Healthy Eating Tips and Recipes for the Holidays

Looking for advice on how to avoid holiday weight gain and still enjoy yourself for the next couple of weeks?  Or spending some time looking for new and inspiring recipes to fix for your friends and family?

Look no further than my Healthy Eating Tips & Recipes board on Pinterest!

I’ve got some pretty darn good choices up there, if I do say so myself 😉

This Macaroni & Cheese recipe has gotten rave reviews year after year when I make it for both Thanksgiving & Christmas meals.  No one knows that I use reduced-fat white cheddar cheese.  It tastes delicious!

Got a big crowd coming over for a casual holiday meal?  This Three-Cheese Baked Ziti is so good, you’ll have them going back for seconds (no problem, just double the recipe 🙂

Three-Cheese Baked Ziti recipe is courtesy of CanYouStayForDinner?

Stay tuned to my blog every Monday for a new vegetarian recipe in honor of Meatless Monday and FOLLOW me on Pinterest to see more Healthy Eating Tips & Recipes, as well as Hints for Achieving New Year’s Resolutions, and loads of Motivational Tips.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Redefining Health & Wellness 

How to Get Through the Holidays Without Derailing Your Diet

How Do You Know if You Need a Life Coach?

 

 

 

Motivation — Where Are You?

I needed this today!! You Must Believe In Yourself

I’ve missed more than a few posts lately, and I can’t remember the last time I sent out my weekly newsletter that is supposed to go out every Tuesday.

I really *was* busy at first with my house move, then it was a challenge to get our internet service set up.  But that has been resolved since early September.  The truth is, I’ve just been feeling demotivated.

I was set to write an article for my favorite magazine.  I’d been dreaming of writing for them since I first launched my new career as a health coach and health writer.  After a well thought out query to the right editor, my pitch was accepted!  I was really on cloud nine.  As many writers know, magazines often have a 4-6 month lead-time … so I wasn’t surprised when the editor told me that my piece was slated for the March issue & that she would be in touch in August with the formal assignment & a due date in September.

August came, I followed up.  September came, I followed up.  October?  Still followed up, but starting to get the message.  While it is actually par for the course to be ignored by an editor to whom you send a query or pitch, I thought it was incredibly strange to get the cold-shoulder after a response & tentative due date?  I let it totally wreck my confidence (well, that and the many other flat-out “no’s” and cold-shoulders I’ve gotten since August).

I’m not thin-skinned at all.  I actually welcome a rejection letter!  At least I know that my idea was considered & perhaps not right or coming at the right time.

So rather than write about rejection when I myself was feeling de-motivated, I chose silence.  I guess I should also add that I haven’t been getting ANY comments on any of my posts, so I have to wonder if anyone is even reading my blog anymore????

I’m not one who gives up easily, so here I am today trying to keep it real, taking a deep breath, and setting a personal goal to keep writing & keep reaching for my own dreams.      I read an awesome article today by Jeffrey Eugenides (the guy who wrote Middlesex & The Virgin Suicides) called How To Believe in Yourself – Even If You Sometimes Don’t.  In the article, he talks about his journey as a writer & how he has dealt with own fears & anxieties.  It is a great story about he came to realize that inspiration comes from within.  It gave me the motivation to pick up my laptop & compose this post when all I really wanted to do was sleep all day!  Give it a read!

Oh, and if you read this post … please leave me a comment so that I know someone out there is STILL … well … out there!

 

 

 

What’s Past the Comfort Zone?

I’m not going to lie to you … accomplishing your fitness goals is not always a piece of cake.  In fact, it is HARD WORK!

The last few weeks have been super challenging for me.  In addition to moving to a new home, I started working in the office three days a week.  I quickly saw how easy it was to fall back into my old rut of putting my self-care LAST on the priority list.  As a result, my body has been feeling worn down and I can’t seem to get enough rest.

Luckily, I realized this very quickly and started to correct my lazy behaviors.  I firmly believe in practicing what I preach.  If I’m going to motivate and inspire others to take care of themselves, then I have to do the same.

Thanks to the Sexy September Challenge we’re doing this month, I’m lucky enough to have others inspiring me too!  I had a really good run on Tuesday.  Instead of my usual 3.5 mile loop of the Stanford Dish Trail, I decided to take a different route that added another two miles.  During the run, I felt like I was so far out of my comfort zone that I couldn’t see it anymore!  The good (and awfully painful) thing about this particular trail is that once you start the loop, you HAVE to finish it.  It was hilly and the 6pm sun was a menace, but I felt SO good when I was done.  Its the longest run that I have ever done … maybe ever!

I think you have to push past your comfort zone to see what you are made of.  To truly know that you CAN accomplish your goals, despite all of the hurdles in the way.  This is true in fitness, and in life.  Once you see what you can do, nothing can stop you!

Stay in touch on the Wellness Science Facebook page to be inspired & inspire others for the rest of Sexy September!

I love comments & questions, so keep them coming!

 

 

How to Get the Body You Want

 

How would you feel if you didn’t have to cringe when you heard the phrase “bathing suit shopping” EVER again?  Read these tips on how to look and feel fabulous by the time summer arrives.

 

Love the body you have.  You don’t have to be satisfied with your current weight or figure, but the first step to getting the body you want is to love the body you have.  Love yourself and be grateful for all that your body has done for you in your lifetime.  If you can start with self-acceptance, you are well on you way to making the sustainable changes you desire – and one step closer to a healthy, strong, and sexy body.

 

Nourish your body, inside and out.  Make sure you are getting enough of the right foods to eat.  You do NOT have to spend a lot of money to buy healthy food.  Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where the fresh foods are kept.  Make sure you are eating enough vegetables & fruits to get the nutrients your body needs, as well as plenty of water.  Don’t like water?  Add a slice of lemon or fresh cucumber to a pitcher of water to give it a kick.  You won’t want to stop drinking it!  Also, make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night to recharge yourself.

 

Take 20 minutes.  There are 1,440 minutes in a day.  Use 20 of them to work out, even if it is just walking.  It’s much harder to argue when you look at it that way.  We waste plenty of time texting, on Facebook, & watching television.  Walking provides tremendous benefits to your body.  You don’t need any equipment or a gym membership.  Put on a comfortable pair of shoes, and hit the road.  No excuses!

 

With just these three shifts in thinking and action, you will start to overcome negative feelings that you have towards yourself about making positive change.  As you see your body transforming, your self-esteem will increase giving you even more motivation & confidence to keep working towards your goals.  Any goal is attainable if you have a plan to get there.  Check out my Smart Girls’ Guide for secrets used by smart and successful women to go after and GET what they want!

 

10 Quotes When You Need a Boost of Motivation

I’ve been writing about motivation for several months now.  If not in my blog posts, then in the quotes that I send out on Twitter and in my Facebook community.  The winter is a particularly difficult time for many people (including myself) to stay motivated.

As we welcome the Spring, here are 10 Quotes to motivate you to set and achieve your goals and live the happiest life possible.

courage-is-john-wayne.001

if opportunity doesn't knock, build a door

we-can-draw-lessons-from-the-past.001happiness-can-be-found.001 believe-you-can.001 who-is-going-to-stop-me.001

blessed-are-the-flexible.001

success-doesnt-come-to-you.001

 Aristotle quote

ralph waldo emerson

There are so many other motivational quotes from great leaders, I could go on and on.  What are some of your favorites?

 

Is Your Morning Coffee Making You Sleepier?

 

Have you ever given up coffee for a week or longer?  I did it… once… for fourteen days.  The first day wasn’t so bad, but on days 2-5, I had a KILLER headache.  On the morning of day 6, I woke up feeling great and from then on the headaches were gone.Wait!  Don’t stop reading yet… I want to tell you WHY I did it!  First, I was intrigued at the promise of feeling “more rested that research suggested would happen”.  I couldn’t remember the last time that I didn’t feel exhausted by three in the afternoon.  Even an afternoon caffeine “boost” didn’t seem to help.The research was right!  For years, I’d woken up tired & angry to an annoying alarm clock.  Once I kicked the caffeine habit, I felt like I was getting more sleep at night and waking up before my alarm went off feeling rested.  I didn’t feel like I was dragging in the afternoon, and I had far more energy in the evenings to exercise & prepare meals.

I recently stumbled upon another benefit… You know how when you have a a cold or flu (I mean really bad… like you can’t even get out of bed for a drink of water).  I was recently battling a cold.  I didn’t feel feverish or stuffy any longer, but my head was THROBBING… so much that I couldn’t get out of bed to take an ibuprofen for my headache.  At about 2pm, I forced myself out of bed and made myself a cup of coffee.  After about an hour, my headache went away.  It dawned on me that I hadn’t had a cup of coffee in about 36 hours, hence, the headache!  So I thought I was still suffering from my cold symptoms when I really had a caffeine hangover!  Hardly worth the extra day I lost in bed thinking that I was still sick!

We can blame our caffeine consumption partly on genetics.  Research shows that people with a certain genotype near the AHR gene consumed about 20 milligrams more caffeine in a day than those with with another genotype and 40 milligrams more than people with a third genotype.  The rest is behavioral and can be controlled with a little trickery.

Cut back.  If you are drinking more than one cup of coffee in the morning, cut back to just one for a few days.  Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages the rest of the day.  Try hot herbal teas or hot water with lemon as a replacement.

Switch it up.  Swap your cup of coffee for a cup of green tea.  Many green teas still contain caffeine, but at least you’ll benefit from the antioxidants in the tea.

Challenge yourself.  For me, my morning cup of coffee is more about the ritual.  I always liked stopping off at Peet’s in the morning, and saying hello to my favorite employee.  It kind’ve lifted my spirits to treat myself in the morning before jumping on the freeway for a less than pleasant commute.  SO, I didn’t give up my ritual!  I ordered peppermint tea instead of my usual coffee, and I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing anything.

So challenge yourself… even if only for the sake of curiousity!  Try giving up caffeine for two weeks and see how you feel.  In my wellness plan questionnaire, I ask clients how many caffeinated beverages they consume on a daily basis. Someone answered “mainline IV!” Even SHE took a break from caffeine for two weeks and noted that by the sixth day, she felt more rested, less sluggish AND woke up before her annoying alarm told her she had to. I consider that a huge benefit!


What do you think?  Ever taken time off from caffeine?  What was it like?  Did you stick with it?  Share your stories below!

Natural Cures for Exhaustion

It’s Friday again. Chances are, you feel drained. Maybe even stressed, tired, or burned out? It’s inevitable given the way we multitask to balance work, family, friends, and other commitments. By taking stock in what you are asking yourself to do in a day, you are taking the first step towards saying goodbye to exhaustion and start feeling better. Here are a few common causes and cures of exhaustion that could change your life.

1) Your breath. Most of us are shallow, rapid breathers. This type of breathing can be caused by poor posture or stiff muscles and can lead to poor oxygen supply making us feel slow, fatigued, and exhausted! To practice deep breathing, start by lying on your back in a comfortable position. Put your hands on your belly underneath your rib cage. The tips of your two middle fingers should be barely touching. Breathe in fully through the nose & feel your chest expand — you will notice that your fingertips move apart slightly as your chest expands with air. For best results, practice deep breathing every day for a couple of minutes. Over time, you will notice a rise in energy levels.

2) Lack of connection. Do you remember your last beach vacation? How did you feel as you sat back in your chair looking out at the ocean? Relaxed, huh? There is something about a connection with nature that makes us feel less drained and less anxious. In our day-to-day lives, especially now that winter is lurking, we may go for days without seeing the light of day. We spend our entire day inside buildings with artificial light. As often as you can, talk an early morning walk. If that is impossible, get yourself outdoors for a fifteen to twenty minute walk at lunch time. Pay attention to the scenery or to your breathing — whatever works. Do not read your email on your smartphone; that’s defeating your purpose of connecting to nature!

3) No motivation. We all need a sense of meaning and a sense of joy to ground us. Getting caught up in the grind can be really depleting if you don’t have something that brings you happiness to balance it out. If you identify with this, I want to encourage you to write a few things down. Start off by listing the things that cause you to feel stressed and disconnected from the world. It could be a strained relationship with a family member, a recent break-up or job loss. Whatever it is, write it down & also write down your reaction to the stressful situation. Next, write down the things in your life that give you happiness and satisfaction. This will likely be a much shorter list, but your job is to start doing more of the things that make you feel connected and happy and less of the things that make you feel stressed and miserable. You might find that waking up early for that yoga class is worth it even if you are tired because you leave feeling energized and accomplished. Whatever it is, follow the positives and you are guaranteed that little spark you are seeking.

Comfort Food: Why Are You Seeking Comfort?

Millions of people use food as a way of seeking comfort from pain or hurt in their lives. Most are doing it without even realizing it.

Do you find yourself sitting at home, alone & bored watching TV and eating when you aren’t hungry? Do you suffer from insomnia and find yourself getting up during the night & cleaning out the pantry? They don’t call it comfort food for nothing!

In order to break through this unhealthy behavior, you have to dig deep and figure out what is really eating at you! It may be worry about something going on in your life or someone close to you. It may be an issue stemming from childhood that you never worked through and hoped to bury. You have to work your way through the pain in order to come out on the other side. This hurt and discomfort you are experiencing is good — it is showing you that you are due for a change.

You may have tried dieting in the past many times with no success. Don’t beat yourself up about past failures. You weren’t ready to make a change or you needed help! Sometimes the true difference between failure and success is getting the help you need and deserve!

I want to help you by giving you a FREE resource that you can use to finally make the change you’ve been longing for and end your feelings of hopelessness once and for all.

Visit my website and click to download our FREE Wellness Workbook here: goo.gl/qKo3j