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Start Your Week with a Healthy Plan

Will you:

  • Take a walk after dinner every night this week?
  • Eat more vegetables?
  • Quit smoking?
  • Devote 10-15 minutes to your meditation practice each day?
  • Cut back on your alcohol intake?
  • Take a yoga class?
  • Eat slowly and mindfully?
  • Get 6-8 hours of rest each night?

Feel free to share your answers in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.


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Improve Your Health, Eat a Rainbow

You are probably familiar with the phrase, “Variety is the spice of life.” But when it comes to our nutrition, many of us avoid “spicing it up”. I am not talking about adding spices to your food (although it is a great idea), I am talking about including variety.

Take a moment to review your food choices over the past week. Do you eat the same thing for breakfast every morning? Does your daily salad consist of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, a slice of cucumber, and some shredded carrot?

If you are like most of my clients you are in a nutritional rut, eating the same foods day after day often prepared the same way. That’s why this month I am encouraging you to “eat the rainbow”.

What does it mean to “eat the rainbow”?

We all know we should be eating 2-3 servings of fruits and 3-4 servings of vegetables every day in order to meet the minimum requirements for a healthy diet. But, did you know that we should also be eating a variety of different colors of fruits and vegetables?

You probably know that fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy, but they also contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are chemicals made by plants to protect them from diseases, insects, and other harmful agents. Fortunately, they can do the same for us! Phytonutrients can help prevent certain cancers, support the immune system, and fight inflammation, among other things. Different colors have their own unique set of phytonutrients. For example the phytonutrient, Lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, macular degeneration, and certain cancers, is what gives tomatoes, watermelon, and strawberries their red color. Fruits and vegetables generally fall into 5 color categories: green, red, orange/yellow, blue/purple, and white/brown. Over the next 5 weeks we will explore each color in more detail.

Why “eat the rainbow”?

There are several benefits to “eating the rainbow”, including:

  1. Improved nutrition– As I mentioned earlier, different colored fruits and vegetables have different types of phytonutrients which benefit our health.
  2. It’s easy– Just 1 serving of each color guarantees you get at least 5 servings of fruits/veggies which means you are effortlessly getting the minimum requirement for the vitamins, minerals, and fiber these foods contain.
  3. Prevents boredom– Let’s face it, eating the same foods over and over can get boring. Boredom can lead to skipping vegetables or replacing them with less healthy choices like, sugar laden juices. The “eating the rainbow” method encourages you to try different foods within the color group, for example trading your romaine lettuce for arugula or bok choy. Also, different cooking methods affect the availability of nutrients within a food, cooked spinach provides more nutrients than raw spinach.
  4. Supports the local economy– Another part of the eat the rainbow plan is to eat seasonally. This means buying fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Often the best place to do this is at your local farmers market.
  5. Can help you save money– It may seem like buying all of these different colors of fruits and vegetables can get expensive, however produce that is in season is often less expensive than an off season option. Think of the difference between buying blueberries in the summer versus in late winter. Also, filling up your diet with healthy fruit and vegetable options means you will be less hungry for expensive snacks. Think of the money you will save by taking an apple to work for mid afternoon snack time rather than dumping money into the vending machine for chips or a candy bar.

It is important to remember that “eating the rainbow” is not a diet, but rather a handy tool to help ensure you consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. It helps ensure you get plenty of important nutrients without getting bored or having to think too much about what to eat.

Next week’s post will explore the the nutrients and types of foods found in the GREEN category. Until then, here is a game you can play to see how well you, “eat the rainbow.” The game works great with kids, but many of my adult clientsenjoy it as well.

Eat The Rainbow Game

What you need:
  • A picture of a rainbow
  • A magic marker or sharpie
  • A box of gold stars or small stickers
How to play:
  • Print out your picture of the rainbow.
  • Use a marker or sharpie to divide the rainbow into seven sections and label 1 section for each day of the week.
  • For each serving of a color group you eat, place a gold star/sticker on the corresponding color.
  • Repeat the process every day for a week.
  • At the end of the week, review your results. How did you do? Did you get at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies each day? Were you lacking in any particular color group? Do you avoid one color all together?
  • Challenge yourself to improve your eat the rainbow performance the next week.

Have fun, be adventurous, and until next time, have a happy healthy day!

If you want to learn more simple and effective nutritional habits, join my online nutritional coaching program that starts September, 9th. Learn more at: https://procoach.app/wellnessphx


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3 Things to Stay Positive

Last week I encouraged you to make a list of 10 positive things that occurred in your day prior to going to bed each night in order to focus your pre-sleep mind on happy peaceful thoughts, read Think Positive, Sleep Positive for a review.

That exercise is a great way to prepare your mind for restful sleep and help you wake up the next morning in a positive frame of mind. It is also a terrific exercise for promoting a positive mindset throughout your day. Let’s face it, no matter how good your intentions are to maintain a positive outlook during your day, sometimes things come up that knock you off of your game: unexpected traffic, a difficult client, an argument with your spouse, or even missing your morning coffee. When this happens it is essential that you get back into a positive mindset as quickly as possible to prevent the rest of your day from spiraling downward into frustration, anger, or an inability to think clearly and solve problems.

No matter where you are in your mindset right now, take a few moments to do the following activity:

If you are in a good mood, this exercise can reinforce and stimulate more positive thoughts. If you are feeling irritated, overwhelmed, or stressed it can serve as a reset for your day, getting you back on track to positive thoughts and positive results.

If you have let yourself get too far into the negative thought process it may be difficult to think of anything good that day, but remember you’re not looking for bright shiny miracles, you are simply looking for a few good things. For example:

  • You woke up on time
  • Traffic was lighter than usual
  • You heard your favorite song on the radio
  • The barista made your latte perfectly
  • A stranger smiled and said, “Good morning”
  • A coworker complimented your work on a project
  • You had a good idea
  • I try to do it at least once a day to keep myself on track and moving forward. I find it helps boost my creativity and productivity.
  • Taking a few minutes during your day to list the good things that have happened will reduce your stress levels, spark new ideas, heighten productivity, and help you flow through your day with ease. It is a small investment of time that yields tremendous returns!

    Give it a try. I guarantee you will be glad you did.

    Until next time, have a happy healthy day!


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    Think Positive, Sleep Positive

    How many times has this happened to you, you get settled into to bed hoping for a good nights’ sleep only to lie awake thinking of your “to do” list, problems, and worries? “Monkey mind”, as it is often called, can wreck a nights’ sleep.

    Luckily, there is a way to stop monkey mind before it starts. Before bed, take a few moments to list the good things that you experienced during your day. Making this list allows you to focus your mind on positive thoughts. Focusing on the positive redirects your monkey mind away from your sleep stealing thoughts and puts you in a more relaxed state of mind. These peaceful happy thoughts can lead to better more restful sleep. In addition, focusing on the positive before bedtime ensures you wake up with a more positive mindset the following morning leading to a better more productive day.

    Tonight before going to bed:

    Your list could include things like:

    • Traffic was lighter than normal
    • Your kids did the dishes without being told
    • Your work meeting was productive
    • You received a compliment about your beautiful smile
    • You heard your favorite song on the radio
    • You achieved a personal best at the gym
    • The sun was shining
    • You saw someone do something kind for another person

    Or anything else you can think of that makes you feel good today.

    Give it a try for the next week and see how you feel.

    Have a happy healthy day and while you’re at it “LIKE” us on Facebook!


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    Take a Few Minutes to Relax this Summer

    Summertime is full of fun activities: picnics, pool parties, days at the beach, and family vacations give us the opportunity to get outside, enjoy nature and spend time with love ones. But summer fun can also lead to stress. Make sure you take 10-15 minutes every day to sit back and relax without distractions. Try this quick meditation to chill out and get your “me-time” fix:


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    A Little Change is Good

    We all know what we SHOULD do to be healthy, fit, and at our best: we should eat 5-7 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, we should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily, we should not smoke, we should avoid processed foods/trans fats/alcohol/sugar…

    But, let’s face it most of us have a vice or 2 (or more), that keep us from reaching the peak of our health and wellness. While many of these vices seem pretty harmless while we are doing them they can pose long term threats to our health. Yep, that burger and fries you ate this weekend will come back to haunt you in your 70s (or sooner). That is why it is important to get a handle on our bad habits as well as create new good habits.

    Slowly and mindfully is a great way to eat less, but it’s impact is limited if your “healthy routine” still consists of fast-food, beer, and 15 hour video game marathons.

    This week I am offering you a challenge. Pick one of your bad habits, just one, and over the next week take steps to change it.

    For example,

    • If you are a coach potato, make it your goal to go for a walk around your neighborhood every day this week. You can even start with 10 minutes if that is all you can handle.
    • If you never eat vegetables, start adding 1-2 servings of veggies to one of your meals daily.
    • If you are a smoker, cut the number of cigarettes/vapes you have by 5-10% this week.
    • If your an overeater, make a conscious effort to cut back on your portion sizes by 15-20% at each meal.
    • If you can’t make it through the day without 3-4 cups of coffee, replace 1 of them with a decaf.
    • If you regularly wake up Sunday morning with a raging hangover, cut back a drink or 2 the next Saturday.

    The point isn’t to completely stop your bad habit in one fell swoop, but rather to slowly ween yourself off of the bad habit and slip gently into a better one. Changing habits takes time and patience. Be kind to yourself and pat yourself on the back for each little bit of progress you make.

    The first few days of this may be rough and you may even feel a tad bit icky, but I promise as the week progresses you will start to feel better.

    Give it a try. What do you have to lose except your bad habits.


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    3 Tips for Preventing Vacation Weight Gain

    Summer is here. For many of us that means weeks (or months) of dieting and extra trips to the gym to “get in shape” for our summer vacation. We cut the carbs, suffer through bowls of dressing free lettuce, trade our lattes for black coffee, and schlog through hours of treadmill interval workouts just so we can look good in our swimsuit, only to ruin our hard won efforts as soon as we reach our destination.

    Summer vacation does not have to mean weight gain. Implementing 3 simple techniques can help you maintain your pre-vaca physique. All without giving up the food and fun of your trip.

    Technique #1 – Eat slowly

    Taking time to eat slowly and savor your meals can help prevent overeating. Research shows that people who eat slowly and mindfully, aka focusing on what you’re eating, consume fewer calories than individuals who scarf down a meal. Take time to enjoy every meal. You are on vacation after all, why not make the most of each moment including meal time.

    Technique 1A – Take a bite of food then put your fork down. Savor the bite. How does it taste? What flavors do you notice? Do you even like it? If not, stop eating it. Chew slowly, swallow, take a breath, repeat.

    Technique #2 – Eat until 80% full

    Vacation often offers the opportunity to partake of foods we normally would not eat at home. Unfortunately, we often over do it by justifying it’s ok because we are “on vacation”. This is a sure way to regain pre-vacation weight losses. Eating until your a 80% full allows you to enjoy your favorite vacation foods while reducing the amount of calories you would ordinarily ingest. This applies to alcohol and sugary beverages as well. For example, if you would normally drink 3-4 alcohol drinks per day on vacation cut it back to 2-3 (or less).

    Technique 2A – Ordering a variety of appetizers rather than an entree is a terrific way to sample all the culinary delights your destination has to offer while allowing you to eat smaller portions.

    Technique #3 – Keep Moving

    Vacation time can be a terrific excuse to skip your workouts, but it is those workouts that got you into summer shape to begin with, so don’t ditch them entirely. You don’t have to hit the gym. Walking can be a great way to burn calories while on vacation. Try walking to dinner rather than taking a cab, take a walking tour of the city, bike ride through the countryside, kayak around the lake, splash and play in the hotel pool, or create a 10-15 min HIIT routine you can do in your hotel room. Being active for 15-20 minutes or more each day while you are on vacation can go a long way in preventing vacation weight gain.

    Staying healthy and keeping your weight in check while on vacation does not have to mean giving up trying and enjoying new foods or spending time locked inside the gym. Adding these 3 techniques to your vacation itinerary can insure you look as good (or better) after your trip as you did before.

    Are you ready to learn more nutritional habits that can have you looking and feeling your best? Then our Nutritional Coaching program is for you! Visit our website to learn more and get signed up: I’m ready to feel great!

    Have a happy, healthy vacation!!


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    On Your Mark, Get Set, It’s Monday

    You can write down goals like:

    I am going to go to the gym 3x this week.

    I am going to eat vegetables with each meal.

    I am going to spend 10 minutes mediating every day.

    OR

    They can be things you want to manifest, such as:

    I am receiving $1500 unexpected income this week.

    I am going to get hired at my dream job.

    I am going to receive a cup of coffee from a stranger.

    For example,

    I am so proud of myself for going to the gym 3x this week. I feel strong and confident. I am thrilled that got hired at my dream job. I am excited to be starting in 2 weeks.

    You get the idea.

    Spend a few moments truly feeling the emotions behind your desires. Then put the list away until Saturday.

    If you recall your list during the week, take a minute or two to focus on the emotions of achieving your desire.

    If you accomplish/receive before Saturday say, “Thank You”.

    Otherwise, just go along in your week, be as happy and productive as you can.

    On Saturday, take the list out and see how you did.

    Leave your comments below to inspire others.

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

    Have a happy, healthy day!!!


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    Get Happy

    Last Monday, I suggested you spend a few minutes of your day doing something that makes you happy ( Do Something…). Don’t worry if you missed it, because this week you are going to have the opportunity to do it again AND even more!

    This week I encourage you to:

    Here are some tips:

    • Try playing with your dog, going for a run, taking a nature walk, playing a game with your kids, reading a book, doing tai chi, meditating, baking cookies, or even sitting on your back porch listening to the birds sing.
    • Feel free to do the same activity every day or change it up from day-to-day, whatever feels good to you.
    • Don’t stress out! Do your best to get 15 minutes in each day. If you have a day where you simply cannot spend the full 15 minutes, try for 5-6 minutes instead.
    • Take notice of how you feel and how your week progresses.