I have received lots of questions in my inbox this last week (Keep them coming! :), and many of you have the same questions. I thought I would pull together a quick post to answer your most asked questions. Please feel free to leave questions, comments or send me an email any time. I will always do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible and support you in your quest for a healthier lifestyle.
If you’ve followed me for a while you already know this but if you’re new then brace yourself…. I am NOT perfect. I don’t have this iron-clad willpower and I love chocolate and Pizza! For me, health and fitness is a lifestyle all about balance and sometimes my scales tip. I rarely weigh myself and health for me isn’t defined by the scale. Weight is not as important as how I feel. I know that focusing on exercise and nutrition is the fastest and most rewarding way to lift my mood and feel comfortable in my skin.
I recently shared my commitment to a transformation challenge and many of you are interested in what some of the health commitments I have made and expressed your struggles with setting health goals and sticking with them. Here are some of the basics for me. I am all about starting small and building on each days success. I would love to share this challenge with you if you want to do it too (it’s fun to have a bit of accountability and do things with friends/as a group)!
Based on some of YOUR feedback and questions I have pulled together my top five tips for beating the winter blues and getting healthy habits back on track.
1. Cooking in bulk. For me, this is key! If I want to stay on track throughout the week and avoid added stress I cook a main meat and veggies recipe on Sunday and then again on Wednesday (because who actually likes to cook every night… if you do please come move in with me). I make enough to have leftovers throughout the week. Example: Salsa Chicken.
2- Prepare the same meal for the whole family. A common thing you mentioned to me was the stress of trying to make several meals. As mentioned above we cook 1-2 main meat recipes and then have added sides to try and make it versatile. Usually extra sides like: salad, fruit, quinoa, brown rice, tortillas, veggie platter, wheat (or alternative flour) rolls, etc don’t take much time to throw together. It’s the main meat recipe that takes the longest. I recommend cooking 1-2 main meats for your family (on Sunday and then again Wednesday night) to alternate through and eat in several different ways and then have a couple different side options available. This will create less stress for you. People often ask me what I do when my children say they don’t want it and the truth is I’m that mean parent that knows that kids will always want mac n cheese if they can choose between that and fruit and chicken so I simply state, “This is all the food I made. I’ll leave it out or in the fridge for when you get hungry. I am not making anything else.” So far my kids haven’t starved and have found they like more fruits, veggies, and different meat or fish entrees then they think.
3. Healthy and quick snack ideas. I like to pre prep and portion out snacks for the week and have them front and center in the pantry and fridge. This way when I or any one in the house is feeling the need for a snack, it takes all the excuses out of it when you can just grab a quick pre portioned healthy snack.For me, each day I try to have a handful of berries, a handful of nuts (almonds, cashews or sunflower seeds), and unlimited veggies!
Here is the list that I’m going to use to have some healthier snacks on hand.
4. For when you don’t want to cook. Some of you asked for tips if you don’t like to cook or for the weeks that just get away from you and you skipped on meal prep.
*I like to keep a rotisserie chicken and steam-able veggies bags on hand. Every grocery store I’ve been to sells the cooked chickens and you can eat the meat alone or use it on top of a salad, in a soup, etc. Steam-able vegetables don’t always have the most flavor so I will a bit of sea salt and butter after they are steamed.
* Eating out at fast food/restaurant happens! It is a part of a busy family life. So when we do I like to keep a few things in mind to make healthier choices.
• I avoid almost all of the grains/breads at these places. Overly processed, enriched flours in excess will prevent you from losing weight.
• Cheeses at these places are low quality (and often high in hormones), so I opt for no cheese.
• It’s not always easy to, but avoid sides unless they offer fruit or a salad,
• Don’t drink your calories away with sodas, juices or milk at these places. Drink water or opt for diet if you need to satiate a soda craving.
• I’m fine with most sauces (in moderation), but be careful! Salad dressings, for example, are sometimes more calories than the salad itself so use smaller portions. Ask for your dressings on the side and use a modest amount.
• As a basic rule of thumb I don’t worry as much about the fat content (since I don’t eat out daily).
5. Cravings. One of the last things that is asked of me a lot is “What do I do for cravings?”. This is a great question! My#1 rule, never tell your self “you can have it”, the words we choose to use with our self are power full. I stick with the ” I don’t want it” mantra, when this isn’t doing the trick here are a few tips for satiating your cravings without derailing your goals.
*Find healthier substitutions- If you follow my blog or Facebook and Instagram posts you’ll see that I post allot of modified options. When I’m trying to stay on track I make one healthy dessert a week. This gives me something to look forward to and a sweet fix without spiking my blood sugar levels (which makes you gain weight).
*Craving potato chips? I have a slight addiction to the Senica apple chips, the are crunchy and still offer a slight nutrient value ( more then potato chips) my favorite kinds are sweet, but I have sprinkled the plain ones with salt from time to time and this is also a fun treat.
* Chew Gum and Drink water!- More often then not when we are feeling snacks or craving unhealthy foods, our bodies are signaling us that we need more water or we are bored, Chewing sends a signal to your brain that helps you to feel full. Especially when I’m out and about for the day. lot of the day I bring a few healthy snacks, gum and water. I try to find gum (which is good for your teeth) instead of artifical sweeteners which can intensify cravings for some people.
*I can’t say it enough, Drink your water! There are dozens of reasons to drink water. It’s what keeps all your organs functioning properly, helps you feel full, gives you energy and increases your metabolism. it is how your body flushes fat.
My specific goals for this mont,that I would love for you to do along with me:Write down some specific goals, read them daily and keep them visible and keep me posted in the comments or via email on how you are doing!
1. Get back in the habit of logging my food on a daily basis.
2. Stick with the 80/20 rule, making healthy food choices 80% of the time and preventing the feelings of deprivation by affording myself a 20% leeway in my food choices, i.e. One cheat meal a week.
3. Fitness goal: Make time to be physically active for a minimum of 60 minutes 3 times a week. I have been doing more which is great, but by setting a realistic goal that affords room for Life and the inevitable obstacles that will occur, I set my self up for success rather then feeling defeated because I missed a day.
4. Positive self talk!!! I will reframe how I think about things and talk to my self. Negative phrases: I can’t have it, i don’t want to, bad food, eat, are replaced with with positive language. I will, I can, want to, I choose to, Healthy foods.
5. Water! every time my lips touch the glass I will take 10 gulps before I put it down. before I eat, I will drink8 oz of water.
I hope these answers and tips will help you to reach your goals. For more healthy recipes and snack ideas hop over to the Recipe section of my blog. If you are looking for a few workout ideas you can do at home or in the gym check out the Workout portion of the blog.
Keep the questions comming!
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