Achieve Wellness

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Beginners’ Guide to Healthy Eating

If you are like most people I know, your hectic schedule often means you have no time to the little things, often they get put aside so as to get seemingly the more important things done.   Like this year’s resolution to eat healthy, for example! We miss meals, eat wrong food groups, grab meals on the run,  all for the sake of saving time.  Along with the failure to exercise, many forget the problems this life style can have on our health and wellness.  We get run down, over weight, stressed out and sometimes worse.  These symptoms are a reminder from our body that we need learn better eating habits.
If you’re currently not eating a healthy diet, it can be difficult to get started. However, healthy eating along with some exercise is very important for maintaining a good bodily function and goes a long way towards living a disease-free life. If you struggle with healthy eating, then you know that breaking unhealthy habits can be the most difficult part of the process. Therefore, if you truly want to live the best lifestyle possible, it is important to follow tips in order to start eating a more healthy diet.

A great first step when you want to start eating your way to a healthy life style is to rid your home of all temptations that will distract you from following better eating habits. Ideally, it would be a wise to keep junk foods and beverages out of your house so as not be tempted to snack during the day.  If you’re worried about getting hungry, keep healthy snacks like carrot sticks, yogurt, fresh fruit, or whole-wheat crackers on hand.  If you find that you just cannot bear to toss out the sweets, try keeping something tiny on hand, peppermints or miniature chocolates.  Eating a few, (emphasis on few) of these won’t ruin your diet but also will give you that little sugary fix you rave.  I buy full-sized chocolate bars and break them into pieces which I keep at my office.  Before I leave work I grab a piece to bring home with me for an after dinner snack.

Another great step to healthy eating, when you’re first starting the process, is to take a few moments to learn what foods are the healthiest for you and how they work within the body.  To start eating healthily we must begin by thinking healthily.  Most people understand that fruits, vegetables, and low-fat meats and dairy products are good for you, but few people understand why.  The key is learning about nutrients. When you understand how specific nutrients work and why you need them, it becomes more reasonable for you to make healthier choices for your body. Knowledge really is power!

Preparation is a major key in commencing a new healthy diet.  You must take into consideration your schedule for meals.  If you often eat in a hurry at odd times of day, you’re more inclined to grab a rushed meal which will probably do more harm than good.  So plan ahead!  Instead of grabbing a fast food lunch on the go, take a bagged lunch to work, complete with a healthy wrap and some fresh fruit and vegetables. Remember not to forget your evening meal, a simple plan to have a meal ready before you get home would be perfect, but in our fast paced life style, sometimes this just can’t be done.  One way to solve this problem is to plan out your evening meals for the week, on your days off.  Perhaps just before you do your weekly shopping.  Another warning: when going to the shops, do not venture there hungry because you are more likely to pick processed low nutrient foods. That becomes the first break in your healthy eating.  Also shop the outer edges of the store and stay out of the middle aisles where many of the unhealthy food options live.

Initially you may find it very difficult to make the necessary changes to healthier eating. Along with the difficulty of change, you may not feel well for a short period of time. Usually this is normal as your body is adjusting to your new and improved life style and is cleansing itself from the unhealthy toxins built up from poor eating habits. However if this feeling continues or you are worried a visit to your doctor would be the correct thing to do.

Start with baby steps. Even if you only replace one soda a day with a glass of water, you are really improving your calorie intake. If you eat fast food every day for lunch, try replacing that half of the time with better quality foods. When you start by taking small steps you aren’t cutting out all of the foods you love all at once. By taking your time to learn about your eating habits and slowly replacing them with better meals, by taking the time to learn and understand why you should be doing that and making the necessary changes in an orderly fashion, you will feel much better within yourself physically, mentally and emotionally and well on the road to becoming as healthy as you can be

 


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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Have a Snacking Plan

No matter how well you plan, prepare, and pack your meals, there will be times when something comes up that interrupts your best laid plans. An unexpected business call, a long line at the bank, or overtime at your child’s soccer game can mean you miss a meal or need an extra snack.

One of the tips I give my clients for this situation is to have a snack attack plan. I encourage my clients to make a list of quick healthy snacks they can pick up at the convenience store, coffee shop, or drug store. Then I suggest they keep the list on their phone. That way when the need for a snack arises they can dash into the store with a “shopping list” of acceptable treats. This not only saves them time by limiting the amount of time they spend looking for a snack but also prevents them from grabbing the closest possibly least nutritious option.

A few of the snacks I recommend are:

  • String cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Low carb protein shakes
  • Apples

Or

  • Serving size hummus

Taking a few minutes to create your own list can ensure you make healthy choices on the go!


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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Have Some Fun

Sometimes we can get so caught up in striving to reach our goals that we forget to stop and smell the roses.

This week take and hour or two (maybe more) to do something that brings you joy. Whether you take a long walk, play a board game with family, indulge your creative side through painting or coloring, or even take in a sporting event allow yourself to let lose and have some fun.

If you do, you will find it easier to traverse the path to your goals.


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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Review Your Goals

Welcome to week #8 of 2018, the week when most “New Years resolutions” become a distant memory.

So, what about you?

Are you sticking to the goals you set for yourself this year?

Do you even remember the goals you boldly set for 2018?

This week is a great time to recommit to your goals. If you have not written out your goals, get them on paper. Next, set a reminder on your calendar to review your goals on a regular basis.  You can decide how often you review your goals but read them over at least once per month.

Once you have reviewed your goals, ask yourself, “Am I taking action to achieve my goals on a regular basis”?  Any action, however small, gets you a step closer to what you want to achieve.  Even baby steps are better than no steps.  However, if you are not paying attention to your goals life may get in the way and you might forget to take those steps.

I review my goals every 5 days.  I read each one and ask myself what I have done over the past few days to move closer toward successful achievement of the goal.

You do not have to be taking action on every goal every week.  For example, one of my goals is to take a painting class this year.  It is not a high priority goal and so I have been focusing my attention on my financial and career goals.  But, each week when I review my goals I see my painting class goal and am reminded that it is on my 2018 “to do” list.  Had I not committed it to paper and if I was not reviewing it regularly more likely than not it would not get done.

If you are serious about sticking to the goals you set for yourself this year, recommit to them by writing them down and reviewing them regularly.  Take action, even if it is just a tiny step, and your success is assured.

 

Need help recommitting or acting on your goals?  I can help you create an action plan that will get you moving in the right direction.  Email me at achievewellness@ymail.com for a complimentary 15 minute consultation.


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How to Choose a Workout Buddy

A few days ago I recommended finding a buddy to workout with (Find a Buddy) to help keep you motivated, accountable, and give you support.

Who you choose as a workout buddy depends upon what type of partner you want.

Do you want someone to serve as a role-model or mentor for your fitness endeavors?      Then you may want to pick someone with a  more experience and expertise then you have.

Are you looking for someone to help push you to the next level in your fitness journey by serving as a spotter and maintaining your form?  If so, you choose a buddy with similar strength and skills as you.  Your workout buddy will expect you to be able to return the favor by spotting them and ensuring they perform exercises safely.

Perhaps you simply need someone to help keep you motivated and offer encouragement as you travel down your path to fitness.  In that case, a close friend, family member, or life coach may be all you need to reach your goals.

If you want a buddy to workout with look for someone who has similar goals and schedule.  If you want to get leaner and stronger and your partner wants to run a marathon, it is unlikely either of you will reach your goal.  It’s also essential that your workout buddy is as committed to the goal as you are.  Also, if you and your partner aren’t available at the same time then your workouts won’t workout.

Regardless of which type of workout buddy you choose make sure your partner has a positive supportive attitude.

Finding a workout buddy can keep you focused on your goals and help ensure your success.


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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Find a Buddy

Whether your goal is to lose weight, run a marathon, or just start eating healthier, having a health and wellness buddy can help you stay on track.  Sharing your wellness journey with a friend or family member gives you someone to be accountable to and keeps you motivated.  Studies show that having a support system increases your chances for success.

While it is best to find a buddy that shares your goal, anyone who can offer support and guidance can be your ally.


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How to Succeed with Your Diet Goals

Typically, when thinking of the word diet, we think temporary.  Spring breaks, weddings and even weekend beach trips will motivate us to lose weight.  Unfortunately, these short-term diets don’t work.  They are unhealthy and once you stop them, the weight may come back. Studies show you’ll be heavier than when you started.

Instead of a diet, think about making a lifestyle change.  This doesn’t mean you have to give up pizza, burgers, or even cookies.  Eating is a big part of our lives and should be enjoyed.  An important concept to understand is moderation.  If you can’t live without pizza, eat it, just not everyday.  Plus if you have it less, you’ll enjoy it more.

Going from your favorite unhealthy foods to healthier alternatives can be huge jump.  Next time you are flipping through channels, try to find a makeover show.  Many of these shows try and get people to completely change their eating habits in less than a week.  While this may seem healthy, it probably won’t lead to any long-term changes.  Put yourself in their shoes.  What food do you eat that you know is unhealthy and really love?  How would you feel if someone said you can’t ever have that food again?

An easier way to do it is gradually.  Take a food you love and try to make it healthier (remember be better, not perfect).  If you love pizza, instead of buying it ready-made, make it at home.  There are easy to use crusts available at your grocery store.  Add your own toppings, focusing on healthy options like veggies and cut back on the amount of cheese you use.  If you love burgers, try using leaner beef such as 93% lean.  Don’t go out, make it yourself.  Homemade meals are almost always healthier than ones you get at a restaurant (fast food or not).  If you do eat out, make healthier choices by skipping the bun and mayo.  Substitute a salad for french fries (at least most of the time).

Another popular way to get healthier are fat-free or low-fat versions of food.  Cheese, peanut butter and milk all have low fat or fat-free substitutes.  Sometimes companies do a good job with taste and sometimes they don’t.  In some cases it might not even be possible to get the same taste with all the fat taken out.  This is why it is important to go down in steps.  If your goal is to drink fat free milk but you’re using whole milk, don’t do it overnight.  Take it in steps over the course of a few weeks.  You won’t notice the difference in taste as much.  The same goes for other dairy products.  Also, if you just can’t stomach the fat free version, try the low fat version.

Most importantly, don’t ever deprive yourself of something you love.  Sometimes we over indulge in what we enjoy.  Instead of eating a large number of cookies, look at the nutrition label.  Eat a serving and put the pack down.

Making gradual lifestyle changes can help ensure you reach and maintain your diet and weight loss goals.


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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Skip Perfect, Just Get Better

When it comes to achieving goals, many of us get frustrated or discouraged if we don’t stick to our plan perfectly.

But in reality, life can often throw a wrench in our best laid plans.   Work, school, family obligations can all get in the way of our best efforts and missteps can occur.  But rather than losing focus or even giving up when life gets in the way, look for ways to make better choices than you normally would.

Rather than grabbing a candy bar or chips from a vending machine, look for a low carb protein bar, or pretzels.  Better yet pack healthy snacks to carry with you.  Protein bars, tuna packets, or nuts make excellent packable snacks for when you’re on the run.

When it comes to your workouts it is best to stay on track, but if you cannot make it to the gym have a plan to ensure you get some physical activity in for the day.  Take a walk on your lunch break or do a few exercises while watching TV.

Remember, 10 baby steps are just as effective as 1 giant leap when working toward any goal.

 


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Welcome to the New Achieve Wellness Blog

It’s HERE!

Welcome to the new Achieve Wellness blog.

My goal in 2018, is to help you achieve all of your health and wellness goals.

Every week, I will post tips designed to keep you on track and articles to keep you informed, as well as support and guidance.

I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful.