

What good, healthy habit have you tried but failed at

  • If you want and need to tone up, perhaps pair exercise with scrolling on social media. 

  • If you want and need to lose weight, perhaps pair cooking healthy meals at home with listening to your favorite podcasts.

  • If you want and need to get organized, perhaps pair organizing a specific room in the house with listening to a book on Audible. 

  • If you want and need to do chores, perhaps pair folding laundry with watching your favorite show.

This method of temptation bundling is like multitasking, but way more productive and effective!

Action Step: Write down the activity you need to do (desirable habit) with something you already do and love. 

Bonus Action Step: Let me know your temptation bundle by replying to this email!  I'll share your creative temptation bundle ideas to help others looking for inspiration😊

Work with Me

 You’re motivated to live a healthy, full life.  I’m here to help.

Are you a hardworking professional or active person who wants to feel healthier?

Do you have trouble with knowing how and what to eat to feel your best? 

Do you struggle with making time for yourself to be healthy?

Could you use expert nutrition guidance and an accountability partner?

I help people motivated to live a healthy lifestyle, but who don’t want to spend tons of time, effort, and overwhelm making that happen. 

My clients are super inspired to feel their best but haven’t been able to find a way of eating that works best for their schedule and how they want to feel.

If you’re ready to eat in a way that works for you, learn quick meals and snacks that actually keep you satisfied and feeling great, or even small tweaks you can make right now without overhauling your eating habits, I can help you get there. 

Click to learn about my Optimal Healthy Eating Package here!  It may be just what you’ve been looking for 😊 
 

Not Seeing the Results You Want? This is Why and How to Fix It

Imagine you are in a freezing cold room.  Actually, you’re in a room that’s even colder:  it’s 23°F.

You place an ice cube on the counter.  You raise the temperature of the room 1°F.

The ice cube doesn’t melt.  You raise the temp another 1°F.

The ice cube is still not melting.  So, you raise the temp another 1°F.

After several minutes of raising the temperature of the room, one degree at a time, you reach 32°F.

The ice cube is still not melting!   So, you raise the temp again by 1°F.

And then, BOOM! The ice cube begins to melt!

So often, we set a goal for ourselves (to lose weight, to exercise 3X/week, to read every day, to journal every morning), and then give up. Way. Too. Soon.

We all start our goals at 23°F.

We put in a few days or weeks or months of work, and then give up when we don’t see grand results or big improvements. 

We make it to 32°F and stop. 

“It’s not working!  I can’t lose weight! I don’t have time, I’m too tired, I’m not seeing results…”

But for those that keep putting in the work, day in, day out, drip by drip, one small step in front of the other, without seeing results, you eventually make it to 33°F.

And the ice cube begins to melt.

You see the results.  You feel the results.  Others see it too.  And they call you an overnight success.

But were you an overnight success?  Definitely not. 

You put in the hard, unglamourous work, 1° at a time, day after day.  You didn’t see the results, but you kept going anyway, because you knew that the greatest results are delayed. 

I adore this quote by James Clear, author of Atomic Habits (one of my favorite books of all time):

Complaining about not achieving success despite working hard is like complaining about an ice cube not melting when you heated it from twenty-five to thirty-one degrees.  Your work was not wasted; it is just being stored.  All the action happens at thirty-two degrees.

Your action step: Reply to this email with your goal and tell me what degree you're at.  How do you feel about your goal and progress right now? 

Work with Me

 You’re motivated to live a healthy, full life.  I’m here to help.

Are you a hardworking professional or active person who wants to feel healthier?

Do you have trouble with knowing how and what to eat to feel your best? 

Do you struggle with making time for yourself to be healthy?

Could you use expert nutrition guidance and an accountability partner?

I help people motivated to live a healthy lifestyle, but who don’t want to spend tons of time, effort, and overwhelm making that happen. 

My clients are super inspired to feel their best but haven’t been able to find a way of eating that works best for their schedule and how they want to feel.

If you’re ready to eat in a way that works for you, learn quick meals and snacks that actually keep you satisfied and feeling great, or even small tweaks you can make right now without overhauling your eating habits, I can help you get there. 

Click to learn about my Optimal Healthy Eating Package here!  It may be just what you’ve been looking for 😊 
 
 

How I'm Staying Healthy this Holiday & FREE Healthy Holiday Guide

The holiday season can be stressful and hectic, filled with temptations to overindulge.  Overdoing it during the holidays leaves us feeling sluggish, bloated, and tired.

And when we try to avoid holiday weight gain, we often end up bingeing and feeling guilty.

Sound familiar?

I made it my mission for myself to feel healthy, happy, strong, and fit this holiday season.

So to help myself (and YOU), I created the Healthy Holiday Guide.

It’s the the ultimate self-care workbook to take you from overindulgence and guilt to energy, balance, joy, and improved well-being.

It’s loaded with tips, recipes, and prompts to get yourself thinking, planning, and acting on your health goals for this season.

You can grab it here >> Healthy Holiday Guide

And as we approach the shortest day of the year next week, I wanted to share with you a 5 BONUS tips for motivating all of us to live a healthy and active life this winter:

1.  Buy a Class Pack

Last winter, I kept myself motivated to workout in the cold, dark mornings by buying a spin class pack.  This year, I bought a hot yoga class pack! 

Trust me, you’ll be motivated to workout if you’ve put money behind it 😊

Want To Feel Healthier? This One Habit Could Change Everything

Want To Feel Healthier? This One Habit Could Change Everything

Happy Friday!

In less than 3 weeks, it will be January 2019!  Each year, most of us wake up on January 1 with some pretty hefty resolutions:

I’m going to eat healthy every single meal! And I’m going to workout for an hour every single day!

Then sometime mid January, we totally fall off the bandwagon. 

And when we stop eating healthy every single meal, and we miss a few workouts, we give up.  And feel guilty.  And sometimes feel like a failure.

But what if there was one small habit that could make other good habits fall into place?

Small wins lay the foundation for other, bigger wins. 

One healthy habit can lead to a better mood, more productivity, less stress, a healthier weight, better sleep, fewer junk food cravings, and more focus and clarity.

These habits that lead to other good habits and positive side effects are called “keystone habits.” 

A keystone habit is the first domino that makes all the other dominoes fall into place.  Here are a few examples:

  • Exercising for 20-30 minutes regularly

  • Practicing daily gratitude

  • Journaling daily

  • Reading for 30 minutes

  • Making the bed each day

  • Making a healthy breakfast

Let’s lay the groundwork for developing a single healthy habit NOW so that when 2019 arrives, we hit the ground running, feeling our best, with other healthy habits falling into place!

To learn my 3 tips for a healthy holiday season, and what my keystone habit is for the next 3 weeks, watch this video>>

And to track your keystone habit, download the free app, HabitBull.  It will be the key to making your keystone habit stick!

Action Step: What’s your keystone habit for the next 3 weeks?  Comment below and let's hold each other accountable with our keystone habits! 

I'll be posting daily on Instagram stories if I did my keystone habit, so come join me over there>>

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
— Aristotle

Meal Plan Like a Boss & FREE Meal Planner and Grocery List | +Video |

I used to hate meal planning- I thought “I’ll just stock a bunch of healthy stuff in the fridge and make healthy meals throughout the week…easy!”

But to be honest, I would come home from work ravenous, and dive headfirst into junk food or order something in that wasn’t so healthy.

So much for “healthy stuff” on hand! 

But I really wanted to eat healthy and make delicious meals at home.

And I wanted to do that without a lot of thinking.

To make meal planning for the week actually work for me, I needed to create a 5-step process that would guarantee success.  This process is a total game changer, so I wanted to share it with you!

I’ve created a video to walk you through the 5-step process to meal planning, along with a printable and fillable guide for you 😊 

It includes the 5 Steps to Planning Your Week of Eats PLUS a Meal Planner and Grocery List, which you can use each week.

Grab your free download to Meal Plan Like a Boss here>> 

Then follow along with the video: