5 Secrets for Losing Weight

5 Secrets for Losing WeightToday I am going to share 5 secrets for losing weight. A lot of people join my challenges because they want to lose weight. Losing weight can be TOUGH but if you use these “secrets”, you can greatly increase your chances of success.

#1 Eat 5 Times a Day – Many people think that you have to feel hungry all the time to lose weight. That is not TRUE! I believe that it’s important to eat 5 times a day, even when you are trying to lose weight. This means you should be eating 3 small meals and 2 low-calorie snacks. This provides your body a steady-source of nutrient-dense fuel so that you don’t get too hungry and become more likely to overeat.

 

#2 Choose Nutrient Dense Foods – It is very important to consider the QUALITY of the food you are eating. A 100 calorie serving of potato chips and a 100 calorie serving of Greek Yogurt have the same number of calories. However, they will have a very DIFFERENT impact on your body and brain. The chips will cause a spike in your blood sugar and probably leave you craving (and eating) more. The Greek Yogurt will fuel your body with 13 grams of protein which will give you a feeling of satiety and keep you from being hungry until your next meal. When choosing WHAT foods you will eat, aim for foods that are high in protein, are made from whole grains, or foods which are in their natural state like fruits and vegetables. Avoid high sugar foods, pre-packaged foods, and foods made with white flour, white rice, and sugar.

#3 Track Your Eating – Want to know how you can DOUBLE your weight loss? Track what you are eating! A Kaiser Permanente study from 2008 found that keeping a food diary doubled the amount of weight the participants lost. With smart phones, it’s now easier than ever! Download the free MyFitnessPal or LoseIt application to get started. This will take you about 15 minutes a day. Isn’t it worth taking 15 minutes a day to DOUBLE your chances of weight loss success?

#4 Get Regular Exercise – Yes, exercise is good for your health and it burns calories. In addition to that, people who exercise tend to EAT LESS because they exercised. For example, you may exercise in the morning and burn 250 calories. Later that day, if you are offered a piece of cake, you may be LESS likely to eat it because you know you exercised. That will save you another 500 calories for the day. So, exercise does an important job of REMINDING you of your goal to lose weight and helps you be more MINDFUL of your eating.

It is also important to have a CONVENIENT way to exercise. For busy people who don’t have time to go to the gym, I highly recommend getting an At-Home Fitness Program. There’s no commuting, no looking for parking, and no coordination of class times with your busy schedule. Do your workouts on YOUR terms and at your OWN house. Beachbody even offers a program that’s only 25 minutes a day. So, just wake up 25 minutes earlier and get a full workout in! If you want to learn more about what program would be best for you, contact me!

#5 Have a Support System – We are psychologically wired to seek out connect with others and share our experiences. We are able to achieve MORE as part of a group than we can as individuals on our own. There is something MAGICAL that happens when a group of people who have similar goals bond together and support one another. When you start to lose steam and want to quit, the group is there to lift you up, offer encouragement, and provide support and accountability. This is why people in my Challenge Groups are so successful!

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Making Changes in my Nutrition with Keto

I am LOVIN’ my new morning coffee! It’s coffee plus a little Stevia and Erythritol sweetener, coconut oil, collagen and grass fed butter. As soon as my MCT oil comes in from Amazon, I’ll be using that instead of coconut oil.

[Long post alert. Grab your coffee before you start reading…]

You might be thinking, “What the heck? Why all that stuff and what is it? She’s weird. And why is she doing these videos about that Keto diet? Is that Atkins where you eat tons of unhealthy protein?”

Back in the day, I used to think that the whole idea of supplements was weird. I thought you could just eat a normal diet and get everything you need. I thought that spending money on supplements was a complete waste of money. I also thought that buying organic was too expensive.

I didn’t like fad or new diets and I thought that everyone should just be able to control their weight and health with portion control, the food pyramid’s recommendations, and exercise. I also ate way too much processed food and figured it was okay.

I repeated information that I’d heard which I thought was correct. “You should always eat breakfast. You should eat every 2-3 hours. Choose low-fat options. As long as the carb says it’s whole grain, it’s good for you.”

I have been HUMBLED over time to learn that some of my beliefs were out of whack. Some were flat out wrong. Some were making things worse for me.

And now I am SURE of one belief that will hold true forever: “WHEN IT COMES TO NUTRITION, EXERCISE AND HEALING YOUR BODY, THERE IS NO ‘ONE SIZE FITS ALL’. EACH BODY IS UNIQUE AND MAY NEED A DIFFERENT APPROACH.”

I have benefited from opening my mind to new ways of thinking, trying new things, and being willing to experiment on myself.

Back in 2015, I started having some health issues with fatigue, headaches and not feeling very good. I went to the doctor and did a bunch of tests. She said everything was “normal” and that it was probably just “stress”.

Listen, let me be CLEAR. When people talk about “stress”, it’s not just about the stress you *feel* about work, life, relationships, money, and at home. It’s STRESS IN and ON your body. It’s about every single thing you put IN your body and let your body be exposed to in the environment.

She was right. It was “stress” causing the issue. But I believe that the stress in my situation have a VERY strong tie to the foods I’m putting into my body and the impact on my genes, cells, and systems.

I use Chalene’s Smart Life journal where you write out your goals each month. When I wrote out my goals for April, I decided that this money, my TOP PRIORITY was going to be working on my health because that was the area where I was suffering the most.

I have spent hundreds of dollars this month on books, supplements, training programs, and HOURS UPON HOURS of reading, listening to podcasts and educating myself.

My mind has been opened to literally a whole new world of science, information, perspectives, and thinking.

I have been TRYING new things and I’ve FELT a difference. Right now I’m trying a mix of Keto and intermittent fasting and I have had some of the BEST days I’ve had in years (energy-wise and in terms of mental clarity). This new coffee routine has been so good for my body.

I don’t know where all this will take me…but I’m EXCITED to be trying new things, learning and growing.

I share my life very publicly with the hopes that I can make a positive impact on others…that maybe because I’ve shared ideas, shared my feelings, shared my story…that it could help someone else.

If you would like to learn MORE about my journey with these “experiments”, post below so I can get you into a private group I’m hosting on Facebook.

And just so you know, I’m a regular human being just trying to find my way. My husband and I will be at Punta Cana next week with a bunch of other Beachbody coaches. If you see me eating desserts, french fries, and drinking margaritas, it’s not necessarily because I think that’s good for me. It’s because I am an imperfect human being who is trying to figure this whole thing out like everyone else.
Lots of love

Meal Planning Tips

Meal Planning TipsI *totally* got off track with my meal planning during the move to Florida. We were eating way too much processed food and we were eating out too much because we didn’t have a PLAN. Also, the weeknights are so hectic with the kids’ activities so we weren’t eating well.

So, I recently ran a free “Simplify Meal Planning” group and we all shared ideas. Here are a few things I have now put in place to help me stay on track: (feel free to steal, modify, use, etc.)

1. PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR – I realized that I needed a reminder each week to actually take time to meal plan. So, I put it as a recurring event on my calendar for Sunday mornings so that I actually remember to do it.

2. USE TEMPLATES – I created a “master grocery list” in a Word document and a weekly meal planning sheet. I print stacks of these to keep in the kitchen. It makes highlighting the things we need simple. Also, the grocery list is organized in the exact order of my grocery store so that if I have to walk through to get things, everything is in order.

3. MAKE FREEZER MEALS – This week, I’m going to be freezing frozen chicken breasts, fajita chicken and pepper bags, and dijon lemon chicken bags. When you make things in bulk and then freeze individually, it takes less time per meal AND it’s ready to go in the freezer when you are in a pinch.

4. USE GROCERY PICK-UP OR DELIVERY – Check out the stores in your area and see if they offer pick-up or delivery. When we lived in Maryland, I would often get Peapod delivery. Now I do grocery pick-up at Walmart which is FREE!

I order everything online, someone else does all the shopping, then I go to the store and they put everything in my trunk. A TOTAL time saver which gives me more time to do things like food prep.

Hope this helps you! Let me know your best tips for what works for you.

My daughter may have dyslexia

My daughter may have dyslexiaMy daughter may have dyslexia. I started reading these books on dyslexia because I believe my oldest daughter has it. Right now, I am going to pursue getting additional services for her through the school.

For a moment, I hesitated on sharing this out of respect for my daughter (since it’s her business). And honestly, I’ve been sort of avoiding the topic altogether and hoping that maybe it will just go away. I also didn’t want to give her a “label” since I know labels can be damaging.

But after reading these books, I realized that there is so much shame around dyslexia. It’s heart-breaking what so many children and adults have been through in their experiences with dyslexia. My own sub-conscious shame may have been the reason I didn’t want to share it.

Shame feeds on silence and secrecy. It’s very destructive in the ways it can impact confidence, self-esteem, and worthiness.

Brene Brown (who is the leading expert on shame research) says that “Shame is the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging.”

Shame around dyslexia is not something I want my daughter to experience. So, I’m going to do everything I can to EMPOWER her and show her all of the GIFTS that she has.

The author of “The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan” explains that dyslexia is actually a characteristic just like your eye color, height and hair color. It’s a difference in the way the brain processes information.

Given that our society values “text print” as a primary way to communicate, dyslexia does create challenges for those that have it. However, it is not a measure of intelligence. And, after reading this book, I don’t consider it a “disability”. It’s just a difference in the brain and it means that there are other amazing STRENGTHS associated with it.

I learned in the book that while dyslexia affects 10-15% of the population, 35% of entrepreneurs have dyslexia. Some believe it is due to the resiliency that these individuals had to develop to get through life and some of the creative thinking that comes with dyslexia.

I recently heard Sir Richard Branson speak at an event. He has dyslexia. I also got to her Gloria Mayfield speak (Harvard Business School Grad and #1 Mary Kay Consultant in the World). She got up on stage and shared LOUD and PROUD that she has dyslexia and that she laughs when someone asks her if she wants a teleprompter for her speeches. Whoopie Goldberg also has dyslexia and we all know what an incredible actor she is (along with her many other talents).

In any case, I am about to embark on a journey to learning more about dyslexia, understanding my daughters amazing strengths, and helping her to get the appropriate learning accommodations at school. I feel like I have launched into “super-mamma bear” mode. Don’t mess with me. I am on a MISSION.

I wanted to share this because I know that there are so many adults and children with dyslexia and that there’s a lot of shame around it. The best way to get rid of the shame and secrecy is to shine a LIGHT and to talk about it.

So, I’m going to share our journey with it because our family is not going to have any shame about this. Aliya is a bright and gifted child. We are going to celebrate her strengths and learn about the best ways for HER to learn and share information.

If you are interested in learning more about dyslexia, I HIGHLY recommend the book “The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan“. It dispels a lot of the myths around dyslexia and offers specific ways for building on the strengths of those with dyslexia.

*And if you have dyslexia yourself, it IS available on Audible and if you buy the book on your Kindle, it’s “Text to Speech” enabled which means you can listen to it. Many people with dyslexia prefer “ear reading” over “eye reading” (which is one of the things I’ve learned so far).

Do you let your kids drink Shakeology?

15027400_1228363100559734_751242146818168694_nThat’s a question I get a lot and I want to share more about my philosophy on Shakeology as well as health, nutrition and fitness as it relates to kids.

I have had a number of women tell me that they don’t want to drink “shakes” in front of their kids. One person told me that she has memories as a child of her mom always being on a diet and drinking different shakes. This had a negative impact on her so, she doesn’t want to do that to her kids.

A lot of parents also say, “I want my kids to learn how to eat healthy FOODS so I’m not going to give them a shake.”

I get it. So, I wanted to address these two points because I understand where these are coming from.

I will start by saying that in our home, I don’t talk about diets, losing weight, or anyone’s weights or sizes. I have tried not to ever say something negative in about my body in front of them (and ideally I wouldn’t ever do this or think this at all).

What we DO talk about is what it means to be healthy. We talk about what foods have nutrition in them and how it’s important to eat fruits and veggies. We talk about how we want to be strong and how we want to be fit and have energy. We talk about having a healthy heart by running, biking and doing other activities. Health, wellness, and strength is the focus.

With all that being said, Shakeology plays a part in the nutrition for everyone in our family.

It’s not a “diet shake” and I believe it’s perfectly safe for kids because it’s basically ground up whole and natural foods. There are no chemicals, artificial flavors, added caffeine or an overload of any vitamins or minerals. My kids get a half-serving when I make it for them.

In terms of when we drink the shake, my husband and I usually have it as an afternoon snack to tie us over until dinner. When I was working full time, I used to have it for breakfast and there are occasional times where I have one for dinner (if we had a really big lunch). My kids usually have it as a snack or after a meal.

For us, it’s just one part of how we try to be healthy as a family. We also eat healthy foods. We also get activity outdoors (that’s part of the reason we moved to FL). Shakeology is just one piece of the puzzle…but an important one nonetheless.

My kids mainly think that it tastes good and that’s why they drink it. But, as a mom, I know that I have NO other way of getting super foods like flax, yacon, chlorella, chicory root fiber, goji berry, kale, ashwagandha, maca root or 60+ other ingredients INTO my kids bodies.

I don’t even know where I would buy those super foods unless I spent over $1,000 on supplements (that I am not sure are pure) and tried to get my kids to swallow big pills (which obviously would never work – haha).

So, Shakeology is the way I can give them a healthy and nutrition shake that tastes good and which they will actually drink and enjoy. Yes, it’s $2 a serving for them. But their growing bodies need nutrition so they can learn and grow. So, spending that on their health is worth it to me.

As a mom, my kids know that my husband and I drink Shakeology because it’s good for us and it tastes good. That’s it. And they know they like it because it tastes good too and that it’s good for their bodies.

We eat lots of food and I try to steer them towards healthy foods when I can. But it’s tough. The struggle is real people. So, Shakeology is just an add-on. Instead of buying shakes at fast food restaurants or Starbucks, this is how we enjoy having a shake.

So, that’s my two cents on Shakeology for kids. Every parent has to make their own decisions of what’s right for their family. As for us, I feel very good about where we are and what we are doing as we try to raise two healthy, confident, self-assured little girls.

Life By Design

Question for you. If you could live anywhere that your heart desires, where would that be? Big farm with lots of land? NYC in a penthouse suite? Up in the mountains where you could ski? Overseas in another country?

This is it for me. When I wrote down what my ideal life would look like a few years ago, part of it was that I didn’t want to have to wait all year for a vacation. Most of our vacations were to warm weather climates with pools, sunshine, and the beach. That’s what my husband and I both enjoy.

I wanted to live like I was on vacation all the time…52 weeks a year instead of 1 or 2. I wrote down my specific desires and what that would look like, feel like and all of the little details. I wrote about my kids riding their bikes, taking walks in the evening as family, and being friends with all my neighbors.

Life by Design

When we first came to Florida to research communities and towns, we looked at a lot of options. I vividly remember when we drove into this neighborhood. I started jumping in my seat in the car saying, “This is it! This is it!”

It was like it matched up with what was in my brain for the ideal place. My husband didn’t jump up and down but he said he felt the same about it.

One thing I learned from my coach is that your goals and dreams shouldn’t be general. They have to be *very* specific. What does your morning look like? What are you doing during the day? Who is with you? Where do you live?

So many books I’ve read say that you cannot create something new in your life until you create it in your MIND first.

So today, I give you permission to dream a little bit. Start writing it down and figuring out the details. Right now it may just be a vision, but once you define it…you can take steps to get there.