15 Tips to Simplify Healthy Eating for The Whole Family

15 Tips to Simplify Healthy Eating for The Whole Family

Do you ever feel like feeding your family healthy foods is overwhelming and complicated?

I get it, because I used to think this way too.

Trying to meal plan and make healthy meals that everyone in the family would like felt like a challenge I was never going to be able to conquer. On top of that was all the conflicting nutrition information which lead me to spend hours researching “What to eat” instead of actually trying to eat healthier. I’d often just give up before I even really started.

It’s taken me years and a lot of practice, but overtime I’ve found ways to make healthy eating a lot more simple.

One of my personal and business core values is simplicity. I am always asking myself, “How can I simplify this?” So when I was really trying to get over the hurdle of getting my family to eat healthier more consistently, I asked myself this exact question, “How can I simplify healthy eating”.

If you are ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or defeated when it comes to feeding your family healthy foods, then you are in the right place!

Busy Moms: Stop Saying You Don't Have Time {+ 10 Tips to Be Intentional With Your Time}

The number one excuse I hear from clients, friends, and family is "I just don't have the time.... to eat healthy, cook food, practice self-care, work out, etc."

I used to be guilty of using this excuse for pretty much everything. Exercise. Meditation. Healthy Eating. Hanging out with friends. There was just never enough time in the day to do all of the things I wanted to do.

Until a few months ago, when I listened to this podcast series & realized that I needed to start taking ownership of my time.

The Mindset Shift I Had To Make

I had to come to terms with the idea that I was in charge of my time and my relationship to it. I had the ability to spend my time exactly how I chose to. I had to let go of the idea that time was a limitation or that it had power over me.

You see, we all act like we are slaves to our to-dos, but most of the time we are overcommitting, people pleasing, and quite simply, not properly managing our time.

The Secret To Taking Back Control

The secret to taking back control of our time is to start honoring our "Yes's" and "No's".

We need to acknowledge that when we say "No" to something that means we are saying "Yes" to something else. When you say "No" to that event you were invited to, you may be saying "Yes" to spending more time with your children. Or when you say "No" to that chocolate cupcake, you are saying "Yes" to feeling healthy and energized.

How to Ditch the Diet Mentality in 7 Simple Steps

I’ve shared with you many reasons why you should ditch dieting, but I haven’t exactly shared with you how to let go of the dieting mentality that we are all so used to.

If you’ve come to terms with letting go of dieting, yet you still struggle with the nagging thoughts such as:

“How many calories are in this?”

“Ahh, I can’t eat carbs.”

“I was so bad with my eating today.”

“Once I lose the weight, then I’ll __________ (fill in the blank)”

YOU are in the right place!

I’ve created this in depth blog post to teach you exactly why and how you can let go of the diet mentality so that you can start creating healthy habits that actually last.

Did you know….?

What To Do When You Have A Love-Hate Relationship With Food

You love & enjoy the taste of a warm fudgey brownie topped with creamy french vanilla ice cream.

Until the guilt and shame sets in after eating it. You feel stuffed and your stomach hurts. Once again you were weak and gave into your self-sabotaging ways.

You quickly decide that you're going to give up eating dessert & you must start a diet tomorrow.

In your mind, you curse that darn brownie and wish it wasn't so delicious. You wish you could just have some self-control and not give in to every craving you have.

Your love for food is quickly turned into detest and you contemplate giving food up completely... "maybe I should do a juice cleanse or just starve myself!?".

Does any of this sound familiar?

The struggle is real.

I love to cook & I love to eat. I think food is one of life's greatest pleasures. But for years, I hated that I loved food so much. 

I used to think if the highly-processed, overly sweetened, extra salty foods didn't exist we'd all be a whole lot healthier, skinnier, and happier, right?

I would use food as a way to numb my feelings, comfort me when I was sad, or as a way to punish myself by restricting it. 

I've learned over the years that it's okay to love food and it's possible to have a healthy relationship with food. 

I've learned that real peace and happiness actually comes when we decide to stop looking at food as simply a way to control our weight.

If you can really want to transform your relationship with food, it's time you fall back in love with it. 

 

5 Tips to Fall Back In Love With Food

1. Redefine Food - In order to develop a better relationship with food we must redefine it. Instead of viewing food as bad or good, I want you to start thinking of it as Food = Fuel & Nourishment. All food provides you with the energy to survive and thrive. Some food gives your more energy that lasts while others may give you a boost of energy that quickly fads away. Food is also a way to nourish your body and soul. A hot soup or stew may comfort you in the middle of winter. A nice crisp salad may refresh you and provide you with essential nutrients. A piece of cake may be just the thing to eat when your celebrating your child's birthday. When we look at all food as fuel and/or nourishment, we are able to always feel good about the choices we make when we eat.  

2. Allow All Food - We must stop restricting and depriving our selves of food if we want to have a better relationship with it. I'm sure you have a list in your head of foods that are so-called "bad" or "off-limits". But the thing is when we deprive ourselves of certain foods we can become obsess with it and eventually end up binge-eating it. By allowing all foods, we can simply eat what we want and move on.

3. Be curious - It's time we start looking at our food choices from a place of curiosity rather than judgment. We can be so hard on ourselves and it's time we take a step back and realize we are just human. When you eat something you used to consider "off-limits" ask yourself, "Why did I want to eat this?" "How did it make me feel?" "What emotions did I feel before, during, and after I ate it?". Looking at our choices with a new lens will allow you to learn so much more about yourself than if you simply judge and beat yourself up over it. 

4. Eat mindfully -This one shouldn't be much of a surprise. When we eat mindfully we can really be present & enjoy the food we are eating. Make sure to eat without distraction, engage your senses, honor your hunger and fullness, and practice gratitude for the amazing food that you have access to. Want to learn more about mindful eating? Sign up for my free course here!

5. Give up dieting - Dieting is the main reason so many women struggle with their relationship to food. The dieting industry has taught us that there is such a thing as "good" or "bad" food. It has taught us to eat less, count calories, and obsess over what we put into our mouthes. It has taught us that thinness is the only way to happiness. The reality is that none of this is true. Diets do not work and they definitely will not make you happy. Are you ready to learn how to ditch dieting for good?


Want to Learn How to Eat Mindfully & Transform Your Relationship With Food?

Sign up for this FREE 5-day Mindful Eating Course delivered straight to your inbox!


 

Do you struggle with a love/hate relationship to food? Let me know in the comments if you have any questions - I'd love to help you out!! 

How to Create The Ultimate Nighttime Routine

I’ve always considered myself to be a night owl.

I’ve also always struggled with shutting off my mind so that I could fall asleep. The second my head would hit the pillow, my mind would race. I would start to think of all the things to do or all the things that scared me or even excited me. It’s like my mind instantly would rev up and go crazy.

I used to use alcohol, tylenol pm, comfort food, or binge watching tv until I was so tired that I’d finally just fall asleep. This would just make me feel horrible in the morning and then I’d be exhausted and droggy throughout the whole next day.

When I started to eat healthier and learn more about wellness I realized how important sleep was and I knew I had to start making sleep a priority. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved sleeping, but I wanted to find away to better fall asleep and sleep peacefully through the night. Over the years I’ve really learned that I need a good 8-9 hours to feel my best and have productive day. Before, I didn’t realize that I actually had the ability to fall asleep easier and get a better night of sleep by just creating a relaxing nighttime routine.

 

Here Are 3 Tips for Creating Your Ultimate Nighttime Routine:

1. Start Winding Down 1 Hour Before You’d Like To Fall Asleep  

This means turning off all electronics and television in order to let your mind begin to rest. Research has shown that the blue lights coming from these devices suppress the production of melatonin which can delay sleep and lead to less REM sleep. This can cause you to wake up still feeling tired even after 8 hours of sleep.

2. Do Something Nourishing For Your Mind, Body, & Soul

During this hour without electronics find rituals or routines that really make you feel good. Some amazing suggestions I love are:

  • Meditating
  • reading an actual book (something light, fun, or inspiring)

  • Journaling

  • Face mask

  • Light candles

  • Take a bath or shower

  • Diffuse calming essential oils

  • Mix with coconut or sesame oil with essential oils to massage all over your body

Find an activity that makes you feel relaxed and pampered right before bed and it will help you sleep like a baby.

3. Brain Dump & Gratitude

This step has been critical for me and has allowed me to fall asleep so much faster. First, I like to brain dump any to do’s for the next day or anything I am worried about. This allows me to not stress over it because I know it is written down and I can address it in the morning. After, I write a list of things I appreciate or am grateful for that day. I write as many things I can think of and usually feel at peace and happy right before bed.

 

Well, those are my simple yet VERY effective tips for creating the perfect nighttime routine to help you sleep peacefully.


Want to Learn How to Eat Mindfully?

Sign up below for my FREE 5-Day Mindful Eating Course delivered straight to your inbox! 


 

Tell Me - What do you do as part of your nighttime routine or what are you planning to change? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

What To Do When You Just Don't Like Healthy Foods

Confession: I haven’t always loved healthy food.

Shocking, right? I actually used to love, and live off of white bread, Kraft mac and cheese, hot dogs, pizza, and chocolate milk.

 If you asked my family, I was the “healthy” one because I did love salad growing up and I ate a lot more variety than my younger sisters. But, I wasn’t really all that healthy and I was still extremely picky with what I would eat. My salad usually consisted of iceberg lettuce (little nutritional value), cucumbers, and Italian dressing (processed & full of chemicals). That’s it - because I didn’t really like many other vegetables.

Since I was also a naturally thin kid, I think it was easy to assume I was very healthy. I do remember a time when I was a child and I really struggled with constipation. The doctor believed it was caused by dairy and had me eliminate it for a couple weeks to see if it helped. I believe it did help, but I didn’t make it too long before I was craving pizza and milk and ignoring that dairy may be causing issues for me.

Today, I have come a long way from the way I used to eat. I have learned and accepted that dairy really doesn’t make me feel good. I have tried and learned to like so many new healthy foods that I wouldn’t have ever considered eating. Kale, beans, broccoli, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa - just to name a few.

The thing is so many people tell me “I just don’t like healthy foods.” or “Ew, I could never eat that.” And I’m calling BS.

I used to think like that, but really, is that way of thinking truly SERVING you?

Do you want to live your life feeling tired, sick, or overweight? Nevermind the fact that what you eat is directly related to cancer and disease.

I think YOU and your body deserve better! And honestly, if you are reading this, i think you already know deep down that you can do this!

 

So if you’re ready to take responsibility of what you choose to eat & your health, Here Are 5 Tips to Start Liking Healthy Food:

 1. Change Your Mindset | As I’ve already mentioned, it truly is a mindset issue. Yeah, you may think it’s a tastebud issue, but it’s not. Our tastebuds can adapt and change. Mine have and yours can to. But first, you must acknowledge that it is possible to start liking foods you never thought you could. You must change you mindset from “I can’t” or “I won’t” to “perhaps, I can”. Try to look at this as an experiment of possibility and transformation.

2. Find Your Why | Changing your mindset will be a whole lot easier if you have a big WHY. Why do you want to start liking healthy foods? Do you want more energy? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to live longer? Once you know your why, dig a little deeper. What do you think having “fill in the blank (more energy, weight loss, etc.)” will do for you? Will you be happier? Will you be able to spend more time playing with your kids? Once you truly understand WHY you want to eat healthier foods it will make the process so much more enjoyable.

3. You Can Acquire Taste | This may come to you as a shock or you may not believe me quite yet. I assure you, you can acquire taste. Have you ever heard that it can take time and repeated exposure before your child decides if they actually like or want to eat a particular food? Well, it’s the same for adults. It can take time and a bit of trial and error, but I assure you I did not like black beans for the first 20 times I tried them and now I eat them regularly.  When you want to try something new and immediately think “Gross! I can’t!” remind yourself that it is possible to acquire taste.

4. Try New Foods & Take Your Time | I recommend focusing on 1-2 new foods that you want to start adding into your diet. I suggest picking a vegetable that doesn’t completely gross you out, but is something you would like to start eating on a regular basis. Give yourself plenty of time and repeated attempts before deciding you truly don’t like it. Sometimes it can take a few weeks and other times it may take months. Just keep trying and once you can stand a food or decide you actually like it, move on to a new food you want to try.

 5. Experiment | Now it’s time for the fun part. Whatever food you are trying to acquire taste for begin experimenting with different ways to eat it. You can experiment with flavors by using different sauces or seasoning. You can experiment with how you cook it by sautéing, baking, grilling, or steaming. Look up new recipes with the ingredient and find ways to eat it without really tasting it. I started liking beans by combining it with an overwhelmingly spicy salsa to mask the flavor. I started to like broccoli more by roasting it in the oven with avocado oil and garlic sea salt.


Did You Know HOW You Eat is Just As Important As What You Eat?

Sign Up Below For My FREE 5-Day Mindful Eating Course to Learn How to Eat for Increased Energy & Better Health!


Tell Me - What food would you like to start experimenting with? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Want To Be A More Intentional Mother? 13 Resources to Read, Watch, & Listen To To Get Inspired

If you read my post on My Quest for Minimalism & Living a More Intentional Life, then you'll understand why I am writing this post. 

Being a Mother, business owner, partner, and women can be overwhelming at times. The best thing I have done to help with my feelings of overwhelm and anxiety is diving into resources that help me to remember what is really important and how to make the most out of this one precious life. 

These are the books, documentary, and podcast that have informed & inspired me on this journey towards living with more intention. I suggest picking one that resonates with you the most and just get started!

What To Do When You "Slip Up"

We all have days where we just can’t seem to keep it together.

I used to constantly “fall off the wagon” every Thursday and like clockwork, I’d begin my next diet on Monday.

It was an endless cycle that just wouldn’t end.

A while back I read this post “Have you “fallen off the wagon?” by the lovely Isabel Foxen Duke and it made me re-think the way I was approaching my healthy eating and diet mentality.

What wagon was I constantly falling off of?

Well, my own self-created wagon of course.

Not only was I creating the “wagon”, but I was inevitably creating my own demise by having a wagon in the first place.

The thing is when we restrict and try to “diet”, we are often setting ourselves up for disappointment. We set such high expectations that when we seem to veer off even just slightly, we instantly feel like we were bad or that we lack motivation.

When we tell ourselves we are “bad” or when we feel disappointed in ourselves it is demotivating. This is when we end up feeling so awful that we just want more cookies, chips, or other highly processed foods.

The last thing we need is to feel demotivated, am I right?

So, you’re probably wondering, well then what the heck do I do?

Here are 3 Tips to Stop Feeling like You Slipped Up

  1. Stop dieting - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again... Dieting does not work. Research proves that it doesn’t work. Ask yourself, Have you had real lasting success with dieting yet?  If you need more help with this one, read this post just for you!

  2. Release judgement - Let go of the self-imposed lines you’ve drawn around food and stop judging each choice you make. Try to come from a place of curiosity instead of judgment. Say to yourself, “This is interesting. I’m feeling tired and sad and craving chocolate cake.” You will learn a whole lot more from being curious about the choices you make than from being a harsh critic. If you just can’t stop the judgment, head over here for more tips.

  3. Change your thoughts - Your thoughts create your feelings which create your actions. Example: If you think “Shoot, I fell off the wagon again!! I suck!”. This will leave you feeling sad, mad, or guilty, which then usually leads you to binge-eat your feelings away. Instead, practice positive thinking and/or affirmations. A great affirmation I love is "Food is not the enemy and I thank the food I eat for nourishing me." The important part to remember about affirmations is that they only work when you believe them and when you practice saying them. So find an affirmation that you actually believe and practice saying it daily. Click here to get my list of my favorite affirmations!

 

Remember, this is a big mindset shift so be patient with yourself. If you want a little more help with changing your mindset in this area, I highly recommend checking out these books Health at Every Size, Body Respect, & Intuitive Eating.


Tell me - What do you usually do when you “slip up” &  what would you like to do instead? Share in the comments below!

My Quest To Minimalism & 7 Ways to Live More Intentionally

First, let me state my despise for the word "minimalism". It seems like such a trend or fad that I want no part in. It makes me think of some pretentious person who thinks shopping is evil and white walls are the only way to go. I even hate typing the word because I misspell it every single time. But I digress. As much as I wanted to not give in to this whole minimalism thing.. somehow after many articles, a documentary, and a podcast I got sucked in. And to my surprise it wasn't quite what I thought...

So lately, I've been on a quest to simplify all areas of my life. I've really been inspired by the whole minimalism movement & although I've always been quite the opposite of a minimalist (a borderline hoarder), I am really working hard to change my ways. Because lets be real, life is chaotic and stressful enough, why make it more it more complex & complicated?!

Minimalism, or simplifying, is really about peace of mind and living with intention to me. And I'm all about that living with intention! I'm just so over living in survival mode, ya know!?

Have Your Cake & Eat It Too: Why It's Okay To Eat What You Want

Have you ever desperately wanted a piece of cake, but resisted the urge due to the fear that it would go straight to your ass?

Or have you been given a gift of a box chocolates only to throw them away, obsess over them for hours, and even contemplate digging them out of the trash can?

Or perhaps, you really wanted a slice pizza, but you had a salad instead, only to binge eat an entire pizza later that night?

If you can relate to any of these situations then you are in the right place.

This is all too common for so many of my clients (and myself).

We restrict and deprive ourselves of food which leads to obsessively thinking about it. Then, we often binge and feel extremely guilty about our lack of willpower.

This is a terrible cycle to be in. And it’s really no way to live. (I've been there and I'm glad to be past it!)

It’s time we all start focusing on the allowance of all food. No food should be off limits, not even the unhealthy foods.

We need to come to terms with the fact that sometimes we may crave junk food and that’s okay.

By allowing ourselves to eat what we want, we are opening ourselves up to feeling free from food. We no longer need to obsessively think about that piece of cake or slice of pizza, we can simply eat it if we want it and move on.

Yes, it’s really that simple. Eat it and move on.

The more we practice allowing ourselves to have what we want, the easier it will become for us to just eat a little until we feel satisfied instead of feeling completely crazy around food.

Every time I use to completely eliminate something out of my diet I became obsessed and fixated on it. It just made me want it even more. Have you been there?

It wasn’t until I stopped dieting and allowed myself to eat mindfully and intuitively that I was able to eat what I want and not feel like a crazy person obsessed with food.

So, if you’re ready to stop the restriction and deprivation, and start living and enjoying yourself then below are a few tips to help you get started.

5 Steps to the Allowance of all Food & Eating What You Want

  1. Write down 3 Separate Lists: 1) list all the foods that you feel should be off limits or are unhealthy 2) list the foods you think you should be eating and/or healthy foods 3) now combine list 1 + 2 and label it: “I CAN EAT IT IF I WANT TO, IT IS MY CHOICE” Now, place this on your fridge or somewhere as a reminder.

  2. Before eating anything pause and ask yourself, “Do I really want to eat this? How will this food make my body feel?”. This can be hard at first because a lot of times we tend to eat on autopilot without ever considering if we really want something or not. We just know or think we’re hungry and so we eat. Practice being mindful, pausing and asking the question. If the answer is yes, then go ahead and eat it, guilt free.

  3. Practice eating the foods that were once forbidden without judgment. Try to be curious about why you are eating it, what it tastes like, and how it makes you feel. Try not to focus on the negative thoughts you have associated with these foods.

  4. Savor every bite. Whatever you decide to eat make sure you savor every moment of it. Chew thoroughly, notice the texture and tastes, and take your precious time to enjoy it.

  5. Practice honoring your hunger & fullness cues. When you pay attention to your body signals you really can eat anything you want. Notice how your body feels when it is hungry and notice when you feel satisfied. Try not to eat until the point of complete fullness as it can take a little time for your body to catch up.


*Please Note* At first you may want cookies all day, every day, but trust me, this will get old and you will start to crave healthier foods. Also, when you are really paying attention to how you are eating (slowing down, chewing, savoring, etc.) and the way the food makes your body feel you are more likely to develop a better relationship with food and make better choices more often. And remember, this isn't another way to focus on weight-loss because that rarely works. It's about shifting our mindset around food. It's about FREEDOM from food & PEACE of mind --- now doesn't that sound a whole lot better?


Want to learn more about how to eat mindfully & transform your relationship with food?

Sign up below for my FREE 5-day Mindful Eating Mini Course delivered straight to your inbox!


Now, tell me: How do you feel about just allowing yourself to eat what you want? Does it seem scary or exciting? I'd love to hear in the comments below!!

5 Must-Read Books to Get You Started on A Spiritual Journey

So, I’ve never really considered myself to be a spiritual person. I was baptized and raised Catholic, but we only went to church for Christmas and Easter. I never really 100% understood or felt connected to catholicism, but I’ve always believed in something greater.

In the last few years of creating my business I have been introduced to many spiritual teachers and the law of attraction. All of the information being presented to me seemed to come at the perfect time when I was feeling lonely, anxious, or struggling with food issues or just working on growing my business.

Out of my growing curiosity, I began reading some books on Spirituality and they have helped me to completely transform my life. Through reading these books and learning from many different teachers, I’ve begun to understand that there are some foundational principles that most spiritual teachings and religions all encompass.

After many hours of reading and listening to Spiritual teachers, I've come to believe that having a spirituality practice can be a great way to stay grounded, get through difficult times, and achieve anything you truly desire.

Some of the lessons I've learned through these books are:

  • How to take ownership of my life & stop making excuses
  • How a positive mindset will lead you to all that you desire
  • The way we feel is just as important as what we do when it comes to achieving your goals
  • Obstacles are detours in the right direction
  • When you think you've surrendered, surrender some more
  • Anxiety usually comes from thinking about the past or the future so it's important to focus on the present
  • And many, many more!!

If you are interested in learning more about spirituality and/or the law of attraction, but don’t know where to begin, I’ve compiled 5 of my favorite books that I believe are great for beginners.

10 Things I'm Obsessed With Friday

I've been wanting to start a series on the blog for a while to share all of my current obsessions with you. These are always my favorite types of posts from other bloggers so I figured, why not share my favs with you! 

This series will be bi-weekly or monthly sharing all of my latest foodie, self-care, spiritual, health, wellness, and maybe some random obsessions! I'd also love to hear from you about what you're obsessed with lately in the comments.

I just think it's so fun to share our favorite finds and tips with each other, you know? 

Anyways, here it goes...

How to Start Listening to Your Body & Eat Intuitively

I've written a whole post about Intuitive Eating, but I wanted to dive a little deeper into connecting with your body and actually listening to it.

So Why am I talking about Listening to Your Body & Intuitive Eating? 

Well, when we begin to listen to our body and give it what it wants, we begin to transform our relationship to food and our body. We are able to know when we are actually hungry for food vs. hungry to fill a void or distract ourselves. We are able to know when we are full and actually stop eating because we know that our body is satisfied. We are able to notice when we are feeling sad, mad, or happy and move through those feelings without the use of food. A huge benefit of listening to our body and eating intuitively is that we can finally stop looking to outside sources for the answer and start looking within. We can ditch dieting for good and nourish our body in ways we've forgotten were possible. 

At first it can seem quite simple, and you may have thoughts such as, "of course, I always listen to my body and it usually wants junk food!". These were my exact thoughts when I got started on this journey, so I totally get it.

The reality is our body wants to thrive and feel good, but we've become so good at numbing ourselves with food to avoid our feelings and we've lost connection with our physical sensations. 

When starting out on this journey my clients often say they don't even understand what it means to listen to their body. Really, all it means is to pause and actually tune in to the physical sensations and ask, "How am I feeling? What do I want?" Perhaps your chest feels tight or your stomach is growling, but you are so used to going through your busy day and ignoring your body's sensations that you don't even notice what your body is trying to tell you.

How to Stay Sane When Life Gets Hectic (+20 ways to practice self-care in 5 minutes or less)

"I’m just too busy."

"I have to work, clean, cook, pay the bills, etc."

"My partner, kids, pets always come first."

"Everything will fall apart of I don't do it all."

There’s a million excuses as to why we don’t take care of ourselves. And sometimes, there are very valid reasons or intense pressures which can make self-care or investing in yourself so hard.

It’s even more important to practice self-care when pressures are high. If you have a lot on your plate, you’re stressed to the max, and you are just zooming through each day on autopilot  eventually you’re body is going to crash.

You may get sick, start having digestive issues, headaches, fatigue, and the list could go on. Our bodies are not meant to be stressed out all the time and it will start to affect your body.

Now, it may seem like everyone on the internet is preaching about self-care and you just don’t have time to take an hour long bath or sit and read a novel - and trust me I get it!

The truth is all you need is 5 minutes a day to really nourish yourself in a way that brings you peace and joy and that simple act can make ALL the difference.

What to Eat? Eliminate Nutrition Confusion Once & For All

After reading one of my favorite health related books, The Slow Down Diet by Marc David, it completely transformed the way I looked at nutrition and the way I thought about “what to eat?”.

In the book, Marc David emphasizes the power of elevating the quality of your food. He defines quality as,

“...any or all of the following: real; fresh; organic; gourmet; lovingly crafted; homemade; locally produced; heirloom varieties; nutrient dense; low in human-made toxins; grown and marketed with honesty and integrity; tasteful; filled with true flavor, not virtual ones that mask the absence of nutrients and vitality. Quality means that care and consciousness permeate a food, and that the food itself has a good story to tell.”

I don’t know about you, but thinking about quality food in this way sounds like a normal heart-centered approach to choosing the food we eat.

Prior to reading this book, I had read many other health and nutrition books such as the China Study, Skinny Bitch and The Beauty Detox. All of these books emphasized the importance of a whole foods, plant-based diet which did not include meat, dairy, oils, gluten, or any processed foods.

I strongly believe in the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet and completely respect all of the nutrition research findings that support this diet. These books really opened my eyes to the potential toxins in our foods and the negative effects of consuming a high meat and dairy based diet.

Although I believe in this information and think a lot of people can really thrive on this way of living, it just wasn’t working for me and I wasn’t sure why. I tend to take a very “All or Nothing” approach to dieting which usually looked like ALL in for a few days and all OUT for way more days. I could never 100% commit to this diet for more than 4 or 5 days (and really sometimes you just want to eat a pizza with real cheese, ya know?).

Spring Cleaning! Time to Clear the Clutter in your Kitchen, Mind, & Life

Spring is here & you know what that means? It's time for clean up, clear out, and make space in your life for sunshine & the exciting things to come! 

I don't know about you, but after spending a long, cold winter hibernating, there's just something about the Spring weather and energy always lights a fire in me. 

Spring has the energy of a new beginning, more creativity, and joy all around. 

This time of year makes me feel so inspired and ambitious which means it's a great time to start clearing the clutter in your kitchen, mind, and life. 

When we clear out the clutter we space to think better, do more, and be who we really want to be.

Are you Addicted to Being Busy and Overwhelmed?

I have a confession: I used to be extremely addicted to being busy and feeling overwhelmed. 

Now, I understand addiction is very serious and trust me, I don’t take this lightly.

For as long as I can remember, I have self-identified as being busy and overwhelmed. It wasn’t until recently that I started to become aware of the problem and realized that this had been going on for most of my life.

In today's society it is so common for people to almost brag about being busy. It’s often seen as a status symbol and as if we are more “worthy” because we are busy.

Have you ever asked someone how they’ve been and their almost automatic response is “extremely busy”?

I’m not going to lie, but this has been my response to this question for a while, especially since having children. And was I actually busy? Yes, I believe I was, but was it really necessary to be as busy as I was or felt? And did I need to emphasize that I was busy or could I just have answered the question with “Great. I’ve been doing a lot of awesome things”. I definitely think I could have had a better response and I believe it’s really all a matter of perspective.

But back to when I realized this was a huge issue for me.

I was working full-time, taking care of my 2 kids and a household of responsibilities (while my fiancé worked 70+ hours a week), taking college courses, and trying to obtain my health coaching certificate all while trying to start my health coaching business and running an Etsy shop on the side.

Just writing that out is pretty exhausting for me now.

During this time in my life (not too long ago), I began to get very nauseous, dizzy and my anxiety was extremely heightened. If one thing went wrong or I felt slightly criticized, I would quite literally lose my shit.

There were nights of binge-eating or drinking a little too much in order to just NOT think about everything for a second. After 2 weeks straight of feeling nauseous and dizzy I decided to pay a visit to my doctor.

The doctor visit went well. I wasn’t pregnant, suffering from vertigo, or any other serious illness or disease (all thoughts running through my head). My doctor simply said, “We may need to increase the dosage of my anxiety of medication”. I was shocked and horrified. Although I was prescribed medication, I was rarely taking it and definitely didn't want a higher dosage. 

I was studying health and holistic integrative nutrition and yet, I realized I was extremely unhealthy. I didn’t necessarily agree with the fact that I needed more medication. I just realized that I needed to prioritize myself and my health or else who knows what would happen.

Back then, I didn’t recognize my addiction to being busy or overwhelmed. I just thought I was doing what had to be done to get to where I needed to be. I also don’t regret trying to “do it all”, but I’ve come to realize that being busy and constantly overwhelmed is no way to live. Believe it or not, we actually do have a choice on whether we want to live this way or not.

When looking back on the last 10 years of my life, I’ve realized that I was always taking on more than I could handle and performing at a mediocre level in all areas of my life. Since I was SO busy, I made the excuse for myself that B’s in my classes were okay and my “meets expectations” on reviews at work were fine since I was just too busy to give my all anyway.

What I've recently discovered is that I have been avoiding and resisting myself and my life all along.

If I had more time to spare then I would have more time to think, more time to give, and more effort to put in. If I had more time to think, then I would have realized I was completely insecure, had a lot of unresolved emotional issues, and was extremely afraid of failure. If I had more time to give, then people would expect more of me, but what if I wasn’t able to meet their expectations? If I put more effort in and failed, then what excuse would I have?

I’ve spent the last year or so on a journey of self discovery. I’ve spent a lot of time meditating, reading and learning. I’ve realized that I no longer want to live in this fog of busyness and overwhelm. I would much rather feel my feelings and truly experience my life.

I haven’t figured out all of the answers. Sometimes I still take on too much. I even respond with “I’m so busy” from time to time. But each day, I am more aware and working towards a life of peace, presence, and fulfillment. And I truly believe it’s possible.

So, although I may not have a lot to offer you if you are struggling now too, I just to know you are not alone and there is another way.

I believe the first step in the journey is awareness and prioritizing self-care. And by being aware and prioritizing our self-care we can slowly start to change the way we live one day at a time.

SO TELL ME - do you struggle with being addicted to being busy & overwhelmed?

33 Food Rules to Live By for a Healthier Life

I really dislike rules, especially food rules.

I like to do and eat what I like and what I want.

I also think that having specific food rules and restrictions will only lead to obsession over those foods you can’t have or the eventual binge eating of those foods.

I mean, have you ever been told that you shouldn’t eat something because it will make you fat, whether it was by a family member, doctor or the media, only to then start obsessing over that exact food or just eating it any way to prove you can eat it without getting fat?

At the same time, I know a lot of people that actually thrive off living by a set of rules or standards.

And of course, there are people that simply don’t know what to eat because of all the conflicting health information out there.

Everyone is different and I think it’s important to know yourself and learn what works best for you.

Mindful Eating: 5 Simple Steps to Being Present While You Eat

Ever eat a whole bag of chips only to reach the crumbs and not remember actually eating the whole bag of chips?

Or… you eat so fast that you don’t really taste your food and then you’re hungry a few hours later?

This may sound all too familiar, especially if you’re a chronic dieter.

In today’s society, we are so used to multitasking, eating while we work, checking our phones and simply not enjoying the present moment.

We’re often obsessed over the next diet we’re going start or feeling guilt or shame for the food we are eating.

We numb out and try to avoid any feelings by stuffing ourselves with food and missing out on the pleasure aspect that is actually meant to come from food.

But, if we could just pause and eat without distraction for a moment… what do you think would happen?

Perhaps...

What to Do When You're Stressed to The Max

I don't know about you, but lately, I've been stressed to the max.

Between taking classes, kids after school activities, birthday parties, client calls, cleaning my house and running a business, sometimes I just need to breathe and recalibrate.

So even if you're stressed to the max right now, there are still small, practical steps you can take to cope with that stress and stay healthy.

So, why am I talking about stress?

Like it’s not enough to live with stress, now I’ve got to be talking about it too?! Agh.... not fun...!!!

But the truth is that it sure is important to acknowledge stress so you can reduce it or cope with it a little better.

Think of it like aiming for a 1% improvement....you may not be able to change the stressors in your life, but if you can manage the impact on your body 1% better, then you’ll stay healthier and more able to handle the stress.

Worthwhile, yes?