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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 – 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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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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The Power of “IS/ARE” statements

A few months ago, I wrote about the power of, “I AM” statements.  In that post, I suggested you use “I AM…” statements to help you powerfully manifest the life of your dreams.  In the eyes of The Universe, “I am” statements are statements of fact.  Whatever you say you are is what you are, as far as The Universe is concerned.  As a result, consciously making empowering, “I AM” statements can help shape and define your life.

The great thing about “I am” statements is you can use them to help improve your relationships with the people around you.  When you say things like, “We are…” or “They are…” you also call into existence more of the corresponding qualities.

For example, if you are talking about your coworkers and you say, “WE ARE a terrific team!”  You create an even better and more cohesive team.  Or in relation to your spouse, “He/She IS loving and supportive”, you are guaranteed to create even more love and support.

Remember, these types of statements do not need to be true NOW, they simply need to be positive beliefs you choose to manifest,

To be clear, “They are”, “He/she is”, or “We are” statements are not about changing other people.  We have no power to manifest or force change on others nor should we try.  Instead, these types of statements reframe our views or beliefs about the relationship with these individuals.  As you begin to react differently and more positively to the relationship the other person/people may also begin to react in a more positive way.  Or they may not.  Either way you will be in a better frame of mind and your inner peace and positivity are all that matter when it comes to achieving your dreams.

“Is/Are” statements are not an end all cure all.  If your boss acts like a jerk or your spouse is abusive, using “Is/Are” statements most likely will not miraculously make the situation better, but they may help you manifest a space for yourself that makes your life tolerable until you can create a plan to move on.

Now that you are aware of the power of, “IS/ARE” statements, think about some of the relationships your would like to reinforce or improve and then write down a few statements to support what you want to create.

Feel free to share your statements below to help inspire and motivate other readers.

Until next time:


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GET OUT!!! (of your comfort zone)

Lately, I have been seeing a lot of blogs, Instagram posts, and tweets saying, “the magic happens outside of your comfort zone.”

Being as how I am not a great believer in coincidences, I think the Universe is trying to tell me something.  Hint, hint, wink, wink, nod, Rachel…  “HELLO???!!!!!”  And it got me thinking, “How can I get out of my den of safety and shake things up a bit?”

I know I am not alone in this, most of us “play it safe” in one area of our life or another, however if we want to achieve the goals we have created for ourselves sometimes we must take a trip into the unknown territory just outside of our comfort zone.  We can find a variety of reasons (aka excuses) to stay huddled in our safe place.

Think about some of your goals.  Which ones are dancing just outside of your grasp because you won’t cross the threshold to the discomfort zone?

Here are a few examples:

  • “I want to lose weight, but…
    • I can’t give up bread, chocolate, wine…
    • I don’t have time to exercise.  
    • I never keep it off anyhow, so why bother.
  • I want to get a new job, but…
    • I don’t have the right skills.        
    • I can’t afford to go back to school.          
    • I need to make money to pay my bills, I can’t change jobs now.
  • I want to write a novel, but…
    • I don’t have time to write.  
    • I don’t know how to get it published.                
    • What if it gets panned by critics?

Do any of these sound familiar?

In looking at my own goals, I found a ton of excuses to stay in my cozy little safe zone.  As a result, I came up with a little game to help myself break out of my complacency and start moving in the direction of successfully reaching my goals.

The first thing I did was pick a goal where I was playing it safe:                                                           

Sell 500 copies of, Cooking with Your Canine.

Admittedly, I picked a goal that was not too scary to start out with, so “yes”, I played it safe not playing it safe.

Next, I thought of 3 actions I could take outside of my comfort zone that would help me on my quest:

  • Talk to a local store about carrying my book.                                                          
  • Send a press release to local media outlets including newspapers and news shows.                                                                                                                              
  • Ask friends and clients to help promote the book.

Finally, I acted on each action over the course of 3 days:

  • Day 1, I asked 3 friends to post a link to the book on their social media accounts.                                                                                                                            
    • One person did.  Not a great success, but success none the less.
  • Day 2, I requested a press release be written through a vendor on Fiverr.          
    • I should have the release in 1-2 days.  That’s one baby step outside the comfort zone. 
  • Day 3, I spoke with the manager of a local store about selling my book.                                                                                                                                   
    • He said, “they were not interested at this time, but to check back in the fall”.  Yep, a little bit of a failure, but I still achieved the goal of getting out of my comfort zone, so I’m calling that part of it a win!

Surprise, surprise!!!  I stepped out of my comfort zone and nothing terrible happened!!!  The overall results of this “trip” remain to be seen, but at least I proved to myself and the Universe that I am willing to make the effort to be a little uncomfortable.

Now it’s your turn.  Which of your goals are you not achieving because you are making excuses to stay safe?  Pick one and create 2-3 actions that exist outside of your comfort zone to help support the goal.  You don’t have to take big leaps of faith right away, try something as simple as making a phone call to a potential client, cutting back on your “favorite” food for a few days, or saying, “good morning” to a stranger.  Once you have thought of your actions put them on your “To Do” list right away and get them done!

For me, this game was a little scary and it will probably be scary for you as well.  That’s a good thing!!!!  It means you are committed to working outside your comfort zone and allowing the magic of life to flow to you!

Good luck!

Until next time, have a happy, healthy day!

 Quote supplied by: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/deniswaitl146914.html?src=t_comfort_zone


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Stay Focused on Your Goals

Happy December!

Throughout the year, I have been sharing methods you can use to help identify and achieve your goals.  Click here to review these posts.

As we move through December and the holiday season, it can become increasingly difficult to maintain our focus on the goals we set for ourselves several months ago.  Work, family, parties, shopping, etc. can all serve as distractions that weaken our resolve or even undo the progress we have made thus far.  In addition, feelings of apathy or failure can creep in and suddenly we are thinking, “Well, I have not achieved my goal yet.  There is no point in trying now with only a few weeks left in the year.  I think I’ll give up!  Maybe next year…”  Yikes!!!!!

Despite the stress, frenzy, and interruptions to our “normal” routine this time of year brings, NOW is the time to recommit yourself to your goals. You have worked too hard all year to let your dreams fall by the wayside even for a few short weeks.

Here is what I would like to propose you do to stay on track:

  • Spend a few moments today reviewing your goals for the year.  
  • Determine which 1-2 of those goals you will have the most difficult time staying true to through December.
    • Will holiday shopping interfere with the financial goals you set for yourself?
    • Will the constant barrage of holiday parties, drinks, and cookies wreak havoc with your health and fitness goals?
    • Will extra time spent socializing and running errands block one of your personal goals?
  • Take out a 4×6 index card (or a piece of paper) and write down 3-4 things you are committed to doing to keep your focus on your goal.
  • Post the card somewhere you will see it several times a day and be reminded to stay focused.

Here is an example of the commitments I made for December.

One of my goals was to pay down my credit card debt through 2016.  I have been somewhat successful in doing so, however I LOVE to buy presents at Christmas!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!  Unfortunately this conflicts with my debt-reducing goal.  So, here are the commitments I made to my finances this month:

  1. I am committed to asking before EVERY purchase, is this a “want” or a “need”?
  2. I am committed to sticking to my monthly budget.  
    1. BTW – I budgeted a small amount of money for “wants” this month.
  3. I am committed to tracking my daily expenses and revenues.
  4. I am committed to putting a minimum of $100 into my savings account this month.

So there you have it, a simple surefire way to maintain your focus on your goals for the remainder of 2016.  Give it a try, and let me know if it works for you!

Wishing you a safe, successful holiday season!

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