2017 Dirty Dozen

How do you know when to splurge and go ORGANIC on a particular food?
Check out the list of 2017’s top 12 ‘dirty dozen’ foods that it pays to spend a little more on.

Strawberries are soooo contaminated. 😔
Really makes me think twice about popping a few into my mouth as we walk through the farmer’s market. Even washing them does little to no good.

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We love Bella Organic Farm out on Sauvie Island for u-pick, organic berries!

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Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

I get asked a lot of questions about my new #intermittentfasting lifestyle whenever I post about it, so I thought I’d share a few of the awesome benefits with you:

Intermittent fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss
Reduces insulin resistance
Studies show that intermittent fasting can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the body
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve numerous risk factors for heart disease including blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers and blood sugar levels
Fasting triggers a metabolic pathway called autophagy, which removes waste material from cells

Basically, I eat between 12-7pm. It sounded completely crazy to me…AT FIRST. And now it’s just my lifestyle.

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I’ll be sharing more about this in my 21-Day Bikini Bootcamp that starts next Monday!
(Message me for details!) 💪🏼

Ladies!!

6 weeks ago, I dialed in my nutrition, fine tuned some things, questioned all I’d ever learned about nutrition and opened up my mind to trying something NEW!

The RESULTS have been amazing!

My belly has NO MORE bloat, no GI upset, I’m NOT hungry, I’ve lost a few lbs. (not my goal or intention, but it happens when you’re more cognizant of your food intake) and I know I’m improving my overall health based on the research I’ve done through this process.

I want to teach you about the tweaks I’ve made to my lifestyle and help you turn your body into a fat burning machine!

My 21 Day Bikini Bootcamp is EXCLUSIVELY for those ladies who:
– Aren’t afraid (and even LOVE) to break a good sweat
– Know how to work HARD
– Love clean eating (or even struggle with knowing what to eat!) but need a little support to get back on track
– Are DETERMINED to reach their goals and let nothing get in their way
– Will FULLY commit to 21 days of no excuses

This will be a no-nonsense, high intensity, FOCUSED month aimed at helping you ditch those last few stubborn pounds and feel absolutely AMAZING going into summer.

***We start Monday, June 12th.***
The ladies in my accountability challenges lose an average of 10 POUNDS in 21 days.😮

Feel GREAT in your skin!
Rock that swimsuit at the pool or beach!

8 SPOTS OPEN and they will go FAST!
>>Challenge runs June 12- July 2. <<
DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS TOMORROW AT 8PM PST!

We’ll finish just in time for you to look and feel amazing for your 4th of July festivities. 🎉☀️🌴

Message me for the details (OR COMMENT BELOW) and to claim your spot!
Tag a friend who you know would be interested! It’s always more fun with a friend. 😍
#bikinibootcamp#swimsuitready#accountabilitygroup

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Surviving the Super Bowl

One of my favorite thing to do in the fall and winter is relax on the couch with my boys and watch football!  They’re so into it (playing and watching) and they are teaching me all about the players, plays and calls.  It’s fun to see them so interested in something and to be a part of their excitement.

I am actually looking forward to watching the Super Bowl this Sunday.  Never thought I’d say that. 🙂

If you are like most people right now, this is the time of year when you are focused on your health and fitness goals. You may have a vacation coming up, have set an intention that in 2017 you are going to put yourself first, or have a long-term goal to have the body and health that you want and deserve.

And then an event comes along like the Super Bowl… and you find yourself heading to a party or hosting guests. Parties and events are what can send us back to our old habits and move us away from our goals and desires.

Let’s face it: There is always a holiday, birthday, party, event, or social gathering that is happening. I challenge you to count in a month how many of these things are on your calendar. If you are going to be successful in achieving your health and fitness goals you MUST learn to navigate and handle these situations.

Don’t get me wrong; I am NOT saying that you need to be 100% consistent with clean eating at all times to achieve your goals. However, one of the MOST IMPORTANT things you can do to not sabotage all of your hard work and success to is pick and choose your indulgences.  Ask yourself, “Is eating _________ worth it to me right now?” “Am I going to enjoy __________ without feeling guilty or wishing I hadn’t indulged because it just tasted ok?”

I firmly believe in enjoying food and drinks in moderation, but if you’re at a point in your fitness/weight loss journey where you need to be a bit more rigid to establish new habits, here are some great tips to keep you on track and enjoy the weekend without sabotaging your results.

Tips to Survive the Super Bowl and keep moving closer to your goals:

  • Skip the alcohol. The extra calories and sugar are not going to do your metabolism any favors. If you want to have a drink in your hand pour some kombucha or sparkling water in a wine glass.
  • Focus on protein and fat first, carbohydrates second. If you are headed to a Super Bowl party, choose the foods that are high in protein and fat first then choose “smart carbs” like vegetables and fruits. Leave the processed high sugar carbs alone.
  • Eat before you go. If you are following a more strict nutrition plan right now, you may just want to eat before you head out to the party. While at the party, you can focus on the people, the game, Lady Gaga’s halftime show (she’s no Bruno Mars, but it still should be good) 🙂 and the great commercials!
  • Get in a quick workout to fire up your metabolism. Perform a HIIT workout before heading out or before your guests arrive.
  • Get your mind right. Choose to focus on the social connection, the people you are surrounded by, and what you enjoy about an event like the Super Bowl rather than letting food control your experience.
  • Visualize your experience. Before an event or gathering take a few minutes to visualize the experience you want to have. Picture yourself in the situation, how do you feel? Most successful athletes visualize their performance in big games setting them up for success.

 

Game Day Recipes

To prepare for the “BIG GAME,” here are some grain-free, Paleo, and detox-friendly recipes. I haven’t quite figured out our menu for the Super Bowl yet, but you can be sure it will include at least one of these recipes.

Avocado Chorizo Sweet Potato Skins

Marvelous Meatballs

Sweet Potato Bruschetta

Bean-less Chili

Green Sliders (Spinach, Mushroom, and Beef mini burgers)

Spinach, Bacon, Artichoke Dip

Paleo Spiced Nuts

Almond Coconut Veggie Dip

I’d love to hear what your meal plan looks like!

Enjoy!

Conquering Emotional Eating

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I remember the moment it ‘clicked’ for me. I had just given birth to one of my babies (I have 4. It’s all a blur).  He (or maybe she) was in the living room with Dad and I was in the kitchen. Just as I had many times before, I heard his (or her) high pitched scream and I headed straight to the pantry to reach for something.
Anything.
I didn’t even know what.
It was something I’d done many, many times before, but in this moment I realized what I was doing.
The stress of my baby crying was a trigger that drove me to find something to help me cope.
That was a life-changing moment for me.
I don’t claim to be a nutrition expert, but I can speak from experience as a hot mess mom who sometimes just wants to feel that comfort a cupcake can give me vs. face the emotions I’m dealing with.
Working so closely with women over the past nearly 20 years (and being one myself!) I’ve learned one of the biggest issues we deal with regarding weight loss is emotional eating.
We can be so dedicated to our workouts for weeks, even months, and not see the results we’re hoping for.
It’s only when we evaluate our nutrition do we recognize how unbalanced it is.
Why do we reach for food? Because it’s instantaneous. Going for a run or taking a bath or watching a movie to get our mind off it takes a long time. Not to mention making the arrangements to take some time to ourselves.
What we’re really searching for is that feeling of relaxation or satisfaction or pleasure to give us a temporary escape from the issue at hand.
Many people use food at that band aid.
If we think in terms of what we’re trying to accomplish (just feel better, more relaxed, optimistic, worthy, fill in the blank) we will be better equipped to make different choices.
I know it’s easier said than done, but try to think outside the box to other things that can fulfill that.
Nowadays I choose a run, a quick dance party in my kitchen, squeezing and hugging my babies (the ones that still let me), vegging out and watching a mindless movie or sitting alone at a coffee shop with my earbuds in.
Try to think ahead to an hour later with what you’ll be feeling if you indulge in that food craving.
And use that feeling to help guide you to make a healthier choice.
It’s not easy, but with practice, you can become an expert at recognizing your emotional triggers and start making new choices everyday that will, over time, lead you to the results you desire.

You Can’t Outwork a Bad Diet

You are What You Eat:  You Can’t Out Exercise a Bad Diet

Ever heard someone give themselves permission to indulge their sweet tooth just because they just had a great workout?   It’s a common excuse.  Many people believe that because they exercise, they’re in the black as far as their calorie input/output.  But in reality, this sort of thinking is a sure road to failure. Most people with a lean body and a 6 pack didn’t get that way by rationalizing their way to the desert buffet.

Many people have no idea how many calories they take in on an average day, often severely underestimating when asked to take a guess at it.  But they also overestimate the number of calories they burn.  The truth is, 30 minutes of the best boot camp in town will not cancel out that burger and fries!

Do the math

Let’s look at the hard numbers.  An average, moderately intensive workout will burn 300-400 calories in about an hour.  That’s an hour of hard work with plenty of sweat and hard breathing.

Now say on the way home from the gym, you decide to grab a couple of donuts from Krispy Kreme.  After all, you’ve earned it!  In the 3 minutes it will take you to put away two chocolate frosted cake donuts, you’ve consumed 720 calories. All your hard work is wasted, plus you’ve provided your body with several hundred extra calories to store as fat!

Or maybe you just want to have some pizza and soda with friends.  You consider the 600 calories you burned running on the treadmill for an hour today (at 10 miles per hour—that’s a really fast run for a really long time!), so you eat 4 pieces of pizza and a coke.  No problem, right?

Wrong.  You just downed 900-1,000 calories in about 10 minutes!

Is it really worth it?

Face the facts

The bottom line is you simply can’t out train a bad diet.  If you try to spar a bad diet with exercise, the exercise will lose every single time.  The only way to lose weight and get that lean, sexy, healthy body that looks great in anything (or nothing) is to eat a healthy diet AND exercise.

Your weight loss is driven by diet and maintained by exercise.  The only way to get ahead in the calorie game is to eat fewer calories than you burn.  Only then will you begin to see the fat melt away.  Exercise builds muscle and can rev up your metabolism, but you won’t lose weight if you continually eat more than you can metabolize.

This is not to say that exercise is not important.  It is!  In fact, according to Barry Braun, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst,

“When you look at the results in the National Weight Control Registry, you see over and over that exercise is one constant among people who’ve maintained their weight loss.” 1

Want to keep the pounds off?  Exercise!  Exercise is crucial.  And you must combine it with a balanced diet if you want to shed pounds.

If you try to spar a bad diet with exercise, the exercise will lose every single time.

Start smart

Have you been trying to out exercise your diet?  Don’t be discouraged; many of us have been guilty of this.  It’s time to rethink your weight loss strategy.  Try the following tips to start fresh and recreate your body!

  • Plan, plan, plan.  The only way you are going to get control of your diet is to plan ahead.  Do not let yourself get hungry with nothing healthy prepared to eat; your will power will plummet and you will reach for a snack that will set you back.  Keep food ready in your refrigerator that you can grab and heat quickly.  And don’t leave the house without water, nuts, fruit, whole grain crackers and cheese.
  • Lift weights. When you start losing weight, you must protect your muscle.  If you begin to lose pounds without adding in weight lifting, you will likely lose up to 25% of your muscle mass.  Also, after an intense weight lifting workout targeting at least 3 big muscles, your metabolism increases for up to 39 hours after you are finished.  And repairing that muscle tissue after lifting requires energy!  Energy=calories burned.
  • Get some accountability.  We’ll strike this note again and again:  you need a partner.  Remember, the single biggest determiner of your fitness success is whether or not you have an accountability partner.  Find someone to trade food journals with and report on how you are doing with your will power.

You need both exercise and a healthy diet to be lean, strong and healthy.  Don’t neglect either one!

 

Power over Habit: Why Mindset Matters

Power Over Habit:  Why Mindset Matters

If you have ever tried to ignore a box of doughnuts at work, you know how hard it is to keep your hands to yourself and walk on by.  And once you walk on by, the battle isn’t over.  Even if you are in a different room and down the hall, you can’t stop thinking about those doughnuts.

Why is it so hard to resist something as small and seemingly innocent as a doughnut?  It has to do with habit—and mindset.

Hardwired habits

The draw you feel from that doughnut goes way beyond just a mild interest:  you are wired to want it, and resistance is hard.  In his book, The End of Overeating, Dr. David Kessler MD explains the breakdown:

When you taste foods that are highly palatable (such as foods containing excess sugar, fat and salt), your brain releases opioids into your blood stream. Opioids are brain chemicals that cause you to have intense feelings of reward and pleasure, as well as relieving pain and stress.  The pleasurable effect is similar to the feelings that morphine and heroin users experience.  The desire may be so intense that you keep taking one bite after another:  it can be hard to stop.

That explains why you keep eating.  But why do you give in and approach that doughnut box in the first place?  Why not just refuse to take that first bite?

The answer is another brain chemical called dopamine.  Dopamine is responsible for motivating you to seek out the doughnut so you can get the opioid release.  You remember how good it tasted and how great it made you feel.  Dopamine energizes you to work for that doughnut.  It causes you to concentrate on it and drives you to seek it out.

Once this process happens a few times, the whole cycle becomes a habit that is very reward focused, very ingrained and very hard to break.  Your brain’s circuitry has become mapped and wired to want the doughnut.  And you don’t even have to be near the doughnut for this process to start–the dopamine can kick in even when there are no doughnuts in site:  ever made a run to the store for a treat that you just had to have right then?

The result

Over one-third of all adults in our country are obese.  We live in a society in which we are surrounded by highly-palatable foods (think restaurant foods and processed foods).  The deeply ingrained habit of eating unhealthy food and too much of it is widespread. Everywhere we turn we are bombarded not only with unhealthy food, but also with a neural circuitry that drives us to pursue that unhealthy food.

Remap your brain with mindset

And now the good news:  you can start right now to change the trajectory that you are on.  You can rewire your brain and begin reducing the power that those opioid-producing foods have over you.  You can draw a new map in your mind that will have you passing by the doughnuts on your way to better pleasures.

The secret is mindset.  You must want something else more than you want those fleeting moments of pleasure that the doughnuts bring you.  What is it?  What do want?  Maybe you want to drop a couple of jeans sizes.  Maybe you want to be off your blood pressure medication.  Maybe you want to be known as an ‘athletic’ type person.  Maybe you want to keep disease at bay.  Or maybe you just want the immense satisfaction of being in control of yourself!  If you can’t resist a doughnut you have given away power over your own lives!

Once you know what you want, go after it with the following strategies:

1.  Stop.  There is no other way to say this: you must stop eating foods that are not in your plan.  In the beginning, this will be difficult.  When everyone around you is tossing back pizza and soft drinks, you will struggle.  You will smell the pizza, you will be in the emotionally charged atmosphere and dopamine will be flowing in your bloodstream.  Think about what you want more than that doughnut; think about what you can only have by resisting the doughnut.  Sheer will-power is what you have to use at this point.

2.  Savor the victory.  Once you come out on the other side having successfully won the battle within your own mind, you will have accomplished much more than just saying no to a piece of pizza.  You will have begun ‘cooling’ the stimulus, as Dr. Kessler puts it.  You have taken the first step toward weakening the circuitry in your brain that drives you to habitual patterns of behavior.  The next time, it will be easier.  And after that, even easier.

3.  Focus on new rewards.  As you remap your brain, you are creating new neural pathways that in time will be stronger than the weakening, “doughnut-centered” pathways.  Make sure these new rewards are life-giving and energy-producing, such as the thrill you get when you can run a 5K or set a PR in your weight-lifting.

You can have power over habits:  it’s all about mindset.  You can do this!