Monthly Archives: January 2017

What you really need to know about breakfast (and recipes to jumpstart your day)

Today I want to talk about what you really need to know about breakfast.

You will hear everything from breakfast doesn’t matter to that it is the most important meal of the day. You will hear that you should eat within 30 minutes upon waking or it is ok to wait a few hours. You will hear you should have bulletproof coffee, that you should eat carbs, and I even read an article the other day that you should not have carbs at breakfast. Everything of course is backed by some sort of study, that includes some type of science, that proves their point in some way.

What you really need to know about breakfast is what works for you. I  have people tell me they don’t have time, they are not a breakfast person, they are not hungry in the morning and breakfast makes them hungrier later on in the day. All fine, if you are getting the results you are seeking.

My point being that if something is not working for you, change it.

The main thing to ask yourself is this.

“Is what I am doing working for ME?”

If you don’t eat breakfast and are seeing results and able to keep your craving and energy levels in check then by all means keep at it. But if you are not seeing results or skip breakfast and eat too much later and experience a lot of craving and energy issues, experiment to see what a healthy breakfast can do for you.

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Oatmeal, egg whites, diced apples and cinnamon.

Should you eat carbs at breakfast?

I don’t see any reason to stay away from properly portioned carbs that make you feel good and give you the results you are seeking in terms of the way you look, feel and perform each and every day. The problem with most breakfast carb choices is that they come in forms of muffins, cereals, bagels, granola and processed varieties.

They are typically highly processed, low in protein and fiber, high in fat and or sugar and can leave you with a quick drop in energy. Also things like muffins and pancakes tend to be easier to overeat then things like oatmeal, fruit, yogurt and eggs.

Carbs at breakfast is not a bad thing if you choose ones that are more beneficial to your health, like oatmeal, sprouted grains, potatoes, fruit and vegetables and you keep them in moderate portions. They keep you fuller longer and tend to have more nutrients and fiber. Different people will get results on different food selections.

Instead of worrying quite so much about what exactly you eat, try this.

Pair your morning carb with a protein or fat. All carbs are broken down into sugar,  from bagels to vegetables. They all break down to the same thing. Vegetables differ than bagels because of their high fiber and water content and have less of an impact on our blood sugar when eaten.

They enter our blood stream at a much slower than pace then a bagel which can quickly spike our blood sugar levels making us more prone to hunger and cravings later on and send our energy levels crashing.  Protein and fats also have less of an impact on insulin and a great pair for carbs.

One of the best things you can do to help manage your hunger, craving and energy levels is to pair a protein or fat with your carbs. This helps stabilize blood sugar levels and is the single most important thing I do with my diet. 

First and foremost it is about what works for you, what gets you the results you are seeking and what leaves you feeling good. You just have to take the time to experiment and if something you have been doing for years is not working, it is time for a change.

Here are a few breakfast ideas  to start your day off strong besides eggs and toast.

 

  • Berry and Yogurt Parfait ( 1 cup of plain greek yogurt, 1 tbsp honey, 1 cup of berries, 1-2 TBSP of slivered almonds or walnuts).
  • Protein Smoothie ( 1 scoop or protein powder or you choice, 1/2 banana, 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 1 tbsp of peanut butter)
  • Sweet or Savory Sweet Potato Cakes ( 1 peeled sweet potato shredded, mixed with 2 eggs, cook like pancakes). For a sweet flavor add cinnamon, for savory add garlic powder, pepper, whatever your heart desires.
  • Grain Free Pancakes (2 bananas, 2 TBSP of almond butter, 4 eggs and cook like pancakes)
  • Endless Option Egg Bake (recipe below and feel free to mix and match the veggies, meat, and cheese as you see fit).

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Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 carton of egg whites
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • huge handful of spinach
  • 1 pack of breakfast sausage
  • Parmesan Cheese to sprinkle

Any seasonings like garlic, basil, cayenne pepper, oregano, etc.

Also you can add any veggies you choose, take out the meat.

Directions:
  1. Brown meat and onions.
  2. In a sprayed dish layer meat, veggies, and pour eggs over.
  3. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
  4. Bake at 350 for about an hour.

Now get after it, start experimenting and find your unique formula!

 

 

How to use the ‘slight edge’ to get your ideal body

I just finished the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.

Ok in all honestly I just finished RE- reading it.

Ok I read it twice and am reading back through my highlighted parts.

This book is filled with the most seemingly obvious advice equivalent to a “just do it” of sorts but I couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement, every sentence that passed my eyes.

What is the slight edge and why do you need it? It is essentially this. It is the culmination of daily actions repeated over and over again to get the results you are seeking.

How do you use it? You quit blaming, talking, thinking, contemplating, and searching and implement the little things each and every day over and over again. It is as simple as it is hard.

Because success, reaching goals, and overcoming challenges is not a big magical accomplishment that all of a sudden happens, it is a series of little things done each and every day that add up over time. We know this, we just don’t do it. Or we do it and expect immediate results so we stop doing the little things we need to do to get us to where we want to be.

I still do this when starting a new exercise program, want to tighten up my diet or reduce pain in my back. I think that because I have been at it for a week I should have the grand results I have been seeking. With much practice I have broken the cycle of simply stopping when the results are invisible and keep the bigger picture in mind and just keep going. It is not that it isn’t working, the universe just has not supplied enough time for me to see the results yet.

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Where you can start?

Quit stopping at survival and keep going to success.

Us humans get comfortable in survival mode. We unintentionally self sabotage our best efforts to improve our health and change our habits. It’s not that we don’t know what to do, it is just that we don’t do it for long enough.

When we workout more we think we can eat a ton more, when we drastically reduce calories our bodies respond by slowing our metabolic rate making it harder to make the weight budge, and when we skip our healthy habits we create poor habits and justify our choices.  A recent article in the New York Times states it perfectly.

“The human body and brain are funny. They often, and rather insidiously, undermine some of our best efforts to be healthier, in an attempt to maintain our physiological status quo.The result can be that we do not benefit as much as we’d hoped from changes to our lifestyles.”

Or in the case of using the slight edge Olsen suggests that humans are comfortable in survival mode and waiver back and forth between survival and failure instead of pushing towards success.

When we start to slip to rock bottom we will do anything to get back to survival mode, where we are getting by, just good enough. Once we get to survival mode, we get comfortable and naturally stop doing the things that keep us progressing.

There is nothing magical about going from failure to survival and survival to success, it is the same actions you have been doing, you just have to keep doing them.

To be successful with body change you have to keep going, even when you don’t feel like it or the results are intangible. 

Take responsibility for yourself and your choices.

“When you take and retrain full responsibility – even when others are wrong or the situation is genuinely unfair – you get to keep your life’s reins in your own hands.”Jeff Olsen

I don’t think we mean to always put the blame on other things or other people, I think deep down it is more like a mode of self protection. If there is some reason we are not able to complete a task or put in the work, it makes us feel just a little better if the responsibility is not on us. No time, no money? No problem, we get to wipe our hands clean and be off the hook.

When we take responsibility, we get full power in return. Full power in each and every one of our choices from the way we eat, when we exercise, and what we prioritize. This in itself is truly the best place to be. We can own our choices and have the ability to change them. 

I know sometimes little choices seem insignificant, like eating a healthy breakfast or doing 10 push ups and 10 squats a day won’t matter much. But 365 breakfasts over the course of the year does make a difference. And 280 push ups and 280 squats each month is significant compared to none. The little things are really easy to do, but they are also really easy to skip, yet when you take responsibility, the power is yours.

You supply the actions. The universe will supply the time.

Our current conditions are not shocking when we look at all the choices we made day after day to get us to where we are.

If you are in a healthy state you most likely have made several positive decisions over a very long period of time that have led you to where you currently are. If you are unhealthy, the same thing applies. You have made several decisions over time that have had an impact on your health and you have made them again and again.

Body change is not based on a single choice, a days worth of choices, or a weeks worth of choices. It is based on numerous choices every for months at a time that lead to our current conditions whether they serve us or not. Patience can be one of the most annoying but valuable pieces of advice.

To get to a place where you want to be you simply choose positive actions day in, day out. You do it over and over again until you are successful and then you keep doing it. Plan for what might get in the way. Don’t stop when things get tough. Practice a little patience and put a lot of trust in the process.

 

The Hiearchy of Nap time Productivity

Go to sleep little one….

As a new mom every one told me to just sleep when the baby sleeps. This sounds lovely in theory, like I would just be able to pass out for a 3 hour nap peacefully without interruption. I was told to not worry about housework, not worry about chores or things that had to get done.

Or if you have more than 1 kid you’re probably laughing at the idea to sleep when the baby sleeps (adjust this blog post as best as possible with multiple children).

When I was spending my first few months nursing and baby carrying all day, I wanted to do something for myself that felt productive.

Reality is, things have to get done. Or you at least feel better when they do.

I needed to set up her health insurance, I needed to feed myself, I needed a clean fork somewhere, sometime.

I unknowingly created a hierarchy for nap time productivity so I could find my balance between what I needed to do and what I wanted to do.

Let’s face it sometimes we have 20 minutes, sometimes we have 3 hours, and we just never know.

The beauty of a hierarchy is that it prioritizes your self care first and and then trickles down to important tasks, things you feel you need to do, and things you want to do.

Step 1: Self care.

Once nap time begins make self care your priority. This is highly dependent on what YOU need in the moment and harder with more than one kid so just do your best.

If you need sleep, rest or close your eyes for a few glorious moments. If you are even borderline hungry make yourself some food. Who knows when you will be able to eat again! If you feel well rested and fed and want to get a workout in or a shower, now is the time!

You may only have a few precious minutes so do something good for yourself.

Congratulations you still have more time! Move to step 2!

Step 2: Important Task

You now can tend to an important task, whatever this might be.  A load of laundry because you or your child is running out of underwear. A bill you need to pay. A phone call you need to make. Maybe you napped as part of your self care step and now you want to shower. That works too!

Choose 1 thing and make some progress on that.

Congratulations you have more time!

Step 3: Housework, chores, or free time.

You can prioritize step 3 the way you want. For me personally keeping the housework at least half under control from what it use to be makes me feel good. So I take this time to finish that load of laundry, do the dishes, or tend to an area of the house that had been neglected.

OR, if housework is less important to you, use this for free time doing whatever you feel you need to, or want to do.

Maybe step one you chose sleep. And then for step 2 your important task was eating. You decided to skip the housework and watch some tv. You decide to do a project with your other kid. You decide that you want to get the house clean today or you could care less and you just want to zone out and check out pictures on Instagram. This is YOUR time to use it as you wish so don’t let anyone make you feel bad about how you choose to prioritize this time.

You may follow this exactly, you may rearrange the order, or you may do it backwards, but the point is to make it use for you in a time management sense. Some days you will get through step one, maybe some days you will get through step 3, regardless you got the most important task done first.

Hope this helps!

Side note: It is nap time. I am rested enough, fed, there are dirty dishes in the sink and I am writing this blog. 😉

I have created a free, Facebook community called Moms Supporting Moms to share in our struggles and successes, ask questions to each other, and while focusing on all things mom, to focus on some self care for ourselves too. To get your private invite sign-up here.