Meal Planning Tips: A Simple Process to Meal Plan with Your iPhone in Just 15 minutes or Less

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I’m always surprised when I talk to people about meal planning, how many people really do not plan at all or have a really hard time sticking to their plan.

Over the years I’ve experimented with many different ways of meal planning. I’ve also had my fair share of times where I just wing it and do not plan at all.

As the kids get older and our schedules get busier, I find meal planning to be extremely important and beneficial. I’ve noticed that when I make time for meal planning, I save a whole lot of time and money and really, who doesn’t want to save time and money?



So, if you’re ready to get you sh*& together and start saving time and money while ALSO eating healthy, nourishing meals with ease then this post is for you!



My Best Tips for Meal Planning

  1. Take Stock of Your Kitchen - So this step is crucial. If you really want to save money, you must first take stalk of what you already have in your kitchen. Make lists of what you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. Then brainstorm ideas of meals that you can make with the ingredients you already have. If you have a bunch of random vegetables that need to be cooked before they go bad you could make a veggie soup, veggie tacos or a stir fry. You can even google recipes with specific foods such as “pasta and broccoli recipe” or “vegetable casserole”.

  2. Check your Schedule & the Weather for Each Day - Now check your calendar for the week and notice which nights are going to be busier than others. If you have a night filled with sports or other activities, then maybe you could make a crockpot meal in the morning or instant pot dinner at night. If you get out of work early one day or have no plans at night then maybe that is the day you could make something a little more intensive or try a new recipe.

    Depending on the weather where you live, it may be helpful to take note of the weather to determine what you will feel like eating. I know on a hot 90 degree day, I will not want to eat a hot soup or chili, but a large salad would really hit the spot. On the other hand, if you notice it’s going to be raining and cold then you may opt to make something hot and comforting like soup or mac and cheese.

  3. Check Sales Flyers & Eat Seasonally - Another great way to really save money is to check your local sales flyers and choose fruits and vegetables that are in season. I really try to focus on eating seasonally and buying organic as much as possible so that’s usually how I choose what items I to buy. If you check your flyers after taking stock of your kitchen, you can really base your meal ideas on the items that are you already have and the ones that are on sale that week.

  4. Keep a collection of your favorite recipes - Create your own binder and fill it with all of your most loved family staple recipes. Each time you try a new recipe and your whole family loves it stick it in your binder. Then when it comes to meal planning you will have a stash of recipes that you know are easy and taste delicious. I also recommend organizing your binder with tabs of different sections such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and then the type of meals such as soups, stews, chili, tacos, etc.

  5. Try one new recipe a week - I used to get caught up in wanting to try many different recipes each week. I’d get excited and put 4 new recipes in my meal plan for the week and then by the second recipe I would be feeling exhausted and not want to make it. It can really save you a lot of energy and time if you stick mostly to meals that you know how to make without a recipe or meals that you’ve made multiple times before. It’s best to only try one new recipe a week. If you aren’t one that likes to try new recipes I highly recommend incorporating this into your weekend routine. Make it a goal or challenge to try one new recipe a week. It can really add variety to your meals and keep you excited about cooking healthy meals.

  6. Choose 2 Simple Breakfast Ideas and Rotate Them (same with snacks) - This can be a real game changer. My 2 go-to breakfasts are smoothies and overnight oats. They are both so easy to make and you can make a big batch to keep in your fridge and have them ready to grab and go for the week. You could also make a large batch of scrambled eggs with veggies or some whole grain blueberry muffins. The trick is to only make 2 different breakfasts a week and just rotate them daily. This keeps breakfast simple and assures that you will start your day off right with a nutritious meal.

  7. Only plan for 4-5 nights - I have always naturally done this and it wasn’t until someone told me that they were always throwing out food and not making every item that they planned to make that I realized how helpful this tip could be. By only planning 4-5 nights a week instead of all 7 nights, you are leaving room for nights where you can simply eat leftovers or get take out. I don’t know about you but sometimes things come up or I have a really hard day and the last thing I feel like doing is cooking. These are the times when I’m happy I didn’t plan to cook something each night and I happily will order take out or eat some yummy leftovers.

Now that you’ve read my best tips for meal planning you are probably wondering what the best way to go about actually writing out your meal plan? I’m sure there are many ways you could do this. You could grab a notebook, an app or free printable online, but my favorite and easiest way to plan has been using the notes app on my iPhone.

I used to write it out in a notebook, but then I would forget to actually look at the notebook or even worse I’d forget my grocery list at home when I got to the store. I’ve also tried many different apps and just found that they were too slow or too complicated and actually would take me more time than it was worth.

Since I already use my notes app multiple times a day (anyone else obsessed with list making?!?) I started to do my meal planning on it  without thinking much about it. It’s really been a game changer in how I meal plan and actually stick to it.




How to Meal Plan Quickly with the Notes App on Your iPhone

  1. Make a list of the ingredients you already have in your kitchen

  2. List the Meals You Can Make with Ingredients You Already Have

  3. List Your 2 Breakfast choices - example: green smoothie and overnight oats or veggie scramble and toast with avocado

  4. Write out items you want to batch cook - this could include 1 large soup, salad, and maybe some grains or roasted veggies

  5. List each day of the week with breakfast, lunch, and dinner underneath

  6. Now rotate your two breakfast ideas under each day

  7. Fill in the lunches by rotating leftovers, salad or soup

  8. Fill in the meal ideas you have for each night (remember to take in consideration your schedule/weather/what’s on sale or in season) leaving at least one night for leftovers and one night for eating out

  9. Make a separate list of ingredients you need to buy to complete your meals

  10. Order groceries online to save time & money. *If you haven’t tried this yet, I highly recommend it, especially if you have kids and rather not take them in the store with you. You will spend so much less money because you aren’t tempted by everything you walk by and you can see your total as you add items so you can always remove items you don’t really need.




So what do you think? Are you excited to get meal planning & actually stick to it? Let me know if you try this or if you have any questions!!




How to Eat Healthy When You Have No Support

How to Eat Healthy When You Have No Support

It can be very difficult to transform the way we eat when everyone around us seems to be eating junk-food and not caring about the quality of the food they are putting into their bodies.

I’ve struggled for years letting other people’s opinions and actions dictate the way I ate. If my friends were going out for happy hour, then drinks & fried food it was! If my boyfriend and I were too tired to cook, then pizza it was! If I went to someone’s house and they were serving something unhealthy or that I didn’t like I ate it anyway.

I never wanted to draw attention to myself or be seen as “difficult” or “picky”. I also wanted to be easy going and able to have fun with friends without restricting what I ate or drank. No matter how crappy I felt or how badly I wanted to just eat a salad, I followed the crowd and was a people pleaser at best.

It finally came to a point where my health and energy levels HAD to be more important than what anyone else thought of me. I had to make a stand for myself and my health because no one else was going to do it for me. It definitely wasn’t easy at first and there were many moments of self-doubt, but I learned a lot along the way.

If you’ve been struggling to make the commitment to a healthier way of eating then I hope these tips can serve you well.

7 Quick and Easy Plant-Based Breakfast Ideas to Start Your Day Off Energized

Most of my clients struggle to come up with simple, healthy breakfast ideas.

I totally get it because I used to be the same way. Before I started eating mostly plant-based, I used to really love a big hearty breakfast such as eggs, bacon, toast and home fries, but I also realized this was not quite healthy or sustainable to eat everyday. I began to notice that when I started my day eating this way I would usually feel pretty sluggish a few hours later.

Now I love to start my day with lots of water, a coffee and a light breakfast. I really notice that I have so much more energy when I eat this way. Of course, there are also some days where I’ll eat a heavier breakfast or treat myself to some yummy waffles because well, #balance.

So if you’ve been struggling with your energy levels or simply want to find some quick and nourishing recipes to eat for breakfast each day then this list is for you.

100 Days Of A Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet

Have you ever thought about trying a whole foods, plant-based diet?

I want to invite you to join me as I share my experience and transition to a whole foods, plant-based diet over the next 100 days.

Now, let’s rewind and start from the beginning so you can understand why I am doing this and why you may want to give it a try too!


My Journey Towards a Plant-Based Diet

About ten years ago, I read a book called Skinny Bitch. At the time, the only reason I was reading this book was to lose weight. It was right after having my first child and I desperately wanted to get back to my pre-baby weight. Now, if you’re familiar with Skinny Bitch at all then you know that they heavily promote a vegan diet. The book emphasizes all of the reasons you should eliminate processed food and animal products. I remember being totally convinced after reading this book and ready to completely overhaul my diet. I think the inspiration and excitement lasted for about a day after finishing the book and then I continued on with my “ normal”eating habits. Back then, it truly seemed impossible and only for “extreme”  people. I was definitely not ready for the information or a transformation at that time.

A few years later, I came across another book, The Beauty Detox Solution. Once again, I was faced with a lot of scientific research and evidence showing that a whole foods, plant-based diet was beneficial for weight loss, beauty, and overall health. Since this information wasn’t completely new and it was more of a reminder, I was definitely more open to it and ready to implement some of the tips. I never went completely plant-based or vegan, but I started eating a lot less meat and started incorporating more greens and vegetables into my diet.

Fast forward a few more years, which brings us to about 2013, my sister went completely plant-based vegan. She had been vegetarian her whole life, but she didn’t exactly like vegetables or most healthy foods. Prior to becoming vegan, her diet had been primarily based on pizza, mac and cheese, and french fries. It was shocking to me that she was suddenly eating beans, salad, quinoa, and... lentils?! The fact that my sister was able to completely change the way she ate was definitely fascinating and encouraging to me.

5 Reasons You're Failing at Losing the Baby Weight

CONFESSION: After my first child, my baby weight basically fell off (side note: she was born 2 months, but I had already gained about 35 pounds). My second child was full term and I gained about 55 pounds (yikes!). I lost about 25 pounds right away and thought to myself, “Oh, this will be easy...” Boy, was I wrong. It may not be fair (or accurate) to say, but it’s now 5 years later and I think I’m still holding on to some of that baby weight.

You see, after my second child I tried #allthethings to lose the baby weight.

I breastfed for 18 months - breastfeeding makes the weight fall off doesn’t it? It can help, but not always.

I counted calories.

I obsessed over the scale.

I drank a lot of coffee and didn’t eat a lot (this was also because I was extremely sleep deprived, as we all are with a new baby).

I tried a juice cleanse, a little exercising, and just about every diet I could try.

And you know what happened?

Not a whole lot. I maybe lost 5 or 10 pounds only to quickly gain them back.

I started not caring how I dressed, because I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin or the clothes I was wearing.

I avoided going out or dressing up at all costs.

I wore oversized sweaters and yoga pants became a staple (let’s be real, they still are!).

I hated shopping for clothes, something I used to love, and I avoided mirrors as much as possible.

And the crazy part about all of this, I was really only 10-15 pounds heavier than my pre-baby weight. And my body just friggen gave birth to a human!!

It’s crazy how magical our bodies are and yet, as women we have very little appreciation for it after childbirth.

I hear from clients all of the time, “I just need to lose this baby weight.” or “If only I could wear my favorite pre-baby jeans again….” or “I can’t stand my post-baby body”.

But the thing is we are not going to get anywhere HATING our bodies. This quite often is the exact reason we end up overeating, binging, or emotional eating. And that’s not what we want is it?

10 Tried-And-True Simple, Healthy Dinner Recipes for the Whole Family

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Yesterday I shared with you 15 tips to simplify healthy eating for your whole family, and today I am taking it a step further to share with you my tried-and-true staple recipes from some of my favorite blogs.

I’ve personally tried these recipes (and make some of them weekly) and they have been kid and husband approved!

There’s no need for you to spend hours on Pinterest (I’ve done that for you!) trying to figure out which recipes taste as good as they look and that your family will actually like.

These recipes are all very simple and easy to make and I hope your family loves them as much as mine does!

10 Tried-And-True Simple, Healthy Dinner Recipes for the Whole Family

 

1. Nourish Bowl by Nutrition Stripped

This is my go-to easy lunch or dinner. I love to mix up the types of veggies I use or the dressing. If you haven't jumped on the Bowl bandwagon yet - What are you waiting for? Go try it now! 

2. Spicy Corn Chowder by Vegetarian Times

If you love corn chowder and a little spice in your life, you will love this recipe. I usually make a double batch and I only add the chipotle at the end to half of the portion so I can save some for my kiddos without the spice. This is definitely a staple recipe in my house for Fall and Winter! 

3. 8-Minute Pantry Dal by Oh She Glows

Ah, I recently became obsessed with Dal and curry and this recipe does not disappoint. It's vegan and seriously takes only 8 minutes! I was shocked, but my kids even loved it. I love to make a big batch of this in the beginning of the week and eat it for lunch almost every day with a salad. I rarely get sick of it!

4. Warm & Roasted Winter Salad Bowl by Oh She Glows

Now, this recipe is one of my boyfriend's favorites. It's so quick and easy and the perfect warm salad for Fall and Winter. This is definitely a crowd pleaser and perfect to bring to a potluck! 

5. Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas by Minimalist Baker

If you think you don't like kale, go try this salad and get back to me! This is by far the best kale salad I've ever had and although you may have garlic breath for days, it's totally worth it ;) 

6. Garlic Mac & Cheese by Minimalist Baker

Another fabulous garlicy, vegan meal (can you tell I love garlic?!) that will trick anyone into believing it's made with real cheese! My kids even love this and have no clue it's actually cheeseless.

7. Veggie Burger by Tasting Table

I love making and freezing a batch of veggie burgers, but often times it's hard to actually find a recipe I love. This one is so delicious and perfect for the whole family! To make it easier you can skip the guac, but I wouldn't recommend it because it's SO yummy. 

8. Grilled Chilli Lime Chicken Fajita Salad by Cafe Delites

This is our goto chicken salad recipe. The dressing is light and tangy. The combination of peppers and onions adds so much flavor. I just love, love, love this salad. Also, if you want more salad ideas check out her site! She seriously has the best, most filling salads for dinner time! 

9. Beef Stew by Hemsley and Hemsley

I love a good Beef Stew recipe and this one has become a staple. No need to buy those processed beef stew packets with added ingredients. Make this with a good red wine, fresh herbs, and organic meat and you will be in heaven! 

10. Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup by 100 Days of Real Food

Another comforting, Fall and Winter staple in our house is a good Chicken Noodle Soup. I love the simplicity and deliciousness of this recipe. Go check it out! 


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Want To Add These Recipes to Your Meal Plan? I've Got A Beautiful Free Meal Plan Template Just For You!


Now Tell Me in the Comments Below - Do you have any tried-and-true simple, healthy dinner recipes you'd like to share with me? I'm always looking and I'd love to hear!!! 

 

How to Simplify Healthy Eating for The Whole Family

How 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!

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?

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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!! 

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!

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?).

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...

8 Ways to Indulge Your Sweet-Tooth High-Quality Style (+ A Delicious Sweet Recipe)

Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you are well aware of the negative affects of sugar on our health.

Well, I'm here to tell you that just because sugar isn't good for ya, doesn’t mean you have to kiss your sweet tooth goodbye forever! (good news, right!?)

There's actually quite a huge difference between low quality sweeteners (ex. highly processed white sugar or artificial sweeteners) and high quality sweeteners.

The truth is highly processed, refined sugar can have devastating effects on your metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases. This is no joke...

Here’s why:

● Sugar equals tons of calories with no essential nutrients. All it does is cause tooth decay by literally feeding harmful bacteria in your mouth!

● If you eat high quantities of refined, processed sugar but do no exercise you are at risk, for the fructose derived from an excess of sugar, to get lodged in your liver and cause non- alcoholic fatty liver disease.

● When you consume too much sugar, it can cause resistance to the hormone insulin, which can lead to diseases like metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.

● An excess amount of sugar can have a devastating effect on your metabolism, which is now known to lead to cancer.

● Sugar is highly addictive because after ingestion it causes a huge release of dopamine in your brain.

● Sugar is a major contributor to heart disease, which is the number one killer in the world.

But what many people don’t realize is that there are healthier, alternative sweeteners out there that won’t damage your health as much and taste just as sweet, if not more!

Why Giving Up on Weight Loss May Just Be the Secret to Getting What You Truly Want

give up on weight loss

Before you roll your eyes and think, “I can’t give up on weight loss. I don’t want to be fat forever” please hear me out.

So many of my clients come to me wanting desperately to lose weight and finally reach their “ideal” weight.

But when I dig a little deeper and ask the question “What do you really want?”. Some of the answers I receive are vitality, acceptance, happiness, confidence, a partner, friendships, dream job, and so on.

Most of us believe that once we lose the weight we will have whatever outcome it is we are desperately craving (the guy, the dream job, happiness, ect.).

But the truth is that weight loss does not guarantee anything.

Unfortunately, our society and the media puts this false sense of hope in us that makes us believe that once we lose weight we can have or do whatever we want.

But what if we lose the weight and we still do not feel confident, or still cannot find that partner or dream job?

You may not believe it right now, but this is often what happens when people lose weight.

They come to realize that it actually was never the weight that was the real issue.

Often times there are so many underlying issues that go unresolved when we just focus on weight loss as our goal.

I think it’s time we approach our health and life differently.

I think it’s time we start working on our mental, emotional and physical health from a place of love out of a desire to truly be healthy and happy.

Once we can let go of our unrealistic expectations of reaching this arbitrary “ideal” weight, then I believe we can finally break free from the mental and emotional stress that we are putting on ourselves by obsessing over weight loss.


But wait, How do you actually stop obsessing over weight loss?

 

Here’s my 5 tips to get started shifting your mindset around weight loss:

1. Get Informed & Practice Self-Acceptance. There are quite a few books, podcasts, and blogs that are actually about transforming your relationship with food and your body without focusing on weight loss as the primary goal. I think the best way to start practicing self-love and acceptance is to learn how others have done it and surround yourself with like-minded people. Here are a few of my favorites resources:

Books: Health at Every Size, Intuitive Eating, Body Respect

Blogs: Isabel Foxen Duke, Be Nourished, The Balanced Blonde

Podcasts: Food Psych, Psychology of Eating

2. Ditch the scale: I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, throw out your scale and stop letting the number on it define you.

3. Focus on Nourishment: Instead of your primary goal being weight loss, how about shifting your mindset and focusing on nourishment. When it’s time to eat ask yourself, “what will make me feel good and nourished?” Also, look at other areas of your life and ask yourself “What needs to be nourished?” Perhaps your relationships need extra attention or you need to tap into your creativity. This simple shift in thinking can really lead to living a more joy filled life.

4. Discover What You Really Want:  Now this one may be a challenge or you may be thinking “Duh! I know exactly what I want”. But, I want to ask you to pause for a moment and ask yourself “What do I think I will get once I lose weight.” As I mentioned earlier, there’s usually a much deeper reason we want to lose weight and it’s important to acknowledge what that is. If this doesn’t come easy to you and you’re just not sure what it is that you really want, I suggest to just start doing things that bring you joy and be curious and aware of what you desire in your life. You could set out to try new activities or travel and just be curious as to what you are lacking or craving in your life.

5. Go After What You Really Want: Now that you know what you want, it’s time to start going after that instead of waiting on the weight. If it’s a boyfriend you truly desire, you do not need to lose weight before you find him. Start dressing up and putting yourself out there just as you are. If you think once you lose the weight you will feel more confident, than instead why don’t  you try to start focusing on way to build up your self-confidence just as you are. A great start would be to read books or blogs and learn more about how you can develop self-confidence now.

 

The benefits of releasing the obsession with weight loss are endless. You may actually be happier, enjoy eating and exercising, feel more confident, have more energy, and finally embrace your true desires.
 

I really hope this blog has opened your eyes to new possibilities that you may not have even considered before. And if you’re still not loving the idea of giving up on weight loss, then I suggest making it a goal for it to not be your primary focus. It’s all about taking baby steps and learning how to shift our mindset around weight loss (which is no easy task!).

The truth is your weight does not define you and your weight will not give you what you truly want.   Only you can do that... and you already have everything you need right inside of you.

 



 

Now tell me below in the comments, how does it feel to think of letting go of the obsession with weight loss? 

Why Letting Go Of Judgment is Essential For Your Health

 

Ugh. I can’t believe I ate that whole cake, my diet begins tomorrow.

Wow, I’m so lazy. I didn’t work out again.

I have no self-control. I just can’t eat healthy.”

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?

These are actual thoughts I used to have on a daily basis.

Time and time again my clients come to me with these same thoughts repeating over and over in their head.

We are all so judgmental and critical of ourselves.

It’s really time that we just give ourselves a break.

We are human. We are hard-working, busy, stressed out, and exhausted most of the time and it’s about time we start to take care of ourselves and just let ourselves off the hook every now and then.

You may be thinking that being judgmental and hard on yourself is what keeps you accountable on your health journey, but I’m going to ask you to put that thought on pause for a moment.

First of all, Is it working for you? Are you consistently eating healthy and working out?

I know for most of my clients this is not the case, so if it isn’t working perhaps a new way of thinking may be just what you need.

The truth is being judgmental and critical of ourselves all of the time is simply not empowering.

Most of the time our judgments leave us feeling discouraged, mad, and sad.

And when you’re feeling discouraged, mad, or sad - do you really feel like eating a salad or working out?

Most likely, the answer is no.

When we beat ourselves up for eating that whole bag of chips or that box of donuts, we are more likely to continue making less than healthy choices later on as well.

In my own personal experience, if I were to eat one “bad” thing, I would just end up saying, “Well, I suck, might as well eat some pizza and have some chocolate and start eating health tomorrow”. I would basically use the junk food as a way to comfort myself from my own judgements.

The thing is when we move away from judging ourselves for every little choice we make and move toward awareness and curiosity we aren’t left feeling defeated and we’re able to move on and make the next best choice for ourselves in the present moment.

When we are aware and curious of our choices, it is way more empowering to move forward making healthier choices more often than not.


Want to Transform Your Relationship to Food & Reclaim Your Energy?

Click below to access the free 5-Day Mindful Eating Mini Course!


 

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE AWAY FROM JUDGEMENT & START FEELING MORE EMPOWERED TODAY:

Bless your food. Before eating, practice gratitude for your food. Appreciate what you have out front of you and realize the energy that this food will bring to your body.

Be curious. Ask yourself questions such as “Am I really hungry?” “Is this food what I truly desire?” “How am I feeling while I eat this?” “What lead me to eating this food?” By being curious, you are staying present in the moment and you are able to move away from judgement.

Choose again. If you start to judge your choices or feel bad about having negative thoughts about what you are eating simply choose again. Choose a different thought. You may think “I have no will power” and then catch yourself and transform that thought into “I wonder why I don’t believe I have will power to make the best decision for myself”. This simple change in thinking can really go a long way.

Use affirmations. Positive affirmations are a great way to train your mind to move away from negative and judgmental thoughts. You can choose a few affirmations and practice saying them daily or when you notice yourself starting to judge. A few great examples are “Nourishing myself is a joyful experience and I am worthy of the time spent on my healing” or “Every decision I make is the right one for me”.

Be compassionate. Have compassion for yourself and your choices. Stop beating yourself up and practice self-kindess and compassion for your naturally human, imperfect, beautiful self.  

 

What now?

Start practicing.

Meditate & observe your thoughts.

Start a journal to track your thoughts on a daily basis.

Use affirmations or mantras to shift your thoughts.

Schedule call with me & see how I can help you transform your thoughts from judgment to compassion.

 


Sign up for this Free Mindful Eating Mini Course & Discover How to Transform Your Relationship to Food & Reclaim Your Energy!


10 Must Read Health Books to Transform Your Life

10 Must Read Health Books to Transform Your Life

I don’t know about you, but I have a passion for reading and learning - especially when it comes to health and wellness related books.

There's so much conflicting information our there and I just love to  read all the different philosophies so then I can form my own ideas and beliefs. 

I really just believe knowledge is so important if we want to grow and expand, and even more important when it comes to our health. 

So I’m definitely not here to tell you that you HAVE to read all of these books. But if you’re like me, and actually enjoy learning about nutrition, food, and how to improve your health then I think you’re going to love this list I’ve compiled.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve read a ton of health, nutrition and wellness related books. But only a handful of them have really impacted my life and I still reference them today.

So if you’re looking to expand your knowledge and start improving your health, here’s my 10 Favorite Health Related Books for you to explore:

10 Simple Diet Changes to Uplevel Your Health

10 Simple Diet Changes to Uplevel Your Health

Do you feel like you are living a pretty healthy lifestyle, but you’d like to take it to the next level?

My clients are always looking for new simple habits that they can easily start implementing that will have a huge impact on their health.

It’s easy to get stuck in eating a certain way and sticking to our routines, but it’s also a good idea to change things up once and awhile.

This is especially important when you notice that you are lacking energy or having digestive issues.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the easiest ways to change up your diet for increased energy, better digestion, and increased metabolism.

3 Underrated But Potent Vitamins You Must Have in Your Life

3 Underrated But Potent Vitamins You Must Have in Your Life

It’s time I let you in on a little secret about 3 super potent vitamins that are crucial for our health and wellness yet we often overlook them... Can you guess what they are?

I’ll give you a clue: they are all around you, don’t cost a dime and are accessible at any time of day... That’s right! I’m talking about nature, fresh air and sunshine!

But first, why am I talking nature, fresh air and sunshine as vitamins?

Let me explain...

We are so conditioned to think that vitamins are something manufactured in a lab and labeled that we need to purchase in a bottle at a store that we forget to open our eyes and look all around us. Vitamins are everywhere!

Intuitive Eating: Everything You Need to Know & How to Get Started Now!

Intuitive Eating: Everything You Need to Know & How to Get Started Now!

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is an approach  that teaches you how to listen to your own body when making decisions about food, as opposed to taking direction from external sources. It helps you create a healthy relationship between your food, mind and body. With intuitive eating, you learn to use your own innate body wisdom and distinguish between your physical and emotional feelings. As simple as this approach may seem, it can take a lot of practice and letting go of years of contradicting information learned from dieting and today’s society.

Intuitive Eating is for you if you struggle with:

  • Emotional eating
  • Food cravings
  • Overeating/Binge eating
  • Compulsive eating
  • Body image issues
  • Weight loss
  • Eating disorders (If you think you may have an eating disorder, please consult a medical professional)