Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: 1:  the act of giving thanks 2:  a prayer expressing gratitude 
3:  a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness

A holiday of thanks for family and friends that is centered around turkey, sides, drink and dessert.  I always think of Thanksgiving as the kickoff to falling off the healthy wagon.  It's so easy to overindulge and to keep it going through January until you wake up January 1st and realize you've put on weight.

Instead of taking a detour, just keep following your path to health with these simple tips:

1. Have a Plan
 Think about your journey, your goals, where you want to be in the summer.  Remember all the hard work you've put in to get you to this spot.  Make decisions about what is worth indulging in and what isn’t.

2. Don't Show Up Hungry
Eat a solid breakfast like oatmeal and a small healthy meal before appetizers and dinner are put out.  Also, drink as much water as you can throughout the day to keep you fuller.

3. Fill Up Your Plate with Healthy Choices
There are a lot of healthy options around Thanksgiving dinner.  White turkey meat is a great lean protein.  Enjoy a salad, veggies and sweet potatoes as long as they don't have added sugars or toppings.  If you are in doubt that there will be healthier options, bring your own side.

4. Stay Active
Turkey Trots are a great way to get moving first thing Thanksgiving morning.  Moving your body first thing in the morning sets the day right and will make you want to stay focused on eating healthy throughout the day.  If you aren't into running, take a walk before and after your meals.  Ask family members to join in.

5. Sample the Indulgent Foods
Don't deprive yourself of the things you love most about the season.  Depriving yourself can make you fall off the wagon later on.  Take a couple samples of the foods you want to try or split a dessert with someone instead of having a full one.  A few bites aren’t going to break your diet – just don’t let it spiral out of control.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Transformation Tuesday- Stacie

It's almost been a year since I started coaching.  
Coaching has not only been beneficial to keep me accountable but has also been very rewarding.  Every person I coach has a different life story.  Some have been active their whole life while others are just beginning their journey to a healthier life.  I feel extremely honored that people let me into their lives and allow me to motivate and help them.  Transformations I see are both both physical and mental.  

Every Tuesday, I'm going to be highlighting a customer transformation for three reasons:
 1. I'm incredibly proud of the person and their dedication.
2. It feels good when you're recognized for all your hard work. 
3. I know they will inspire others who are looking to make a change.

Today's transformation is Stacie who like many is a mother, wife and works outside of the home.  In April 2014, Stacie joined one of my free challenge groups and rocked it!  She was not only in it 110% but was a motivator to everyone else in the group.  There was never a point in the group where she made excuses as to why she couldn't exercise or eat healthy.  Before I even had my girls off to school, Stacie had already posted a post-workout photo of herself. 

We all have different challenges that we need to work through.  Stacie's biggest barrier to getting to her ideal shape was her love of sweets.  Instead of going all or nothing, Stacie began practicing moderation and control.  She's set realistic goals and accomplished all of them.  Since April, Stacie has participated in a team challenge and most recently a T25 challenge.  Through each one, her results have been seriously A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!  

I remember getting a note from Stacie while she was on vacation.  She was so proud that she had fit into a size she never thought would fit.  It's these intangible rewards that keep Stacie moving forward. Not only has she lost inches around her midsection but mentally she says she's found her self worth.  I asked Stacie if she had any advice or a quote that continues to inspire her.  I loved her answer...
I am so proud of this woman and can't wait to keep following her progression.  She is the perfect example of not making excuses.  Stacie set out to reach a goal and didn't let anything get in her way.  She's not only a great inspiration to other challengers but to her husband and children.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ways to Save Money when Eating Healthy

We are a family on a budget.  Up until recently, we were a two income family.  I kept a budget but I didn't worry too much on if I went a little over.  Now that we're on a tight budget and still wanting to eat clean, I need to really focus on how I can get the best bang for my buck.  Over the past couple of weeks there are some key things I've done to save my grocery bill from being out of control.  It's also amazing how much the junk you used to buy no longer makes it into the cart because you just can justify the purchase.

Here are my favorite tips for eating healthy on a budget.

1. Create a meal plan with over lapping proteins, fruits and veggies BEFORE going to the store.

Creating a meal plan not only will keep you on track with your eating but it gives a great visual on which proteins, fruits and vegetables you can overlap.  Try using recipes that ask for similar fresh ingredients so you're not letting any of them parish before your next shopping trip.  Don't be afraid to switch up your fruits and veggies if there is a sale. 

2. Go to the store with a set budget.

Keep your budget in mind and try to keep a rolling total as you shop.  If you're over budget when you check out, omit the boxed and processed foods first.

3. Purchase dry goods (beans, quinoa, rice) and cook from scratch.

Not only are dry goods a lot cheaper but you can season them according to your diet.  A 1 lb bag of white beans for example can usually be found for less than a dollar, which yields about 6 cups of cooked beans.  You're also omitting all the sodium and preservatives you'll find in canned beans.  

4. Buy flash frozen fruits, veggies and fish.

Canned vegetables tend to lose a lot of nutrients during the preservation process.  Frozen vegetables however, may be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets.  Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed.

For fish that is flash frozen, the fish is usually frozen within hours of being caught.  Never buy frozen fish that is in a damaged package. Also if you can see the fish through the package, do not buy fish if you can see frost on it. Frost can mean that the fish has thawed and then been refrozen.

5. Buy in bulk.

When I say buying in bulk, I'm not referring to the quantity you're buying but how the product is merchandised.  Generally speaking, bulk products can be found in larger bins without packaging.  By not paying for all that individual packaging, labeling and advertising, you're getting more product for your money.  The other great thing about buying in bulk is that you can try new grains, seasonings or foods without making a large investment on something that may just sit in your pantry.

6. Don't shop hungry.

Hopefully I don't need to explain why this is key.  When you're hungry, your stomach becomes your eyes.  Eventually you purchase items with your stomach and not with your list.  Just avoid it!
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