I see you, friend. I see you picking out those jeans out of the closet where they’ve been sitting for a while. You think, I’ll try those again and just see. Do they go over my hips? Do they button? Even if they do, do I have skin spillage?
Friend – get new jeans. I know you what you’re thinking – “But I’ll lose weight! I’m in the middle of my process there! I don’t want to buy new jeans yet. I WILL MAKE THESE WORK.” But… “They’re so uncomfortable. I feel squeezed all day. My rolls are making new rolls.” New jeans will make you feel confident, help you stop thinking about every place that you’re squeezed and give you room to breathe and think about other things. What if these jeans are the diet you’ve been doing repeatedly? You go back to it again and again, and yet it still doesn’t fit.
STOP TRYING TO FIT YOUR BODY INTO THE DIET AND FIT THE DIET TO YOUR BODY.
Change the areas of your life that need tweaking and adjusting based on your lifestyle, desires, physiological needs, and health outcomes. Don’t pick up that old diet because it never fit right anyways. Transform your eating, moving, doing habits around what works for you and watch yourself sit up straighter and walk with confidence because you make those jeans look good.
Friend – this person has been me before. I am that friend. I have tried the diet, but now I know, with experience and education and expertise with past clients, that there is not one cookie cutter thing that will fit YOU. Uniquely you.
Not keto, not veganism, not Paleo, not carnivore, etc etc etc. You need to figure out what your body/life needs and go from there.
Give the jeans away and I’ll help you find new ones. I’ll walk you through and measure your lifestyle and hold your hand as we fit the food and lifestyle to you. To get you healthier and more confident than ever before.
Yesterday it snowed in Colorado (after a high of 80 degrees the day before), but you bet I still made a smoothie! No, I don’t wear shorts in winter, why do you ask?
I love this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie at any time of year, but in the fall it really captures the flavor of the season (pumpkin, duh) for sure. I love it with vanilla protein powder, but feel free to make it with yogurt instead! Great for breakfast or a high protein snack.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
8 oz milk (I use almond or cashew milk)
4 oz water (more or less, depending on how thin you like your smoothies)
Earlier this week on my social media (find me on Instagram and Facebook), I posted that beets were the food of the week. There are so many great qualities about beets, but not that many easy recipes out there. So I decided to make my own smoothie recipes!
Beets have a very distinct taste that is dirt-like to some. They are full of fiber (4g per cup), folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and Vitamin C. In fact, they have as much potassium as a banana! Beets have been shown in studies to help reduce blood pressure and improve athletic performance.⠀ ⠀ Beets can be eaten raw, pickled, roasted, steamed, or boiled. I love to add them to salads with some goat cheese, or add them to a smoothie.⠀You can buy them raw or already pre-cooked. ⠀ But wait! There’s more! The beet greens are delicious and nutrient packed as well. Don’t throw them away if you get them with your beets – just pick off and add to your next salad.⠀
Creamy ingredients like yogurt and banana can minimize the taste of the beets, as does celery. I tried both in these two recipes. I really like the taste of both, but the second one is decidedly more “healthy tasting”, as my mom told me. It tastes like a fancy juice at a cafe, but it’s got some extra bonus in there!
Beet Strawberry Coconut Smoothie
12 oz milk (I use Silk Protein Nut Milk)
1 cup strawberries
1 raw beet, peeled and chunked
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp honey
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Ah sleep. The almost cliche habit that everyone knows they need but can’t seem to get enough of. We all know we need anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep for best function, but many of us may struggle to get asleep, stay asleep or get good quality sleep to give our best throughout the day.
While you may not think that your nutrition is linked to your sleep habits (and vice versa), it really can play a role in your ability to get good rest and recover to do it all again tomorrow. Let’s walk through a couple of ways that you can affect your sleep positively.
Control Blood Sugar During the Day
The quality and combination of foods can have a positive impact on your blood sugar regulation and therefore your sleep. Blood sugar is the readily available source of energy for all cells that is carried throughout the body constantly and controlled within a very tight range for the healthy individual. When you eat, blood sugar will increase, dependent on the type and amount of food that you consume. If blood sugar goes up quickly, like when you consume straight sugar, it can come down just as quickly and drop below the threshold of the preferred range for the body. When blood sugar is too low, cortisol is released (1).
If this is repeated throughout the day and on a consistent daily basis, this can lead to alteration of the response of many hormones including growth hormone and cortisol (2), which over time can lead to sleep disruptions (3). This occurs due to a change in the body’s response to the normal hormone fluctuations during the sleep process, making that individual more susceptible to arouse earlier and easier, with a decreased ability to get back to sleep.
So in order to normalize the body’s response to these hormones, balancing blood sugar responses during the day can be useful. A combination of quality protein, plentiful fiber, and healthful fats can slow the blood sugar response and eventual decline, which allows the individual to respond better to the hunger signal. In other words, when you eat a balanced meal, your blood sugar will slowly come down, allowing you time to make a better decision about what to eat at the next meal. Repeat this over several meals, and multiple days and the neuroendocrine system will respond better at night to increase your amount of Zzzzs. As always, consistency is key in this area and one meal/food is not going to have a negative impact.
Correct Nutrient Deficiencies
There are multiple studies that are now showing that having a deficiency of Vitamin D (4) can lead to sleep issues. Low serum vitamin D levels (<25 ng/mL) were associated with poor sleep quality, low sleep duration and sleepiness in several studies. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is obtained primarily from exposure to the sun. There are very few foods that contain Vitamin D and even then they have low amounts of it for absorption.
The best thing you can do is increase your light exposure by getting sunlight as soon as possible in the morning and as much as possible throughout the day. If sunlight is not obtainable – say it is the middle of winter or you work inside most of the day, supplementation is recommended. Supplements in oil form are the best absorbed and I personally use drops for myself and my family.
Vitamin B6 may be associated with insomnia as well. Vitamin B6 is a cofactor in the production of serotonin and melatonin. In general, a lower intake of vitamins and protein has been associated with insomnia, with significant difference in the intake of B12, iron and carbohydrates between normal sleepers and insomniacs (5).
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for over 300 different functions in the body. Magnesium deficiency can increase oxidative stress and inflammation and therefore lead to poor sleep quality. Some studies have shown that supplementing with magnesium can improve sleep quality (6, 7), among other factors. Magnesium may also help reduce restless leg syndrome (8), which can also lead to wakefulness at night. Anecdotally, I regularly take a magnesium supplement at night to help mitigate my fibromyalgia and find it does help with the quality of my sleep.
Get Regular Movement
It may not be all about food, but getting regular movement can greatly improve sleep quality. Whether it be a 30 minute walk (do it outside and get Vitamin D too!), an hour long bike ride, 20 minutes of yoga or 10 minutes of dancing, movement improves all systems of the body. Movement can impact your sleep regulation, your vitamin utilization, and hormone production, so without it, what you eat to improve your health will have less of a positive impact.
Do what you enjoy and are able to do for movement. If your why is not strong in this area, it will not be a habit that you will be able to sustain. If you don’t enjoy running, but like dancing, then go for a night out, break out in your living room or employ a video game like Just Dance for extra fun!
Getting better sleep is not something that will happen overnight, but having some strategies to try and habits to adjust may help in the long run. As always, what you repeatedly do will affect how your body functions in the long run.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you purchase after clicking on the link. I am not paid by the company to promote these products and my opinions are my own.
You’ve likely heard the saying that weight loss is “80% Nutrition and 20% Exercise.” While this may be true (that what you eat plays a bigger role in weight loss than exercise), I believe that most individuals that desire weight loss truly desire health more. They want to reduce the aching in their knees and back, they want to reverse diabetes or heart disease or an autoimmune condition, or they want to minimize their risk for getting diseases. While the surface goal may be to look better, the underlying root is often deeper and can also help them persist past challenges.
Health, however, is 100% personal. It is something that is not always related to weight loss, either. Everyone’s version of health and path to it can vary greatly. Just like we have different hair or skin color and we come in a variety of sizes, so too do we have different degrees of health. For some, health looks like optimal bloodwork, no disease, a body that works in all ways, and little dysfunction. For others, they are managing their dysfunctions as best they can, working with what they have, and surviving another day.
I think we all wish that our health was determined by our habits, but unfortunately cancer/autoimmunity/name your disease doesn’t care about the habits you have. Health can also change in an instant – one minute an individual is running a marathon and the next they are getting a heart attack. Disease has no prejudice and sometime no warning.
We have to treat health as something that is very individual. Habits can improve health and reduce the risk of getting disease, but everyone’s path to their version of health will look very different. So therefore everyone’s habits for health are individual and must be personalized.
If someone has been working out for years and is trying to add on more muscle or perform a certain exercise, their habit change will look different than someone that has never done formal exercise or lifted a weight. There is nothing wrong with either situation, just that each person will have a different goal based on where they are at right then and there.
So often, there are goals thrown out there that supposedly everyone should be doing – like 10,000 steps a day, drinking half your body weight in ounces, eating 3 or 5 or 2 meals a day. While these aren’t terrible goals, the shame in the should is brought out when someone who is only walking 2,000 steps a day tries to aim for 10,000/day their first week, only to fail at the huge increase in movement. Getting healthier is all about slowly improving upon the habits that you have to make a better version of YOU, not try to keep up with someone else.
All that to say, don’t feel you have to keep up with Joneses – even in regards to your health. When you are ready to change, make a goal that will make you 1% better, such as going for 5 minutes longer on your walk, going to bed 10 minutes earlier, or adding 1 more vegetable to your dinner. Give yourself room to grow!
Have a goal that you need help working towards? Do you need to adjust your eating habits? I can help! Go to my main page to schedule an introductory call to learn more.