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

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5 Secrets For A Perfect Day

Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all start our day at some point. Some of us hop online to check social media, others dive in to email, still others eat breakfast, exercise, or pack lunches for the kids. There’re a million different ways a morning could go, but the most important thing is that it “goes” in a way that serves you.

The MAJORITY of Americans find that many of the following apply on a regular basis:

  • Feeling rushed, late, or scrambling
  • Lacking structure, consistency or any type of a routine
  • Snoozing until the last minute and feeling sluggish most of the morning
  • Lacking motivation and intention for the day and the slow start didn’t help
  • Living off coffee to perk up
  • Skipping breakfast, sometimes lunch and dinner feels like a black hole
  • Doing just enough to keep your head above water
  • Wondering why each morning feels like such a production to get out the door

While there is not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, we can learn a lot from the research and inspiration behind starting a morning on the right foot. They key to a solid morning routine is making sure it fits your day. If you are short on time, it needs to be fast. If you are in a position to move at a slower pace, giving yourself the space and structure to do so in a way that makes you feel good is key.

Regardless of how busy you are, how early the morning or how overloaded your plate may be, here are 5 simple ways to maximize each morning by ending and starting each day with mindfulness and intention!

  1. Lay your clothes out before bed the night before. Whether it is workout clothes, business casual or a full blown suit, making less decisions in the morning is key.
  2. Have a breakfast or morning snacks that work with your schedule. If you have a need for speed, thinking ahead about breakfast will make all the difference. You need portable, effortless and INSTANT! Overnight oats or a smoothie that you can take in the car are good options. Yogurt & fruit can also be convenient and will give you the fuel to start your day on the right foot. If you have more time, plan to make yourself a meal before the day gets away from you.
  3. DO NOT hit the snooze button. Research has proven that snoozing is the absolute worst thing you can do for your mind and body. Hitting the snooze button makes it harder for your body to wake up, encourages late starts and makes it nearly impossible to have a sleep schedule. You’re also giving your body mixed signals by simultaneously knowing you need to get up, not honoring that commitment and then going back to sleep! You will feel more tired, less organized and less motivated throughout your entire day when you snooze. Move your phone out of reach for the night, find a wake up time to which you can commit and get up on that first alarm. Little adjustments such as a new alert sound, having to get up out of bed and even allowing your body to get up at the same time consistently will do wonders for your day.
  4. Identify your “Top 3” priorities. We are all famous for stacking a few too many things on our to do list. Somewhere along the way we were taught that busier is better and the more we can cram into a day is a direct reflection of our success. No one can do everything well! Be intentional with your energy by choosing the top three tasks you must accomplish and focus your attention there for the day. You will be more efficient, have more energy and be so much less stressed when you easily complete your task list without staying late, being overwhelmed or getting held up by errands that truly don’t need to happen that day.
  5. Set a routine that works for you! I savor my morning time and have to be very intentional to make sure that my day starts on the right foot. My morning routine is fast, simple and makes the rest of my day 100% more productive, enjoyable and successful.

Here is an example of a morning routine to try!  It can be completed in 10 minutes or an hour. The important thing is that it is something you can commit to daily, works for your schedule and creates the structure needed to start each day feeling perfectly prepared for whatever life decides to throw your way.

  • Wake up on first alarm
  • Brush my teeth & wash my face
  • Put on the clothes that were set aside the night before
  • Take vitamin(s) with a large glass of water (water before coffee is KEY)
  • Grab breakfast
  • Set the “Top 3” for the day
  • GO!

Feeling inspired to start your own routine? Feel free to copy this example to get started! For additional guidance on creating routines (morning and night) or finding a better balance in your everyday life please visit www.carsonlainefitness.com

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Navigating Travel, Meals Out & Social Events Stress Free

It is not uncommon that weekends are the hardest to “survive” when you have health and fitness goals. It was the same for me, and its something I hear ALL the time with my clients. It is easy to stay on track during the week while we stick to our routine. Work, gym, sleep, repeat. Then, the weekend comes and it seems as though our will power and decision making skills evaporate completely. The evaporation of skills is a mentality. It derives from fear and intimidation of feeling capable of making choices that align with your goals when social gatherings occur, or dinner is at your favorite restaurant. There is, believe it or not, a happy medium between YOLO and “I’m on a meal plan, I can’t have that.” That black and white mentality is typically to blame for set backs. Learning to account for meals out and how to fit foods in without blowing my macros or progress was one of the most empowering tools I developed during my fitness journey. Don’t be a prisoner to your meal plan, and don’t allow intimidation of trying as an excuse to fall off the wagon. Below are some tricks that help me navigate my weekends and social time without compromising my progress. My goal in sharing them is to help others break this frustrating cycle.

  1. You can’t out train a bad diet: The first step to finding a better weekend balance is understanding that you cannot out train a night of binge drinking and eating whatever your heart desires. You can be as diligent as you want to throughout the week. But, consistency is what your body craves the most and is also what will bring you the best results. Knowing that repeating those nights weekly are making all of your work and efforts during the week go to waste should be some motivation to start to tone it down.
  2. Check the menu ahead of time: Knowing your options and eliminating the pressure to make a quick decision can make a huge difference. Most menu’s are available online if you know where you are headed in advance. Going to a friends house? Ask them what is being served, and offer to bring something! That is a great way to add in healthy foods or things that you know will work for you that day. Lots of menu’s are available on My Fitness Pal and have the macro information on there. If you don’t see it, you have the option to request it on your tracking app. If you have a favorite spot and the menu isn’t available yet, request away! TheMacroExperiment.com is another outstanding resource for this. You can also call the establishment and ask them how things are prepared. If you had a serious food allergy, you wouldn’t hesitate to do this. Your goals and progress are not any different!
  3. Menu Manipulation: Half the battle to successful ordering is knowing what to look for and request. When reviewing a menu, request options that are baked or grilled. Most menu’s will also have things that are on the “lighter side” to select as well. If you want something low fat, request chicken or fish instead of beef. Low on carbs? Request double the veggies instead of the starch it comes with. Here is a little list of quick tips I use every single time I am out to eat.
    1. Eat before you go! That way you aren’t starving when you sit down
    2. Double the water, drinking as much as I can helps me with portion control
    3. Skip the bread basket- don’t hesitate to ask them to hold the chips or bread, you don’t need that crap on your table!
    4. Request a baked/ grilled option, and ask them to hold the butter and oil. That way, you can ensure your protein was cooked simply with herbs and spices only, and not injected with additional crap for which you cant account.
    5. Sauce on the side- when in doubt, ask them to either hold the sauce or put it on the side for you. You can always dip your fork in it, or pour it yourself so that you can better estimate serving sizes, etc.
    6. Double the veggies- Most entrees come with a starch and a vegetable side. If you are low on carbs or want to add volume, request double veggies! The brighter and more colorful your food, the better.
    7. Request a “half” size! This is a GREAT way to aid with portion control, especially if you are someone that struggles to not pick at your plate. Get half the burger, or half the salad, or half the entrée. You can take the other half home, or give it to your Husband, if he is a bottomless pit like mine!
    8. You don’t HAVE to finish your plate. Eat slowly, and eat until you are satisfied. If you know the portion was massive, section off the amount you’d like to eat and then make a mental note that you are finished after that point (I will sometimes even cover my plate with my napkin once I know I am really full. That prevents me from continuing to pick and eat when I know I should be finished).
  4. Portion sizes: In order to track accurately, you need to have an idea of typical portion sizes. For meat, a 4-5 oz serving is typically the size of a closed fist. When in doubt, track for a bigger portion. 1 cup of veggies is about the size of your palm as well. It is always better to over shoot in this instance. A typical pour of wine is 5 oz., etc. When in doubt, ask your server! It is their job to relay any information you need about what you are putting in your body. Knowledge is power.
  5. Tracking on the fly: There will be plenty of times at social gatherings, when traveling or attending dinners out where you have to just guess and go. Yo can always insert each menu item individually! Tracking SOMETHING is so much better than throwing in the towel and ignoring your choices for the night. Any accountability is better than no accountability. It doesn’t need to be perfect! Family dinner at your favorite burger joint? You can enter your burger like this: 1 hamburger bun, 1 oz cheddar cheese, 1 tomato slice, 6 oz chicken breast, 1 oz ketchup, 1 lettuce leaf, etc. You can do that with ANY meal that you order. The menu items have to list all ingredients, so take note and enter that stuff in!
  6. Be Needy: Restaurants expect special requests. They are used to serving people with severe food allergies or intolerances and are happy to cater to their needs. You are no different, and there is no shame in making special customizations to your order! Don’t be afraid to request different variations of what you need. The will be HAPPY to accommodate you, and you will feel so much better for it!
  7. Ignore the haters: People will ask you questions or comment when you take your health into your own hands. They will ask you “does that fit your plan?” or why you made special requests. Don’t let this deter you from putting your goals first. When this happens to me, I remind myself that they are usually curious and wanting to learn. People envy that kind of self control, and want to emulate it. Own your choices, and shout them from the rooftops. The people that matter will always support your choices and help you stay the course!

As this weekend approaches, try implementing these tricks. You will be shocked at how much you can enjoy your social life and weekend without the guilt that you completely bulldozed your fitness goals.

For more information on nutrition, healthy recipes and meal planning please visit www.CarsonLaineFitness.com

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Everything You Need To Know About Essential Oils

Allow me to introduce to you the most powerful products on the planet. Essential oils and other similar products are not only the newest addition to my supplement, self-care and vitamin routines, but also have completely replaced everything I used to use before. The information below is a complete introduction to essential oils including the benefits, common uses, facts and the scientific research explaining the ways essential oils can change your life, starting with my own experiences!

WHAT ARE  ESSENTIAL OILS?

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds that are distilled from plants (bark, flower, seeds, roots, leaves, etc.) Essential oils harness the protective, immune-strengthening and regenerating properties inherent to each plant. Additionally, they are highly concentrated and 50-70 times more powerful than herbs.

Example: 1 drop of peppermint oil holds similar benefits as 28 cups of peppermint tea

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Let’s compare Essential oils to other products and remedies commonly found in a medicine cabinet! I used to have a cabinet FULL of vitamins, minerals, and capsules for a million different things. These oils allowed me to streamline everything, not to mention they work 100 x better and are less expensive in the long run! For reference, Essential oils provide superior care, treatment and recovery solutions using methods that are 100% plant-based and natural. The quality and purity of essential oils are completely unmatched by any other product while providing superior results and benefits than other commonly used products. The information below explains the comparison of Essential oils to other commonly purchased remedies. I am currently using vitamins, minerals and both single oils and blends on a daily basis, and will never go back for these reasons!

  • Fillers and synthetics in other products will increase the chance of reactions and sensitivities while essential oils will not
  • Essential oils come from plants are grown in their native environment to ensure the highest level of quality and purity unlike other products
  • Not all essential oils are the same! Many companies add fillers or use a process (high temps and pressure) completely eliminating the desired therapeutic effects to reduce the cost of production

HOW THEY WORK

Here is the short version of the science behind how Essential oils interact with the body on a cellular level and why they are so much more effective than other remedies.

  • Essential oils are small in molecular size and lipid soluble, allowing them to quickly penetrate the skin and the cell membrane
  • Because essential oils are small and lipophilic, they rapidly penetrate the cell membranes
  • Oils are able to pass through the blood brain barrier and interact with neurotransmitter receptors including glycine, dopamine and serotonin
  • Once the oils pass through the skin they are distributed into the circulatory system without being compromised. That is why the benefits and effects of essential oils are astronomically higher in comparison to other products or remedies

USING ESSENTIAL OILS

The list below introduces the most common ways to use Essential oils in your daily life. Car air fresheners, hand sanitizer, bath/beauty products and even “roll on fragrance tubes” for those “on the go” are also available for purchase! I am currently using all three uses on a daily basis depending on my goals and needs that day.

Essential oils can be used aromatically, diffused or via inhalation:

When Essential oils are inhaled they pass through the (Limbic) system which is responsible for connecting memory, smell and emotion. I use my diffuser in the morning to uplift my mood and energy (Typically eucalyptus or peppermint), in my office for productivity and stress management (a citrus blend with lemon, etc) and in the evenings to ensure quality sleep, relaxation, or the at home spa experience I was dying for that day! My nightly relaxation oils are Lavender, Serenity, and Frankincense. 

Essential oils can be applied topically:

Essential oils can be applied topically to the skin for use. The fastest absorption with topical use is though the feet, back of ears and wrist.  I have used peppermint topically for both headaches, nausea and upset stomach. It worked better (and faster) than anything else I have ever used in my life. 

Essential oils can be used internally:

Sublingual application (a drop on the tongue) or adding essential oils to water is the most effective way to get the oils into the bloodstream. I have done this with “On Guard,” an immune boosting oil and Lemon for powerful detoxification. The options and uses here are truly endless!

THE FACTS ABOUT OILS

Below is a small (and incomplete) list of Essential oil facts that you don’t want to miss! This information played a huge roll in my decision to implement Essential oils in my own life and share them with my family and friends!

  • Hundreds of medical facilities are using essential oils to augment, replace, or enhance traditional therapies and pharmacological interventions
  • Research has proven use of essential oils yields positive effects on neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Certain oils have proven to suppress tumor progression while also containing anticancer properties
  • Essential oils can penetrate every cell in the body within 20 minutes and then metabolize like other nutrients
  • Other remedies or products drastically reduce in potency and effectiveness once ingested. They also leave your body within hours, unlike essential oils
  • Using essential oils daily or in small doses provides maximize benefit and results
  • Inhalation or topically applying Essential oils is similar to an IV injection in terms of how quickly it will penetrate the cells

REASONS TO START USING ESSENTIAL OILS

Just a FEW reasons why millions of people have switched to Essential Oils!

  • Improve sleep, insomnia and other sleep disorders/symptoms of fatigue
  • Improve  metabolic health and supports weight loss goals
  • Improve symptoms of common mood disorders including seasonal affect, anxiety, depression
  • Improve and enhance daily mood, stress and overall energy levels
  • Improves mental performance and symptoms of attention disorders including ADHD
  • Enhance athletic performance while also providing joint/muscle support, injury prevention/remedies and the perfect supplementation used by athletes worldwide
  • Improve and support gut health, immune health, thyroid function and even adrenal fatigue
  • Reduce pain, feelings of discomfort and physical ailments including nausea, etc.
  • Proven healing powers including cancer, tumor suppression and more
  • Manage and improve even the worst symptoms pertaining to women’s health including menopause, fertility, hormone imbalances/fluctuations, menstrual cycles and other commonly experienced symptoms

Eager to learn more? Contact me directly using the link below to claim your FREE essential oil gift!

For more information on living your best life in your best body please visit www.carsonlainefitness.com

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Stock Your Pantry With A Starting Line Up

“You aren’t stuck because you can’t. You are stuck because you won’t.” -Anonymous

One of the largest obstacles for those embarking on a health and fitness goal is nutrition choices. Most people assume that in order to make any kind of progress, your plate must be filled with peanut sized portions of white fish and asparagus. They will follow their “diet” for a small string of days and be so tired of the tasteless food that they throw in the towel and head out to their favorite neighborhood restaurant. Sound familiar? My biggest piece of advice to those ready and hopeful to start a successful chapter of healthier choices: (drumroll, please)… Prepare better tasting food!

There are endless ways to spice up the healthiest of meals so that you are eating flavor packed treats, not tasteless cardboard that only leads to frustration and failure. Enjoying the food you eat and being free from feeling restricted is the key to any successful health and fitness journey. Here are a few tricks to get you started!

  1. Don’t drink your calories: Keeping low or calorie free beverages at home can help you stay the course. Swap out soda, beer, and calorie filled drinks with La Croix, sparkling water, or tea. You will stay more hydrated and have more calories to put toward your food, rather than wasting it on choices that have no nutritional value.
  2. Think herbs and spices, not sauce: Most first time health pursuers make the same common mistake. You can fill your plate with the cleanest of choices. But, as soon as you cover it with your favorite sauce or dressing, it’s game over. There are better alternatives that add just as much flavor! Food seasoned with fresh herbs, spices, lemon juice or anything from a regular spice rack packs more punch than you’d think! Cilantro, cinnamon, garlic, mint, thyme, ginger, lemongrass are all ways to add endless flavor to even the most bland chicken breast. Put that spice rack front and center in your kitchen, and shake away. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to throw away your old favorites!
  3. Sauce Swaps: When it comes to dressing, the real version is best. Go for the good stuff filled with what your body needs like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut butter, honey, molasses, liquid aminos, salsa, apple cider vinegar, mustards and more. Hummus or greek yogurt products make fantastic dips. You can add more flavor by adding spices and herbs as well. These choices are superior in taste and better for your health.
  4. Bake Smarter: Love to bake? No problem! Making small adjustments in your ingredients of choice will improve your recipe collection. Coconut flour and almond meal are excellent alternatives to traditional baking flour and are much better for you. Applesauce and greek yogurts make for great “fillers” for certain recipes and adding raw honey or molasses will not only make the recipe taste better, but also keep you alive much longer than other processed sugars. Experiment with cacao powder, unsweetened coconut, extra dark chocolate and nut milks to take your recipes (and health) to the next level.
  5. Be Carb Smart: Swap out white, enriched carbs with something more nutrient dense like quinoa, brown rice, millet, or whole grains. In addition to fruit and veggies, these options will be packed with fiber to help keep you satiated, aid in proper digestion and provide you with far more essential nutrients than your previously processed go-to.
  6. Don’t Deprive Yourself: A successful nutrition plan doesn’t require restriction or deprivation. Enjoy ice cream, milkshakes, and other tasty treats within moderation! There are plenty of options that will satisfy your sweet tooth and benefit your body at the same time, sans guilt. Look for organic popsicles with real fruit, yogurt based ice cream or get creative with your toppings! Cacao nibs, 70% or darker chocolate chips or even all natural gummy bears will give you the best of both worlds. Check the bulk food section for tasty treats and enjoy real chocolate instead of the fake, processed stuff. You will reach your goals with happy tastebuds and food freedom.
  7. Check Your Plate: You should have a combination of protein, carbs and fats in every meal. When serving yourself, aim to fill your plate with 50% fresh produce, vegetables & bright colors. 25% of the plate should include a quality protein source (about the size of your palm) and the remaining 25% is for complex carbohydrates and whole grains. No need to restrict an entire food group, just be mindful of your portions and choices.

For more information on nutrition, healthy recipes and meal planning please visit www.CarsonLaineFitness.com

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Everything The Scale Doesn’t Tell You

“Stop worrying about whether you’re fat. You’re not fat. Or, rather, you’re sometimes a little bit fat, but who gives a shit? There is nothing more boring and fruitless than a woman lamenting the fact that her stomach is round. Feed yourself. Literally. The sort of people worthy of your love will love you more for this.” -Cheryl Strayed

I recently taught a nutrition seminar at a local high school. My audience included several teams of youth Volleyball athletes, all of which were between the ages of 14-18. I led with the question, “How many of you weigh yourselves every morning?” and every hand in the room went up. My heart dropped to the floor. The following question I asked was, “How many of you like the number that you see?” Not a single person kept their hand in the air. The reality is that young girls, adolescents & women of all ages allow their scale weight to dictate their beauty, worth and self confidence.

I used to be guilty of the same thing. I spent years focusing on a weight with which I was comfortable. I would say , “Anything under 125 pounds is fine,” as if my weight was a negotiation, compromise or something on which I had to settle. I treated it as if that number actually equated to something, said something about the person I am or what I bring to the table.

I started self educating, embarking on my own fitness journey, and was able to surround myself with valuable resources to learn more about what the number on the scale really represents. Doing so helped me realize how little that number should be valued. So many things impact your scale weight. If you are going to place value on that number, then you must also be willing to consider everything associated with it as well.

What is “everything” we must consider when we weigh ourselves? Keep reading…

“Drinking water makes me bloated.” MYTH! The human body is made up of 40-70% water, most of which is found in muscle tissues. Our bodies require copious amounts of water regardless of the level of physical activity.  Water transports nutrients, vitamins and minerals throughout the body, diffuses gas, rids the body of waste, lubricates the joints and provides structure to skin. The Dietary Reference Intake for water for women is 91 oz per day, and 125 oz for men. However, I encourage my clients to drink one gallon per day (128 oz). Drinking water does the exact opposite of bloating. The higher the water intake, the faster the body will flush and release fluids. Drinking 128 oz of water a day will do nothing but help your body look and function to the best of its ability. If you are not drinking enough water on a regular basis it is extremely likely that your body is retaining fluids, resulting in a higher scale weight.

Rest & Recovery: The body repairs and restores itself during sleep. It is preparing for the days and weeks ahead of strenuous activity, life and interaction. Implementing consistent habits to maximize sleep should be a priority, along with allowing your body ample time to recover and repair (taking rest days if you are an active person, etc). Our muscles are made up of 70% water. That also means that training and vigorous exercise that results in muscle soreness can cause temporary fluid retention in the muscle while it repairs. Poor, broken lack of sleep or overall fatigue will result in a higher scale weight. If there is a random jump on the scale, evaluate your rest and recovery for the week and note that the number does not reflect NOT fat gain! Stay objective when making these evaluations!

Sodium 101:  If you are willing to pick apart your weight, you should be just as willing to do a thorough evaluation of what you put in your mouth that contributes to the number on the scale. Salt, fiber levels and food intolerances all have a major impact on your scale weight! Sodium can EASILY cause water retention (and the scale to go up) if more salt than usual is consumed in one sitting. I recommend a sodium intake of  2,000-3,000 mg. It is not ideal to  consume less than 1,00 mg of sodium per day. It can be helpful to pay attention to the sodium content in foods you purchase to identify any culprits that may be causing additional retention.

Dietary Fiber: Fiber aids in digestion, helps speed up the process of waste elimination, allows one to feel more satiated for longer periods of time and has other major health benefits. A good rule of thumb is to have roughly 20% of your daily total carbohydrate intake consist of dietary fiber. As fiber moves through your body, it absorbs water along the way. Therefore, should you have a particularly high fiber diet or eat foods containing high levels of fiber one day, your weight will increase due to the additional water absorption that it is pulling through your tract simultaneously. Exceeding average fiber levels may cause a scale spike for up to 72 hours for some and may be completely unnoticeable for others. Being aware of your fiber intake and understanding its role in digestion will make weighing yourself much less scary.

Food Sensitivities & Intolerances: Food intolerances and sensitivities present themselves differently in everyone. Learning what foods work best for your body and digestive system is crucial looking and feeling your best. If you are unsure of foods that may be causing frequent discomfort you can try a temporary elimination diet, slowly removing one food at a time for a 7-10 days to see if things improve. Food panels and intolerance tests are also available to determine sensitivites. Consuming foods to which you are intolerant or even slightly sensitive can result in painful gas, physical discomfort and changes on the scale. Evaluate your food choices and be mindful about what you put in your body! Certain foods will work better for you than others and having that knowledge is imperative when placing value on the scale.

Hormones, Stress & Self Care: These three are the scale weight trifecta! Women have the privilege of navigating monthly cycles that impact energy levels, hormones and how the body looks and feels. When nearing or on a cycle, enduring a stressful time or feeling overly tired your body is going to reflect that on the scale. Those feelings are what our bodies use to communicate what we need. Don’t ignore them, power through them or try to be a hero! They are great indicators that you need to scale back, take some time to yourself and give back to your body. Pedicures, massages, quiet time, lighting a candle, or walks outside are all ways that I manage my stress and practice self care to honor what my body needs.  Additionally, women should know that it is not uncommon to experience weight fluctuations anywhere from 1-6 pounds around a menstrual cycle. Without stress management tools or ample self care you can expect the see the number on the scale rise. Whether it is finals week, a demanding work schedule or an event in your life causing stress, do not be surprised if you see the scale move.

The next time you hop on the scale to evaluate your progress, please review this list and approach your evaluations with mindful consideration. Incorporate other (more valuable) measures of progress in place of or in addition to the scale as well! Using measuring tapes and noting how your clothes fit, current energy levels, improved athletic performance and your overall well being will tell you so much more than that metal box.

The scale is only ONE tool for measurement and there are so many things that it DOESN’T tell us. Be less attached to that number and more attached to the person behind it. The number on the scale doesn’t tell you who you are, it doesn’t celebrate the exercise you did that week, it doesn’t take into account your headspace or work load, nor does it tell you when you have made serious muscle gains, or lost inches! Measurements, body scans, photographs and self awareness do that. There is no wrong way to measure progress or self evaluate. The only thing that matters is that your method of choice adds value, encourages celebration of all types of progress and serves your current journey.

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Let’s Talk Toxins: Removing toxins and chemicals that are harming your health

Are the unnatural chemicals and toxins in your favorite household products, cosmetics and perfumes jeopardizing your health?

Protecting your health is completely up to you. Many of the trusted products consumers use daily contain harmful ingredients that we often inhale, put on our skin or eat that are completely unregulated. One would assume that it would be possible to shop products and trust the labels to be safe, natural and free of toxins creating major health risks, but that is not the case. Europe, in comparison has thousands of products that are highly regulated or labeled as unsafe to use that flood America’s shelves in stores and at home every day.

Simply put, our bodies are not equipped to help us face the chronic exposure to unnatural toxins and stressors that are wreaking havoc on our health. The harmful chemicals in commonly used household products result in symptoms that most causally write off as fatigue, effects or aging or consequences of maintaining a high stress lifestyle. We discount the signals and warning signs the body sends despite the fact that those unnatural stressors play a role in the development of cancers, autoimmune disease, asthma, neurological disease, fertility issues and more!

It is more important than ever to take control of your health. Removing as many damaging influences as possible and replacing them with a more natural, simple alternative is a great start to protecting your health and wellness. Below are trustworthy guidelines to follow while you navigate the toxins in your life and work to replace them!

  1. Air on the side of caution. If a product or medicine is not proven safe, don’t take the risk! Use an app such as “Healthy Living” to quickly scan your current household products and learn more about their ingredients and safety.
  2. Avoid GMO’s in everything you eat! The cells in your body are easily influenced by their environment, and that environment is the deciding factor between the disease genes in your body getting turned on, or staying in the “off” position. As a result, stressors such as poor diet, toxins and harmful chemicals will create a terrible environment and potential breeding ground for health risks. The direct correlation between the influx of unregulated products in the marketplace and the skyrocketing number of autoimmune, asthma and autism cases is no coincidence.
  3. Educate yourself often on endocrine disrupting chemicals. These can be found in commonly purchased self-care or cleaning products and can challenge hormone function. Knowledge is power!
  4. Avoid the bandwagon. Disregard what your peers are doing and make choices that serve the health and wellness of you and your family. As long as consumers continue to feed the market demand for such products, the only chance to create change is up to you.
  5. Focus on the small, productive things you can do right away. Over time you will eventually transform some of your food, products and cosmetics to be free of unnatural, unregulated and unsafe ingredients keeping you from a lifetime of health and wellness.