The Healing Powers of Yoga

Hello readers! This week I want to share about something that is very dear to me-yoga! I’m super excited and happy to announce that after years of practicing yoga, I recently enrolled in a program to become a certified yoga teacher! I’m looking forward to sharing more information about yoga with you in the near future!

There are many different forms of yoga, each of which has many of the same health benefits, but each style also has some unique qualities. There is hatha yoga, hot yoga, restorative yoga, and so many others. In this blog post, I want to share about restorative yoga. Restorative yoga is so AMAZING!

With restorative yoga, you are doing a practice that is much gentler on your body. It is intended to help heal your body and mind, promote wellness, and help you learn basic stretches that will open up your body and allow for healing. This form of yoga-like others, promotes deep breathing through the nose, which leads to a very calming, cleansing, almost meditative feeling that reduces stress and anxiety, and bring a focus and stillness to the mind.

Do You Need Restorative Yoga in Your Life?

Have you felt a little anxious? Perhaps you’re having a hard time falling or staying asleep? Maybe you wake in the morning feeling un-refreshed or cloudy headed? Maybe you have moments of anger building up during your day, or simply realize you need a sense of more calm and less drama in your life? Maybe you are a multi-tasker or someone that simply cannot turn those constant thoughts off long enough to find some peace? Perhaps you simply feel little aches and pains in your life from a lack of getting proper exercise, or perhaps, you’ve paused to check your phone a few to many times  while reading this post???? Yoga….it IS your friend!

Restorative Yoga for Stress Relief

Most forms of yoga can be amazing for stress relief, but restorative yoga has a few added benefits for this purpose.

First of all, restorative yoga is more of a slower and gentler form of yoga. Instead of moving swiftly from one pose to the next, each pose in restorative yoga is going to be held for considerably longer, with deeper and very measured breathing. This is great for building up your strength and flexibility, but also gives you time to adjust and stretch through each pose. You are given more time to breathe during the pose and relax your muscles fully-you will find that with each breath, you are able to relax deeper and more completely into your poses.

You will notice that in a restorative yoga class, the entire environment is much more relaxing, which in of itself makes it better for people who are doing yoga specifically to help relieve stress. Often, whether done in class or online, there is meditative sounds or music to bring you even further into your relaxation for both mind and body.

Why Props Are Used in Restorative Yoga

Another big difference between restorative yoga and other forms of the practice is that props are used frequently. This is a mellow yoga class that is meant to relax you, so props are often used to help support your body. This allows you to hold the poses in the proper position, and for longer periods of time. Keep in mind-It is this length of time for each pose that really makes it “restorative” and healing for both your body and mind.

If you take a yoga class, they might tell you what items to bring, though most classes also provide them for their students. However, if you are doing it at home, get props like yoga blocks and bolsters if you can. Otherwise, rolled-up towels or small blankets also work great. These props make it easier for you to reach and hold each pose even if you have little flexibility or balance, therefore taking much f the body challenge out of the yoga equation.

The Best Stress-Relieving Yoga Positions

While many yoga poses used in restorative yoga are great for stress relief, there are some that are better to start with. If you are dealing with stress and overwhelm, try some of these beginner-friendly poses:

Child’s Pose

It is always good to start with a yoga pose that is very simple and easy to get your stretch in, such as the child’s pose. If you do other workouts, like strength training or Pilates, you might be familiar with child’s pose as it is a common post-workout stretch.

The child’s pose is done starting on your knees, with the top of your feet and shins flat on the ground. Leave your knees about shoulder-width apart, then start bending your body forward until your head and shoulders between your knees. Bend forward as far as you can with your arms stretched out in front of you. You want a good stretch, but not so much that it causes discomfort or pain.

Child’s pose helps calm the breath, eases lower back pain, stretches the hips and thighs, and increases circulation throughout the body.

Supported Bridge Pose

Lie on your back with your knees bent, and feet just far away from your bottom that you can touch them with your fingertips. Place a folded blanket or pillow under your lower back if support is needed. In this pose, you will gently rise from the hips, through the thighs, into a “bridge, with the upper back and shoulder still on the ground. Keep your arms relaxed and by your sides, or place them over your belly or heart. Hold this pose while breathing slowly through the nose. Bridge pose strengthens the back and glutes, while opening the chest and hip flexors. It brings calmness to the body, alleviates stress, improves digestion, and can even help with depression.

Legs up the Wall

 You can try the legs up the wall yoga pose, another classic pose that is great for beginners. All you need to do is find a wall in your home or the yoga studio that you will be able to lean your body against. You will lie with your back and buttocks on the ground, with your legs straight up in front of you, on the wall. An easy way to get into this position is put one hip on the wall, lay down flat, slowly swinging your legs around to go up the wall. Using a folded blanket under your hips will reduce any pressure from the lower back. Holding this position while using a steady breath will release tension throughout the entire body, reduce anxiety, and even lower the heart rate. This pose can also help with insomnia.

I use restorative yoga almost nightly in my personal routine. In recent weeks, during some especially stressful moments, I have pulled out my mat several times a day to spend a few moments doing simple poses and breathing deeply and slowly. The degree of calm I feel almost immediately has made me a huge believer in the practice. I hope you will take a few moments to try a pose or two each day and see how it can bring a calming, positive affect to your daily life. As always, if you’re interested in exploring new mindsets and pathways for your health and wellness journey, please reach out to me! I’d love to help set up, support, and motivate you in a program designed just for you.

Intermittent Fasting 101

Intermittent fasting has become a hugely popular way of eating and living for health, fat burn, longevity, and even brain clarity. It’s not so much considered a “diet” as it is a lifestyle and eating pattern. In recent months, it’s become a huge topic in many of my circles and groups, and it’s often one of the first topics my perspective clients want to discuss when we begin our health relationship. So, this week, while searching for the perfect topic for a blog post, IF-intermittent fasting just seemed like the perfect choice!

This way of eating doesn’t so much involve “what you eat”, but “when you eat”, so the restrictions as to food choices are not as critical as most eating plans. Pairing intermittent fasting with a healthy balanced diet can result in not only weight loss, but many other really incredible health benefits as well.

There have proven to be many benefits to living the IF lifestyle. When it comes to weight loss or maintaining weight, IF works! Eating within specific time frames leads to lower calorie intake without the dreaded focus on food choices or food restrictions. During periods of fasting, human growth hormones increase quickly, leading to stored fat loss and muscle retention, and insulin levels appear to drop quickly, which makes fat loss easier. And, incredibly enough, “autophagy” occurs after a short period of fasting-this is when our cells begin to digest and get rid of old and dysfunctional cells, replacing them with new cells. There are also changes to hormone levels and genes during this process that affect longevity, aging, and help protect against disease.

While people using IF usually find that making the adjustment to this lifestyle a little challenging, they soon come to realize that it becomes a rather easy lifestyle change, and are pleased to see rapid, visible results that keep them motivated to continue on. They find that weight loss is quicker, easier, and more convenient, report a decrease in inflammation in the body, find better brain clarity and mood balance, and find that their metabolism increases, and their sleep is better. Many people even report that they feel as though they have cleansed or detoxed their entire body systems!

The WHAT and the HOW

There are several ways of doing IF, and it can easily be structured to fit your particular lifestyle and habits.

16/8 is the most popular method of this lifestyle, in which you fast for 16 hours, and eat within an 8 hour period 7 days a week. For many, this may mean stopping food intake at 8pm, and not eating another meal until noon the next day.

2/24 in another way of doing IF. With this method, fasting is done for a full 24 hours twice a week, and a regular schedule of eating exists for the remaining 5 days. Low calorie beverages are allowed during this type of fasting, and some people even incorporate drinking bone broth into their fasting phases for added gut health benefits.

5:2 is yet another way of doing IF, and this method has one eating less than 500 calories 2 days a week, and eating regularly on the remaining days. This method does have the added responsibility of counting and monitoring calories and/or marcos on the two days of restricted eating, so keep that in mind when making your plans. This form of IF only works if you are NOT using the other 5 days to eat very large amounts of food.

*All of these methods work with reducing caloric intake when a healthy, somewhat moderated approach is taken during “eating times”. Some healthy regard for fueling your body and monitoring your intake is necessary as with any healthy lifestyle choice.

In my own personal experience with intermittent fasting, I have found that it works wonderfully. I have done IF in many ways over the last several months, generally using a 17/7 schedule as a regular routine. On occasion, I fast for 2-4 days every few months to balance my gut and detox my body and soul. You can read about my longer fasts here if you are interested. My routine 17/7 eating pattern has proven to improve my sleep, and given me more mental clarity and focus. It has also helped remove my nightly cravings for carbs, which is a huge win! I have also noticed that when my fasting period is up, I am NOT as likely to want to eat large meals-my stomach seems to feel full much quicker, and I stay full for longer periods of time.

Many people doing IF use apps to track their fasts and inspire or challenge them. I have found that using an app to track my fasts does two things-inspires and motivates me to complete my fast, and, there’s something about hitting the “start fast” button each night that adds some form of “closure” to my day. It’s kind of like telling my brain and stomach “We are DONE!” It’s all about MINDSET!

Fast Habit is the first app I used, and it was a free version. It simply alerted me to start fasting each night at the time I had set, and alerted me the next day when my fast was over. Simple, basic, free. Highly recommended for the beginner.

Fastic is the app I currently use. I have the paid version for the bells and whistles. This app also sends me alerts-including one an hour before my fasting time starts in case I need to take advantage of getting in my last meal. The paid version also offers daily lessons on nutrition, mindset, diet biology, motivation, and other interesting facts. I’ve learned a lot using this app, and it’s also highly recommended. Apps, of course, are not needed, you can simply add your start and finish times to a reminder on your phone calendar.

The “WHO” in Intermittent Fasting

While many studies show that Intermittent Fasting is a safe form of eating for most adults, there are some people that should not follow this lifestyle. If you are underweight, pregnant, trying to conceive, breastfeeding, or suffer from any eating disorder, this lifestyle is not recommended.

One should seek guidance from a medical professional before attempting Intermittent Fasting if they have diabetes, low blood sugar, are on medications, have low blood pressure, or have a serious illness.

Side Effects Possibly Experienced During IF

For most healthy individuals, side effects are very mild and, as the body adjusts and adapts, temporary. Hunger pains, food cravings, low energy, disrupted sleep, irritability, bad breath, and dehydration can occur in the early stages of IF.

Many of these side effects can be due to dehydration; people tend to drink less fluids when not eating meals and snacks throughout the course of a day. To alleviate this issue, be sure to consume fluids regularly throughout the day. 64oz of water should be the goal, and tea and coffee are allowed. (keeping in mind that caffeine will dehydrate you, make sure the bulk of fluids is water!)

I hope that you’ve learned a few things about this “all the rage” healthy lifestyle choice and perhaps have decided to try this out for yourself. If you’d like to learn more about intermittent fasting as a lifestyle, or are looking to make other healthy lifestyle changes to improve your life, I encourage you to reach out to me for a free and fun conversation about finding the steps, information, and motivation to live your absolute BEST life!

Please visit my professional site BeeWell.com for more info, freebies and tips!

The Absolute Beginners Guide to Eating Healthy

If you’re currently not eating a healthy diet, it can be difficult to start such a plan. However, healthy eating, along with some enjoyable form of exercise is very important for maintaining good bodily function and goes a long way towards living a disease-free life. If you struggle with healthy eating, then you know that breaking unhealthy habits can be the most difficult part of the process. Therefore, if you truly want to live the best lifestyle possible, it is important to follow tips in order to start eating a more healthy diet.

A great first step when you want to start eating your way to a healthy lifestyle is to rid your home of all temptations that will distract you from following better eating habits. Ideally it would be a smart choice to keep junk foods and beverages out of your house so you will not be tempted to snack during those times of day when you find yourself eating out of boredom or stress. If you’re worried about being hungry, keep healthy snacks like carrot sticks, yogurt, fresh fruit, or whole-wheat crackers on hand. If you find that you just cannot bear to toss out the sweets, try keeping small portions of those foods for special occasions only. Eating a few, (emphasis on few) of these won’t ruin your diet but also will give you that little sugary fix you crave.

Another great step to healthy eating, when you’re first starting the process, is to take a few moments to learn what foods are the healthiest for you and how they work within the body. To start eating healthy, we must begin by thinking healthy. Most people understand that fruits, vegetables, and low-fat meats and dairy products are good for them, but few people understand why. The key is learning about the nutrients the body needs to be at it’s optimal health. When you understand how specific nutrients work and why you need them, it becomes easier for you to make healthier choices for your body. Knowledge, especially in this case, really is power! You body, after all, is a machine and machines run best when powered by the right fuel!

Preparation is a major key in starting a new healthy diet. You must take into consideration your schedule for meals. If you often eat in a rushed hurry at odd times of day, you are probably more inclined to grab a rushed meal-that will probably do more harm than good. So plan ahead! Instead of grabbing a fast food lunch on the go, take a bagged lunch to work, complete with a healthy wrap or some lean meat, and some fresh fruit and vegetables. Try a little meal planning for your evening meals-having a planned, prepped and ready meal waiting for when you arrive home would be ideal, but in our fast paced lifestyle, sometimes this just can’t be done. One way to solve this problem is to plan out your evening meals for the week before you do your weekly shopping. Focus your meal prep around 2 main foods each week. For example, in week 1, plan 3 meals using chicken breasts, and 3 meals using lean beef. Cooking those foods at the same time, then adding other ingredients to make several prepped meals will ensure that you have healthy, tasty foods available when you are too tired to plan or cook. Think: chicken breasts with a hearty salad one night, chicken and bean chili another night, and even a hearty chicken soup for another meal. Doubling up on these foods can also provide easy healthy lunches.

When planning your grocery shopping, always have a plan and a list ready. To eat as clean as possible, and to avoid the temptations of high calorie, nutrient low, packaged foods, focus your shopping trip on the perimeters of the store: produce, meats, dairy. Fill your cart with seasonal fruits and veggies for side dishes and snacks. Look for lean cuts of meat, and lower fat versions of your favorite daily products. Never shop when you are hungry! Have a small healthy meal or snack before leaving for your shopping trip so that you are not tempted into buying things just to satisfy your need to eat.

Start with baby steps. Even if you only replace one soda a day with a glass of water, you are really improving your calorie intake. If you eat fast food every day for lunch, try replacing that half of the time with better quality foods. When you start by taking small steps you aren’t cutting out all of the foods you love all at once. By taking your time to learn about your eating habits and slowly replacing them with better meals, by taking the time to learn and understand why you should be doing that and making the necessary changes in an orderly fashion, you will feel much better within yourself physically, mentally and emotionally and well on the road to becoming as healthy as you can be.

If you are ready to take the next step but looking for guidance, knowledge, and motivation, consider setting up a time to discuss and set your goals, gain the nutritional knowledge that you need, learn meal planning and prep, stress relief, and more, and get started on a fantastic journey to finding yourself in the best health possible. Today can easily be a changing day in your life. Contact me now for a free 30 minute call.

www.beewell.com

Gaining the Mindset for Weightloss

Weight loss is one of the most challenging things you can do, but also one of the most rewarding. It not only changes your body composition and improves your physical health, but it can also improve your mental health at the same time. The problem is often not with your physical body, but how your mind reacts to changing certain lifestyles that will help you lose weight and keep it off.

Often, when we make the decision to create healthy changes in our lifestyle, it’s based on something negative that has happened; a doctor has said something to worry us, we don’t like the way we feel, our clothes don’t fit the way we want them to, or we don’t like what we see in the mirror. Those negative prompts get us thinking about making changes, and often times, the changes that need to be made are not exactly the things we want to do, and this just sets us up for a negative, and seemingly impossible, task that is just not sustainable in the long run. The answer to this endless cycle is mindset!

What is MINDSET?

Mindset, in the general sense, is the set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world and yourself. Mindset influences your thought patterns, your feelings towards things, and how you will react to situations around you. There are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth.

Fixed mindset is the belief that things are simply the “way they are”, and that those things cannot be changed.

Growth mindset is the belief that you have the power and ability to make the changes you need to reach the goals that you desire.

To achieve the needed mindset for weight loss-or any health changes you wish to make in your life-the mindset needed is, of course, GROWTH! You need to believe that you CAN! And, believe me-you CAN. To get you started on your journey to a healthier you, here’s a few things to think about. I encourage you to think about these carefully, reflect on them, and even journal or make a list to help you find the clarity you need to get started on the right track.

Find a Positive “WHY”

It’s important to put a positive spin on your “why”. Instead of thinking about losing weight to avoid needing a medication or lowing your blood pressure, try to find a positive reason, like feeling younger, or being able to play more with your grandchildren. Instead of thinking about losing weight because you clothes don’t fit the way you want them too, try switching your thoughts to how awesome you will feel when you simply don’t have to feel self conscious in anything you wear. Instead of thinking about what you “can’t eat, wear, do” in your life, think about the things you CAN or WILL do. Think about them often. Write them down. Talk about them. Plan for them. Replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts, and you will find that the entire process becomes less daunting; less restrictive, and less like a chore.

Why Are You Overweight, or Why Do You Struggle With Your Desired Weight?

In order to have a healthier mindset to help you lose weight, you first need to figure out what the main purpose for your weight gain is. This can be something from your childhood, unhealthy habits, food addiction or disordered eating, and medical conditions. Sometimes, your weight is determined by genetics or a medication you are taking, so weight loss and your mindset is going to be much different than if it is from your mental health or simple unhealthy choices you have been making. Knowing the clear reason behind any excess weight will help you get a plan in action to get it off.

Keep Weight Loss Simple

Once you have figured out your WHY, and pinpointed why you have gained weight, you are on the right path to developing a healthier mindset for weight loss. It is important to start by making it very SIMPLE. Don’t try to do a complicated, fad diet, a crash diet, or anything that might be hard on both your body and your mind. Don’t try to lose 10 pounds in a week or start your diet at the same time as a rigorous fitness routine. Start slow, keep it simple, and give yourself enough time to really understand the process. Remember, small steps add up to big changes, but big changes all at once are exhausting and often left far behind in our thoughts. One or two small changes in a week’s time are more than enough. Build on changes as you go, adding as you feel more empowered. It’s better to make four small changes consistently over 4 weeks, then it is to make 4 changes in one week that only make your life seem restrictive and difficult.

Choose Your Own Goals and Path

Your journey has to be your own! What works for your co-workers or best friend is likely not the best choice for you! If everyone is eating keto, but you don’t like the menu choices-it’s NOT going to work for you. If your best friend is dropping weight by running several miles a day, and you hate outdoor exercise-it’s NOT going to work for you. You absolutely NEED to find changes in your lifestyle that work for YOUR life. You need a movement program that you enjoy, not one that you dread. You need foods that you love to eat, not foods that make you feel restricted. Your plan needs to be focused on you. (If you need help with this-this is my specialty! Let’s chat!) You should find some excitement in the changes you are making, because in the end, those changes will be easy to sustain.

Get Educated

One of the best ways to stick to health lifestyle changes is to become educated! Spend a little time researching the foods you eat, read the ingredients on your packaged and processed foods, learn how foods work in your body, and how exercise affects your overall wellbeing. Working with a health coach or a nutritionist is a great place to start in understanding how the foods you eat work with your body, and how overall wellness-stress, sleep, exercise, mindset-affects how you feel and how you live.

Be Mindful

Recognizing emotions and feelings towards food, eating, and how we live our daily lives can really help you understand why and where changes need to be made for the better. For example, eating while stressed is a huge factor in weight gain. Recognizing the pattern can lead you to finding other ways of relieving stress. Rushing through meals, or eating on the go are other factors in our weight. Learning to be mindful of our meals, taking time to enjoy the foods we eat, noticing when we feel satisfied and full, are all important factors in weight loss and weigh control.

Gravitate to Positivity During Your Journey

Find your support! Gain a healthy tribe of like-minded people! Consider a health coach to guide you, motivate you, and keep you focused. Avoid people who are going to bring you down, encourage unhealthy eating habits, or who talk down to you along the way. This journey is life changing, and you will find that it’s a much easier and pleasant path if you surround yourself with people that believe in healthy living, and believe in YOU.

Learn to Focus on the Now

Instead of focusing on the scale, the mirror, or “the number” you wish to see, focus on each moment. Looking into the future at a point in which you will feel you have reached that ultimate goal will only make you exhausted. Focus on hourly and daily goals to keep your motivation positive and constant. Pat yourself on the back for your healthy breakfast, celebrate the fact that you stopped eating after 7pm, congratulate yourself for getting a power walk in! Do this ALL day, EVERY day and remember that it’s these small steps, these small victories that will get you to the BIG goals!

Ask for Guidance, Find a Cheerleader, Make it Happen!

Consider finding a health coach to help you find the right mindset and program that will work for YOU. Unlike other generic “diet” plans, a health coach will work with you personally to design a plan that will be all about YOU. This plan will be about your goals, your choices, and your needs, and fit perfectly into the lifestyle you have and crave. A coach will help you find and set small, but specific, measurable and celebrated, attainable, relevant, time focused goals in each session, and celebrate them with you as well. They will help you change negative thoughts and habits into positive actions, as well as educate and inform you when you may be feeling overwhelmed by the vast amount of information that surrounds us daily on the internet and in society. It’s time to find what works for YOU, and make it all about YOU and your goals. If you’re ready to see what that might look like in your life, let’s chat! I’d love to put a plan together and get you where you want to be!

from my business site BeeWell.com

Walking into Summer!

Summer is a great time to focus on exercise; the weather is nice, the days are longer, and we tend to spend more time outdoors. For those looking to add some exercise to their summer schedule, but may be looking for something low impact and low cost, walking is definitely the answer!

Walking provides so many health benefits, and it’s literally a free activity, so it’s a win-win situation.  Walking increases the fitness of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, boosts your metabolism, burns calories at a steady rate, helps improve muscle strength and tone, reduces body fat, and helps strengthen our bones and improve our balance. In all, simply walking each day, helps our bodies more than any other exercise. It can be done almost anywhere, costs no money, and can also take us to some beautiful places! Who doesn’t want an exercise program like that??

If you’re already on a regular program of walking, this article can provide you with some summer reminders for safe and comfortable walking. If you’re brand new to a walking program, I hope this will inspire to you lace up and set out for some fun walking adventures!

For those just starting out, it’s recommended that you start your new walking plan slowly, adding time, distance, and a faster pace as you get comfortable with your new fitness plan. Try to start with 20-30 minutes a day, adding a few minutes as you gain confidence and strength in your plan. As you gain endurance, try adding intervals of faster pace, or perhaps some hills to your journey to get those calories burning and muscles toned.

Because summer brings us hotter weather and lots of sun, it’s important to be prepared and safe as we walk each day. Here is a list of helpful tips to keep you moving, healthy, and safe all summer long.

TIMING

Because summer brings us more heat and longer days of bright sunshine, it’s crucial to plan walks at a time in which you will not be greatly affected by those factors. Try planning your walks for early morning before the heat of the day sets in, and find that not only do you get a sense of accomplishment early in your day, but also benefit from an increase in your metabolism all day long! If early morning exercise is not your things, plan for a late evening walk around sunset as the day cools down. Walking in the evening will not only aid in digestion of your dinner, but help relieve stress and tension, and prepare you for more restful sleep.

INDOOR WALKING

For some, walking outside is not possible. Super hot weather, traffic, heat intolerance, or schedules can make getting an outdoor walk in difficult. Treadmills are a great option if you have access to one, and your entire workout can be done without thought of weather. This workout can even be done in front of the TV! Start at a slow pace, and a small incline, building upon both as you feel your endurance build. If you don’t have access to a treadmill, try 20 minutes of marching as you watch a favorite show, and build upon it as you go. For those thinking this is silly-I will admit-I have hit over 30,000 steps watching Sunday Football games-and never left my house!

DRESS FOR STEP SUCCESS

It’s important to have decent, sturdy, comfortable shoes no matter where you might be getting your steps in. Make sure you shoes fit well, and don’t cause any discomfort as you walk. Protect your feet! Tend to blisters as needed, and adjust laces and insoles to get the most comfortable fit.

Light colored clothing is a must when walking during summer months! Avoid dark colors that pull the heat into your body. Look for cool cotton clothing, or even an air wicking fabric to be sure you are dry and cool. Loose fitting clothes will help you feel cooler and drier as well. Avoid poly blend fabrics, as they tend to hold in both heat and moisture. Consider a hat to keep your face cool and dry as well. And don’t forget your sunscreen!

FIND A BUDDY OR A TRIBE

Having a walking partner keeps you motivated! Conversation helps pass the time, and you may feel safer as well. In many areas, there are walking groups or clubs that meet regularly in neighborhoods and parks, and you can find these on Facebook, Nextdoor, or Meetup. Walking with others helps motivate us to get moving, keeps us interested in the process, and allows up to build relationships in a healthy manner.

MAKE IT FUN

For those walking solo, add a little creative multitasking to the effort. Try a new playlist to keep your heart pumping and you feet moving. Listen to an audible book, learn a new language, or catch up on you favorite podcasts while enjoying you walk. These things will not only challenge your creativity and mind, but make the time fly by as you get your exercise in.

HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE

As a general health rule, I encourage my clients and friends to aim for half their body weight in ounces of water each day. (150 pound person should aim for 75 ounces of water) This is a normal, average goal for general daily purpose. During hot months, and times of exercise, water intake should be increased. Get a water bottle that is easy to carry, and fill it with cool water for the duration of your walk. Be sure you are well hydrated BEFORE heading out for a walk, and upon completing of your walk, drink even more fluid. Dehydration can hit us quickly on hot days, and can leave us feeling really horrible. To be sure you are properly hydrated, check your perspiration levels-if you are not perspiring, you need fluids. Most people can also check their hydration levels simply by checking the color of their urine. Very dark urine can be a sign of dehydration, and clearer urine can indicate a well hydrated body. (This does not work for people on medications or experiencing illness) It’s best to keep to a regular schedule of drinking cool water throughout the entire day. 

EXPLORE, EXPLORE, ENJOY

Look for new places to enjoy you daily walks-perhaps a new path or park, a new neighborhood, or even a new town.  Mix up your walking schedule by planning new places to walk, new friends to walk with, new things to listen to as you walk, and you will find this to be a new adventure! Be sure to check your surroundings, know your area, watch for traffic, and ensure that your walk will be safe. (THIS from someone that can easily wander upon an alligator or coyote on a daily walk!) Be safe, explore new things in your life, boost your health, and have a fabulous summer!

From my business site Beewell.com

Munch that Stress Away! A Stress Reducing Diet

As I’ve mentioned several times, stress seems to be the number one issue my clients currently deal with. They may contact me about meal planning or diet strategies, but after a few conversations, it becomes clear that the root of their desire for change is based in stress. Stress affects our ability to think clearly, focus on tasks, sleep well, and have energy to do the things we wish to do in our lives. Often, when we feel stressed, we find that we crave easy, fast, comfort foods: big meals, take-out, fatty foods, sweets, and alcohol. I think we’ve all found some comfort in a tasty meal and a bottle of beer or glass of wine when we’ve been stressed out or upset about something. However, while we may feel better in the moment, this type of eating can lead to more stress, less energy due to lack of solid nutrition, and even putting on unwanted pounds.

If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, (and hey, 2020 still looms in most of our lives) it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress nutritionally is to have a healthy, balanced diet that includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.

Filling up on foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties that will help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix like most “comfort” foods and drinks do. Be sure to add some of these power foods to your diet as part of your stress reducing plan:

•       Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit that can be enjoyed in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. These nutrient-dense fruits have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content that specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.

•       Blueberries – If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the snacks, swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best superfoods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially antho-cyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.

•       Chamomile Tea – Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress; what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you’re feeling. Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

•       Chocolate – Although it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can actually make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate bars every time you’re stressed out – chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.

•       Beef – Grass-fed beef is not only kinder to the planet and to animals, it’s also good for people, too. Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vit-amins C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety. If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef whilst being higher in omega-3.

•       Oatmeal – Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food, but also has a large number of healthy properties to actually make you feel better from the inside out. A complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed. Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning in school compared to kids who had alternative morning meals.

•       Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option that will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads, or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.

•       Pistachios – another food that is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios. Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!

•       Green Leafy Vegetables – leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants that can help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.

•       Fermented foods – last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria that are found in fermented foods like yogurt actually have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behavior regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.

Let’s Plan Your  Stress Reducing Diet Plan

Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.

When you’re feeling stressed, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ – usually foods which are laden with sugar, very starchy, or greasy. However, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will actually make you feel worse in the long run.

Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yogurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it can help you to feel better in both the short and long term when it comes to stress. When it comes to combating and dealing with stress in the long run, it’s important to make sure that for the most part, you are eating a diet which is healthy and balanced.

In order to stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for your week and plan ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen to make meals and snacks from when you’re feeling like stress-eating. Making sure that the majority of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will not only make you feel healthier overall, but can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.

A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries

Mid-morning snack: Natural yogurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts

Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens

Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate

Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables

Before bed: Chamomile tea

Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a great basic outline to follow! Remember to exercise good portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yogurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.

If you’d like to know more about creating a stress reducing lifestyle, please feel free to reach out to me for personal help. Diet, sleep, exercise, and self care are some of the pillars to reducing stress and living your best life! CONTACT ME NOW!

*from my business site BeeWell.com

Clean Eating Tips for the Super Busy Lifestyle

As warmer weather approaches, we seem to get busier and busier! As this time of year approaches, with warmer days and more sun, it’s likely that many of us are spending time thinking about healthy eating, but finding that our busy lives make doing that very difficult.  Although we may have the best intentions for ourselves, we find that our busy schedules have us grabbing quick meals and snacks at the last minute, and not always making the best choices. While you may think you are saving time and being more efficient by grabbing a burger and breezing through your busy, warm, fun filled day, or even filling up on energy drinks or coffee when you start to feel tired, these actions can be very counterproductive to our health goals.

For many, this might seem like the easiest and least stressful way to power through the day, but in reality, a poor diet causes you to feel tired and lose energy during the day, which has a direct impact on the amount of work you get done, and the amount of fun you can have.  This “easy” lifestyle also contributes to a number of more serious health problems such as chronic disease and weight gain.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to turn your diet around and start eating healthy, even when you are super busy.  In this article I share 10 of the top tips for eating healthy when time is extremely limited.

Plan Ahead

The popular saying is; “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and when it comes to healthy eating this is absolutely right.  If you don’t put together some sort of plan to eat healthy then you are going to end up eating those unhealthy junk and fast foods.  The best way to plan ahead is to list down the foods you plan to eat at the end of each day and then prepare what you can the night before, or, take an hour or so once a week to plan out and prepare for an entire week!  You may think that you simply don’t have the time for this kind of planning each week, but my clients that have done this now find that not only are they eating healthier, but also dealing with less stress, AND saving money! A little bit of planning and prep time literally turns healthy eating into a grab and go process!

Don’t Grocery Shop When You Are Hungry

As you work on your healthy eating plan you’ll need to start buying healthy foods when you do your weekly grocery run, and keep your fridge and pantry full.  Avoid grocery shopping when you are hungry! This makes this task a lot more difficult as your hunger will naturally draw you towards convenient junk foods.  Therefore, make sure you have something to eat before you do your weekly grocery shopping. Plan your grocery trips around the perimeter of the store-sticking to produce, proteins, and dairy as much as you can.

Take Full Advantage of Fresh Selections

If your find that you often head over to the vending machine or local convenience store to grab a quick snack, try to focus your selections on healthier options. Many of our corner stores, and even vending machines, now offer apples, grapes, carrot sticks, hummus, and bananas. These options can be just as filling as chocolate bars, or chips, and they provide much more nutritional value and contain a lot less calories, salt, and preservatives. To make things even easier, make sure you pack a few pieces of fruit or veggies into your bag each day and then when hunger calls you have them readily available.

Those Awesome Packets of Nuts

Nuts are another fantastic, healthy, food that you can use as a substitute for vending machine snacks.  They provide your body with a ton of health boosting vitamins and minerals along with good amounts of protein and healthy fats.  To avoid the temptation of unhealthy snacks make sure you always carry a bag with you so that you can quickly grab a handful whenever your stomach starts to rumble. Many nut companies sell portable 100 calories packs of almonds, cashews, and walnuts to make this an easy go-to snack.

Incorporate Vegetables into Every Meal

This may sound like too much of an effort when your time is limited.  However, if you choose the right vegetables it hardly takes up any of your time at all.  Salads, soy beans, and sun dried tomatoes can now all be purchased from supermarkets in a ready to eat form. Bag up sliced carrots, celery, and peppers and keep them handy and ready to munch.  Prepping steamed veggies and keeping them in the fridge is also a great idea, simply heat for a few seconds in the microwave and eat.

Look for Lean Fish & Meats

When you are busy and have forgotten to bring your healthy packed lunch, grabbing a quick burger or hot dog might seem like the best option.  However, there are plenty of healthier meat choices out there.  Most hot deli counters allow you to buy roasted chicken which is both tasty and nutritious.  Most supermarkets also sell cooked chicken breast slices.  Lean meats are just as quick to eat as burgers and hot dogs but provide your body with higher quality protein and no nasty added ingredients.

Get A Thermos Cup

One bad habit I have noticed among super busy people is that they regularly buy branded coffees.  This doesn’t seem like such a bad habit on the surface but when you consider that six of the drinks on the current Starbucks menu exceed the 300 calorie mark, it’s a habit that can easily add over 1,000 empty calories to your week-not to mention-they are pricey! Instead of hitting the coffee shops every day, get yourself a thermos or heated coffee cup and fill it with coffee or tea.  Both these options will give you easy access to your favorite hot drink without adding hundreds or thousands of calories to your week.

Use Smoothies

Smoothies are an excellent way to fit multiple fruits and vegetables into one convenient drink and the best part is they take just a few minutes to prepare.  To make a smoothie, just pick the fruits and vegetables you plan to use, chop into chunks, place them in your blender, add a few other optional ingredients if you like (crushed ice, fruit juice, protein powder, milk etc), blend until the mixture becomes smooth. If you are really stuck for ideas, Google will help you find some great smoothie recipes.

Use Your Freezer In The Right Way

Your freezer is a very valuable tool if you want to eat healthy and save time.  If you know you are going to be having a particularly busy week, consider cooking up a large batch of healthy food at the start of the week, divide it into individual servings and freeze these servings.  Then on the days where you don’t have time to cook simply get these frozen servings out of the freezer the night before and warm them up when you are ready to eat.  Doing this will allow you to enjoy healthy, nutritious meals without having to cook every night. It’s all about being prepared!

Choose the Lesser Of Two Evils

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, events will conspire against you and you won’t be able to eat healthy.  You’ll accidentally leave your healthy lunch at home, the local shop near your work will have no fruits or vegetables left and your only choice is to head to a fast food outlet.  In these situations, simply choose the lesser of the two evils.  Take a look at the amount of salt, the calories and the amount of trans fats in each option on the menu and then choose the least damaging.  This isn’t exactly healthy but it’s making the most of a bad situation.

And to Sum it Up

Sticking to a healthy diet is tough at the best of times but when you are busy and stressed it can sometimes seem impossible.  I hope the tips I’ve shared have shown you that eating healthy when you are super busy is not only possible but it’s also very manageable if you approach it with a positive attitude and a sense of planning. As you make small healthy changes to your diet, you will soon realize that you are not only feeling better and having more energy throughout the day, but the planning and prepping actually remove a lot of the stress from our daily lives.

And THIS

If you are looking for a 3 week program that will “reset” your eating habits, help you drop a few pounds, and feel your best for spring, consider my upcoming awesome Fresh and Simple program! This program offers both regular and vegetarian meal plans, with 40 new recipes based on whole, healthy foods, and weekly habit enhancing tips to change your health and life! This program includes two 30 minute virtual meetings with me to set your goals, answer your questions, and keep you inspired-with email support in between. Get ready to feel your best, embrace Spring, and get a little taste of what it’s like to work with a health and wellness coach! This package will be offered for a limited time for only 97$. If you’d like to reserve your space at this price, or have any questions, be sure to email me!

Let’s Eat for POWER (Super Yummy Recipes with Only 5 Whole Ingredients!)

I recently released my free cookbook full of super healthy 5 ingredient recipes on my website, and I wanted to be sure to share them here with you! This cookbook offers 19 recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and even desserts that are full of superfoods and whole ingredients to provide you with powerful nutrients for energy and vitality-and they are super yummy as well!

To give you a sneak peek, I want to share a dessert recipe here for you to try!

Ingredients

2 cups (250g) all-purpose whole wheat flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 cup (180g) coconut sugar
1 egg
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chucks

½ cup coconut oil, melted (panty ingredient)

Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C). Prepare an 8-inch (20cm) baking tin lined with baking paper.
 
Place the flour, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl and mix well. Add in the egg and melted coconut oil and stir until combined.
 
Now add in the apples; using your hands incorporate them into the batter.
 
Place the batter into the lined tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. Once ready remove from the oven and allow to cool. Store this cake in an airtight container.

Serves: 12
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins

Nutrition per serving:
227 kcal 10g Fats
36g Carbs 2g Protein

This is a “bonus” recipe, not included in the cookbook, just for you!

For more recipes including Protein Pancakes, Stuffed Peppers, Slow Cooked Fajitas, Black bean brownies, and many more, simply go to www.beewell.com/recipes to download your copy now!

get your free copy now!

Let’s Drop a Little Stress

If you are on a mission to reduce your stress levels (and hey, who isn’t these days) it doesn’t require you changing your entire life.  As a health and wellness coach, the biggest issue I currently see with my clients is stress. While someone may contact me looking to drop weight, get control of their meal planning, or gain control of their hormones, conversation ultimately turns to how the stress in their daily lives is the key factor behind all of these needs. Meals are not prepped or planned because of work and family schedules, balanced nutrition is easily ignored for quick take out, and weight, exercise and health ends up taking a hit because of it. It all seems to start with stress!

 I’m a big believer in creating small steps that lead to a progression of steady achievable successes that ultimately bring my clients to reaching big goals, so, I’ve spent some time coming up with some small changes you can take each day that lead up to a reduction in stress, worry, and anxiety.  My hope is that you find that by including some of these steps into your daily life, you’ll experience many other benefits like thinking in a more positive manner or becoming a more mindful and peaceful person going forward.

A Little Guided Imagery

One of my favorite ways to manage stress is by using a really simple meditation technique called guided imagery. This is simple to do and gets you used to meditation without having to put too much pressure on yourself. Plus, it is a wonderful way to be more optimistic and visualize your hopes and dreams. This technique is really helpful when you find yourself feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of stress you are dealing with, and the many things that are causing it. It helps us gain our breathe, calm our anxiety, and clear our heads so that we can approach our stressors with a more objective and positive view.

To use guided imagery, simply close your eyes, find your breath with slow, deep, intentional inhales and exhales, and imagine a scenario that puts you into a peaceful, calming environment. You might be at your favorite beach, laying in the sand under a palm tree, or walking through a thick forest enjoying the peaceful surroundings, or simply sitting in your home garden smelling the flowers. Take your imagination to that place, as clear and detailed as possible, and let yourself relax and release in the calm of your imagination.

The great thing about guided imagery is that it is easy to do, only takes a few minutes a day, and it can be done anywhere, in almost every situation (not while driving, of course!).

Have Healthy Daily Habits

Another daily change you can make to reduce your stress is to better develop your healthy habits. For many, current, negative, habits could be making stress worse, while for other’s, tweaking just a few habits could make a huge difference in stress levels. Start thinking about your physical health and emotional health as one whole health, and find healthy daily habits that are sustainable for you. You will notice that the result is a lower amount of stress.

Some healthy daily habits to consider are:

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. What you put into your body makes a big difference in how you feel, not just physically, but mentally as well. You can nourish your body and mind by eating a healthy diet. Focus on eating whole foods that include lean proteins like chicken and fish, healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil, fresh greens like kale and broccoli, fresh or frozen veggies like carrots and green beans, and an entire array of fruits. Be sure to drink lots of water, and watch your intake of sugar.

Getting regular exercise. Exercise is wonderful for relieving stress, and is a healthy habit everyone should make a daily habit. It doesn’t have to be hitting the gym or spending hours working out. Walking every day, going on a hike, yoga, riding a bike, or dancing in your living room all count as daily exercise.

Avoiding unhealthy habits. There are also some unhealthy habits that might be making your stress worse. For example, if you drink large amounts of alcohol or participate in recreational drugs, you may experience a sense of relief from your stress in the short-term, but in the long-term, will actually be making it much worse. Excessive amounts of caffeine can also make your stress worse.

Making sleep a priority. Everyone needs sleep, so don’t feel like getting little sleep is doing you any good. You need high quality sleep, no matter how busy your schedule is. Don’t make light of only needing to sleep a couple hours a day, because this is NOT normal OR healthy for you. Make sure you set your sleeping area up for success by lowering the temperature, having comfortable bedding, and removing blue lights and electronics. Trying to set a regular schedule of bedtime and waking time that works for you, but allows you sufficient time for rest.

Getting rest every day. Just like sleep, you also need rest every day. If you have a busy schedule, then make an appointment for rest and self-care if you have to. This is a priority to reducing stress! If you are a super busy personality type, start small, and add to this down time as you get more comfortable with resting.

Focusing on mindfulness. Mindfulness is regularly recommended for stress because it helps you live in the moment, and have a better understanding of your thoughts and worries. Practicing mindfulness every day, such as during your self-care routine, is a healthy habit you can start doing now. Be mindful of your daily routines, taste your food, admire your surroundings, enjoy the people you are with, and recognize the moments as they exist.

Use a Stress Journal

Stress and worry journals are amazing for reducing your stress. Keeping track of your moods, emotions, and stressors can provide many benefits for you, including monitoring your stress peaks, understanding more about what is causing your stress, and keeping track of any stress-relief methods you may try, and how they work out for you. Because stress can create many issues in our lives such as headaches, digestive issues, increased anxiety, problems sleeping, and work productivity issues. Tracking all of these things along with the methods you use to reduce stress can help you see patterns in what does and doesn’t work for you, or what you may need to work on.

Avoid Unnecessary Stress

Take an honest look at the sources of stress that are completely unnecessary and optional, even when it doesn’t feel that way. If you are already dealing with a lot of stress in your life, the last thing you need to do is encourage more of it.

To avoid unnecessary stress, start by learning how to say “no” to people. This is a BIG one, and a completely and freeing move-be bold, make “no” a complete sentence, and just do it! Make priorities based on your needs and abilities, and manage your time to balance the stress in your life. You will thank yourself!

You may also want to look at your current sources of known stress and make a list of things that you can do to relieve it. Delegating responsibilities, outsourcing to others, or just asking for assistance can reduce a lot of stress from many of the big activities in our lives.

I hope that you will take a few minutes to evaluate how stress may be affecting your life, and use some of these ideas to reduce it, remove it, and move beyond it. As always, if you are looking for personal guidance in your health journey, including dealing with stress and exploring mindfulness, contact me and let’s talk about starting your journey. Find peace and health:)

from my business site BeeWell.com

A Few Non-Food Tips for Losing Weight

It’s brand new year, and a lot of us are thinking about making some changes for the better. Many of us spent the last year binging Netflix, wearing comfy sweats, and perhaps munching a bit too much on our favorite comfort foods, and why not? After all, we spent a ton of time at home, rarely had to be at anything social, and well….2020. So, now that we are looking at a brand new year, and hopefully a little bit more normalcy in our lives soon, it’s only natural to think about getting our diets cleaned up and hopefully drop a few of those pandemic pounds!

As we look to change our habits, keep in mind-it takes 21 days to FORM a habit, but usually around 60 days for it to become routine in our lives. Small steps, when done routinely, can add up to huge changes over a period of time, so-think of small attainable goals that will eventually add up to big goals. This will keep you focused and happy with your progress.

Today I’d like to give you some small steps to start now that will add up to those big changes that you want to see later. Pick one or two a week, or a month, and build them into habits, then into routine, as you slowly add in more. Several small goals add up to a much bigger picture in the end!

Find Your Why!

Just claiming that you want to drop 15 pounds/eat cleaner/work out is not enough to motivate you to do the things you need to do in order to accomplish that goal. The clearest way to get your motivation in gear is to declare your WHY. Why do you want to drop those pounds? Why do you want to eat cleaner? Why do you want to workout? What are the things you envision in your life when you DO accomplish these things? Take a few minutes and really think about what you will “gain” by hitting the goal you want to hit. Make a list of those things. Perhaps you want to wear certain clothes, or feel more youthful and fit, or maybe it’s because you want the energy to lay with your kids or grandkids. Maybe you want to walk your dog without being out of breath, or maybe you’re hoping to take up an activity this spring that needs you to be more in shape. Perhaps you want to get off of medications, or see your blood pressure drop to a normal level. Write these things down, envision your life as it will be at that point, and consider how you will feel about accomplishing that. That, my friend, is your WHY.

Focus on ADDING things, not SUBTRACTING things!

Often, when we make changes in our lives to be healthier, we find that we feel restricted, or that we are losing out on things. Change your mindset! Instead of saying “I can’t eat cookies”, say to yourself, “look at all these amazing fruits I get to eat from the local farmers market”. Instead of thinking, “I have to get up and exercise”, think, “Wow, I get to go for a long walk/jog and really enjoy feeling healthy in my soul!” or, “It feels so good to have a few minutes of quiet time to just enjoy how it feels to work my body.” In addition, ADD new foods to your diet, add new recipes! The addition of these things is far more important and lasting than subtracting things from your goals! Try looking at what you GET to do, instead of what you cannot do. Change your mindset.

Lose the Idea of Perfection!

This is a big one! How many times have you started a healthy eating plan only to give up on it after eating the “wrong” foods? This is, after all, why people are always “starting” diets. Think of it this way-instead of beating yourself up for not finishing a workout, praise yourself for trying. Instead of giving up on your healthy eating plan because you had a few cookies, congratulate yourself for only having a few. Again, it’s the mindset that changes your patterns. Attempting perfection only sets you up for failure, because, hey! Who’s perfect anyway? Nothing is ever going to be perfect, accept the imperfections and find the small accomplishments that have been made. Give yourself a break. It’s all part of the process!

Get some Sleep; Rest your Mind, Find Moments of Peace

Lack of quality sleep affects SO much of your health journey. Lack of sleep creates stress, and stress releases hormones that affect your metabolism negatively. Lack of sleep keeps your body from achieving recovery mode, which results in exhaustion, poor muscle strength, the possibility of making poor choices, and increased appetite. Make your sleep a priority-set bedtime and wake time routines, turn off electronics, reduce blue light time in the evening, cool the temperature of your bedroom, and make your bed a comfortable and peaceful place. To aid in proper sleep, but sure to get adequate sunlight into your life during the daytime hours, and try to not indulge in alcohol or heavy meals before bedtime.

Make You and Your Health a Priority SELF LOVE

Honor your body, honor your goals, and honor your meals. Practice honor in all aspects of your journey and the respect you give will pay you back. Nutrition is the best medicine you can give your body. What you put into your body is what you get in return. Show your body love in all that you do, and beyond that-show yourself LOVE. Spend time doing the things that bring you joy, take up a new hobby or rediscover something that you have long given up. By bringing yourself joy, you remove stress and create a whole new peace and calm in which to live. Meditate, practice gratitude, spend time focusing on your breath. Love yourself enough to put yourself first, and the rewards of good health with come to you.

Find New Ways to Measure Success

I hate when I see images of scales on posts about dieting or healthy eating! The scale is a truly poor measurement of diet success! There’s an image that gets passed around on the internet often depicting several women, all the same weight, each with a completely different body. Personally, when I gave up on the number I saw on the scale, I quickly realized that “volume” or “weight” simply did not give a full picture of my body. Look at it this way-a tall skinny 5 pound box weighs the same as a small circular sphere that weighs 5 pounds. They are completely different though! So many factors play into weight on a scale-muscle build, bone density, how much water you drank, whether you’ve used the restroom, even having long hair! Many people find that when they are in their ideal fit shape, their weight is actually HIGHER than the goal weight they hoped for. Learn to measure your success in other ways: how do your clothes fit? How do you look in the mirror? Are you feeling lighter? Is there a spring in your step? Are you getting through workouts without breathing as heavy? Are people remarking on your success? Learn to look at how you feel and what you see instead of those numbers on that scale!

Find a Fellow Motivator!

How about a bestie that encourages you to succeed? Someone you admire that cheers you on and adds positive motivation and support to your daily life? Surround yourself with the people who have the same goals as you, people that have accomplished those goals and live them every day. These are the people that will inspire you and excite you. Find your tribe of fellow goal seekers, fellow health seekers, and follow the journey together. You can, of course, also find yourself a Health and Wellness Coach that will guide you, motivate you, cheerlead you, and help you set those goals, break them down into small steps, and reach them. You know where to find me;)

Shared from my website BeeWell.com Now offering 20% off all Health and Wellness Packages with promo code HEALTH20