Category Archives: Uncategorized

4 Exercises for New Moms

In the early weeks of motherhood the last thing we are thinking about is exercise but the demands of baby caring do take a toll on the body.

From breastfeeding, to baby carrying, to lack of movement, aches and pains can start to emerge before we realize it.

While sleep, baby, food, and relationships take priority I put together a few simple exercises that I implemented a few weeks after delivering my baby girl with strength and function of the body in mind.

If you had complications during birth you may want to wait longer to ensure that the body has had time to recover from labor and delivery.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you already have a lot going on, but if you can incorporate even just a few of these a week it will make a difference in how you feel. Plus you deserve to do something good for yourself, even if it is a few minutes here and there.

** Don’t mind my dog. She just likes to be close to me. 🙂

 

Hip Flexor Stretch

Start in the half kneeling position as shown. Lengthen the opposite arm overhead without arching the upper back. Lean ever so slightly towards the front leg side as you feel the stretch in the opposite hip.

Repeat 3 times total and switch sides.

 

Pec Stretch

Start on your side, with hips stacked and your bottom arm supporting your head with your hand. Open the top arm so you rotate the chest towards the ceiling. It is important to keep the hips stacked and not let the hips roll open with the arm. You will feel a greater stretch in the chest.

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Start with the hips stacked and bottom arm supporting the head. Tilt the top hip forward slightly. Keeping the feet connected take an inhale, engage your pelvic floor, exhale and open the top leg without rolling the hips back. You should feel your glutes working. Repeat 10 times on each side.

Heel Slides

Lie on your back with knees bent in a neutral spine. Inhale and on your exhale engage your pelvic floor and extend one leg out so it hovers over the ground, inhale to return. Repeat on the opposite side. Do 10 reps total.

The Hunger Games

There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to hunger. Is it good or bad? Do you need to be hungry to lose weight? How do you know if you are truly hungry when it comes to eating or if you are just eating out of emotions like boredom and loneliness?

I use to be scared to be hungry. I didn’t want to risk having to feel hungry for a second, because it was uncomfortable and made me nervous that I would eat everything in sight once I did come across food.

I didn’t trust myself to make good decisions because I was in a state of scarcity, and had this underlying fear that there wouldn’t be enough food in enough time to satisfy me. Even worse what if I didn’t have control?

I also hear the opposite from many of my clients too. Hunger feels like a success. The hungrier you are, the more “successful” you are with attempts to feel like you are losing or maintaining weight. Again a control issue. Because if you can control not eating and being hungry, in your head it makes sense, that you are on the path of reaching your goals.

Let me set the record straight.

Day to day hunger is neither good or bad, wrong or right, it just is. It can take some time to get use to what being hungry truly means and I will explore that further. But first I want you to consider this.

How much you deprive yourself today is a direct reflection of how much you will indulge in the future. You may be able to restrict yourself for a day, a week, or even a month but if it is not a sustainable way of eating, it will leave to deprivation, which will lead to overindulgence.

I remember a few sporadic Saturdays over the past few years in which I wouldn’t eat until around lunch time. I am a total breakfast person but would get lost in a project and simply put off eating. My mind would play these games with me and I would feel strong and accomplished by not eating, telling myself I did good for not having to eat breakfast right away.

What do you know, I would eat my breakfast at noon and then be ravenous all day long and end up eating more than I normally would if I had just eaten my breakfast upon waking like normal (different for everyone of course). Because I was depriving myself in the morning I would inevitably end up overeating for the rest of the day.

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Can I trust myself that I will not always have to eat every last bite?

What is hunger? And how is it different from a craving?

Hunger is that gnawing in the pit of your stomach, when your stomach is growling. You may even potentially feel light headed or weak. Usually it is when you haven’t eaten in hours and isn’t just a need for a certain type of food. It is a genuine need for fuel.

A craving is typically a want for a certain kind of food or texture like something salty, sweet or crunchy.

Hunger is not a victory or something to fear.

Just because you are hungry does not mean you are on the path to success with changing your body. Hunger does not indicate victory. Being hungry throughout the day is normal and something that we should allow ourselves to feel.

I often hear people say that breakfast makes them feel hungrier but just remember it is normal for our bodies to be hungry throughout the day. It is also ok to eat throughout the day too. However, if not eating all day is your strategy and you are not really getting the results you are seeking, consider a new way.

I think one of the main problems is we get caught up in the fear of being out of control. We fear that if we eat consistently throughout the day we will overeat and fall off track. We are also afraid to experience hunger because of the same reason. Lack of control of eating everything in sight when we do eat. The solution lies in self trust.

Turn to self-trust.

I talk about self trust a lot and I ask you to take a moment to ask if you trust yourself. It seems like a silly question because the immediate response is almost always that of course we do.

Our actions though will tell us if we really do. Not eating when we are starving is a sign of not trusting ourselves when it comes to food, just as not allowing ourselves to be hungry is a sign of a lack of self trust. Either way we are hung up on control on what will happen “if” instead of just letting in play out.

Get comfortable with what you are feeling.

If you normally fear hunger, allow yourself to experience it from time to time. Practice it in a “safe” place. Intentionally let yourself get hungry and have a planned snack or meal and practice eating until you are 90% full. In other words you feel like you could still have a bite or two.

Or if you typically feel hunger is a victory allow yourself to eat small meals throughout the day, again practicing the 90% full rule. See what play outs.

Practice and do it over and over again and let the outcomes unfold as they will. You may overeat at one point, you may feel like you lack control at other times but practice with relentless commitment until you feel control start to release its tight grasp.

If whatever you are doing IS working, then great, keep at it. But if you are trying the same thing over and over again and not getting anywhere, it is a sure sign that it is time to try a new way.

Trust that there is a new way and then go do it.

 

Why your exercise routine isn’t working for you (and what to do instead)

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I had a client ask me, after our half hour ish session: So are you sure I don’t need to do a full hour of weights? Like the only determining factor was the 60 minute mark on the clock.

I assured her that the goal was not strictly the time but the effectiveness and focus of the workout. The next day she texted how incredibility sore she was and surprised by how much she got out of a workout in less time.

I too admit that it took me several years to get use to the idea of not counting the minutes. Growing up an athlete my workout schedules were hours. Sometimes double days. Sometimes practice and weights in the same day. And when the real world of adult fitness came I didn’t consider my workout a real one unless it was 60-90 minutes and I was breathing hard the entire time.

I remember when did CrossFit a few years back. I immediately loved the intensity of the workouts but with the workouts ranging 7-20 minutes with a few longer ones thrown in, I found myself doing extra sets of exercises just to make up the time different.

Within the past few years I have found a happier, middle ground. I don’t count time. I don’t feel the need to run myself into the ground every single workout. Just because a workout makes me breathe hard does not indicate a better workout or predict better results. I don’t workout more simply to burn more calories.

But it is hard. It is hard to relinquish old notions and what we think we should do. I see many clients who feel if they can’t give an hour, they might as well do nothing. Then I see others who go at maximal effort every days for a couple weeks only to get injured, sick or lose motivation, only to take weeks off at a time.

So today let’s talk about 3 common mistakes that many people make when it comes to exercise  and what to do about it.

You think more is better.

Alwyn Cosgrove coined a system called the Hierarchy of Fat Loss that I want to share with you in regards to working out.

Essentially he says that when time is a limiting factor you need to prioritize what *type* workout you will do that will most benefit your metabolism and preserve or promote muscle mass.

Our resting metabolic rate (RMR) uses the majority of our calories throughout the day. Even if you workout for two hours, there are still 22 others to account for and the amount of muscle you have on your body will help determine if your metabolic rate is higher during that time. This is weight training plain and simple. If you have 30-40 minutes 3 times a week to workout choose weight training.

If you have additional time you add interval type training which can also burn more calories and elevate the metabolism post workout.

IF you have additional time after that during the week that is where you can add steady state cardio like jogging, dance class, walking, cycling or hiking. I consider this bonus work and always choose something I enjoy.

You are not honest about your workout nutrition. 

I use to think I could outwork poor nutrition. Not even poor nutrition, just eating as much as I wanted, when I wanted.  Or skipping means after or before my workouts just to “burn more fat.”

 I quickly learned I could train as much as I wanted but if my diet was not in check, neither would results.

Plus I would get caught in this eat more, exercise to burn more cycle that repeated itself time and time again, only to leave me in a regretful, guilty mess.

Workout nutrition prior to and after exercise and throughout the day is crucial to support the movement and activity you are doing. There is so much talk of certain supplements, when to eat, what to eat that I know it can get confusing.

I even talk to clients and friends who say they don’t like to eat post workout because they feel it negates all their hard work or people who try to resist food all day thinking that the more hungry they, the more effective it is.

But your body needs fuel, it needs recovery, and it needs nutrients.

Use carbs and protein post workout to help refuel your bodies energy stores and repair your bodies muscles.

Check your intake of nutrients by what kinds of foods you are taking in during the day. Are you getting enough through fruits and vegetables? Do you have a balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats?

Be honest about your portion intake. Are you paying attention to whether you are truly hungry or if you are eating out of emotion and stress?

Proper nutrition in correlation to solid workouts and recovery is highly overlooked by many but highly important. Without this focus there is a great chance you can become sick, injured, lose energy or motivation because your body is not properly fueled and/or recovered.  I put together a super simple, easy to follow workout nutrition guide that you can snag here.

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Post Workout “milkshake.”

You want results and you want them now.

Get your mind right. Patience and consistency.

The less perfect you can be, the more consistent you can be and this is actually a really great thing. Even writing this, it is a great reminder that I don’t have to do everything perfectly, I just have to do a few things really well.

We get so caught up in perfection, doing enough, and getting results quickly that we overlook the importance of actually developing lasting habits, of focusing on methods that are sustainable and really getting to know what works for your body, metabolism, lifestyle and preferences.

Trying to do it all takes A LOT of mental energy, mental energy that we don’t have. We have jobs, families, kids, relationships, and a life to be enjoyed outside of eating and exercise.

Eating and exercising perfectly is an illusion. So is getting lasting results after a few weeks or months of hard work. If you are in it for the long haul it doesn’t matter how quickly you get results, it matters more that you have the patience to put in the work time and time again. You don’t have to do everything well, just a few things.

Get my FREE Super Simple Workout Nutrition Guide full of easy to follow tips and strategies to keep your body

Is liking yourself a rebellious act?

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In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” Caroline Caldwell

I’m a rebel. A rebel in training that is.

I hope that you will join me as one too.

You see, I am a rebel in self-love. Not against self-love itself but against the idea that change is the only avenue to liking yourself. Against the idea that women’s bodies should look a certain way. Against the idea the outcome of what we do matters more than how we got there.

We are blasted with information on a daily basis about what exercises keep the thigh gap, what routine gets flat abs and how to lose 5 lbs by the weekend.

We live in a world that plays on women’s insecurities, self doubts and fears and profits off of it in fact, by the millions, only to keep at it coming at us with no end in sight. But does me pointing this help really even help the matter?

A couple years back a colleague of mine posted a question on Facebook about what viewers thought of the way bodies were portrayed on covers of magazines, in movies and in the media. I commented that I didn’t like it and it was a false portrayal of what women’s bodies look like in really life. She then challenged me in a friendly way, “But does it matter if you are secure with yourself?” Bam! No it doesn’t.

Could it be that the answer lies in a little bit of rebellion of actually liking yourself?

 

Of being more focused on the daily process of improving then the end result of getting more lean or shredded?

Could it be building self care into your daily habits?

Could it be spending time with people you love, exercising because you love your body not because you hate it, or eating healthier to support the thing you want to do in life.

Could it be empowering each other to self love and acceptance instead of supporting the attention of a society that  “profits on our self doubt.”

Listen, I really wish I could say I love everything about myself 100% of the time no matter what is going around me but that’s just not the case or the point really. I don’t always love my body. I don’t always love my choices. I don’t always love the way I look.  But I strive to be ok with me. I put up the fight to be ok with being myself.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”  e.e. Cummings

 

This is not a cop out. It is ok to accept yourself without accepting your current condition. You can still practice self-love, acceptance and enjoy the people and world around you. You don’t have to sit on the sidelines of your own life and wait until that one day when you will finally have the ideal body or life and finally be happy.

Have the courage to show up wholeheartedly and unapologetically without letting others take away all the unique qualities about who you are and what you have to offer. When you can embrace who you are and let go of who you think you are suppose to be you can truly begin to lead an authentic life.

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” Anna Quindlen

 

Most of us just want to live our true authentic life. We want to step outside each day as we are and be real. We don’t want to play the games of trying to fit a mold and scramble desperately like we have it all together all the time.

We don’t want to reveal our self perceived weaknesses, inadequacies and failures because we don’t feel like it earns the acceptance and approval we are striving for.

It’s taken many years but you could say I don’t let trying to be perfect run my life. I don’t let society try to run myself and dictate what mold I should fit or what is beautiful or sexy.  Trying to be perfect at all costs is not really about trying to be your best and do your best, it is about associating those things with worth and well-being. It is about trying to do everything right so we can avoid struggle and judgement.

Your health is insanely important but the way your body looks as a outcome is not so much. I get it though. We all want to feel good in our skin, feel confident, like getting dressed because we feel proud of the way we look but learn to get addicted to and excited about the process of it all, not the outcomes.

So what is the antidote to trying to obtain perfection all the time. Self compassion. Self-acceptance. Self-love.

Perfectionist talk comes out in phrases like I can never do anything right, I am so fat, look at these belly rolls and cellulite, I am embarrassed and ashamed of how I look, I am not worthy, I will be worthy when I am different.

The opposite comes out in phrases like I am striving to be healthier, I can do this for myself, my body is important but the way it looks does not define me, I can love and embrace myself even while I am working toward change.

When it comes down to it you are doing the best you can. It is not an excuse but damn life gets crazy sometimes and you are just trying to do your best to navigate your way through it all.

Take care of your body but you are more than a body. 

If you have been looking for permission for self-love consider this permission granted.

I have the privilege of working with some amazing women in the fitness industry who focus on, encourage, and support this insanely, crazy idea of actually liking yourself. We are rebelling big time and hope you will join in with the #selfloverebellion.

Starting this week we are posting on all social media outlets on ways we are showing self love for ourselves which just may be against what society wants us to do. They want us to be doubtful and fearful, and yes make a profit.

We know better and won’t give into their schemes. We will rebel by embracing ourselves (different for everyone) and show the world what we each uniquely have to offer. Show us your quotes, quirks, exercise and foods you love, and why you have no reason to be doubtful or fearful. #selfloverebellion

how to deadlift when you are scared of the bar

When it comes to training clients I pretty much want to help teach your mom how to deadlift.

While I know there are plenty of go getters out there who walk right up to the bar, throw on some weight and get after it, I know there are plenty who will never set foot in the weight room, let alone walk up to that big scary platform and load up the bar. Nor does anyone have to do that to get some type of results from weight training.

While I am guilty of posting my deadlift max’s on Instagram and Facebook I still try to convey to others that you don’t have to train for maximal strength to get results.  You can find results, accomplishment, functionality, body change, and improved health in basic exercises.

Maybe you are reading todays post and feel intimated or overwhelmed walking into the weight room or maybe you know someone who feels this way and this article can help. I am going to teach you a basic deadlift variation you can use with a dumbbell as you build up enough confidence to make it to the bar. Because you will.

For weight room newbies: After reading this article, at your next workout, walk straight to the dumbbell rack pick up a heavier than normal dumbbell and find a open space in the weight room to get your awesomeness on.

If you are performing it close to the dumbbell rack be sure you have adequate space around you and that you are far enough away from the rack so you don’t get in the way of other gym goers (little weight room etiquette for ya).

What it is: 

A deadlift is an exercise that builds strength in the lower body and back and mimics picking something up off of the floor most often used with a barbell. You can also use a kettle bell or dumbbell to focus on form, get comfortable with the movement or to add in to a routine when you want to do higher repetitions. 

Why should I even deadlift:  

Because you want to be strong at life. Think picking up boxes, children, groceries and heavy rocks. It works the glutes, core and backside of the body and is uber functional. Plus you feel like a badass and everyone needs a little bit of that in their life.

Using a dumbbell mimics a traditional deadlift without feeling so scary and intimidating with the platform, the bar, and those big weights.

Everyone starts somewhere with exercises and everyone needs to take a step back from time to time to work on form.

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Pull your shoulders down, hips back, and keep the chest lifted.

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Tighten everything in the body and lift the chest and butt at the same time by pushing the hips forward.

How-to get it right:

This exercise has tons of variations to choose from.  You can use this version with dumbbells or kettle bells and work your way to the bar when you feel comfortable.

  •  Choose a heavy dumbbell. If you are scared to ever grab the 30, 40, or 50 lb dumbbell, this is the exercise for it. Focus on form and don’t rush the movement.
  • Place the dumbbell vertical on the floor and stand over it, the DB slightly in front of you, with you feet approximately should distance apart.
  • Bend over with a slight bend in the knees, back flat, gripping the top part of the dumbbell like shown in the picture.
  • Pull your shoulders down, hips back and lift the chest so you can look at an imaginary superman logo on your chest at all times without straining the neck back.
  • Tighten everything in the body and lift the chest and butt at the same time by pushing the hips forward.
  • Control the movement back down and and repeat.

All this is fancy, detailed talk for pick up the dumbbell from the floor with good posture, keep the midsection tight.


Common Mistakes to look out for:

  • Squatting the DB. The torso is not as upright as a squat.
  • Butt lifting before the chest. Butt and chest lift at the same time
  • Not using your butt. Squeeze your butt at the top of the movement.
  • Rounding the back. Try to keep the back flat with a neutral spine (the natural curve of the low back).

Please share this article to timid gym goers everywhere to more help build more confident and skilled people in the weight room!

Adele’s 5 Friday Favorites

I am back this week with my new series, Adele’s Five Friday Favorites (AF) where I share my favorite things food, fitness, mindset and life. I wanted a space where I could do some quick sharing on things I am loving right now!

Adele’s Five Friday Favorites 

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You have been hearing me talk about it all month and today is the first official day of the #16to16 holiday workout challenge where I challenge you to join me in starting your health resolutions early and get 16 workouts in by 2016. This series also includes an educational aspect where I teach you how to carry out these habits in the new year. If you are suffering from major FOMO, go ahead and jump on the list here.

 

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This pre made salad mix is one of my favorites partially because it is already prepared. It is a combo of shredded carrots, cabbage, cilantro and green onions and comes with yummy toppings in an Asian Chopped Salad or Southwestern style. I usually use my own dressing depending on what else I add to it.

 

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LOVING these Lululemon pants with the sheer backside. The fit is amazing as I love the high waisted style that holds everything in lets say. 😉 Knowing Lulu, you probably can’t find these exact pants right now because they rotate through everything so fast, but you can probably find something similar.

 

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TACOS! My favorite go-to meal when I eat out at restaurants right now. I used to stick with plain salads, but that no longer works because I like food. Healthy food that tastes good. Tacos with corn tortillas and minimal toppings are surprisingly healthy while satisfying at the same time. Eureka Burger, Chipotle, Cheesecake Factory all have ’em!

 

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Please be okay with failure and be okay with failing again and again.  Please don’t be ok with doubt. Doubt keeps us stuck, unable to move forward. Be confident, makes more decisions and own the decisions you make.

how to be good, when you can’t be perfect


Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

I first heard this quote by author, speaker and self compassion guru, Brene Brown and I was so taken aback by the of truth that blares out of this statement. The truth that we often ignore. The need to throw all good efforts out the window if perfection cannot be attained.

It has a lot to do with our own sense of “not good enough-ness.” I once had someone tell me we all feel not good enough. And when we get upset, angry, frustrated with someone remember that they are acting out of their insecurities just like I would act out from own insecurities. Because we all, in some sense, feel not good enough in our own way.

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Not feeling good enough can cause us to disguise our imperfections, in attempted perfectionism.

For most of my life I would never, ever call myself a perfectionist because a perfectionist is someone who just wants everything to be to just right, who takes the time to make things look beautiful, and is never satisfied. I mean, I have sloppy handwriting, I do not care about the presentation of my food and I often go out and about in my sweatshirt because I really could care less, as long as I’m comfy.

So when I was told I had to let go of this perfectionism thing, I said, “Please, do you know who you are talking to?”  In my attempts to deny this nonsense, I realized that I DO have an overwhelming concern to do everything “right” and spend my days comparing, about why everything in my life, including myself, is not good enough. Ah perfectionism at its finest.  

Perfection does not represent happiness.

The trap comes when we associate doing every thing right, (being perfect) with automatically bringing happiness and joy into our lives. And when we do things wrong, (when we are not perfect, act perfect, or look perfect) it represents that we are not worthy.  “Perfect” does not guarantee pain free living. We use perfection for approval and acceptance, for someone else to tell us that we are ok. Ironically the only way you will ever truly feel ok is if YOU accept yourself, imperfections and all. No one is immune to perfectionism and we all experience it on some level.

The way we can overcome perfectionism and its association with all things good and wonderful, is to practice a little self compassion for ourselves and a little gratitude for what we have. When we realize that perfectionism (a perfect house, perfect eating, a perfect wardrobe, a perfect life) is just a cover for what we are shameful of (inadequacy, a lack of money, a lack of confidence in appearance, embarrassed about our bodies), we can learn to be more accepting of our lives, ourselves and those around us.

Can you see here how practicing gratitude (abundance) is loving yourself and acknowledging that you are doing the best you can, rather than focusing on lack?

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Another issue with perfectionism is that it IS a perception. We see others and think they are living the perfect life all simply by what we choose to see and interpret what it represents.  It usually happens a little like this. You are going about your day, maybe just completing an intense workout, dressed super cute or gave a bad ass presentation in your field of work. And then it happens. You compare yourself to your friend who had a “better” workout, the family with the gorgeous house, the person with the successful presentation, or the attractive women. You let it take away your joy.

Believe me, I struggle with this all the time. I compare myself all the time. Whether it is to the perfect body, the perfectly dressed, the highly successful, or the perfect way of eating, working out, living. Somehow this interprets being enough in my head. No wonder I am stressed and anxiety ridden. Sometimes you can be the juiciest peach of the bunch and and there will still be someone who doesn’t like peaches. Get what I am saying?

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How to be good, when you can’t be perfect.

I realized I had somehow trained myself to ignore my strengths and progress I am making in life, and have chosen to focus on my weaknesses and shortcomings.

You know what?

The woman with the perfect body, she has her struggles too.

The effortlessly matched fashionista, may not view life as effortless. 

The successful business person, they have challenges too.

I keep the practice of reminding myself that other people being successful does not mean that I am not. I can only control what I do each and every day and cannot completely control the outcome. Life does not fold out to the plan we have in our heads. Life does not unfold without challenges, struggles and hardships. When we accept that into our lives, we can stop trying to control everything around us and can still keep doing what we are doing to be good, without having to feel perfect. My own standards are some made up ideal I have in my head and when I let that consume my thoughts, it makes me feel inadequate.  If I choose to keep the focus on my own progress I can see just how far I have come.

Deep down I know everyone has their own challenges and burdens. We all feel inadequate in our own ways. The struggle is to not let our self proclaimed inadequacy rob our happiness and self love.   We must realize that how our bodies are shaped, how our clothes look, whether our dinners look like they do on Pinterest, or how much money we make, does not define our worth or value. We are not only successful when we reach our goals, but have little success along that way that should be celebrated each and everyday.  It is possible to have ambition and feel blessed with the life you have at the same time. 

Tip and Tools to keep my perspective in check:

When I feel myself getting down about not being a certain way or meeting a certain standard, I ask myself.

Did I wake up with a roof over my head and food in my tummy?

Am I am healthy and able bodied?

Do I have friends and family in my life who love me?

Do I make time for activities in life that I truly enjoy?

I tell myself.

Love yourself.

Trust yourself.

Don’t be afraid to fail and do things differently. 

Be patient with yourself.

You are enough.

Do not let goals define your worth.

When we have perfectionistic tendencies we have a difficult time with gratitude because we are always striving for the next best thing. It is not about the destination, it is about the journey.  It is about the journey and the ups and downs that come along with it. When we start to think about our lives in this way, we can expect that things will not always work in a smooth, straight predictable line and that is ok. As much suffering and pain we experience in life, it is also full of goodness, meaning and beauty. Who we are is enough. If it truly does not matter, let it slide.

#GetGrateful Task

Write down 5 activities in life you truly enjoy and make you feel alive and wonderful. Next write down 5 quirks about yourself. Things that people seem to know you for. Things that make you, YOU! Repeat them out loud and love them!

Pumpkin, Protein, Oatmeal Pancakes

You might say I am forcing fall a bit, but as soon as October hits I am ready for sweatshirts, cozy plaid blankets, and pumpkin goodies. I love the change in seasons, even though Southern California’s are mild.

I am no cook by any means, if fact I refer to myself as the lazy cook. In all honestly I simply don’t like recipes that contain tons of ingredients and tons of steps. But I am not big into eating out every day of the week either.

I want to eat simple, healthy food that taste good.  Rich, creamy meals usually leave me feeling sluggish and low energy and over the years I have transitioned my tastebuds to the point where I crave healthy food more and rich food is not evening appealing. You can read more about my journey here.

My healthy eating strategies lie in finding meals that are simple to prepare and throw in a couple new recipes here and there when I feel inspired. In fact, my goal right now is to try one simple new recipe each week and create a simple eating recipe booklet. Pumpkin inspired me this weekend so here ya go!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used cake batter, any protein flavor that will blend well with pumpkin)
  • 1 small packet of truvia or stevia
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
  2. Heat pan and coat with a cooking spray.
  3. Use a 1/4 cup to scoop a small amount of batter on pan.
  4. Cook until solid enough to flip and then cook on the other side until done.

Makes 4-6 pancakes, depending on the size.

I will top mine with peanut butter or a dollop of greek yogurt.

what you can learn from a plate of fries

Before fries…Real Quick. 

Next week I am super excited to open enrollment for my 5 Week Healthiest Self Refresh.  I created this because I had a new vision. I want to teach women how to develop an effortless way of healthy living . To free you from the diet cycle of on again, off again. Of restricting then indulging. Of time consuming workouts, then no workouts. Of all or nothing. There is an in between and I want to help you find it. Not by giving you an exact plan, but by helping you create your own way by changing your beliefs and changing your habits so you have the tools you need to move forward that you can use forever. Get on the wait list, or even if you are just curious and want more info, here.

NOW…

I find lessons in all areas of my life.  Sometimes it is on my walks watching the way my dog reacts to her surrounding, sometimes it is people watching at dinner, sometimes it is with a my plate of fries.

Last month on my vacation to Oregon I was at the airport with a 3 hour layover and grabbed lunch with my sister.  I usually order salads when eating out simply because they fill be up (with plenty of protein and fat thanks to chicken, bacon, cheese and avocado, dressing still on the side, not just lettuce cucumber and tomato) but on that day I was extra hungry and knew I needed something with not only that protein and fat but carbs too!

So I ordered a bacon, turkey sandwich and went to order my usual side salad but they said it was going to be $4.95. And I thought 5 dollars for a side salad which I know will be lettuce and croutons, no thanks. But my other option was fries.

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I did eat the entire turkey, bacon sandwich but I managed to leave most of my fries….

And if you have been with me for awhile you know that I do GREAT at sampling fries off my boyfriends plate. Although he kinda messed up my practice because this year he gave up fries for his new years resolution, which is a completely different story, for a completely different blog. Although I will say he has stuck to it like a champ!!

Anyways I have been so good and practicing this but I rarely practice ordering my own fries and moderating them. So within seconds I noted that this would be good *practice* for me to have my own fries and just have a few. I was actually a little bit nervous because what if I ate every single fry off that plate despite not being hungry. Because sometimes self control just goes out the window!!

But you know what? I had to practice, and I did. I ate half a sandwich and had a few fries. And then ate my other half and had a few more. This is not something I have always been good at. I used to eat them all and then I gave into the lazy way of self control. Just avoiding foods I can’t control all together. That way of thinking, while is a good way start, doesn’t really help us practice saying no. It is having to face the food you actually want and say now.

Now I have not always been good at his but I have practiced and practiced over the years and it has paid off!

So then do you know what the fries had me thinking?

How lucky am I? How lucky are we?

How fortunate we are that food is always be available to us?

I think sometimes we get so caught up in the idea that if we don’t have food and have it NOW that it won’t be available to us.

Like if we don’t have it now, we are saying no forever.

And alot of it comes into play because we tend to try to restrict ourselves and end up in this cycle of doing the same thing over and over again. Restrict, binge, guilt repeat.

But what if you changed your thought process and started to become more aware. Just because I don’t have dessert or wine tonight doesn’t mean I can’t have it tomorrow night. Just because I pass on food now doesn’t mean I can’t have it next week. Just because Girl Scout cookies are for sale now doesn’t mean I can’t get them next year when they are on sale.

How can you change? Start by using what I call my AAA formula.  

For every change you need an:

Affirmation + Approach + Action

You absolutely need to have the belief that you can change your ways. You need to have an approach (knowledge, desire, know how).  And you need to actually do it. When you are missing a link, nothing gets accomplished.

Once you change your belief that you don’t have to eat everything in sight, you need to learn how to apply it and practice it. And this is the strategy I will share with you today.

Practice saying no to food on occasion, when you are not truly hungry. Many times we eat food because it is circumstantial. Your co-worker brought in cookies, so you have one. Costco is giving out samples so of course you take them. It is a holiday, so you indulge. You have dinner at your moms so you clean your plate. You are at the movies so you need popcorn. The truth is, you do not need to do any of these things, unless you want them. Start to pay attention to when and why you eat, and if it is just because of the circumstance gently remind yourself that you do not have to. You can have the same foods tomorrow if you truly wish. Food will always be available to you. 

Because practice makes progress! And progress is what we want and need for growth! Next time you have the opportunity practice. You may eat it all the first ten or twenty times. But if you stick with it, you will get better. The only way you can’t improve is if you give up.

Again be sure to get on the wait list for my 5 Week Healthiest Self Refresh program. Because the answer is not to eat less and less and to work out more and more. The answer lies in your Affirmation + Approach + Action!

Guilt is not going to help you

AJ-21-1When it comes down to it guilt is not going to you. Or me for that matter.

I spent years in the eat, guilt, eat, guilt cycle and I really wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. Because the thing is, guilt doesn’t change our choices, it does not undo our mistakes and it sure doesn’t motivate us to do better next time.

I have been socializing and traveling a lot of more in the past couple months than I ever usually do and this use to be hardest for me because I was “off” plan. I would have food and drink that I normally won’t “on” plan as I was super rigid with my diet. And even with as rigid I was, my body didn’t change a whole lot. Sure it did when I nailed it for a month, but in the big picture, the more I worked out and the stricter I was with my diet, the less change I saw.

And if you have experienced any similar feelings I really feel for you because it is no fun and I if I am going to eat something a little more indulgent I would rather just not feel guilty all together. I recieved great feedback from my email about this topic and though I get a bit more personal in my newsletters I wanted to give you a few ways to work through these guilty feelings.

3 Ways to not let guilt hinder your progress.

Accept the reality of the situation. 

When you simply start looking at the situation for what it was, not what it should have been, everything changes. Because when you look at it simply for what it is, you have nothing to compare it to. One of my favorite perspectives is from Byron Kaite. Ask yourself what you are without that thought?

I ate too much.

What are you without what you should and should have not done? What is the reality without the emotion attached to the thought? It simply is that you ate to much.

When you are able to look at the situation for what it is not what it should be, it takes away a lot of the struggle, the suffering and the pain.

Forgive yourself.

There is not point in stressing over something that you simply can not change. Move on and grow stronger. Feel what you need to feel and move on quickly.

Compassion is a greater motivator than criticism and studies actually show that. Guilt and resentment keep you in the past and forgiveness and acceptance keep you  moving forward.

Practice gratitude.

I go in spurts with how I practice gratitude. Some days I journal, some days I shoot a friend a text or email, some days I let my mind wander and think about all i have to be grateful in my life. Because perception is everything. We can view the world as full of opportunity or view it full of misfortune. It is all in how you choose to view it, even in the lowest of moments.