How-To: Eat Healthfully for Two (or More!)

All right, I have to admit that this topic is going to be deeply interesting only for a special subset of my readers: mamas-to-be/pregnant mamas, this is all for you and your unborn babes.

Pregnancy can be a wild roller coaster of hormones, emotions and cravings.  It can be the most amazing, joyful and wonderful experience OR it can be the longest and most excruciating 9+ months of your life.  Or somewhere in the middle, depending on the day.

I really hope the former situation is true for you.  Did you know that what you eat can actually make a difference to your pregnancy experience?  You often hear, “you are what you eat,” and when you consider that all of your baby’s (or babies’) tissues are made up of building blocks from the foods that you consume, it’s literally true!

Of course, please discuss ANY nutritional recommendations or strategies with your primary health care providers.  These are just my personal top tips as a nutrition coach AND as a mom.

Keep reading

Advertisements

How-To: Break Through A Weight Loss Plateau

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day (there, now this post is relevant no matter WHAT day I post it or YOU read it, unless I post it or you read it right ON Valentine’s Day).  How are we doing with February?  Was Valentine’s Day the final nail in the coffin of a slow and sugary decline since mid-January?  Or did it revitalize you and give you renewed energy for your health and fitness goals for the year?

No matter which camp you’re in, this is the point in many fitness and weight loss attempts (aka the six-week mark) where you can experience a dreaded “plateau.”  This can happen sooner for some and later for others.  It can last days or even weeks (!).

What exactly IS a weight loss plateau?  If you’re failing to see ANY sign of measurable progress after two weeks (this means NO change in measurements, NO change in how your clothing fits, NO change on the scales and NO changes in how you look in the mirror or in photographs and NO change in your performance in the gym), THEN it’s a plateau.  If you’re still getting stronger in the gym (evidenced by lifting heavier weights and/or for more sets), or your cardio is improving (resting heart rate is decreasing) and/or you can go for longer and/or at a higher intensity than you could before, your progress hasn’t really “stalled” – it’s simply taken you in a different direction than you expected.  Like just about everything else in life, fat loss isn’t linear, and there are a lot of routes to get you from point A (where you are now) to point B (where you want to go).

The good news if you really ARE experiencing a weight loss plateau?  1) It’s totally normal.  2) There ARE things you can do about it!  I shared just some of those strategies in my weekly Instagram video series (and Facebook posts), and you can read about them in more detail, next!

Keep reading

How-To: Make Time for Exercise, and Make It A Priority

We’re all busy people, aren’t we?  We’ve got jobs to go to, kids to take care of, meals to make and eat, workouts to do, and somehow, we’re squeezing in sleep and quality time with our spouses and ourselves.  Wait – what’s that?  You’re NOT getting workouts in?

I get it. You’re a busy professional working mother (like me). It’s amazing that you keep your tiny human(s) alive and fed and clothed and you meet your deadlines each day. Who’s got time for exercise?

I’ve shared about ways to sneak more activity into your day.  I’ve come up with suggestions to juggle parenthood and fitness.  I’ve even told you what to do when you finally find yourself in the gym!

If you’re still struggling to actually MAKE the time to exercise, this post is for you.   I’ll share my top tips to not only squeeze it in, but also make it a non-negotiable priority in your schedule.

Keep reading

Five Ways to Love Yourself Lean

Do you feel as though “tough love” and being hard on yourself is the only way to get results? Do you feel like you just need to “get your act together” and “grind it out”?

Yeah, I used to feel that way. I thought that shame and self-disgust and loathing and guilt were all helpful tools to impel body change. I’d be all fired up about a new workout routine or approach to eating because I was tired of feeling “gross.”

And it’s true, the first few intense workouts or days of eating “clean” can feel really good. But once you get past that “gross” stage, what is left to propel you forward? Nothing – until you skip back into “grossness.” And how damaging for your sense of self and of worth – view yourself as “gross” for long enough, and that thinking will infiltrate and infest other parts of your life as well. No bueno!

Thank goodness I was wrong. The latest research points to the benefits of embracing positive, forward-looking outcomes as powerful, potent motivators vs. attempting to move away from past states. How do we do that? I spell out five ways on my Instagram video series, or on Facebook.

Let’s get on the LOVE TRAIN!

Keep reading

Homemade Better-for-you Holiday Sweets

I know this tme of year gets even busier for busy professional working moms (just like me).  I was so busy that in last week’s post about Smart Strategies for Holiday Eating, I completely forgot to point out that you can also MAKE your own foods to BRING to the events.  When you’ve got better-for-you recipes like the ones I’m about to share, you can be confident in your food choices because you know exactly what is in them and just how delicious they are!  It’s so disappointing to “waste” calories on a sub-par goodie, isn’t it?  I’ve been known to (discreetly) spit out crappy chocolates and dry cookies.  If I’m eating it, it had better be DELICIOUS!

So, I assure you that all of the recipes that follow fit the bill for both better-for-you than their traditional counterparts AND delicious – AS delicious-tasting as the originals, if not MORE SO!  Some of the recipes are vegan, some are keto- and/or paleo-friendly and ALL of the recipes lack refined/processed sugar. I actually filmed full-length LIVE demos for FIVE of the recipes on  Facebook and I shared those same five recipes as my weekly Instagram video series.

Forgot about a class party?  Need to bring a dish to a potluck (as I suggested above)?  Just want to hide in the basement with some snacks until it’s all over?  I’ve got you covered!  For all of my recipes and MORE of my top picks from my favourite food bloggers, read on!

Keep reading

Five Smart Strategies for Holiday Eating Events

Who else is full swing with “seasonal” celebrations? (Apparently they’re not called Christmas parties any more, even if that IS the reason for the celebration – and I’m hip to the fact that there is more than just Christmas to celebrate this time of year, with Hanukkah, Diwali, and even Festivus get-togethers under way.)  Anyhoo, no matter how you slice it or what you call it, there is at least one thing in common with these events, and it’s not the sub-par decor or even the questionable wardrobe choices that at least one attendee inevitably makes.

I’m talking about the FOOD (and the BOOZE)!  Food, food, glorious food!  All those “special” recipes get pulled out of the recipe box this year (do people still use recipe cards?  Do people still have recipe boxes?  Listen, young readers, Google it).  And again, what they all have in common seems to be a lot of refined, processed carbohydrates, extra FAT and extra calories.  Are you feeling freaked out about all that food and all those drinks?  Or maybe you just gleefully anticipate your “cheat MONTH” and figure you’ll deal with the fall-out in January.

Well, if you don’t want to completely abandon your health and fitness goals (or your non-elasticized waistbands), this week I’m sharing my top five strategies to eating (and drinking) at these events to stay sane, fit, healthy and happy in the holiday season, without the hangovers and food comas.  You can catch the Instagram video series, or find me on Facebook, too!

Ready?  It’s time to get tactical!

Keep reading

Have Child(ren) – Will Exercise!

The title of this week’s post could also be “Five Ways to Sneak in Exercise When You Have Kid(s)” (it was a toss-up – let me know which one you think should have won!).

If you’ve got one child or three, you probably find yourself with less time (or at least less time flexibility) to exercise than you did in your pre-kid life (also known as “BC” – “before child(ren)” – welcome to “AD: after dependent(s)).  Going to the gym at 5am used to actually be a totally normal occurrence in my life (weird, I know).  Now sleep is more precious than gold (on the other hand, I know some parents who have embraced early-morning workouts in parenthood, since they’re up with the kids anyway!).  Or maybe scheduling didn’t matter so much – you could leave the house on a whim, totally unsupervised (you AND the house).  Now it’s major-league level logistics to coordinate who is doing what, where, when and with whom.

I’m here to offer up some strategies to get you (or keep you) moving.  Fitting into your pre-kids wardrobe is a great money-saver (and ego-booster), because time and money both seem to disappear more quickly when there are little people in the household (and no, I don’t mean Leprechauns!).  You can review this week’s Instagram video series (or get the videos in your Facebook newsfeed – be sure to choose “Follow” and “See First” to ensure you’re getting all of my latest and greatest FREE health & fitness content).  Or you can settle in right here with me for a read:

Keep reading

Five Sneaky Ways to Get More Vegetables in Your Day

All right, it’s time for a show of hands.  How many of you have heard that eating more vegetables is part of a healthful diet?  Hmmm…okay, yup, just hold them up a minute or so longer while I count…ok.  You can put your hands down now.  Next, how many of you have heard that you shouldn’t eat vegetables?  <Crickets>.

Yup, it seems that your grandmother was right.  Even conflicting fad diets seem to embrace vegetables as a commonality.

So now that your shoulders and arms are all warmed up from that first round of hand-raising, let’s get ready for round two: how many of you are eating the recommended 5-10 servings per day of fruits and vegetables.  Oh, okay.  I hear you.  You *would* be, if only your kids (or yourself) liked vegetables more.  If only vegetables tasted more delicious.  If only they were convenient and accessible.

Well, then.  In case you missed this week’s Instagram video series (or scrolled past the videos in your Facebook newsfeed – be sure to choose “Follow” and “See First” to ensure you’re getting all of my latest and greatest FREE health & fitness content), here are my top five tips for busy professional working women to get their kids (and themselves) to eat more vegetables.

Keep reading

Five Ways to Get In Charge of Your Appetite

I don’t know about you, but I just get so HUNGRY sometimes, like out of whack with what my actual needs are to fuel my body. And I realized that there can be “appetite triggers” around us that actually trick us into feeling hungry when we really physically do not need food (nasty devils, they are.  As if this whole “health and fitness” thing wasn’t challenging enough already!).

So, this week’s series is just for busy, professional working women (just like me!), and is all about ways to make your appetite, especially when you are trying to control your energy balance (see last week’s post to geek out on our energy needs) to lose weight or fat.  I’ve also posted the five points as a video series on Instagram and Facebook.  You can read the fine print, next!

Keep reading

Five Sneaky Ways to Get More Activity in Your Day

Last week’s post on five family-friendly, delicious and nutritious recipes was a hit with my busy professional readers.  I decided to follow it up with the fitness portion of the health and wellness equation, since energy balance is all about both calories in (from food) and calories out (from our bodies’ processes and activities each day).

Are you ready for today’s science lesson?  The amount of energy we use each day is called our Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).  It’s not just about the numbers on the calorie counters at the gym or on your personal tracking device (both of which are notoriously inaccurate, by the way).  Nope, the bulk of calories we “burn” in a day aren’t in our Zumba class, but rather the normal daily biological functions that keep us alive and moving.  Things like breathing, digesting our food and thinking.  Even sleeping!  The amount of energy it takes to keep our bodies functioning each day is called our basal metabolic rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR).  The fact that it takes energy to break down our food for use in our bodies is captured in the thermic effect of eating (TEE).  And of course we know that we use energy when we hit the gym or do another kind of workout or class – that’s physical activity (PA).  But then we have all of the movement we undertake each day that’s not part of our formal exercise routine.  We get out of bed, we brush our teeth, we walk from Point A to Point B, and back to Point A because we forgot why we went to Point B in the first place (or wait, is that just me?).  Yup, all this movement adds up!  It’s the non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).  So TDEE = BMR + TEE + PA + NEAT.  Neat, right?  NEAT, indeed!

This post is all about ways to increase your NEAT and get more activity into your already busy day.  Read on!

Keep reading