Is it possible to eat healthy without spending all of your money on food?
You guys, I am LOVING the intermittent fasting (IF) lifestyle. It has simplified my life, my workouts are working better for me, and I feel amazing!
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating; an eating schedule rather than a diet. Your body is always in one of two states: fed or fasted. It takes roughly 12 hours for our bodies to finish digesting food and begin to burn fat for fuel. People rarely get to a fasted state throughout the day because we are always eating. And while eating several small meals throughout the day can lead to weight loss (calorie deficit diets always do), you will likely burn both muscle and fat. When you lose calorie-burning muscle, you lower your metabolic rate and make it harder for your body to burn fat over time. Reducing the hours in the day when we are eating allows our body to switch from sugar burners to fat burners, and that is where the awesome benefits start to transpire.
What are some of the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Here are a number of other documented benefits of intermittent fasting, all backed by science:
boosting insulin resistance
reducing inflammation of the body
loss of belly fat
increasing your metabolic rate
improving numerous risk factors for heart disease
improvement of brain function
Decreased insulin levels and increased insulin sensitivity
Increase of the breakdown of fats
Improvement of muscle tone
Increased life expectancy
Let me explain my personal routine with IF:
I begin my fast in the evening after dinner, usually around 6-7 pm. And I break my fast around 11-12 the following day. I enjoy my coffee, plenty of water, BCAAs and tea if necessary during the hours of 6-11 am. I might feel a bit hungry first thing in the morning, but all of those drinks keep me satisfied. When I break my fast I eat a large meal and it's amazing how you really aren't ravenous at this meal. I eat a snack in the afternoon and then dinner in the evening. If I'm still hungry I will have a snack after dinner.
Most days I get my workout in in the morning, while I'm still in the fasted state. I love working out fasted for the energy boost and the extra fat burn! I drink my BCAAs throughout to fuel my muscles, and if it is a heavy lifting day, I might break my fast with a protein shake.
You can benefit from IF even just 3-4 days per week! I typically use IF 6 days per week.
This is such an effective strategy for improved health and fat loss! You'll be amazed at how your body adapts at this eating schedule in a short amount of time!
Hey Guys! I have a bunch of different advice floating around in my big brain today, so instead of sorting through it, I'm going to blog a sort of stream of consciousness with advice. I'd love your feedback if this is too hard to read or if you enjoy the randomness, ha!
Here are some tips for feeling and looking your best. These are things that I not only do, but advise my clients to do, as well:
- Go to bed hungry
When you stop eating after dinner and don't eat again until the next morning (or lunch if you're fasting), you allow your body's digestion system to rest. And rest is good for our bodies. This rest tells your body to tap into its fat stores. Now, you shouldn't be so hungry that you wake in the middle of the night, that's no fun. But being a bit hungry at bedtime is a good thing. And guys, you're going to sleep SO soundly! Try it!
- Drink your ACV
Apple cider vinegar is an amazing addition to your health routine. Make sure you buy the "Braggs Brand" because it contains The Mother, which is a community of digestive enzymes that helps improve your gut health, in addition to about a million other benefits. I drink it more frequently when I think I might be getting sick and it helps me kick it faster. It aids in weight loss, it's an appetite suppressant, it improves skin, and the list goes on and on. Here is a video I recorded about it about 6 months ago with my favorite "recipe."
- Be observant
You are the only expert on your body. Doctors, trainers, coaches, etc. don't know more about YOUR body than you do. Take careful and observant inventory on how you feel when you eat certain foods, calorie levels, during and post workouts, when you wake up, when you go to bed. Be a scientist when it comes to learning about your body and then you can take what you know and use it to make you better.
- Fuel your workouts
When you exercise, you should be eating to fuel them so that you 1) feel your best, and 2) get the most benefit from them. I like to eat carbs directly after my more intense workouts because my body will burn them faster. I also like to have a clean source of protein following my workouts to help repair my muscles. Working out fasted is another strategy that I frequently use because I love the energy I have, and doing this allows my body to burn body fat faster because it's not busy burning the food I just ate.
- Rest days are important
Overtraining is a real, actual problem. You must have a rest day or two or three each week to allow your body to repair. It's actually during the REST that our muscles grow, not during the workouts. Listen to your body and schedule rest days as needed, or schedule them in advance. I like to schedule them, and then adjust as necessary if I need to make changes.
- Sleep plentifully
Just like our bodies need rest days, we also need plenty of sleep to repair those muscles. Think of your body like a machine. It can't work as well if it never gets turned off, right? When you're eating right and getting the proper amount of exercise, sleep will be good! So treat your sleep like a workout: schedule your bedtime and wakeup time and stick to them!
- Try intermittent fasting
IF is such a great strategy that will improve all areas of your health and fitness, and it's a pretty easy strategy to implement. Not only will it help you burn more fat, but it will allow your body to reset and rest during your fasting window. Intermittent fasting is not calorie restriction; instead, it just reduces your window of eating so that you are only eating for an 8 hour (or less) window of time. Honestly, it simplifies the day! You'll sleep better, have more energy, and burn more fat without changing your diet. Here is a video I recorded about IF.
- Plan ahead
No matter where I'm at in my fitness journey, one thing is always true: planning ahead makes everything easier. Being good at making a plan, and adding that to your weekly agenda, gets easier with time and practice. But it's always something that you have to make time for. Even 4 years in to this lifestyle I still make time to write out our meals, create our grocery list, and plan my workouts. If you want to improve your health and fitness, you've got to give it your attention.
- Enjoy your treats
Life is too short not to enjoy treats occasionally! I've spent a lot of time studying treats and how best to enjoy them, and what I've found is that they taste better when they are limited, but not obsolete. Planning regular treats is good for your sanity and your mental resolve with your fitness goals. And planning ahead helps to prevent from binging and ruining progress. Plan your treats, enjoy them, and then move on.
Guys, you're going to LOVE this!!
I have a delicious recipe for you! It's my mom's FAMOUS BBQ, with a clean(er) spin. You can call it a sloppy joe or BBQ on a bun, but either way it's delicious. I dislike reading long blog posts about how recipes came to be, so I won't do that to you. Let's get to the good stuff!
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1 lb ground turkey or 90% lean ground beef
- 1 cup ketchup, reduced sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 TBS apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBS mustard
- 2 TBS agave or honey
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp allspice
- Mini whole wheat rolls
Brown ground turkey and drain. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook for 40 min or until juice is boiled down. Serve on mini whole wheat rolls. 2-3 rolls per serving.
If you are looking for more balance in your life, I can help you, too! Click this link for more information about my 4-Week Slim Down Program, where I teach you how to get fit and how to bring your family along. I am also offering private coaching, as well. To discuss private coaching, respond to this email so we can set some goals for you!
Do you guys incorporate apple cider vinegar into your routine for better health? I'm relatively new to it. My friends and my mom introduced it to me when I was feeling sick one day. They said to me, "You've got to get your ACV out!" And I said, "Huh?? What do those letters mean??" After a little research, I not only learned what ACV stood for (apple cider vinegar), but also why it is an amazing product for better health. I tried drinking it straight and it was HORRIBLE, so I went back to my friends and they told me how to jazz it up. We call it Apple Cider Vinegar Tea because we drink it from mugs. There is no real tea in it.
Here is how I make it, there is no hard and fast rule, this is just how I like to drink it:
- Start with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar -- then I gradually increased the amount to 1 tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- Shake some cinnamon
My husband Chris likes to add a squeeze of lemon or orange juice to match the flavor of the vinegar so this is also an option.
It is an excellent appetite suppressant so I often have this in the morning if I am fasting. I also enjoy it in the evening in my pjs, sitting in front of the fire. Ahhhh, doesn't that sound lovely?!
Here are some additional benefits of ACV:
Alleviates joint and inflammation in the body. If you know anything about inflammation, it is pretty much the root of all problems in the body. So, anything that can reduce inflammation is a good thing.
Soothes sore throats. This is the main reason why I drink ACV. Anytime I feel a sore throat coming on or I feel achy, I will drink this, and I swear the next day -- I feel amazing. This "tea" has really been a game changer in our house to combat germs that our kids bring home.
Regulates acid reflux and improves digestive health.
Increases energy, improves skin, and helps to combat bad breath.
I buy Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and it has "the mother" in it, which are the enzymes or the GOOD STUFF for your gut. Essentially, the "mother" is what makes the ACV so beneficial for you. It gives the vinegar a cloudy appearance before you shake it.
It is very important to use RAW honey. This means that it has not been heated and filtered during the bottling and packaging stages. The reason why you do not want the honey heated up is because when it is heated and filtered it loses all of its really great benefits.
MOM TIP: Buy your Raw honey at Sam's! A large jar, 40 ounces, will last you a long time, and it only costs about $10!
You can give this concoction to your kids, as it also benefits their immune system. I offer this tea to my kids when they are having stomach issues, a cold and even canker sores.
Are you interested in learning more tips & tricks to benefit your entire family? My new program, Family Wellness: Simplified, may be a great fit for you. Click the link to read more!
My kids only eat 100% clean and healthy foods, always get 8 servings of veggies, 5 servings of fruits, and have very limited sweets. Just kidding!! Did I get your attention? Guys, I want you to know and understand that my kids are very healthy little beings, but they have far from perfect nutrition! They eat McD's like many children, they are obsessed with candy, and they would exist on "kid food" if I let them. But there are a few things I do to ensure that they are getting some of the nutrients they need.
Here are a few tips:
- Have a kid-accessible snack basket. We definitely still have "snack times", as they are little and if their snacking isn't regulated they would never be hungry for a meal. But this basket contains Mom approved snacks for them. I love Z bars, Fiber bars are a favorite for my little one's constipation, goldfish, etc.
- Keep healthy choices visible. Fruits are readily accessible, as are veggies (cut up and washed, with dip), and yogurts (bottom shelf of the fridge).
- Keep junk food out of the house. I don't buy junk food for the most part. Only for special occasions like birthdays or parties. This includes pop (they love Sprite!), chips, candy bars. If that is in the house, we will all eat it!!
- Create a mealtime plan. If I make a meal that is "unfamiliar" or more geared towards adults one night, then the next evening I will make sure to make something I know they will eat. I require the kids to try the meal I made, if they hate it, then they can eat their veggies of choice, fruit, and a yogurt. Sometimes I will make them a sandwich if I think the meal is way out of their comfort zone. But I don't make a habit of this.
- Cook with your kids. I cook with my kids daily so they take ownership of the kitchen and what we make. Some ideas for cooking with your kids are sorting veggie trays, mixing dips, cookies, muffins, sauces, casseroles, etc. Basically, any recipe where your kids can help stir and assemble.
- Hide those veggies! Muffins are an EASY way to get good things into your kids! Example: Pumpkin muffins with chia seeds, pumpkin, coconut oil, honey, oats, grass fed butter for more healthy fats. Shakeology chocolate bites: coconut oil, honey, peanut butter, Shakeology. Freeze in fun trays and eat like candy.
- Talk to your kids regularly about why healthy choices are better for them. Put an emphasis on how those foods make you and them FEEL vs unhealthy choices and junk foods.
If you are looking on more ways to create healthier habits for your family, Click this link for more information about my Family Wellness Program, where I teach you how to get fit and how to bring your family along. I am also offering private coaching, as well. To discuss private coaching, email me so we can set some goals for you!
I got a really special text yesterday and I want to share it because I think it will resonate with a lot of people, especially moms. "I just have to tell you that every year I pray and ask God for a word to focus on throughout my year. This year I got the word 'balance'. Then I signed up for coaching with you and keep hearing you say the word. Coincidence?! I'm accepting it as serendipitous and I'm excited for how much balance I've found in my life just in the past week! Excited for more! And thanks for your help in getting me to a more balanced place in my life in regards to health, nutrition, fitness, and overall wellness!"
Wow! Messages like this are simply the best.
I strive to live a balanced life, and it's a fundamental part of my coaching as well. I want my clients to be able to rock a swimsuit, feel their absolute best, look forward to healthy foods and exercise, and also be able to enjoy a piece of cake at a birthday party. Because life was meant to be LIVED and ENJOYED, and if you get super fit and healthy but cannot enjoy a piece of birthday cake once in awhile, well, that seems sad. And if cake isn't your thing, how about ice cream? My point is that balance trumps perfection, and that's what I teach my clients as well.
If you are looking for more balance in your life, I can help you, too! Click this link for more information about my Family Wellness Program, where I teach you how to get fit and how to bring your family along. I am also offering private coaching, as well. To discuss private coaching, email me so we can set some goals for you!
I thought you guys needed a gift, so I'm sending it to you in the form of a muffin. Or, rather, a MUFFIN RECIPE!! This muffin has it all! It's clean full of veggies, filling, and DELICIOUS! WIN! Oh, and definitely kid-approved and lunchbox-worthy.
2 cups almond flour 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 2 teaspoons cinnamon ½ teaspoon nutmeg 1 tablespoon chia seeds 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon sea salt ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional) ½ cup chopped dates, raisins, chocolate chips (optional) 3 eggs, beaten 1 cup grated zucchini 1 cup grated carrots 6 tablespoons unsalted butter ½ cup pure maple syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oYven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, oats, cinnamon, chia seeds, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and walnuts, raisins, dates, or chocolate chips (if using).
- In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrots, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be thick.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 25-35 minutes.
Check out my latest obsession, apple cider vinegar "tea" and learn why YOU should be obsessed with it too!
Have a great week!
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's are all behind us now (sniff), and many of us are now saying, "Why didn't I exhibit a bit more self-control??" But you know what? What's done is done and there is no sense in getting upset about the past when we have this big, open, and exciting year waiting for us to knock our new goals out of the park!
I'm going to share a few SIMPLE things you can do to start reining in your nutrition and leaving any not-so-great health habits back in 2016 where they belong!
- Don't go cold turkey. If you've been eating whatever you want for 6 weeks, existing on salads alone is going to be BRUTAL! That kind of solution is a good set up for an early failure in achieving your goals. Instead, start a bit slower, maybe eliminating one thing at a time. If pop has crept back into your diet for example, start with that. Give yourself a week to detox from soda, and then you can work on the pastries you're eating for breakfast, or whatever the case may be. Remember, you are always striving for solutions you can continue LONG TERM, so you need to create a solid foundation.
- Water Water Water Water Water Water. Water is the cheapest and easiest way to flush the toxins and therefore, cravings, out of your system. Aim for 1/2 your weight in oz. each day, plus more if you are getting tough workouts in. Water will help you lose weight immediately, because when you are dehydrated, your body holds on to extra water (water weight). Plus, it will give your skin a healthy glow, too!
- Make a Plan. I don't just mean in your head, I mean a written plan. Write down your workouts, including the times. Write down your meals, including snacks if you need to. Your success is only as strong as your plan, so spend some time TODAY making a plan for the rest of the week if you don't already have one.
- Find a partner. Having someone to check in with, workout with, stay accountable to, boy that makes the difference! Even if it's just by text, or online, knowing that someone is watching what you're doing is a HUGE motivating factor. I can help with this! I offer coaching every month for clients who want a little or a lot of help with their health and fitness. If you need a partner, or a program, or advice, please connect with me so I can help you get started!
- Be kind to yourself. Even if you are not where you want to be with your health and fitness goals, self-hatred never did anyone any good. Be kind and love yourself no matter where you are today. And then love yourself enough to make the changes you need to make <3
Every year at this time there is A LOT of discussion about New Year's Resolutions, so I thought I'd add my two cents on the subject.
I am a BIG FAN of New Year's resolutions, but not because it's a new year. Because it provides an opportunity to hope and dream and improve ourselves and our lives. I think any chance to do that is...well...AWESOME! And you may not know this about me, but goal setting is sort of my thing. I LOVE doing it and have found a few things that make the process and the results more successful. Here are a few tips:
- Set the mood. Take yourself on a date to a coffee shop with a new journal or calendar, play some music, and enjoy time with yourself. Or, have an at-home date with your partner to goal set together in front of the fire. Or, well, you get the idea. Just plan some time where you can enjoy your goal setting--make it a "thing."
- Break your goals into categories. These are the ones I use: Health, Relationships, Finances, Faith, and Business/Career. Of course you can add or subtract if needed.
- For each category, write 2-4 statements in the positive. For example: "I will earn $5,000 per month." Or, "I will spend more one-on-one time with each of my children." Then, next to each of these statements, write some action items that would get you to that goal. These are your metrics. Your metrics are action items that YOU control.
- Hang up your goals where you see them regularly. Writing them down is the first way that they become REAL, the second is by seeing them frequently!
- Revisit your goals monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and at the end of the year. Make adjustments as needed.
If one of your New Year's goals is to improve your health and fitness, I'd love to help! Check out my BRAND NEW Family Wellness Program. This program will help you lose weight, create beautiful muscle tone and definition, and create life-long health habits. We begin on January 9th! Read more about it here.
Happy New Year, Friends!
- 2 chicken breasts (can be frozen)
- 1 diced onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 tsp bouillon granules
- chicken broth to cover veggies and chicken
Here are some tips on how to make sure you can enjoy yourself without guilt while at a holiday party. The tip is "moderation", and I use this to schedule my day so that I can enjoy the food and drinks at the party without guilt. Need some more tips? Connect with me on Facebook!
I was a guest on Q 96 this morning. We talked all about the perfect gifts for the fitness fanatic in your life. Check out the video below and then comment here or go to Facebook and tell me what your must-have fitness gift is this holiday!
Now is the time of the year that we spend time in the kitchen making goodies, this year I decided to make healthy holiday gifts. What are you making this year? Share below or let me know on my Facebook page.
I recently had a client as me, "how do you enjoy the holidays and also treat yourself with the holiday goodies?" My answer is balance! You should be able to enjoy some of your favorite treats but, not all of the cookies in the jar.
I teach my clients the 80/20 to eat clean and healthy meals and food. This allows you to eat and enjoy foods without feeling constricted.
As a mom and a former elementary education teacher, I understand the importance of creating a system that reinforces positive behavior in the home and in school. I am just a mom that is learning how to navigate motherhood and all of its chaos, so when I find a technique that works for our household, I want to share it with other moms too!
This is a highly effective and simple system that has been working very well for our family.
For our family, I have created a simple weekly template in Google docs for each child that allows me us to measure their behavior accordingly.
As a busy mom sometimes these simple system can be forgotten, so we make sure we print out the behavior charts and hang them on their bedroom door. This simple trick allows us to ensure we are creating an effective system and a great visual reminder.
One of the most important ways to ensure that this simple system works is that you are rewarding your children as they accomplish they work on their behavior charts.
Do you want more ideas on easy parenting solutions, parenting hacks, and tips and tricks? Make sure you hit the connect with me below!
This squash soup is sure to be a hit with the whole family, plus, its a great meal to prep on Sunday for anytime during the week! Ingredients:
- pre-cubed butternut squash
- olive oil
- chicken broth
- vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. pure maple syrup
- 3/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- Use pre-cubed butternut squash from the produce department, drizzle it with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper and use your hands to coat all of the squash. Roast the squash in a 400-degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until fork tender.
- Chop an onion and add it to a warm skillet with a tsp olive oil. Cook until translucent, then add a tsp of garlic. Cook for 1 more minute. Add the onion mixture and the cooked squash to a blender. I filled it to the
- Fill the blender to the one-liter mark with 1/2 chicken broth and 1/2 vegetable broth. You can eyeball the amount here :) Also to the blender, add 1 tsp pure maple syrup, 3/4 tsp of nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth. Add mixture to a saucepan and heat.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper (I used a pinch of sea salt and a couple grinds of the pepper). For the super smooth consistency, add 1/4 cup Greek yogurt to your soup. Heat through and serve!
I love topping it with this asiago cheese crisps, but something sweet on top, like apple chips, would be great too!
Don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!