4 Ways to Stick to your Health Goals at Work!

Like most of us, my days are filled with meetings, tasks, etc. I am often running from meeting to meeting when I get caught out there - hungry and searching for a place where I can actually eat! I am careful as to what I put in my body. I’ve noticed that many of my friends and clients have the same issue. They lead busy lives and it is hard for them to maintain their health goals in the middle of the day, while they are working. The ironic thing is that that is precisely the time when they need to stick to their goals. The temptation that is all over the office - candy, muffins, bagels and the temptation that tries to lure you around lunchtime - pizza, sandwich - is hard to resist. But it can be overcome if you know what to look for!! There are things you can eat on the go that will give you energy, boost your mood and keep you on the track with your health and wellness goals!

Today I’m going to share with you some tips I use to keep both myself and my clients happy, healthy, fit and fabulous!

  • Planning - a little planning, goes a long way. Pack a healthy snack to keep with you at your desk! Try some raw almonds, pumpkin seeds with some unsulfured, unsweetened cranberries or keep a banana or an organic apple with you. Or both!

My clients are busy. You are busy! In my case, I often forget to eat!! This isn’t good. I know you might think the less calories, the less I weigh but that is actually wrong. When you habitually deprive your body of the nutrition it needs to function your body goes into starvation mode and starts holding on to every bit of fat and storing your food as fat. Eat. It’s good for you. One or two healthy snacks, like the ones I mentioned above, are ok.

  • Always eat a healthy breakfast!! Your body has been fasting overnight so your breakfast should be the largest and most nutrient-rich meal of your day! Go for raw oatmeal with organic berries or cooked steel-cut oats with fresh, organic berries. You can also try an omelette with broccoli, onions and other veggies.

The one thing to avoid during breakfast is processed carbs - bread - and potatoes. These quickly turn into sugar in your body - creating a spike in blood sugar levels followed by a sharp crash. No bueno!!

  • Lunchtime! Choose a lean protein like grilled salmon or chicken with veggies like steamed/sauteed broccoli. Or a brown rice bowl loaded with stir-fry vegetables. Keep your proteins with veggies, this helps with digestion and minimizes bloating. In a similar vein, eat your quinoa/brown rice/insert-gluten-free-grain-here with vegetables, for the same reason.

The protein helps keep you feeling satisfied longer and along with the vegetables keeps your blood sugar levels stable. Proteins and carbohydrates are digested in different parts of your body and each takes its own specified time to digest, which is why it is easier on your digestive system to not eat them in the same meal.

  • Business Dinner? Steer clear from the bread basket! Choose a salad as an appetizer or you can go with a few oysters or a shrimp cocktail. For your main course - choose a fatty fish, like salmon or tuna and accompany it with spinach or asparagus.

When it comes to dinner - just mind your portions. Restaurants tend to have portion sizes that are easily 2-3 times larger than an individual portion. Follow this rule of thumb (which is ok for most people) - protein intake should be the size of one of your palms, if you are female, and both your palms, if you are male. If you are highly active and engage in strenuous physical activity your protein intake will need to be higher. When it comes to greens - vegetables, your portion of these should be half your plate but feel free to go to town on these. Vegetables are high in fiber, loaded with nutrients AND they are low in calories. Just don’t smother them with ranch or some other chemical (and calorie) loaded dressing/sauce.

Food is our nourishment but it is also a pleasure. You can live a healthy lifestyle, make good food choices AND enjoy your life. These are not mutually exclusive. Why not choose to have it all?? A healthy body you love! A sound mind that helps you navigate your life! A great life filled with joy, friendship, happiness and fulfillment. It’s right there within your reach! I challenge you to seize it and live your dreams out loud!

Healthy - Homemade - Trail Mix

1/4 cup organic pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup almonds

1/4 Purely Elizabeth Blueberry Hemp

1 tsp chia seeds

=> Mix & Enjoy! This is a gluten-free, vegan and unprocessed trail mix and it is delicious! 

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

 

Obsessed with the ## on the scale??

As I embarked on my journey to being healthy, I tried just about every cleanse and diet out there under the mistaken belief that the number on the scale is what mattered. The more I learned, the more I changed my eating and lifestyle habits but more importantly I learned how to listen to what my body needed and how to love my body. That is what I show my clients, friends and family how to do.

It isn’t about the number on the scale. You can be skinny and unhealthy. There are people that have the ‘appearance’ of being physically fit, they are active, look good but they get a heart attack at a relatively young age. I’m sure some of you have heard about this happening and have been puzzled by it. I know I was! There are people that are heavier and their doctors say they are A-Ok. And then there are the people that are people that have metabolic disorders, diabetes or pre-diabetes, cardiovascular issues etc. Disease is a continuum - this is one of the major points I took away from one of my lectures during my training to become a health coach. Therefore, it is important to develop healthy habits. How you nourish your body every meal and every day matters.

Some things you can start implementing now:

  1. Swap sodas, energy drinks and ‘juices’ with water. Aim for drinking ½ your body weight in ounces every day.

  2. Look at the sugar content in what you drink and eat. 4 grams = 1 teaspoon Choose foods and drinks with little or no added sugars.

  3. Go for fresh fruits and vegetables. ½ your plate in greens and/or veggies. Fruits can be a healthy snack.

  4. Choose healthy proteins - antibiotic-free, hormone-free, free-range, grass fed. Eating protein fills you and helps your body build lean muscle. More lean muscle means your body burns more fat and calories.

  5. Eat healthy fats - nuts like almonds and walnuts, seeds like flax, sunflower, chia seeds. Cook in coconut oil and use Extra Virgin olive oil for salads.

  6. Eliminate refined carbohydrates and processed foods. Anything that is low-fat, no-fat, sugar-free etc has chemicals. The chemicals in refined and processed foods encourage your body to store fat, creates hormonal imbalances among other unhealthy effects.

There is a ton of information out there about the food supply and the effects of artificial chemicals and additives have on the body. If I got into it you might get bored but I gave a quick insight on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ when it comes to creating a healthy relationship with the food that nourishes your body. Remember that what works for one person doesn’t work for another. Healthy eating is a very individualized thing. So experiment, research and start implementing the tips above. Pretty soon you will be enjoying the benefits of having, and maintaining, a healthy weight, increasing your energy levels and creating harmony and balance in your life. And you will enjoy good health and an improved quality of life. How does it get better than that?? 

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

Is your body deficient in these vitamins?

I often get asked if supplements are good for you. My response is that taking supplements is not a free-pass to neglect your diet. A solid, healthy, clean diet filled with fruits and veggies and clean proteins and grains like brown rice, quinoa and oats are your first source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And then come the supplements.

When it comes to supplements - the vast majority of multivitamins and supplements are made from synthetic chemicals. Why? Because it’s cheap. These synthetic vitamins create confusion in your body as it doesn’t know what to do with them. Your body cannot use synthetic vitamins. When you’re body cannot identify and digest the ‘chemical’ vitamins it winds up eliminating them. Which is a waste of your money and your good intentions!

Some vitamins are bound to harmful substances as is the case with a cheap form of B-12 - cyanocobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is a chemical that isn’t found in nature. The B12 is bound to a cyanide molecule, which is a poisonous substance. Your body then has to eliminate this poison, which would be ok if your liver wasn’t already working overtime removing environmental toxins and chemicals from your food. All the more reason to know what’s in your vitamins!

You want to look for vitamins that come from organic food sources and that are in their active forms. There are several common vitamin and mineral deficiencies. They are:

  1. Vitamin B12 - a very common deficiency with symptoms ranging from lethargy, anxiety and depression to dementia/alzheimer’s-like symptoms. How to deal with this deficiency? Take B12 in the form of sublingual methylcobalamin.

  2. Magnesium - most people do not get an adequate amount of this mineral from their diet and as a result migraines, constipation, cramping, hypertension, insulin resistance may be commonplace to them. The best food sources of magnesium are leafy greens, like swiss chard and spinach, nuts and seeds, raw cacao and 70% dark chocolate and halibut. Supplements should be in chelated form - meaning its chemical name ends in -ate (glycinate, citrate, taurate), as these are best absorbed.

  3. Iron - some symptoms of iron deficiency are fatigue and weakness, decreased immune function, poor work/school performance and an inflamed tongue. Food sources of iron are organic, grass fed lean red meat, chicken and fish, lentils and beans. Menstruating women should take 18mg/day. Males/Males over 51 and post-menopausal Females  - 8mg/day.  

  4. Zinc - deficiency in this mineral is more common than one may think. Some symptoms are hair loss, slow wound healing, lower alertness, loss of appetite and reduced fertility. Get your zinc from oysters, grass fed red meat, pumpkin seeds, eggs, beans and nuts. Women should get 8mg/day. Men 11mg/day. Just 2 oysters a day fills your daily zinc quota!

  5. Iodine - best sources of this mineral are ocean fish, seaweed, shrimp and other seafood. Those deficient in this mineral can have brittle nails, cold hand/feet, poor concentration, lethargy and unexplained weight gain to name a few symptoms. 150 mcg/day if you’re going to take it in supplement form.  

  6. Vitamin C - Some excellent food sources of C are broccoli, green peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, kiwis, strawberries and guavas. Symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, inflammation of the gums, loose teeth, joint pain and poor wound healing. It is important for your vitamin C supplement to be naturally derived. Look for your vitamin C to be from berries or veggies. If you see a chemical name on the ingredients list it is synthetic.

  7. Vitamin D - the sunshine vitamin! 10-15 minutes of sunshine a day could help get your body’s full of this vitamin but there are other factors to consider. Vitamin D is most commonly found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and fish liver oils. Some common symptoms of deficiency are depression and mood swings, lowered immunity, low energy and fatigue, muscle pain and weak bones. The best supplement form of this vitamin is D3.

Remember, first go for eating a healthy, well-rounded diet free of hormones, artificial-anything, chemicals and processed foods and full of fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins and real, whole grains like oats, brown rice and quinoa. And then fill in the gaps with high quality supplements, as needed.  

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

Decoding the Food Labels on Produce

I remember being curious about what those little numbers on my apples meant when I was a little girl. So I thought I would share some information about these numbers. After reading up about our food supply those numbers are quite important if we want to stay healthy. Now, these numbers can be fluff...some things can be manipulated by the ‘powers that be’; but it is still good to be aware of their meaning as this allows us to be better able to make educated decisions.

I make it a point to know what I use as nourishment for my body. And the more I learn about fruits, veggies, organic vs non-organic, superfoods, etc...the more I make choices that will not only help me look and feel great but will also help keep my body and mind as healthy as possible. Like all of us, I want a happy, healthy and long life and our food truly does have the power to strengthen and rejuvenate our bodies.

There are three types of numbers that indicate what category our produce is in.

Conventionally Grown Produce - These have codes that are 4-digits long and begin with the number 4. These fruits and veggies have been grown with the run of the mill, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are commonplace commercially farmed produce. For the Dirtiest of these check out this article about it.

Organic Produce - have codes that are 5-digits long and begin with the number 9. These fruits and veggies are grown according to organic standards and are not genetically-modified.

Genetically Modified Produce - have codes that are 5-digits long and begin with the number 8. These cannot be organic and are grown from genetically modified seeds.

Why should you care if your produce is Genetically Modified??

Research has not shown these foods to be safe for human (or animal) consumption. Allergies, food sensitivities, and increasing our risk of cancer are other reasons we should avoid ingesting anything that is genetically modified. If your health isn’t high enough on your list of priorities, think of your children. Children face the greatest risk from these genetically modified foods and pesticides.  

The major food companies, however, know that most well-informed consumers will choose not to purchase something that is ‘labeled’ as a Genetically Modified food, so they can choose not to label their products as such in order to mislead consumers. That being said, in the US there are several foods that are most likely Genetically Modified, if they are not organic. These are the foods that should be purchased organic in order to protect yourself and your family from the health risks associated with these Genetically Modified foods.

**Wheat

**Corn

**Soy

**Papayas (grown in Hawaii)

**Zucchini & Yellow Squash (some - but it’s better to be on the safe side regarding this)

**Dairy (from cows treated with rbGH)

Arm yourself with information about your food to protect the health of yourself and your loved ones!

Schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at  https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

Dirtiest Produce?? Go Organic For These

Every year a report is compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) from data the US Department of Agriculture gathered in 2012, from samples they took from 48 different kinds of fruits and vegetables, that lists the filthiest and most pesticide-laden fruits and veggies. It’s called the “Dirty Dozen”. Some of the fruits and veggies are always on the list and some switch position within the list. It is very important to know which foods you should prioritize on your grocery list as “Organic”. The economy and our wallets aren’t as prosperous as they used to be so pays for us to know when to buy organic and when it’s ok to buy conventional produce.

Dirty Dozen

  1. Apples

  2. Strawberries

  3. Grapes

  4. Celery

  5. Peaches

  6. Spinach

  7. Sweet Bell Peppers

  8. Nectarines (imported)

  9. Cucumbers

  10. Cherry Tomatoes

  11. Snap Peas (imported)

  12. Potatoes

**SPECIAL NOTE - although Kale, Collard Greens and Hot Peppers aren't on the "official" list - they still contain particularly harmful, toxic chemicals, such as organophosphates and carbamate insecticides. So, go organic for these too! 

According to the research, every sample of imported nectarines and 99% of apple samples tested positive for the residue of at least 1 pesticide and the average potato has more pesticides by weight than any other food. Gross huh?? A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides. And single samples of celery, strawberries, imported snap peas and cherry tomatoes contained 15 different pesticides apiece. This really makes me want to grow my own food!! I wish I had the time and a garden to enjoy as many fresh fruits and vegetables. It disturbs me that our government which is supposed to protect its citizens allows our food supply to be so contaminated but… that is another story for another day. Keep this list in mind when you’re shopping for your fruits and veggies! Oh and if you’re like me and make smoothies or juice fruits and veggies remember that these veggies should be organic even if they aren’t on the Dirty Dozen list. You don’t want to ruin the direct infusion of vitamins and minerals with pesticides!

This is one of my favorite smoothies! I usually have it as my breakfast - quick and clean.

Tropical Detox Smoothie

3 organic kale leaves, destalked

2 cups organic almond milk

1 organic apple, cored

½ cup organic mango, frozen

½ packet organic Sambazon acai, frozen

1 tbsp organic coconut oil

**Blend and enjoy!

Schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at  https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N