Three Quick (& Healthy) Weight Loss Tips You Haven’t Tried

Looking to slim down, drop weight or lose inches? Our three healthy weight loss tips will help you kick-start or rev up your weight loss efforts.  No powders, pills, or starvation necessary. You’ll use your body’s natural science to boost your metabolism, tone up and slim down.

Tip #1: Kick all processed carbs to the curb.

Get rid of boxes, bags, and bottles. Bottled, store-bought juices and smoothies (particularly those in the grocery store aisles), breads, pastas, cookies, crackers, low fat snacks and whole grain snacks contain a lot of sugar and starch that slow down weight loss, particularly for those with food sensitivities.

Kick them to the curb!

Need some ideas on better snacks, here are a few, along with some other no-effort ways to clean up your diet.

Tip #2: No carbs after 4PM.

Say no to any and all carbs after 4PM, including fruit, popcorn, chips (corn, potato, beet, apple, etc.), rice, pasta, potatoes, sugar, and … wine and beer.

Choose dark leafy greens (which not only help with weight loss, but provide vital nutrients that ramp up your overall health, complexion, detox and vitality!) and the best quality protein you can find. Use the Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app for the safest, sustainable seafood options in season, and shop your local farmers’ market or meat section at the grocery store for the best grass fed, organic beef!

Tip #3: Finish your last meal three hours before you fall asleep.

Eating in advance of sleep allows your body to digest your food without hampering the natural detox & healing processes that take place during sleep. An added bonus, it also helps you shed those unwanted pounds. If your schedule doesn’t allow for this one, aim for breakfast 12 hours after you ate dinner to help the blood sugar and metabolism reset.

We love to hear your health tips, weight loss secrets and delicious recipes! Share with us on social media or leave a comment below.

To your health!

What the Health and the Keto Controversy

What the Health and the Keto Controversy - making sense of two very different lifestyles and how to make better diet and lifestyle choices

With the recent release of What the Health, aka “The Health Film That Health Organizations Don’t Want You To See,” healthy eating by way of veganism has experienced a rise in attention, specifically within certain social circles and demographics (Netflix is the primary viewing venue).

Friend groups and communities are atwitter over the science and positions explored in the film, and the conversations have incensed many due to the data revealed and what it means to their lifestyle choices or because of the confusion and frustration generated by trying to apply yet another batch of science and expert opinions to an already mixed bag of seemingly conflicting information in the world of health and wellness.

In this post, we explore two primary at-odds lifestyles and offer perspectives and guidance to empower you to follow the path that best suits you. 

First, What The Health!? and Veganism

Veganism, or the practice of eating only non-animal products, has, for years, been touted as a surefire way to lose weight, lower cholesterol and slow aging. In the Middle and Far East, for centuries, practicing veganism is common due to the moral, ethical, and spiritual pillar of the regions to “do no harm.”

Domestically, many celebrities, doctors and industrial leaders have emerged as vegans, and we, the viewing public, have observed the benefits of the vegan lifestyle as they unfolded in that individual’s life as documented through the lens of the camera, social media, USA Today, etc..

All indications point to veganism is The Way!

Here’s where it gets controversial.

Despite these incredible success stories that we’ve seen with our own eyes and the scientific findings cited by vocal vegans and What The Health, arguments that favor the veganism movement can be disproven by other science, research, medical and scientific journals and health experts.

Case in point, the ketogenic lifestyle.

Keto.

As we discussed earlier this month, is a diet globally recognized for centuries for its anti-aging, disease reversing, cancer preventing benefits (among other heroics). The foundation of the keto lifestyle includes a certain cadence of eating, which simulates fasting and subsequent benefits,  and a diet comprised of a high ratio of protein and fats and lower percentage of calories from carbohydrates than the Standard American Diet (SAD, an acronym that is both entertaining and accurate).

Modified keto, for example, may include a diet of 60-70% of calories derived from protein and fats (including saturated and unsaturated) with only 30% or less of calories derived from complex carbohydrates (i.e nothing processed and no sugar). Some keto’ers also shy away from grains, beans, soy, corn, etc., due to the high carbohydrate content and effect on blood sugar, which throws the individual out of a ketosis state, thus undoing the chemistry that yields the incredible benefits.

Protein and fat sources for many followers of the keto diet include animal products, yet, due to the individual’s unique metabolic make-up and how the individual metabolizes carbohydrates using insulin, many keto’ers base a large portion of the diet on plant-based eating, i.e. vegetable-heavy.

It’s Getting Hot in Here.

The conundrum we face are two very different diets, both of which tout health benefits. One is entirely animal-product free, and the other – in many cases – promotes the consumption of high-quality animal products.

You can see how these two dynamics are at odds with one another, and how the confusion and overwhelm accompanying the effort to make sense of them as a consumer can be significant!

Layer on top of any confusion the emotional charge we inject into our relationship with food and the deep ties to our identity that develop in relation to our food choices, lifestyle and the ethics, beliefs and mores therein, and you’ve got a hot button topic that triggers some internal moral dilemmas and very passionate discussions.

What’s Our Take?

As far as we’re concerned, any catalyst, be it a conversation, documentary, book, article, Ted Talk, etc. that activates an authentic, respectful conversation among communities and an inward assessment of one’s health, lifestyle and holistic wellness is a good thing.

Any proponent of a whole food, clean-eating, know-where-your-food-comes-from way of life? Also, a good thing.

Any wake-up call to ask deeper questions, fuel optimal wellness and make intentional, mindful choices? DEFINITELY a GREAT thing.

If you find yourself curious, or even enraged, by What The Health or Keto, and the science, ethics, or the arguments of each, then consider it your wake-up call.

Lean into this conversation vs. throwing in the towel. Casually explore various diets and lifestyles, and shift your mindset into thinking of it as a fun exploration. How you’ve eaten in the past may not be where you want to go in the future, and that doesn’t mean you’ve been fooled or failed! It means you now have different information you’re using to perhaps make different choices.

How to truly know what is best for YOU?

Some people’s constitution and metabolisms need higher levels of protein and fat and opt to include animal products as a manner to supplement those needs. Others have food allergies that preclude them from going all-in on a certain way of eating. Other people’s ethical beliefs trump all else, and they opt to forgo animal products or other food groups.

Every body is different, and therefore, every diet must be different, even if slightly, and that’s OK.

Select one of the diets or lifestyles that have caught your attention or that most closely aligns with you, and test it out for three to six months. Changes take time. Observe your energy levels, food cravings, blood work numbers, fit of your clothes, joint flexibility, mental clarity, emotional resilience and tolerance as indications that you’re on the right track or need to adjust your approach.

The Bottom Line

There is no one diet that – when followed identically across a population without some level of modification – is right for everyone.

Do what is best for you! Take what you can from the diets and lifestyles that you explore, apply them to yourself, observe the results over time and modify where needed. Speak kindly to yourself as you explore a new way of eating. Stay open to the experience and share what you observe with your friends and family; get them in on it, and support one another on your unique journeys to your best selves!

As always, we love hearing from you! Drop us a line to let us know which diet or lifestyle impassions you, how you found your way to better health and we’ll cheer you on! A rising tide lifts all ships, and our community is on the rise with you!

Wishing you a life of greens and grace and all the goodness!

Nine Low-Effort Ways to Better Your Health

These nine little- or no-effort habits create better health without added effort. Health is as much about "adding in" better options as it is "cutting out" the old habits that are no longer serving you. From upgrading your comfort foods and boxes, bagged and bottled snacks to gentle lifestyle shifts, these simple, small changes will add up to significant health improvements over time.

choose a better breakfast, cut out sugar, kick sugar, sugar free, no carbs, low carb, cinnamon sugar buns, better breakfast

Choose a Better Breakfast

Sugar buns, PopTarts, regular yogurt and instant oatmeal are low in nutrition and set you up for sugar cravings and energy roller coasters later in the day. Instead, choose a breakfast that fuels you with a blend of fiber, protein and fat. Try steel cut or old-fashioned oats, hard boiled or scrambled eggs, or Gluten-free Protein Pancakes for more nutrients for a longer-lasting energy!

Drink One Glass of Water for Every Coffee or Cocktail

Coffee and cocktails are dehydrating; to keep your skin, joints, and brain hydrated, drink one glass of water for every caffeinated bev (including soda), beer, wine or cocktail you enjoy! 

caffeinate, hydrate - drink a glass of water for every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you consume
get the veggies and the french fries. eat the veggies first

Get a Side of Veggies and the Fries

Order a salad or steamed veggie as your side along with the fries. Yes, it may cost you a few dollars more, but your body and brain will thank you. Eat the veggies first, and in time, you'll find you're eating fewer fries and making better choices! 

Order your Sandwich as a Salad

Adding in veggies and a salad can be as easy as getting that BLT or Turkey & Swiss as a salad. Healthy choices can be chock full of flavor and enjoyment, too! Keep what you love, and make a few tweaks here and there, so you reap more benefits from what you're already doing. 

Turn your sandwich into a salad by skipping the bread
get protein at every meal, even an egg as a snack or lunch

Get Protein at Every Meal 

Protein keeps you full, gives your body a key component of building healthy cells and balances blood sugar. Steer clear of a meal entirely of carbs, like a peanut butter and jelly with a side of potato chips, and choose tuna or chicken salad, or keep the PBJ and choose sprouted grain bread over white and add in a hard-boiled egg as a side. 

Favor Healthy Fats 

As you know after reading about Keto, fats are key for longevity and feeling good today. Rather than looking towards fried foods for fats, stick with nuts and seeds, avocado, cage free eggs, clean (unprocessed) meats, and oils, such as sesame, olive, avocado, sunflower, and coconut! Experiment with cooking and concocting your own salad dressings, too! It's fast, fun, and gives your salad or sandwich a little extra love!

favor healthy fats over fried foods and experiment with nuts, seeds, oil, avocado and even fish oil to get a slew of health benefits
savor the moments, enjoy the water, dance in the rain

Savor the Moments 

How often we get lost in the news reel notifications on our phone or our social feeds and miss out on the moments with friends and family (or sleep!). Instead of a connected-device coma, try being present in the moment. Actively listen to those around you. Take in your surroundings, sights, smells, and sensations. Savor the experience, even those that are unpleasant or downright painful. There are meaningful moments among the mire, and the time you have today will flit and float by. By paying attention, you live life more fully.

Take Twenty

Practicing guitar, coloring, journaling, breathing, sipping tea, walking, doing yoga, meditating. Whatever makes your soul sing, take twenty minutes every day and do it! Studies have shown that "indulging" in a hobby or a quiet time activity we enjoy benefits your whole body, including your nervous system and brain. Taking time to feed your spirit is as critical to your well-being as eating well!

take time to do something you enjoy every day
hug a friend every day, even if that friend is furry.

Hug it Out!

Hugs, as well as snuggle time with furry friends, have been shown to lower stress levels, increase immunity, and boost happiness! Phone a friend and having a few moments of connection if you can't wrap your arms around the person. It's amazing how much of our optimal well-being extends beyond our plate! 

We love hearing from you on the simple changes you make in your diet and lifestyle that add up! Let us know your favorites of ours and share your own by leaving a comment below! 

Save on Skin Care by Switching Up Your Smoothie

How what you eat impacts your skin, picture of smoothie

Fact #1: Your skin is your largest organ.

Fact #2: Anything you take in – whether eaten or applied topically – impacts the health of every cell, muscle, and organ of your body, including your skin, and, by default, the radiance of your complexion.

Skin care, dairy and acne, what's happening on the skin is happening within

Enter your daily smoothie, that magically convenient cup (or bowl), rich with vital nutrients, such as fruits, veggies, protein, and other powerful superfoods.

No way can this magic concoction possibly be tied to a lackluster complexion? Actually, yes, whey.

Whey, a milk protein and a very popular ingredient of protein powders among even the most health-conscious, has been correlated to acne, including adult acne.

Research has shown that dairy – cheese, milk, yogurt, and whey – stimulates hormonal changes, including the production of IGF (insulin-like growth factor), which results in acne, redness, rosacea, etc.

We spend billions of dollars a year in the US on skin care, amounting to ~$8/day. Imagine if we made simple dietary changes that would be more effective, more natural and more affordable!

What to do if you find your protein powder (or favorite yogurt) may be to blame for your skin condition?

  1. Eliminate it from your diet and notice a difference. Be patient, as it will take time for the inflammation in your body and skin to go down.
  2. Make substitutions, such as:
    • Non-whey, non-dairy protein powder in your smoothie (try vegan, sprouted protein)
    • Unsweetened, non-dairy yogurt (steer clear of articifically sweetened anything, i.e. no aspartame, sucralose, nor acesulfame)
    • Coconut-, soy- or nut-milk alternative in your coffee or on your cereal; even if it says non-dairy, like the delectable flavored and seasonal creamers, skip it.

The bottom line?

Don’t fret if milk doesn’t do a body good. There are plenty of alternatives, and your skin (and your monthly skin care budget) will thank you!

Have you kicked dairy and seen changes to your complexion? Let us know! Likewise, if you’ve tried and can’t seem to give up the milk, send us a line, and we’ll cheer you on! We love our community, and the positive vibes it provides. A rising tide lifts all ships, and the wisdom you share is invaluable!

 

The Best Workout for Weight Loss & Long-Lasting Health

getting ready for a workout by lacing up running shoes on park bench

“What’s the best workout?” is easily one of the top two or three questions I will be asked as a Health Coach and Corporate Wellness Presenter no matter the speaking engagement, small group or 1:1.

Or often asked in a different way, “if I want to lose weight and stay healthy, what workout do I need to do?”

The answer is very simple, and it applies to everyone. 

The best workout you can do is… the one you’re going to stick to.

That’s it.

There’s not a magic bullet that is going to make the weight fall off and stay off.

Every body is different, and every body adapts and adjusts to activity types and intensities over time.

The exercise regimen you used to lose the first twenty pounds might not be effective against those last five or fifteen. Your metabolism normalizes; your muscles “master” the activity or workout.

There is no one “right” way to get and stay fit.

Whether you love CrossFit, or enjoy yoga, or mix up HIIT and LISS because you love a good acronym when you work out, DO THE WORKOUT THAT WILL KEEP YOU ACTIVE. Aim for thirty minutes a day. Then,  change it when you grow bored, or stop seeing the results.

Listen to your body. What do YOU need? What activity, exercise, or workout do YOU want to be part of an ongoing and lasting exercise regimen for the long-haul?

Work with a health coach to help you identify what you like and how to apply it to your life, or talk to your friends about what works for them, and then MAKE IT YOUR OWN.

That’s it. That’s the secret. Find what you enjoy, and try different things to keep activity a part of your daily routine.

We love to hear from you what’s working for you! Tell us what workouts you enjoy, your motivation to exercise and stay active beyond the fad workout, and how you, your friends and family create healthy activity in your lives! Leave us a comment and share this post with a friend who’s stuck in a workout rut!

Cheers to your health, wellbeing and longevity!

Relief for Extreme Fatigue & Chronic Stress

woman with arms outstretched in front of ocean with waning sunset, feelings of freedom and relief

Extreme fatigue is no joke. In the simplest, crudest of terms, fatigue (or any dis-function) is caused by stress, and stress is stress. In other words, whether the stress is chemical, physical, or emotional, your body does not differentiate one type from the other. The stress response is triggered, and your physical health suffers. In this post, we’ll talk about the three main categories of stress and some health and lifestyle tips, tricks and techniques to combat stress – and the resulting fatigue – without turning to coffee to make it through your day!

Types of Stress Defined

Chemical stress includes exposure to toxins, whether that’s mold in the house, inhaling cleaning supplies, heavy metals in our water, or even consuming foods or drinks (or prescriptions) with chemicals that are disruptive.

Physical stress can include working longer hours than you can sustain over the long-haul without necessary breaks, spreading yourself too thinly, not getting enough rest or nutrition.

Emotional stress may be rooted in a dysfunctional work environment, toxic relationships or in a phase of reshaping your identity. It can also occur as a result of any uncertainty related to an important relationship or factor of your life (i.e. raising a teenager, diagnosis of a loved one, stress in a marriage, etc.).

It’s important to understand the ways stress can manifest in your life, so you can begin to identify them, then manage them accordingly to avoid long-term problems. Any combination of these stressors, particularly experienced over a long period of time, takes a BIG toll on your body.

Breaking the Cycle

The more tired you are, the lower the threshold you have for any stress. Your stores of mental, emotional and physical energy are depleted, and you cannot function. The less you can function optimally, the more stressed you’ll feel, which will further exhaust you, causing more stress. What a vicious cycle!

Here are a few tips that can help you manage extreme fatigue and chronic stress:
  1. BREATHE.
    Deep breathing is going to be your active stress management partner forevermore. It activates the relaxation nerve (vagus nerve) and gets the parasympathetic nervous system online, giving the sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight response one) a break.
    When you’re feeling stressed, or you feel your blood pressure rising or your chest tightening, breathe. Focus on the area that is tight or otherwise talking to you, and breathe into that area. Mentally picture your breath flowing into that area. If you can close your eyes, and do this for 1-2 minutes, you’ll feel the difference.  Do this for 10-20 minutes a day, and you may accidentally develop a meditation practice. 🙂
  2. Take inventory.
    What are your stressors? List them.
    What can you let go of or delegate? Which items or activities can you postpone, avoid or say no to?
    What can you reframe in your mind to give you peace? Is there a belief, attitude or assumption that crops up in the moments you feel most stressed that would be in your best interest to change?
    Be aware of the underlying causes and take steps to change them.
  3. Tend to your stressors.
    What jumps out at you from the list that you feel most compelled to address? Trust your judgment as a guide to what to let go of, what to say no to, etc.
  4. Consider a few lifestyle changes.
    • Clean up your eating and upgrade your diet of processed, non-whole foods (i.e. soda, “diet” versions of food, crackers, candy, etc.) for better choices. Focus your grocery buying on the areas of the grocery store that are along the wall, i.e. produce section, fresh meats/cheese (go as cage-free, free range and organic as you can afford), etc. Minimize the amount of boxed or bagged foods you buy, particularly if the shelf-life is longer than two months. By fueling your body with better nutrients, you will allay some of the stress that might be caused by what you ingest while also giving your body the building blocks it needs to better combat the stress in other areas.
    • Cut back on sugar, caffeine and alcohol, which are counterproductive to reducing stress and anxiety.
    • Swap traditional cleaning and gardening supplies for better, non-toxic alternatives. Breathing in the fumes, vapors and chemicals in traditional cleaning products can contribute to auto-immune and allergic responses and hormone disruption.
    • Cultivate healthier relationships with friends and family who leave you feeling better when your time together is done. Speak up about your needs and allow loved ones to help you, even if that means cutting you some slack when you turn down invitations.
    • Find social or community outlets that allow you to learn new skills, like meditation, yoga, knitting, etc.
    • Talk to your doctor about critical nutrients you may be missing, like omega-3’s, B12, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Iron levels, all of which, when too low, lead to fatigue and brain fog.
      • Take a good quality multi-vitamin as a start, along with probiotics, which improve gut health. Mental stability and immune strength start in the gut; take care of it, and it will take care of you!
      • Look into adaptogenic herbs that help support the adrenal glands, like ashwaganda, holy basil, and rhodiola.
    • SLEEP! Good gracious, you need sleep more than ever, and it’s ok to go to bed early, say no to happy hours and take a nap on the weekends! Listen to your body and balance the need for social and community support with your need for rest.

The Main Takeaway for Fatigue & Stress Relief

Life can be stressful, and those stresses can take many shapes. Your individual tolerance for stress is unique to you, as are the ways to find relief. Take what you can from this list, apply it and tweak it as you learn what works. You are the most qualified to assess what you need.

One last thought: Avoid comparing yourself to others to determine what is “normal” or what you “should” be able to handle. Listen to your body and your instincts when you’re hitting a threshold. Ask for help, and be kind to yourself in your thoughts and activities.

If you don’t feel right after cleaning up your diet and lifestyle after a few months, see your doctor and ask him/her to offer more than medications to help you navigate this phase of fatigue.  Reach out to a health coach, who can help you translate any diagnosis into tangible, actionable steps, so you are stepping into optimal well-being without a slew of Rx’s.

Know someone who could use some stress relief? Share this post with them! We love our community and the knowledge you share with us. If you have a favorite stress tip, drop it into a comment below.

Wishing you a life filled with greens and grace … and peace in your mind and body!

Additional Reading:

Surprising Lifestyle Tip for Anti-Aging

Iris Apfel by One Kings Lane

Photo Cred of the one and only Iris Apfel: One Kings Lane

Want to glide into – and through – your sunset years without the unpleasantries we all assume will come with the aging process? Don’t we all!

What if I told you that a secret to great health benefits not only today, but also down the road has nothing to do with what you eat? It’s true!

Living with a sense of purpose and bringing it into your daily routine results in successful aging!

Here’s the scoop: A research study published in the journal Development Psychology reveals that the benefits of living with a sense of purpose include reduced depression, improved overall mental state, and increases indicators of successful aging. (In this context, successful aging means you are physically healthy and functioning, you’ve got your wits about you (no mental deterioration) and can move around, and you build and maintain social relationships and activities)(Psychology Today).

In short, purposeful living contributes to health and well-being both now and when you’re 80.

I don’t know about you, but I would love to age gracefully and with ease! I’d love to look, act and feel as young as possible for as long as possible with minimal chemical or cosmetic treatments while also living in overall bliss for all of my days. Even better if I can get started now! Sign me up! Wouldn’t you agree?

So, how do we do it?

Defining Your Sense of Purpose

For our discussion, I’ve defined Sense of Purpose below after a Google search left me unsatisfied.

Sense of purpose: the reason for being; the pursuit or expression of which makes you come alive. Innate gifts that you alone can offer to the world, fueled with heartfelt passion.

Ask yourself, your family, your friends, “over my lifetime, when do I seem to be my best self? What am I doing at these times? What activities or pursuits ignites my inner joy and energy? What natural talents do I seem to have that I enjoy pursuing and practicing?”

Make a list. Take time to hone in on what your sense of purpose could look like.

Then what?

After you’ve gotten clear on your purpose, bring it into your life on a regular basis.

Look at your job responsibilities and duties or where you spend your time socially and in your “off” hours.

Where are there opportunities to infuse your purpose into the seemingly mundane?

For instance, if you are creative, look for ways to create presentations or other communications collateral. Layout or design tips add flair, which differentiate you and your company from competition in the marketplace.

Make the business case to your boss to get involved, or just start volunteering to help.

Can’t find the time during the workday to put your passion at play at the office? Have you tried delegating?

Check out this post for tips to create time and bandwidth. Make the business case for why your unique skills and strategy (aka, applying your sense of purpose) will benefit the team, Client or company. Cite increases to business efficiency, employee satisfaction, team moral or motivation, Client retention, etc. to help bolster your argument… 

… or just start doing it! Delegate where appropriate, and get involved.

Fortune favors the bold, and you have unique gifts and talents to bring to the world.

If you can’t get the buy-in at work, volunteer outside of work to put your passion to use for a non-profit, small business or community organization. You may even be able to get paid for it!  

In the words of Eminem, “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance… This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.”

This one wild and precious life you lead is The Opportunity for you to express and pursue your sense of purpose!

The health benefits to your body + mind are compelling, and it is your responsibility to share your unique goodness with the world like no one else can!

Small or large, start infusing that sense of purpose into your life. There’s no better time than NOW.

 

If you have a friend who might be hiding her (or his!) unique brand of goodness, afraid or unsure to let it out, share this post with him or her.

A rising tide lifts all ships, and we love to hear how you bring this conversation to life! Let us know how you’re bringing your sense of purpose to your day-to-day or how you’ve been inspired by someone you know who does it well by leaving a comment below.

As always, wishing you a life of greens and grace, my friends!

 

The Art of Delegation

Ah, Delegating. That beautiful art of handing tasks to your teammates (and sometimes even peers or managers) to enable both you and them to grow in your skills and roles.

Particularly for success-seekers and overachievers, delegating represents a laborious effort. We psychologically attach to the responsibility and perceived power of keeping it all to ourselves, or we want to maintain control to ensure it’s done “just right.”  However, neither of these mindframes aligns with the growth you desire for yourself that you’ve laid out in strategic and tactical plans over the last few weeks.

You can’t get stuck in the weeds and reach for the stars at the same time. (Tweet this.)

You need to delegate. Delegating makes space for you to focus on the tasks you need to focus on, so that you can grow and be fulfilled while also cultivating your teammates’ growth and exploration.

Before we get started, let’s get clear on what delegating is NOT before we get into what it is and how you do it.

It’s not about concentrating the power at the top (you) and siphoning off the tasks you don’t want to do to the ones who report to you.

Instead, delegation is about understanding your strengths and gifts, your team’s strengths and gifts and the finite resources among you (time and talent). Using this data, you then allocate the appropriate time and talent to tasks to advance the whole team in a concerted manner.

Wondering how to do this delegation thing? Here we go!

  1. Considering the plans you’ve made for yourself over the last few weeks, make a list of the day-to-day and larger or longer-term tasks that you’re currently facing at work.
  2. Put a star next to the ones that align with the path towards the next role you’ve identified in your strategic career plans and/or tactical career plans over the past few weeks.
  3. Organize the remaining tasks into immediate, medium and longer term deadlines, then categorize each to denote level of complexity.
  4. As you get ready to delegate, be sure you balance complexity, immediacy, and experience. For instance, giving a bunch of tasks that are due immediately, yet are quite complicated to the newest member of your team is highly likely to be unsuccessful delegation. They’ll be overwhelmed and possibly fail. ensuring no one is successful, least of all you.
  5. Consider the bandwidth each team member currently has, as well as his or her level of expertise and opportunities for growth.
  6. Map each task to each team member. Once you get going, this mental framework will become intuitive and you’ll know instinctively who gets which task.
  7. Keep in mind responsibilities to keep to yourself, specifically those that are confidential, related to giving positive or negative feedback, and specifically assigned to you by your own management.

After you’ve identified which tasks and responsibilities to delegate and to whom, you’ll need to notify the recipients of their new responsibilities, your expectations on overall objective, and next steps.

As with any relationship or shared goal, effective communication is key, and preparation, openness and collaboration are critical! How to message the delegated tasks to your team and keep both of you accountable is a big part of how to do delegation well.

Here are a few best practices for talking your team through their new responsibilities:

  1. Set up 1:1 meetings with each team mate and let them know why you’re sharing these responsibilities with them, focusing on the WIIFM, the What’s In It For Me (me = teammate). Outline the benefits to them as part of the conversation; see item #2.
  2. Share with them the potential for growth that these tasks represent, as well as the importance of the tasks to the overall success of the team.
  3. Be very clear about your expectations. Describe the attributes or skills you want them to exhibit during the management of these tasks, the level of autonomy you deem acceptable (lots of questions, few questions, etc.) and your desired outcome.
  4. Encourage your team member to take notes to refer to after the meeting has concluded, and offer to meet again in a few days to discuss any questions that may arise before the full transition of the task/responsibility from you to her/him.
  5. Check in with each teammate regarding progress and success metrics during weekly or bi-monthly 1:1’s.

Although you are held responsible for the success of your team, and therefore, the success of the execution of this task, you are also the leader responsible for leading your team as effectively as you can. It’s up to you to enable their growth and lay the foundation for their success and well-being.

To walk the line between these, keep in mind that being available and engaged while letting your teammate handle the task in his or her own way is a springboard for both of you.

Give them room to breathe and make mistakes, and offer coaching when needed. In doing so, both of you will grow in a supported environment, and you will cultivate loyalty, trust and transparency within the ranks. A win-win!

We’d love to hear how you delegate and how you’ve thrived in the space you’ve created by doing so. If you have stories to share or questions, leave them in the comments below! As always, if you feel a colleague or friend could use this food for thought, share this post with them!

 

What to Do and What to Eat for More Energy

eat for more energy, how to eat for more energy, sleeping man with feet

Let’s talk about the energy crisis. No, I don’t mean the one that the UN tackles on the reg, but yours; that lag in the late morning or mid-afternoon where you’d like nothing more than to crawl under your desk or hide out in the back seat of your car to catch some Zzz’s.

You know that brain fog and general “meh” that hits you at the lulls in the day is a factor of your nutrition, your sleep habits, and your overall health and lifestyle, right? Of course you do. Well, share that secret with some of your friends because most people – 76 percent of workers, actually – feel tired many days of the week, and get this, 15 percent even fall asleep during the day at least once a week (huffpo.com)!

Yikes.

Let’s assume that these friends of yours, the ones among the 76%, need you to help them out and share your wisdom on how to stay alert, feel more energized (without the jet fuel known as energy drinks) and overall feel better. What would you say? Here are a few tips you can crib to help them get their luster back!

WHAT TO DO FOR LASTING ENERGY ALL DAY

Eliminate processed foods (breads, tortillas, pastas, bagels, etc.)

Bid sayonara to sugar & read labels to see where hidden sugar can surprise you, e.g. spaghetti sauce, salsa, coffee creamer, milk…

Exercise. Experiment with morning, lunchtime or evening workouts and which works best for you.

Avoid caffeine past 2PM. This one is going to hit some folks pretty hard, especially if they’re one of those who actually should cut it off after noon. Try what works for you and be ready for a few days/weeks of withdrawal and adaptation. Don’t fall off the wagon. Your adrenals, your sleep quality and your mental health will thank you.

End your shower every morning with 30+ seconds of cold water. Aye caramba!

WHAT TO EAT

Eating for optimal health is not a sprint, but a marathon, and it’s the small, consistent changes that yield the best results. The recommended foods below will help you gain more energy, better skin, clearer thinking and all those other unicorns we seek in our healthy lifestyles, but it’s up to you to listen to your body and tailor your meals to what YOU need.

This is the step we often skip in the search for the quick fix.

For lasting results, learn to make peace with your body, listen to what it needs and choose wisely.  Got it? Good! Now check out these superfoods that’ll give you wings!

 

Whole Grains

  • Non-instant rices (like brown, black, red), kasha, steel cut oats and others for breakfast, lunch and dinner are good for every meal.
  • Try one serving per main meal and see how you feel. Adjust as you need.

Protein

  • Organic and as clean as possible, including eggs and milk.
  • Get protein at each meal & listen to your body; some days you’ll need more than other days.
  • If you’re craving sugar, eat protein and fat, not carbs and sugar (regardless of that crazy craving!)

Fats

Fruits & Vegetables

  • Adhere to the EWG’s Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen (found here)
  • Stick with low glycemic fruits and reach for fruit instead of candy or sweets. In other words, skip the bananas and go for melon and berries when the Snickers calls your name. Eat some peanuts with it, and breathe through the craving.
  • Eat as many vegetables as you can as often as you can. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Crowd out those other energy zapping foods for energizing options, like raw, roasted or sautéed veggies!

 

Hungry for more?

Check out these ideas on energizing healthy snacks, road trip snacks, and what to shop for in the grocery store.

We love to hear your stories of how you share your healthy living habits with those around you and make any of our recommendations your own! Share your story with us on social media or by leaving a comment below!

 

Wishing you Greens, Grace & Gluten Free Living, my Friends!

 

Fashion is More than Frivolity

Widely considered exclusive and elitist, fashion was never my bread and butter. I couldn’t see the connection between the power of a well-assembled ensemble and feeling empowered until I embraced fashion and my personal style as battle armor for a series of unfortunate events.

It was then that I remembered how strong and confident I could feel by taking pleasure in the details, carefully crafting the pieces that exuded who I believed I was – or could be – how, as a result, my self-worth and confidence came gushing through, and I walked taller, more gracefully and with the poise I needed to handle a few hard times.

Fashion, in fact, is a powerful means to cultivating confidence and a stronger self-concept. Used as a mode of self-expression, fashion is one of many ways we speak to the world with our own unique blend of nuance, passion and vulnerability.

When we fully express who we are, we access the deepest parts of our authenticity and personal power, which paves our path towards optimal well-being.

"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak" overlay on an image of a runway behind
photo cred: Pinterest board of myperfectline.com

Much like how you organize and decorate your home or office or what you post on social media, how you put yourself together, your personal style says, “here’s who I am, here’s what I’m about.” Although, at times scary, in expressing ourselves through creativity, e.g. fashion and personal style, we satisfy an intrinsic desire to speak our truth and express our individuality.

Want a few ideas to awaken your inner muse without breaking the bank?

Try these on for size (see what I did there? 😉 ) :

  • Browse Pinterest and Instagram for real-world fashionistas, the kind who are your size or exude confidence, boldness, or other attributes that inspire you
  • Write down a few words (or print a few pictures) that describe your style
    Bonus points: Make a mood board
  • Take an inventory of your closet
  • Note which items awaken that inner confidence? Keep these!
  • Note the items that make you feel drab or frumpy? If there’s hope that a good tailor can resurrect some beloved pieces, keep them; if not, donate them!
  • Decide on a budget for any additional pieces you want to add

Once you have an idea of what you’re working with, slowly fill in your wardrobe with the key pieces that you can wear again and again!

To make your budget go even farther, shop sales at your favorite department stores and mosey through TJMaxx, Marshalls, Saks Off Fifth, Nordstrom Rack, etc. to shop the look you want without going broke. Set a time limit for how long you’ll shop and shop with intention! You’re on a mission!

Fashion is simply one of many fluid, flexible means to enliven your creativity, satisfy your desire to show up in the world and be seen as only YOU can. No matter your size, income level or personal style!

How are you using Fashion to express who you are?

We love to hear real-world stories on how you do Fashion (and so does our community!), so leave a comment below, share this post, or discuss your great ideas with friends, and report back!