How to Enjoy Barbecues and Picnics the Healthy Way

How to Enjoy Barbecues and Picnics the Healthy Way

How to Enjoy BBQs and Picnics the Healthy Way

What’s the best way to spend a beautiful, sunny, clear day? If you ask me, it’s hard to beat a barbecue or picnic with loved ones. The smell of meat and veggies on the grill, backyard games, great conversation . . . Ahhh.

But if you’re making a conscious decision to choose healthy foods, barbecues and picnics can feel a little like a minefield. After all, who wants to be that person showing up to the party and refusing to eat anything?

Luckily, there are a ton of ways to enjoy barbecues and picnics without having to miss out on the joys of cooking and eating with your friends! With just a few modifications, you can enjoy barbecues and picnics just as much as everyone else, without derailing your food plan. Here are a few of my favorite tips for doing just that.

1. Be the host.

Whoever plans the party sets the menu, right?? By hosting the event, you can choose what foods you’ll serve. Opt for healthy-but-tasty choices like grilled chicken breasts, veggie skewers, and a big summer salad. Trust me, your friends won’t fuss about the lack of hotdogs—in fact, depending on how many other barbecues they’ve attended recently, they may even welcome something a little different!

2. Bring a dish.

If you’re a guest at someone else’s shindig, you can’t control the whole menu. But you CAN be a gracious guest and bring food to share. Similarly to above, showing up with a big salad to share, a few fillets of chicken breast or fish for the grill, or even a bowl of fresh fruit for a healthy dessert ensures that you have something healthy to eat, and most hosts won’t mind a bit!

3. Watch your portions.

Maybe you’ve really been craving a classic cheeseburger or bratwurst from the grill. If you decide to treat yourself to standard BBQ faire, that’s totally fine! But watch your portions. Enjoying a cheeseburger with all the fixings is okay, but do you really need that cheeseburger, a hotdog, a few beers, and ice cream for dessert? I’d argue that you very likely do not.

4. Moderate your alcohol and water intake.

On the topic of having a few beers, one of the biggest tips I have for enjoying a barbecue or picnic the healthy way is to watch your alcohol consumption. When you drink more, you’re more likely to overeat. To keep yourself feeling refreshed in even the hottest temperatures, I recommend having not one but three glasses of water in between each alcoholic beverage. This will help curb your appetite, keep you from over-indulging on alcoholic beverages, and ensure that you stay hydrated.

The Bottom Line

In matters like summer social events, your happiness is the most important thing. If you’re passionate about sticking to your food plan, these tips will help you accomplish that. However, if you end up splurging a little more than you meant to at your next event, it’s important not to beat yourself up. Just enjoy your food, have a great time, and get back on plan ASAP—no guilt necessary.

What are your favorite healthy, BBQ-friendly foods?

If you have a go-to healthy dish for summer events, I’d love to hear more about it! Leave your response in the comments section below. Until next week, I hope you’re living a life you love without being hungry, feeling deprived, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner.

 

Posted - 7/30/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

What Journaling For a Week Taught Me About My Health Habits

What Journaling For a Week Taught Me About My Health Habits

What Journaling For a Week Taught Me About My Health Habits

#SorryNotSorry—I really dislike food journaling. While I know it’s helpful for a lot of people, it always feels like kind of a headache to me. It’s an extra chore in my busy day, and frankly, I’d rather skip the writing and just dig into my meal most of the time.

Nevertheless, a few months back, my coach suggested I give journaling a try. So, being a good mentee, I decided to give it a shot. And honestly? I have to admit—I was a little surprised by how much I learned. 

Even being the type who normally monitors my food intake pretty closely (I’m a nutrition coach, hello), there was a lot to unpack about my day to day nutritional habits. And though everyone’s food patterns look a little bit different, you could totally copy my experiment and use a one-week (or more) food journal to audit your own nutritional habits next time you hit a plateau or a slump.

So without further ado, here’s what food journaling for a week taught me about my health habits:

 

1. I was eating way too much when I went out to eat.

I thought I was doing a great job when I was going out to eat. I followed my own advice on eating beforehand, ordering intentionally, and taking leftovers home. (If you’d like to hear more about my advice for handling restaurants, I wrote a blog about that too!) But despite all that, when I looked at the list of what I’d eaten in my journal, I was SHOCKED at how much I’d actually been consuming.

Reflecting on my dinners out, I realized I was adding extra calories to my meal—a seemingly benign appetizer, a second (or third) glass of wine . . .  I’d also completely lost track of my portions and how much was healthy to be eating. Yes, I’d divided my restaurant meal into two portions, but depending on where you’re eating, even a half-portion may still be WAY too much food. 

These little additions had an impact on my body fat and waistline, which I’m not terribly happy about. This was the first major wake-up call brought to me by my food journal.

 

2. I wasn’t eating enough protein with my breakfast.

Just like most people, when I don’t eat enough protein with my breakfast, I get hungry faster than I normally would. Since I work from home, I kept finding myself in my kitchen looking for snacks not long after breakfast. Finding little things to munch on in between meals often leads to poor food choices, so this wasn’t good. Not to mention, it threw off my macros when I made a really bad snack choice just because I was hungry .

 

I already knew these snacks were something I struggled with, but once my food journal helped me realize that I was eating too little protein, I was able to better address the problem. I started adding additional protein sources to my breakfast. This made a huge difference for me. I was no longer in the kitchen rummaging for unhealthy snacks because I was able to wait three hours to eat. Visually seeing my macros helped me figure out the culprit behind my mid-morning hunger and actually do something about it. 

 

3. I was letting myself get too busy to cook at home.

Do you ever have those weeks where cooking just feels impossible? Between travelling, meetings, and everyday obligations, I end up feeling that way a lot. While it’s okay to eat out every once in awhile, cooking at home is almost always the better choice. Still, when you find yourself in the middle of a crazy week, it’s easy to use that busyness as an excuse to just order takeout and call it done.

 

I knew I’d been doing that a little more than I probably should have, but my journal helped me realize that these “treats” had become way more frequent than I was admitting. While everything we order tastes really good and I do generally try to choose the healthiest things on whatever menu I’m ordering off of, I could certainly prepare healthier, more nutrient-dense, cleaner food at home.

The Changes I’m Making

After digging deep and analyzing my health habits with my food journal, I’ve decided to make some changes. In addition to being way more careful about what I eat at restaurants and adding protein to my breakfasts, I’ve realized that I really need to prioritize movement. 

Maybe I can’t make myself less busy, but I CAN commit to squeezing in activity wherever possible. Even on the busiest days, I can almost always find 15 minutes between tasks to go for a walk, hop on my elliptical, do some stretching, etc. At a minimum, I can take laps around my house while I’m on a conference call. These are small actions, but they can add up to big results over time.

I know not everyone works at home like me, and that it can be more challenging to squeeze movement in when you’re in an office environment. However, I challenge you to think about how you can tweak your routine to create more room for physical activity. This might look like taking a walk around your office building while you’re waiting on an approval, or doing a workout video while your baby is napping. Whatever you can do to get moving, do it!

While I can’t say that I’m staying on the food journal train, I do think the experience of tracking my habits for a short time was valuable. What do you think? Are you into journaling? Can you see how journaling for a few weeks might be valuable in your own life? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Need An Accountability Partner?

If you feel like you need someone to hold you accountable to making smart nutrition and movement choices, join my free Facebook Group, Never Diet Again! There, you’ll find tips, recipes, and fitness check-ins to help you stay on track. Just like in this blog, we get real about the journey to finding a balance between health, family, and professional life. Not only that, but you’ll enjoy support from women who share your health goals and want to see each other succeed. So what are you waiting for? Check it out now!

Posted - 7/23/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

How to Eat at Your Favorite Restaurant—Without the Guilt

How to Eat at Your Favorite Restaurant—Without the Guilt

How to Eat at Your Favorite Restaurant—Without the Guilt

For a lot of people,enjoying a meal with friends and family at a favorite restaurant is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I’d have to agree with those people! Eating out usually means good times and happy memories, but when you’re being conscious about eating healthy, it can also cause feelings of guilt over food choices. 

But what if I told you that with just a little planning, you could eat out at restaurants and enjoy yourself . . . with no guilt (or extra pounds) attached?

You don’t have to decide between enjoying an evening out or staying on-plan. I promise, there is a healthy balance between the two.

Here are my best tips for minding your healthy eating plan and having fun, too. Keep these in your pocket next time someone invites you out to dinner! They’ll save you from the guilt and help you make better choices without giving up your social life.

Never Go to a Restaurant Hungry

A lot of my clients reach out to me for help navigating their food choices at restaurants. Perhaps you feel the same way they often do—as if you can’t enjoy going out to eat while trying to meet your goals. 

If you’ve been caught in the yo-yo diet loop before, it’s understandable that you’d think about restaurants from that perspective. Most traditional diets recommend that you only eat foods on your meal plan with no exceptions. But remember—this isn’t a diet. You’ve got flexibility and a strategy for moments like these.

When I’m working with those clients on a plan for making successful choices at restaurants, the first rule we implement is to NEVER go to a restaurant hungry. You may be thinking, Well, why would I go to a restaurant if I’m not even hungry? 

I know this seems counterintuitive, but let me explain. If you go to a restaurant with your stomach growling, you’re not putting yourself in a position to pick the healthiest menu option. Your cravings will feel overwhelming, and there’s a pretty good chance those cravings will take over and decide what you order. 

On the other hand, if you have a healthy pre-dinner snack before heading out to the restaurant, you’ll be in much better shape to make a healthy choice when ordering. 

Plan On Taking Leftovers Home

Want to avoid overeating? Show up at the restaurant having already decided to take half your meal home with you. Most of the time, meals at restaurants have more than enough food to be considered two servings (or even more). If you follow the tip above and have a snack before dinner, you won’t have a problem splitting your meal into two servings.

What I especially love about this tip is that it doesn’t just save you from overeating; it saves you money (two meals for the price of one!) and provides you with a super easy, cooking-free meal tomorrow. All you have to do is reheat the leftovers, and voila! You have a delicious lunch ready to go. If you find that your leftovers are not enough for a whole meal, try adding some veggies or a side salad to make it more filling. If you need more protein and fat, adding a boiled egg should do the trick.

Having fun, living your life to the fullest, and being healthy aren’t mutually exclusive. I have been successfully using these two tips to strike a balance between loving food, keeping an active social life, and trying to make healthy choices as often as possible for years, and they haven’t failed me yet! I think you’ll be surprised just how easy eating out without the guilt can be when you follow these guidelines. Bon appetit!

Want More Tips?

Interested in learning more easy health tips like these? Join my Facebook group, Never Diet Again, for FREE and simple tips, recipes, nutrition and fitness check-ins, and support from other food lovers like you and me. We can’t wait to get to know you better!

 

 

Posted - 7/16/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

This Summer, Take Time to Relax and Recharge

This Summer, Take Time to Relax and Recharge

This Summer, Take Time to Relax & Recharge

Do you pay much attention to those unofficial “national holidays” that always seem to pop up on social media? This past Friday (the day after Independence Day) was apparently National Workaholics Day, and that got me thinking about what a great time of year this is to slow down, relax, and recharge. 

Hopefully, given that this blog is publishing right after the Fourth of July weekend, you’re coming off of a long, enjoyable break. Long holiday weekends offer great opportunities to recharge, of course, but what about regular weeks where we don’t have a built-in break? As nice as it is to enjoy occasional vacations and three-day weekends, learning to recharge as part of our regular daily schedules is vital to living a balanced, healthy life.

Fortunately, summertime makes that almost too easy. Between the gorgeous weather, amazing seasonal produce, and generally laid-back vibe of the season, you don’t have to look very far to find opportunities to recharge this time of year. 

My Favorite Ways to Relax and Recharge During Summer

1. Picking Fruits & Veggies

We’ve talked a lot about fruits and veggies over the past couple of weeks, but they’re back again! You might be wondering whether picking produce really counts as a relaxing activity, but I personally love it. Back when I used to work in an office environment, there just so happened to be a Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Farm quite near my workplace. I absolutely loved heading there for my lunch break to pick a carton of strawberries, enjoy my lunch on the farm, and take a few moments for quiet contemplation.

2. Swimming

You don’t have to be Michael Phelps to enjoy some pool time! When the dog days hit, jumping into a nice, cold pool is a welcome relief. If you’re in the mood for a workout, swimming laps is an awesome way to check off your cardio and strength workouts. If you’d rather just relax and clear your head, though, that’s totally fine! Floating peacefully, swimming underwater, or even just dipping your feet in a wading pool while you read a book can be great ways to recharge your batteries on a summer afternoon. 

3. Stretching

Are you a parent with kiddos home on summer break? We love our kids, but having them around full-time can put a kink in our typical routines. If you need a quick break but aren’t at liberty to leave the house for a long reprieve, try simply stepping into a separate room for some stretching. You can roll out a yoga mat or sit on the floor; stretch in silence or put on your favorite music. Even if you can only steal away for five minutes, time spent decompressing and loosening up your muscles will leave you feeling 100x better.

What are some of your favorite ways to recharge during the summer months? Share a few of your favorite activities in the comments section!

Until next week, what I wish for you is that you live a life you love without being hungry, feeling deprived, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner. Looking for some extra accountability between now and then? Check out my free community, Never Diet Again, where we support one another, share tips and recipes, and post regular nutrition and fitness check-ins to keep you on track. See ya there!

Posted - 7/09/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

How to Use Fruits and Veggies to Get More Exercise

How to Use Fruits and Veggies to Get More Exercise

How to Use Fruits & Veggies to Get More Exercise

It’s no secret: Fresh fruits and veggies are great for you! We’ve been talking a lot recently about seasonal produce and about how choosing fresh, local produce as often as you can is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep your healthy eating options interesting. 

But did you know fruits and veggies can actually help you MOVE more too?

I’m not talking about the steps you get walking from the parking lot to the farmers’ market (although those steps certainly count, too!). I’m talking about the magic of Pick-Your-Own Farms.

Why You Should Visit a Pick-Your-Own Farm

Do you have Pick-Your-Own Farms where you live? My guess is that you almost certainly do. In case you haven’t been to one though, A Pick-Your-Own Farm is just a farm that grows a certain type (or sometimes a few types) of produce and allows the public to come in and pick their own produce. You generally pay for your fruits and veggies based on weight or volume, and since you’re doing the labor of picking, this can be a great way to save a little money on fresh produce.

In addition to saving a few bucks though, Pick-Your-Own Farms are ALSO a great way to get in a super fun, unique workout. Turns out, a lot of bending, stretching, squatting, and walking goes into picking fruits and veggies! Even if you only need a small quantity of whatever you’re picking, the farms are usually sprawling, lovely properties where you can easily get in a long, pleasant stroll and take in some new scenery. Plus, many feature play areas for your kiddos. It doesn’t get much better than that!

I know this advice is simple and straightforward, but that’s what makes it great. After all: Living a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be complicated! When you can find lighthearted, fun ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your everyday life, you make keeping up a healthy lifestyle that much easier for yourself and your family.

If you have any tips about the best Pick-Your-Own Farms in your area—or even better, pictures of your family enjoying a day out picking fruits and veggies!—I’d love to see them. Drop yours in the comments section below.

I hope summer’s treating you well and that you find ample opportunity to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather in the next week. My wish for you is that you live a life you love without being hungry, feeling deprived, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner. Happy picking!

 

 

Posted - 7/02/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

Conquer Your Sweet Tooth With Seasonal Fruits

Conquer Your Sweet Tooth With Seasonal Fruits

Raise your hand if you have a sweet tooth! While I usually prefer savory splurges like olives, cheeses, and fine wines, I absolutely feel the pull of a gooey molten chocolate lava cake from time to time. And I get it—those cravings can be super tough to resist.

If you’re like most people, you probably read the title of this post and thought, “Okay, Dawn’s lost it. No way is fruit going to satisfy my sweet tooth as well as ice cream/cupcakes/a chocolate bar/etc. would.” If that’s you, I’ll just ask you one favor as we move forward: Hear me out!

I’m not going to sit here and try to pretend that you can totally prevent chocolate cravings by eating a peach every once in a while. But when it comes to enjoying the sweetest, juiciest, most decadent fruit selection possible, summertime is your best friend.

This isn’t intended to knock anyone in the produce industry, but the fact is, fresh, local, seasonal fruits are WAY sweeter than their counterparts at the supermarket during the winter. Unless you’re buying from some kind of specialized local source, most of the fruit you’re eating during the winter is being trucked in from very far away. These fruits are usually artificially enhanced for color and simply don’t pack the same nutritional punch that fresh summer fruit does. 

Likewise, the closer you can get to eating a piece of fruit right off the vine, the more luscious and satisfying that fruit is going to be. And all the extra NATURAL sugars make seasonal fruits fantastic for taking the edge off of those dessert cravings. 

Notice how I emphasized the word NATURAL?

Why does that matter? Isn’t sugar bad across the board? Nope! Not all sugars are created equally. The sugars found in your favorite junk foods are refined sugars. Our bodies process these differently than we process the natural sugars found in produce. So while eating a handful of Oreos results in an unhealthy blood sugar spike, eating a handful of grapes is a totally different, drastically more positive physiological experience for your body.

Fruit-Based Desserts

If you don’t feel like biting into a piece of fresh fruit will scratch your sweets itch, feel free to get creative! There are lots of ways to turn fruit into something that more closely resembles dessert. Sorbets, smoothies, gremolatas, and natural fruit popsicles all allow you to swap refined sugars for natural sugars while still feeling like you’re splurging on something sweet. You can also have a little scoop of low-sugar ice cream, frozen yogurt, or plain greek yogurt with a handful of fresh fruit on top. Personally, greek yogurt with strawberries and granola is one of my favorites!

Above all else, remember: Eating healthy can be fun, and staying on plan is totally doable, no matter the season! I hope this tip inspires you to find healthy, innovative solutions for satisfying your cravings and keeping up your healthy lifestyle all summer long.

Do you have any favorite healthy summer sweets? I’d love to hear your recipes and ideas! Drop me a note in the comments and let me know what’s on your plate this time of year.

As always, my wish for you in the next week is that you live a life you love without feeling hungry, depriving yourself, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner. Cheers!

 

Posted - 6/25/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

Me Time or Family Time? How To Make the Most of Your Time

Me Time or Family Time? How To Make the Most of Your Time

Me Time or Family Time?

How To Make the Most of Your Time

In the hubbub of modern life, there’s an unfortunate reality we all must face: We only get so many hours. Even though most of us would love to be spending more time on self-care, with our families, enjoying hobbies, etc., it can feel impossible to squeeze work time, family time, and me-time all into the same day.

I’ll admit that this is something I’ve struggled with over the years. The business owner in me feels like there’s always more work to be done. My mom instincts kick in and tell me I really should be spending more time with my kid. I get tired and crave a long walk alone, a day at the spa, or even a solo vacation. Ticking off all these boxes isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s not impossible either.

 

Multitasking is Key

When it comes to making sure my time is distributed as well as possible, the key is multitasking. Now sure, not everything goes together—you may struggle if you decide to take an important call while you’re in the middle of a cardio blast—but some things certainly can. For example, I’ve been known to take work calls while I stretch or enjoy a face mask, and instead of meeting clients and friends for drinks, I’ll often invite them to join me for a walk. These are just a few easy ways to ensure I’m getting my physical activity in while meeting my professional obligations and social engagements.

The same can work if you’re a parent. It’s fairly easy to combine your workout time with family time, especially if your kids are accustomed to getting daily movement in. If your older children are interested in starting to workout, you could potentially bring them along to the gym. Otherwise, a family game of kickball, an afternoon at the community pool, or a long walk around your town’s historic district are all great ways to score some steps and make some memories with your family at the same time. In our family, it’s important to us that our son has a solid nutritional foundation and a love for movement, so we try to keep our family activities as active as possible, as often as we can.

At the same time, though, my workout time often doubles as my me-time. If packing your kids along to the gym doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time, that’s absolutely fine too. There’s no shame in skipping the mommy-and-me yoga, leaving your kids at home with your partner or a sitter, and enjoying a quiet, thorough workout sans family. Personally, I’ve learned that I’m a much better mom (and more pleasant person in general) when I make time for a workout/me-time in the mornings, and my family has come to respect that that’s a time I take for myself.

 

The Best Thing You Can Do For You

Whatever you decide to do with your time, my biggest piece of advice is: Ditch the guilt. Just like we’ve ditched the dieting, it’s okay for you to do whatever you need to do for yourself. Some days, that might mean making arrangements for your family to be busy elsewhere while you enjoy a day of self-care. Other days, that might mean cutting a workout short so you can make it to your kid’s recital on time. There’s no right or wrong way to prioritize your hours, and as long as all your needs are being met, you’re doing just fine.

If you’re looking for some extra healthy living tips, be sure to check out my FREE Facebook Community, Never Diet Again. You can grab my Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy Guide today, AND you’ll be first in line when I release my new guide, 7 Nutrition Lies We’ve All Been Fed, shortly.

Until next week, I hope you live a life you love without feeling hungry, depriving yourself, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner. Cheers!

 

Posted - 6/18/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

How to Eat Healthy On the Go

How to Eat Healthy On the Go

How to Eat Healthy On the Go

In a world where there is a tremendous amount of diversity, we all have one thing in common: Everyone is super busy. This is true all year long, but it seems to be especially true during the summer. We’ve got the regular stress of our work schedules and social calendars. We’d like to enjoy the summer weather more. If you’re a parent, your kids being home for the summer has likely thrown your routine a little out of whack. Maybe you’re planning a vacation, racking up some volunteer hours, or spending a lot of time tending your summer garden.

Whatever fills your schedule, I’d wager that it is, in fact, full. So this season seemed like a great opportunity to talk about eating healthy on the go.

When I’m starting to work with a new client, one of the most common excuses I hear is, “I’d like to eat healthy, but I’m just SO busy.” I get it—I’m a working mom and business owner, I travel all the time, and I’ve usually got a pretty full social calendar as well. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that eating nutritiously balanced meals when you’re on the move is always super easy, but I AM telling you that it’s possible if you want it badly enough. And actually, it’s really not as tough as you probably think it is.

So without any further ado, here are some of my favorite tips for eating healthy on the go.

 

Master the art of the MRFK.

If you’ve been a part of my community for long,  you’ve undoubtedly heard me expound on my love for the MRFK—that’s a Mobile Readiness Food Kit. Basically, your MRFK is a pre-prepped package that contains all the food and water you’ll need during the time you plan to be out.

Your MRFK can contain whatever you want, but here are a few of my favorite items: Trader Joe’s freeze dried fruit (because it contains no added sugar + covers your carbs), Epic Bars (for lots of protein), small quantities of nuts (healthy fats), protein shakes/bars, fresh fruits and veggies in little baggies or Tupperware packs, and of course, your favorite water bottle.

 

Take a breath and look at the menu.

Planning ahead is always preferable, but hey—maybe you got stuck somewhere and you just don’t have your MRFK this time. No need to panic! It’s actually pretty simple to find healthy options at most of your favorite restaurants. Take a moment to really look at the menu. Instead of ordering your go-to burger and fries, try a grilled chicken salad. If you’re somewhere that you can get salmon and veggies, that’s great. If you’re grabbing fast food, go with a grilled chicken sandwich, ask for extra lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles, and skip the bun.

 

Even if you don’t see healthy options on the menu, it’s usually possible to mix and match a la carte items to create a healthy choice. Be sure to smile, say please, and be kind to your server, but don’t feel bad asking for some accommodations!

 

BYO dish to barbecues.

If backyard barbecues play a big part in your summer fun, navigating food options can seem tricky. Realistically, though, most people won’t mind if you skip the hotdogs and explain that you’re focusing on your health. Simply ask your friends if you can bring something—then make that something a big salad, some turkey burgers, or marinated chicken breasts to slap on the grill. Bringing enough to share is a great way to make sure your gesture comes off as thoughtful instead of picky or rude.

If bringing food along isn’t an option for some reason, you can also plan on eating a healthy meal ahead of time. You’ll automatically eat lighter during the gathering because you won’t really be hungry. Your blood sugar will stay balanced, and you won’t veer too far off plan.

 

Know when to splurge.

If there’s a particular event or occasion that has you wanting to enjoy an off-plan meal, then go for it! Enjoy every single bite, ditch any guilt that tries to sneak its way in, and then go right back to your plan starting with your next meal.

 

If you read all that and still have questions, let’s connect! Leave me a note in the comments area below, or hop over to my Facebook Group, Never Diet Again, and grab my free Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy Guide.

Until next week, I hope these tips serve you well and that you’re living a life you love without being hungry, feeling deprived or giving up your glass of wine with dinner!

 

 

Posted - 6/11/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

How to Recharge When You're Juggling Your Kids' Schedules

How to Recharge When You're Juggling Your Kids' Schedules

How to Recharge When You’re Juggling Your Kids’ Schedules

Earlier this week, I got up super early and went to spin class. This has become a relatively normal part of my routine—I’ve always gotten up with the sun so I could squeeze in a workout before the day gets too hectic, and spin class is my current favorite thing.

After class, I was chatting with a fellow-mom-friend about what the rest of our days looked like. “Honestly,” she said. “Our schedules are crazy. I have to get so-and-so to this activity, and then I have to get my other kid to this other activity . . .”

I could see the look of overwhelm on her face, and honestly, I just wanted to hug her. Why? Because I related to that sentiment soooo much.

If you’re a mom, I’d say there’s a pretty good chance you didn’t come into this parenthood thing thinking it was going to be a piece of cake. But were any of us actually, completely prepared for just how much of our time and efforts were going to go into keeping up with our kiddos’ basic, daily activities?

Don’t get me wrong: There’s nothing I would rather do with my time than spend it with my son. But trying to stay on top of your self-care routine—or even feel like an autonomous, individual person, for that matter—can be super difficult when you’re juggling your kids’ schedules.

So today, I wanted to touch on one of my very favorite topics: recharging. More specifically, I wanted to talk about how YOU can find time to recharge your batteries, even when you’re in the midst of juggling your family’s insane schedule.

 

Rethink Your Definition of Me-Time

For a lot of us, we think of self-care as something super indulgent: a manicure, a no-kids shopping day, a two-hour bubble bath . . . All those things are AWESOME. But sometimes, we have to be a little more creative about finding me-time where we can.

In my life, I’ve come to rely on my workout time as my me-time. Getting up early isn’t always easy, but I feel SO much better when I get up, get moving, and spend the first couple hours of the day alone, focusing on my health.

Can you do something similar in your life? You don’t have to wake at 5 a.m. for spin class, but maybe you could roll out of bed 45 minutes for a quick walk around your block. Maybe you could pay for one extra hour of childcare and squeeze in an aerobics class after work. Or maybe it has nothing to do with working out—maybe your recharge-activity is watching the sunrise with a cup of tea from your back deck, journaling for 15 minutes on your lunch break, or spending 20 minutes knitting while you listen to your favorite podcast before breakfast.

My point is, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive, super time consuming, or impractical. Consider what you love, consider what makes sense for your life, and find an activity that makes sense in regards to both.


 

Let Your Hours Do Double-Duty

So you can’t get around the fact that soccer practice takes up a couple full hours every single Tuesday evening. I get that. But do you really have to sit there through the entire practice every single week? I’d say no.

Just because a certain time block is technically predesignated for something your kids are doing, that doesn’t mean you can’t do something for yourself in that time as well. For instance, maybe soccer practice happens to be a five minute drive from a small-but-cute salon—great! Drop your kid off, get a 30-minute massage, then head back to pick him up. I’m not suggesting you do this every single week; I personally love watching my son at his karate classes. But sometimes, it’s okay to cut yourself some slack and gift yourself that time back.

Want to take this one step further? Trade taxi-duties with other trustworthy parents in your network. Maybe you team up with three other moms, and each of you commits to taking all the kids one Saturday per month. This means one of your Saturdays is dedicated fully to being present with your kids and their friends . . . And it also means that you potentially get three full Saturday afternoons to do anything you want or need to do.

Be creative here. Maybe these exact suggestions don’t fit your life, but I feel confident that you can come up with a solution if you do some brainstorming. :)


 

Ditch the Guilt

This is one of my favorite phrases in regards to a lot of life-stuff: Ditch the guilt if you eat dessert, ditch the guilt if you accidentally miss a workout, and for pete’s sake, ditch the guilt around taking time for yourself. You CANNOT be nearly as present, positive, and supportive for your family if you’re running on fumes. It’s just not possible. So if that means that you need to take a day every month to leave the kids with your partner, a grandparent, or a babysitter and do something that recharges your batteries, then you should ABSOLUTELY prioritize that.

Showing your kids how to be a good parent while also taking good care of yourself and keeping your sense of personal identity is setting an awesome example that they’ll look to if they should become parents someday down the road. They may not get it now, but they’ll thank you later.

 

Those are my three biggest tips on recharging even when you’re faced with a busy schedule! Do you have some tips of your own? Or maybe you have a few questions about your particular circumstances? Either way, I’d love to hear from you! Click “POST COMMENT” below and leave me a little note. :)

 

Could you use a support network of other busy, professional mamas? Community is SO important when it comes to health, which is exactly why I created my FREE Facebook Group, Never Diet Again. If you aren’t already a member, we’d love to have you! And while you’re there, you can pick up my FREE Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy Guide—your map to living a full, satisfying, and healthy life every single day.

 

CLICK HERE to check it out!

 

Until next week, I hope you live a life you love without feeling hungry (or stressed out), depriving yourself (of good food OR me-time), or giving up your glass of wine with dinner. Cheers!

 

Posted - 6/04/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

3 Tips For Incorporating Movement In Your Family's Busy Schedule

3 Tips For Incorporating Movement In Your Family's Busy Schedule

3 Tips For Incorporating Movement Into Your Family’s Busy Schedule

Do you ever step back and wonder at how many hours each week you spend being the mom-taxi? I know I sure do. Don’t get me wrong—I’m my kid’s biggest fan, and I absolutely love watching him practice karate and soccer, and supporting him in all his endeavors. But the reality is, there are only so many hours in a day.

When you’re living the busy mom life, you’ve gotta get creative about incorporating movement into your family’s busy schedule. Personally, I’m a big fan of multi-tasking when it comes to working out—over the years, I’ve figured out a variety of relatively simple ways to keep moving even when my family’s schedule is absolutely insane.

If juggling mom stuff, work stuff, and health stuff is a struggle that sounds familiar to you, you’re in luck! Here are my three tips for incorporating movement into your family’s busy schedule . . . WITHOUT creating any extra fuss or stress.

 

1. Move When Your Kids Move.

Are your kids involved in sports or extracurriculars? If soccer practice, ballet lessons, or track meets are a regular feature in your family’s schedule, use that time! Instead of sitting on the sidelines and watching your kid’s every move, try walking laps around the field, jogging up and down bleacher steps, or doing some simple stretching wherever you can grab a seat. You might feel silly the first few times you try this, but the benefit of being able to support your kid AND squeeze in a workout all at once will far outway any initial awkwardness. Plus, you might even start a movement habit with the other parents!

 

2. Use Quality Time as Exercise Time.

How do you usually spend time with your kids? Your quality time can easily double as exercise time for the whole family! Instead of watching a movie, take your kids for a weekend hike, play backyard kickball, or knock a volleyball around for awhile. Remember—it’s not necessary to be super athletic or skilled here. These activities are just to have fun and move your body! When you teach your kids to associate physical activity with fun, you’re setting them up with a lifelong healthy habit.

 

3. Get Moving During Your Me Time.

Drop the guilt and say this with me—you don’t have to spend EVERY moment with your children. In fact, it’s SUPER important to take me-time wherever you can find it. If you’re super pressed for time, you can always use your me-time hours to take a long nature walk, attend a yoga class, or play tennis with a friend. Personally, I love waking up early for a solid workout that doubles as an opportunity to clear my brain and recharge!

 

That wraps up my tips for the week! Let me know if you feel like these are practices you can incorporate into your life in the comments. Do you have any of your own tips for finding workout time in the midst of busy family life? Feel free to share those tips, too!

If you’re looking for more tips on seamlessly incorporating healthy choices in your every day life, join me over in my free Facebook Group. Never Diet Again! I show up there daily to provide tips, tricks, and insights on juggling health with family and professional life.

Until next week, what I wish for you is that you live a life you love without being hungry, feeling deprived, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner. Cheers!

Posted - 5/28/19 (Tue) Read more...