Sunday Blues

What is it about Sundays and feeling blue? I don't think I'm alone in this as I've seen other bloggers write about this very topic. Not to mention a good friend of mine and I call it depressing Sunday. In fact we call or text often on Sundays and say the words, "Happy Depressing Sunday!!" I must say this little joke between us has actually brightened my day more than once.

What does this have to do with our health? Plenty, so keep reading.



I don't know about you, but I'm the type of person who thrives on routine. I like the mundane, ordinary tasks of the week and while I may get tired of it sometimes, there's also a great deal of comfort in it. I'm a Christian and grew up in a Christian home so Sunday was always a day of worship and rest in our house. My parents even had a rule that any weekend homework had to be completed by Saturday night because come Sunday there would be no working on it. I much appreciated this rule because I was never frantically trying to get school work done before Monday morning rolled around.

While Sundays have always had a calmer feel to them, there's something that feels almost sad to this day. Whether or not you are a believer, and whether or not you attend a church, I don't think many would argue that Sunday does represent a somewhat slower pace that any other day of the week. It's a time to sit back, be with family and rest for the week ahead.

It's the sitting back and resting part that is a bit scary to me. Weekly schedules and routine keep my body busy and my mind busy. There's not much time for reflection and this also means there's not many pockets of quiet. While this does get tiresome, it also offers a certain level of protection. I can't stop and think and reflect because I need to move on to the next task. Sundays provide a large window of time where I really don't know what to do with myself and I'm forced to deal with the quiet.

Our state of mind is essential to our overall well being. Everything is connected: mind, body, and spirit. It's important these things are in tune with one another. Now I'm not saying don't ever feel sad or blue. Quite the contrary, when these feelings do arise don't ignore them but rather decipher where they are coming from and what's behind them. My mother passed away three years ago and, since then, Sundays have become an even greater challenge -- missing her most in the quiet moments. The reality of her absence cannot be denied during those times.

Here are a few things I've found that help me deal with the Sunday blues:

  1. Staying hydrated sounds ridiculous, I know and like it's just another excuse to talk about the importance of water. Seriously though, when our cells aren't properly hydrated our body doesn't function optimally. Any negative emotions you're feeling will only be amplified if you're running on empty.
  2. Take a walk and grab some sunshine. It's easy to stay in the house and hibernate with Netflix. This is sometimes comforting but it's easy to not want to retreat from your personal space. Instead I like to grab my daughters and take them for a walk, especially when the weather is nice. A little Vitamin D from the sun can go a long way to lift your spirits.
  3. List the things I'm grateful for. In our fast paced world, it's easy to forget all the little things we have to be grateful for. At night when my girls and I do their prayers, we always thank God for our warm beds and our full tummies. Two things we take for granted everyday but oh their significance in our lives! I thank God for my family, friends, for the roof over our heads and for food in the refrigerator. Stopping to say these blessings helps me remember how sweet life can be.


I'd love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on Sunday? Funday or Depressing? Is there a day of the week where you feel more uplifted and excited than the rest of the week?


Disclaimer: This blog is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical advice and/or professional help. If you struggle with depression it is important to seek professional counseling.
 

Posted in Exercise, Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Water, Weight Loss, Wellness. Tagged as depressingsunday, depression, gratitude, healthandwellness, healthcoach, sundayblues, vitamind.

Feeling Powerless Over Acne

I've openly shared my life long struggle with acne. Battling cystic acne has been a part of my life since I was a teenager. What I haven't shared as openly is how utterly powerless I felt to stop it.


Here are a few of the things I have been told about my acne:

  • Nutrition has nothing to do with it. Changing what you eat won't clear your skin.
  • To keep acne under control you'll always be on some type of medication or acne specific skin care.
  • Your acne is hormonal so therefore it's out of your control.


So basically there is nothing you can do except spend a lot of money on lotions, potions and pills.
No wonder I felt so powerless!


Do any of these sound familiar? Have you been told these things?




I'll never forget the day I looked in the mirror and decided to take control of my acne. It's like a switch was flipped in my mind and I completely changed my attitude about the whole situation. Knowledge is power and I decided to arm myself with as much knowledge about the body, nutrition and the way foods affect the body as I could. I implemented what I learned and guess what? The appearance of my skin improved! I was getting fewer and fewer breakouts. The redness and inflammation in my skin was lessening. Most importantly I no longer felt like a victim of my circumstances.


As I've continued my research I'm honestly amazed at just how much nutrition does affect the way we look, including our skin. I've also discovered a few other key areas, besides the foods we eat, that greatly affect our appearance.




Let me ask you. How do you feel about your skin? Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? Being open to learning more about nutrition and the way food affects the body (for better or worse!) is the first step. When you're ready to take that step let's talk!  

Posted in Acne, Health, Nutrition, Wellness. Tagged as acne, acne scars, feeling powerless, healing acne holistically, health coach, prevent acne scars, skin care coach.

Stop Picking At Your Acne

Do you pick at your acne? I recently saw an article that might help you break the habit.

Picking at your acne is one of the worst things you could do. Yet it is a common problem among acne sufferers. It can even feel slightly satisfying to squeeze pimples and it can certainly turn into a bad habit quickly.

Each time you squeeze and dig at blemishes on your face, you increase the chances that you'll suffer scarring. I know I have some scars on my face that wouldn't be there had I simply left my breakouts alone! You also are potentially making your acne worse. As you squeeze blemishes bacteria underneath the skin gets pushed around and can lead to further breakouts. What may begin as a pimple or two can easily lead to three or four if you mess with it, so you're better off leaving it alone.






If this is an area you struggle in, try these few tips to stop skin picking for good.

  1. Don't look at your blemishes so often. You know the drill. You have acne so you stop at every mirror in your house each time you pass it and check just to see if it's magically disappeared or somehow gotten worse from the last time you checked. All this does is take any stress or anxiety you have around your acne and make it 100x worse. It also makes it more likely that you are going to touch your face. If you have to take down some of the mirrors in your house or cover them with a cloth. Just temporarily, of course. It may help remind you to back off a bit.
  2. Keep your skin care routine simple. Don't spend too much time in your bathroom taking care of your skin. Your skin care routine should be fairly simple anyway. Overdoing it can irritate your skin and make your acne worse. Whatever your current routine, it should only take you a few minutes to complete. Breathe, relax and enjoy the time of caring for your skin. Once you're finished with everything, leave your bathroom. Don't stop and stare.
  3. Ditch the magnifying mirrors. You don't need them and they will only make you feel worse about the state of your skin. If you don't currently own one, please do not buy one. If you do have one store it away or consider donating it.
  4. Visualize. If you are picking at your skin, visualize the bacteria that lie beneath the surface. Picture it in your mind being transferred around and potentially causing new breakouts. The temporary satisfaction you may feel from squeezing your blemishes isn't worth it.
  5. Recognize that squeezing the pimple often makes it look worse, not better. Enough said, really! How many times have you messed with a pimple and had it look better? Probably never. I know for me this has never played in my favor. It always ends up looking much redder, more irritated, and more inflamed.


Skin picking can be a hard habit to break. But it is that, a habit. It's like any other habit such as biting your nails. You do have control over it and you have a decision to make.


Are you struggling to find solutions to clear your skin? Book in a consultation today. I look forward to talking with you.


Joyfully, Hannah

Posted in Acne, Food, Health, Nutrition, Recipes, Wellness. Tagged as acne, acnescars, preventacnescar, skin picking, stopskinpicking, wellness.

Discipline Succeeds Where Motivation Fails




I recently read an article that struck a nerve with me. It was written by a fighter pilot and the topic was motivation and discipline. His viewpoint was that discipline trumps motivation every time. The fighter pilot said that when it's time to run head first into the enemy you don't feel motivated to do it. After all you're full of fear and would rather turn and run the other way. He said rather it's discipline that's so important at this moment. It's the discipline you've developed, your knowledge on the subject, the training and practice. You know what you have to do so you simply do it.


As I read this piece I felt immediately drawn to what he was saying and I realized that although he was referring to war time battle, the same principle applies to just about every area of our lives. In fact, for many areas of our lives if we only relied on how motivated we felt to do something, nothing would get done.


I see this all the time in my coaching business. Women come to me feeling motivated to make a change. They are tired of the way they look and feel. They know they need a change and at first the prospect of it all is really exciting. They feel motivated to do something different. But then reality begins to set in and the truth is changing the way you eat isn't always a straight, easy road. At this point discipline has to step in and take over. Otherwise you find yourself right back where you started.


When my adult acne was so severe and nothing I tried was working. I began to look at my issue for what it was. A sign of a deeper rooted problem that needed to be solved. This is when I began to change the way I was eating to bring restoration and healing to my body and therefore, ultimately heal my skin. Motivation didn't play much of a role during this process. Initially, I felt motivated by the prospect of clearer skin but that quickly faded. One thing to really understand about using food as medicine, is the results are not always immediate. Obviously, this can feel frustrating. More than that is what others around you see. Let me explain.


To my friends and family, the dietary changes I made, seemed extreme (although they really weren't). People wondered if I was nourishing my body properly. I began to feel a bit of a stigma because I wasn't eating what everyone else was. The biggest issue was that my skin didn't clear overnight and as it was healing it went through a few purging stages. You know the old adage, "Things get worse before they get better"? In my case I experienced this. Therefore to those around me it appeared that all my efforts were in vain.


During these times I didn't feel motivated to keep pushing forward and pursue my goal. In fact, at times I felt downright defeated. Was I completely crazy?! This entire process required discipline on my part. I knew what I needed to do or I would never know the real results. If I quit half way through I would never realize the truth. Worse, if I gave in to temptation or peer pressure to be normal and do what everyone else was doing, I'd have to start back at square one. I had to be disciplined everyday to follow the plan I laid out for myself.


Motivation is overrated. If you want to accomplish real changes in your life, you have to develop discipline. For many of us, this is a struggle to handle on our own. We need guidance and someone coaching us along the way. If you're ready to make a change in the way you eat and see real, lasting results I will help you develop the discipline needed to get there. Contact me for a complimentary discovery session!


What are your thoughts? Is motivation overrated? Is discipline more important? Leave a comment and let me know.


Here's the link to the article I referenced http://www.businessinsider.com/top-gun-pilot-dave-berke-discipline-2017-7


Posted in Acne, Diets, Exercise, Fitness, Food, Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Wellness. Tagged as acne, discipline, health coach, holistic healing, motivation, nutrition.

All or Nothing



Are any of these excuses your excuses?

  • Not enough money
  • Not enough time
  • Not the right timing.

Those are common excuses I hear from women for why they are not ready to begin implementing a healthier lifestyle.
  • MONEY do you feel you  can't afford to eat healthier? That is, for the most part a myth. Eating well or eating poorly costs about the same. Factor in being healthier, and it probably costs less.
  • TIME do you think eating healthy is too time-consuming? That is, in fact, a matter of choice. Food preparation can be a pleasant and relaxing time; a time to form some new habits that you've probably wanted to develop anyway.
  • TIMING -- are you waiting for the perfect, golden opportunity to start -- after school is out; after school gets back in; after vacation; after Thanksgiving. . . . HUGE mistake! There will always be something to tempt you, to sway you, to steer you off course. It's called LIFE.

I may sound a little unsympathetic here but I'm not. Those excuses used to be my top three. None of them can withstand the power of your decision to eat healthier and to be healthier. The single greatest challenge for me was to overcome the "all or nothing" mentality.

The world of nutrition can seem to be black and white, with little room for any gray areas. You either eat well or you don't. You either purchase only organic food or you don't. You either never eat processed food or you do.

Here's the thing: In a perfect world everyone would be eating only organic, locally sourced produce and grass-fed meats from local farmers and eggs from free-range chickens, etc. You get the picture. Sounds wonderful, but is it reality? Unless you own your own farm and you only eat what you personally grow and you never travel or go on vacation, this nutrition utopia is probably not a reality.

I see it all the time. It's sad, really, because here are some of the things I've heard:

"If you can't eat organic you may as well be eating ________ (insert fast food joint here)."
"Eating eggs is like smoking cigarettes. It'll kill you. You should only be 100% vegan."
"Eating meat destroys the planet."
"You have to eat ______ (insert your least favorite vegetable here) or you can't be healthy."
"Smoothies for breakfast are the pillar of healthy lifestyle."

Sounds really motivating, right? Geez! Hearing this stuff even makes me want to run in the opposite direction. Now when I come across those types of comments I simply smile and move on. I recognize that life is meant to be enjoyed, and a big part of that is enjoying good food. We are meant to nourish our bodies well. However, the stress we feel over food can be just as bad for our health as any less than ideal food choices.

Instead of viewing nutrition as all or nothing I encourage you to take a different approach. I teach my clients this saying, "Do the best you can, whenever you can, as often as you can." If you are able to eat organic that is definitely the better choice. However, eating conventional produce is not equivalent to eating a highly processed cheese burger and fries so don't make it out to be. There shouldn't be any shame in purchasing conventional produce if that is what is available to you.

And about that cheeseburger and fries -- I believe there is a place for that in life as well!! Again, it's not all or nothing. 

Where I've witnessed the most long term success is with women who gradually make changes instead of trying to do a complete overhaul overnight. It is very difficult to try to upend everything about the way you eat in a few days. It's too easy to slip back into old habits when life gets stressful. When gradual changes are made the chances of making them a permanent lifestyle increase. The reality is there needs to be balance and room for flexibility.

I want to hear from you. Have you ever felt discouraged about eating better because of this all or nothing attitude? Have you felt held back because you aren't able to dive in 100%?
Leave a comment. I'd love to chat!

Posted in Diets, Food, Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Wellness. Tagged as dieting, diets, eatrealfood, healthcoach, nongmo, organicfood, stopdieting, weightloss, wellness.

How to eat on vacation

The Bed and Breakfast we stayed at last week was wonderful. Breakfast included pancakes, waffles, sausage, potatoes, and tons of fresh fruit. It was SO delicious and the best part? I lost three pounds!

From the time I was a teenager until most recent years, preparing for vacation meant a period of dieting. I would exercise harder and try to cut calories (I knew shockingly little about nutrition then) in order to get a flatter tummy for my trip. Once on vacation I would throw caution to the wind when it came to food and overindulge. Shortly into my trip I'd be bloated, tired and sluggish. Good times, right? Upon returning home I'd discover that I had gained a few pounds and had to work all over again to lose it. This was my pattern for years. Does it sound familiar?

When I changed my approach towards food several years ago it also changed the way I view dieting in general and how I eat when I am on vacation. This surprised me on my most recent trip because some of the foods I ate were less than stellar and I definitely indulged a little. While I didn't completely stuff myself, I certainly ate to my heart's content each morning. Lunch and dinner consisted of local fare from restaurants in the area. Some were incredible, others not so much and one in particular is definitely getting a negative mark on Trip Advisor. One thing I kept noticing was I didn't at all feel tired the entire time and my tummy was never bloated, which are two common areas of struggle, especially for women.

As I reflected on what I was doing differently and what I might be doing right I came up with a few tips to share with you. These go beyond the "pack healthy snack options" tips.

How To Eat on Vacation:

  • It begins at HOME. It's what you do most of the time that matters. This is why I encourage you to make the absolute best choices when preparing food in your own kitchen where you have complete control. You control the oils used, the amount of sugar, the quality of the meats and produce, etc. It's important to take advantage of these times to keep your gut health strong and your immune system strong. This way when in situations, such as vacation, where you don't have 100% control over the food it won't completely derail you because you have a solid foundation.
  • Stay hydrated! It's so easy to get dehydrated, especially when traveling. Add to that the hot summer months and it's no wonder we have trouble keeping our bodies adequately nourished with water. Carry water with you wherever you go. I keep a stainless water bottle with me at all times. To keep it full I carry a gallon jug of water so I can refill my bottle as needed. Where I was staying this particular trip I was able to fill my gallon jug of water with fresh, clean water. However, you could just as easily run to your local grocery store and purchase a gallon jug of water for under $1.00. Even if you're only slightly dehydrated your body can mistake that signal for hunger so keep your water bottle full and drink up!
  • Don't overthink it. What happens when you sit down with your menu at a restaurant? Do you order the first thing that pops out at you or do you mull over what you "should" be eating and what you want to eat? It may sound counter productive but I recommend you order the first thing that jumps out at you on the menu. Note: If you eat in restaurants on a fairly regular basis this same rule would not necessarily apply. Oftentimes the stress we create for ourselves around food is worse for our bodies than the food itself. The more research I do and the more time I spend with my private coaching clients the more convinced I'm becoming that stress is our number one enemy when it comes to not looking and feeling our best. SO make a decision from the menu, eat slowly, enjoy every bite and then put it out of your mind. This means no regrets! Don't stress over what you just ate and that you should have gotten something else. This is negative self talk and it does nothing to serve your body. *Interesting that I am gluten intolerant. However, I ate gluten a few times on my trip with this no stress mentality and didn't suffer negative consequences. Just food for thought.
  • Stress Free. Vacation can be such a wonderful time to get away from the norm and relax. I know for me I felt so carefree on this recent vacation. At home there is always something for me to be doing and being able to take a few days to slow down was wonderful for my soul. One of the biggest observations I made while on this trip was that I actually got to sit down and eat! I coach my clients on the importance of being in a stress free state when eating. Don't eat at your desk, don't eat standing up or while rushing out the door. Even for a snack take ten minutes to step away and enjoy it. Unfortunately, I can be my own worst enemy because I often find myself standing at my kitchen counter eating or getting up and down from the table during meal time. I know all you mothers know exactly what I'm talking about here! Caring for our families often means we throw ourselves on the back burner. Take advantage of the lower stress times of vacation and sit down to your meal. When in a restaurant, really enjoy that you have no kitchen work to do in the moment. Eating while stressed can negatively impact our digestion so allow vacation to work for you in this way.
  • Focus on Digestion! Eat slowly. Chew your food well. Put your fork down between each bite. Digestion begins in the brain as we start thinking about the food. Then moves to the mouth and most people don't chew long enough or slow enough placing a heavy burden on their digestive tract. What does this lead to? Bloating, gas, discomfort, etc. So it's important to eat slowly and chew your food well. This also allows you to recognize when you are full so you can stop eating. One reason people overeat is they eat too quickly and the brain doesn't have time to catch up to the stomach. Basically, you think you're still hungry but you're not. Try chewing slower and eating slower in general. You might be surprised how much less you eat at each meal and you're less likely to end up overstuffed. SLOW DOWN. It's vacation so
t a k e your T I M E and ENJOY!

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts! If you're looking for more insight into looking and feeling your best contact me for a complimentary one on one session.

Posted in Diets, Exercise, Fitness, Food, Health, Nutrition, Travel, Water, Weight Loss, Wellness.

90% Nutrition 10% Exercise

What if I told you that how you looked was 90% nutrition and 10% exercise?

Someone told me that once and at the time I really didn't want to believe it. After all, we were standing in my Mother's kitchen and at that exact moment there was a box of Girl Scout cookies waiting to be devoured (Hello, Thin Mints!). However, over the years I've come to learn the truth of that statement.

You can't exercise yourself out of poor nutrition. When we are young we have an easier time at maintaining a fit body while indulging in less than stellar food choices. As we age that becomes much harder to do. Also, it's important to remember that how you look is only the surface of it all nutrition affects our outside appearance but more importantly it affects our internal workings and organs. Our outside appearance isn't necessarily an accurate depiction of what's going on inside our bodies.

My freshman year of college I had the fortunate blessing of making friends with a few girls who were as fit conscious as me. They loved to workout and so did I. The three of us got up every morning at 5 am and went to the college gym together. We'd also go for afternoon runs. This amount of exercise was nothing new for me I'd been in the gym since I was in the 8th grade, lifting weights and running. However, what did change for me were my eating habits.

These two girls were more conscious of what they put in their bodies than I was. Since we were all together I quickly followed suit. The results? Well you know the old saying "the freshman 15"? Instead of gaining 15 pounds my freshman year of college, I lost 15 pounds. I was literally in the best shape I'd ever been in and looked much better than I did in high school. It wasn't exercise that changed for me, it was my diet.

Three years ago when my cystic acne came back with a full on vengeance I learned the truth of this statement once again. Nothing externally worked. My acne didn't begin to clear until I changed the way I ate.

How do you look and feel? Do you reward a great workout session with food indulgences? Are you exercising your heart out but not seeing the results you desire?

I encourage you to show up for yourself and feed your body well!

Not sure how to do that? Let me help you. You deserve to look and feel your best!

Posted in Acne, Diets, Exercise, Fitness, Food, Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Wellness.

The Most Important Thing I Did to Help Get Rid of My Acne (It’s Probably Not What You Think!)

I've never had great skin. Visits to the dermatologist were a regular part of my years as a teenager. But as a teen, I never would have imagined that I would be battling the same cystic acne during my 30's. But here I was, 33 years old staring in the mirror with an acne riddled face staring right back at me. Why was I plagued with this problem and what on earth could I do to fix it? Nothing seemed to be working for me.

I remember the moment vividly. I gave myself a long look in the mirror and the thought occurred to me, could this be the rest of my life? Might I suffer with acne forever?

Here it is; the most important thing I did to help rid my face of acne. I made up my mind that I could not, would not live this way any longer. I no longer saw myself of a helpless victim. I shifted my mindset and viewed myself as a woman with a decision to make. This was the catapult that propelled me forward.

At this point I recognized that my acne was stemming from my poor gut health. I knew that's where the answers lied, but I didn't really know what the specific answers were. So I prayed and asked God for guidance. It immediately began clear to me. Now it was up to me to put it all in motion...and that's just what I did.

My entire diet changed. I had to shift not only what I was eating, but also how I was eating. My relationship with food completely changed. For me this meant not quite fitting in in a few social situations. It meant carrying a small lunch bag with me everywhere I went so that I was never without something that was suitable for me to eat. I never wanted to be caught with an excuse to eat something that wasn't going to help me reach my goal. I prepared for every situation and I stuck to my plan.

Today my skin is much clearer without the use of acne medications. When I do get a breakout, it's usually not a surprise to me and is typically a result of excess sugar, too much stress, or lack of sleep.

What's staring back at you in the mirror? What is your "I can't live like this the rest of my life"? What is your current mindset about it? Helpless victim or a woman with a decision to make?

Everything is connected: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. You can teeter totter if one of these legs is broken, but what happens when two are broken? The table comes crashing down. Our minds are powerful! The number one reason I see women not looking and feeling their best is they haven't made up in their minds 100% to commit to it. They want the results but they aren't fully there yet with the changes that need to be made. I get it because I was there myself sometimes the comforts we're used to are more comfortable than the pain in our life is painful.

Are you ready to shift your mindset? Are you ready to toss out the excuses and propel yourself forward? I have two programs to offer you let's see which one fits you best! I offer a complimentary consultation to see if we're a fit to work together. No obligation to buy. I look forward to helping you look and feel your best!

Posted in Acne, Diets, Food, Health, Weight Loss, Wellness.

Treadmill Girl vs Squats Girl

Treadmill girl versus squats girl -- I had to laugh.

First of all, aren't we women supposed to empower one another? So why are we posting an image that implies one looks better,is more attractive than the other.? Which one is it? I'm not sure. Each has nice attributes, and one of the things that makes life interesting is not all of us look the same.

Second, I spent years faithfully following a traditional fitness mindset lifting weights (both heavy and light), cardio (including the treadmill) and an occasional yoga or pilates class. While I was certainly strong and had a lot of nice muscle, I still struggled with not being pleased with the way my body looked. The areas that I wanted to get smaller never seemed to, and the areas I wanted to "plump up" never got that way.

When I was in middle school my dad began taking me to our local YMCA. He taught me everything I know about lifting weights. I treasured our time together and to this day am so grateful to him that he did this for me. During this time, my level of confidence grew, I developed a lot of strength in my body and I got to bond with my dad. It was an all around "win win." One of the greatest gifts you can give a growing adolescent is teaching them how to properly care for their body, nutritionally and physically. This grew into my love for fitness that has stayed with me.
Years later, when my oldest daughter was about 2, we were stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. The gym on post didn't offer child care so I was mostly using my jogging stroller to run outside or doing at home exercise videos. Then I met a group of ladies who were doing a crossfit inspired workout and I was invited to join the group. This form of exercise pushed me to my limits and I developed a lot of strength in my body as well as muscle mass. However, I didn't look or feel balanced. It was the same old problem: the parts of my body that I felt were too big were getting bigger. And the parts I wanted to accentuate (namely my small bottom) continued to look smaller. Probably because my upper body kept getting so much bigger!

I didn't realize what was happening until my family went on a summer beach trip. Later, looking at photos, I didn't like what I saw of myself in my bathing suit. How frustrating! Here I was putting in all this effort at the gym and not feeling pleased with the results.

It wasn't until I completely changed the way I thought about exercise that my body really began to change shape and I discovered I did have some level of control over the way I look. One day I accidentally stumbled across a short clip of a Tracy Anderson workout. My first thought was, "Her form is all wrong." Her method of exercise was very different, and even a little bizarre looking. However, I couldn't deny that I was intrigued.

I found her YouTube videos of a 17 minute butt and legs segment. I figured why not? I got down on all fours and began following along. Even with my then high-level of fitness and strong cardio health Tracy's workout challenged me in ways I never thought possible. I felt muscles working that I didn't know existed. I ordered Tracy's program. After 4 years later Tracy's method has changed my body in the positive ways I had never been able to achieve. I have found, too, that her method strengthened my mind-body connection. I feel more balanced overall.

Treadmill or squat -- I'm not going to suggest which you should be. You have to decide that. The point is, if you are diligently working out, and you're feeding your body with whole food nutrition, and you're still not seeing results you want, then try Tracy Anderson's workout.

For me the treadmill wasn't the answer. Squats weren't the answer. I found my answer when I changed the way I thought about exercise in general and took an entirely different approach.

For the record, both Barbies in this graphic are beautiful please stop body shaming.
 
Note: I do not receive any compensation from Tracy Anderson products, nor have I been compensated by her or anyone else for this blog. This is a testimonial, pure and simple. Tracy Anderson is a copyrighted name and registered trademark.

Posted in Diets, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Weight Loss, Wellness.

This Could Change Your Life

What raises your blood sugar levels more? Whole wheat bread or table sugar? Read on to find out.

"I could never go gluten free. I like bread too much."

"I've tried gluten free bread and I can't stand the taste."

"It's too hard to eat in a restaurant if you don't eat gluten."

"I don't have a gluten intolerance. I never have to run to the bathroom when I eat it."

Do any of these sound familiar?! These are among the top comments I hear when discussing gluten. There's a lot of buzz out there among the word gluten and there seem to be three camps of people: Those who are gluten free and are completely sold that it's improved their health, those who feel it's fine for other people to be gluten free but it's not for them, and lastly, those who believe that gluten free is a trend and will soon die out.

What is the truth? Is gluten bad for your health? If you're not intolerant should you be eating it?

I first discovered the concept of a gluten free diet when I read the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. This book opened my eyes to an entirely new concept and much of what he wrote seemed to be written directly for me.
A few things I learned:

  1. The wheat we eat today is not the same wheat our grandmother's ate.
  2. Even if you have a seemingly perfect diet, you may still hold on to body fat if wheat is in your diet.
  3. Wheat is the dominant source of gluten protein in the human diet. There are other grains containing gluten but as a general rule we consume those much less frequently.
  4. Whole wheat bread increases blood sugar as much or more than table sugar.
This last one was a real eye opener for me. I've had blood sugar issues my whole life. It's one reason it's hard for me to ever feel full for long. Up to this point, wheat made up a large part of my diet. I consumed pastas and breads without thinking twice. I exercised really hard so I figured, why not? After reading this book I learned exactly why not. I chose to remove gluten from my diet to see if there was some truth behind what I'd read. At this time I really didn't understand all the in's and out's of gluten. I now know that I had not removed 100% like I thought I had. Despite this, I still lost some weight, my tummy was flatter, and my blood sugar levels were much more stable than they'd ever been.

Of course, it was difficult living without gluten so this new lifestyle quickly dwindled and I went back to my old habits. Until I experienced a great loss in my life, which spurred on my cystic acne (which I had fought off and on since my teen years). When creams and face washes weren't doing the trick I decided to take a more holistic option. I began researching on the internet what worked for other women with adult acne. A common theme kept recurring; Remove gluten and dairy from your diet as the first step.

I battled and struggled with this. I remembered how great I'd felt when I gave up gluten before, but truth be told I didn't want to do it again. It was too difficult. It was easier to eat in a restaurant if I was able to eat gluten. I didn't really have a problem with gluten, right?! There can't be that much truth to this idea. Long story short, I went back and forth A LOT before I finally realized I wasn't doing myself any favors and cut gluten from my diet 100%. No longer was I allowing a once a week treat of regular bread or cutting myself slack when eating out. I realized to see the changes I wanted it had to be all or nothing.

Here is the truth about identifying food intolerance and identifying foods that cause inflammation in your body. After all, too much inflammation in the body is where illness begins. If you want to know if eliminating gluten will make a difference for you, you have to completely eliminate it 100% no exceptions. The length of time you do this for really depends on your symptoms. If you have acne, eczema, rosacea or any other skin ailments then the longer the better. My acne clients do it for six straight months. If you're having GI discomfort you may notice a difference within a few days.

Here are other symptoms related to gluten intolerance:
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • ADHD like behavior
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Bone or Joint Pain
  • Fatigue
You can read more about it here: Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity

For some clarification, a gluten intolerance can exist even if you don't have Celiac disease or another type of autoimmune disorder. The problem with the bread of our grocery shelves today is it was made to be shelf stable. This equals a higher gluten content. Also, when you see the word "Enriched" on a label it often means "deprived of nutrients." Enriched means some of the nutrients that cause the food to spoil faster have been removed and replaced with chemical ingredients so the food will be shelf stable. (Dr. Sear's, The Inflammation Solution).

Does cutting gluten from your diet seem scary or unmanageable or simply something you just really don't want to do? I get it. I once felt the same way. It's important to remember that you can always introduce back into your diet. If you eliminate if for two weeks and feel zero changes, start eating it again!

I highly encourage you to give this a try!

Things are always better with support which is why I'm offering you access to a program called Shred10. We have a new group that starts this Monday April 3 and runs through April 12.

With this program you'll receive:
  • Access to our private Facebook group where you can posts questions and receive daily motivation
  • Access to my private coaching during the 10 day shred
I love food and I never do a program or recommend a program where you drastically cut calories, juice cleanse or do anything that may leave you feeling weak and hungry. On this program you will not feel hungry and you won't be counting calories or tracking macros or tallying points I promise!!

Email me for more details!

Posted in Diets, Food, Health, Weight Loss, Wellness.

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