the importance of gratitude for clearer skin

Did you know stress is one of the top 5 factors contributing to your acne?

Think about it. How many times have you had a huge breakout appear right before a special event? How about break outs that show up before a job interview?

When healing acne you must look at the whole picture and stress is definitely apart of it.

Obviously, it's important to reduce our stress levels. I don't think anyone would argue that going through life while constantly worrying is a productive, healthy way to live. The problem is it would be impossible to completely eliminate all stress from our lives. I don't care who you are you deal with stress to some extent on a regular basis.
#gratitude #acne #clearskin #healacne



Stress doesn't only revolve around big, life issues. Although that can definitely be apart of it. It's also the smaller things that lead to stress and sometimes I think these may be worse. These little issues are easier to ignore and therefore they can build upon each other until you have a mound of stress.

What exactly happens when we are stressed that would cause a breakout? There are a few factors.

  • Stress affects your gut
    • 70 % or more of your immune system lies in your gut
    • 90% of your happy hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut
  • Stress leads to impaired digestion and optimal digestion is necessary for clearer skin

Bottom line: You need a healthy gut to have clear, healthy looking skin. An imbalance in the gut leads to too much inflammation in the body and acne is a form of inflammation.

There's not much refuting this these days. I've even been noticing skin care companies that make acne specific products, discussing the relationship between the health of our gut and the health of our skin.

The irony here is the more acne you get the more stressed you become. I remember thinking when my acne was at its height, that if my face would clear, I could finally get a handle on my stress levels. Waking up everyday to a red, inflamed and pimple-covered face automatically put me in high stress mode.

Since it's impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, what can be done?

I believe there are three actions.

The first is,
increase your resilience -- and it isn't complicated. Three resolutions will immediately help:
  1. get adequate sleep each night -- 8-9 hours are recommended
  2. eat a whole foods based nutritious diet
  3. exercise regularly 
The second action to eliminate stress is let go of things you have no control over. Stressing over issues we cannot control makes us feel trapped; a victim mentality.
  1. In situations you can influence for improvement, do so
  2. In situations you cannot influence, either disengage, or release it from your emotional domain of responsibility.     

The final component to increase your stress resilience is implement  a Gratitude Journal.  Don't start throwing tomatoes at me just yet! Believe me, I was someone who always rolled my eyes at this type of thing. I feel grateful enough, what do I need to write it down for? 

 
Research has shown that changes take place in your brain that reduce stress and increase feelings of pleasure when you WRITE down what you are grateful for. Each day take a few minutes to write down 3 things you are grateful for. Research suggests doing this for 21 days straight in order for the changes in the brain to take place.

Here's the way I look at it. This gratitude exercise is simple. It probably won't take more than 5 to 10 minutes of my day. If it really can help why not give it a try? The worst thing that could happen is you notice zero changes in your outlook on life and you go back to your old routine.

I challenge you to 21 days of gratitude! Leave me a comment below &  tag @h_stoffel on instagram with #gratitude4clearskin






Posted in Acne, Health. Tagged as acne, clear skin, cystic acne, heal acne, heal acne holistically, heal acne naturally.

Never say "cheat" again

What if you never again had to use the word "cheat" when it comes to food? FREEDOM!

It's sad that over the years we've forgotten how to eat. We seem to know nothing about listening to our own bodies.

It's January and, as I expected, I'm noticing a trend on my social media accounts. I'm sure you have, too. It seems everyone is excited to share their latest diet endeavors and how they plan to shape up for good in 2018. The intentions are good but the way I see some women going about it is not.

#cheatday #diets #stopsayingcheat #stopdieting #eatrealfood

There are so many methods of eating available: paleo, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, and perhaps the most disturbing, keto.

Apart from food camps there are numerous diets available that promise quick, yet lasting results. Cabbage soup diet (been there, done that and it was SO incredibly disgusting), apple cider vinegar and maple syrup fast, carb cycling (who can keep track?), counting calories, counting macros, etc.

I've tried a few of these myself. In fact when I first began healing my body through nutrition I classified myself as a vegan. I'm the first to admit I've fallen into the trap of forcing myself into a food camp, and I've had my fair share of dieting.

As a health coach and being passionate about nutrition people ask me, "What diet do you follow?"
My answer is, "I listen to my body."  
"Huh?" with a blank stare is a typical response.

It's hard for women to believe that I don't follow a specific plan. What rules do I follow? How do I know when to eat or what to eat? I understand their questions because I had these same questions a few years ago. It's what led me to where I am today. Chasing weight loss, looking for quick fixes and miracle cures led me to a place of gut imbalance and chronic inflammation in the form of cystic acne. I had to find different answers.

Before jumping into a new diet plan or finding yourself feeling trapped by a food camp I encourage you to consider these few things.

  • Learn to listen to what your body is telling you
  • Identify your food intolerances and avoid them even if it's the healthiest food on the planet, if you don't digest it well, don't eat it!
  • Keep your body hydrated with purified water
  • Don't become legalistic when it comes to food
  • Focus on real, whole foods that nourish your body well.

The diet frenzy that takes place every January is no surprise. We live in a culture where we spend months over-indulging, only to turn around and deprive our body of adequate nutrition as some sort of punishment for all the food we just ate. We see foods as "good" and "bad". We use words like "cheating" when it comes to what we eat. It's nonsense and, when I hear it, I hurt for the person who believes it.



When you follow my principles (the basic are cited above), and you put them into practice so they become second nature, something beautiful happens: you never have to diet again. I know because I'm finally at that point myself, after years of battling with my own body.

I will teach you how to get to this point yourself.

It is possible to not fret or worry every time you're around food. It is possible to feel good in your own skin without being tied down to a diet.

Tired of the nonsense? Let me offer you a complimentary, no obligation session! 

Posted in Diets, Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Wellness. Tagged as cheat day, dieting, diets, eat real food, health and wellness, health coach, how to eat, how to eat to lose weight, stop dieting, whole food nutrition.

On the fence about choosing a "word for the year"? Try this instead

Everyone is choosing a "Word for the Year" -- everyone except me.

Here's why:
So much can change in your life in one month, one week or even one day, much more over the course of one whole year.
Some words I've seen chosen are: joy, trust, slow, rest, yes, brave, etc. You get the idea the latest fad is to choose a word that represents the type of year you want, and then make decisions based off the word. One major change in your life will sabotage everything, if it all rests on one word. I plan my year for vacations, school schedules and big projects for my business, but for all the other things? Monthly.  My approach is more realistic, and healthier. Therefore, instead of adding stress when life goes crazy, I am able to adjust.Flexibility facilitates your wellness journey.

So often we view the month of January as setting the tone for the year. If we are successful with our health in January then we can assume we'll be successful for the rest of the year. I'm sorry but this is faulty thinking. First of all what if January is an incredibly challenging month for you financially, emotionally, or physically? What if you feel "unsuccessful" this month? Does that mean the rest of your year is shot? I sure hope not!
#newyear #newyou #newyearsresolutions #wordoftheyear


On the flip side of this, what if January is a highly successful month for you? You hit your fitness and nutrition goals you're on your way to your summer body and then reality hits and you find yourself back where you started. Does this mean you need to wait until next year to start over? Of course not! It would be silly to even think that. This is exactly why I enjoy the new year but I don't place too much pressure on myself to make the month of January "perfect."

A key element that is overlooked when it comes to New Year's goals is how to implement new habits to accomplish those goals. Goals are set with good intentions but, without a clear plan, it is likely you will fall short. This can leave you feeling like you failed. The remedy is to develop some new habits.

The greatest success I've seen with creating new habits is planning out and implementing one or two at a time. Focus on those few items and really perform them well for six weeks, at least. Then it will become an organic part of your day. After that, add another new, healthy habit.

For example, let's say this year you want to implement a new exercise routine, cut out all processed foods, get 8 hours of sleep each night and implement a quiet time into your day for reflection. Wow I'm tired just writing all that! That's A LOT of pressure, and too much to handle all at any once.

The key is to choose one or two of these new habits, decide how you're going to implement it and then get to a point where it's second nature. Let's say you choose to focus on getting adequate sleep each night, but you're also eager to start working out. Determine what time you need to go to bed by to get the sleep you need. Then decide what you'll do to ensure that your head hits the pillow at the time and do those things.

To begin your new exercise routine start slowly. Plan to commit to 20 minutes a day to start. Work your way up from there. If you currently don't exercise at all, but set a goal to workout for one hour, 6 days a week, you'll probably revert back to your old ways. It's just too much pressure on the body. Will this take longer than implementing all the goals at once? No it will not, because it will work.

Whatever you do to inspire yourself for the new year I encourage you to remember this, one critical truth:
Taking care of your body is lifelong commitment.
There is no quick fix, trendy diets or fad exercises are never a miracle cure. I encourage you to view good health as a way of life. Adopt that way now and stick with it forever.


Happy New Year!
 

 
P.S.-- I am excited about improvements coming to my site. More than ever I'm passionate about helping women take charge of their health. I will help you quit dieting for good, and I've got just what you need for that.

Reader Feedback:  How do you view the new year? Do you feel a lot of pressure in the month of January to perfectly implement all your goals for the year? What would you like to see happen?

Posted in Diets, Health, Weight Loss, Wellness. Tagged as 2018 resolutions, creating healthy habits, goal setting, habits, health and wellness, new year, new year's resolutions, new years resolutions, nutrition, quit dieting, weight loss, weight management, word for the year.

Processed foods - what to look for & what to avoid for clearer, more beautiful skin

For optimum health it is better to avoid processed foods. But it's  difficult these days to do that.. Life seems to be busier than ever and it seems we have less time to dedicate in the kitchen than in years past. It's no wonder women resort to picking up boxed packaged items, and foods in the freezer section.

I'm all about balance nutrition shouldn't be viewed as all or nothing. When clients come to me for coaching I make it a point to meet them where they are. It's all about giving yourself grace. Do what you can with the knowledge, information, budget and time you have.

While I do cook mostly from scratch there are a few things I purchase prepackaged. However, there are KEY things I look for before buying a processed food; and there are certain factors I won't compromise on.
processed foods what to look for - what to avoid

In order to manage acne it is best done from the inside out. Focus on nutrition to bring your skin to an improved state of health. Examine all facets of your diet.

If, for example, buying jarred marinara sauce works for you right now, great! That's what works in my house as well. Let me share with you some key things to look for in any packaged food you buy.

 
  1. INGREDIENTS: This is an instance where less is more. The fewer the non-food ingredients (such as stabilizers), typically the better the food is for your body.
  2. WORDS: This one is simple. If you read the ingredient label and you don't recognize half the words, or it sounds like something you'd be reading in chemistry class, look for an alternative. 
  3. SUGAR: Here's where it can be a bit tricky. One of my favorite packaged foods Larabar ® - has a sugar content of around 16 grams per bar. However, the ingredient list is short and it's all REAL foods. The sugar content comes from whole foods not highly processed, refined sugar. Also, they contain some dietary fiber and protein which brings me to the next item.
  4. PROTEIN and FIBER: Look for items that are high in protein and high in fiber. These foods will help slow the release of sugars into your bloodstream and will help keep you fuller, longer.
  5. MSG (monosodium glutamate) and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup): Honestly, I could write an entire paper on why these two should be avoided but for now let me keep it simple. MSG is used as a flavor enhancer but it's linked to respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardio vascular, circulatory, muscular, visual and urological conditions. Should I say more? As for HFCS this is a sneaky little devil. HFCS is a highly processed sweetener that (studies indicate) interferes with your body's natural ability to recognize when you are full. It may, in fact, "tell" your brain, "You're not full. Keep eating." If true, there is little wonder why it would be added to processed foods. 
  6. OIL: Cheap, highly refined oils to avoid include corn, cottonseed, palm kernel, partially hydrogenated, safflower, sunflower and soybean. It can be really tough to find products that don't contain those oils. Most processed foods use cheaper vegetable oils for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately they do nothing for the beauty of our skin (or our insides). These oils are found in obvious places like potato chips but they also hide in sneaky places like jarred sauces and salad dressings.  Instead look for oils and product-containing oils made from coconut, flax, olive, avocado and nuts.
  7. NON-GMO: Genetically modified organisms (GMO) have altered DNA, changed by genetic engineering. 75% of all United States processed foods contain a genetically modified ingredient. The concern is genetic engineering hasn't been around long enough for us to know its long term effects. Dr. Sear's motto is "When in doubt, leave it out". I have adopted this attitude as well. 
  8. ORGANIC: This last one I don't adhere to 100% of the time because organic isn't always an available option. If it is available, I typically choose organic over conventional. Organic foods eliminate your consumption of pesticides and herbicides, which is a plus.
    • Note food labeled organic are also non-gmo. However, any food labeled non-gmo doesn't necessarily mean it's organic

Become a label reader. Take the extra 15 seconds needed to read the ingredient list on every packaged food you buy. I even periodically re-check the labels of foods I buy. Sometimes manufacturers change ingredients, or start using GMO's where they had not previously.

Know what you're putting into your body! For healthy skin, avoid too many processed foods.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links I earn a small commission that helps keep my pantry stocked with chocolate and coffee. Any purchase is greatly appreciated.
 

 

Posted in Acne, Food, Health, Nutrition. Tagged as acne, acne coach, heal acne, heal acne holistically, non-gmo, organic, processed foods.

The Link Between Air Quality and Acne

I just saw an article discussing the relationship between indoor air quality and acne. Contrary to what you may think, indoor air can be five times more polluted than outdoor air. Common culprits can be dust, candles, cleaning supplies and also the particles that travel inside with you on your clothing.

"These are commonly known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs."
Frequently, these tiny, invisible particles lurk in things like paint, cleaning products,
candles, and air fresheners--and they can have all sorts of repercussions for your skin.
(https://www.wellandgood.com/good-looks/air-quality-and-skin/slide/2/)
The Link Between Air Quality and Acne
It's easy to think of acne as an external skin issue that can only be treated with expensive creams or harsh medications.  I have found that to be largely ineffective for the long haul. Acne is a deep rooted problem, and it's important to get to the real source. Digestion, quality of nutrition, stress levels and quality of sleep all affect the appearance of our skin.

What about air quality? It's probably safe to say that many of us aren't focused on this part as much. However, there does seem to be a natural progression between improving nutrition and improving the quality of household cleaners, soaps, shampoos and makeup. Once we start changing the foods we put in our body, it's natural to begin examining the things our skin comes in contact with as well as those things we breath in.

I have made the switch from toxic cleaning products to safer alternatives. Before that I remember shooing my children away while cleaning the bathroom. On the days when I had to go in and scrub the tub, I'd come up coughing and eyes watering. Pretty sure that's a good indication that what I was breathing in wasn't great. Not only that, but the chemicals we use come into contact with our skin and may end up in our bloodstream.

Where to start? First, don't panic. Take care of what you can, and save the rest for another day. For example, you may not be able to do anything about the paint you used on your walls. However, you can toss the air fresheners you have plugged in.

Second, read the labels on your cleaning products. The Environmental Working Group's website is free to use and gives products a score based on how "clean" they actually are.

Third, check out a quality air purifier. One thing to look for is how much square footage the unit covers. If you live in a small space one air purifier may do it. If you have a large home take that into consideration. If you cannot manage to cover the entire house, focus on the rooms in which you spend most of your time, including the bedrooms.


Another way to help clean the air is by having house plants. Here's a helpful article on that topic.

Awareness is the first step. It's easy to go through the "day-to-day" and not think about what comes in contact with your skin. If you have persistent acne it's certainly worth looking into.

Posted in Acne, Health, Wellness. Tagged as acne, acne and air quality, air quality, heal my acne, healing acne holistically, health and wellness, health coach, indoor air pollution.

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.

How To Stop Picking Your Acne




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.

Discipline Succeeds Where Motivation Fails

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 introductory 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.

Healthy Holiday Tips and Tricks

It's said that the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's a significant amount of weight. How accurate these numbers are, and whether this actually starts around Thanksgiving (I personally believe it to start in October with Halloween), the fact is the holidays can present a struggle.

As soon as the weather begins to turn cold our bodies begin to crave more nourishment. Unfortunately, our first thought is not of dark, leafy greens tossed in a vinaigrette. Warm, cozy, comfort foods are a more tempting choice and, during the holidays, they abound. That is not necessarily, however, a bad thing. There are plenty of delicious foods that are great options to eat over the winter. The problem I've seen in my private coaching sessions are the number of events that surround the holidays: office parties, family gatherings, cookie exchanges . . . you get the idea. The trouble all begins with the onslaught of your kid's Halloween candy that bag can be SO tempting!

#holidaytips #weightmanagement #healthyholidays #christmas

As the holiday season comes to a close with Christmas and New Year's I'd like to share a few thoughts with you on how to manage the holidays.

  1. When an event, party or social gathering is on your calendar, NEVER show up hungry. This one drives me nuts because I hear women say it all the time, "I have a party tonight so I'm not going to eat all day so I can eat at the party." No, no, no! I'm not sure where this idea originated, but its faulty logic. The biggest problem I have with this approach is it doesn't facilitate steady blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels control the hormone insulin. It's best to avoid large spikes and falls with our blood sugar levels. We want our blood sugar, and therefore our insulin levels, to have minimal rises and falls like small, steady waves. Not eating all day, only to go pig out at night, is setting you up for failure. You can't save your entire caloric intake for one meal.  You just can't and be healthy with a steady weight.
  2. If food is being served buffet-style, first peruse the selections and select what you really want to eat. A small sample of the menu items is okay, too. Eat a little of everything, and eat a whole lot of no one thing. I learned this trick from Bethenny Frankel who advocates, "No more dieting! I've had it!" She writes, Taste everything, eat nothing. Why shove a bunch of food into your face when you can taste small perfect bites of delicious food and stop before it ever gets ugly?  Naturally Thin, 2009.  While I don't agree with every point she makes in her book, I do agree with this school of thought.
  3. If you have dietary restrictions don't veer off course just because you're at a party. If you're highly intolerant to gluten, then don't eat it just because you're in a social environment. Trust me, it's not worth it! Of foods you tolerate in moderation, make your decision before arriving how much you will eat. Use your head, and not your emotions. Do not get ambushed by temptation. That is another reason to not show up hungry.
  4. If you're hosting the event, anticipate the wishes of your guests. Have a gluten free/vegan option available. Serve healthy hors d'oeurves and a large green salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing, along with the classic favorites we all enjoy.
  5. Make time for exercise. Life is busy and it seems to get even busier around the holidays. Making time for exercise is so important there's no excuse not to. Schedule it on your calendar, and hold to it as an appointment with your healthy self.
  6. The key to making exercise stick is to find a program you love that gives you the results you're after. If you're new to exercise I highly recommend Leslie Sansone's walking program. Years ago I tried her out and dropped 18 pounds in about 2 months. I like her method because it's simple to use, there's no expensive equipment to buy and it's so easy on the joints. I currently do Tracy Anderson Method, and have for about the past 5 years. I love programs I can use at home. It makes it that much easier to get done. You don't have to join a gym, unless you want to of course! The point is:
    1. Find something you like.
    2. Make a commitment.
    3. Stick to it.
  7. Allow adequate downtime -- don't over schedule. Lack of sleep and high stress levels have a profound effect on our health, and our weight.

If you've already gained some weight, please, don't beat yourself up over it; and don't go on some crazy juice cleanse to eliminate it. Be gentle with your body, and nourish it with delicious, whole food nutrition.


Struggling to get the weight off? Let me help you. I have 5 spaces available beginning in 2018 for my private coaching program. Those tend to fill up fast, so don't wait! I offer a complimentary 60 minute session to discover if we're a good fit to work together, one-on-one. Click here and let's get started.
 

Posted in Health, Weight Loss, Wellness. Tagged as health and wellness, health coach, healthy holiday tips, holiday tips, weight loss, weight management.

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