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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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Don’t Get Derailed Over the Holidays

With the New Year just a few weeks away, you may be tempted to say, “Hang the healthy eating! I’m gonna have some fun!!! I’ll get back to my diet/healthy eating plan after the first of the year. After all, that’s what New Year’s Resolutions are for!”

I am here to remind you, that taking that attitude is a mistake! Not only can it lead to end of the year weight gain, but it can also help reinforce or instill bad eating habits. Let’s face it, if you get in the habit of having a glass of eggnog and a few cookies before bed every night for the next 2 weeks what makes you think you will magically be able to stop when the calendar turns to 2020?

And why set yourself up for even more work next year by adding 3-5 pounds (or more) of holiday weight that you need to “resolve” to lose?

We have all heard the statistics: only 25% of people that set New Year’s resolutions stick with them past 30 days and only 8% actually achieve their resolution!

I am not saying don’t enjoy the remainder of the holiday season. I am simply encouraging you to make smart nutritional decisions.:

Limit the amount of sweets, processed foods, and alcohol you eat and drink. Notice I said LIMIT, not eliminate! An easy trick is to keep your intake of holiday treats and beverages at less than 15% of your normal daily intake (you can measure this by counting calories or by “eyeballing” it on your plate; 85%+ fruits, veggies, lean protein, complex carbs and <15% processed food/alcohol).

Using a little common sense and some self control can ensure you enjoy your holidays and still start the New Year off on the right nutritional footing!


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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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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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    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: