How to Keep Up Motivation for Your Healthy Lifestyle

when you want to give up instead

Has the excitement of your New Year’s Resolutions begun to fizzle out? We start of January so passionate about our new plans and brand new habits, and the novelty seems to wear off quickly. Suddenly, February rolls around, and we’re left wondering why we even bothered with resolutions again this year. The cycle continues.

It’s not easy to keep up motivation, even when you’re on the right track. For example, when you’re eating healthier, temptations may make you want to go back to your old ways. If you have a terrible day and reach for a pint of ice cream, that guilt can send you reeling and doubting your ability to make your goals.

But keep up, you must. If you’re not sure how to keep going without calling the whole thing off, let me bring you newfound inspiration.

Here are some of my tried-and-true ways to keep up my motivation when it gets tough.

1. Remember why
Why did you start your healthy lifestyle? Was it because your doctor warned you about your health? Was it because you were tired of being tired? Wanting to have the energy to keep up with your kids? Whatever the reason, get back to the “why” that motivated you in the first place.

2. Diffuse negativity
If you’re feeling unmotivated because you gobbled down a bag of chocolates after a horrid day at work, find some shred of positivity in your life and go for it. Slip-ups are all part of the growing process. Put it behind you and look to the future with kindness toward yourself.

3. See it as a challenge
Moms with kids can tell you that you can get any kid to devour their dinner with a little challenge. Try the same trick with yourself. When you see it as something to conquer and win, it triggers the need to come out on top. Make a game out of it and go for the gold!

4. Make a timeline
When you are working toward your goals, aiming to lose 50 pounds can feel impossible, especially when the scale is slow to budge in your favor. Instead of focusing on that end goal, make a timeline of mini-goals to achieve. Be reasonable about them and make them tangible. As you complete each one, you’ll feel closer to the end result, and you’ll be really proud of yourself for going for it.

5. Get support
Sometimes, we feel a lack of motivation because we feel like an island on our pursuit of wellness. If you look around that island though, you’re going to find many other people doing the same things. There are always groups you can join to help stay motivated. Whether you need a workout buddy or someone that loves to share healthy recipes, joining a group with the same types of goals as you can be excellent motivation to keep going. This can be a virtual group like a Facebook group (that’s a link to my Facebook community) that aligns with your goals, or an in person group. Check out Meetup.com and see what’s available in your area.

Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “Nothing worth having comes easy.” Quitting would be the easy thing to do. Take the challenge, and when you look back, you’re going to see you’ve come so much further than you ever imagined.

Shoot me a reply and let me know what your “why” is — I’d love to hear what is the motivating factor behind your quest for wellness.

If your timeline looks anything like mine, it’s been flooded with people adopting the decluttering bug after binge-watching Marie Kondo’s Netflix series on her Tidying Up method.

Decluttering isn’t limited to your home, though.  Many aspects of your life can be “decluttered” throughout the year to keep you feeling light, organized, and intentional.

Here are some great areas to declutter:

– Declutter your car.  Yep, things get piled up, and before long, you’re driving around in a mess.  Declutter it every two weeks, and you’ll fall in love with driving around in a tidy car.

– Declutter your schedule.  Take a look at how you can improve your calendar, get rid of some tasks, and make your time work better for you.  Hello, more free time!

– Declutter your computer screen.  Are you one of those people with 40,000 emails in their inbox?  Get rid of them.  I promise you won’t miss any of those emails that you aren’t reading, so just trash them and feel how great it feels to be at inbox zero.  Leave those Facebook groups that aren’t serving you.  Unfollow those people who are negative or bringing you down.  We spend so much time in front of a screen, decluttering our online world is incredibly important.

Have you gotten on the Marie Kondo train yet?

Self-care has been a hot topic for quite a while, and for a good reason. It could be argued that it’s the most critical aspect of your health care routine.  You can eat all of the healthy salads you can fit into your refrigerator, but if you aren’t taking care of your mind and body, it’s all in vain.

Practicing self-care comes in many forms such as exercise, meditation, healthy eating, skin and hair care routines, making time for yourself to do what you love, creating healthy boundaries, and anything else that gets you to take care of yourself and your needs.

Practicing self-care also helps you reduce stress, create a healthy work-life balance, and keep you in better physical and mental condition. It is not selfish and should not be looked at as a reward, but a necessity.

What are your favorite self-care routines?

Healthy Snacks to Fuel You All Week Long

There comes a point when you feel tired of eating the same snacks over and over again. Prepping them each week can become mundane, and that trip to the vending machine to make a snap decision seems exciting, easy, and spontaneous. Undoubtedly, the snack you’d get from the vending machine may momentarily taste good, but your returning hunger and sugar crash an hour later will remind you why you need to pack a healthy snack.

As long as you keep a variation, you can rotate these snacks to keep things interesting. They’re easy to put together, easy to take with you, and they don’t need to be kept cold, so if you’re on the go, you won’t have any excuses to run to the break room for free donuts.

1. Apple Sandwich
Take an apple, cut out the core, and slice it horizontally so you can layer it with almond butter, bits of dried fruit, and chia seeds, and it’s a gourmet treat for the taste buds. Plus, with all that nutrition, you’ll feel full and completely satiated.

2. Trail Mix
I love the variety with trail mix, there are so many different types you can create. Switch it up each week to keep things interesting. Your best bet is to mix up a great big batch at home on the weekend and portion it out into ¼- cup servings. Bag those up and have them ready to go. Stash them in your purse or gym bag, and you’ll never have a reason to eat unhealthy snacks again. Choose your own nuts, dried fruits, and other tidbits, plus you can add seasonings to make it even more exciting so you’ll never grow bored. Savory
or sweet, what will it be?

3. Roasted Chickpeas
Add spice to make them extra tasty, or even try them with a mild, ranch flavor. However you roast them, you’ll forget all about chips. You can snack on these guilt-free and get all the fantastic antioxidant benefits to boot.

4. Hummus Pockets
Grab a whole wheat pita and stuff it with hummus. Add cucumber slices, carrot shreds, and anything else you like. You can prep your veggies at the beginning of the week so it can be a quick grab-and-stuff snack to run out the door with. For a grain-free option, use large lettuce leaves instead.

5. Baked Sweet Potato Chips
All you need is a good-sized sweet potato, a little olive oil, and sea salt, or a little curry powder if you’re adventurous. Slice thin and bake for 40 minutes at 275F. Flip them over, and bake 40 more minutes and you’ll have heavenly preservative-free and healthy chips to snack on for the week.

6. Scaled-Down Skinny Bistro Box
If you tend to flock to certain chains for coffee and café eats, try making your own protein-filled box to go. Make it full-size to serve as lunch, or create a smaller version for a snack. Take it to Pinterest to find some perfect box combinations for your preferred way of eating — there are gobs to choose from.

With snacks like these, you’ll never want to stray from your healthy path. What are your go-to snacks currently?

“Is a gym membership worth it or can I make it work at home?”

Depending on how much space you have, home may be a perfect option.  You don’t have to be self-conscious in a room full of people working out, and without the commute, it’s much easier to fit into your schedule. There are loads of free and affordable apps, workout videos and YouTube stations to get your workout in at home.

If you go the gym route, there are some definite benefits. Most gyms offer a coach or at least someone who can guide you through the machines and routines. Also, all of the equipment is a huge perk. Most gyms have every option under the sun so that it is easy to work out every part of your body.  The only hard part with this is that everyone else is doing the same, so crowds and unsanitary equipment can be a downfall at times.

When it comes down to it, it is all about your preferences and comfort zones.  Consider which you’d take the most advantage of and go with that.

Do you prefer working out at home or in the gym?

Not sure what fat is good fat?  Here are five facts about fat to help you understand which is which and where to get them:

  1. When it comes to fat, there are both good and bad. Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are healthier fats. Always look for these!
  2. Monosaturated fats are great for improving your cholesterol levels and decreasing your risk of cardiovascular issues.
  3. These are found more commonly in nuts and oils like almonds, cashews, peanut butter, vegetable oils, and also in avocado. Try to incorporate these nuts into your snacks and meals.
  4. Polyunsaturated fats are the essential fats because they are not made by your body, so they are important to seek out.
  5. Omega 3’s are a type of polyunsaturated fats that help lower blood pressure and can be found in fish, which is why it is so important to incorporate it into your diet.

Whenever possible, avoid the unhealthy fats and reach for healthy fats instead.  They’ll fill you up longer and keep your cravings at bay.

Is there anything better than a hot cup of coffee on a cold Winters morning?

One cup of organic coffee a day isn’t against the rules — it’s the additions we dump into our mug that poses the problem. These sugar and cream alternatives will still satisfy your cravings, with less of a burden.

Substitute cream with almond or coconut milk.

Substitute sugar with a dab of raw honey or a sprinkle of stevia. Adding spices such as cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or cacao can add great flavor without all the sugar.

How do you take your coffee?

MCT Oil

What It Is and Why You're Going to Love It

There’s been quite a bit of talk about MCT oil lately, and for good reason. MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides, are outstanding for your health. They’re very special fatty acids that contain anywhere from 6 to 12 carbons in length. That’s technical-talk, though, so let’s get down to what it really means.

So, what does all of this mean for you? These healthy MCTs are not hugely present in the typical Western diet. Your body needs good fats, and our diets are swarmed with trans fats, instead. You can get MCTs from certain foods naturally, or you can take supplemental MCT oils which are great to enhance your diet with.

However you take your MCTs, through food or by choosing a high-quality MCT oil, you’ll get a ton of benefits. Some of these include

Improved memory and brain health
If you always feel like your brain is in a fog or you’re tired of trying to remember where you put your keys, MCT oil helps improve your overall brain health and function. It can sharpen your mind and make you more alert — no jittery caffeine involved!

It boosts energy
Because it absorbs easily, you’ll be given a boost of energy quickly. Having 1 tablespoon in a cup of green tea in the mornings is the perfect way to start your day. It does leave an oily residue floating in your cup but have no fear, you cannot taste it in tea. It does add a bit of a flavor to a cup of coffee, but tea is the magic potion for not being able to taste it.

It promotes a healthy microbiome
Keeping your immunity strong is a surefire way to avoid being stuck in bed sick. MCT keeps things in balance and kills off bacterial infections that you may come into contact with, allowing you to feel good each day.

Wonderful for weight loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll love MCT oil. It makes you feel fuller faster so you’ll wind up eating less. It also lowers your metabolic rate and reduces the conversion of carbs into fat. In studies, it showed people lost more weight from their hips and waist when taking it, which is another outstanding benefit.

It gives you more stamina during workouts
If you really want to shred it at the gym, take MCT to keep up that stamina. It’s been shown to help keep you going even during high-intensity workouts.

And that’s not all! It helps balance your blood sugar, keeps your liver healthy, and helps to balance cholesterol. If you want to get in on all the wonderful benefits, you should start taking it now. If you’ve never taken it before, use caution as it can irritate your stomach if you overload on it too quickly. A teaspoon each day is an excellent way to start. If you are struggling with health issues, speak with your medical professional first. You can add it to bone broth, smoothies, soups, even tea, and coffee, or just about anything else you can think of to get closer to your best health every day!

Where is your dream vacation spot?

There are so many good reasons to take a vacation, but science can back why it is essential to take that vacation time. Quality time away is proven to reduce stress, it can make you more productive at work, and on top of it all, it can deepen your relationships with your spouse and/or family members.

Removing yourself from your typical day-to-day life and inserting yourself into a new place to explore can awaken an adventurous part of your soul that may not be tapped on a daily basis.  These times away are so important, and they can be as little as visiting the next town over or flying halfway around the world.

So, where’s your dream vacation spot?

If you want to get into a fun debate, ask your friends if they crave carbs or sugar more.  You’ll be surprised what kind of conversation sparks — but one thing is for sure, carb cravings are a real struggle for many.

There is no doubt that carb cravings are a hard obstacle to overcome when wanting to eat healthily.  First of all, making sure you are getting enough rest will impact your cravings immensely.  Steering clear of unhealthy carbs will keep your cravings at bay, as well.  We seem to crave more of what we’ve been eating recently, so the further you get away from those types of junk foods, the less they will appeal to you.

When you do eat, make sure you are eating healthy fats, good protein, and colorful veggies to fill up on.  These healthy foods will keep your blood sugar stabilized, lessening your cravings.  Keeping your body hydrated will aid in this, as well.

Pro tip: when a craving strikes, pop a peppermint in your mouth.  This change of flavor in your mouth will help snap you out of craving mode.