Five Fun & Random Facts About The Golden Graham Girl!

Okay people (ladies & gentlemen, boys and girls…everyone inside AND outside of those categories)…it’s time to get PERSONAL.  I’m “pulling back the curtain” to give you a glimpse of the “real” me, to show you just a little bit about Lauren Graham (yes, my real name and NOT of Gilmore Girls fame), the person behind The Golden Graham Girl.  (For information on how I picked the name, The Golden Graham Girl, I actually kicked off my blog with a post on that very topic).

In this biz, this is called my “knowables” – little nuggets of information about me that show that I am not just a fitness automaton.  Some of them might surprise you; some of them might make you like (or love!) me more; some of them might make you dislike me.  And that’s okay – it’s an important reminder for me AND for you that we can’t please all of the people all of the time.  I heard a great quote from Jill Coleman – if you try to be “for everyone” you will end up being for “no one” (I’m paraphrasing!).  Another Jill gem is the fact that people don’t buy coaching, they buy coaches.  So, c’mon tribe, let’s find one another and do this thing!

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How-To: Improve Your Sleep Quality & Quantity

YAWWWNNNNN – who’s with me?  Call it the summer doldrums (or winter blahs, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere), call it too many late nights, but I am TIRED with a capital T (all caps, in fact).  I can’t chalk it up to extra workouts (hell-O rest days) or crazy parties (I think my last crazy party was around the turn of the millennium – like, seriously, and how fun is it that we can say stuff like that and it’s TRUE?).  So I realized that I just have not been getting very good sleep quality lately.  And again, crazy as it seems (clearly I’m on the crazy train), I’ve realized that when something is true for me, it’s generally true for a lot of other people as well.  I know, I know, we’re all unique butterflies or snowflakes, but it turns out we actually share a lot in common, whether we want to or not. So let’s share these top five tips for improving sleep quality and quantity, shall we?  Besides, it’s one of the top five reasons you’re not losing weight!  (Too tired to read?  You can check out the videos on these topics on my Instagram or Facebook feed).

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The Top Five Non-Food Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight

I think it’s fair to say that as a planet, we seem to be either obsessed with finding enough food to eat, OR, once we have access to enough (or more than enough food to eat), how to make sure that we are not eating too much.  It’s pretty amazing to think that many of the generations that preceded ours simply did not have the luxury of “too much” and how we have a multi-billion dollar diet industry.

When it comes to managing your weight at a healthy level, it’s not just about food, either.  We’ve also talked about the components of fitness and there are other aspects of your life that can have an impact on whether you struggle to shed pounds.  If you’ve been focused on preparing healthful meals and snacks, and you’ve been making good choices when it comes to eating out, then I invite you to consider my TOP FIVE non-food reasons you could be struggling to lose weight!  And who doesn’t love a good TOP FIVE list?  Instead of settling in with this summer’s TOP FIVE blockbuster movies with a jumbo tub of popcorn (movie theatre popcorn is one of my LEAST recommended snacks, btw), get cozy with this blog post.  Consider it food for thought.

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How-To: Scale Exercises (Progressions and Regressions)

Well hello, hello!  We’re truly in the 101 level of fitness – this is important, because any time you want to build a strong structure, you need to start with a solid foundation.  So as tempting as it may be to skip over the “boring” basics, getting a handle on these elements is going to set you up so well for your future fitness success.  I know personally that it can be really tempting to grab the latest and greatest workouts endorsed by your favourite fitness influencers or celebrities, but what if those programs don’t meet your current fitness level?  There’s a chance that the workouts are too easy for you OR too hard.  I want to introduce ways to modify the level of an exercise, either making it easier (this is regressing the exercise) or harder (this is progressing the exercise).  And guess what?  My tips do NOT mention decreasing or increasing the amount of weight OR the number of reps (you’ve got those approaches in the bag, I bet!).  Let’s bring on the basics of exercise scaling!  As always, you can check out my Instagram video series on this topic, or see my videos on Facebook.  Looking for more information or tailored advice specific to you?  Contact me via e-mail any time to arrange a complimentary chat!

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How-To: Balance the Components of Fitness

So, I spend a lot of time writing about meals and recipes on this blog.  I decided to switch it up today and focus more on the physical fitness side of things.  I still believe in the saying “abs are made in the kitchen” (which means that up to eighty percent of your results – aesthetically speaking, anyway – are a direct result of what, when and how much you eat) but how, when, where and how often you move your body are also an important part of the health and wellness equation.  If you prefer auditory/visual learning, be sure to check out my Instagram video series on this topic, or see my videos on Facebook.

Let’s brush up on muscular capacity, cardiorespiratory capacity, flexibility, body composition and the other, secondary, components of fitness.

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How-To: Eat Out Healthfully

Building on last week’s post about How-To: Make Healthful Meals FAST, one of my top tips was to take advantage of fast food/restaurant options (!).  Oh yes, in my world there are definitely ways to fit fast food into your fitness lifestyle.  I decided to expand on the theme with my top tips for Eating Out Healthfully ANYWHERE – whether that’s a BBQ or a potluck or a fundraising dinner or a restaurant…whether it’s with friends or family or co-workers or complete strangers…excited to learn more?  Let’s get to it!

 

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How-To: Make Healthful Meals FAST!

One of the top challenges I am asked about is how to prepare healthful meals QUICKLY (or fast, but that’s not grammatically sound and I am nothing if not a grammar nerd!).  So, I thought I would write a post (and create an Instagram video series) on my top five tips for quick and easy meals that are also delicious AND good for you!  This is a great addition (if I do say so myself) to my How-to series, including How-To Plan and Prepare Healthy Meals and How-To Make & Eat Healthy Snacks at Home and On the Go!

With no further ado, let’s go with my top five tips, and I’ve even tried to order them from least expensive (in terms of both money AND effort) to most expensive:

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The Dark Side of IIFYM ( and diets in general)

http://bgg2wlplugins.bgg2wl.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/emotional-eating.jpg

http://dietsinreview.s3.amazonaws.com/diet_column/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/stress-eating.jpgRemember when I raved about the dietary approach called If It Fits Your Macros, or flexible dieting?  I experienced some significant personal growth with respect to the way I approached and related to food.  I still believe that others can experience these breakthroughs via IIFYM as well. Not to mention, I and countless others have achieved significant changes in our physiques.  But, at what cost? And were those changes sustainable?  As I alluded in my How-To: Take a Break post, following IIFYM for a long-term, continuous basis is not feasible or sustainable.  Like all diet plans and program, “flexible dieting” or If It Fits Your Macros has both benefits and pitfalls for its followers.  I’ll be exploring the less desirable aspects of this program (and other “restriction diets”) in this post.

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Welcome to the SWYPO* Series

Courtesy of whole30.com

Courtesy of whole9life.com

That’s right folks, it’s time for a wink and a nod to the concept coined by Whole30 founders Melissa & Dallas Hartwig of “Sex With Your Pants On” concoctions that attempt to mimic the deliciousness of a “real deal” junk food treat with only Whole30-approved ingredients.

DURING your Whole30, these baked (and no-bake) goodies are explicitly off limits, and for good reason:

…If you continue your Whole30 program eating Paleo pizza, Paleo ice cream and Paleo pancakes, well… all it makes you think about is how less-than-stellar this version is, and how delicious the other version would be. Just like… well, you know.

The problem is, if you continue to have sex with your pants on, it’s inevitable that at some point you’re gonna want to take your pants off. And during your Whole30, that spells trouble…

Do you really want to spend the entirety of your Whole30 obsessed with all the stuff you can’t have, and eating the same foods you’ve been eating all along? We sure don’t! If you come out of your program with the same habits, patterns and food choices you had when you started, what are your chances for long-term, life-changing success? After all, those very same habits, patterns and food choices are what got you into trouble in the first place!

See more at http://whole9life.com/2011/10/sex-with-your-pants-on/.

So, what exactly am I doing? Well, I’ve set out, deliberately and intentionally, to create goodies that use only nourishing and nutrient-filled real, whole food ingredients that are compliant with the Whole30 program and yet are incredibly delicious, better-for-you desserts and sweet treats. Some are so good, in fact, that I’d dare to call them SWYPOFF (Sex With Your Pants Off)! Because there are going to be times in your life after your Whole30, that you’re going to want or need (i.e. to share with friends or family or to mark a special occasion) a certain special something. But after all you’ve learned from your Whole30 about healthy food choices and their impact on your life, you’re not often going to want to stomach (literally and figuratively) the laundry list of gut- and mood-disrupting and downright unpronounceable ingredients that can show up on processed options, or even in your own (or your mother’s own) homemade, from-scratch baking (there’s a time and place for those treats, too).

Still wondering whether a treat is worth it and whether you should just go for it and have the REAL DEAL? Check out: http://whole9life.com/2011/04/whole9s-guide-to-nutritional-off-roading/

And if you’ve made up your mind that one of my SWYPO goodies is just the ticket, then I hope to see you back here soon! (But not DURING your Whole30).

Questions?  Comments?  Criticisms?  I take them all!  Comment below or send me an e-mail per my Contact Information in the side panel.

How-To: Make (the best!) Mayonnaise at Home (Paleo, Whole30)

Homemade Mayonnaise Quick and Easy

Ready for a healthier version of something you likely already have in your fridge?  A creamy, cool condiment gets the makeover treatment.  I’ve culled the web and done a lot of experimenting on your behalf to bring you The Best Homemade Mayonnaise (Ever).  I didn’t just make this up on my own, but I will share the unique combination of ingredients and technique I used for the richest, creamiest, most-delicious mayonnaise you have ever tasted, without any of the less-than-desirable ingredients and additives you might find in store-bought stuff.   Keep reading