Monthly Archives: June 2015

the new rule of eating out


Here is how I use to eat out. Plain salad with no yummy goodies like cheese, bacon or dressing. Then I would snack off of my dinner company’s plate of fries and nachos.  I was just never satisfied with a salad ( no wonder if you look at the way I was eating it) but I was too scared to order a burger and fries in fear I would eat it all hungry or not.

So I turned to practice. Practice is kinda scary, because with food, it is putting all the good stuff in front of you and telling yourself to just a have few bites. That is not just some silly rule to try to follow, that is effort my friend. 

Anyways, I want to share with you my best tips for eating out and my latest rule I use from time to time that breaks all the rules.

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. 

Just because you do not have access to exactly what you want to eat does not mean you still cannot make good choices! Just because you cannot eat in accordance to whatever way you choose to eat to live a healthy lifestyle does not mean you have to throw it out the window. I mean, you can from time to time, its called life, but you can still be “good” without having to be “perfect.”

Be Aware of Nutrient Content.

Restaurants have nutritional information now (if it is not on the menu, you can ask) so you at least have a better idea of what you are really eating. At restaurants I try to make my choices as close to 600 calories or less as possible. It may seem like a lot but not when most meals have 1000 or over!  If you are hungry and you knew that a grande, Starbucks Frappacino had more calories than an In N Out burger (bun and cheese included) wouldn’t you go get that burger? Choose wisely by using this formula if you eat out often.

  • protein + veggies/fat + alcoholic beverage OR starch = meal out
  • keep the high fat + high sugar combination to a minimum

This is a great formula to use to help control consumption because often time we want something that feels like a treat when eating out. The key is to realizing that we do not need to have everything to feel satisfied. Will you ever go out to eat and order a burger, beer and fries? Yes, of course you may at some point but remember you do have these options most of the time.

  • Order your meal and ask for what you want.
  • Most places will take specific recommendations.
  • Order a burger with no fries.
  • Order no oil or butter on your veggies.
  • Ask for chicken to be grilled not fried.
  • Stay away from breaded items.
  • Use half the dressing for your salad.
  • Order from the lighter side, skinnylicious, or healthy menu options. Often they are either small portions, a couple high fat ingredients have been removed, or they are just cooked with less butter and oil. Still amazingly tasty.
  • When ordering a salad ask to remove ONE thing, not everything (crispy onions, cheese or bacon). I take away that one thing, which is usually high in calories and fat, and still get to enjoy all the other goodies.
  • Be aware of nutrient content. You can easily have a days worth of calories in one meal.

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The new rule of eating.

Sometimes just let yourself be.

A few weeks ago I had sangria, salad, pizza and dessert all at the same meal and that kinda breaks all the rules I just talked about but in the moment I actually felt a little silly about all my eating out rules because I was simply enjoying good food and good company. It comes down to being consistent and conscious with your choices. You indulge today? Indulge a little less tomorrow. One bad meal will break you like one good meal will not make you.

How to show up in the world as yourself and be fearless

Fearless is not doing things that make you really uncomfortable or scared. It is doing more of the things that you actually want to do.

“Mom says if you are scared of something you probably should do it” my sister told me as we stood on the edge of a freezing cold, stunningly bright blue pool of water in Oregon.

Ugh. Words of perspective from the two most open minded, reasonable, accepting people on the planet, I thought. I don’t really know why I was so resistant to jump into the water. Maybe it was the seconds of discomfort I was envisioning. Or that I just didn’t feel like it. Or that I am a bit stubborn. It wasn’t even that big of a deal. I just wasn’t in the mood to step out of my comfort zone. But I did. I jumped into the water partially because my boyfriend partnered up with my sister against me and I gave into the peer pressure. But deep down because I wanted to.

When it comes to the big decisions in life I must say I am pretty brave and resilient, even knowing how hard the next step might be. But with the little things I am just a big wimp sometimes. I do crave being more fearless and over the years I have learned some major life lessons that have to do with not just showing up to the world with who I am, but owning who I am along the way.

While this can apply to big things, it also greatly applies to our day to day activities.  Whether I want to take more walks and hikes, try new restaurants or spend the afternoon in the sun, I want to be doing more of the things I want to do. Now, there is a balance of course because we can’t just throw our life and relationships aside so we can constantly be on the lookout for ourselves but we can work towards more of a balance of things that bring a joy and happiness. Ask your self what your soul is dying to do (insignificantly seemingly or not) and then go do it?

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Spend time with people who make you feel alive and stay away from dream crushers.

And by alive I mean people who’s company you enjoy and people who enhance your life rather than take away from it. Have you heard the bank account analogy before? Your relationships are like your checking account and it is inevitable you will have withdrawals and deposits ongoing. But you kinda need to have enough enough deposits to keep you from overdrawing too much. Spend more time with people who lift you up and less time with people who bring you down.

Have you ever been so excited about something only to present an idea to someone else and your enthusiasm was immediately crushed by either the other persons realism, lack of excitement or judgements? I call these people dream crushers and find that either:

a) they look at the world with the most realistic of thoughts and can’t see dreams without an exact set of steps to get there

or

b) people who are intimidated by your passion and want to crush it because they are covering up their own insecurities.

Neither is right or wrong but my point is to not let them or their responses dull your shine or enthusiasm. I am kind of a pro at letting someone ruin my day by their harsh words or lack of encouragement or enthusiasm but I realize this is more of a ME issue then about them. Be fearless with your ideas, your passions, your dreams, you goals and don’t let anyone dull your shine.

Let yourself shine.

 Do you ever not wear that new shirt because you want to save it for a special night?

Do you save the fancy dishes or not sit in the fancy room because you don’t want to mess things up?

Have you ever felt bad about not doing something even though you really did not want to do it?

Or not expressing your honest opinion because you were afraid of the outcome or how someone would respond?

These are all examples of us staying “small” is this great big world.

And being small and playing afraid does nothing to help us grow or shine as a person. Shrinking to prevent other people from feeling bad or insecure takes away from your light, your love and your authenticity.  Hiding behind the clouds keeps you fearful in a sense.

Who am I not to show up to the world as I am? We fear we will be rejected, hurt or judged and we probably will be at some point but it is all up to us on how we handle it. Show up to the world as you are and let others deal with it. NOW this is not an excuse to just go around and be an asshole to everyone and start letting all your thoughts come out no filter and say screw you I don’t care what you think!
 But to be able to express how you feel and be how you are with compassion, no judgement and let the world respond to you as they will.

Create new beliefs.

What types of self limiting beliefs do you have about yourself right now? That you are unloveable, boring, have no opportunities, have no money, have no friends, can’t keep a relationship? The trouble with adopting these types of beliefs is that we encourage the behavior in the direction we are thinking.

If you continue to believe you don’t have enough money, you will continue not to have enough money.

If you believe you can’t keep a relationship, you will not have one.

If you believe it is too difficult to have a healthy lifestyle it will be harder to have one.

Write down one self limiting belief you have about yourself right now and then change that belief. Write not what you believe now, but who or what you want to be.

I have enough money.

I am good at relationships.

I have it within me to live a healthy life.

And yes repeat it to yourself and start to adopt a new way of thinking. Because the more you believe, the more you are giving yourself permission to show up to the world as you are and who you want to be.

Is comparison hurting your motivation?

The magazine models, the friend on a enticing new detox, the co worker who is losing weight, the Instagram feed of hot bodies and perfect looking meals, the transformation Tuesday picture.

I bet at one time or another we all have turned to someone else or some new diet to motivate us to reach our goals. And that is fine because seeing others reach success is highly encouraging and can give us hope for our future. I have done it all. Quick fixes, pin ups of fashion models, trying what someone else is trying. But the question I urge you to ask yourself is this.

Does it give you enough motivation to actually change your habits or is it just a distraction and an excuse to really take the time and effort to figure out what works for for you?

Do these things actually change our behavior and habits? Not necessarily. For the longest time I wanted a super flat stomach, with maybe a hint of six pack abs. I would whine and complain about how I had to eat too strict to achieve that look and would silently curse my body for being the way it is. I would look at pictures of girls in magazine, CrossFit athletes on Instagram and see friends who stomaches were just naturally flatter.

One day I was asked, “Isn’t knowing that you  could look that way motivating enough?”

And I was surprised with my answer. “No, its not enough.”

Because when it comes down to it I have realized that working towards my ideal body is not about looking a certain way (well it is partially), it is about feeling good in my own skin and liking what I see in the mirror.  Because I do workout often and I am conscious about eating healthy. And if this is the body I am given from doing those things, then this is the body I want to love and appreciate.

My point being that comparing myself to fitness models or someone getting results on the latest diet doesn’t really motivate me. It actually leads to more discontent and self criticism and causes me to focus more on what someone else is doing and what works for them, than what actually works for me.  It doesn’t really change my behavior. And it may for some but I want you to simply to starting paying attention for yourself. Is using others as inspiration actually changing your behaviors or do you need to dig deep and find see what instinctually motivates you?

Today’s blog is going to be a little different. It is going to be less about me writing and sharing and more self discovery about you. I am going to leave you with some questions you can ask yourself about how you can figure out your, own, unique path of health and wellness.

In order to find out what works for you, answer the following questions. If you are really serious about changing your habits actually write down the answers to your questions instead of just reading over them.

Define who I want to be. Confident? Proud?

Define what I want my body to be. Lean? Healthy? Strong?

What kind of habits do I need to develop to be that person? Snack less? Get in your workouts?

What habits do I currently have that are holding me back? Skipping workouts? Justifying your food choices?

What has worked in the past for me?

What has NOT worked in the past for me?

What is one thing I can do to change my habits right now? Choose something, even if it seems in significant. Drink more water, move 5 minutes a day, eat one more vegetable today then you did yesterday.

Answer these questions and let the information you receive from them help guide the way. Remember, you don’t need to look at the entire picture. Just the next choice you are going to make. Week to week, day to day, meal to meal, moment to moment.

As always, if you need guidance ask me on the Facebook page or jump on my email list. Always here to help!

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From scratch, healthy homemade cookies

I am not a fan of recipes and even when I follow one I tend to alter or adjust it almost all the time. This leads to creating my own recipes though I am the biggest non cook you will ever meet. I just don’t enjoy it most of the time. BUT everyone once in awhile I like trying something new or find myself in awe over my creations completely from scratch.

My sister and I actually created this recipe just with what she had in her kitchen.  We kind of winged it (“yeah lets throw some of that in there) so the measurements may not be exact. Feel free to add your own goodies or adjust the recipe as you wish.

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Ingredients:

2 mashed bananas

1.5 cup of dry oatmeal

1/2 cup of coconut flour

2 TBSP of honey

1/4 cup of Sunflower Seed butter

Sprinkle of baking soda

1 tsp of vanilla

A huge handful of chocolate chips (ok two huge handfuls).

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Mash bananas and mix together all ingredients.

Place in cookie shaped sizes on a foil lined sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

 

 

3 simple carbohydrate guidelines

Your brain needs a minimum amount of 130 grams of carbs per day for the brain to function optimally (not even counting exercise) and here we are cutting carbs, avoiding carbs, and skipping carbs at the worst possible times!

As always this is not the exact case for everyone and some people do really well with lower carbohydrate intake, when paired with the appropriate fat and protein intake. Many factors are involved including the size of your body, your activity levels, your goals, and how much fat and protein you are taking in. Regardless do not automatically assume that carbs are the enemy. If you do not know where to start or feel that you struggle with carb intake, start by following my 3 simple guidelines that have nothing to do with numbers.

Strategize carbs.
Your golden opportunity for carbs.
How to choose the right carbs for you goals.

 

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A little bit of knowledge for you

Carbohydrates are one of the primary macronutrients (others are fat and protein). You know this right! For every gram of carbohydrates there is 4 calories of energy. Protein also has 4 calories per gram, while fat has 9 calories and alcohol has 7.

ALL carbohydrates are broken down into the body into simple sugars whether you are consuming cookies, rice or vegetables. Yes vegetables are considered a carb and yes vegetables are broken down into simple sugars. When they are broken down and released into the bloodstream this is when the hormone insulin is released to help with the amount of sugar in the body. This is not always a bad  thing which I will go into further in a bit.

Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source of the brain and the body’s primary source for immediate energy.

The trouble is more than carbohydrates intake itself, it is the sheer volume of intake paired with a high fat, high sugar diet that has caused such a poor view of carbs. So what can you do?

Choose the right carbs for your goals.  

Before you ban carbs completely ask your self these questions.

Am I eating quality carbs right now?

Am I eating them in proper amounts? 

Are you eating muffins, high sugar yogurt, cookies, pastries, drinking a lot of alcohol, munching on bags of goldfish and pretzels, drinking bottles of juice or sugary coffee? If the answer is yes remember these types of carbs provide little nutrition value, have little fiber and can cause you to be craving more an hour later.  What kinds of carbs, and in what quantity?  Are they in line with your goals?

Before you claim carbs to be the culprit for your lack of success, start by choosing healthier carbs that have more nutrient value and are higher in fiber.  Why? Because carbs that are higher in fiber and lower in sugar will enter the bloodstream slower (less spike of you insulin levels) resulting in more stable blood sugar which will help control your hunger, energy and craving levels. There is a purpose to this. This is also why it is often recommended to eat a carb source with a protein source to help slow the digestion and absorption. This leads me to my next point.

Strategizing carbs.

Pair carbs with protein and/or fat to help slow the digestion and absorption at most of your meals. Again this can help stabilize hunger and energy levels.  Eggs and toast, greek yogurt and fruit, chicken and rice or vegetables. These are all examples of pairing a carb with a protein.

I have been pairing my carbs and protein and fats for years now, to the point where it has become effortless.  But I have one vivid memory of going to a meeting where breakfast was going to be served. I wasn’t too stressed because surely they would have something I wanted to eat. The options were coffee, orange juice and pastries. I was starving and reluctantly ate all three in moderate portions but the rest of the morning I felt pretty horrible. I had low energy, headaches and was starving by lunch. I would almost rather eat nothing than just a pastry for breakfast. Pairing my foods groups has been one of the best tools I have used over what “exactly” I should eat. (This is not to say I never eat a cookie by itself or a piece of fruit but I use this strategy often).

Your golden opportunity for carbs.

I often have clients tell me they skip carbs post workout, especially if it is late at night, because they do not want to “ruin” all the work they just did. This is the absolute worst thing you can do for your bodies recovery and it will catch up with you.  Post intense workout your muscles are more insulin sensitive meaning they will uptake carbs and send them directly to the muscles to replace their energy stores instead of being stored as fat. Though post workout you may feel you will undo all the hard work if you eat, you are actually missing out on the prime time to eat.

So can eating less carbs give you results? Perhaps but they are almost always temporary because many cannot sustain this way of eating. Keep in mind eating more carbs can actually help some individuals lose fat and keep it off. Until you figure out your formula follow my simple rules.

More of the “healthier” carbs like vegetables, fruits, brown rice, potatoes, beans, and less of processed carbs.

Pair your carbs with a fat or protein to help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Don’t miss eating carbs post workout.

Additional reading:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-carbohydrates

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/low-carb-diets

 

 

How to exude confidence to the world


What is confidence? Confidence is personal freedom. You know my motto! Move often, eat simply and live freely. And living freely is living with a strong belief in your self and your abilities, that no matter what life throws at you, you will come out on top.

 

I think what we are all really dying for, is for someone simply to give us permission that we are enough. That our body is enough, that our careers are enough, that we are a good enough parent, a good enough friend or family member. That we are living a good enough life. And if you need that permission to validate you are doing ok I am giving it to you. You are ok.

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Why, why, why,why & why?

When it comes to your body or life, ask yourself why the thing you are most dissatisfied with makes you feel so bad?

What about your body or who you are makes you feel bad? Answer out loud and then again ask yourself why? ANd then ask it an additional 3 times to really get to the root of where this is coming from.

Example.

Why does it make me feel bad that my jeans do not fit?

Because it makes me feel bad that I am not in good shape?

Why? Because when I am in good shape I feel more confident?

Why? Because I sometimes feel like being in better shape is all I have going for me.

Why? Because I am not confident as a parent/friend/in my job, etc and when I rely on the way my body looks I feel like I have a higher self worth and others will love me more.

Why? Because deep down I just want to be loved and I don’t love myself.

You see that? One why would have not gotten to the core.

So how do you feel comfortable in your own skin?

 

Focus on you. Stop comparing. It does not matter what others are doing. It matters what you are doing. I see women of all body shapes, of all levels of monetary success, of all career levels who are confident and those who are not. Confidence is not dependent on our circumstances, it is dependent on how we choose to view ourselves. There will always be someone prettier, leaner, smarter, or more successful so comparing to that one person or group of people is like trying to hit a moving target. It will always be moving. And if you keep shooting and missing, you will not only never be confident, you will never really be able to grasp true joy and gratitude.

Make decisions. Even small ones! Doubt keeps us frozen. It keeps us in a state, unable to move forward or back. The quickest way to build confidence is decide what you want to do and be who you want to be and do it. Start small if you need to. Make decisions about where you want to eat, what you want to wear, what movie you want to watch and go confidently in that direction. Once you do this over and over it will translate to the bigger picture in life.

Have compassion for yourself.We think that the harder we are on ourselves, the better. Somehow it seems like a copout to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and show sense of compassion along the way. We should be prettier, in better shape, have better hair, a more stylish home, a different car, a different job. But c’mon, you are doing the best you can in your given circumstances. And self criticism is actually LESS of a motivator than self love. Give it a shot.

Don’t rely on others to validate your worthiness. Sure it is great to have someone tell you you are pretty or compliment your outfit, but don’t rely on it to feel good about yourself. Feel good because of you, not because of someone else. When we can adopt this mindset it turns out wonderfully because it does not matter what any one else says or does not say, you just show up to the world as you as and are ok.

OWN your body own the story your body has. Your body has an amazing story. A story unlike anyone else. Own it. If you can learn to detach your thoughts about the lies you have created about your body you can create a new story. Our body is only what we perceive  it be. Strong, healthy, unhealthy, weak? If you find your story is a sad, negative and lonely one, it will lead to a sad negative and lonely life. BUT if you view your body as happy, positive and abundant, guess where that will lead you.

Enough apologizing and explaining already. DO you find yourself constantly apologizing or explaining who you are. Perhaps even deflecting compliments. Someone comments you look great and you say respond with how lame you are that you have not been to the gym in weeks. Your body and mind hear that! That you are lame! And unless you want to live a lame life, stop saying that! Stop apologizing an start owning!

Stop surveying others to find the answer you want to hear. Hello number one problem I personally have. When I am stuck in paralysis from making decisions, I start asking everyone around me what they think I should do. Like I need validation or someone to tell me it is ok. Should I spend money on this? Should I take this trip? Is this good enough. My current practice is surveying myself and myself only. Until I am trying to make one of my moms recipes then I call her for help!

Match your body and mind. Sometimes there is a disconnect between how you feel and how you look. You might feel super confident and then look at your body and it does not match your emotion or you might feel like you look damn good but your soul is crying for worthiness. Remember you do not need anyone to make you happy. You need you.

It is not wrong to care what other people think, I mean we all do. We don’t like to admit it but we do. But try not to let it affect you. If your feathers are ruffled by something someone says or does take a honest look at why that affects you so deeply. Chances are it has to do more with you then them.

In the meantime work on this completely crazy concept of meeting your body with unconditional love and self acceptance while working towards where you want to be along the way.