The Gift of Health

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What if you could ask Santa for something this Christmas that would change the way you went about your daily activities, gave your more energy, more confidence, and a better attitude?

We’ll spend a lot of time this month picking out the perfect gifts for those we love, but what about you? Don’t put yourself on the bottom of your list! You can give yourself something that will not only have a lasting effect on your life, but will keep getting better with time: the gift of health!

I will always remember about 2 years ago going on a hike with my husbands family. My mother-in-law took a picture of all of us walking off. I saw that picture a couple weeks later and it was pretty life changing for me! I looked at that picture and made a DECISION to change and was COMMITTED to making it happen!! I looked at that picture and saw how big and unhealthy I had gotten… I saw a person who was panting just going on a hike and didn’t enjoy it. I saw a person who was so low on energy. I saw a person who was very unhappy on the inside. I saw a person who lacked confidence. I hated who I was!! I hated that I couldn’t have children… I hated that I was always low on energy and frequently depressed.

I threw that picture away… I remember telling myself “From today on out- I am no longer that person!!”

I had spent so many years using the excuses that “I don’t have money to change” or “I will never lose weight– tried many times– its not going to happen” or “I am way too busy, I just don’t have time”, etc.

The thing is, the right time will never come!! If you are not fully committed, you will quit. The excuses are nothing but that… EXCUSES!!!

I am so glad that I finally made that decision to go all in and focus on the things that I could change in order to be healthier and happier!! I got set up with the 21 day fix and shakeology. I did a challenge group with some friends and it completely changed my mindset and results! I was exactly right that day that I decided to change! I am no longer that person… I am happy! I love going on hikes and what exercise does for me! I have all the energy I need to run my own business, exercise every day, and chase my two toddlers around. I am finally more confident and happier than ever before!! I no longer look at a picture of myself and hate what I see. I am comfortable in my own skin and happy with who I am- flaws and all!

My life has completely changed!! This is why I now coach! I want to help other women/men who struggle the way I did!! I want to help you to feel comfortable in your own skin! I want you to feel good in a swimsuit! I want you to be healthy and fit and be active in your family’s life!

Don’t neglect yourself or your needs, and as a woman with many responsibilities, it’s easy to do, but as we take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually we can become the best version of ourselves and offer that version to our families and to the world!  The gift of health is something you’ll treasure and it will change your life!

Becoming More Thankful

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With the holidays fast approaching, it’s a time of year when many of us strive to be more aware of our blessings and to strive to be more thankful. Some days that’s hard to do! We live in a world filled with negative things happening daily and social media can be full of negative posts that bring our own attitudes down. To help with this, here are a few tips to help us remain positive and more thankful this holiday (and throughout the whole year too)

  1. Keep a Gratitude Journal: Whether you do this just during this time of year, or throughout the whole year, you’ll be surprised what things you’ll jot down. At the end of the day, pick 1-3 things to be thankful for. This could even be a fun conversation starter around the dinner table!

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2. When things don’t go as planned, choose to be positive and tell yourself “at least…” For example, you plan a fun family outing but nothing goes as planned. You leave late, the kids are fighting in the car, and you forgot you wallet and had to turn around to get it. It’d be easy to get upset and say that the day was a total failure. Instead, take a deep breath and focus on something to be grateful for “At least we’re all together. At least the weather is nice. etc..”

3. If you can, give back. The best way to show that we’re truly thankful for something is serve. I love the saying “Because I have Been Given Much, I Too Must Give” The holidays are a great time to serve others: donate to toy drives, coat drives,  the food pantry, and do random acts of kindess for family, friends, and even strangers. Teach your family about finding joy in service.

4. Banish negativity. It’s hard to be thankful if we’re constantly negative. For help with this, see my article on rewiring your brain for positivity HERE

 

It’s not a number on the scale

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It is a new month… so I have decided to weigh myself and then lock my scale up in the shop for 30 days.

Here is the thing…. I have been telling my challengers/clients for the last 2 years not to pay attention to the number on the scale. But rather to focus on their non-scale victories!

But I haven’t been doing this myself! I have been fixated on the number on this scale for my entire pregnancy worrying about not gaining enough or gaining too much weight… instead of just focusing on what I can control (eating healthy and exercising every day).

Today I decided it was time to break the habit of focusing on that number. That is not what is important! I want to be healthy and fit for my children. I want to have energy and not feel irritable and a lot of anxiety so I can be fun and present in the moment for my children. I want to feel good about who I am and feel like I have self control and can do anything. I want to live a healthy lifestyle so I can be active in my older years and involved in my grandchildren’s lives. The number on the scale is not one of my goals… it doesn’t drive us… it discourages us!

In a recent online poll, people shared their reason for being fit and healthy, and guess what? NONE of the answers had anything to do with the number on the scale. And all of them are pretty incredible:

Fitness has everything to do with body and mind. The endorphins and hormones that exercise produces does amazing things for sleep, mood, weight loss, sex life, and overall happiness. —Emily Steele, via Facebook

It’s being capable of doing whatever I set my mind to through patience, hard work, and determination. —Kelsey Arcocha, via Facebook

Having the ability to unleash your inner power at any given moment. Inner power is not just physical fitness, but mental fitness. Fitness abilities, physical and mental, make up the incredible individual that you are. —torin496b6c8d4

To me, fitness means discovering things I can do with my body that I’ve never been able to do before. —Calli Celine Allen, via Facebook

It means being able to physically do whatever I want to do. I’m 52 years old… and I’ve run almost 50 marathons and ultramarathons in the last 10 years, I still snowboard with my kids, I mountain bike, rock climb, do flips off the diving board, whatever I want. And I have no intention of slowing down. —Thom Patterson, via Facebook

It means being able to chase an evil toddler when you ask her to come here and she clearly decides “here” is in the opposite direction… it means being able to carry all 40 pounds of her like a Gronk heading for the end zone when she’s gone full shenanigans in public. —Holly Haddad, via Facebook

Fitness to me means being mentally and physically happy. I suffered from really bad anxiety but once I began running/working out I felt like it all melted away. —Tara Roy, via Facebook

Well, for me, it’s just being able to be emotionally stable. I don’t care to get my six-pack back. I just wanna be happy again. —Rebekah Marie Byrd, via Facebook

 It’s a sign that I am bettering myself from where I used to be, also it’s opening doors that I didn’t even know about in life. —Aaron Lassen, via Facebook

Being fit is eating healthy, exercising regularly, and being hygienic. But most important of all, no matter your weight or gender or appearance or habits or ability, being happy and comfortable with yourself. —ABCDBadwolf, via Facebook

So now my question for YOU is: What’s your reason for getting healthy and fit?

Have a Healthy Halloween!

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Halloween is coming! So many sugary treats are spotlighted this time of year and Halloween seems to be the gateway into a sugar and treat filled holiday season. Don’t get sucked into “well, it’s the holidays” trap of indulging too much and regretting it later. You can still have lots of fun with your family and friends by using some of these fun Halloween-themed food ideas instead!

Original Post: 13 Healthy Halloween Treats

Jack-o’-Lantern Fruit Cups
Add color and fun to your Halloween with these smiling jack-o’-lantern faces carved into navel oranges. Slice off the tops of the oranges, scoop out the pulp, use a paring knife to cut out jack-o’-lantern faces, and fill with grapes and/or mixed berries.Jack O' Lantern Fruit Cups Halloween Snack
Photo by Frugal Coupon Living

Orange You Lovin’ Fall Fruit Salad
Save the pulp from your jack-o’-lantern fruit cups to make this fruit salad. Fill small mason jars with pineapple slices, orange wedges, and top with Greek yogurt.
Fruit salad candy corn Halloween Snack
Photo by Amanda Meixner

Slithering Snake Dip
Eek! What is lurking in your hummus? A slithering snake made from black olives! Cute Food for Kids carved beady eyes from string cheese and added a carrot tongue. Even those who hate serpents will love this little guy.
Snake in Hummus Halloween Snack
Photo by Cute Food for Kids

Candy Corn Popsicles
Here’s a healthier spin on candy corn! These colorful homemade popsicles are made from pineapple juice, orange juice, and yogurt. We want the popsicles! Click here to get the recipe.
Candy Corn Popsicles Halloween Snack
Photo by Chew Chew Mama

Mummified Apples
Googly eyes and gauze tape turn green apples into mummies that are almost too cute to bite into.
Mummy Apples Halloween Snack
Photo by Marci Coombs

Monster Pie
Kids will love this Monsters, Inc. tart because it’s so darn cute, and well, because it’s dessert! Visit Creative and Healthy Fun Food to get this recipe that’s got a filling made from avocado, banana, and almond milk!
Monster Pie Halloween Snack
Photo by Creative and Healthy Fun Food

Spooky Spider Eggs
Deviled eggs (like these) get extra creepy-crawly when they’re topped with spiders. To make eight scary spider eggs, cut 12 black olives in half vertically. Place one half in the center of each egg to form the body, then slice each remaining olive half into four sections to create legs. Shiver.

Photo by Chew Chew Mama

Ghoulish Hard-Boiled Eggs
Let your kids in on the decorating fun! Use black foodsafe ink pens to draw ghostly faces on white hard-boiled eggs. This example from Wit & Whistle shows how simple – and cute! – each drawing can be.
Ghoulish Hard Boiled Eggs Halloween Snack
Photo by Wit & Whistle

Frankenstein’s Monster
Is this a trick or a treat? This veggie tray made to look like Frankenstein’s monster is a little bit of both. Let your kids play with their food to help create this healthy platter and they might just be tricked into eating their veggies.
Frankenstein Veggies Halloween Snack
Photo by Blue Skies Ahead

Eyeball Pasta
Start off a night of trick-or-treating with this clever eyeball pasta! Visit Spend with Pennies to see how she used string cheese, black olives, and a straw to create eyeballs of different sizes that stare out of ghoulishly green spinach pasta.
Eyeball Pasta Halloween Snack
Photo by Spend with Pennies

Jack-o’-Lantern Clementines
Pick up a foodsafe pen and the whole family can have fun decorating the skin of clementines, tangerines, or oranges with spooky or smiling faces. Pop these into lunch boxes the week leading up to Halloween.
Jack O' Lanterns drawn on clementines Halloween Snack
Photo by Princess and the Frog Blog

Pumpkin Veggie Tray
This veggie platter is a Halloween party essential! Mom Endeavors shares some tips for constructing this spooky pumpkin from baby carrots and black olives. The stem can be made from broccoli, the end of cucumber, or a celery stick. Serve with Slithering Snake Dip!
Carrot Jack O' Lantern Veggie Tray Halloween Snack
Photo by Mom Endeavors

Banana Ghosts and Orange Pumpkins
Boo! Turn bananas into spooky ghosts with chocolate chip eyes and mouths made from chocolate covered raisins. Make a pumpkin patch out of peeled clementines or tangerines. Just use a sprig of celery in the center for the stem!
Banana ghosts and clementine pumpkins Halloween Snack

Here are 8 more fun ideas for healthy Halloween treats to make for home or for you child’s school party!

And here are 13 alternatives to handing out candy on Halloween night

 

Fall Into Fitness

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Don’t let the changing weather make you give up on your health and fitness goals. And if you’re just starting your health and fitness journey, Fall is a great time to begin!

“Fall … is a great time to start a fitness program because you’re going to create good habits for the holiday season and the upcoming winter months,” says Justin Price, owner of Biomechanics, a personal training and wellness coaching facility in San Diego, Calif.

Here four tips to help you maintain your healthy habits through the changing seasons:

1. Get Outside:  Without cooling temperatures, taking your fitness outside has never been better! Go for a hike and explore the beautiful fall scenery. Take a family bike ride, a jog, or walk in the park with a friend. Or just take some of your regular exercise moves and do them outside. You’ll be so glad you did this once the winter weather hits!

2. Make a Schedule: With kids back in school and on a regular schedule, make fitness and meal planning part of your routine. Set aside specific time to get your fitness in and prep your healthy meals. Fall is also a great time to explore different workout options and try something new!

3. Chores Can Be a Workout Too: Raking leaves or gardening burns about 150 calories every 30 minutes, so if you find that you don’t have time for exercise, grab a rake or a hoe, and turn seasonal tasks into a fat-burning workout.

4. Drink Your Water: It may not be as hot outside, but drinking your water is always important! Stay hydrated, help your body soak in those nutrients and flush toxins, and always drink before you snack (sometimes feeling hungry is a sign you’re actually thirsty).

How Complaining Rewires Your Brain

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I read this article recently and thought it was SO INTERESTING!

Here’s the gist behind how excessive complaining rewires your brain:

“There’s something called “experience-dependent neuroplasticity,” which is the continuing creation and grouping of neuron connections in our brains that take place as a result of our life experiences.

Neuroscience teaches us that neurons that fire together, wire together. Donald Hebb, a Canadian neuropsychologist, coined that phrase back in 1949. What this means is that whenever we think a thought or have a feeling or physical sensation, thousands of neurons are triggered and they all get together to form a neural network.

With repetitive thinking, the brain learns to trigger the same neurons each time.

So, if you keep your mind looping on self-criticism, worries, and how nothing is working out for you, your mind will more easily find that part of your brain and will quickly assist you in thinking those same thoughts again.”

Crazy, right? So if we’ve gotten into the habit of dwelling on negative experiences/feelings then the next time something doesn’t go our way (like someone cuts you off in traffic, let’s say) our brain’s kneejerk reaction is not to let the incident slide, but for us to be negative and complain about it.

So what can we do to stop this negative cycle?

  1. Catch Yourself: When you notice yourself complaining, STOP IT and change the subject.
  2. Be Grateful: How can you complain and be grateful at the same time? You can’t! No matter the situation, find something to be grateful for. Someone cuts you off in traffic, be grateful you were alert while driving. Be grateful your favorite song just came on the radio.
  3. Put your energy elsewhere: Complaining is emotionally draining (it is to the people who have to hear it too), change that negative energy into something positive! Give compliments, say thank you, serve others, and laugh more!
  4. Breathe and meditate: There’s no doubt things will happen that annoy us, but take deep breaths while you’re in the situation and practice tips #2 and 3.

Once my friend was in a long line at the store. She was getting impatient and her initial reaction was to be grouchy with the clerk when it was her turn. Instead, she took a deep breath and noticed that the clerk was all alone in the store trying to assist many customers. She smiled and told the clerk she was doing a great job instead. The clerk perked right up and my friend felt better too!

At home, meditate  or do yoga to relieve stress. Writing in a gratitude journal is also helpful.

Just like your brain can get wired for negativity, we can rewire it to be more positive! I feel like in this world we live in, we definitely need more of that! I also want to be an example to my kids on being positive. Society tell us that it’s all about “ME” and if something doesn’t go my way, I have the right to complain and shout my frustrations. I want to make a different choice. I CHOOSE HAPPINESS and FINDING JOY IN THE JOURNEY EACH AND EVERY DAY!!

Tips To Give Yourself More Time

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Time is a precious commodity and we can often find ourselves stressed out because we’ve over scheduled ourselves. Here are 8 tips to give yourself more time…and hopefully less stress!

1. Decide what’s important and do that first thing everyday. If it’s important, you’ll find a way to get it done no matter what! That might mean waking up earlier than your family some days.I wake up early on weekdays to put in 1 very focused hour of work and to get my workout in before the kids wake up. This helps me to plug into work when I am working and plug into being present with my children when they wake up.

2.Don’t let other people schedule your life. Friends and family may mean well when they  make plans that automatically include you, but if it’s not going to work for you and your family (i.e. it’s during nap time, the kids are cranky, you’re tired from a long day etc..) don’t be afraid to say no. They’ll understand!

3. Pay close attention to what makes you happy. Do you look forward to or dread your monthly book club? Get rid of obligations that you don’t actually enjoy.

4.Stop Watching TV–okay maybe not totally, but cut back and see what happens. You’ll find that you don’t miss it, and those shows you “just HAVE to watch” aren’t really that important.

5. Look through your calendar and cancel things that you aren’t excited about. See tip #3

6. Schedule your breaks and enjoy them. There’s nothing wrong with taking time for YOU! For more about this, see my post: taking time for you is not selfish!

7.If you keep putting something off, just let it go.

8.Before you go to bed, decide on tomorrow’s most important action.

9. Set good household habits so cleaning isn’t a stress: I have found if I stick to daily cleaning habits — my house stays pretty clean and in order. ✔️ make sure the dishwasher is loaded and started every night. ✔️ quick 10 minute tidy up throughout house before bed. ✔️unload dishwasher every morning so dishes can be loaded immediately with each meal. ✔️never put shoes or clothes on floor. Put them away immediately after removing from body.

I get asked many times how I’m able to juggle working from home and being a mom to young kids. Here are a couple tips for those of you work from home or would like to work from home, but aren’t sure how to do it–I follow all the above tips, PLUS the following:

10. I like to work during my daughters nap time. During this time my son gets to do a special activity!! Today, we made him a train and car track. I have a closet of toys and we rotate toys each week. I also like to have a few activities that we pull out each day of the week for special time (while mom works) and then they immediately go back onto shelf.

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11. I can work from ANYWHERE we often go for walks, play outside, or go to the park to play while mommy works from her laptop or phone.

My coaching business is important to me so I make it work! I am first a MOM but I also have a successful team because we make it work. I make it work because I love my amazing team, I love my challengers, I want to help people who struggle like I once did, and it makes me a better wife and mom! I would love to answer more questions about coaching and working from home if you want more info. Please feel free to contact me!