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

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

The Sticky on Sugar

One of the biggest questions I hear when it comes to nutrition advice is about sugar. In recent decades, sugar, in some form, has shown up in just about every product, often listed as something other than “sugar”, and that has caused a lot of confusion even for the most trained food label readers. In truth, added sugars account for 17% of the daily calorie intake in the average American adult diet-and almost as much in the average child’s diet (14%).

You’ve likely heard all about the dangers of refined sugar. It increases the risks of chronic disease, increases the chance of weight gain, and affects insulin levels and hormones. Sugar consumption affects the skin, causing both acne and even a reduction of collagen, which leads to wrinkles and sagging. Sugar intake can increase energy for brief amounts of time, but this only leads to a crash in blood sugar and leads to even more periods of low energy. Sugar creates inflammation in the body that leads to pain and damage to the cells.  In totality, sugar has the ability to badly affect all of the organs of the body, leading to general all over poor health. Sugar also has absolutely no nutritional value, but has 16 calories a teaspoon.

Removing added sugar from our diets is not the easiest thing to do, unless you decide to eat a completely and entirely whole food diet. If that’s not something you wish to take on, but wish to cut as much sugar as possible in your current diet, consider the following suggestions:

*Be a label reader, and know your sugar words. These include words that end with “ose” like, fructose, maltose, lactose, and dextrose. Another huge culprit that has entered our food production is high fructose corn syrup, which is a chemically enhanced version of sugar that has caused quite the negative conversations within the nutrition community because this form may have even worse affects on the body than pure sugar.

 *Try to eat as many whole foods as possible, and limit your packaged and processed foods greatly. To accomplish this, try planning your meals by focusing only by what is on the perimeter of your market-produce, meats, seafood, and dairy. Choose whole grain breads and cereals without added sugar, and if you buy canned foods, check the label for sugars.

*Limit your condiments!! Most of these products are full of sugar!

*Removing sugar from the diet can be a daunting experience, but well worth it. Start small! Set your first goal to something you can easily achieve, like giving up sugary drinks like sodas and sweetened juices. After accomplishing that, try removing sugar from another aspect of your diet, perhaps removing sweets, or using a healthy substitute like Swerve when baking. Make small changes as you progress to easily remove sugar from your diet.

Removing Sugar!

As you remove sugar from your diet, and replace those foods with whole, fresh foods, you will experience many benefits:

*Enhanced Energy Levels

Refined sugar enters your bloodstream almost instantly which causes your energy levels quickly surge and crash. When you start to eat less refined sugar, these fluctuations in energy levels will become a thing of the past and you’ll find that you generally have much more energy throughout the day. Not only does this help you feel great but it also makes you much more productive and allows you to perform all your daily tasks effectively.

*Younger Looking Skin

One of the biggest negatives of consuming refined sugar is that it damages your skin in numerous ways.

First, it causes the collagen and elastin in your skin to become inflamed. These structural proteins help your skin stay firm and youthful looking. When they constantly become inflamed as a result of regularly eating large amounts of refined sugar, they become less effective which causes your skin to sag and wrinkles to form.

Second, the inflammation caused by eating sugar has been shown to aggravate various skin disorders including acne (a disorder characterized by red pimples on the skin) and rosacea (a skin disorder characterized by burning and redness).

When you stop eating refined sugar, you’ll also stop damaging your skin in the ways described above and you’ll find that it looks much smoother, more vibrant and youthful.

*Easier Weight Loss

Sugars passes through the digestive system very quickly and because of this, foods that contain high levels of sugar aren’t as satiating as foods that contain minimal amounts of sugar. This means it’s much easier to overeat and consume large amounts of calories that lead to weight gain when you’re eating lots of refined sugar.

Quitting sugar will mean that you’ll feel much fuller every time you eat and naturally eat less food. Food cravings will come less often and because you’re consuming fewer calories, it will be much easier to lose weight.

*Better Sleep

The energy surges and crashed caused by eating lots of refined sugar are very disruptive to your sleep patterns. They make it difficult to sleep and have a negative impact on your sleep quality when you do manage to fall asleep.

Cutting sugar out of your diet stops it wreaking havoc on your sleep cycles and allows you to enjoy restful, better quality sleep.

*Stronger Immunity

Numerous studies have shown that refined sugar is a huge contributor to chronic disease. It causes inflammation in the body, damages your blood vessels and has a negative impact on your vital organs which leaves you open to a wide range of ailments, illness and diseases.

Reducing your intake of refined sugar stops it damaging your body in this way and allows it to heal. Not only does this make you less susceptible to ailments that are directly caused by refined sugar but it also boosts your overall immunity.

Replacing the Sweet

If you’re looking for ways to keep your sweet tooth, but eliminate sugar, try one of these healthy sugar substitutes! If you’re tracking your calorie intake, be sure to check the calories before using these.

Stevia

Stevia is one of the most popular natural sweeteners. This herb, which comes from South America, is 300 times sweeter than refined sugar. It contains zero calories, so is a great choice if you’re trying to lose weight. Plus, it has no glycemic impact, so it’s a perfect refined sugar alternative if you’re diabetic. Stevia is also very easy to digest which means you won’t suffer from any of the digestive problems that are often associated with sugar substitutes.

*Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is created through the heating the sap from coconut palms. Unlike refined sugar, coconut sugar doesn’t de-stabilize your energy levels, so is ideal if you want to stay productive and focused during the day. Like stevia, it’s also a great choice if you suffer from diabetes because it won’t disrupt your blood sugar levels. Another great thing about coconut sugar is that it supplies your body with nutrients as it sweetens and is a good source of calcium, iron, potassium and zinc. 10 calories a teaspoon.

*Date Sugar

Date sugar is made by grinding down dehydrated dates into sugar sized granules. As you’d expect from the production process, it has the same rich and sweet flavor of fresh dates, and shares all their health benefits. These health benefits include promoting healthy digestion, strengthening your heart and lowering your blood pressure. The main negative of date sugar is that it doesn’t melt or dissolve easily, so it’s not a good choice if you want to sweeten your drinks. 15 calories a teaspoon

*Honey

Honey is sweeter than refined sugar and has a much greater range of health benefits. It contains high levels of vitamins and minerals which support many vital processes within the body. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, so is a perfect sweetener for boosting your immunity. Unlike refined sugar, honey is also great for your skin and can help make it brighter, smoother and more radiant. It tastes great in tea and can also be used as a replacement for sugar in many recipes. 21 calories a teaspoon

*Maple Syrup

Maple syrup contains around half the calories of refined sugar and is a much more nutritious choice. It’s loaded with antioxidants which protect your body’s cells from damage and reduce the visible signs of aging. Maple syrup is also a brilliant source of the manganese and zinc which boost your metabolism and your immune system. In addition to this, it’s great for your skin and can protect against skin blemishes, dry skin and redness. Finally, maple syrup has been shown to protect against a range of chronic ailments and diseases including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and heart disease. Make sure your maple syrup is pure, with no added sugars! 17 calories a teaspoon

If you have questions about your sugar intake, or how to remove sugar from your diet by setting small attainable goals, feel free to contact me

Healthy Holiday Habits

IMG_9628.pngThe Holidays are upon us, and with them comes parties, dinners, baking, busy schedules, and all the general “cheery” chaos that can knock our fitness and nutrition plans right out of whack. This year, instead of giving up, or giving in, and thinking, “Hey, I’ll start back after New Years…” Let’s make a solid plan for success!  After all, different studies have shown that the average person can gain 5-10 pounds during this festive season-and who want’s that???

*SCHEDULE and PLAN! Holidays get our routines out of whack, so your current routine may be completely impossible right now. Take a few minutes-right now-to look at how your schedule is going, and how you can better plan your exercise, water, and meals. Schedule those needed changes! Put it on your calendar or reminders!

*Be prepared for those big dinners and social events.

**Here’s a crazy fact:
The Calorie Control Council says you may consume up to 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat in total during any one of your holiday gatherings. While the majority of this comes from the meal itself, you can expect to eat nearly 1,500 calories in appetizers and drinks! Don’t find yourself in a situation where the food and environment send you into a nutritional spiral-have a plan of action!

*Don’t skip meals thinking it will help in your calorie intake; this can easily backfire and leave you starving and unable to control your appetite. Instead, focus on small meals and snacks of lean protein and fruits and veggies. Eating a small, healthy snack before your event can help you avoid overindulging.

*Many people ask their guests to “bring something” to a holiday event. Instead of baking a huge tray of grandmas famous butter cookies, or dumping some marshmallows into those healthy sweet potatoes and delivering it to the table, take something you can add that you KNOW can fill your belly without, well, “adding to your belly”
For me, this is a beautifully done platter of fresh cut veggies and fruit. I like to fill my belly with THAT, and then sample small amounts of the other foods-while making my protein the base of the meal. And a big glass of water before joining the table!

*Choose you splurges carefully. Look over the offered foods and plan your plate. Sample small amounts of your holiday favorites instead of filling up on foods you eat year round. Enjoy your splurge foods, eat slowly and taste them. Prepare yourself for “food pushers”! Food pushers are thse loving friends and family member that don’t take “No” for an answer. It may be your grandmother with her famous pie, or your best friend with a bottle or two of wine. I’ve seen lots of ways to “explain” the WHY behind saying “No thank you!” to the food pushers…cute ways to inform people that you are dieting-“no thank you, I’m allergic, if I eat that my thighs will break out…” or putting the responsibility on your doctor or nutritionist-“My doctor says I can’t have….” Personally, I find that just saying, “That looks truly delicious, but no thank you” works nicely Stand firm, and don’t feel the need to explain yourself. The last thing anyone wants to do at a gathering is spend time explaining your food choices, whether it be for diet reasons, allergies, or otherwise; not to mention, all of the opinions that will surely follow. *As always-enjoy the people and social aspect of your event. Have a few great conversation starters to keep your socializing active, and try to be social away from buffet and snack tables. And hav

* Exercise during the holidays can be super difficult. For some, the weather is nasty, there’s lots of travel, busy schedules, and guests. This can make sticking to an exercise schedule HARD!
Again, it’s all in the planning. Think “family fun” and schedule in some family activity: Ice skating, skiing, hikes, walks. Enjoy some social time while getting some movement. Consider wearing your exercise footwear while cleaning, cooking, shopping-and take small breaks to march-or even dance-for short bursts of calorie burn. If doing some crazy Black Friday shopping, take a few laps around the mall. If you find yourself traveling, walk the airport while waiting for flights. If driving, stop for small breaks and take a few laps around a gas station or convenience store parking lot.
 If you are staying in a hotel or with friends, ask about exercise equipment that might be available. Or, pack some resistance bands or your yoga mat to get a short workout in.

*Set up your current environment for success! If you are visiting family, or traveling, or just running around getting things done-make your surroundings successful. Keep a cooler of water and healthy snacks in your car, or in the room where you might be visiting. Throw your sneakers in the car and get some extra steps in the parking lot of the mall. Take a break from decorating, wrapping, or cooking, and march for 10 minutes.

*Practice SELF CARE! (So hard this time of year!) take a minute before meals to breathe and set yourself up for mindful eating, get the rest that you need, take some times for yourself each day to look around, breathe, look at the beauty of your family and friends, and take in the lights, decorations and music of the season. All of this will help avoid stress.

*FIND SUPPORT! Find an accountability partner; ask a friend or family member to join you on your journey

*If you do succumb to a bad day, or even week, pull your self together! Do not feel guilty! We are all human, and this happens! Feeling guilty can lead to even worse behavior-so pick your self up and brush yourself off! Plan to make your next meals balanced! Check your portion sizes, focus on lean proteins, and lots of fiber filled veggies. Avoid those processed foods, drink that water, and get up and get some movement in.

Ultimate Reset!

I’m a hardcore supporter of Beachbody, and I’ve spent the last two years enjoying the nutritious shakes and working my way through many of the workout programs with great success. I love Shaun T’s T25 and Cize, and 21 Day Fix is always great go-to for getting whipped into shape quickly. I always research the programs closely before I start them, and keep detailed records of my achievements as I follow through. During my many hours of research, I always came across a program that seemed quite daunting and a little bit “too much”-Ultimate Reset.

What is Ultimate Reset???

Ultimate Reset is a 21 Day cleanse and detox program that takes one on a three phased journey of supplements, tons of mineralized water, and carefully timed meals of super-foods. There are many online before and after pics and claims of dropping as much as 22 pounds on this plan, as well as many blogs about the somewhat harrowing journey to reach day 22. There are many “new” foods, the program cuts out all animal proteins after week one, and you are eating completely vegan by the end of the plan. This, along with the fact that I am allergic to many foods, as well as an extremely picky eater, left me feeling like this would be a miserable and impossible feat to accomplish! I always went back to my 21 Day Fix container diet, and left the Ultimate Reset linger in the back of my mind.

Until NOW! WOW! I sit, writing this, on the afternoon of day 21, with a few supplements sitting on my desk, waiting to be taken as I complete this last day. To date, I have dropped 12.4 pounds, 6.5% body fat, and a total of 10 inches! I have tried new foods, gained new energy, and have such an amazing feeling of accomplishment! I will finish this day strong, and start to add some healthy proteins back into my diet tomorrow-which is when I will be switching back to my 21 Day Fix eating plan. I’ve been told that going OFF the Reset can be as daunting as completing it, but I am not worried-I eat rather clean as it is. I can’t wait to eat some chicken breast and gluten free toast! I have no plans of running to grab a cheeseburger or fries, because that’s not my normal eating anyway.

There’s tons of info online about the breakdown of this program, with menus ideas and recipes, so I won’t go into the intricate details of the program here. I will  however go into some of the thoughts and issues that I had while doing it….

First-the WHY

My “why” is rather typical-I needed to drop some added pounds and bloating, gain my energy back, and put an end to this crappy, sluggish, feeling. After spending 15 weeks on T25 last spring/summer, I was back in a bikini (at 51, mind you) and feeling quite fabulous. I went down with a pinched nerve in the fall, and due to pain, was unable to exercise for months. No exercise+50 year old metabolism+holiday food and drink=one unhealthy person! I started the new year in sweatpants, exhausted most of the the day, dragging myself to physical therapy appointments and waiting for bedtime. Once cleared by my PT guy, I said ENOUGH, and tried on my size 4 jeans……well….I attempted to try them on….Nope. So, in a fit of very calculated disgust, I loaded up the Ultimate Reset sales page, and took the plunge. I received my package-book, supplements, and a bracelet that reminded me of my beach hippy days-a few days later, loaded up my fridge and pantry with healthy foods, and got my butt on the scale. The scale said “YOU’RE READY!”

How Did it Go?

Week One-RECLAIM

Phase One is focused on removing refined foods and animal products from the diet, while adding tons of veggies. There are healthy grains added like quinoa and oatmeal, and sugars are replaced with pure maple syrup and raw honey in very small amounts.

Day 1 was hard. I felt deprived, looked at the calendar date 3 weeks away, choked down the Power Green Supplement at 4:15, almost threw up, looked at the box in front of me and thought, “What am I doing?” But I continued on…

Days 2-4 were terrible. This seems to be a common issue for most on the program. Online blogs and Facebook support groups are full of posts about headaches, chills, achy bodies, nausea, and exhaustion. I experienced all of this as my body began to detox. I was miserable, and to add to my misery, I came down with a terrible head cold. I spent the first weekend in bed, sipping my minaralized water, feeling as though my head might explode. I wasn’t hungry though, so that was a positive point.

By Day 5, I was feeling much better. My energy level was rising, my cold was gone, and I was enjoying the foods. My favorite, by far, was oatmeal with fresh fruit. I set alarms on my phone to remind me to take my supplements, drink my water, and eat my meals, and the next few days just flowed right on by.

Week Two-RELEASE

Phase Two focuses on releasing toxins from the body, including a gentle but thorough colon cleanse. This cleanse is very gentle, so there was no cramping or running to the bathroom, thankfully. This weeks food is completely plant based-fruits, veggies, and grains. I had a busy week planned, so I opted for the “Crunch Menu” plan ( a basic phase by phase daily menu plan), and ate pretty much the same yummy foods almost every day-fruits for breakfast, veggies and broth for lunch, and beans, brown rice, and veggies for dinner. My energy level was very high, my sleep was improved, and my skin was looking more vibrant. I had no headaches or body aches, and I remained very focused. At this point, I weight myself, and had dropped 6 pounds in 9 days! At this point, I was looking forward to my phone alarms going off so that I could take my supplements and feel one step closer to my goals.

Week Three-RESTORE

Phase Three is the last week of Ultimate Reset, and the phase in which it all seems to really come together. In this phase, the only foods allowed are veggies and fruits, with a sweet potato option at dinner for some bulk. The week flew by, and my schedule was busy, but my phone reminders kept me on target with meals and supplements, and my handy insulated lunch bag kept my prepped food fresh while I ran my errands. My energy level has been off the charts, I’m waking earlier each day, and my mind seems clearer than before I started this program. I see the finish line, and beyond! Im currently down 12.4 pounds, and dropped 6.5% body fat. SCORE!

In the End…

I have to admit, when I started this program, I was very honest with my doubts in completing it. Our lives are very busy, we tend to dine out often, and I have many food allergies-as well as being a picky eater. When I try a new food-well, it’s usually not quinoa or lentils, but some chef inspired delicacy. But, I committed myself to doing this…And I told so many people-I had to be held accountable!!!

So, the big question-to sum it all up-is, would I do it again??? With that, I have to weigh the pros and cons…..

Pros:

The weight came off quickly, as did the nasty bloated feeling. That kept me inspired and pushed me through another day-every day.

The support I found on my Facebook Ultimate Reset groups was inspiring, full of information, and really held me accountable with daily check ins.

The foods were good-some will say awesome. I discovered a love for mangos and oatmeal that I had previously just not cared to focus on.

The ability to substitute certain foods made this easy to manage and plan around my tastes.

My husband seemed to enjoy my foods, and started eating much healthier-he even tried to eat some of my pre-measured fruit plate…I almost bit him.!

My clothes fit for the first time in months, and my energy level and brain clarity is is high!

Cons:

The cost of the program, complete with supplements is a bit pricey.

The scheduling of the supplements, water, and meals is a bit daunting for busy lifestyles.

Family meal time was a whole new ball game in dieting; I was eating foods I wasn’t so stoked about, while watching my teens eat pizza and fries.

My fridge was jam packed with bags of produce, my counters were covered in fruit, and I had to find an entire new shelf for the aminos, oils, vinegars, lentils, quinoa….so much food!

I had to run to the grocery store every 2 days  for fresh produce, and my dishwasher was constantly full of tupperware, pans, and measuring utensils,

But, in the end-I have to say….I would do it again. Now that I know all the ins and outs, the tricks and the shortcuts, and what to expect, I would definitely do it again.

Tips, shortcuts, time/money savers:

Don’t run out and buy an entire week’s worth of produce! This seems to be a common mistake. Your produce will start to go bad after a few days, so only buy what you need for 3 days max.

Buy your dry goods in bulk-lentils, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, beans, etc. You will use lots of them over the three weeks, and hopefully, you will enjoy the recipes and want to make them again.

Many recipes call for aminos. These are not incredibly easy to find-I had to go to 3 stores. I ended up finding them at Whole Foods, but they are also available on Amazon. Don’t be concerned about trying them! The Braggs Aminos taste like soy sauce, only better, and are wheat free. You will find them where oils are found. (hardest thing to locate on the menu!)

Use “Reset in a Crunch” if the daily menus seem daunting. You can repeat meals in each cycle as much as you wish. If you don’t like a menu, replace it with another menu item for that week for the same meal of that day.

Join the Facebook groups for awesome support and accountability! Check in daily and learn more as you go. Search on Facebook for Beachbody Ultimate Reset groups-there is one for each phase, including pre and post.

DRINK THE WATER!!!!! Just DRINK IT!!! It made ALL the difference!

For more info about this program, or to purchase it, contact me