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I’ve moved – I hope you do too!

Hey everyone, I will be posting from my http://www.appetitesforlife.com webpage now. So please follow along for the ride!
Thanks!

Wait a minute…what about me?

Over the summer, I’ve been working on a bunch of changes to my business. A new website (which officially launched this week! Check it out at http://www.appetitesforlife.com), new programs, new logo, business cards, and the planning of a women’s retreat this October. Just typing it all makes me tired.  But I love what I do, and if all I do helps one person feel better, it is all worth it.

With all the hustle and bustle, on top of being a mom of two young girls and a house keeper, I often times I hear my body crying, “wait a minute…what about me?”  See, even as a health coach, sometimes it is hard to practice what I preach. Sometimes it is hard to not cut a corner here and there (take out for dinner, letting the dishes sit in the sink, closing the playroom door and walking away from the gigantic mess).  Sometimes, just sometimes, I am just too tired. I am sure you understand.  That is why I dedicate my career to helping women reclaim their energy. Because a lot of moms, like myself, have the amazing ability to juggle a thousand things at a time (while chewing gum, braiding hair and making grocery lists in your head).  But that isn’t always a good thing. And we need support.

A major part of reclaiming your energy is surrendering to your body. Sometimes, instead of pushing through and trying to get it

Be still my soul be still

A major part of reclaiming your energy is surrendering to your body.

all done, it is better to just STOP. AND. BE.STILL.  One of my favorite songs by Kari Jobe says “Be still my soul be still.”  As I play that song, I am reminded that is OKAY to stop everything I am doing, and just BE STILL.  Our bodies need attention too. Heck, they are answering our mental, emotional, and physical demands 24/7.  It’s necessary to give your body a break. Listen to when it quietly says “wait a minute…what about me?” if you don’t, the voice will get louder, and then shout in pain, exhaustion, and finally disease. You don’t want to wait that long to respond.

What are some ways to take care of your body?  Well, if you find your mind racing too fast with a laundry list of things that need to get done (including the many loads of laundry!), it is time to still your mind and meditate, pray or just sit and listen to your favorite music.  If you notice your body is tight, painful or achy, it is time to be still and rest.  If you notice your stomach is not receiving food well causing bloat, belching, gas and reflux, it is time to take a look at your diet, and make necessary changes.

Your job needs attention. Your children need attention. Your house needs attention.  SO DOES YOUR BODY.

Take my advice (and I will try to as well!). Take things one at a time. Nothing is that urgent it cannot wait an hour or a day (except of course picking the kids up from school on time!).  My new website was planned for August – I launched it this week – a month later than planned. It’s okay. Everything worked out. In the meantime, I took moments to show my body I cared.

When you just can’t go…what do you do?

constipation charthttp://eepurl.com/bwkebfTo continue our conversation about the perfect poop, I want to talk about constipation. Everyone has suffered from constipation at one point or another. Things get backed up – that’s life. However, it is important to know how to “unplug” so to speak when you do experience a plumbing issue.

In my last blog entry I talked about the importance of digestive health, or more specifically – why you need the perfect poop. Read it here if you need a refresher.  Ideally, you should have a bowel movement every day, if not twice a day.  It should be well formed, firm, not smelly and comes out easily.  Many times my clients mention they have not gone to the bathroom in days, but that is normal.  It is NOT normal.  It may be your normal, but it is not the way things should be.

Without a consistent elimination pattern, you will likely feel fatigue, tired and unmotivated – not to mention uncomfortable. To reclaim your energy, you have to jumpstart your digestive tract, and then make sure it is flowing smoothly.  What goes in, must come out…but what if it does get stuck?

Here’s my handy dandy guide to constipation, or more of an ODE to constipation.  I hope you find it both helpful and humorous! Feel free to pass it along on facebook or share with your friends. I’d love your comments!

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An uncomfortable, but necessary subject

An uncomfortable, but necessary subject

What’s the one thing everyone does, but NO ONE wants to talk about when it comes to health?  That’s right. POOP.  I am going to cover some sensitive, but necessary information.

Your stool delivers important information about your health and digestion. The color, shape, smell and consistency lets you know how your food is processed by your body, and the health of your intestines. Many people, too many in fact, suffer from digestive illness. Constipation, diarrhea, loose stools or cramping all indicate that your digestive system is not functioning correctly or is irritated by something. Failure to pay attention can lead to be more serious issues like IBS, Chron’s, Ulcerative Colitis and more. Additionally, when your digestive system is not right, neither is your immune system, making you more susceptible to germs, illness and bacterial overgrowth – not a place you want to be.

I come from a family plagued with digestive issues, so I know first hand how uncomfortable these issues can be, and how much energy they suck from your life.  The first step in reclaiming your energy is to make sure that what you put in…comes out right.  So if you suspect something is off, and usually your eyes and nose will tell you, it’s important to tell your doctor.

But how do you know something is off?  Well, let’s examine  the perfect poop .  Dr. John Douillard, at Life Spa in Colorado, outlined some key requirements for the perfect stool, including:

Does your poop look like the description above? If not, you are likely suffering from some digestive issue.  Sometimes it’s as easy as correcting your diet, as certain food sensitivities or intolerances can back you up.  You can even investigate this on your own with a food diary, or with the help of a health coach, like me. 😉

Don’t let another day pass by without working towards relief. Your digestive system is too important to ignore. So next time you go, take a look before you flush.  And to learn more about the perfect stool, please check out Dr. John Douillard’s full article.

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Foods For Fuel

Young woman and a healthy diet conceptAre you tired of feeling tired? You may be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night but still not feeling refreshed and happy in the morning. Everyone knows that food is the fuel for our bodies and has a major impact on how we feel on a daily basis. You may not know it but the foods you are consuming can be making you feel slow and sluggish throughout the day. Here are the top 10 best types of food to incorporate in your meals to feel more awake and satisfied:

  • Greek yogurt with fresh fruit : Just a half-cup of Greek yogurt contains around 11 grams of protein to keep you energized and full. Then for a touch of sweetness, just add some fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries that will satisfy one’s sweet tooth and keep you happier all day.
  • Almonds : Almonds contain magnesium that helps the body not feel tired and sluggish and boosts up your mood.
  • Salmon: Elevates energy levels and mood because it contains omega 3 fatty acids. Just 3 ounces of salmon contains about 23 mg of magnesium.
  • Banana:  Contains fiber and protein but most importantly it’s packed with POTASSIUM that keeps you active (best to consume pre or post workout).
  • Chia seeds:  Loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3, calcium and micronutrients (Zinc, Vitamin B2, Niacin and Thiamine), which keeps your heart healthy and strong. Best way to incorporate it in your meal is to put 1-2 tablespoons in a smoothie or yogurt.
  • Water: When we are dehydrated our body and mind can mistake dehydration for hunger and tiredness so when you drink ample water your body is replenished and able to move better.
  • Fresh fruit:  Keeps blood sugar levels in check and packed with fiber to keep you full and refreshed without needing a nap.
  • Frozen vegetables:  Although fresh vegetables are important to consume in the diet, when vegetables sit in the market  for too long the nutrients in the vegetables start to die and disappear because light and oxygen kills nutrients in fresh produce. However, when it comes to frozen foods, farmers quickly freeze the produce, which locks in nutrients that helps boost energy and keep us healthier.
  • Healthy Fat foods: Many people may look at fat as being all bad however your body needs healthy fats in order to absorb antioxidants into your bloodstream and keep your body going. Avocados and olive oil are just a few healthy fatty foods that provide your body with substantial amount of energy.
  • Eat more REAL food: Keep away from processed foods and artificial juices and turn to real fruit and vegetables fresh from the market or your garden. Also eat more whole grains such as steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice or whole rye. Whole grains contain much more fiber that will keep you full and energized throughout the day.

So the next time you are tempted to grab your second or third cup of coffee, take a step back and think about ways to get the same amount of energy (with fewer calories) in a healthy and more appetizing way. Your body will thank you!

EAT GREEN, BE GREEN, SAVE GREEN

You already know that eating healthy can help your body, mind, and spirit. Whole foods like vegetables, basilwhole grains and fruits supply our bodies with essential nutrients that help keep us energized and ward off diseases. But did you know that healthy eating also helps the environment and your wallet? According to Science Daily magazine, shifting entirely from an average American diet to a vegetable-based one would reduce the same emissions as 8,000 miles driven per year!  Daily Meat consumption accounts for over 1,000 driving meals per day!  Mark Bittman, author of several cookbooks, adds that if Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would like we all switched from driving a sedan to a hybrid.

Incorporating more vegetarian dishes into your diet will not only help you live greener, but will save you some green too.  Meat costs $3 to $4 a pound, sometimes more or less depending on where you live and where you shop.  Generally, plant proteins like beans, lentils, mushrooms, tofu and whole grains, to name a few, cost less than $2 per pound. So you get more bang for your buck, and by eating more plants, you could extend your life by several years, as well as lower your risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia. Additionally, you will have more energy, as vegetables, especially leafy greens, provide abundant cellular energy.  That’s a real bargin!

If you aren’t ready (or inclined) to go completely veg, then try swapping out one or two meat based meals for vegetarian meals per week. Start by taking meat out of your favorite dishes like lasagna, stuffed peppers, or Shepherd’s pie and making them with lentils or whole grains instead. Also, try using meat as a condiment, rather than the centerpiece. Flavoring vegetable dishes with meat add depth to the dish, without digging into your wallet.

Eating healthy may seem more expensive at first, but once you get into the swing of things, you will find it will save you money, and will certainly save you money in the long run as your health improves!  Give it a try by cutting out meat once a week, or reducing the amount you eat at each meal.

PROTEIN PACKED LENTIL SALAD

lentils

This salad is the perfect take- to- work lunch. Serve it warm or cold over a bed of arugula or spinach for a hearty protein packed lunch. Lentils are rich in fiber, and contain significant amounts of folate, iron and magnesium, making them a fabulous source of energy. Make this in advance, as it will keep for a few days.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Yields: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups black or green lentils
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • finely chopped 2 sprigs thyme
  • finely chopped 1 bay leaf

Dressing

  • 3 shallots peeled and thickly sliced
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Put the lentils in a large pot and cover with water to an inch above beans.
  • Add parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes until lentils are tender, not mushy.
  • While the lentils are simmering, combine the ingredients for dressing and whisk briskly.
  • Drain water.
  • Add dressing to lentils and serve warm over arugula or spinach.
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