Category Archives: Uncategorized

Managing Stress (workout and pancakes included)

I’m lousy at moping

I had every intention of moping today.  My week was a little tense because BOTH of my kids lost their marbles.  I thought there was a universal rule that said only one kid could go nuts at a time, but apparently, that’s not a thing.  Anyhow, we survived but I was still feeling a little drained from it, so I preplanned that I’d come home after training today and lay on the couch with a pillow over my head and ignore everybody until I felt satisfied with the quality of my pity-party.

I finished work and was ready to head home for the moping, but decided I’d first do some yoga because I didn’t want my hips to be tight when I was trying to feel sorry for myself.  Then, I got home and threw a blanket on the couch to get my space “mope-ready” and I showered off my sweat because I didn’t want to stink while moping.  Then I decide to unload the dishwasher and put a load of laundry away.  I didn’t want an unkept house to be on my mind while I was trying to stew over “real” problems.  Then I  put on some Crest whitestrips and an eye mask.  I let those process while I organized the pantry and vacuumed.  At this point my day of moping is out of daylight and that’s when I realized I haven’t blogged in a while.  So here we are.  I’ve yet to mope, but fully intend to as soon as I’m done sharing this valuable information with you:

Are you feeling  stressed?

Apparently, everyone has problems.  I admit that this week I was slightly insensitive to this fact as I assumed no one’s problem were as “real” as mine.  Obviously this is completely untrue and in hindsight my problems are almost too mild to even be categorized as such.

My point:  We all get stressed.  We all have moments where we think that one more tiny little thing is going to be the thing that sends us of over the edge. Those moments in life are inevitable.  As sure as they will arrive, they will also pass.  But what should you do when you’re in the midst of it?  When it seems like pacing and wringing your hands is the only option, know that you’ve got tools and actions that might not erase your problems, but will help prevent them from doing chronic, long term damage to your body.

Here are 5 healthy ways to manage a period of high stress:

1) Workout

You definitely knew I was going to say that.  What is the absolute most effective workout for stress reduction?  Honestly, this can vary from person to person.  Going for a walk, hike or run, especially out in nature, is a great place to start.  Boxing, weight lifting and yoga can be equally effective.  Increasing your heart rate and circulation is key.  Consider the extra blood and oxygen that is circulating around your brain to be flushing out any fears or thoughts of worry and self doubt.

Try this basic do-anywhere circuit for a clear mind and a tight core:

1 minute of each:

Moutain Climbers
Bicycles
Prone Pikes
Supine Pikes
Saw Planks
Legs Up the Wall Crunches

Repeat

2) Eat Carbs

Believe it or not, carbs are your friend when managing stress.  They help raise your serotonin levels (which helps manage anxiety and depression) and improve your quality of sleep.  This doesn’t mean refined, sugary carbs all day long, but having a banana, a baked potato or even a bowl of whole grain cereal can help you keep your sanity.

Try this pumpkin pancake recipe from well plated.com:

 

3) Listen to Music

Have a playlist ready to go.  Anytime you hear a song that pumps you up, add it to a playlist in whatever music app you use.  Then, when you really aren’t in the mood it’s already there for you.

I doubt my playlist is your cup of tea, but I love mixing a few empowering show tunes into my list.  Here is a top pick from me:

 

4) Be a friend

Often when you’re stressed you feel isolated or alone. Instead of waiting for someone to reach out to you, seek a friend that you can assist.  If you don’t have a friend in need, a random act of kindness to a stranger can be just as rewarding.

5) Clean something

This might be the last thing you feel like doing, but have you ever regretted organizing a closet or scrubbing something to a new level of shine once you’ve actually begun?  Start with something small.  Tackling an overwhelming project can sometimes add a whole new level of stress.  But cleaning out your linen closet or organizing you bath products can set you up for a quick success and can be a cathartic way to sort your thoughts at the same time.

Those are my top 5 stress busting strategies

I’m sure you’ve got some effective strategies that I’d love to hear. Share with me!  You might be changing someone’s day!

Side note: Isn’t it interested that the best way to manage a problem isn’t always to solve the problem?  It’s often just a matter of changing our mindset while the problem works itself out organically.

For your comic relief, remember, no matter how many problems you have…a bridge doesn’t have to be one of them.  Watch my YouTube video then join me for yoga on Saturdays at 11 or anytime online:

 

This definitely works…

Are you confused about diet and exercise?

I love reading books about fitness and nutrition.  I follow many dietitians, doctors and trainers.  If a new book or program is being released, I want to know every detail.  While I find the science of exercise and nutrition to be fascinating, it is equally frustrating.  Each book released contradicts the one before it.  Each training fad can be replaced with a new style or technique before you’ve even mastered the last one.

One day it’s all about protein, the next day it might kill you.  One minute you’re supposed to eat and lift like a caveman, the next you should be training like a ballerina and avoiding nightshade vegetables.

With all of the controversy surrounding the wellness industry, I want to help you ease some anxiety with my favorite fitness rules that stand the test of time, without disagreement.  These are wellness tips that you can count on:

1) Eat Slower

 

Chewing is the first step in healthy digestion.  Chew your food thoroughly and take your time when eating.  A tip that stuck with me from Deepak Chopra was to wait until your current bite reaches your stomach before taking the next bite.  I’m certainly guilty of bringing the next forkful to my mouth while I’ve still got half a mouthful.  Eating should be an enjoyable experience, so savor it.  If you don’t have time to chew your food, then you’re better off making a smoothie or sipping broth.

2) Moving is better than not moving

(click on image to see his moves 🙂

We can all agree that being sedentary does not contribute to creating strength, muscle tone, heart health, or brain health.  While rest plays an important role in fitness, you’ve got to move and move often in order to benefit from a solid rest day.  Use it or lose it.  The movement that will work best for you is the movement you’re willing to do most consistently.

3) No SSB’s

It’s all over my dentist’s office and I preach it to my kids daily.  SSB stands for sugar sweetened beverage.  They’ll rot your teeth and add empty, sugary, nutrient void calories to your diet.  This includes soft drinks, sugary juices, and sports drinks.  Even artificially sweetened drinks are hazardous to your health.  My kids’ pediatrician tell them at every visit, “If it tastes sweet, don’t drink it”.  On the flip side, drinking plenty of clean water is a healthy habit the world can agree on.  You don’t need to flood your system, but staying well hydrated with clean water and avoiding sugary beverages can help you keep your waistline down and your enamel strong.  Few will argue with that logic.

4) Catch your Zzz’s

Sleep is solid gold.  It’s debatable what the perfect amount is, but quality rest is certainly good for your brain, metabolism, adrenal system and so much more.  If you think your too busy to prioritize sleep…then it’s time to make some cuts elsewhere.  Deciding you’re too busy to sleep is like saying you don’t have time to put gas in your car because you have too far to drive.  You’re going to find yourself on empty at the worst possible time.  Stop trying to fit a duffle bag of stuff into a tiny clutch handbag.  You’ve got to prioritize and reorganize.  You will be amazed at how much for efficient and effective you are when you’re well rested.

5) Think/Know You Can

Negative self talk or a permanent chip on your shoulder is bad for your health.

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.-Henry Ford

Whatever your goals may be, fitness related or otherwise, having a positive attitude and self image will allow you the confidence to keep going.  People who repeat positive mantras or focus on what they are grateful for often practice better self care, have more energy and are less likely to suffer from depression.

Become your own scientist:

I’ve been the guinea pig for many fitness programs and diets.  I love jumping in with a deep commitment to follow a program 100% for the sake of research.  That’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  Because of that, I’m always happy to share my honest opinion about other plans with you. Of course, we are all unique beings and your experience may be different than mine.  Sometimes there is more than one right answer.  I encourage you to journal your daily habits and how you’re feeling.  This will help you connect the dots and become more aware of what works best for you.  As always, reach out to me with any questions.  If you’re really overwhelmed with where to begin or what might help you get on the right track, start with those 5 things listed above.  They don’t require extra time or resources from you.  They’ve held credibility without controversy.

As always, share your thoughts with me.  I love hearing from you!

Is your deodorant making you gain weight?

If you’re focused on fitness, chances are you’re interested in preserving or improving your health and wellness overall.  I get asked a lot of interesting questions about all things related to our bodies.  Some, I’ll be the first to admit, I am not qualified to answer.  But I can certainly give you my recommendations on products that work for me or things that have been game changers in my life.

(Let’s call these “pop-tops”, short for popular topics, and see if that name sticks.)

Pop-top of the Day

Natural deodorant:

Q: Do you use it?  If so, what brand?

A: Yes!  I do use a natural deodorant.  Here are my thoughts:

Most big brand deodorants contain ingredients like aluminum compounds, parabens, triclosan, and other known carcinogens.  Many of these ingredients are skin irritants.  Your skin is your body’s first line of defense.  If it’s bumpy, itchy, red or rashy, it’s sending you a message.  Not only is that skin irritation a nuisance, but it’s also your body telling you that something is in your system that your body is trying to filter out.

Your Armpits are like a cave that lead straight to your bloodstream.  Because they are often warm and prone to sweat, the pores are often open and ready to absorb anything on their surface.  So, when deciding what to put on your pits, you have to keep a few things in mind.

  1. It should be something that’s as safe internally as it is externally.
  2. It should not prevent your pits from sweating
  3. It should prevent bad odor from forming

If you are sensitive to an ingredient in your deodorant, it could be causing long term or short term problems.  The most common issue is inflammation.  Chronic inflammation can lead to exacerbated autoimmune disorders that could otherwise stay in remission.  Most autoimmune disorders lead to fatigue of the entire body or specific systems (like your adrenal system) making weight loss difficult.

If you’re interested in trying a natural deodorant, I have one that is my ultimate favorite.  Hands down, this brand is the best (for me).  It does not give me a rash.  I have no bumps or irritations under my arms.  It keeps me odor free for 24+ hours.  The brand is Native.  It comes in a few different scents or unscented.  I prefer Coconut Vanilla.

Compared to most supermarket brands, you do pay more for a natural product.  If you are looking for a natural alternative that’s cheap, you can try some of these products on their own.

  1. Coconut oil: You can spread straight coconut oil right under your arms.  It’s antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal and it won’t clog your pores.  Add a drop of your favorite essential oil if you want a scent to linger.
  2. ACV: Apple cider vinegar and be applied with a cotton ball just as if you were using a toner or astringent.  This is a great way to keep your pit skin clear and free of dead skin and bacteria.
  3. baking soda: You can pat a small amount of baking soda under your arms to keep the area dry and odor free.  Some find this to be too drying.
  4. Arrowroot powder: Use this just as you would baking soda.  This is an alternative for people that are sensitive to baking soda or to use if you can’t find aluminum free baking soda.

There are loads of other brands out there for you to try.  I’ve tried most of them.  Native is the one I stuck with.

If you have a favorite, let me know! I’d love to hear about it.

Vis ta Vérité: My trip to France and what’s to come!

Bonjour!

I just took the trip of the lifetime across France!  It was amazing! We roamed the countryside and spent days exploring hills topped with cottages and the most beautiful cows.  We visited memorials and monuments paying homage to those who fought for France in WW2.  We saw the bunkers where the German’s hid and the craters that were formed from he bombs of the French allies.

 

We worked our way into Paris and saw the city of love.  We admired art, architecture, and historical places that are royal and regal beyond what I’d ever imagined.  We went 85 ft underground and tiptoed through the catacombs of Paris.  We ate macarons and baguettes and cheese and sipped espresso.

 

 

We finished in the South of France where when swam in the Mediterranean Sea from the shores in Nice and Cannes.  We strolled through Monaco and gawked at the real estate and checked out the palace where Prince Albert resides.  We filled bags with a bounty of colorful produce from the farmers markets.  We shopped and laughed and took over 400 pictures.  It was absolutely amazing!

It was much more amazing than my photography skills will allow me to convey.  I would relive every minute of this trip if I could and I indeed hope to go again!  When I began the journey home I got to thinking about lifestyle, and when I feel my best.  I was thinking about you and what you like and dislike about nutrition and exercise.  It lead me to some new ideas and ways to do what I do better.  Ways to make our meal plans and workouts even more effective and enjoyable.

What is LYT?

With all of that in mind, I am so, so, SO excited to share a new program with you.  On July 15, I’ll be releasing a plan called Eat LYT, Move LYT.  The menu is designed much like the DOIT.  Simple, easy to follow, delicious.  You’ll get everything that you get out of a DOIT, but even more delightful.   I’m going to present you with some amazing ways to move your body to get results that you’ll love. Of course, it will get you toned, lean, limber and strong.  Additionally, it should feel amazing while you’re doing it.  This is not designed to be torture.  It’s designed to energize you!  You’ll feel light, tight, and right 😉 .  I’m not trying to be the Dr. Seuss of fitness, but it’s just so true.  To me, this new plan feels like vacation.

It’s officially farmer’s market season!

For access:

How do you get it?  If you’re a monthly subscriber, you don’t have to do a thing.  It will show up in your account with all of your other content.  If you are looking to try just the Eat LYT, Move LYT plan, you’ll get special instructions the week it launches.

Feedback

As I put the finishing touches on this plan, I’ll be looking to you for input.  I always appreciate your feedback when I reach out to you.  The more opinions the better.  If I post something and you feel compelled to share it with your own network, I’m always very appreciative.  I learn from your questions and requests.  Thank you for always helping me grow!

 

Astragalus. What can’t it do?

Astragalus

In my last post I scratched the surface a wee itty bit about adaptogens.  I’ve had a lot of questions since then, so I thought I’d break things down a little bit more.  Let’s focus on astragalus first.

Astragalus has been known to improve circulation, improve your immune system, and balance blood sugar.  Because of it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial affects, it more specifically has been shown to help combat common colds and disease, improve skin health, and promote cardiovascular health. It has been known to increase blood circulation and strengthen blood vessels thus improving symptoms caused by anemia, side affects of chemotherapy, and more. (source).

As with all herbs, check with your doctor before consuming them.  In this instance it’s possible that these herbs can be harmful to someone who has an overactive immune system and/or someone who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or MS.

Now that you know what it does, here is how you can use it:

Of course, you can take a pill.  Easy and cheap, but where is the fun in that?

You can make a tea (what I have been doing).  It’s delicious.  It’s so easy.  One tablespoon in 16oz hot water.  Steep 10 min and strain.  It smells and tastes light and nutty.  It’s smooth and comforting to sip on hot, but you can definitely drink it cold too. Order here.

 

You can cook with it.  Getting it in powder form makes it compatible with most recipes you’ll find on “the Google”.  Here is one of my favorite recipes:

Super-power Balls:

(image source)

2 Tablespoons Astragalus root powder

1 Tablespoon Maca root powder

½ Tablespoon Spirulina or any powdered greens

1 cup sesame butter (tahini)

½ cup honey

½ cup crushed almonds

Shredded coconut to roll the balls in

Directions: Mix the first 6 ingredients until well combined (using a blender, food processor or mixer).  Roll into 1 inch balls.  Roll balls into coconut.  If batter seems dry, add 1 TBSP of melted coconut oil and mix again.

Not interested?

If you have no interest or have been advised to avoid astragalus, that recipe above is just as delicious without it.  It’s also full of nutrients, healthy fat and tons of antioxidants.  Let me know if you try it!

Should you be using adaptogens?

Have you heard this fancy word get tossed around by wellness experts?  Adaptogens have been buzzy for years, but have never been more accessible than they are right now.

(image source)

Just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about: Adaptogens are herbs used to support balance and your bodies ability to manage chronic stress.  Many people use them to reduce cortisol levels, manage inflammation, and improve the aging process*.  Other benefits may include increased energy and improved sleep quality.

If you are someone who suffers from:

Anxiety

Adrenal Fatigue

Frequent colds

Severe allergies

Weight loss resistance

Thyroid disease

Hormone imbalance

Pre-mature aging

Or basically anything that makes you feel “meh”, then you might benefit from using adaptogens.

Side note: Adaptogens alone will not solve all of your problems.  If you are sedentary and eat garbage, adaptogens are a waste of your time and money.

Next question: Which ones should you be taking?

The most popular herbal adaptogens are:

  1. Ashwaganda

This herb is known to help regulate your immune system and ease anxiety.  It’s also known as Indian Ginseng.

2.   Holy Basil

Often in tea form, this is known as an anti-aging elixir.  It is suggested that this herb can help you fight fatigue and stress, boost your immune system, balance your hormone levels and regulate your blood sugar and blood pressure.  I have also used it in capsule form.

3.    Astragalus

Boosts immunity and buffers the affects of stress.  Whereas many adaptogens are shown to reduce cortisol, astragalus is shown to increase anti-stress compounds that help prevent and repair stress related damage.

4.  Rhodiola

This is the one I’ve taken for the longest amount of time.  Many athletes use it for increased endurance and energy.  It’s been shown to decrease mental and physical fatigue.  It contains a phytochemical called salisdroside.  This is used to relieve anxiety and reduce the affects of aging.  It is known for balancing appetite and improving sleep patterns.  It has been used to help the body tolerate extreme conditions and treatments like radiation.

5.   Licorice Root

This one is a front line of defense for your Thymus.  While this one has been shown to boost energy, endurance and immune response, it can also affect blood pressure, so, as with any supplement, check with your doctor before using this.

6.  Cordyceps

This is a family of mushrooms (reishi, shiitake and maitake).  They aren’t technically adaptogens, but they do have adaptogenic affects and are used in the same manner.  They are anti-oxidant rich fungi know for their anti-tumor and immune enhancing properties.

These are not the only adaptogenic herbs out there.  These are just a few that are fairly easy to find and have been well studied for safety and effectiveness.  Here are a few tips for successful supplementing:

  1. When taking herbal supplements, always check with your health care provider first, especially if you take other medications or supplements.
  2. Don’t take more than 3 adaptogens at once.  If you go hog wild using all the herbs they may cancel each other out.  Additionally, if you have an undesired reaction, it will be easier to determine which one you should eliminate.
  3. Taking one to get started is perfectly fine.  However, some of them play very nicely together, so you may prefer combining them for a more complete affect.  Knowing which ones to combine takes time and research.  Some that are commonly combined can purchased as a blend, for your convenience.
  4. You are a unique individual,  What works for someone else might not work for you.  Listen to your body and focus on your own process rather than someone else results.

Non-herbal adaptogenic benefits:

Yoga Is one of my favorite ways to achieve many of the benefits that you seek from adaptogens.  Yoga massages your organs and helps move blood to areas that need healing.  It supports your sympathetic nervous system which helps manage fatigue, stress and many of the issues listed above.  If taking herbs isn’t for you, then think about practicing yoga more consistently.  Try including this new 8 minute series into your week:

Feel free to slow this down to fit within your practice.  I was definitely trying to fit a specific amount of postures into 8 minutes.  After a few practice rounds, you’ll have a better idea of what pace you prefer.

This flow focuses on deep core engagement and conditioning of the low back, abs, chest and arms.

Related articles:

Everything you need to know about adaptogens, explained

Hack Your Stress and Sex with these 7 Adaptogens

http://goop.com/an-herbalist-on-the-healing-power-of-adaptogens/

 

*I hate saying “anti-aging”.  We can’t stop aging.  That would mean dying.  We want to maintain the healthiest appearance possible for our age/reduce/reverse the undesirable signs of aging,

Heavily Meditated


200 Hours Later

I’ve been teaching yoga for years, and I’ve certainly gotten comfortable in the style in which I teach.  If you know me, you know I don’t like staying comfortable for long, so when I set my goals at the beginning of 2017, I added 200 RYT to my list.

When I started researching my options for teacher training, I was floored when I saw the number of studios that offer 200 hour programs.  It’s pretty amazing to see how yoga has impacted so many people.  I thought the choices might overwhelm me, but actually, when I started making calls and visits to local providers, the decision was easy to make.

CorePower Yoga felt like home immediately.  I started my 200 hour teacher training program late February and in 8 weeks I took 62 yoga classes, plus 72 hours of lectures and practice teaching, plus an undetermined amount of self-study, reading and writing about yoga.

This was a lot to fit in, no doubt.  On top of training full time and remembering to feed and water my 2 kids, there were definite moments of panic.

Me, 8 weeks ago:

Nonetheless, each day made a little more sense.  Pockets of time that I didn’t know existed were uncovered and the friendships and connections made on this journey were invaluable.  We were all making the most of every minute of every day.  One very apparent benefit of taking that many yoga classes: You are constantly being guided to set an intention, remember to breathe, and meditate for at least a few minutes every day.  It was almost like an intense training program for chilling out.  Who doesn’t need that.

Me, 8 weeks later:

Of course, even though the completion of this course is just the beginning, it is very hard to say goodbye to the wonderful people I met through teacher training.  I hope that we stay connected with each other <3

Now that I’m done, I’m ready to share what I’ve learned with you!  I’m looking forward to adding  new elements to the online programs and cannot wait to share new adjustments and sequences with you in studio.

Why Yoga?

Yoga can be something different for everyone.  You may start for one reason and a completely different purpose may be uncovered a day, week, year or years later.  It doesn’t matter if you are flexible or have good balance.  It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old.  It’s accessible to everyone in some form.

Below is a brief sequence designed to help you build a home practice.  It includes some basic elements that lengthen you body (front, back, sides and even you feet).  It  massages your organs and relaxes your posture.  This is a great way to start your day, end it or perk up in the afternoon.  After you follow the video a few times, you’ll likely have it memorized and be able to practice it wherever you are 🙂

 

Shout out to my amazing TT group!  Love you all!!

 

What is your fight song?

Let me start this story in the middle.  I’ll fill you in on the beginning later.

I was given an assignment to write an essay titled “What savasana means to me”.  In case you are not familiar with the term, savasana is the final posture held in a yoga practice also known as corpse pose.  It’s a resting posture that is commonly held lying on your back, arms and legs spread in a relaxed position, eyes closed, breathe (always :)).

 

(source)

Stay with me, as I have a reason (“important message”) for sharing all of this.

With that, here is my essay:

When I stopped to consider what Savasana means to me, I knew the exact “feeling” of Savasana, but was at a loss for words initially. Almost instantly a song popped in my head. One that I hadn’t heard in years and almost forgot about completely. This song captured everything that I was trying to articulate.

Instead of spitting out lyrics that have already been written, let me first try to convey my definition to you in my own words:

From the beginning of yoga practice and leading up to Savasana, you are challenged by postures that push and pull and stretch and constrict. You’re summoning the will to hold positions and find stability.   Teetering from creating energy and fatigue, you may experience breakdowns or breakthroughs both physically and mentally. Once you receive the cue to roll back onto your mat and prepare for Savasana, you surrender with an exhale of what was and an inhale of what you’ve overcome. This is a celebration of the battle you’ve won and the warrior that you are. With a relaxed feeling of exhaustion and the light heart of a champion, you find peace knowing that you won this battle, but no one had to lose. This is a victory within yourself. This is your moment.

If my words aren’t powerful enough to convey the eternal victory that Savasana represents, I leave you with the song, One Moment in Time by Whitney Houston. I almost forgot about this one, but it might be the most perfect way to describe what Savasana means to me.

 

Important message:

You may have read that and thought it was the cheesiest thing ever.  Maybe it spoke to you.  Perhaps you rolled your eyes.  Regardless of your reaction, ask yourself this question:  When was the last time you did something that made you feel like the subject of a Whitney Houston song?

We all deserve to have those powerful moments that we are proud of.  Where you can’t stop smiling and you feel bliss running through your veins.  That moment where you accomplished something that didn’t come easy.  A time where you wanted to quit, but instead you saw it through.  That moment is found when you get uncomfortable.

(source)

Whether it’s mental, physical, spiritual, relationship oriented, or a professional challenge, I want you to find that moment. If you feel compelled, I’d love for you to share your experience with me.  Let me know when this was your theme song.

 

Fitness and Foolish Expectations

America, are you for real?

Don’t worry.  This is not a political post.

Who watched the Superbowl?  Great game, good ads, and what about that half-time show?!  I thought Lady Gaga was phenomenal!  I watched in awe thinking “wow, the athleticism!”  She was hitting choreography, engaging the audience, swinging from a trapeze! All the while singing her heart out without losing her breath or missing a note.  Her level of talent is a gift.  Her dedication to working so hard at conditioning and rehearsing is true grit that you can tell she puts her full heart into.

Lo(image source)

What did you think when you watched?  To my utmost surprise, and (quite frankly) horror, many people were bashing Gaga’s body.  (highest pitched) Whaaaaaat? People were commenting that she had a “pooch” and even claiming that she wasn’t fit enough to be wearing that outfit.  Is this some kind of joke?  Listen up people: Lady Gaga is insanely lean.  She looked incredibly fit and all of her costumes suited her incredibly well.

(image source)

A few major points that we all need to take away from this:

  1. Humans are made of this matter called flesh.  Have you ever felt flesh before? It’s designed to move, bend and stretch.  This allows us to perform movements without snapping in half or splitting until our innards spill outward.
  2. Performance wear is secured with elastic.  Elastic makes our clothing fit tightly so that our pants don’t drop to our ankles.  I’m sure the Superbowl execs appreciated the fact that Gaga’s shorts fit tightly enough so that we didn’t end up with a Janet Jackson style wardrobe malfunction.
  3. Clothing will never fit any person that same way that is fits a plastic mannequin, and that’s a good thing!  The supple movement of our skin is what makes the human body attractive. It doesn’t matter what number is on the tag of your clothing (and I bet Gaga’s is a 0, you crazy people).

What matters is that you care for your body like you love it.  That means moving, stretching, and doing things that make you feel strong.  It also means feeding positive words to yourself, about yourself.  How can you possibly think and speak loving words about yourself if you can’t even speak them about other people?

Go show some love to yourself and someone else who needs it!

A Midnight Snack

Are you a night time snacker?

 

(image)

For some, the evening isn’t complete without a little bite of something before bed.  I asked around to gather a list of the most common bedtime snacks and this is what I came up with:

  1. Bowl of cereal
  2. Bowl of ice cream
  3. Bowl of chips (potato, pita, tortilla)
  4. Cheese and crackers
  5. Cookies
  6. Glass of wine or a beer

Is this you?

It’s no wonder that many blame their weight gain on their post dinner treat.  Most of what people are snacking on at bedtime shouldn’t be part of a  daily menu any time of day, especially at bedtime when we are winding down to go to sleep.

Evening eating doesn’t have to be banned, though.  You can include a nighttime snack in your evening routine and still achieve your weight loss goals.  You just need to be a little more strategic in what you choose.  It appears as though many people are craving fat and carbs at bedtime.  This actually makes sense scientifically for 2 reasons:

1 Carbs cause an insulin spike that helps remove most amino acids from our blood leaving tryptophan behind.  Tryptophan is a precursor to Serotonin which is a hormone that can help reduce anxiety and induce sound sleep.

2. Fat helps slow digestion and keeps us feeling satiated white we sleep, preventing a growling stomach to act as an alarm clock.

With these 2 reasons in mind, not all fat and carbs are created equally.  Throwing highly processed junk foods down your gullet and then hitting the sack will actually have the adverse affect.  Your body will work hard to process the toxins and then you’ll wake up on a sugar high in the middle of the night.  Be strategic when choosing your evening snack.  Here is my absolute favorite:

Tart Cherries and Walnuts

Ingredients:

2/3 cup tart cherries (I get them from Costco in the freezer section.  They are already pitted and always taste delicious

1/4 cup walnuts

 

1 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

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Heat the coconut oil in a sauté pan.  Add the cherries and walnuts.  Scoot around until warmed through.  Transfer to a bowl and serve warm.  Add cinnamon if desired.

Cherries are even more powerful as a sleep aid as they are one of the few natural sources of melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycle as well.

Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, which we discussed the importance of above.

While coconut oil can give you a good energy boost during the day, it also helps your body regulate it’s hormone cycle at night.

This is likely the most perfect pre-sleep snack.  If you have one that works well for you, I’d love for you to share it with me!

Related links and sources:

Sleep

Does Coconut Oil help you sleep?

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Sleep Hormone: Melatonin