How Are Your Mornings?

Are you an early riser or a snooze-hitter?

Some people like to wake up early, have a slow and leisurely morning as they get ready for their day.  On the other hand, some people hit the snooze button for as dangerously long as possible before they spring out of bed and get ready in turbo speed.

I’ve always been a morning person and rarely set an alarm 🙂

Starting off your day in a way that eases you into the rest of your day with a peaceful nature is really important.  If you’re a snooze-hitter that begins your day with anxiety about being late, try thinking of one or two ways you can make your mornings a bit less stressful, and even more enjoyable.

So, are you a snoozer or an early bird?

 

 

 

How to Get Control of Your Busy Mind

Do you ever have those times when your mind is racing, and you can’t seem to catch up? Maybe your schedule is jam-packed, and you haven’t had a quiet minute to yourself in what seems like forever, or you tend to worry about every little detail on a daily basis — either way, your brain is on the go constantly. Sound about right?

Nevertheless, don’t worry. It’s not an issue exclusive to you, an active mind is
something we all deal with. A busy brain isn’t a bad thing, but when it overtakes us
and controls us instead of the other way around, that’s when trouble can creep in.
Being mindful of this and practicing some tricks daily to maintain control of your
busy mind is as easy as this…

1. Meditation
Meditation is a great way to calm yourself down after a stressful episode or a busy day. All you have to do is sit still and clear your mind, take some deep breaths, and keep practicing until it works. It might take awhile to implement fully, but once you are able to utilize it, you will be able to finally enjoy some peace.

2. Exercise
Working out is a great way to reduce stress and even get in some beneficial exercise in the process. Whether it is dance, yoga, or simply taking a walk, mindful movement has been known to reduce stress and even help to increase productivity and strengthen your attention span. And who doesn’t need that?!

3. Avoid overstimulation
Whether it is watching TV, reading articles on your phone, or even just chatting with people, we live in an era where we are stimulated all the time. This can make us stressed out more often. Be mindful of cutting down on technology or screen time that causes this stimulation, especially when you are feeling stressed. What are some activities you can do that don’t involve technology or screen time?

4. Make art
No matter how good you are at painting, drawing, or even crafting, having a creative hobby is a great way for you to do more mindless work. Knitting is a good hobby for many, and you can make scarves and hats to keep yourself warm or to provide for family and friends during the holiday season.

Regardless of where you are in life, finding a great way to relax is vital for pretty much all of us. Being pressured and stressed can feel like an everyday occurrence, but with a little relaxation, we can start to retake control of our lives.

A connection is something we need as humans.  We have the deeply rooted desire to feel connected to others, connected to ourselves, connected to our surroundings, connected to nature… there’s a deep, deep need to be and feel connected.

Feeling disconnected can impact our mental, physical, and emotional health in drastic ways.  It’s something worth being mindful of and working on getting more connected in different areas of our lives.

How are you doing with this?  Are you feeling connected?

What area do you need to improve feeling connected on most?

 

When I talk to people about their top health concerns and stumbling blocks, poor sleep quality, lack of sleep, or some sort of negative sleep pattern is the top most popular response.

Most people are chronically exhausted because they aren’t getting enough sleep and aren’t getting sufficient quality sleep.  This ties into other habits we have, but the overall conclusion is we don’t place a high enough value on quality sleep.  We let that suffer before other things on our to-do list, and that’s just what it ends up doing… suffering.

So, how’s your sleep?  Do you sleep well, or do you struggle when it comes to sleep?

Luckily, even if you struggle with sleeping well, there are so many tweaks and tricks you can do to improve your sleep quality.  My favorite ways are to journal before bed and to have a routine that I try to follow most nights.

Do you have a hobby you like to use some of your extra time enjoying?

I’ve read one study before that mentioned having a hobby prolongs your lifespan.  Hobbies often include being creative in some way, which also helps to feed a part of your soul that craves creating.  You may already have a hobby, but what’s that one hobby you’ve ALWAYS wanted to take up?  The one you say every New Year you’ll finally pick up and start doing?

I’m so curious to hear what yours is.  Let me know in the comments below.

Herbs and Spices That Help You Lose Weight

Who said eating healthy had to be bland and boring? Knowing the right herbs and spices to add to your cooking can give it loads of flavor and extra nutrients — plus they can boost your metabolism to help you lose weight. Sounds like a win-win to me. Here are some of the best herbs and spices to start working into your recipes to help you drop those extra pounds:

1. Turmeric

Turmeric contains the incredible curcumin antioxidant, and it serves as a warming spice. Warming spices increase your body heat which helps speed up metabolism. It’s easy to work into your meals for an added boost of healthy goodness. Sprinkle it into soups, stews, marinades, chicken, or even mix it into our scrambled eggs.

2. Cinnamon

Interestingly, you’ll find cinnamon in many desserts, but all that sugar along with it doesn’t help. Try sprinkling cinnamon onto your oatmeal, in your coffee, on top of yogurt or sweet potatoes. It can balance your blood sugar and help you feel fuller longer while adding a sweet enough taste that can help quell your cravings.

3. Cayenne

Another spice that raises your body temperature and boosts your metabolism is cayenne. Use it on your meats, in soups and sauces, or even for your salad dressing for an extra pop of spice.

4. Cumin

Recent studies have shown cumin can help you burn more body fat. It adds a delightful smoky flavor that you love in Mexican cuisine. It’s also used in Chinese and Indian cuisine too. Try experimenting with it to take your cooking to the next level with rubs and marinades or make a new salad dressing that will have you craving salads regularly.

5. Ginger

Ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory. It’s also great for its thermogenic properties like turmeric and cayenne. Fresh ginger is best grated right into the foods you cook. You can also slice it and add it to your tea for a post-meal soother. If you don’t have fresh ginger, ground ginger also works well.

6. Garlic

Savory and pungent garlic is very popular as it works well in most recipes, but eating more of it will also help you to burn off more fat. It’s actually best to eat it raw, but if that’s too spicy for you, adding it to everything you cook still has plenty of health benefits.

7. Black pepper

Go ahead and add a little more black pepper on top of your eggs, meats, and even salads. Black pepper blocks the formation of new fat cells to stop weight gain before it begins. Plus, it helps bring out the flavors of your food naturally. Each of these spices is easily accessible and fit well into most recipes.

Between these seven options, you can always have at least one in every meal you have. Get cooking now with these herbs and spices, and you’ll be on your way to losing weight more naturally and extra flavorful food.

What’s most effective on you when it comes to relaxing?

I love that we’re all unique in every possible way, even the way we relax.  My favorite relaxation technique may not work for you one bit, and vice versa.  There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to making sure you add relaxation into your daily schedule, but finding what truly rejuvenates you is especially valuable.

So, at the end of a long day, what do you do to relax?

We can’t be on “go” at all times, or burn out is inevitable.  Rest and winding down is essential — so what’s your unique way of doing this?

Mine is to hang out with my Boxer Bailey or my grand dog Henry <3

One of my most favorite things about cooking is all the different variations of toppings you can cook with.  Condiments, spices, herbs — there’s just so much to consider, and so many options to choose from.  You can prepare the same exact ingredients several days in a row, using various spices or marinades each day, and you have a different meal each day.  Condiments make cooking more manageable and much more delicious.

There are even incredible health benefits to these herbs, spices, and seasonings you can add to each meal.  For example, mustard contains turmeric (it’s what gives mustard the bright yellow color) which is hailed as an incredible anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant powerhouse.

What’s your favorite condiment to add to your meals?

It’s no surprise to hear a Health Coach talk about how important a healthy breakfast is, right?!  Your mom told you this as you were growing up, and I’m telling you again… breakfast is crucial.  Do you eat it?

I get it, we’re all busy in the mornings, and some things simply have to be skipped over.  Breakfast can’t be one of those things.  There are countless quick, healthy options to choose from, and even options you can make ahead of time to grab-and-go in the mornings.  There’s no excuse to not have a healthy breakfast in the morning!

Packing in some protein and healthy fats in the morning will help you stay satisfied longer, to avoid that mid-morning crash and visit to the vending machine.

Do you have a go-to healthy, quick and easy breakfast?  Mine is a smoothie 🙂

Tips and Tricks for Packing a Healthy Picnic

With summer in full swing and the colder months are right around the corner, the weather is perfect for spending as much time outside as possible. A favorite weekend activity is packing up a picnic and finding somewhere beautiful to unpack and enjoy with my family/friends/loved ones (whichever you prefer) — however, typical picnic foods can be quite unhealthy.

That’s exactly why I wanted to share with you some of my favorite tips and tricks for making a healthy picnic so you can enjoy a few more before the cooler weather rolls in!

1. Skip the Chips
Potato chips might sound great for picnic food, but they can pack on the calories very quickly. On top of that, they’re nearly completely devoid of nutrients, so you can eat a whole bag and still be hungry. Instead, pack some produce such as celery, carrots, or apple slices, and have a side of hummus or peanut butter for delicious, nutritious dipping.

2. Ditch the Bun
A very popular picnic food is sandwiches. They are tasty, versatile, and you do not need a plate to eat it. However, bread can be highly processed and unhealthy. Wrap up your sandwich contents in a lettuce wrap instead for a healthy alternative.

3. Skip the Mayo
Mayo is common to see in picnics. It can be found in tuna salad, slathered on bread, or put in potato or egg salad. Mayo has hundreds of calories in just a few tablespoons and provides almost no nutrition. So instead, consider other healthier options, like salsa, mustard, or even guacamole. You could even trade out mayonnaise for high-quality Greek yogurt and hardly notice a difference.

4. Drink it Up
How can you have a summer picnic without the refreshing cold drinks? Yet, many drinks are loaded with sugar and have tons of empty calories. Great alternatives would be to bring along tea, water, lemonade, or seltzer, and focus on hydrating with water instead. That way you can have nice refreshments without feeling as if you are splurging too much.

Picnics are fun, and the summer makes us all want to go outside. It can be hard to make sure that we do not over-consume unhealthy junk foods when we are out there. Yet, with a couple of tips and tricks, it can be easy to make your picnic healthy and enjoyable so you can continue to enjoy your healthy summer.