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Healthy Habits Lead to Success in 2020

Happy New Year and welcome to 2020!

If you resolved to lose weight or improve your heath this year, congratulations!

So, what is your plan? Do you have one?

In 10+ years of working with clients on health and nutrition, I have often found that when January 1st rolls around people decide to make dramatic changes to their eating habits: cutting out all sugar, eliminating all carbohydrates, avoiding alcohol, or eating only chicken and steamed vegetables.

While this may seem like the best way to lose weight and clean up your eating, there are a few flaws with this type of plan.

First of all, if you have spent the past 2 months indulging in cookies, mashed potatoes, wine, and pumpkin spice lattes it will be difficult for your body to give them up cold turkey. You have conditioned your mind, as well as your body, to expect these delicious, comforting treats.

When you say, “Sorry, no more fat, sugary goodness for you!”

Your body replies, “Oh yeah, I’ll just see about that!”

The next thing you know, you are in the midst of some serious carbohydrate and/or alcohol cravings. And we all know that eventually you will cave in and go off the rails vowing to start again tomorrow or next Monday. Even worse, you may quit trying altogether.

Secondly, our bodies need all of the food groups to heal, grow, stay healthy, and function on a daily basis. Eliminating an entire group of foods, such as carbohydrates or fats, restricts the amount of vital nutrients our bodies receive. We may not need processed carbohydrates and saturated fats to fuel our body but we do need to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats from nuts, seeds, or avocados to insure our body functions at its best.

Rather than adopting a drastic “all or nothing” approach, I encourage my clients to make small, manageable changes over a period of time. A kind of “ back to basics” approach that introduces easy to apply lifestyle habits as opposed to diets and deprivation.

For example:

  • Eat slowly and mindfully – Rather than scarfing down dinner in front of the tv, sit at the kitchen table and make an effort to experience and enjoy the food you are eating. If you normally finish dinner in 15 minutes, set a timer for 20-25 minutes and allow the act of eating to fill the time.
  • Eat less by reducing your normal meal size by 20% – Rather than cutting out, start by cutting back. If you normally get a medium latte, try a small. If you grab a bag of potato chips from the vending machine each day, start cutting back by only eating 1/2 the bag (save the other half for the next day or throw it away if you simply can’t put it down). At lunch, eat your normal foods but order a smaller portion, put some in a to-go box, or share with a friend.
  • If you managed to maintain a fairly healthy diet through the holidays, perhaps you focus on adding 15-20 minutes of physical activity to your day 4-5 times per week.

Pick 1 new lifestyle habit and focus on doing it everyday for 2-3 weeks. Strive to do a little bit better each day. Once you have gotten a firm grasp on the habit you can choose to expand on it, such as increasing your physical activity to 30 minutes 4-5 days per week, OR you can add a new habit to your healthy habits repertoire.

Yes, it will take longer to lose weight or improve your eating pattern, however in the long run this slow steady approach will lead to greater success and better long-term results.

Give it a try, be patient, and keep an open mind. If you do, you will see yourself making the progress you want while still enjoying your life.

If you are unsure of where or how to start, my nutritional coaching program will help you get on track and stay on track. Learn more now!

Remember:


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Holiday, Do It Anywhere Workout

The holiday season can frequently lead to a hectic schedule. Between social engagements, shopping, wrapping, baking, and traveling, finding time to go to the gym can be a challenge. Many of my clients say they simply don’t have the time to workout.

I can completely understand how life can get in the way of workouts. It happens to all of us. But, a busy schedule does not mean you have to ditch your fitness goals.

Just because you don’t have time go to the gym and do an hour workout doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Whether you get up a few minutes early, give up a working lunch for a workout lunch, or exercise while watching TV, you can find 15-20 minutes in your day to get a little bit of exercise.

I have several short workouts I can do at home whenever life gets in the way of gym time. Below is one of my favorites:

This workout is designed to be fast and effective, it can be done just about anywhere and doesn’t require equipment. If you have light dumbbells or resistance bands, you can use them to amp up the workout.

Remember, just because you don’t have time for the gym doesn’t mean you have to miss your workouts.


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You CAN Build Good Nutritional Habits Over the Holidays

Traditionally, Halloween marks the start of the holiday season. With Halloween and the start of the holidays just a few days away you may think that starting a nutritional overhaul is an invitation to failure. But, with the right plan you can build a healthy lifestyle without having to give up the food and fun of the holidays.

Simple things like: eating slowly, drinking plenty of water, eating 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, choosing lean protein, and getting plenty of rest can make a big difference in building a healthy lifestyle.

My nutritional coaching plan is based on simple nutrition and lifestyle habits that will help you look good, feel great, and maybe even lose some weight this holiday season all without depriving you of your favorite foods. Find out more at https://procoach.app/wellnessphx

The plan progresses slowly giving you a new healthy habit to practice every 2 weeks along with daily lessons that help explain and reinforce your new habit. Over the course of a year you will develop a set of habits that you can use for the rest of your life to help you look and feel your best. And the best part is you get 1-on-1 access to me, your coach, through out the program, so you are never alone.

The next program starts Monday November 18th. There are 15 slots left and they will fill quickly, so don’t wait too long.

Because I want to help as many people as possible successfully navigate a healthy holiday season, I am offering a 20% early bird discount for the next 2 weeks. That makes the price of the program $127/month! That is an amazing value for all of the lessons, tips, and personalized feedback you receive. After November 11th, the price goes back to $159/month, still a great value, but why wait: Sign Up Now!

Having fun over the holidays and following a solid nutritional plan ARE possible, IF you have the support and guidance to help you build good habits and keep you motivated. Make 2020 the year you don’t make losing weight or eating better one of your resolutions, get started now, click here to get started now!


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Declutter to Achieve Your Nutritional Goals – Clear Your Cabinets

So far this month we have cleaned out your refrigerator, pantry, and kitchen drawers. This week, we tackle the kitchen cabinets.

Now in case you have forgotten, we have devoted this month to improving our nutritional habits by decluttering our kitchen. The faster, easier, and more efficient it is to locate healthy food and cooking implements the more likely you are to prepare nutritious meals and snacks.

Depending on the size of your kitchen, clearing the cabinets can be a long and arduous task, so I recommend setting aside 20-30 minutes each day over the next week or 2 to clearing out 1 cabinet per day.

  • Sell or donate any small appliances you no longer use: toaster, coffee maker, ice cream maker, waffle iron, etc.
  • Sort and stack your plates, bowls, cups, and glassware. Give away anything that you have not used in the last year.
  • Get rid of plastic food storage containers that are warped, discolored, or missing a lid (or vice versa).
  • Look through your pots and pans and get rid of any that have a scratched nonstick surface, permanent scorch marks, or broken handles. Stack the pans neatly and organize the lids in an extra baking pan or large plastic storage container.
  • Inventory, sort, and stack serving platters/bowls, mixing bowls, cutting boards, strainers, etc. Throw away anything that is cracked, scratched, bent, or broken. Donate or sell anything you haven’t used in 2 years.
  • If it is broken or otherwise does not work, throw it away!
  • Purchase cabinet organizers for things like cookware lids, baking sheets, paper products, small appliance accessories, etc.

Here is an example of a few of my cabinets:

While it may seem like a boring pointless task, decluttering and organizing your cabinets is a great way to motivate yourself to eat healthier by making it quick and easy to prep and cook healthy meals and snacks. You will be amazed at how much more pleasant it is to use your kitchen when things are tidy and in their place.

We are almost done with our kitchen decluttering project, just a few more things to clean up. Next week we move on to the freezer. Until then, have a happy healthy week!

Decluttering your kitchen is just 1 habit that can help you reach your health and nutrition goals. Eating slowly, drinking plenty of water, adding more fruits and vegetables, and even getting plenty of rest are a few more ways you can achieve your nutrition goals. To find out how to build these and many other lifelong habits that will keep you on track, visit my website: https://procoach.app/wellnessphx


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Declutter to Achieve Your Nutritional Goals – Clear Out Your Drawers

This month we have been cleaning the clutter from our kitchens in order to improve our nutritional habits.

Studies show that having an organized and clutter free kitchen makes us more likely to prepare healthy meals.

So far, we have cleaned out our refrigerator and our pantry. This week we are moving on to our kitchen drawers.

Having quick access to spatulas, measuring cups, measuring spoons, tongs, and potholders makes preparing a meal much easier than having to search through drawers full of broken utensils and bric-a-brac.

Over the next week, go through your kitchen drawers:

  • Throw away any broken utensils, melted spatulas, split wooden spoons, etc.
  • Stack measuring cups and measuring spoons. Try hooking them together with a pipe cleaner or carabiner clip.
  • Buy drawer organizers to sort silverware, serving ware, and utensils.
  • Toss out stained or worn towels and dishrags.
  • Next, be brave and tackle the “junk” drawer (it’s ok, we all have one). Get rid of pens that don’t work, separate paperclips, rubber bands, and batteries into plastic cups/baggies, throw away old business cards, coupons, and flyers. Sort and organize take away menus.
  • If you don’t use it or it doesn’t work get it out of your kitchen.

You will be amazed by how getting your kitchen drawers in order will make meal prepping time faster, easier, and more enjoyable.

That’s it for this week. Next week we will clean out your cupboards. Until then,

Happy Decluttering!

Review Previous Posts:

The Refrigerator

The Pantry


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Eat a Rainbow – Here Comes the Sun

This is week 4 in our series, Improve Your Health,Eat a Rainbow. So far we have looked at the GREEN and RED groups. This week we are exploring the YELLOW and ORANGE foods.

Foods in the orange/yellow group contain Vitamin C, alpha-carotene, and the phytonutrient, hesperidin.

Vitamin C is important for tissue regeneration, decreasing cholesterol and triglycerides, and strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and can help prevent cancer. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron.

Alpha-carotene is a member of the carotenoid family, that also includes beta-carotene. Carotenoids are antioxidants that reduce free radical damage to tissues that can lead to cancer and heart disease. In addition, the body converts alpha and beta carotene to Vitamin A. Vitamin A supports healthy skin, eyes, and immune system.

Hesperidin, found in citrus fruits, is a flavonoid with anti inflammatory properties and can improve circulation.

Orange and yellow foods can boost your immune system, protect against cancer and heart disease, and keep your skin and eyes healthy and beautiful. Adding 1 or 2 orange/yellow fruits or vegetables to your daily diet can help you reach your goal of 5-7 servings per day.

Try these recipes to add more orange and yellow foods to your diet:

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Pineapple Papaya Salsa

Are you ready to learn more healthy nutritional habits? Join my nutritional coaching program and learn how you can get in the best health of your life. Join now! Invest in your health and your life!


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Ratatouille

Ratatouille

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups eggplant, chopped
  • 1-1/4 cups Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut length-wise and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Instructions:
    • Heat olive oil over medium-high in a large sauté pan.
    • Sauté onion, garlic, and bay leaf until translucent. Stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.
    • Add eggplant and continue cooking 8-10 minutes until eggplant is soft.
    • Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, and salt.
    • Cook an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
    • Remove from heat, add basil, and pepper to taste.

    Serve Ratatouille alone or over steamed rice, eggs, or tofu.


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    Pineapple and Papaya Salsa

    Salsa is a fun and delicious way to add fruits and vegetables to your diet. Whether they are made with tomatoes, peppers, or tropical fruits like the recipe today, salsa can be eaten alone, with tortilla chips (in moderation of course), or used to garnish fish, meat, tofu, or eggs.

    This pineapple and papaya salsa is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and enzymes that can help support and improve digestion.

    Pineapple and Papaya Salsa

    Ingredients:
    • 2 cups pineapple, cut into 1/2″ chunks
    • 2 cups papaya*, cut into 1/2″ chunks
    • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons pepitas
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon lime zest
    • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Instructions:
    • Combine all ingredients in a nonmetal bowl and mix well.
    • Cover and place in refrigerator for 4-6 hours to allow flavors to mingle.

    Serving size= 2 Tablespoons

    Serve over chicken, pork tenderloin, grilled tofu, or a green salad in place of dressing.

    * If papaya is unavailable try mangos. Yum!


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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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    Make Family Time Meal Prep Time

    Some of my fondest childhood memories are of time I spent in the kitchen cooking with my grandmother. I learned not simply how to cook, but also what to eat. My Nana was well ahead of her time when it came to eating healthy balanced meals and many of the habits I use today I learned from her. In addition, it was during these times in the kitchen that I learned the most about my grandmother and it helped form a bond between us and I “see” her in many of the health and wellness choices I make each day.

    If you follow this blog regularly, you know I am a proponent of spending a few hours every week planning and preparing meals ahead of time, but meal prepping can take time away from family activities and it is for this reason that many of my clients avoid spending a few hours on the weekend preparing meals for the week ahead. Because meal prepping is an important habit when trying to achieve nutritional goals, I propose combining meal prep time with family time.

    Start the meal prepping process by letting kids help set the menu for the week. Let them pick from a selection of recipes or even research new recipes online. Childhood favorites like pizza, tacos, or chicken fingers can be made with healthy ingredients. Ask your kids “surf the net” and create a little presentation about a certain food they selected or another nutritional topic. No matter what they come up with give them an A+ for effort. This keeps learning about nutrition a fun, positive experience.

    Grocery shopping is a great way to teach children about good nutrition. Let children pick a particular color of fruit or vegetable to try for the week. Read nutritional labels with them and explain them in simple terms. Do not label foods “good” or “bad”, but rather explain what makes a certain food a better choice than another. For example, “This red apple is a better choice than fruit roll ups because it has vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients that help you be strong and healthy.”

    Once your home and in the kitchen, let kids help with prepping the foods. Even small children can help wash vegetables, put chopped fruits into containers, stir ingredients or toss a salad. Older children may be able to help chop, measure, or even cook. Take this time to reinforce good nutritional habits like eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, eating slowly, and making healthy choices. Don’t get too serious, make it fun. Remember, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”, so sing, dance, and tell silly stories to create a fun environment for kids. This not only teaches them that meal prepping is fun rather than work, but studies show this fun together-time enhances the flavor and nutritional quality of the food.

    You do not need to do all of these suggestions, just try 2-3 of them or come up with your own ways to get your children involved in the meal planning/prepping process. What ever you do, keep it fun!

    The kitchen is a great place to teach children basic nutritional lessons that will last a lifetime, but just Ike it was for my grandmother and I, it is also a terrific way to engage with your children, learn about them as individuals, and build a strong relationship.

    Help inspire other readers by sharing some of the ways you get your children involved in healthy habit building in the “Comments” section below.

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    Until next time, have a happy healthy day.