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.

How often do you think about yourself & what’s best for you?

It can be a tough thing to do, no doubt.  It certainly can feel abnormal to focus on your own wellbeing, especially if you have a family to take care of, as well.  We often feel guilty for prioritizing ourselves, because it feels as if we are choosing to put loved ones on a back burner.  Do you ever feel that way?

It’s perfectly normal to feel that, but I do have to tell you… it’s so, so untrue, friend.  When you are in your best shape — mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. — you are in a position to care for others in the best way possible.

So take this as your cue today.  What ways are you taking care of yourself?  What can you start doing to care for yourself better?

Some of my favorite ways are:

  • meditate and pray
  • read
  • walk or run
  • listen to music
  • make a healthy meal or snack

Do you struggle with figuring out what to cook for dinner, too?

You just worked all day, and instead of looking forward to going home to relax… you’re dreading the commute home because you have no idea what you’re feeding your crew for dinner.

Sound familiar?

You have enough on your plate — you shouldn’t have to worry what you’re going to put on everyone else’s plate, too.  Here are a few quick meals with minimal prep time.  Enjoy!

  1. Stuffed Sweet Potato Bar. Bake sweet potatoes and leave out all the toppings you have on hand to create your own baked sweet potato bar.
  2. Open face Avocado sandwich & soup. Add your favorite toppings on a slice of bread with smashed avocado.  Tomato and red onion would be yummy.  Pair with your favorite soup — you can even pick this up from the hot bar at the store already made.
  3. Flatbread on pita and salad. Take personal pan pizzas to a healthier level with these simple flatbreads on a pita.  Pair with a small side salad — simple and delicious!

What’d you have for dinner last night?  Inspire me!

Health Benefits of Your Favorite Holiday Spices and Seasonings

It’s true that the holidays have earned a bad reputation for unhealthy eating. However, used appropriately, the seasonings and spices you turn to for flavoring your dishes have some incredible health benefits. Here are a few of my favorites:

Cinnamon. The smell of it instantly conjures up images of the holidays with snowy hills and cozy times by the fireplace. It’s warm and spicy and is terrific in your cookies and other holiday treats. In ancient times, it was used to help with indigestion, and it’s been shown to have incredible anti-inflammatory effects.

Rosemary. The heavenly scent and sublime flavor of rosemary is a lovely addition to any dish. Rosemary is excellent for helping quell indigestion, as well. It also has antioxidants, which helps chase away those meddlesome free radicals.

Peppermint. Ah, is there anything more refreshing than peppermint in your hot cocoa? It too is rich in antioxidants, making it another winning
herb to keep on hand.

Ginger. In Asian cultures, ginger was used in the creation of just about every single dish. It can cleanse the body, relieve nausea and boost the
appetite. During the holidays, powdered ginger is used in soups, cookies, cakes, and salad dressings too.

Nutmeg. Warming and soothing, just like cinnamon, nutmeg is added to tons of savory dishes as well as your beloved pumpkin pie. It has a calming property to it which might explain why we feel so relaxed after eating foods that are seasoned with nutmeg.

Cloves. Earthy, warm, and sweet, cloves impart an interesting flavor to everything from savory dishes to sweets. They have lots of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Are you getting ready to cook and bake for the holidays? Which of these spices is your favorite to use?

Do you struggle with sleep?  Sometimes no matter how much we dream of a good night’s sleep, our bodies have other plans.

I’m sure you are well aware of what NOT to drink to disrupt your sleep… like a big, hot, delicious cup of coffee.

But do you know what you SHOULD drink to help you catch some Zzz’s?

Here are some of my favorite drinks that are helpful for drifting off to sleep:

– Sleepytime Tea.  There are many different brands to choose from that you can find at any grocery store, so pick one up and give it a try.

– Golden milk.  It’s also great for your health overall, too!  Golden milk is so versatile and can be easily made vegan by using plant-based choices.

– Tart Cherry Juice.  Naturally a source of melatonin which helps promote healthy sleep.

– Magnesium.  Helps to promote great sleep, and is also helpful for digestion.

So tell me, what do you do to get a great night’s sleep?!

The holiday season typically involves a lot of travel.  Bustling airports, busy highways, and packed trains.  Winter is also flu season and rampant with germs with all of these people around!

When I travel this time of year, I take extra precautions for staying healthy during my travels.

— About a week before I travel, I start increasing my immune boosters.  Aside from regular vitamins, Elderberry syrup works like a charm.  I also make sure to get enough sleep so that my body isn’t beaten down!

— Pack your vitamins and immune boosters to take with you.  I can’t even count how many times I felt an illness coming on during my travels due to the abundance of germs I was surrounded by on airplanes and public transportation.  Having your arsenal with you to combat it right away, before it sets in, is key.

— Pack your food.  It can be hard (or extremely expensive!) to eat healthy foods in airports and while traveling.  Pack yourself a healthy and easily transportable meal and snacks, so you don’t have to go hungry.

— Bring the antibacterial wipes or your favorite bacteria killing essential oil.

What do you do to keep the germs at bay as you travel?  Leave a comment below — I’m always looking for new ideas!

No matter how hard we try, curveballs will always find a way to sneak in.  It’s an inevitability of life, and that’s perfectly fine — if we are prepared to handle them!

This season especially can feel hectic, rushed, overbooked and anxiety-ridden.  So it’s the perfect time to put your focus on how you handle these stressors of life and make some tweaks to improve any areas that need a pick-me-up.

The thing about a worrisome mind is that it’s typically worrying about the future.  This makes it extremely hard to be present, so being conscious of this is crucial.  Practice being present and mindful of your current moment, the day you’re in right now, and with practice, you’ll notice the stress of tomorrow will dissipate over time.

Sometimes, when I feel particularly anxious, I focus on each of my senses.  What do I smell right now?  What do I see right now?  What do I hear right now?

This brings you to the present moment and helps snap you out of your anxious thoughts.

Try it, it really works!  What are your favorite ways to overcome anxious thoughts?

The Best Healthy Phone Apps to Keep You on Track

Tools to make life more convenient seem to become more prevalent with each passing year. There’s a solution to almost any problem we can think up, and there’s an app for everything! Have you used any healthy lifestyle phone apps to keep you on track with your goals? There are so many to choose from, and the accountability truly does work. Here are a few of my favorite current apps that keep me and my clients on track — I hope they will help you, too!

Headspace. A meditation app that helps you quiet your mind for as little as a few minutes a day. With so many different focus packs to choose from, there are plenty of focused topics to choose from. I love it!

ShopWell. A fascinating app that helps you understand what’s in the food you’re buying and suggests new foods to try. You can input your health goals, and the app will help you reach them.

Dietbet. If you need an extra layer of accountability, putting your money where your mouth is can really help. Dietbet can help keep you on track by charging you when you fall behind on your goals — and even making some money when you reach them!

Habit-bull. A visual representation of the healthy habits you are forming and trying to keep going. Keep yourself on track with this simple to use app.

HabitShare.  This is another app that helps you keep track of new habits.   You can set up reminders and also add friends to help hold you accountable.

Charity Miles. An incredible opportunity to raise money for charity while getting healthy. What a fantastic way to hold yourself accountable.

If you haven’t taken advantage of some or all of these helpful apps, I’d highly suggest downloading them today. Do you use any that I didn’t mention?  I’d love to hear your favorites.  Comment below so I can check them out.

Shake Up Fall With These Sweet Potato Recipes

Sweet potatoes are a Fall staple. They’re delicious, grounding, and so versatile with many ways to add them to your dishes. But few people know what to do with them besides merely baking them or serving them in that almost dessert-like way that we most commonly associate with the holidays. They’re an excellent source of beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and a ton of vitamins, so they’re
certainly a great option to have around. If you’re looking for creative ways to enjoy them, here are four different recipes to shake things up.

Grilled Sweet Potato Fries. Before it gets too cold out and you tuck the grill away, put it use by grilling sweet potatoes. Slice them up, drizzle with olive oil and seasonings of choice.  You could even make them in the oven 🙂

Sweet Potato Pancakes. This recipe for 2-ingredient sweet potato pancakes will be your new favorite. One steamed sweet potato plus two eggs equal this awesome breakfast that’s easy enough for any day of the week. Blend ingredients and cook in pan – it’s as easy as that.

Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Who said you needed marshmallows to make sweet potatoes sweet? Drizzle your sweet potatoes with honey before roasting to add a little sweetness and flavor.

Sweet Potato Kale Frittata. Frittatas are an easy way to make a classy breakfast without much fuss. You can feed the whole family
with this delicious frittata that combines eggs, kale, and sweet potatoes. Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Now that you have a few more sweet potato tricks up your sleeve, you can put them to good use. Let them fill you up naturally and
bring more balance to your plate. What are your favorite ways to enjoy sweet potatoes? Let me know in the comments below.

Magnesium – Why You Need it

and How to Get More Of It

According to the National Institute of Health, about 90% of the population is deficient in magnesium. That means there’s a better than good chance that you are too. Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body uses in hundreds of biochemical processes.

So, how does magnesium help you? This is just a short list of all the things magnesium helps your body do well.

Keeps your bowels healthy. If you’re frequently constipated, magnesium can naturally keep things moving along through your body so you’ll feel better regularly.

Keeps your heart healthy. Magnesium regulates your blood pressure and helps your body absorb calcium. It also keeps the blood flowing correctly, which in turn keeps a happy heart!

Boosts brain activity. If you always feel like you’re in a fog, magnesium can help lift that cloud from your brain. It gives your brain and your nerves the ability to have better cognitive function as well as comfort by supporting calm and relaxed moods, which in turn will lead to better sleep.

Strengthens bones. Strong bones are essential for keeping up with our daily activities. Taking in enough magnesium will prevent problems down the road.

Now that you understand how important magnesium is, you should take steps to get more of it into your everyday life. You can take high quality supplements for it, or you can eat foods rich it in. Foods that you may want to try include spinach, Swiss chard, avocados, figs, bananas, artichokes, wild-caught salmon, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, black beans, and one I’m sure you’ll love to hear – dark chocolate! Your best bet is to go for organics when it comes to fruits and vegetables simply because conventional methods of farming often deplete the soil of essential minerals.

Are you eating any magnesium rich foods today?