September is National Self Improvement Month

Posted on September 02
September is National Self Improvement Month, and that means if you've been looking for a reason to set new goals, drop bad habits, eliminate negative thinking, and improve yourself - now is your time!

Self-improvement does not mean you will break down all your faults and flood your mind with negative self-talk. Instead, it is an opportunity to reflect on and assess where you could improve and how you are taking care of yourself.

I hope you enjoy this issue filled with my favorite tips to inspire my clients' physical, mental, and spiritual growth!

8 Ways to Invest in Yourself
  1. Wake up earlier and get moving! Researchers found that people who exercise first in the morning are more likely to stay with their routine. We know life gets busy and unplanned things happen. Therefore, morning exercise is a way to remain consistent. Not only does a morning workout boost metabolism, but it also helps clear your mind and increase focus and productivity.
  2. Start (or ramp up) an exercise routine. September is the perfect time to reassess your current workout and exercise routine. Is there something you can do to improve your current level of physical strength and stamina? Mixing up the type of exercises you are doing is a good place to start. If your typical workout plan consists of weight training, consider ramping things up by adding cardio intervals. If cardio is your jam, challenge yourself to hit the weights. Regardless of where you are starting, take a baseline assessment so you can record your progress!
  3. Live sober this September. Not only do the calories from alcohol add to your waistline, but they can also inhibit your willpower to make healthy food and lifestyle choices. Going sober in September is the perfect way to kick off your self-improvement journey. Do a quick google search, and you'll see that sober September is a movement sweeping the nation.
  4. Eat more plants. A simple way to dive into your self-improvement journey is to eat more plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Challenge yourself to include at least one cup of vegetables at every meal and snack. Use a journal to record changes you notice in energy, sleep, bowel movements, cravings, skin, mental clarity, and performance. How could consuming more plants change the way you think, feel, and live?
  5. Expand your practice of mindfulness with food, movement, and life. Use mindfulness to reconnect with yourself and understand the nutrition, energy, taste, flavor, activity, and rest your body needs to thrive. By slowing down and tuning out external distractions, you're re-teaching your body how to listen and honor what it needs for optimal health and prosperity. Meditation helps facilitate mindfulness by centering your attention. When you clear your mind of external distractions and stressors, you can return to a state of calmness and focused thinking.
  6. Take up a new hobby, sign up for a class, or enroll in a workshop. Exploring new hobbies and skills can give you something exciting to anticipate. With the abundance of online training resources, there is no reason you cannot begin those piano or art classes you've always dreamed of taking!
  7. Seek the expertise and guidance of a professional who can help you on your journey. As you embark upon the journey of self-improvement, remember you don't have to go it alone! Don't be afraid to ask for help, reach out to family and friends for support.
  8. Step out of your comfort zone often! One sure way to guarantee you will never grow stagnant or get bored is to force yourself to step out of your comfort zone frequently. The word 'force' was used because it is human nature to resist stepping into new territory and doing the unknown. However, to grow and evolve into the best version of yourself, you cannot be afraid of change. Changing up your routine and stepping into the uncomfortable is one of the best ways to improve yourself!
10 Empowering Self Improvement Tips

Think of Self Improvement Month as a personal health check-up and use September as a catalyst for self-reflection. Be honest with yourself about current habits and lifestyle choices you are making. Remember, you have the power to make choices that improve your life. Here are a few more ways to invest in your own self improvement:
  1. Make a vision board to keep you focused on your goals.
  2. Dive into a book that empowers positive change.
  3. Participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
  4. Spend time outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and soak up some sunlight.
  5. Engage in work you are passionate about, which can include volunteer work or a hobby and your career.
  6. Carve out time to meditate, relax, and release your worries.
  7. Cultivate relationships that encourage you to laugh more and complain less.
  8. Fill your mind with positive thoughts to promote optimism.
  9. Take a break from technology. Too much screen time is linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety. While you might not be able to unplug entirely, you can set boundaries. Those boundaries are essential for your mental health and well-being.
  10. Practice daily gratitude, and consider investing in a gratitude journal. (Consider keeping a gratitude journal in the bathroom or bedroom for you to journal OR for you and your significant other to write why you are grateful for each other)
Featured Recipe
Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry




Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-19 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 10 sprigs cilantro, chopped


Directions
In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until they start to brown. Stir in curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne pepper, bay leaf, ginger, sugar, and salt. Stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add chickpeas, cauliflower, and peas. Stir in broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Remove from heat.
Remove bay leaf. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

(If you want a lower carb dish, simply omit the green peas)

Serves 8

Are you trying to quit coffee or energy drinks?

Posted on August 24

The second-most consumed beverage on the planet, tea provides antioxidants that may be associated with health benefits and delivers tastes ranging from fruity to floral to smoked.

These tea varieties are the most common and deliver distinct flavors:

Black: The most caffeinated variety, black tea delivers very robust and full-bodied flavors ranging from malty to cocoa.

Oolong: A slight step down in caffeination, oolong or “black dragon” tea can still be bold but tends to taste sweeter and has toasty notes.

Green: With less caffeine than darker varieties, green tea provides earthy, grassy and slightly bitter notes.

White: The most delicate of teas and low in caffeine, white tea tends to have a light, smooth and honey-like taste.

Herbal/fruit: Containing little or no caffeine, these “teas” are not sourced from tea plants but rather from fruits, herbs and flowers that, when dried, provide an array of flavors such as floral, lavender, citrus and berries.

Magnesium and Skin Hydration

Posted on August 17

Magnesium acts as a master mineral to direct water into cells while making the best use of the moisture available. You may see a magnesium deficiency presenting itself through chronic dry skin, an increase in scratching, or other changes to their skin’s appearance. Applying topical magnesium helps to address this common mineral deficiency while providing additional moisturizing properties through its lotion form.

Magnesium is the most effective nutrient for balancing cellular hydration across the body and the obvious choice when considering the health of your skin.

Dermatitis

Magnesium naturally enhances the skin’s hydration while reducing inflammation. Dermatitis has been linked to low serum levels of magnesium within the patient. Magnesium offers professionals new possibilities for dermatitis in adults and has been proven highly effective in treating painful diaper dermatitis. Studies have shown that topical magnesium is actually superior to hydrocortisone creams when treating atopic dermatitis.

General Skin Inflammation

Beauty regiments have for centuries taken advantage of Dead Sea water its high levels of magnesium ions. These ions have been shown to help reduce the symptoms of inflammatory skin disease. Regular topical application of magnesium is another option to suggest for overall skin health to help soothe irritations while providing simple relief from inflammation.

Diabetes

Magnesium deficiency has long been identified as a significant contributor to chronic body inflammation, a notable risk factor for diabetes. Hypomagnesemia is often accompanied by foot ulcers as magnesium deficiency have shown correlations to the development of neuropathy and abnormal platelet activity. Topical magnesium may help to address diabetic foot ulcers while improving overall skin microvasculature in diabetic patients.

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Sodium ...

Posted on August 13
Is it ok to remove all of the sodium out of your diet? Has your doctor asked you to eat salt free for health issues?
 
Be careful when hearing a blanket statement like this.
 
Salt is essential for your body to function. If a low sodium diet is warranted, a typical adult still needs around 1,500 mg per day. Consuming less than1,200 mg per day can be dangerous for some, especially when exercising in the heat. For most adults, a low sodium diet is 2,400 mg or less per day.
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New Study Finds Beef in a Mediterranean-Style Diet Supports Heart Health

Posted on August 09
Research released by Purdue University found following a Mediterranean-style eating pattern that includes lean red meats like lean beef is just as effective in supporting a healthy heart as a Mediterranean-style diet that limits red meats. This new research study adds to the growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating lean beef can be part of healthy eating patterns to support heart health and increase flexibility for healthy eating.
Specific findings from the new research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, include:
Following a Mediterranean-style eating pattern including 7 to 18 ounces of lean, fresh red meat per week was shown to improve cardiometabolic disease risk factor profiles. Fresh meats were defined in the study as requiring no further preservation or processing beyond refrigeration or freezing; they are not cured, salted or smoked or include chemical preservatives.
 
 
Baked Italian Meatballs
 
Ingredients:
1 pound Ground Beef (90% to 95% lean)
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
 
Directions:
Heat oven to 400°F. Combine Ground Beef, bread crumbs, egg, water, garlic, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into twelve 2-inch meatballs. Place on rack in broiler pan that has been oiled. Bake in 400°F oven 24 to 27 minutes.
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7 Truths About Change

Posted on August 02
For years, I have worked with clients helping them to look, feel, and perform better in their lives and beyond. However, I've learned that it's easy to talk about changing food, nutrition, and exercise habits. Yet when it comes to doing the work, implementing the modifications, and staying with the process, it becomes a lot more challenging!

If you find yourself constantly talking about "changing" but struggle with staying consistent, then this issue is for you! Let's schedule a consultation and work together to create the change that empowers you to live your best life.

7 Truths About Change

  1. Change is scary. While you may recognize change is needed, it can still be difficult to embark upon this journey. The thought of replacing favorite comfort foods, beginning a new exercise program, or switching evening habits and routines can be a little scary and may even be overwhelming at times. With the proper support, paired with patience, persistence, and professional guidance, you can embark upon this journey confidently.
  2. Change can be uncomfortable. Making a change means you might need to have some conversations or experiences that make you uncomfortable. Know that each time you put yourself out there, it does get easier. With each step, you do get stronger. You learn and grow through these experiences. When you are committed to improving the health and well-being of your life, expect to be a little uncomfortable. But also know that each time you step out of your comfort zone, you are physically, mentally, and emotionally stronger. The discomfort is worth it.
  3. Change may take "$change$." Yep, that is right. You will need to invest. The truth is, you are investing in yourself, your most valuable asset. Note, no need to spend a ton of money; the value is in "working with what you got." Always remember, you are worth it!
  4. You don't have to, nor should you, change everything at once. While you might have to invest financial resources into creating your best self, it's also essential to know your limitations. There's no reason to go into debt over your self-improvement commitment. Work with what you have. Realize you cannot, nor should you change everything. Your body is a gift uniquely designed for you. While it's OK to improve and bring out your best, it's invaluable to work with what you have and enhance your assets!
  5. Change takes time. While marketers and online health gurus want you to believe you can transform your body in 3 - 6 weeks, the reality is that change takes time. Give yourself the time needed to reach your goals. Be patient with yourself and find a positive way to track your progress.
  6. Remember you are on a journey, and be grateful for what you have. Through the journey of life, there are times when you will be up and you will be down. The point is to learn from your experiences. If a program you tried in the past didn't work, learn from it. How can you improve yourself and what you are currently doing? Finally, be grateful for the body you have. Begin and end each day with something you are thankful for.
Creating Your Support System for Positive Change

Seek the help of a professional. Regardless of what you are trying to change, seeking the assistance of a professional will help guide and support you on this journey. You don't have to do this alone. When it comes to your health, nutrition, and fitness goals, don't be afraid to ask for help. And when you do, listen, implement, ask questions, and trust the process.

Enlist the support of friends and family. Friends and family can be invaluable in your commitment to transform your health habits. However, in the same sense, friends and family are also notorious for being the number one sabotagers in a client's health transformation journey. The secret lies in understanding who are the right people to ask for support. Not everyone will fit into this category, and it's essential not to take this personally. Instead, know that it is OK to discern whom you will share your personal goals with. Once you identify who will be part of your support system, ask for help when needed and remember to return the favor!

Check-in with yourself. No matter how much outside support or professional guidance you receive, it's essential to check in with yourself regularly. Listen to and honor your body. While there will be times you might feel uncomfortable or scared, you should never feel pain or be in danger.
Featured Recipe
Salmon Strawberry Spinach Salad


Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • One tablespoon avocado oil
  • Four (4 ounce) salmon filets
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Six cups baby spinach (or other green)
  • One cup strawberries, sliced
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • Goat cheese


Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • One tablespoon dijon mustard
  • One tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Directions
Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Add salmon to pan and sear, about 2- 3 minutes each side. Set aside.

In a large salad bowl, add baby spinach, strawberries, and pecans. Toss to combine.

Make balsamic vinaigrette by mixing ingredients together in a jar, seal tightly and shake until smooth. Set aside.

Divide salad and serve on four plates. Top with salmon. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, goat cheese and add a drizzle of dressing.

Gut health can be the reason you are hitting a weight loss plateau.

Posted on July 27
 
Did you know that a healthy gut microbiome is essential for appetite regulation, digestion, and nutrient utilization? It can even affect the kinds of food you crave on a daily basis.
 
To ensure that your gut microbiome is healthy and setting you up for success, start by gaining a deeper insight into what hurts or helps your gut function.
 
A healthy gut microbiome will set your up for success for both weight loss, weight control and better mental health.
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Repeat Recipe for My Low Carb Bakers ....

Posted on July 20

Low Carb Apple Muffins (Keto/Paleo)

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup of granulated monk fruit (granulated xylitol or stevia)
1 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup butter (measure sold, then melt)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 TBSP apple pie spice + extra cinnamon to taste
1 medium apple (chopped into small pieces)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with 12 muffin liners.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sweetener, apple pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder and sea salt.

3. Mix in melted butter, almond milk, eggs and vanilla. Then fold in apple.

4. Evenly fill the 12 muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes.

(You can also use coconut oil instead of butter, but it is a bit more "greasy")

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Staying healthy as time marches on…

Posted on July 09
Pair protein and physical activity.
 
Many people over age 50 have a condition called sarcopenia, an age-related decline in skeletal muscle. It starts as early as 40 and, unless you take intentional action to counteract it, it gets worse as you age — you could lose as much as half of your muscle mass by 70. Fortunately, two tools in your anti-aging toolbox will help keep you strong: protein and physical activity.
 
Ignore the generic advice that women need 46 grams of protein a day and men need 52. The amount of protein you need depends on what you weigh, and research strongly suggests that even if you’re the same weight in your 50s and 60s that you were in your teens and 20s, you need more protein in later decades. Whatever you weigh in pounds, divide it in half, and aim to eat about that many grams of protein per day. If you eat meat, chicken and fish, one ounce by weight equals seven grams of protein; for other foods, read labels.
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A Plant-Based Diet Can Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Posted on July 06
Avocado
Carrots
Chocolate, especially high-flavanol cocoa
Cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli)
Grapes
Green leafy vegetables
Oranges
Pomegranate
Sweet Potato
Tea, especially green tea
Tomatoes
Watermelon
veg

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