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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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Chocolate Mint Smoothie

  • There is nothing quite like a scoop of mint chocolate ice cream on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, ice cream is not the healthiest way to relax and cool off.
  • This recipe combines delicious chocolate protein with cooling mint for a tasty and healthy summer treat.
  • Not only do the mint leaves pack a powerful antioxidant punch, but mint also helps improve digestion, boost liver function, and lower body temperature (yep, eating mint actually makes you cool)!
  • The avocado adds a creamy consistency while providing a healthy dose of fat!
  • I love this smoothie after a long day in the heat when I need some nutrition but don’t feel like eating a meal.
  • Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie

    Ingredients:

    2 cups organic spinach (or kale if you like stronger greens)

  • 1-1/2 cup milk (unsweetened almond or coconut work great, but you can use nonfat dairy milk if you prefer; water works too)
  • 1 cup ice (more or less, for desired thickness)
  • ½ avocado, pit and skin removed
  • 1 scoop Chocolate PureTrim Mediterranean Wellness Shakes*
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • Directions:
    • Combine all ingredients in a power blend per and blend until smooth.
      Sit back, cool off, and enjoy!

    *PureTrim shakes contain 21 grams of vegan protein, antioxidants, a blend of essential fatty acids, probiotics, and less than 8 grams of net carbs. Oh yeah, and they actually taste great too! Order yours now!

    Don’t forget to check out our other healthy, yummy recipes on our Recipes page!


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    Chocolate Mint Smoothie

  • There is nothing quite like a scoop of mint chocolate ice cream on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, ice cream is not the healthiest way to relax and cool off.
  • This recipe combines delicious chocolate protein with cooling mint for a tasty and healthy summer treat.
  • Not only do the mint leaves pack a powerful antioxidant punch, but mint also helps improve digestion, boost liver function, and lower body temperature (yep, eating mint actually makes you cool)!
  • The avocado adds a creamy consistency while providing a healthy dose of fat!
  • I love this smoothie after a long hot day when I need some nutrition but don’t feel like eating a meal.
  • Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie

    Ingredients:

    2 cups organic spinach (or kale if you like stronger greens)

  • 1-1/2 cup milk (unsweetened almond or coconut work great, but you can use nonfat dairy milk if you prefer; water works too)
  • 1 cup ice (more or less, for desired thickness)
  • ½ avocado, pitted and skin removed
  • 1 packet Chocolate PureTrim Mediterranean Wellness Shakes*
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • Directions:
    • Combine all ingredients in a power blender and blend until smooth.
      Sit back, cool off, and enjoy!

    *PureTrim shakes contain 21 grams of vegan protein, antioxidants, a blend of essential fatty acids, probiotics, and less than 8 grams of net carbs. Oh yeah, and they actually taste great too! Order yours now!

    Don’t forget to check out our other healthy, yummy recipes on our Recipes page!


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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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    Berry Delicious Avocado Toast

    Sweet berries and creamy avocado come together on crunchy toast for this breakfast favorite! Oh yeah, and it is nutritious! The avocado provides healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and potassium, while the berries supply antioxidants, vitamin C, and manganese.

    Berry Delicious Avocado Toast

    Ingredients:
    • 2 slices multigrain bread or gluten free bread
    • 1 large avocado, ripened
    • 1/3 cup blueberries, rinsed
    • 1/3 cup strawberries, rinse and quartered
    • Cinnamon, to taste
    Instructions:
    • Scoop avocado into a small bowl and mash with a fork until smooth.
    • Gently fold in blueberries and strawberries.
    • Toast the bread in a toaster or in a skillet*
    • Top each slice of toast with 1/2 of the avocado mixture and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.

    Serves 2

    *If you do not have a toaster, you can toast the bread in a skillet: brush both sides lightly with butter, place in a skillet preheated over medium heat, grill until lightly browned then flip over and repeat on the other side.

    This toast is great alone and makes a terrific side dish to a green salad or eggs.

    ENJOY!

    Are you ready to learn more about eating healthy? My nutritional coaching program can help you develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Sign up now!


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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.

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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.

    Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook.

    Until next time, have a happy healthy day.