Food for Thought

Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness articles for busy women who want to lead a healthy, fulfilled life they love.

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...

 

How to Make Healthy Eating Work as a Family

How to Make Healthy Eating Work as a Family

How to Make Healthy Eating Work as a Family

When it comes to enjoying meals with the whole family, only one thing is ever certain: Your chances of everyone agreeing on what to eat are basically zero.

Maybe your family isn’t like mine and you all love the same healthy foods—if that’s you, congrats! But if you’re family IS like mine, then you know the struggle. We’re three different people who typically have three varying ideas about what mealtime should look like. I love a wide variety of interesting, healthy, spicy foods. My husband, on the other hand, tends to prefer pretty basic, bland foods. My son falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. The result is mealtimes that can become . . . well, interesting, if we don’t plan well.

Fortunately, we fell into a pattern a few years ago that has allowed us to enjoy mealtimes together. Everyone gets to eat what they want, everyone gets to spend quality time together, and we all get to keep our busy schedules on track!

So how do we do it? We cook together, of course!

One of our favorite ways to spend time together and handle the responsibilities of mealtime is to each prepare our own meal for ourselves, at the same time. I know it may sound a little crazy, but hear me out! It’s truly the way that makes the most sense for my family. Like I said, each selecting our own meal means that we’re all happy with what we’re eating—I can have a delicious salad with whatever thoughtfully-spiced protein is on the menu that day, while my husband and son can each adjust their meals according to their diverse pallets.

Do we sometimes run into each other and get in one another’s way? Absolutely. But for us, that’s part of the fun. By prepping and eating our dinners together, we enjoy a built-in time when we’re all spending quality time with one another, taking care of a chore that needed to be addressed anyway while simultaneously enjoying each other’s company.

So there’s a tip to help mealtimes this week run a little smoother in your home! Does your family already cook together? Do you think preparing dinner together is something your household would enjoy? Let me know what you think about this concept in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

If you’re interested in more tips to simplify your family’s life and nutrition, be sure to check out my free facebook community, Never Diet Again. I show up there regularly to share everything from health and wellness tips, to recipes, to workout plans and inspiration. Hope to see you there!

Until next week, what I wish for you is to live a life you love without feeling hungry, depriving yourself, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner. Ciao!

 

Posted - 5/21/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

Navigating Summer Vacations

Navigating Summer Vacations

Navigating Summer Vacations

Do You Have to Choose Between Relaxing or Being Healthy?

‘Tis the season! Not for wintery holidays though—for summer vacations! As we inch closer and closer to Memorial Day weekend, just about everyone has taking a break on the brain. Whether you’re planning a weekend of picnicking and playing with your kids at home or you’ve got your heart set on a luxury cruise, I hope an opportunity to unwind is coming your way soon.

 

As for me and my family, we’re gearing up for our annual trip to Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont. The town is full of opportunities to be active, which I absolutely love. We go hiking, play beach volleyball, take walks around the resort, play tennis and frisbee golf . . . It’s a great way to get my workout in when we’re on the road!

 

I don’t want to make you think vacation has to be one big, long workout though. It’s totally okay to just take some time to relax while you’re traveling as well! Self-care means taking care of yourself physically AND mentally.

 

If you’re planning your summer vacation, I’d encourage you to try to find balance between relaxation and physical activity. Balance doesn’t necessarily mean splitting your time perfectly evenly; it just means being conscious of your needs and trying to address as many as you can.

 

Maybe that means getting up at sunrise for a long walk on the beach that doubles as your recharge time and a little workout. Maybe it means you spend a full day lounging by the pool, followed by a hike the next afternoon. Maybe you could plan to eat a great dinner and then go out for an evening hike with your family. There are tons of great ways you can enjoy a relaxing vacation without being too sedentary during your trip.

 

What I’d love to hear from you is, what’s your favorite type of vacation? Are you interested in learning more ways to stay active while you’re on holiday, or do you prefer to just take a couple weeks off and get back to business when you get home? There’s no wrong answer!

 

Whatever you end up doing, wherever you go, I hope you have a wonderful vacation season. As always, what I hope 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 more advice on having fun AND staying healthy? Grab a free download of my Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy Guide here!

 

Posted - 5/14/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

5 Ways to Sneak In Me-Time When You Have No Free Time

5 Ways to Sneak In Me-Time When You Have No Free Time

Ahh—sunny days are finally here to stay! With the extra sunshine comes vacations, extra family time, possibly house guests, or maybe we are the guests… Whatever the situation, there’s a lot of change to our usual routines involved.

With all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to find ourselves feeling a little overwhelmed, distracted, and over-stimulated.

So today, I’d like to talk about how to sneak in some me-time when you have very little free time, and why it’s so important to do so. Taking me-time can trigger an upward spiral in terms of your self-care. When we give ourselves the time we need, we are taking care of ourselves emotionally and are more likely to keep up with exercise and make positive food choices to both enjoy more and fuel your body better. The more positive choices you make, the more you want to keep making them.

Sneaking in me-time isn’t just good for us though—it’s good for our family and friends as well.  When we get overstimulated, we may be cranky or distracted. Taking a few minutes to ourselves eases stress and ensures that we can be our best selves in the presence of others. We all want to offer our family and friends the best of us, and by recharging, we can do just that.

So I think we can all agree me time is important, but I can hear you asking: In such a busy season of life, how can I find extra time for me? So glad you asked  ;)

Here are my 5 favorite ways to sneak in me-time when I feel like I have zero free time.

 

  1. Let your time do double duty. I like to use my work out time as my me time.

  2. Start each day with a 30-minute walk, whether that’s outside or on the elliptical. I like to get up a little early and do this before the day really gets started to clear my head, boost my mood, and start my day off positively.

  3. Take a short walk after dinner. You might even want to take a couple people whose company you enjoy with you and have a nice chat.

  4. Take a long bath . . . Or if time is really tight, just spend a few extra minutes in the shower.

  5. Steal away for a mani/ pedi, or give yourself one while you enjoy a glass of wine. It can feel like a mini private vacation. :)

 

If you would like more tips like this, hop over to my free Facebook Group, Never Diet Again, and grab my free guide, Eat, Drink and Be Healthy.  

I’d love to hear your favorite me time activities and any tips you have for sneaking in a little healthy me-time. Leave your ideas in the comments below!

As always, my hope for you is that you live a life you love, without being hungry, feeling deprived, or giving up your glass of wine.

 

Posted - 5/07/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

Can You Stay On Plan While Traveling and Still Have Fun?

Can You Stay On Plan While Traveling and Still Have Fun?

Can You Stay On Plan While Traveling . . . And Still Have Fun?

What’s your favorite thing about spring? It’s tough to pick, but traveling definitely makes my list! Whether it’s for business, pleasure, or a little of both, it seems like everyone’s travel schedules pick up this time of year.

Traveling is great! Seeing new places always leaves me feeling inspired, and I’m always enthusiastic about trying interesting new foods in the places I visit. However, trying to stay on plan while traveling can present a variety of challenges. You may not want to stay on plan in the first place, and doing so without getting bored or giving up your vacation treats requires some creativity.

Thankfully, it is possible to stay on plan while traveling . . . and it doesn’t have to mean giving up your fun! As someone who spends a pretty good chunk of my year on the road (or in many cases, in the air), I’ve come up with a few strategies for having a great time without blowing my plan. These are a few of my favorite tips.

 

1.Exercise as often as you can.

Keeping up an exercise routine while you travel is key, but you might need to be flexible. If you’ve read many of my past blogs, you likely know that for me, exercise is usually my me time. However, when I travel with my family, I often end up working out with my 14-year-old son. It goes against my usual pattern, but hey—isn’t it every mom’s dream to have a teenager who still wants to spend time together? I love our bonding time over new exercises, and he always gets a kick out of it too.

Be willing to adjust your expectations. Your workout routine might look different than it does at home, but it’s still important to prioritize movement, whatever that looks like.

 

2. Build fun activities into your travel plans.

Working out can mean spending time in the hotel gym (as we often do), but it certainly doesn’t have to. It could mean walking through downtown streets. Playing in the waves at the beach. Hitting golf balls, throwing frisbees, playing tennis. Anything that allows you to move your body and score some extra steps!

 

3. Travel with protein shakes and bars.

When it comes to keeping up with your nutrition while traveling, it’s actually pretty simple to stay 90% true to your plan. A big part of that for me is packing shakes. I never go anywhere without my Zen Fuze powder. The amount you’ll bring is different for each trip, of course—generally, for a two-week trip, I bring a full bag of powder, a scoop, and some small baggies so that I can carry small portions with me if I want to. I also bring a shaker bottle (I love Blender Bottles) and a water bottle so I can mix up shakes on the go. They’re not always the most convenient thing to carry around, but it’s way better than letting my blood sugar crash.

If you’re not into carrying around the full shake setup, just bring some bars instead! Protein bars are small and portable, so you can tote around a few at a time if you’re planning to be out and about all day. I personally love Daryl’s Bars because they’re gluten free and soy free, and they use great ingredients. Quest Bars also offer a lot of good options—again, I’d go with the gluten-free kind to avoid bloating.

 

4. Drink lots of water.

This is true whether you’re at home or on the road, but it’s extra important when you’re traveling. Invest in a nice water bottle and don’t go anywhere without it. You can count the liquid in a shake as part of your water intake because it’s just water and powder, but you can’t count coffee, tea, beer, or wine. So bring your water bottle, and add a slice of lemon, orange, or lime if you start feeling bored with it.

 

5. Make strategic nutrition choices.

When I say this, I mean that you should stick as close to your plan as often as you can. I don’t mean that you have to be eating 100% perfectly when you’re on vacation, but if you choose your splurges strategically, you’re much less likely to get totally derailed.

Breakfast is an easy time to make good choices. Most hotels offer omelet bars these days, and beginning your day with egg whites and veggies is a great starting point. Likewise, choosing light fish with citrus sauce, shrimp cocktails, garlic chicken and similar dishes leaves you room to enjoy an extra glass of wine, a cocktail, or even a little dessert if you’re craving something sweet.

 

6. Advocate for yourself.

When you’re ordering dinner out, don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions. Personally, I always like to order my salmon and veggies “naked” (no butter, salt, or oil). Sometimes I get weird looks, but most of the time, restaurants are more than happy to accomodate. Asking lots of questions might feel awkward if you consider yourself an introvert, but you’re the customer—so be polite, but don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and get the meal you really want.
 

That rounds out my top tips for having fun and staying healthy while traveling.

Do you have any trips coming up? Tell me about them in the comments, and feel free to drop your questions below too if you have any!

Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful week, and that you live a life you love without being hungry, feeling deprived, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner.

 

*Note: This blog talks about some of my favorite products. Because I love them so much, I am happy to be able to share a direct link to them in case you'd like some of your own. And because I refer people to these companies, they thank me in the form of a small commission which I use to try out other products to share with my customers.

Posted - 4/30/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

How to Satisfy Seasonal Cravings With Healthy Foods

How to Satisfy Seasonal Cravings With Healthy Foods

How to Satisfy Seasonal Cravings With Healthy Foods

Have you started craving “summer foods” yet? Here in Boston, it’s finally (finally!) starting to warm up a little. It’s definitely not summery, and if I’m being honest, it’s really only been springy about half the time, but we have started getting a few lovely sunny days here and there. And those days have me craving all my favorite summer foods.

What are summer foods? Just as we tend to crave hearty, warm, dense foods in the winter, most of us tend to crave meals that are light, sweet, and fresh when it’s hot out. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to satisfy summer food cravings without going off plan! So today, I wanted to talk a little about seasonal cravings and how you can indulge your cravings with healthy, nutritionally balanced foods.

When we think of “seasonal cravings”, sometimes our mind goes straight to wintery comfort foods and holiday treats. We’ve already talked in past blogs about enjoying comfort foods and treats on plan, so I won’t spend a ton of time on that here (it is spring, after all!). If you haven’t heard my two cents on healthy comfort foods, give this article a read and check out my healthy, hearty, go-to stew recipe. It’s delicious in any season!

For today, we’re going to focus on warm weather seasonal cravings. Like I said, “summer food” to me means light, fresh, and clean bites. One of my favorite things to cook in the warmer months is a light fish. I usually pre-cook about three portions of fish at a time—less than that and I’m cooking too often for my taste, more than that and it doesn’t really stay fresh. Depending on your schedule, your preference, and what kind of fish you’re cooking, you may be able to cook up to a week’s worth of fish at once if you really want to. Since fish is so versatile, you can use it in a pretty wide variety of dishes.

 

Healthy Lunch (or Dinner!)

My preferred way to enjoy the fish once it’s cooked is over a salad for lunch. I’ll toss in a handful of raspberries, strawberries, kiwi fruit, hot peppers, or whatever other fresh fruits and veggies I have around. I also usually add roasted pumpkin seeds for a little healthy fat and a nice, satisfying crunch. I top it all off with a blend of balsamic and fresh olive oil. Mmmmm.

If you live somewhere with a variety of grocery shopping options, it may be worth a few extra dollars to splurge on a couple really great oils and vinegars during this time of year. You can do a lot with fresh greens, fruit, and infused balsamic vinegar! Try produce combinations like blueberry and lemon, carrots and ginger, or cucumber and melon. Mix up your greens between kale, spinach, lettuce, chard, and whatever else you enjoy. Swap out your fish for a grilled chicken or turkey breast and pumpkin seeds for hemp hearts, chia seeds, walnuts, or some other source of healthy fat. Create healthy variety and you’ll never get bored. If you really want to save yourself some time, you can pre-mix a few salads in tupperware containers. You might want to save the dressing for the last minute to keep your greens from getting soggy, but this is a super easy way to have a fresh, summery meal in under ten minutes.

 

Summer Sweets

I’d be remiss to talk about summer foods without mentioning that yes—it’s ice cream season! If you’re already struggling to drive by your favorite ice cream place without stopping, I want to remind you that 1) it’s okay to stop for a regular-sized ice cream once in awhile and 2) you can keep some healthy ice cream-esque treats at home to help satisfy that craving. I love making homemade popsicles (so much so that I bought a super cool popsicle maker that turns them out in just seven minutes!). You can go the traditional route and do popsicles with juice and chunks of fruit, or if you want to make a PFC-friendly treat, chocolate protein powder popsicles are fantastic.

If you find  yourself with a car full of kids insisting that they want to go out for ice cream, consider doing frozen yogurt instead. Depending on what kind of yogurt you choose and which toppings you get, it’s actually possible to put together a fairly healthy frozen treat at shops like Sweet Frog, Yogurtland, and Red Mango.

 

I hope these ideas help you stay on track as we head into the summer months!

Do you have any of your own favorite healthy summer recipes? If so, leave yours in the comments below! I’d love to try some of them out. :)

Until next time, I hope you live a life you love without being hungry, feeling deprived, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner. Ciao!

 

Posted - 4/23/19 (Tue) Read more...

 

Finding Workout Inspiration in Your Environment

Finding Workout Inspiration in Your Environment

Hello from Boston! As of the date this article is being released, the 2019 Boston Marathon just wrapped up yesterday. If you’re not a Boston local or a runner, you might not see why that matters, but if you’re either of those things, then you know what a huugge deal the marathon is to the city of Boston and the running community alike.

 

Everyone in town has spent the last several weeks gearing up for the big race in one way or another, which has of course had a big influence on my mindset recently. As someone who’s had two hip replacements and a knee replacement, running the marathon is pretty much unfathomable to me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find inspiration in the marathon activities! And that’s exactly what I wanted to talk to you about today—finding everyday inspiration in your environment.

 

Let me elaborate. As mentioned, Boston has been marathon crazy for awhile now. Folks who are training usually start doing their long runs in February. As everyone is starting to get sick of their New Year’s Resolutions and relax a little, I see marathon hopefuls out doing 20 mile runs. Now, as I said—that’s not really in the cards for me. However, I still love being surrounded by their energy because it reminds me that I CAN push myself to do just a little more than what I did yesterday, last week, and so on.

 

So what I’ve decided to do is enroll in a weekly spin class. Why spin class? No reason in particular, except that I’ve been talking about it for years. Why now? Again—no particular reason. It’s just that I’ve realized there’s really nothing stopping me, aside from maybe a little apprehension about whether those aforementioned injuries could make it hard for me to keep up. So far, I’m two classes in and loving it! Trying a new workout is fun for me, and I feel great about pushing myself to work just a little harder than I have in recent weeks.

 

So where can you find inspiration? Your town doesn’t have to host a national-acclaimed running event in order for you to experience the same buzz I’m experiencing! Look around you and ask yourself, what do you see that makes you want to do more?

 

Maybe watching your kids play soccer, ice hockey, or baseball reminds you of how much you used to love playing. Could you use that as motivation to do calf raises, high knees, squats, or lunges by the field, or walk laps around the rink while they practice? If you’re really feeling ambitious, you could even look into joining a hobby community team for adults!

 

So what do you say? What inspires you?

I’d love to hear more about whatever is fueling your fire this week and how that’s impacting your workout routine—be sure to leave me a note in the comments section below!

 

I also want to invite you to download my free guide, Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy. If you’re just getting started in your healthy living journey (or if you could use a refresher!), this guide helps you establish a super solid foundation. I’d also encourage you to check out my tips on Setting SMART fitness and nutrition goals. :)

 

Until next week, what I hope 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 - 4/16/19 (Tue) Read more...