Ways to Boost Metabolism

Metabolism — we all want to have a strong and quick one, but it takes some work to achieve a healthy metabolism.  It’s affected by what we eat, how we sleep, our hormones, exercise, and many other aspects of our overall wellbeing.

In fact, some specific foods can help boost your metabolism.

Keep the following foods on your plate: avocado, spinach, green tea, coconut oil, and almonds.  These only name a few, but the options listed here are versatile foods that can easily be added to almost any meal.

If you’re in need of a new workout routine, do some research on HIIT workouts that may fit your desires.  These exercises can be done just about anywhere, making them incredibly feasible for fitting into anyone’s schedule.

There are a slew of things you can do to boost your metabolism, but starting with these small changes can start you down a long-term path to a healthy metabolism.

What HIIT workout is your favorite?

Favorite Health Apps to Achieve Your Goals From Your Phone

It’s incredible to me that less than about decade ago, our phones were merely used to call our friends and family. Now, you can do absolutely anything on it, and it’s become our very own personal assistant. We panic when we go to reach for the phone and it’s not where we left it last, and we wouldn’t dare leave it at home when we jet out to run errands. It’s a part of our lives now — and a huge part, at that. I like to take advantage of all that’s available and make my phone work to my benefit as much as possible. One of the ways I do this is by having several useful health apps on my phone that help me in various ways stay on track, no matter where I am. I wanted to share with you some of my clients’ favorites, in case they could help you, too!

FitRadio: Having a good playlist to motivate you through your workout is incredibly effective, helping the time go by faster and upping your energy. Download FitRadio and find the perfect station for you!

Couch to 5K: If you shy away from running because you feel like it’s been too long and you’re rusty, or simply not good at it, try downloading Couch to 5K. This free app helps you ease into running using a manageable approach, getting you from zero to 5k in about three months.

Happify: There’s not one of us that couldn’t use some help with our emotional wellbeing – we fluctuate day to day, and it’s something we need to be incredibly mindful of. This app was developed by positive psychology experts and is a beautiful tool in taking control of your emotional wellbeing.

PocketYoga: For those busy weeks where you can’t sneak away to a yoga class, the PocketYoga app is the perfect companion. Fit in a yoga class no matter where you are.

Charity Miles: This app is an amazing way to raise money for a charity of your choice as you also work towards your health goals. I think this is a fantastic motivation tool.

Are there any health apps you use and love that I didn’t list here? Drop them in the comments below, I’m always looking for new apps that will help make my life and my clients’ lives healthier, easier and more enjoyable!

The new year brings resolutions to finally go to the gym regularly and to get your health in order.  It’s no surprise to you to hear that the vast majority of those resolutions are dropped by spring (or even late January, early February!) — but why?

I truly believe it is planning.  It’s the exact reason why my exercise routine goes dormant, and it’s probably why yours does too.  It’s tough to change our habits and routines, and most of all, it’s hard to fit one more thing into our schedule.  Don’t you agree?

That’s the thing.  If it’s not on your schedule, it’s not going to get done.  Do you have your exercise, whether it be walking, jogging, yoga, dance, a workout at the gym — is it on your schedule?  Is there a time for it, where you know that time is carved out?

If not, fit it into your schedule this week.  Make it achievable — if you’re slammed at work this week, write in a 15-minute walk on your lunch break.  Don’t give up altogether because you don’t have an hour and a half to hit the gym.  Good luck!

What’s your favorite type of exercise?

Do you love yoga, Pilates, running, walking, swimming?

Have you found an exercise you don’t dread doing, and that you actually enjoy?

My favorite form of exercise is:  running.  I love cycling and yoga too 🙂

When I finally realized I didn’t have to do all the other kinds I dreaded, I stopped making excuses and actually looked forward to my exercise time.  Eliminating the exercise types you don’t enjoy and focusing on the ones you love shifts your perspective of working out altogether.

There are so many options to choose from, you are bound to like at least a few.  It’s perfectly okay if you aren’t a cross-country runner, or you just haven’t gotten into yoga like everyone else has.

My least favorite type of exercise is: lifting weights in the gym.

Finding what works for you is as simple as trial and error.

Which exercises have you tried that just absolutely aren’t for you?

The sun goes down before 6 pm, it’s cold and grey, and it can really mess up our groove.  Does this happen to you, too?

This is a huge reason New Year Resolutions are so popular.  It can be quite difficult during the coldest months when we naturally go into hibernation mode.  The Winter Blues are very real, and chances are you’ve dealt with them yourself.

Instead of letting the blues get you this year, try these tips to stay on top of them until the sun comes back out this Spring.

  • Find some sort of exercise.  Even if it’s a stroll around your apartment building or a 10-minute workout on YouTube.  Keeping your endorphins happy a few times a week will help with the slump.
  • Find a way to give back.  Helping people in need is a heart-swelling opportunity to shift our perspective and do something great with our time.
  • Be mindful of the season.  If you know you get the blues this time of year, make decisions with that in mind so that you can set yourself up for success.

What have you noticed that helps you crawl out of the winter blues slump?  Let me know in the comments below.

Ways to Finally Create an Exercise Habit That Lasts

Our New Year’s Resolutions — we say them with the best of intentions. We may even begin delving into them, trying to better our lives. Then it happens. Somewhere around February or March, everything peters out, and you realize you’ve yet again fumbled your resolutions. So before your resolution to prioritize your health gets put on the back burner again, let’s talk about some ways to make your resolution to exercise more stick this year!

You need a ritual. It is said it takes three weeks to make or break a habit. So for the next three weeks, create a routine that is ritualistic around that exercise. Do it at the same time every single day. For example, maybe every day after you eat lunch, take a 10-minute walk around your office building. You can build from there but creating that good exercise habit is what’s going to make it stick. Also, who doesn’t want to get away from their desk for 10 minutes, right?

Start simple. If you focus on something smaller, chances are you’ll be more willing to take more significant steps toward your goal. So say you decide you’ll do 2 minutes of squats at your desk while you’re on hold. Guess what? You’ll be more likely to exceed 2 minutes. And you’ll be even more likely to keep doing it every day. Keep coming back. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This is the law of kinetic energy. By this logic, if you keep yourself moving and driving yourself to stay active without missing your exercise, you will keep doing it.

Build your exercise habit. Once you make it as necessary in your mind as those other habits you have, you’ll find that you can’t miss it. Developing a lasting exercise habit is so vital for our health and well-being. If you take the time to nurture this ritual each day, you’ll find that you won’t want to miss your exercise.

What’s your favorite type of exercise? I love to run, walk, ride my bicycle, and do yoga.

The holidays are sneaking up on us again!

Would you like to make this year different?

Would you like to actually stay on track with your health goals this year, like you say you will do every year?

Would you like to do so in a fun way with a lot of awesome support?

Join us for the Fit & Festive Healthy Holiday Challenge.

The weekly email topics include:

Eating for Energy

Stress Management

Keeping Your Sanity

You will also have access to a private Facebook group where I will post daily tips and we can share our struggles and successes. Maybe we can even share recipes 🙂

I’m also including a few free eBooks: Surviving the Holidays, Mindful Eating During the Holidays, and Fun & Feasible Fitness at Home.

Join for free by signing up HERE!

Date: December 3, 2017—December 23, 2017
Event: Fit & Festive Holiday Challenge
Sponsor: Kim Zajan, CHC
Venue: Private Facebook Group
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Start Your Day Right This Fall

There’s just something magical about the autumn breeze that ignites a desire to enjoy life a little deeper — do you agree? It’s a perfect time to make some changes you’ve meant to make, and I want to share with you a few of my favorite morning habits to implement as fall begins — ones that I may have been a bit lackluster with during the summer months.

Starting off the day with movement. A morning jog or walk in the cool air is a fantastic way to wake yourself up and fill up your energy reserves for the day. There’s a short window of time to enjoy this before the weather gets too cold, so don’t miss out! You can work-out indoors if it’s too cold already, but doing so outdoors has quite a magical tone this time of year.

A warm breakfast. When you come back in from your morning run or walk, nothing is more soothing that preparing yourself a hot, healthy breakfast to enjoy. This can warm you back up from being outside and allows yourself a healthy breakfast to keep you satisfied until lunch.

Sleep in just a little longer. Hopefully, you’re getting enough sleep at night already, which is incredibly important for your well-being. But as the temperature drops and the sun rises a little later in the mornings, get a few extra minutes of sleep as well, if possible.

Drink your water. Begin your day with a big glass of warm water and some lemon to give your metabolism a boost and feel energized instantly. Doing so also starts the habit of drinking water, so you’ll continue to drink throughout the day.

What are your current morning habits, if any? I start my day feeding and walking my Boxers, then I read a few devotionals.  I really love the First 5 app.  A few days a week I go for a run with a friend.  I also like doing Yoga at home in the morning – Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners: The Essentials is my favorite.  I cannot wait for the temperatures to get a bit cooler and enjoy more time time outside in the morning. Florida summers are brutal.

Give your morning routine a refresh this fall, and kick-start your new healthy habits to gear you up for an incredible rest of your year. Being intentional with your time is an incredibly rewarding feeling.

Could You Use An Energy Boost?

People often combat exhaustion throughout the day with energy drinks or caffeine pills while there are much healthier and more natural alternatives that effectively boost energy.

Increasing daily energy begins with diet and lifestyle choices, and making small changes that both helps to eliminate fatigue and cut down on unhealthy energy boosters.

Incorporate a variety of “rainbow” foods into your diet, such as broccoli, raspberries, tomatoes and carrots, to significantly boost energy.  These foods protect the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria, from metabolic by-products.

Fast with a juice cleanse to detoxify and reduce inflammation.  By fasting once a month and only drinking freshly juiced organic fruits and vegetables, the body is able to rid itself of toxins which will substantially increase energy after the fast is over.

Eat foods with a lower glycemic load to even out blood sugar.  According to Reader’s Digest, consuming beans, whole grains and nuts results in steadier blood sugar, eliminating the spike and steady decline of energy.  Foods such as white rice, potatoes and cornflakes often lead to lightheadedness and the “shakes.”

Reduce stress by keeping a stress log.  Stress triggers thousands of chemical reactions in the sympathetic nervous system and uses massive amounts of energy that could be used for different things.  A stress log helps to pinpoint the stressors in life so they can be avoided or better managed, saving energy in the process.

Sleep regularly and use an alarm clock that sounds during light sleep.  Going to bed and waking up at the same time promotes more restful and deep sleep.  Also, using an alarm clock that goes off during light sleep rather than REM sleep, helps you to feel like you are waking up naturally, resulting in significantly more energy in the morning.

Conventional energy boosters such as Red Bull and Monster may dramatically increase energy, but they are packed with sugar and can be dangerous if used too often.  Natural ways of increasing energy are not only healthier, they are more reliable and can be used on a more consistent basis.

What are you going to do today to increase your energy?  Comment below or email me and let me know!

My Tips for Getting Better Sleep

Everyone wants a restful, uninterrupted nights sleep.  There are few things in the world that bring the joy of waking up knowing the last night’s sleep has prepared you to conquer the day.

Here are my  tips on how to get a better nights sleep!

  1. Get in a Routine:  Do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day.  Your body’s clock will get in the routine of knowing when is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up, making it much easier to fall asleep at night and get up in the morning.
  2. Get off the Couch:  By regularly exercising, your body will benefit more from the sleep you get each night.  Exercise will also increase time spent in deep REM sleep, which is the most important part of the sleep cycle.
  3. Clean Up Your Diet:  By avoiding alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and large meals before bed, your body will thank you with a more restful sleep.  It will help you fall asleep faster and have a more regular sleep cycle.
  4. Meditate Before Bed:  By clearing your head of the distractions of everyday life, your body will be more at ease when you go to sleep.  Take a moment to yourself and focus on nothing.  It will relax you and prepare you for a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.
  5. Sleep in the Right Environment:  Make your bedroom a place of rest.  That means eliminating anything that makes unnecessary sounds, having a bed that fits your needs, whether it be firm or soft, and keeping your bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
  6. Avoid Long Naps:  Extended naps during the day can seriously mess with your sleep schedule.  Cap your nap at 15-20 minutes.  Those short power naps will energize you without causing you to still feel awake at bedtime.
  7. Kick Out the Pets:  When you let your bed sleep in your bed, you invite all kinds of obstacles to a good nights sleep.  You could react to pet allergies or have to deal with their movement throughout the night.
  8. Late Night Drinks:  Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or warm milk before bed.  Both of these contribute to either the production of or releasing of serotonin or melatonin, both crucial factors when falling asleep and staying asleep.

In order to get the most out of your sleep, you need to make it a priority.  When you make sleep your priority, you will end up feeling more refreshed throughout the day and will be more productive overall.  Here are just a few things you can do to make sleep a priority.

  • Take the time to look at how you sleep.  Is your bedroom a dark, safe, relaxing place?   Are your mattress and pillows comfortable?  Do they give you enough support?  If you find yourself saying “no” to any of these questions, it may be time to reevaluate your sleep environment.  On average, a mattress should be replaced every seven years and pillows should be replaced every year.
  • Look around your bedroom.  What distractors are there that keep you from getting the sleep you need?  Take out anything work related, especially things that create stress.  You should also avoid using your smartphone, laptop, tablet or television for at least an hour before bed as well.  The backlight in those objects lead to the release of chemicals that tell your body it is daytime, making it significantly harder to fall asleep.
  • Make sure that if you are going to drink caffeine, you don’t do it later in the day.  I try not to have any caffeine after lunch to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact my sleep.
  • While many think it’s no big deal to have a couple alcoholic drinks in the evening, alcohol can actually have a huge negative impact on the quality of sleep.
  • Take shorter naps!  It has been shown that taking 20-30 minute naps during the day can seriously increase your work productivity and alertness without disrupting your sleep schedule in any serious way.  So close that office door and kick back for a few minutes every afternoon!

There are many more ways to help improve sleep quality, but these are some of the most important.  If you are serious about improving sleeping habits, do more research to find out other ways you could be getting better, more effective sleep!