Eating healthfully

Eating healthfully

I get this question a lot, “April, I want to start eating healthier, what do I do?” Now that is a huge question that usually prompts other questions for me about goals, lifestyle, likes/dislikes, etc. We can get pretty down, dirty and specific when you’re ready, but if you want to get started and then take a deep dive – this is what I would recommend.

1. Stick to whole foods

Aim for 75% of your diet to be whole foods. This means unprocessed and as close to their original form as possible. Whole foods are more nutrient dense – they have fewer calories and more nutrients per serving than processed foods. If it’s made in a factory and you cannot pronounce many of the ingredients or there’s a million and one ingredients? You can be sure it’s not a whole food. Less is more.

2. Avoid added sugar

Check the labels. Sugar is okay in moderation, but you really don’t want added/processed sugar. Packaging can be deceiving at times so take a peek at the ingredents for yourself

3. Limit alcohol

It’s midnight, you’ve had a few and you’re STARVING. Do you really think you’re going to grab a salad or bowl full of fruit? Probably not. My go to was always pizza, peanut butter, cheetos and ice cream. Sometimes all at once! And then what happens…I wake up full of guilt because I know I just put all kinds of garbage in my body. Alcohol lies to you – you really do not need that bowl full of mint chip ice cream with a side of oreos.

4. Set yourself up for success

Keep the garbage out of the house and DO NOT buy any more. If there’s others in the household (insert the husband for me); that want the crap then there’s a couple things you can do. One, have a serious conversation as to why you want to eat more healthfully – don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Two. Have ah-mazing will power which is hard. Something I do is if it comes in the house and it’s something I really like I put it WAY up high in our pantry. You see I’m short and sometimes lazy, so I have to be REALLY hard up to pull out a stool and climb the shelves.

5. Ditch emotional eating

All of us do it. We eat when we’re happy, we eat when we’re sad, we even eat when we’re angry! Find something other than food to handle your emotions. Journal, buy that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing up, go for a walk, call up or text a friend, and my favorite…play with your pets!

6. It is not about perfection; it’s about consistency

Giver yourself some grace. It’s okay to have an ice cream cone with your kids. It’s okay to try that new pizza place. The world is not over! The option to be healthy is not ruined! Tomorrow is a new day. And actually NOT being so restrictive can work in your favor. For many – the more we restrict the more we want it and when we do cave – we cave hard and it’s tough to get back on track.

7. Eat if you are hungry!

You’re eating better, maybe you’ve added in exercise and sometimes you just never feel full! Well you know what. EAT! The key is making good, whole food choices. Eat whatever you want, whenever you want – just avoid grabbing the bag of chips or M&Ms

Go ahead now – make your shopping list , reorganize your pantry and get yourself in a healthy mindset.

Looking for more guidance, suggestions, motivation to get started? Someone to tell your why to, to help keep you accountable? Contact me! I’d love to hear from you.

with health and happiness – April 😘

6 ways to control cravings

6 ways to control cravings

I could totally go for <insert crave-able sweet and/or salty food here>  I’ll just have a “little” to take care of the craving.  Sound familiar? Doesn’t sound terrible; however, I guarantee in about a half hour you’ll be headed back to the pantry for more.  Not going to solve your hunger issue and really just increase cravings for the things you want to limit in your diet.  

 My pantry snack of choice that i know I’ve over indulged in?  Peanut butter filled pretzels – giant size, from Costco.  So salty, so yummy. Some days I’d even step it up a notch and add a handful of dark chocolate chips…..trying not to drool at the moment.

Now I’m not saying NEVER give in to your cravings or indulge, but when it’s a daily habit? That’s when it becomes an issue. All that salt and sugar I’d take in daily I realized was not smart. For one, it was like crack and I just wanted more ( I mean I’ve never done crack…..just assuming. Ha!) When I did cut it down/back I realized that I had less bloating, more energy in the afternoon (when I’d typically eat this stuff) and I really didn’t miss it!

So what do we do to help set ourselves up for success? Here are some thoughts.

1. Get the crap out

You know what it is that could go. Get it out and keep it out for a period of time. Reduce the temptation. Then when you feel the benefits of cutting those foods out add a couple back in. I’d also suggest not buying giant Costco size items 😀

2. Eat (for real!)

Yes, eat. You need to eat every few hours – something healthy preferably containing protein. Do not try to ‘save” your calories for later – doesn’t work. Trust me. Have some cut up fruits and veggies that you love ready to go in your fridge, string cheese, light Greek yogurt, raw almonds or a well balanced snack bar. These chocolate and toffee ones are my fave!

3. Chew gum

Pop a piece of gum, preferably mint. Often times works for me. My go to is Extra Polar Ice.

4. Drink more water

Keeping yourself properly hydrated may lessen impulse cravings. Pro tip: find yourself a fun cup and grab a straw. Drinking through a straw has been proven (by me!) to help you drink more water that without one.

5. Get up and moving

A brisk walk, game of basketball with the kids or even cleaning the bathrooms – just do something. This can help you understand if you’re truly hungry or if it’s a passing craving that in the end you don’t really care about anyway.

6. Do a 7 day cleanse

This is ultimately what worked best for me and the husband. And not one of those $7 run to the bathroom type cleanses. Doesn’t work. We followed one that included whole, real foods with some added supplements. Let me know how I can help you get started!

Was this helpful? Any tips that have worked well for you? I want to know! Leave me a comment below.

with health and happiness – April 😘

Why adding quality supplements is a good idea

Why adding quality supplements is a good idea

We all know supplements exist. But why are they a good idea? Do we really need them? What happened to getting our nutrients by eating a balanced diet – isn’t that we learned about in first grade through the food pyramid? I have found that even if we follow “the perfect” balanced diet – we probably still need to supplement some things. Here’s a few reasons why.

Lifestyle Factors

1. Our eating habits suck, leading to poor gut health

Raise your hand if you HAVEN’T heard about how important gut health it is. I mean – it’s everywhere, so I shouldn’t be seeing too many hands. When your gut isn’t in shape – nutrients cannot absorb into your body efficiently and effectively.

2. More stressors out there than ever before

Hello life in a pandemic! See number one. Stress can cause poor gut health. Aside from that – it is possible that stress lessens the amount of vital nutrients in your body such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.

3. Not so great habits

It has been found that smoking and drinking alcohol may reduce the amount of vitamin C that is in your body. Smokers actually need twice as much vitamin C as a non-smoker

4. OTC and Rx drugs

If you take aspirin on a semi-regular basis you’re going to need more vitamin C. If you’re on antibiotics you’ll want to up your B vitamins and get some probiotics in you, if you don’t already. Doing hormone replacement therapy taking birth control pills? Add B6, B12, folic acid and zinc to your routine.

Environmental Factors

1. Not all soil is created equal

If foods grow “just okay” in a type of soil or if they’re grown in land that has been farmed a million times over, they may have a reduction in nutrients.

2. Hybrid crops

You can find hybrid crops in many places including organic farms. Hybrid crops are great because they provide more food per acre – more food to feed the world, which is NEVER an issue. But it has been found that these type of crops have a lower volume of nutrients.

3. Fertilizer has changed

The fact is natural fertilizer has been replaced greatly by man-made fertilizers. Again , this is great because they include the right elements to grow a healthy plant; however, they do lack other nutrients that are found in things like manure that transfer to the foods we eat. Now – had I not read this I would never have known. Growing up and living in Wisconsin – manure is quite the staple. I have a farm directly behind me and I am here to tell you – my windows are NOT open a whole lot. Especially when it starts to warm up…fresh baked cow pie is not exactly what I want my kitchen to smell like!

Importance of Quality Supplements

Now we know that our body is missing out on essentials; this is where we make a change and support our body with the nutrition it needs through quality supplements. I will repeat that again because it’s SO important….take QUALITY supplements; not just anything you find on the shelf. Think about it…garbage in garbage out PLUS now you’ve spent money on something that’s done nothing or very little for you, then you get frustrated and try the next and the next…now you’ve just TRIPLED what you would’ve spent on something quality in the first place. (We are currently living this experience in the form of counter stools for our kitchen).

I hope this helped shed some light on why we should look at introducing supplements into our diet.

That being said there’s about 5 gazillion types and brands out there… it’s overwhelming. Because I have dug into this world already , I’d love to save you some time and money .

Allow me to help you understand which specific ones are right for you and why. I’m only an email or comment away!

with health and happiness … April 😘

Transformation Tuesday. Challenge Complete.

Good morning and welcome to Tuesday! I know – transformation Tuesday original? No. Relevant and flows? Yes.

Today I will be highlighting moi. Not something you would have seen a year ago ; hell, six months ago! But you know what – if I want to inspire, encourage and grow my confidence – I need to put it out there.

How it started

Today marks day 32 of my 30 Day Prove-It Challenge that my husband and I completed together. We both agreed at the end of 2020 we needed a health reset for the family. Mindful eating for not only us, but our two children. You see – my husband is a bit of a junk food junkie and me? Well, I often look or present myself as a healthy person and I am for the most part – eating pretty well, lots of exercise and physical activity, but in reality. I wasn’t putting the right things in my body and most definitely not at the right time.

We committed to each other and we went for the Prove-It challenge which incorporates whole, real, non-processed foods with supplements tailored to our own individual health goals. Using these supplements is actually what led me to my side hustle that I am loving! We spent a good amount of time preparing and talking with each other on how we were going to stick with this and also include the kids – introducing them to new foods and healthier versions of the food they already enjoy.

Results

There was A LOT that went on during these 30 days + , but for today, I want to get to the good stuff! The husband is not a fan of photos, sharing stats, etc, but I was able to get the weight change out of him. His long term-goal is to lose 50 lbs. In these last 30 days he’s lost 20! He’s actually kicking himself now that he didn’t take pics or measurement 🙂 When it comes to me – I was looking at cleaning up bad habits, putting more nourishing things in my body, cutting out the things that were hurting my body AND I wanted to actually SEE what my strength workouts have been doing for me. Ever hear of abs are made in the kitchen? Well – I”m here to tell you Very true. I work out religiously, but did’t get the results I wanted or thought I should be getting until I chose to improve my diet.

Check out my before and afters! Day 1, Day 7 and today (day 32).

And you guys – this isn’t just about numbers on a scale or a tape measure – our mood, outlook, sleep patterns, aches and pains have ALL improved. Biggest thing for the husband was…..wait for it….his snoring has reduced by at least 50%! AND his overall mood and demeanor and playfulness with the kids is just a breath of fresh air! For me, I struggle with joint pain, sciatica, insomnia and an anxiety disorder, just to name a few. All have improved since really taking control of my health.

Now what?

I’d love to share more with you. What we ate, what supplements we took what we did for physical activity…. What was difficult, what was simple and what we’re doing now. Head over to my “I want to hear from you” page – let’s keep this thing going together!