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 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 wellness

The Key Component For Satisfying Meals

Volume foods are the secret weapon to any recipe.  They are the nutrition choices that allow you to have generous amounts of food without blowing your macros. There is nothing worse than eating within your macros, and still feeling hungry after your meal is over.

One’s appreciation for volume foods grows exponentially because of the PERKS!  My struggles with food were never coming from a place of deprivation, but rather, lack of portion control. I would over eat, consume far more than my body needed, and used food as a source of comfort. Honoring my hunger and fullness, learning to intuitively eat  and creating balanced meals helped me understand how to have the best of both worlds!

Some refer to high volume foods when in a caloric deficit to increase satiety and fullness. I, however, use them all the time! I love feeling satisfied and enjoying healthy portions of food on my plate. Most people assume a satisfying meal needs to be large, heavy and full of calories but that is not the case. Incorporating high volume foods encourages the consumption of whole, nutrient dense foods that also conquer hunger, provide satiety that lasts and give you the best of both worlds regardless of your goals!

Examples of high volume foods include:

  • Salads with as many veggies as possible instead of cheese, croutons and creamy ranch
  • Riced cauliflower in place of or added to any rice, bread, pasta dish
  • Zoodles, lentil pasta or black bean noodles have half the calories with a bigger serving size
  • Rice cake snacks instead of bread or chips
  • High fiber wraps, tortillas, or thin crust pizza or
  • Swapping the bun for your burger for portobello mushrooms or a lettuce wrap
  • Sparkling, calorie free drinks like water, la Croix, etc.
  • Stevia, cocao nibs, popsicles
  • Mustard, salsa, lemon and lime juice, almond milk and herbs/ spices

Volume foods don’t have to taste like air. Consuming hig volume foods will result in feeling more satisfied, larger portions and enjoying meals without compromising the taste! Don’t be afraid to get creative with your ingredients! These foods are extremely nutrient dense and easy to use for even those most challenged chefs.

For FREE recipes, meal ideas and more visit http://www.carsonlainefitness.com

Posted in wellness

Hitting The Nutrition Reset Button

The winter months, but specifically November and December are infamous for encouraging avid health seekers to fall off the wagon, put a pause on important goals and make excuses for choices (including  or the abundance of holiday treats being enjoyed). Simply put, the holidays make prioritizing nutrition more challenging! This also explains the phenomenon most of us anticipate each year. I refer to it as the annual health and fitness “reset” that happens every January. The parties are over, the gym gets busier, new fads are for sale, vacation in Hawaii is approaching and of course, a new year means a new YOU.

Nutrition and diet heavily influence our bodies in terms of how they look, feel, function, and behave. In order to optimize our health (and bodies), the approach taken with nutrition and food choices matters. The good news? Starting fresh with your health can be done in different ways. The approach yielding the most success is the approach that will work best for YOU. I have successfully used a more gradual approach allowing for incremental changes as well as “a clean slate” approach, designed to begin your fresh start immediately. Let’s compare!

A gradual approach allows more space and time for comfortable changes within reason. By phasing things out in increments it can be easier to find your flow along the way. If you are someone that is easily overwhelmed by change, the thought of cleaning out your panty, and are not suffering from physical symptoms related to nutrition, start here! Below are my best tips for navigating the gradual approach successfully:

    • Start with breakfast: Start to replace processed, sugary foods with whole, nutrient dense options. For example, swap the pop tarts for a hearty bowl of oats!
    • Think ahead and have the ingredients handy for the breakfast meals.
    • Commit to this act for one week.
    • Take note of any changes in feeling, energy, hunger, fullness, etc.

 

  • The following week include changes to lunch, and repeat the steps above.
  • Proceed to dinner on week three, as well as any other snacks being consumed throughout the day.
  • Be methodical and plan ahead! Preparation is key.

In comparison, a “clean slate” approach is my personal favorite and is often referred to as the “cold turkey” method. This approach works well for those that are highly motivated, accountable to a structured plan and are eager for results. This is also the best approach for those battling painful or uncomfortable symptoms caused by a food allergy or sensitivity. Starting fresh this way requires some thought ahead of time! Below are my favorite tips for wiping your slate clean and starting fresh:

  • Identify any trigger foods that create temptation or no longer work for you.
  • Clean out the pantry and prepare a new grocery list.
  • Plan ahead and account for any events or meals out that could cause an accident.
  • Substitute wisely and often (refer to “Painless Pantry swaps” blog article for suggestions).
  • Be ok with not feeling ok. Depending on the number of changes happening it is not uncommon to experience temporary fatigue, headaches, changes in appetite or energy while your body adjusts.
  • If you fall off the wagon, DON’T WORRY! Identify what went wrong, think of a solution for next time that situation comes up, and get right back on the horse. Perfection isn’t welcome or necessary here.
  • Revamp your recipes and meals! It’s important that time spent in the kitchen is enjoyable. Use this fresh start as a chance to make new foods, try new things, and master a recipe you never thought you’d try!

Breaking free of bad habits is a MUST in order to reclaim your health. The only thing preventing this healthy, fresh start is YOU. Give yourself the gift of health this holiday season and be the change you want to see in your life, mind and body. Everything you need to be successful is already inside of you. Take the leap!

 

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

Posted in wellness

Sleep & Fat Loss

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

Sleep (noun): a condition of body and mind such as that which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is relatively inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.

Sleep is one of the most underrated topics in the health and fitness industry today. Sleep is essential and a massive component to the overall wellbeing, life and ability to function as humans. Sleep is also infamous for being the first healthy habit American’s sacrifice when life starts to feel out of control. One would think that as soon as feelings of stress, fatigue or having an unmanageable work load would result in slowing down. Those feelings are signs and signals from our bodies to take a step back, remove, reduce, de clutter, slow down and surrender. 

Instead, we have somehow been trained to do the opposite! When stress and fatigue kick in, we start doing MORE. We get up earlier, stay up later, move faster, drink more coffee, add more stress and race around as if it were possible to outrun our daily lives. We think we can fool the world and our own bodies. There are endless studies on both adults and children linking lack of sleep and weight gain, and the studies are absolutely correct. For those still spending hours in the gym instead of in bed, it is time to reconsider the allocation of your time. Sleep is the only thing that keeps us alive, healthy, and functioning the way we only hope all of the coffee and stimulants might. 

Still not so sure? The facts speak for themselves! 

  1. Poor sleep can increase your appetite. Sleep impacts the hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin.  These hormones signal our hunger cues and appetite. Too little sleep impacts the ability for these hormones to properly signal hunger and fullness. That imbalance causes insatiable feelings of hunger, encourages overeating, slowed fat loss and of course, weight gain. 
  1. Sleep helps fight cravings and encourages balanced choices in the kitchen. Lack of sleep literally alters how the brain works. To be specific, insufficient sleep directly impacts the frontal lobe’s ability to function at its best. This matters because the frontal lobe is the central hub in the brain for decision-making and self-control, two things that you really want working at all times! Lack of sleep makes it much more difficult to fight off temptation or make choices that support health and fitness goals. 
  1. Lack of sleep often results in poor nutritional choices leading to weight gain. The portions served get much bigger, late night or mindless snacking kicks in, and creates a lack of motivation to choose the healthy, balanced options. All of these things result in the additional calories and unhealthy habits that pack on the pounds in the middle of the night! 
  1. Poor sleep can compromise your metabolic rate! When sleep is lacking, the human body does, too. Sleepless nights can result in muscle loss, and muscles are what help you burn more calories and improve your metabolic rate even while you sleep. It can also negatively impact athletic performance and your body’s ability to respond positively to any attempts at weight or fat loss. 
  1. Proper rest encourages activity! Without proper sleep it is much harder to have the energy or motivation to move, be active and workout. Being more sedentary creates a much higher risk for weight gain. When properly rested one is more likely to go for a walk, have more energy throughout the day, improve mental clarity, focus, productivity levels and promotes other healthy habits simply by allowing your body the reset that it needs on a daily basis. 

In summary, sleep is a very crucial part of living a healthy and balanced life and is imperative when weight loss, fat loss and athletic performance are at stake. Mind you, this is not a complete list. Sleep deprivation also disrupts relationships, mental health, emotional health, and can worsen other conditions and cause further problems down the road. 

Eager for more information on sleep or ways to improve your own sleep habits? 

For more information, tips and tricks to improving your health and wellness please visit www.carsonlainefitness.com