Skip The Resolution

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40-45% of adult Americans make New Years resolutions every year.

The most popular resolution is to lose weight, and only 46% of people last more than six months.

In the month of January, gym memberships sky rocket and by the time December rolls around again the gym is a bleak and quiet place once again. As a culture, how do we stick to our goals and not continue to fail at our resolutions year after year?

Let’s make our goals as specific and realistic as possible. If your overarching goal is to lose weight, what is a more specific, simple, step to reaching that goal that you can start out the year with? Let’s say it is committing to one 30 min workout a week. This is much more realistic than saying, “I will work out every day until I hit my goal weight.” We are treating this year like a marathon not a sprint.

Once you have gone a whole month getting in your workouts you are going to have seen some small results and feel confident and motivated to move on to the next step in your journey. As opposed to making unrealistic claims, not being able to achieve them and feeling guilty and useless. This will probably lead to giving up before the journey really began.

Stop focusing on the weight and start focusing on being healthy. When I started my journey, I lost a bunch of weight and gained it all back, but in muscle. If I were still focused on my number I would probably be making unhealthy choices to get it off. Instead of a resolution which states,”I will lose 60lbs this year.” How about one that says,” over the course of this year I will change 5 unhealthy habits”. By focusing on the habits, the weight will fall of naturally and you will be more likely to be in a healthy state of mind.

Do some research before you make a commitment to anything. Get educated on good nutrition and workout habits. You will get better results from the quality of your new choices, not the quantity.

If you only take one thing from this ramble, think health first and numbers second.

Healthy for the Holidays

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I have 3 rules for you:

1. Eat more of the things that are good for you and less of the things that are bad.

2. Do not overindulge. Moderation is key.

3. Guilt makes everything worse. Do not worry incessantly about the chips or the piece of cheesecake. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

Enjoy yourself this holiday. Have a glass of wine and one desert. Eat that cheese dip. Just don’t go off the deep end. These foods and traditions are culturally significant and missing out on them completely does not make us feel good.

More health, less junk, moderation, no guilt means you will get through the season with your body and mind in tact.

Move More

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IMG_0674I am on a major journey with fitness. I am the first to admit that I fall of the wagon probably even more than what is normal. Excuses run rampant and all of the sudden I am on the couch with a bag of candy 5 lbs heavier and feeling like dirt. How does this keep happening to me?!

I am proud to say that for the last month this is not the case. Sure I have my days where the couch is home instead of the gym, but it is good for my body to take days off. Every week I make it to the gym at least a couple of times and do yoga nearly every day. How am I finally maintaining this healthy habit and staying on the wagon?

1. I make it easy for myself. I pack my gym bag in the morning and bring it to work. I find that if I go home before a workout I probably won’t make it there. My gym is on my way home from work so I can’t use the excuse that it is far away. If I am tired, I only work out for 30 mins, but hey at least I went.

2. I surround myself with motivation. I have a Fitbit(highly recommended) which motivates me. I workout with my boyfriend for motivation. I keep a fitness journal so that I can see my progress.

3. I eat healthy. Eating healthy is a great motivator for working out and vice versa. If you focus on one of these habits the other will follow suit.

4. I made the choice. I am CHOOSING to make this a priority. I am CHOOSING to focus a lot of my energy on making it happen. It is a conscious decision that I make every single day. No more excuses. I want this to be my lifestyle and so I am CHOOSING to make it happen.

5. I am loving the journey. This is the most important part of my whole health pursuit. I have realized there is NO END. This is a lifestyle choice. It is not a matter of working really hard to feel a certain way and then stopping when I get there. If I stop I lose everything I gained. This is a lifelong journey and I am loving all of the ups and downs it has to offer. There will always be someone stronger, skinnier, healthier. I now compete only with myself. This is my journey and I am learning to love it.

 

Paleo, well usually.

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So for the past month I have been on a “Paleo Journey” For the first 19 days I attempted a Whole30 (which turned into a Whole19 due to Thanksgiving temptations). My Whole 19 consisted of: Meat (organic and grassfed when possible), vegetables, fruit, healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, ghee etc.) and nuts. This meant ABSOLUTELY NO: added sugar, processed food, dairy, grains of any type(rice and quinoa included), hydrogenated oils, alcohol, legumes.

It was a challenging 19 days but I came out of it with SO MANY benefits:

better sleep, less cravings for bad food, more energy, no eczema, 6lbs lighter, better workouts, better focus, and lots of new recipes and cooking skills, money saved on going out to eat. The only somewhat negative things I have to say about it are:

1.Though I saved money by not drinking or going out to eat,  it is much more expensive at the grocery store. Buying more REAL FOOD is more expensive than processed food. My grocery bill went up a lot. In order to try to combat this problem I shopped wholesale at Costco and went to Trader Joe’s where things tend to be cheaper than Whole Foods.

2. It is more time consuming. I tried to do as much prep and cooking as possible on Sundays when I had time. I would throw a pan of chicken breasts and mixed vegetables in the oven while I prepped a soup or some chili. This allowed me to have things to eat for lunch and on nights when I was too tired to cook. It allowed for less temptations to grab some quick, not so healthy food, from a nearby restaurant.

3. It can be socially awkward. This is one I didn’t mind as much, but I had to turn down a lot of offered drinks and going out to eat. A lot of people thought that I was some sort of freak for attempting this journey.

Now that my Whole 19 days are behind me I have decided to stick to a mostly Paleo diet. This means that I eat things that our PALEOlithic ancestors would have eaten: meat, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats from oils, nuts, natural sugars (honey and maple syrup). So I am still staying away from grains, dairy, alcohol and processed foods for the most part. I make exceptions for date night so that I can have a beer and some greasy food with my boyfriend. Also if someone cooks something for me that contains something I usually wouldn’t eat, I will make an exception.  I also make a daily exception for Kefir in my morning smoothy.

Kefir is a fermented milk product, don’t let that scare you, it tastes better than “fermented sounds”. To me it tastes like drinkable plain greek yogurt. You can find it at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or any health food store. The reasons I make an exception for Kefir in my Paleo diet are: it is almost lactose free which makes it “almost paleo”, it has more probiotics than almost anything else you can find and so is good for gut health, which means it is good for your immune system, and contains the same vitamins and minerals as other dairy products that promote bone health.

Below you will find a great way to add Kefir into your diet: a morning smoothy.

Smoothies are easy, easy like a bagel in the toaster used to be. Throw some stuff in a blender, turn it on and voila! Here is what I tend to throw in:

Paleo protein, banana, some greens(which you can’t taste), some mixed frozen fruit (some would argue that fresh is better, which is probably true, but then I don’t have to add ice), almond butter, Kefir. If you wanted a fully Paleo smoothy you could use coconut milk instead of Kefir.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Pre-Blend

Pre-Blend

Finished Product

Finished Product