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!

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!

 

What to Do and What to Eat for More Energy

how to get more energy, lifestyle tips and eating tips for more energy

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!

Stopping the Shame Game.

Each of us is awesome. Body shaming and comparing ourselves to one another is not necessary.

I got very stirred up while listening to E! News yesterday.

In discussing a recent Instagram post by Paris Jackson in which she was pictured almost nude and, as a result, subsequently received body-shaming comments online, Catt Sadler (one of the hosts) mused that she could not understand how people could body shame Ms. Paris because she has a beautiful body.

It was at this point that I had to change the channel lest I start arguing with the TV while on the elliptical machine and be removed from the gym. (The irony that I was at the gym while hearing this was not lost on me.)

By no means do I believe that Ms. Sadler was intimating that body shaming of anyone is acceptable; however it got me thinking about how easily we criticize one another, particularly around our outward appearances.

Body shaming, or any shaming of any sort, directed at any human being, is a counterproductive, negative practice that only ensures the race to the bottom of civilized society as we know it. Regardless of the body shape, size or style of the recipient, is it not, by now, an outdated practice that we would all like to see discontinued?

Shame is a scare tactic, not a technique for lasting, positive change.  Click to tweet.

To stop these unhealthy, harmful practices, we can do a few things, but first, we must let go of the belief that our outward appearance – and the exhausting practice of ensuring ageless perfection at all times – is our primary source of worth, value or beauty.

Once we acknowledge that we are more than the skin we’re in, we can begin speaking to ourselves with more kindness and grace and encouraging our daughters, friends and yes, even the men in our families and communities to, instead, see and elevate the true beauty within us all. Regardless of age, shape, gender or race, each of us is a gift to our families, communities and organizations, and to truly lift up these institutions to reach a fuller potential, we must start by building each other up as individuals, and that means stopping with the shame game.

If you have a friend, colleague or family member who could use a dose of positive feedback, take a moment and send them a quick note or share this post. Both of you will be better for it! 

We’d love to hear what’s working in your world that helps stop the shame game and gets the conversation going in a different – and more positive – direction! 

Part Two: How to Set New Year’s Resolutions and *Be Successful*! | How-To’s for Long-Term Success

Silhouette of people jumping in front of the sunset on a beach
photo cred: http://lovingdancer.tumblr.com

It’s Your New Year! Happy New Year to you, and kudos for setting out to make this year your best yet!

You have undoubtedly set your Resolutions for this New Year, and if you read Part One of this series, you have already taken the most important step towards successfully achieving that Resolution in 2017 and beyond!

Now what?

Using the following six tips, you will align your actions with your intention to achieve your Resolution for satisfying results. So, let’s harness the momentum you’ve already gathered, and get you going on creating lasting change in your life!

  1. Be realistic with your goals… then stretch!
    Set time-bound, achievable goals, then set a stretch goal to push yourself. Even if you don’t hit your stretch goal, you will very likely outperform your initial goal!
  2. Break down your goals into monthly, weekly, and daily activities that will lead to your success.
    Think through the activities that would lead to your success on a smaller scale. Setting smaller goals that ladder up to the larger success, such as planning weekly for a six-month weight loss goal, allow you to make progress towards your goal every day, week and month; before you know it, these new practices will be your regular routine, and you’ll see success every step of the way!
  3. Plan to work, and work your plan.
    Once you break down your goal into smaller pieces, you’re on your way! Prepare your daily, weekly, monthly plans in advance and think through what may create obstacles along the way, so you can have a successful strategy in mind to overcome them.For instance, perhaps before today, you used to fall into the pattern of losing yourself in social media before bed, which kept you up too late, made you oversleep, and left you tired the next day. Now, you’ve realized that going to bed early is more important to you; now, you’ll adjust accordingly if you find yourself on a digital scavenger hunt throughout the interwebs!Here’s a life hack to help you work your plan: Set uplifting reminders on your phone or put post-it notes in highly visible locations in your home, office and car.When the reminder “goes off,” you’ll be reminded of your motivation behind the goal, the goal itself and your ability to succeed.

    For example, some ideas are: “I am sticking with my goal of saving money this year, so I can travel and see the world, and I believe in my ability to succeed,” or “I choose healthier habits, so I can walk my daughter down the aisle and be around for my grandkids. I am worth the effort, and I believe in my ability to succeed”

  4. Measure, measure, measure.
    Without measuring your progress along the way, how will you know how far you’ve come? Measuring keeps you informed and empowered, and it’s not just about if you’re measuring up.Measuring offers learnings around how realistic the goal was initially and how best to devote your time and energy for the best results (i.e. if during month two you tried different activities than during month one, and you saw better results, you know to keep putting your energies into those things. If you didn’t see better results, you know to try something different).
  5. Rally your support system and let them know specific ways they can support you.
    Changing your thinking and behavior is no small feat, and undertaking the journey that accompanies doing things differently takes courage and resilience and support. Changes in your life affect the people in your life, as well as yourself. Letting them know of the changes you’re excited to make, as well as what to expect and how they can help you, will eliminate awkward situations or miscommunications because expectations will have been set and managed.Also, if along the way, you feel like you aren’t as far along as you were hoping, the emotional support and empathy that those who care about you can provide does wonders for boosting your spirit and resilience in your pursuit of your goal.
  6. Recognize and celebrate your wins – large and small!
    It really cannot be understated; making change is a brave and courageous undertaking. Particularly changing yourself. Applaud yourself for taking on the challenge of making positive change in your life, and give yourself the kudos you deserve from the Big Milestone Wins to the seemingly Small Wins, like each and every time you fall down and get back up. Recognize and reward your successes and stick with it! Before you know it, you’ll be celebrating the greatest win of all – achieving your 2017 New Year’s Resolution!

Peace, Love, and Cheers to Your Brightest Year yet!

Part One: How to Set New Year’s Resolutions and *Be Successful*! | Getting Clear on Your Resolution

Lighthouse with beacon of light shining across the sea
photo cred: dailyalts.com

New Year, New You! It’s that time again; a new year, a new beginning. A time of looking back and looking ahead. A time when we take stock of who we are today and what we hope to achieve, who we want to become in the coming year, then we set our resolutions to pave our way.

The process is energizing and motivating, full of promise, and opportunity! We have a clean slate! We feel inspired and activated and are confident we can achieve our goals! We can be this newer, better version of our already wonderful self! We can achieve these goals! …and then February or March hits, annnd we forget about that “old” Resolution because we’ve slipped into old, familiar patterns or found other outlets for our time and energy that seem a higher priority in that immediate moment. Before we know it, we have fallen off-track and vow to try again next year.

However… What if we don’t have to follow this pattern in 2017? What if we can be more successful? I believe we can.

In this two-part post, we’ll start with reframing how we set our Resolutions and then get into the How-To’s to stick with them for lasting results.

So, let’s get going!

First off, a new way of reframing resolutions.

Resolutions, first and foremost, are goals. Usually lofty goals that we set for ourselves in a variety of areas of our lives. Health, fitness, finance, family, career, spirituality. We sense a gap between who we are and who we want to be, that bourgeoning better version waiting to emerge, and we devise goals to help us bridge the gap.

Simply put, we:

  1. Feel like there’s something more (or something different) that we could be doing with our time, energy, skills and talents
  2. Believe the end result will be rewarding in some way (usually, at its core, we believe it will bring an emotional reward, a way to feel better)
  3. Set intentions to bring this end result to pass

While all of these are well and good to informing personal transformation and growth, a key step we often miss is a hearty and true understanding of why we want to pursue these goals (step 2). We must be deeply truthful with ourselves about our motivations. For instance, losing weight because your wife or doctor wants you to – as important as those factors are – won’t cut it when you bump up against years or decades of long-held habits and beliefs. Action and success are a result of desires and motivations that reside deep within you.

Naming these motivating factors is so important to personal growth and to sticking to your Resolution throughout the year and beyond to achieve lasting change. Naming these factors gives them meaning and signals to your brain and your being to align your choices and actions in an intentional way and to be purposeful with your time, energy, money, words, behaviors.

To honor your Resolution, your intention, for the next year – and beyond! – you must be intentional, and to do so, the motivation behind that intention has to be strong enough to catapult you through and beyond any challenge that might stand in your way, which is why the motivation has to come from deep within you.

This step of naming is the most important of all the How To’s, so take a pause and spend a moment with yourself to get clear on why you’re setting this Resolution for yourself. Write down your Resolution and the Why’s behind it. Studies show that simply writing down your goal gives you a 42% better chance of achieving them! If you take away nothing else from this post, just write down your goal! You don’t have to share it with anyone or post it online; it is for you. Simply write it down for yourself.

As you’ll see in Part Two, writing down your goal will play into other Tips and Tricks for staying on the wagon.

For now, take a pause on New Year’s Eve and write yourself a note. Include your Resolution and why it is important to you to stay on track and be successful. Why does it matter to you?

In Part Two, the six How To’s of sticking to your Resolution are laid out. Once you’re clear on your intention, the supporting structure of these six steps will keep you on track throughout 2017 and beyond!

As always, we love your feedback and thoughts, so leave us a comment below!

May 2017 be your best, brightest, healthiest, and most successful year yet!

A Beginner’s Grocery List for Healthy Habits

There’s something about Spring that revives enthusiasm for healthier habits, particularly around eating for vibrant, radiant health!

The sun-filled days are longer. Sundresses beckon. Bikini season is almost upon us, and of course, feeling good is important regardless of the time of year (ok, ok, bikini season is a mild motivator ;))! Like any season, though, we still only have so many hours in a day, and the biggest challenge may be eating right during the week when both time and energy wane.

The key? Keeping a well-stocked kitchen.

I have a standard grocery list of the basics that I get almost every trip, which I’d like to share with you below. Feel free to use it as a basis for creating your own list of basics that will make eating clean a quick and easy no-brainer! Although I mention organic for a few of the items, do what your budget will allow. Stressing over finances while in the frozen food section isn’t healthy for anybody, so take this list as a thought-starter, and make it your own. One helpful hint, though, is to stop on the perimeter of the grocery store for the healthiest items, with a few exceptions being the frozen food aisle for frozen fruits and veggies (which are just as healthy and nutrient-rich as fresh), and the natural food section (which, if you shop at my grocery store, is in the middle of everything – there goes the perimeter idea!) However you shop, enjoy the experience!

The SnR Basic Grocery List

  • Organic Berries.
    I use these as dessert, in smoothies and in cereal. I even like snacking on the frozen kind. Vary your colors to maximize the health benefits. An easy way to do this is by buying what’s on sale each week. Stores often rotate their promotions. Another hot tip: buy organic at Costco or Sam’s. You can get a huge bag at a great price.
  • Organic Apples + Pears.
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    Apples! #nomnom

    I love to snack, and when you eat as many salads as I do, you need some variety. Apples and pears satisfy both!  Whether sliced with a nut/seed butter, baked as dessert, chopped and dropped into a salad, or eaten as-is, they make flavorful, crunchy additions to a meal for a surprise sweetness without too much sugar. If you’re embracing ketogenic eating or on a low-glycemic diet, tread carefully with these and the berries, too. For other tips on which fruits and veggies to buy organic, check out The Environmental Working Group’s list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.

  • A Variety of Greens.
    My faves are organic spinach + baby kale blends and organic romaine. I’ll mix all of them together for a snazzy salad, or drop the spinach/kale blend into the mixer to add some superfood punch to a smoothie. Sautéed spinach and kale also add a lot to a rice bowl or taco night. (And are easy to sneak in if you have veggie-averse family members.)
  • Brown Rice + other Whole Grains.
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    Rice-a-palooza!

    Where to begin! I LOVE brown rice. I eat it – and its cousins, Red, Black and Green – almost every day. From rice bowls for lunch or dinner to rice pudding for breakfast, I rely heavily on this complex carb. It’s super versatile, and you can cook a lot of it on Sunday and have a base for meals throughout the week. Mix in different sauces or salsa’s, or toss with a scrambled egg and leftover veggies, and you’ve got yourself a slew of dishes with only a little upfront effort.

  • Sweet potatoes.
    In the Varsity League of meal basics, sweet potatoes are definitely in my starting line-up. They can be a fun add-on as a hash to any dish, or roasted and used as a taco shell or base for taco salads. I’ve even been known to bake one in the microwave and eat it like an apple as my mid-morning snack. These tubers are starch, though, so if you’re on a ketogenic or low-Glycemic diet, incorporate these carefully.
  • Other Roast-Worthy Veggies.
    Roasted veggies are also a must-have for me. I love raw and sautéed, too; there is just something about roasted veggies that I can’t seem to get enough of! They are so easy and can be a great snack, side item, or main course as a base for veggie or rice bowls. My fave combo are onions, garlic (yes, garlic!), zucchini, yellow squash, and broccoli. Roasting in the oven takes about 20 minutes and adds texture and color to any salad or rice bowl! The leftovers can be used in a veggie scramble the next morning or even simply as an afternoon nosh.

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    Roast your veggies for a fun, colorful add-on to a basic pasta dish or rice bowl.
  • Clean Protein Options.
    Wherever you fall on the meat-eating scale, getting enough protein – whether animal- or plant-based – is key. I’m a pescatarian for the most part, so the majority of my protein comes from fish, eggs, and plant-based options. With any protein source, though, the key is buying the best quality you can. There are a lot of hidden ick-factors in non-organic, non-grass-fed beef, dairy, chicken and eggs, so it’s worth the splurge to trade-up to better quality.
    Since I base so much of my diet on fish, I tend to buy frozen fish, like Mahi, Ahi Tuna, Salmon and Cod, so I can freeze it and have options without making a trip to the grocery store. I may even mix it up and use shrimp or scallops! I love using the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch app to find the most sustainable sources.
    Frozen fish is easy to defrost by moving them from the freezer to the fridge when you leave for work and sautéing or broiling for an easy dinner. Make leftovers your breakfast or lunch the next day, and you’ve saved yourself the time and energy of preparing another meal!
  • Healthy Fats.
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    Salads are an easy way to add in healthy fat by adding avocado or drizzling olive oil as dressing.

    My faves are olive oil, avocados, and tahini. Those of you with few restrictions in
    your diet can also enjoy a variety of raw nuts in whole grain cereal, dropped into yogurt, added into salads, or as part of your banana bread. Enjoy fat in your diet! It’s key for brain and body vibrance and overall well-being and longevity!
    I aim for 1-2 tablespoons with every meal, which is the right portion for me to feel satiated, curb sugar cravings, and see benefits to my skin. Experiment and see what works for you!

  • Spices!
    oh my goodness, spices. I LOVE them! From basil to oregano to garlic to turmeric to cinnamon to cayenne to cardamom to black pepper, I heart spices! They are an easy way to mix up a rice dish or filet to give you a variety of epicurean experiences without too much extra work. Whether fresh or dried, sprinkle it in, and you’re good to go! (Tip: If you’re using older dried spices, you’ll need about double the quantity to equal the flavor of  the fresh.)

Herbs and spices add pizzazz and variety!

Here’s the simplified list for your printing convenience; choose the items you’d like to try, and the next visit, mix in others!

SnR Basic Grocery List

Produce

  • Berries
  • Apples + pears
  • Spinach +/or kale
  • Romaine
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Avocados

Spices

  • Basil
  • Black Pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Whatever else you like!

Oils + Butters 

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Tahini
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter

Protein

  • Eggs
  • Frozen fish (use your app to check which are best)
  • Organic, grass-fed, beef, chicken, etc

Other items

  • Brown rice
  • Black rice
  • Green rice
  • Red rice

As always, we love hearing your feedback and what works for you (or doesn’t)! Drop us a line below with your stories and tips!