Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What boulder is standing in your way?

This video made me tear up.

She's talking about having quality, affordable childcare so that women are able to access the opportunities available to them (and I happen to agree with her). But, what struck me most was her description of feeling like a failure. That hamster wheel of doing laundry at 11PM and then continuing to work well into the night. The tiredness and always feeling behind.

This weighs heavy on my heart and is one of the reasons I left my steady, comfortable job. I often feel like I am failing--letting down my children, my husband, my friends, not taking care of my home the way I should, not dressing well enough or keeping my car clean (little and big things). But what bothers me most is the inherent feeling that with all that external failure, I am, at heart, a failure.
The tipping point for me was when I realized that the simple act of taking care of myself first could start to turn all those feelings of failure around. Don't get me wrong, I still work well into the night, I still often feel behind. But the act of self-care has started to shift my mind in the direction of feeling like all the important stuff will eventually get done and if it doesn't, well, it wasn't that important to begin with. I've started giving myself grace. I've started asking for and accepting the help of people like Senator Warren's aunt Bea.

As women, I find we expect so much of ourselves (compounded by all those societal "shoulds" --I should lean in, I should have a pinterest worthy birthday party for my child, I should have my hair done at all times, I should be at the top of my field professionally....) that we set an unrealistic, un-achievable standard. And we lose ourselves in the process. We feel guilt when we expect ourselves to do and have it all but can't quite get there.

I'm on a mission to erase some of that guilt, to point women in the direction of self-care first so that we may better serve others. I've got an exciting new project in the works aimed directly at this topic--customizing a plan for you--the women who wants it all but has the boulder of guilt in the way. The boulder of ignoring your own needs to the point where you feel like you're failing. Together, we will work to overcome those obstacles. No, I can't watch your child for you (trust me, you don't want that!) but I can develop a plan for you to start caring for yourself in a way that will open your eyes to all that is possible. I will be your accountability and your coach so that you wake up everyday feeling ready to achieve all of those goals you've set for yourself. Together, we got this!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Stretching....yay/nay and when or how???

There's a lot of research out there on stretching. Unfortunately, some of it is bad (and was unnecessarily hyped in the media) and a lot of the results are contradictory.

It's tough to parse out because there are so many variables.
Are we talking stretching before or after activity?
What activity?
Static stretching (hold the stretch) or dynamic (move through a range of motion)?
Are you looking at short term or long term positives and negatives?
Which muscle groups are involved?
What kind of shape are the study participants in?
What is the goal of the stretching?

See what I mean?

In spite of all those variables, some consensus has emerged. To boil it down in the simplest terms, it is a good idea to stretch after exercise. It can also be beneficial to do dynamic, range of motion stretching before certain types of exercise. What does that mean? Dynamic stretches take your body through its full range of motion--think arm circles, hip circles, torso twists, easy lunges and squats, high knee skipping, and so on.

After exercise, while your muscles are warm and pliable, gently stretching the muscles you worked for 20 to 30 seconds has the following benefits:
--It increases your range of motion
--It increases your flexibility and muscle length
--It increases your ability to perform day to day tasks more comfortably
--It improves your posture
--It can prevent/improve muscle imbalances that may lead to injury
--It can improve musculoskeletal pain

Looking for a comprehensive workout plan that includes just the kind of stretching and recovery you need to get your best results? Go Here! 

And be sure to send me a message HERE if you have questions about the advice I've given or what program will be right for your goals.

**And the lawyer in me has to tell you that you undertake any physical activity at your own risk. Your reliance on any advice in this blog post or found elsewhere on this blog is purely at your own risk. Please consult your medical professional if you have any concerns.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Healthy Holiday! Tons of tips.

December does not have to be a downward spiral for your healthy habits. Read on for tips on how to maintain your self and your sanity during a busy holiday season.

1. Slow down to feel satisfied, not stuffed.

It's one you hear a lot in terms of trying to eat less, but how about the simple "enjoy and savor your food" factor. Let's face it--there are lots of gatherings and parties around the corner and they will all have some delicious, decadent food. Instead of depriving yourself, sample away. Really enjoy the tastes, textures and flavors of these treats. Take a few bites of everything you want to try. But slow the heck down as you eat them. Arrive to the party with something decent already in your belly so you aren't starving and scarf down everything in front of you (see tip # 4 below). And aim to leave feeling satisfied, not stuffed!

2. Find a workout you can do anywhere.

Travel, house guests, and a crazy schedule can leave little time or space for a workout. You need to get yourself a plan for how to get the workout done no matter what. Carve out that time on your planner (30 minutes is all you need!) and get it done. Make it non-negotiable and excuse proof. I love to run, and with the right gear, I can do it just about any time, anywhere. But I also love the ease and portability of taking no-equipment workouts with me on my phone. Check out Beachbody On Demand for complete and effective programs you can stream anywhere on almost any device. Even without an internet connection. It's pretty cool and helps eliminate a lot of those exercise barriers.

3. Eat well on the go!

Travel is often an excuse for poor eating. You're off routine, away from home, and surrounded by takeout, alcohol, and treats (I'm looking at you, Cinnabon). But, it is possible to eat well on the go, assuming again that it's your priority and you plan well.

4. Have a go-to Super Shake recipe. 

What's a super shake? It's a way to hit all the vital nutrients in one convenient serving. They are delicious nutrient powerhouses. 

Here's one to try: 
8 oz unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop vegan protein powder (I'm partial to Shakeology ) 
1 handful of spinach or baby kale
1 handful of frozen fruit 
1 tsp nut butter 

Blend everything together until smooth and creamy. Add ice first if you want extra volume. Try different combos of flavors until you find one you love. Or keep changing it up for variety. Using a shake like this will help you feel full, fight cravings, and keep you from that "I'm so hungry I could eat my own arm" feeling that causes overeating! 

5. Practice portion control with the hand measuring system. 

1 palm = 1 serving protein 
1 fist = 1 serving veggies
1 cupped hand = 1 serving carbs
1 thumb = 1 serving of healthy fats

Need help figuring out how many of those servings you need each day? Send me a message and we will get you started on a custom meal plan designed to help you reach your health goals! 

We got this! Stay on track with me in December and you can set a way more fun New Year's resolution money for an awesome bikini getaway! 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Gratitude Challenge!

This November, I'm hosting a gratitude challenge on my Facebook page at:

I'm hoping it will help me set the right tone for Thanksgiving and remembering all that I have to be grateful for.

Day 1 is to sign the pledge and share in the comments why you've decided to take the challenge and what you hope to gain from it.

Get it here:
I hope you will consider joining me in giving thanks over the next 21 days. The tasks are simple and quick. But I think it will be a huge benefit for me and everyone who participates!