Achieve Wellness

Helping you achieve all of your goals!


Leave a comment

Practice Mindful Eating Habits

No matter what your health and wellness goals: to lose weight, improve your health markers (cholesterol, blood sugar, etc.), improve your brain health, or simply to feel more energetic, good nutrition is the best way to achieve your goal.

While having a solid nutritional plan is the best way to achieve your goal, just being in tune with and aware of your nutrition can make a big difference. That’s why I find mindful eating a great way to get in touch with what and why you are eating.

With mindful eating, you take the time to focus on not just what you are eating, but why you are eating, and how the experience makes you feel. Mindful eating gets you in touch with your personal hunger cues, improves your ability to taste your food, and makes the eating experience more pleasurable.

So, how do you practice mindful eating?

The first step you should take when eating mindfully is to get quiet. This may mean eating alone at first to avoid distractions or getting away from your desk or office. I had a friend that regularly ate lunch in her car so she could have time to herself to eat. Think of meal time as a type of meditation, connect with the experience, eat slowly, and enjoy it.

Once you have gotten quiet and focused, ask yourself:

“Am I hungry?”

If your stomach is growling, you feel weak or shaky, you are irritable, or have a headache then you are probably hungry. If not, then perhaps it is better to wait until you are truly hungry. Now, this does not mean skipping meals or starving yourself. However, as you get in touch with what physiological hunger feels like, you will be better able to take in nutrition when you body needs it rather than mindlessly shoveling food into your mouth.

2. “Do I want to eat?”

Sometimes our habits and emotions get the best of us and we eat because we think we are supposed to, “Hey, it’s 4pm it must be snack time”, “I haven’t eaten for 3 hours I’m not hungry but I better eat something anyhow”, or “Damn, that meeting was really stressful, I need a candy bar.” In these cases asking ourselves if we really want to eat or are simply responding to habit and emotions can keep us from making poor nutritional choices.

3. “Does this food choice support my goals?”

If your goal is to lose weight, eating a big bowl of popcorn and a box of chocolate covered raisins at the movies is not the best way to achieve your goal. Likewise, having a burger and fries won’t help your reduce your cholesterol. Asking yourself if the food choice supports your goal reminds you of what you are working so hard to achieve and can stop you from making a poor choice. If, after you ask the question, your response is to still eat the food then you must be willing to accept responsibility for the choice. Looking great in those jeans or ice cream, which is more important?

Once you have started eating, focus on the experience.

Eat slowly and consider these questions as you go along:

  • What does the food taste like? Sweet? Sour? Spicy?
  • What is its texture? Smooth, grainy, mushy…
  • How does eating make you feel? Happy? Comforted? Guilty?
  • Are you enjoying it? Eat slowly and consider these questions as you go along.

Every few bites, stop and ask yourself, “Am I satisfied?” If you are, then stop eating. If your answer is, “no”, then take a few more bites and ask again. Remember, it takes 20 minutes for your body to register fullness so take your time.

Eating mindfully takes work, and it is likely you will not be able to do it with every meal especially in the beginning. Start slowly and shoot for practicing for 2 meals every day.

If the process seems overwhelming, that’s ok. Start slowly with 1 thing at a time. Perhaps you can find a quiet distraction free place to eat and just do that for a few days. Next you can ask yourself 1 or 2 of the questions. Once it is your habit to check in before eating, then you can move on to another question or step. Progress at your pace. The key objective here is simply to create awareness of your eating in relation to your goals. Do not obsess over it, make it fun, enjoy eating!

If you need help building your nutritional plan or if you would like help learning to eat mindfully, I am here to help. Email me at achievewellness@ymail.com for a complimentary 15 minute consultation.


Leave a comment

Plan to Get Moving

As you plan out your days this week (you do plan your days, don’t you), make an effort to schedule at least 15 minutes everyday to do some type of physical activity or exercise.

Whether it’s a 15 minute walk to start your morning, a 20 minute yoga session, 30 minutes working in the yard, or 5 minutes scattered here and there throughout your day, it is important to get and keep your body moving.

Daily physical activity stimulates your brain, improves the quality of your sleep, improves circulation, and can help support your immune system.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it gets your heart pumping a least a little bit.

Most importantly, enjoy this little moment of “me time”. You deserve it and so does your mind and body!


Leave a comment

Commit to Physical Activity

As a wellness coach, one of the most common excuses I hear from people about why they can’t: lose weight, lower their cholesterol, be more flexible, or be more active is, “I don’t have time!”.

This excuse, and “yes” it is an excuse, generally comes immediately after this person has given me a detailed rundown of the 6 episodes of “Yellowstone” they watched over the weekend or spent 20 minutes griping about how everyone on Facebook is saying this, that, or the other thing.

Here is the bad news, if you have time to spend hours sitting in front of the TV or scrolling through social media, you have TIME to exercise! The fact of the matter is you don’t WANT to exercise, so you make up an excuse that you are soooooo……..busy with soooooo…..many important things that you simply cannot squeeze 30-40 minutes of fitness into your day.

Sure, we all have days where work, family, and social obligations take up the majority of our day, but for most of us that is the exception, not the rule.

Now, here is the great news, you don’t have to block off 45-60 minutes 4-5 days a week to go to the gym to get some of the benefits of exercise. By simply being active throughout your day you can help improve cognitive function, improve sleep quality, lower blood pressure, and reduce muscle tension and stress. Even doing 3-4 minutes of physical activity every hour can yield benefits.

Let’s say you are awake for 16 hours each day, if you were physically active for 3 minutes every hour, by the end of the day you would have done almost 50 minutes of physical activity! That’s over 5 hours every week! I guarantee you can find a least 3 minutes every hour to do a little something.

This week commit to doing at least 3 minutes of physical activity every hour you are awake!

So, what can you do?

  • Sit down and stand up from a chair, repeatedly for 3 minutes (or do body weight squats)
  • Take 5 minutes and walk up and down a flight of stairs
  • March in place for 1 minute, do jumping jacks for 1 minute, do butt kicks for 1 minute
  • Step side to side while pushing your arms overhead for 2 minutes and heel taps with arm circles for 2 minutes
  • Take 3 minutes to walk around your house picking up and decluttering
  • Or any activity that gets your heart pumping and your blood moving

More is better here so if you can do 5-10 minutes during some hours all the better!

If you have a goal to lose weight or improve your health, you may still need to hit the gym 3-4 days a week for some purposeful workouts in order to reach your goals. But, just think how much easier it will be to hit your goals if you add 30 minutes of activity the other 3 days. Even if you are a total gym rat, extra physical activity during the day can provide a much needed mental and physical break from a sedentary work environment.

So banish your, “I don’t have time”, excuse and get moving! It only takes a few minutes every hour and your mind and body will thank you!


Leave a comment

Recommit to Building Healthy Habits

Back in March when COVID cases started to rise and communities started shutting down restaurants, gyms, nonessential businesses, and more and more people started working from home a lot of people made a commitment to start taking better care of their health. Internet searches for at home exercise routines and healthy meal recipes soared. There wasn’t a dumbbell, physioball, jump rope, or exercise band to be had anywhere.

In my own neighborhood, I started seeing neighbors I hadn’t seen in months out for a run, walking their dog, or doing squats in their driveway.

But now it’s September and my neighborhood is again a quiet little hamlet. No more family bike rides, no more sidewalk yoga, and no more strolling puppies. Everyone it seems is settling back into their routines.

Restaurants are open, people are eating out again, fitness equipment is back in stock, and the number of online workout classes is starting to dwindle.

Folks commitment to better health is slowly going by the wayside. As we edge slowly closer to our lives returning to “normal”, we are falling back into old routines where physical activity and good nutrition are no longer on our, “to do” lists.

So, what about you:

  • Are you sticking to an exercise routine, either at home or in the gym?
  • Do you find yourself eating out more often, maybe grabbing a quick burger and fries rather than making a healthy dinner?
  • Have you stopped having your groceries delivered and started doing your own shopping only to find yourself making impulse purchases like the newest flavor of potato chip or those M&Ms that were on sale?

If you have found yourself sliding backward into old habits, NOW is the time to recommit to those healthy habits you pickup earlier in the year.

You may need to get creative if your schedule is less open and flexible than months past, but with a little thought and planning you can keep those good habits going.

This week pick 1 of your healthy habits and commit to focusing on building and reinforcing that habit to the best of your ability each day.

Don’t let your old normal ruin the progress you made during your “new normal”.

Good luck, have fun, and have a happy healthy week!


Leave a comment

Blueberry-Avocado Smoothie Recipe

Feed your brain with this delicious “brain food” smoothie loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fat!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 cup almond milk or other nut milk, unsweetened
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 2 teaspoons honey, optional

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. ENJOY!!!!


Leave a comment

Kindness Challenge – Week 5

These days it is all too easy to look at the world and see what is wrong. Disease, violence, injustice, bullying, anger, and hatred seem all too common.

The world is divided into US versus THEM. If you aren’t with me, you’re against me.

It appears that no news is good news, literally.

But is that really true? Is there nothing good going on in the world?

The answer is an unequivocal, “NO”

Recently in the face of a local tragedy my community stepped up to show what’s possible. The acts of kindness and compassion were in numerable. It was truly amazing to see the outpouring of kindness that my community exhibited. Yes, there were a few negative ninnies and naysayers. But people in the community came together to make the community stronger, to help others, to show kindness, to show compassion, to show courage, and to show love. It was truly inspirational to witness.

That’s why this week my challenge to you is to look for kindness in the world.

Every day look for one act of kindness, whether it be an inspirational story on YouTube, an article in the paper about someone who helped a neighbor in need, or a story of two very different animals coming together and being friends. Whatever it is, search out acts of kindness around the world.

If you look for them, you will find them. I promise kindness and compassion abound if you choose see them.

For a few minutes every day for the next week, set aside the negativity, the fighting, the arguing, the cruelty, and the hypocrisy and look for the good!

Focus your attention for just a few minutes on those good stories. Share them with others. Repeat them over and over.

Focus on kindness and you will see more kindness. It will start to pop up in front of you everywhere, but you have to look for it.

Take the time look for the kindness, share the kindness, be kindness and we will have a kinder world.

Please, share this challenge with your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers! The more people choose kindness and compassion the more we all benefit!

Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.


Leave a comment

Kindness Challenge – Week 4

Don’t you love the feeling when someone at the grocery store sees you are in a hurry lets you move ahead of them or when a stranger pays for your coffee?

This week, it is time to return the favor. Make it your goal this week to do something nice for a stranger a minimum of 4 times. It does not have to be a huge gesture or cost money: hold the door open for someone (maybe stand behind it so you don’t breath on them), toss a few extra pennies in the “take a penny”, cup at the gas station, volunteer to mow a neighbor’s lawn, or donate to a charity. Think up your own creative way to do something to make a stranger’s day a smidge better. Do it without expecting or requiring recognition or gratitude, do it because a little heartfelt kindness goes a long way to making your world a better place. Don’t forget to make some observations about what you experience and how this exercise made you feel.


Leave a comment

Kindness Challenge – Week 3

Compliments, we love to get them. But all too often we fail to give them to others.

This week resolve to give at least 2 compliments every day. You can compliment a family member, a friend, an employee, a coworker, or a stranger. The who doesn’t matter. As far as the what, make it honest and heartfelt, don’t just toss out a half-ass compliment because I told you to, do it to show kindness and appreciation. Your kind words will make someone’s day just a bit brighter.

Don’t forget to make some notes in your journal about how this activity made YOU feel.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” us on Facebook!


Leave a comment

Kindness Challenge – Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of The Kindness Challenge.

The purpose of this challenge is to spread kindness, love, and appreciation in an effort to make our world a little happier and more peaceful.

My challenge to you this week:

Say “Thank you” to a stranger.

Nothing breeds kindness and goodwill like gratitude. We all love to be told, “thank you” when we have done something for someone else.

This week make it your mission to say, “thank you” to 1 stranger every day.

  • Thank the grocery clerk for working
  • Thank the woman in the parking lot for putting her cart in the cart corral
  • Thank the customer service representative for helping you over the phone
  • Thank your bank teller for always greeting you with a smile
  • Thank the man in line with you for standing 6 feet away, whatever.

No act is too small to garner a “thank you”.

Have fun with this, get creative, think up different reasons or ways to say, “thank you” to someone you don’t know.

As always you may want to keep journal or some notes about how thanking a stranger made you feel.

Don’t forget to share this challenge with your friends and family!


Leave a comment

Take 5 Minutes

Take 5 minutes today to go outside and experience Mother Nature. I don’t care where you are or what the weather is, take 5 minutes and put your hands on the Earth or your bare feet on the grass. Don’t think about viruses, politics, social injustices, your bills, job, or any other problem you have. Instead, focus on the amazing set of circumstances that created this planet and life (our life) on it. The perfect size planet, the perfect distance, from the perfect star, orbiting in the perfect way to sustain life for millions of years. For 5 minutes, appreciate the miracle of where we live and what it gives us.