Don’t Stop Believin’ (or Eating)

We set goals. We meet goals. We mess up. We start over. We get inspired. We get lost.

It’s all good. It’s OK. Trust the Process.

Progress takes time and can be very frustrating. It often seems so easy to give up. Sometimes just when we are ready to give up, a new ray of light shines down and we see something we hadn’t seen before. Or someone calls, or we read something inspiring, or synchronicity steps in some other way.

Whether your goals are centered around physical fitness, your career, personal life, or financial- you will hit walls. You will get so sick of doing what you think is the “right” thing over and over and not seeing the results that you want fast enough.

If you are starting a new way of eating or working-out this probably sounds very familiar. When things get tough we want to return to our old patterns that feel comfortable or to that “tried and true” diet that allowed you to lose 20 lbs five years ago. It doesn’t matter that you gained it all back, you liked the diet because it seemed to work. Fast.

But there’s another choice now; Trust the Process.

Don’t give up. Don’t give in to those thoughts that tell you it’s foolish to keep going. It might take weeks for you to see any differences, or it might takes months. In fact, if you’re doing it correctly by eating enough calories of real, whole foods then the results will most likely take much longer than you expect. Trust the Process.

Your friends and co-workers may be limiting their food intake and showing excitement over changes on the scale but what happens when their diet is done? How does someone re-learn to eat without sabotaging themselves?

Answer: Don’t stop eating. Don’t stop believing that you are an incredible machine that needs clean fuel. You are a work of art that deserves the Best, not the quickest. Don’t fall for the marketing this time of year for the many products that claim miracles. Just eat. And believe. And Trust the Process.

Here is my 3 month progress selfie after starting my clean eating meal plan. Although it’s no longer a plan, it’s a way of life.  After lowering my body-fat by 10% I am now starting to fill out and see some much anticipated muscle growth. Weight is still the same but my clothes are fitting much differently.

clean eating month 3

For more information check out www.createwholehealth.com

~Much Love~

5 Healthy Things I Did Last Year

Last year I explored and discovered a lot of new things. As I was building my practice and yoga teaching, I experimented with many different ways of eating and moving to see what felt best to me and what I most wanted to share with people. I realize that everyone is different, and what works for one, may not work for another. As I tried different things I found the ones that worked for me and I found amazing things that can help others too. Some of these I keep in my life, others I recommend to those in need. Here are some things you can try:

1. I varied my work-outs. I tried new things like High Intensity Interval Training, running, bootcamps, restorative yoga. All kinds of things I thought I would never do. It’s good to switch things up so your body doesn’t get accustomed to the same thing.

Jacobs ladder

2. I added more meat into my diet. I started the year basically a vegetarian, eating meat only occasionally. I was eating mostly plants and a lot of fiber but I wasn’t feeling lean or fitting into my clothes like I wanted. I began eating more meat on a daily basis and upping my protein intake. My energy levels went through the roof and I reduced my body fat by 10%

I paid homage to my midwestern roots with a squirt of ketchup on top

I paid homage to my midwestern roots with a squirt of ketchup on top

3. I got more sleep. I stopped falling asleep on the couch and instead I took myself to bed early. Sometimes so early I felt ridiculous if anyone found out I was in my pajamas at 7:30pm. But my body responded amazingly and I began waking naturally with the sun and not needing caffeine. I enjoyed my nightly ritual of reading and meditating in bed, falling naturally into a restful 8 hour sleep. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I do pinterest in bed and it totally relaxes me. It’s my digital vision board–  Don’t hate. sleep well

4. I gave up mindless snacking. Just because I cook and bake healthy things with healthy ingredients doesn’t give me a green light to nosh all day. I stopped keeping sweets around my house because I found myself grazing all day and not being hungry enough for real food. This changed the way I fed my body and in turn changed the way my body feels and looks. I have more muscle mass, more energy, and less fat.  Now I enjoy sweets as an occasional treat, not a daily staple.

oatmeal cookies

5. I surrendered to what is. This is a big one and didn’t really happen til the end of the year. I am an ambitious capricorn who loves to push and pursue my goals. I found myself getting very frustrated when things didn’t move as quickly as I’d like them to, or when things just didn’t go the way I thought they should. I finally resolved to let go of control and let things unfold. I became very grateful for what I have, not what I want. I became engrossed in the present circumstances and gave them my full attention. I LET GO when things felt wrong. It feels so much better than holding on.

love stones

What are you going to try this year to get healthier? For more info please visit me at www.CreateWholeHealth.com

10 Things to Love about the Season

1. The Winter Solstice is a time of returning light. This means after Dec 22nd the days will once again start getting longer and daylight will begin to increase.

winter solstice

2. Things slow down….or they should this time of year. We have extra time off work to celebrate the season and rest. Use this time to slow it down and draw inward as nature does, rather than inviting more chaos into your precious time. Read here on how to not self-sabotage during the holidays.

snowy meditation

3. Hearty, Warming Foods. Slow roasted root vegetables, thick stews, hot soups, and savory meats are all winter foods that give us grounding energy and stability. Enjoy the warmth of these.

homemade chicken noodle soup

4. Reconnecting with old friends. Christmas gatherings, parties, or cards allow us to catch up with friends and family we may not see other times of the year. Welcome these connections into your life.

5.  Contemplation. This is when we reflect over the last year and note the areas of our life that were gratifying, fulfilling, and productive. It is also when we can resolve to leave behind that which no longer serves us as we move into the new year.

peaceful wish

6.  A New Fresh Start. Everyone feels recharged and ready to make positive changes January 1st. Setting goals and creating vision boards is exciting this time of year when the future is truly a blank page. Be creative!

new year7. The Christmas Spirit. Whatever Christmas means to you, there is no doubt that a lot people are happy and joyful right now and that can be contagious. Absorb that good energy while it’s here!

8. Curling up and staying warm. What’s more comforting that thick socks, a warm blanket, hot tea, and a fire? This time of the year just begs for us to feel cozy, soft, warm, and nurtured.

sleepy kitty

9. Hot tea. OK, I drink hot tea all year long but it’s especially good this time of year. Warming from the inside out and enjoying spicy flavors like chai and cinnamon is just better in the winter.

hot tea

10. Dark, leafy, winter greens! Full of phytonutrients and calcium, dark leafy greens grow best in colder weather.

kale

*11. Bonus reason: My birthday is right around the corner! And that means cake.

*12. Extra bonus reason: The pretty falling snow that WordPress provides!

It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle

I changed my way of eating in October to include more calories from real food. I began eating 5 times a day and include a lean protein, complex carb, and healthy fat in each meal. The results have been phenomenal as I have lowered my body fat from almost 29% to 18%. I’ve written several posts on the topic and shared tips on clean-eating and meal prepping. So……now what? I don’t want to go back to my previous way of eating that gave me lots of fiber but not enough muscle building protein.

It’s time to begin to incorporate my new way of eating into a lifestyle. The good thing is: It already is! I have been shopping, cooking, packing, and eating like this for 11 weeks and it really is my lifestyle now. That’s the secret, you don’t ever go back! And why would I want to? I am enjoying everything I want and indulging once a week in something that wouldn’t be on the plan. Sometimes it’s thai food, or gelato, or maybe a yummy muffin from a favorite coffee shop. And those treats are so much more special now than when I mindlessly indulged.

pumpkin nut muffins

It’s not a diet, it’s not restricting, and there is not end date. It’s a new way of nourishing and feeding myself that works WITH my body, not against it. When people go on a diet and have an end goal, there is always a feeling of great accomplishment, followed by celebration, followed by a lack of commitment, followed by a regression to old behaviors, eventually ending up back in the same place they started. Then the cycle starts all over again with a new and different “miracle” diet.

The next time you are tempted to try the next trendy diet or fast that the media is promoting try this instead:

Eat to fuel your body. Eat when you’re hungry and eat real, whole foods. Stop eating when you’re full. Break up your meals to eat several times a day. Choose home-cooking over restaurants. Eat simple foods without the sauce, butter, or salt.  Begin to make small changes that you can fit into your lifestyle. Remember, there is no time limit, you are trying to change how you eat for life, not 7 weeks.

take care of yourself

If you are interested in exactly what I ate everyday please contact me and I will share more with you, or  you can read more on www.createwholehealth.com

10% Lower Body Fat in 8 Weeks!

The results are in! If you’ve been following my posts you know that for the last 8 weeks I have been on a clean eating plan in order to lower my body fat by at least 5%. That was my goal. I am not overweight, I weight 113lbs which is ideal for my height and build. But the bod pod test in October showed my muscle mass was low and my body fat was up near the excessive fat range!  That was super not OK for someone who works out as hard as I do. So I changed up my diet for the last couple of months and recently went back for my 2nd test in the bod-pod, a device that accurately measures weight, muscle mass, and fat.

I went from 29% body fat down to 18% in 8 weeks!!!! I was soooooooooooo happy to know that all of my effort and hard work had actually made a difference. And guess what? My weight stayed the EXACT same! As you can see from the picture my body looks completely different but I don’t weigh any less or more than I did. We get so incredibly fixated on the #’s on the scale that we don’t even consider what’s really going on in our bodies and how the weight is distributed, which is way more important than the number on the scales

I wanted my body to be composed of more muscle and less fat. In order to do that I had to keep training with weights and eat more food. Yep, I ate more than ever of good quality carbs, protein, and starches 5 times a day.  I cut out smoothies, juices, sugary fruits, sweets, bread, alcohol, and too much fiber so that my body would utilize what I was feeding it, rather than eliminating it. That part really worked!

When setting goals be sure to include this kind of planning so that your results are lasting, not short term weight loss. Restricting calories or doing excessive cardio may temporarily lower your weight but it will not touch the body fat. You can be “skinny fat” and not have adequate muscle mass. Only by eating good quality real food, including lots of lean protein and clean carbs, and by engaging in a variety of weight bearing, cardio, and flexibility exercises can you have a well-rounded and balanced body.

Here is my 8 week photo- from 29% body fat to 18%. Weight 113 pounds

To find out more information please visit me at www.createwholehealth.com

I would love to help you on your own journey of transformation!

before and after body fat loss

8 Weeks of Clean Eating

As my 8 weeks of clean-eating is coming to a close I am anxiously awaiting my next bod-pod test. I took my first test October 1st and got an accurate reading of my muscle mass, body weight, and fat percentage, none of it where I wanted it to be for my age and activity level. This led me to following a protein rich meal plan that upped my metabolism, while cutting back on fiber-filled empty calories. In 2 days I will know how my efforts have paid off. In the meantime here are some random thoughts on the last 8 weeks….

1. There’s only so much you can do with chicken breasts. I baked, grilled, marinated, sauteed, and pan-seared. I used herbs, vinegar, lemon juice, and lots of hot sauce. But at the end of the day- chicken is chicken- get used to it and embrace the bird.

grilled chicken breasts

2. Kitchen confidence is a huge side-effect of clean-eating. I feel I could successfully cook for a family of 12 now. As much cooking, preparing, and shopping as I’ve done for just me, I am now confident I could handle any amount of people at any given meal-time.

3. Oatmeal turned into a decadent treat. With no sugar, honey, or sweeteners for the last 8 weeks my morning oats, warm with cinnamon and berries, began to taste like a heavenly dessert. I looked forward to breakfast everyday for the warm, gooey, spicy, naturally sweet goodness of my oatmeal.

healthy breakfast

4. Greek yogurt is a great mayo replacement. I made a killer lean tuna salad with water packed tuna, plain greek yogurt, dill, and lemon juice. The more it marinated, the “creamier” it got and I never once wished for mayo.

5. With so much shopping, I feel very at home in my neighborhood grocery. My car seemed to automatically park where it knew it should, my feet led the way to the greens, the chicken, the tuna, and the eggs every 4 days. The clerks began to recognize my parsnips and quit asking what they were.

6. If you don’t like structure, you will not enjoy clean eating for very long. If you are an “eat on the run” type, or grab whatever whenever the mood hits you, you will have trouble sticking with the timed meals of this plan. I ate almost on the dot every day at the same times and I happened to love the structured routine of this. It took the indecisiveness out of what and when to eat.

7. Progress comes slooooowly. I had to stop checking the mirror every day to see if my abs were any more defined. I realize the body works at it’s own pace no matter how hard I willed things to “change”. Change happens on it’s own whether we are monitoring it or not.

farm fresh eggs

8. Real food is really simple. Meat, potatoes, vegetables, eggs, oats, berries. This was my diet for the last 2 months. There was no stevia, mixes, protein powders, syrups, breads, spreads, soups, chips, or bars. It was food made to eat with a fork and a knife as my boyfriend says. No finger foods, no wrappers or containers. Simple. Satisfying. Energizing.

Results and photos coming soon!

A Slip-Up isn’t a Set-Back

So you’ve found a work-out plan that works for your schedule, you are prepping meals, packing your lunch, drinking more water, and feeling great. Things are going well and you’ve even noticed some changes in your weight and then………you get sidetracked. You eat the extra slice of pizza, the margarita, the dessert. You skip 2 days of exercise and decide to throw in the towel and go back to your old way of life. You feel destined to fail at every attempt of transforming your health.

Does this sound familiar? It should because it happens to everyone. Slip-ups are a part of change, but they are not the end. A slip-up could be ANYTHING that throws you off of your new path and new way of treating your body. It could be triggered by an event, a person, or an emotion. It can be hormonal, rebellious, seemingly innocent, or glaringly self-destructive. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the journey. It can be a valuable lesson.

When we slip-up it’s a good idea to be really aware of the circumstances around it. What happened? Who was involved? Do you always want an extra glass of wine with a certain friend? Or do you always eat heavy foods with your family on certain holidays? Do hormones trigger sadness which lead to bingeing?

Being mindful and aware can be half the battle when it comes to emotional eating and drinking

buddha

Once we are aware we can begin to make newer and better choices for our behavior. We can be in control of ourselves because we know how we will react.

Taking Control:

1. Know yourself. Know when and why you crave certain things. Keeping a food journal can be helpful to track patterns. Note the time, day, and who you were with.

2. Limit time with certain people that encourage you to overindulge. Be polite, but firm with your boundaries. Friends and family may mean well but can certainly sabotage your progress if they are not as interested or committed to their health as you are.

3. Be Prepared. Feeding yourself with healthy, nutritious foods and staying hydrated will help to curb cravings and overeating at events or during stressful “trigger” times.

delvin farms

4. Track your period. Follow your cycle so you know when your hormones are going to kick in and cause cravings or emotional roller-coaster rides so that you can prepare yourself for these. Being caught off guard is the worst thing.

5. Remember your goals. Keep them listed and read them daily. Create a vision board with inspiring images that will remind you of the big picture. And remember, 1 slip-up is not going to make a huge difference in the long run.

vision board

Stay focused, encouraged, and congratulate yourself on ALL your progress!

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