Posted in How To's

IS STRESS RUINING YOUR LIFE? Or are YOU?

Simply living in a stressful state more often than not is self sabotage at its finest. Most of the time we don’t even realize it’s happening!

 

Think about it- Stress makes us tired, snappy, we look like hell and our bodies suddenly stop cooperating. The sabotage cycle has already begun when these signs are apparent.

 

STRESS HAS MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES!

 

On one hand, stress signals the body to change various hormones and their levels in order to help us adapt. That’s great!

 

On the other hand, our bodies are NOT designed to battle stress on a daily basis (like so many of us ask it to do). Push your body too far and it will release special signals (neurotransmitters) that are REALLY NOT GOOD.

 

Here’s the nightmare that stress is causing inside your body:

  1. Increased heart rate, forcing your heart to work way harder than it should
  2. Hormone secretion resulting in major bloat, water retention & horrible digestion
  3. Disruption of your menstrual cycle that can eventually impair reproductive function
  4. Decreased thyroid function, resulting in ZERO energy, way less sleep and frustrating weight gain (despite not changing ANYTHING in your diet or routine).

 

Stress is inevitable. But managing it is KEY to our lifelong health and happiness. Looking for tools to help you reduce stress, understand your body and be confident in your skin?

 

 

Posted in How To's, wellness

5 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR ESTROGEN IN CHECK

5 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR ESTROGEN IN CHECK:

Estrogen imbalances can cause countless health problems for women, making it a frequent topic of discussion. The pendulum swings between estrogen dominance (an excess amount of estrogen) or lack thereof (not producing enough estrogen). Estrogen dominance often manifests as insomnia, weight gain/fluctuations, slow metabolism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and even hair and skin problems. If your body isn’t producing enough estrogen, a low sex drive, unstable emotions, weight gain, depression and anxiety are not uncommon for women to experience.

 

Although this is not at all a complete list of symptoms or concerns, one hormonal imbalance can encourage others. That being said, here are 5 helpful ways to naturally keep your estrogen levels in check:

 

Check your gut!

Gut health plays a role in hormone regulation, estrogen imbalances included. Without enough beneficial bacteria lining the intestinal wall, digestive issues can occur. This something a probiotic can improve!  For a cost-effective way of increasing probiotics in your diet, try making fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, or sauerkraut at home.

 

Improve your diet!

Encourage  proper hormone function by increasing your fruit and vegetable intake and eliminating foods that are cooked in vegetable or canola oils. Instead, use oils that are rich in fatty acids and omega 3s like olive oil. Avoiding  highly-processed foods and sugary treats wont hurt either.

 

Go natural!

Household products can impact your estrogen balance depending on the chemicals and ingredients. Many cleaners and beauty products contain synthetic substances that act like natural hormones in the body (but clearly are not). Eliminate this by carefully selecting which chemical cleaners you allow in your home & switching to more natural makeup & skincare brands. I use the app  “Healthy Living” to score my household products and learn more about their impact on my health.

 

Less stress, more self care!

High stress is often linked to hormone imbalances, including estrogen. Stress involves 3 key players: cortisol, progesterone and estrogen. When we experience stress, our bodies make cortisol to cope. In order for our bodies make cortisol, it must also make progesterone (the governor of estrogen). The result: cortisol production steals progesterone from the body. Progesterone is the governor of estrogen and keeps it in check. When that governor is compromised, estrogen SPIKES out of control (like a teenager, if you will)! This is why stress management is KEY! Slow down and do some self-care, whatever that might look like.

 

Get your beauty sleep!

The body repairs itself while you’re asleep, and regulating hormones is part of the body’s repair cycle. Lack of sleep can encourage hormone imbalance! You can avoid this by improving your sleep environment with a weighted blanket, light blocking curtains or a new pillow. A proper night time routine supporting restful sleep is also key (aka no screens, electronics or lazer tag before bed!)

Posted in How To's, wellness

Still Struggling To Achieve Your Goals?

Are you struggling to see results?

Tired of starting new diets or programs that don’t work?

Sick of feeling self conscious and uncomfortable in your skin?

Still guessing on WHERE to start & WHAT to eat?

Have you tried EVERYTHING and feel like NOTHING has worked?

I get it! I’ve been where you are and experienced similar struggles and frustrations myself. My personal fitness journey started with the intention to never sacrifice self confidence or comfort again.

I hate seeing you struggle week after week to reach your goals, which is exactly why I created a solution to every, single problem standing between you and the success you deserve (drumroll please…)

The Mind Body Balance Program is the answer! This program is a NEW 1:1 coaching service designed to overcome YOUR biggest problem, address your struggles and finally deliver RESULTS. It is like having a personal trainer, accountability partner, best gal pal and therapist all in one! Not to mention, you are covered when it comes to nutrition, lifestyle, training/ exercise, mindset and personal development.

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Posted in How To's

The Art Of Organization

“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin

When I started purchasing homes & creating my own living spaces I would often strive for a flawless, impossible to maintain showcase that cost much more than I could afford. My new mission? Living my life in a house that makes me truly happy.

Your home should be a place you look forward to returning to every day. It’s all about simple solutions that will not only make your living space more organized but also more spacious, lighter and calmer. You will waste less time searching for your keys or tripping over the mess. You won’t need to hide things in drawers or shove them away because you will love what you have.

Pairing down, putting away and purchasing thoughtfully are some of the ways that I have created calm in my own life. I can help you achieve this clarity, calm and order, too!  Here are eight ways to get there:

  1. Buy fewer things! Resist impulse or “speed bump display” purchases (the strategically placed items near the check out counter that you never actually need) and focus on quality.
  2. Donate things you don’t use. This includes unwanted gifts, clothes you no longer wear, odds and ends that you have’t touched in over 3 months.
  3. Shop your own house. Everyday items such as baskets, trays, and hooks are perfect for storage in every room. Use baskets for blankets and extra cozy things, hang kitchen supplies with hooks to save counter space and place similar items on trays, giving them a “home.”
  4. Steal ideas from experts! Pay attention in stores and hotels for how things are displayed. When visiting friends with living spaces you enjoy, take note! Ask questions! Recreate your vision.
  5.  Phase out plastic. You won’t want to stash away products made out of more sustainable materials such as wood, glass, bamboo or ceramic. They are much more pleasing to the eye (and better for the planet).
  6. Less is more. Bigger is NOT better in terms of storage. Huge closets and pantries make hoarding extras easy and keeping track of belongings more difficult.
  7. Establish simple routines. Keep car keys, glasses and remotes in a designated spot. Commit to resetting your kitchen before bed to save time in the mornings.
  8. MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME! Too much order is cold, uninviting and unrealistic. Life is for living and our homes are the playground. Simplicity combined with less clutter is all you need.
Posted in wellness

The Juggling Act: Your Man Vs. Your Goals

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. -Benjamin Franklin

Maintaining balance and prioritizing relationships is a common struggle. Health and fitness goals are challenging! They can be hard on you as well as on your family in the event they aren’t joining in on the fun. But, it doesn’t HAVE to be hard. My marriage is my biggest priority. I am a wife first and foremost, and everything I do needs to reflect that. In all honesty, that is hard to swallow sometimes when my goals and motivation are at an all time high. It is not uncommon for motivated people to have the ability to create a tunnel vision that is out of this world. If you are feeling like you are playing a constant game of tug of war with your relationship and your goals, you are not alone. Regardless of how willing you might be to re adjust priorities to reach your goal, we can’t ignore our loved ones along the way.

Let’s begin by increasing awareness. Identifying how your choices and goals impact the people closest to you is one of the best things you can do to maintain perspective.  Be prepared for things to change and motivated to keep them the same. Goals require perseverance. They also require compromise. The bigger the goal, the bigger your awareness needs to be on keeping the peace and holding on to as much balance as you can. When the game of tug of war starts to be too much, refer to the below ideas to come up for air whether it’s alone or with your family.

  1. Not all dates revolve around food: Some of our favorite stress releases are a going to the movies (bring your own snacks!), bowling, playing cards, making a list of things we want to accomplish at home, going to the gym together instead of alone, etc. Additionally, there is no reason you can’t have a special date night that involves food! Refer to my recent blog on “Navigating Social Events & Meals out” for more information on how to honor your goals without sacrificing time and memories with your family. Sometimes just an hour of “normal life,” or giving yourself permission to take a mental break from your goals serves as a great distraction and reset to bring your mind back to the people you love the most.
  2. Practice random acts of kindness: Your support system is your lifeline! Make sure to express gratitude and love for the people pushing you along. You are only as good as your support system and they are working hard, too. Sometimes going to the extra mile to make my husband a special dinner, take him on a surprise date to the movies or write him a card makes me feel just as good as it does him. It’s the LITTLE THINGS!
  3. Laugh: Don’t get so caught up in your routine of gym, sleep, eat and repeat that you forget to live your life. Go to the social gatherings, eat at the table with everyone else, make time for your friends. So many people get anxiety from the THOUGHT of temptation when tackling a goal. There is no need for that. Life is for living and you can still enjoy it while chasing your fitness dreams.
  4. Set boundaries: We set boundaries for work, personal time, children and friends. Do it for your goals as well! You can be 100% dedicated to your journey to health and still prioritize your loved ones by giving them time and your undivided attention whenever you can. Be intentional, be present and make sure they feel connected to you. Don’t be the person that only talks about the gym, food prep and how exciting your progress is!  Be well rounded, have other hobbies and tend to all aspects of your life. You are more than your goals.
  5. Be aware: Your goals are a CHOICE. If we are so lucky to have loved ones that are willing to push us along, supporting us and honoring our goals is THEIR CHOICE. That is important perspective. Reaching your goals and thriving is a gift. It’s a powerful and overly satisfying experience that breeds MORE activity. However, reaching your goals will not be nearly as rewarding if you don’t have your special people beside you at the finish line. Your life is happening right now. You can work toward your goals without sacrificing the special moments that happen every day. Don’t miss them.

Tackling a fitness goal can be a big part of your life, but it does not define you. Your new body and lease on life will not suffice when the universe throws you a curveball and you really need your people. Be mindful and focused on what really matters regardless of how it challenges you. These people, your family and loved ones are what matter.

Posted in How To's, wellness

4 Steps To Start Intuitively Eating

Learning how to stop dieting requires courage. Dieting provides safety and the illusion of control. Learning to listen to your body in order to lose weight requires letting go of that control and THAT requires grace, lots of grace. 

It involves trusting yourself, your body and the cues it gives you to reconnect with what your BODY WANTS. The hardest part about that is that listening to your body and allowing it to guide you is the only way this will work. If you are thinking “that is the most impossible task, I have been counting and tracking for years on end” that was my initial reaction as well! I felt the same way.

It is possible to ditch dieting and fully immerse yourself with intuitive habits! It is not an instant process, it takes time and quite a bit of focus. Intuitive eating often feels ore challenging then counting calories in the beginning of the process. Clinical studies have shown that diets don’t work time and again. In fact, most people gain the weight back — plus some! It may sound counter intuitive, but by allowing yourself to stop dieting and change your mindset around food, you will find FOOD FREEDOM.

Below are 4 steps to stop dieting and start eating intuitively:

  • Give yourself permission to break the rules: In order to remove the feeling of obsession and control around food, you have to escape the “rules.” Eliminating the restrictions and inviting freedom is a really powerful act for your mindset. You are giving yourself permission to have anything you want, which psychologically actually helps you NOT want it. No more calorie counting, macro tracking, weighing, food label memorizing or anything else you’ve learned to do in order to control your body and how it looks. All foods are equal and allowed at all times. NOTHING is off limits to you! This where the grace comes in. This part can feel really scary, don’t be afraid. You got this.
  • Honor your hunger and fullness: These are the two pillars of intuitive eating that require your full attention. To reconnect with them try asking yourself, “Do I like this food? Is that what I want to eat? Am I really hungry or am I bored, stressed or feeling emotional? Am I satisfied, or did I eat more than I needed?” Feel your feelings when you are not hungry. Food won’t address those, but you should.
  • Be ok with “the feels”: Emotional eating and responding to triggers is one of the biggest reasons why we over eat as well as start diets to begin with. By sitting with your feelings and allowing space to coexist with them you are no longer masking the “uncomfortable feeling” in your stomach that suffocating with food never ends up helping. You will feel better AND lose weight (double win)!
  • Ditch perfectionism: You will take several steps forward and one step back throughout this entire process. It is a process with stages, just like anything else that is new! You will teeter on the verge of success and at other times feel derailed and completely drained. This is not a linear process and it is OK to struggle. In fact, it is necessary. If you have moments where you want to throw in the towel, go back to your old ways and start another diet- you are doing it right. Don’t give up!
Posted in How To's, Uncategorized

Balancing Health & Travel

I’ll be the first to admit that traveling and / or participating in weekend festivities make the balance of health and living life more challenging. They create obstacles around staying focused on a plan, can completely throw off your progress or the routine you created that otherwise works really well.

I used to view weekends or trips as a “free for all” with food and beverages. I also came home feeling like absolute crap, not to mention my head space was less than positive. My body struggles with fatigue and the stress of traveling. My motivation was to figure out how to have the best of both worlds! 

Learning to travel and participate in social events without sacrificing my health or balance was a big turning point in my nutrition journey. I felt empowered by options, solutions and how amazing I felt. Small changes led to big results that were no longer fleeting. My progress improved and became consistent with a few small changes.

Here are my favorite tips that helped me enjoy travel and living life without losing my balanced lifestyle, neglecting my needs or impacting the memories I make! 

  1. Eat small, frequent meals: Travel in general can throw off eating habits. Eating small meals every few hours (3-4) will avoid getting overly hungry as well as not force your body to work too hard on digesting large meals while in flight or being mostly sedentary for the day. That constant flow of energy will make a difference!
  2. Eat a serving of fruits in veggies in every meal: Balancing the good stuff with the fun stuff is the best approach during travel and will naturally create more balance in your diet. Set a goal to have a little of each in your meals and enjoy feeling great AND the food all at once! Prioritizing your plate with bright colors and balanced food groups makes all the difference in how you look and feel.
  3. Drink plenty of water: This is the number one thing people neglect when traveling and it’s the most important! You can use an app to track water or get a Hydro flask and use the airport water stations to refill it as needed. 128 oz of water per day is the goal (more if your flight is a long one). Bottoms up!
  4. Go vegetarian for the day: Challenge yourself by forgoing meat for the day and exploring other options. It encourages plant-based choices, great variety and new recipes/ dishes that you might not have tried otherwise.
  5. Share meals and deserts rather than entertaining a “food free for all.”  It can be tempting to overindulge on vacation, the local cuisine can truly be a once in a lifetime experience! Rather than eating to the point of discomfort or not partaking at all (BOO), share it and have a small portion of whatever you want to try. Your body will thank you by feeling amazing the next day. You won’t skip a beat!

For more information, tips and tricks visit www.carsonlainefitness.com