Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Giving Thanks

Sometimes it surprises me that I can feel this busy all the time.  Sometimes I just want to curl up into a ball, get under the covers, and sleep for a week. I haven't had the luxury of doing that in about 15 years so here are a few things I do to keep me going.
The clocks have changed and it's dark more often than it was just a month ago.
I've felt the need to prioritize because of some recent life changing opportunities that have come my way.    I've weeded out some things that are just not at the top of my list right now because I'm making a better life for myself and for my family. 
It's these times that I'm reminded of how important it is to prioritize.   Here are a few things that have made my list of  the most important things in my life that need attention:
1. My beautiful family and amazing friends.   Sometimes we all take those we love for granted.   They're always there so it's easy to look past them but they are the people who we want a better life for. My family is the reason I do what I do and my friends are such an amazing source of encouragement and inspiration.  I always try to be careful of those I choose to surround myself with.  Positive energy goes a long, long way.
2. Being grateful.   This feels like a trend for the holiday but I've made a real effort to spend more time being grateful instead of stressed out.   I'm not perfect and it doesn't always work but I've heard recently that it's hard to feel grateful at the same time as miserable and this is completely true.   Putting a positive spin on things has kept me going recently when I've been feeling so busy and slightly overwhelmed by life. If something is making your head spin,  try being thankful for what caused it... too many gifts to buy this year?  Congratulations! Your life is filled with people who love you!  Get my drift?  Try it for the 3 things that are staying you out most right now.
3.  Exercise.   This is the single most important thing I do that's for me.   It clears my head,  grounds me,  and keeps my mood regulated.   Sometimes it's so easy to think you don't have the time and skip it but don't do that!  You need it!  And you will feel better after.   If you didn't get your workout in yet today, make a plan to do it and stick with that plan.  It's important.
This is a quick post but I really felt the need to share.  I'm so thankful for anyone who's reading this post.  I'd like to wish each and every one of you a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you spend it surrounded by those you love.

P.S.  What are your top 3 when things get busy?  Please feel free to let me know below.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ultimate Reset: Week 2 - Detox

I've had a bit of writer's block when it came to writing up Week 2 of the Ultimate Reset.  I heard from a lot of my coach friends that week 2 would be the hardest; that my body was working hard detoxifying itself of all of the things I've been putting into it for so long.  I was warned that I could get very emotional and that this week would be really difficult.  I listened, but I didn't know how difficult it would be.

In my mind, week 1 went so phenomenally, it probably meant that all my clean eating left me in a pretty good state physically.  I worked out all through week 1 but made sure to keep it low impact per the suggestions that came with the Ultimate Reset handbook.  About 3-4 days into Week 2, I started appreciating the things that would get harder.  I felt much more low energy than I had in phase 1.  I found it very difficult to get through any workouts so I listened to my body and put the program I was doing (Piyo) on hold. 

I felt a little lightheaded throughout the week and took it easy as often as I could.  Those of you who have young children know that taking it easy is no easy feat but nonetheless, I did it as often as I could.  I spent a lot of time trying to be more in tune with my body and just breathing.  I also made the time to take walks when I could and just be outside with my kids so we could all enjoy the day.  At first, I was nervous to take time off from my workout program but I knew that I would go back to it because in the past 6 months, it had truly become part of my life and I looked forward to starting it up again.  That made me feel a different kind of strength in my purpose of leading a healthier lifestyle.  It also gave me the will to endure whatever the rest of the week would bring.

 Phase 2 is called the detox phase in the Ultimate Reset.  I was nervous of the detox that my body would go through because you have to have a detox drink 3 times each day.  I actually found this drink to taste fine, a little like iced tea to me and the detox was extremely gentle physically.  They noted in the book that they did this intentionally but I was really glad that I was still able to function even during this phase.

In the last few days of week 2, my emotions started getting a little out of whack.  I'm generally not an emotional person.  I don't let myself spend much time upset on things and try to shake off negative feelings quickly.  However, in week 2, this got really difficult.  Maybe it was that I didn't have a lot of energy, maybe it was that my body was more addicted to meat than I originally thought, or maybe it's just that I'm more of an emotional eater than I had thought.  I'm sure that the toxins in my body that were now getting to the surface also helped these negative emotions come to pass.  Whatever the cause, it took a lot of energy to keep myself level and not get angry or extremely upset at silly things.  I started experiencing a lot of self doubt also.  It was not easy.  I think it really helped me to know that this was coming because other people had told me so that's why I'm sharing with you now.

When I started my weight loss journey, I was very aware of the fact that I was an emotional eater.  When I'm feeling really up, I want to celebrate with a good meal.  When I'm feeling really down, I want to console myself with a good meal.  However, after 6 months of eating healthier, I had really minimized eating for feelings and instead eating for hunger.  But when that was taken completely out of the equation and my meals and snacks were based on the time of day with no emotion at all, I realize that I do still definitely use food as an emotional crutch.  This became a really great thing to know about myself now that the cleanse is done.

This also really holds true for my husband.  I thought that emotional eating was really just something that I did and he wouldn't really be effected by it but he also had an extremely difficult 2nd week and he immediately knew that it was due to his emotional eating tendencies. 

Now, I don't want you to think that week 2 was all difficult.  On the contrary, I learned a lot about myself and am able to know when I'm emotionally eating.  Plus, some of my favorite recipes were in week 2.  I never realized that I was okay without meat on the table as part of my meal.  There are some recipes that I will continue to make as sides for my family, and as a main course for myself.

I also learned how strong I am and that I really can do anything I set my mind to.   Plus, my husband and I continued to bond through my preparing his meals and making sure he had all he needed to be successful. 

I also started to realized in this phase that although I had to spend some extra money on eating organic throughout the past 2 weeks, that this was really for me and that the extra expense was worth it because I'm worth it, my family is worth it, and our health is worth it.  At first, I was a little resentful of the added cost of the groceries but once I realized that our health was the focus, I began to see it more as fuel than an added expense of the program.  I'm planning on writing more about my decision to go organic in upcoming weeks so please stay tuned for future posts.

The final added benefit I'd like to speak about was the incredible support of my challengers.  I was really proud of the way they supported me since I feel like my role is really the supporter.  They absolutely let me know that it was okay to feel the way that I was feeling and that it was okay to take a few days off from my program and they were able to keep reminding me that I could make it and that they would be there to see me through.  I really don't know if I could've done it without the support of my group and of my husband.  Even at times he thought of quitting, I told him I couldn't because so many people were counting on me to not give up.  It really helped both of us through even though my husband isn't in the group.  I adore the accountability that has come with my amazing challengers and in making the choice to become a coach.  I'm grateful every day for the community of support I've been able to help come together.  Life is so good!!  If you'd like to become part of this community to help you to see it through, please let me know right away!!  We'd love to have you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ultimate Reset: Week 1

I have to say, I came reluctantly to this part of my journey.  The idea of a 21 day cleanse always scared me and to be honest, it really wasn't ever on my radar because it seemed like it would be too intense, especially if I had to go at it alone.  However, as soon as Brian said he wanted to try it, I was all in. 

I've been trying to get my husband to join me on this health and fitness journey since the beginning but he wasn't into it.  He loves seeing what it's done for me but he really just doesn't feel so inclined as to join me.  I've become okay with that for now but then he saw some research on a 21 day cleanse and started looking for one.  I was really excited when he decided to go with the Ultimate Reset.

Yes, I'm a fitness coach for Beachbody and yes, Ultimate Reset is a product which I'm able to promote.  I'm going to give you my 100% honest opinion on the ups and downs as they come each week.

When the box came, I was really excited to up my nutrition.  I'd been slacking a bit since losing the weight and although I've been staying the same for a while, I wanted to try and lose some more weight and I know that dialing in my nutrition is the key to that.  I was happy to see the strictness of this program but as strict as it is, the days are 100% planned out for you.  It tells you what to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack for the full 21 days and I'm a huge fan of taking the thinking out of meal planning whenever I can, which is also part of the reason that I'd fallen into the routine of making the same few meals for my family each week.  I was happy to be making some new recipes again and hoping that a few of them would be good enough to take with me after the Reset was complete. 

The supplements may seem daunting at first, but it comes with a number of quick guides so it's easy to figure out exactly what to take and when and although the timing was difficult at times (you're supposed to take the supplements 30 minutes before your meal which took some planning I wasn't used to), it was easy enough as long as I thought ahead a bit.

Week 1 came with some amazing recipes. When I saw the recipe book, I was a little apprehensive because there were so many flavors I've never tried before.  Brian is very picky when it comes to fruits, vegetables, and seasoning so I knew it would be a bit trying to make sure he had things that he could eat but I'd say overall, week 1 was a huge success.

I will say this...  preparation is the absolute key if you're going to give this program your all.  It is quite a bit of work, especially if your doing it with your significant other.  I sat down and really checked all of the recipes to see what I could make in advance and what Brian would eat.  The Sunday before we started, I made a huge batch of salad dressing, cut up veggies to add to salad, quinoa, lentils, and Miso soup.  I checked all the snacks we would be allowed to have, and made sure to stock up on our distilled water (yes, tap water is a no-no on this one because you're ultimately trying to rid your body of all unnecessary toxins, even those in filtered water).  The 1st week grocery shop was a bit expensive because I went almost all Organic.  I try to do organic when I can but there are a few things that I wouldn't regularly do organic but in this case because I was specifically trying to rid my body of toxins, I went all in with the organic and non-GMO.  If cost is a concern, there are things that you can go conventional on but you should do your research and avoid foods like the dirty dozen.

Throughout the 1st week, I felt incredible.  I continued with my PiYo program and I was able to get through all 6 workouts pretty easily.  The first phase weans you off of things like meat and dairy to lead you into the 2nd and 3rd week which are vegetarian.  Before you let this scare you away, I will say that I NEVER thought I would be able to go without meat but then it actually just became a non-issue as the weeks progressed so be sure to go into it with an open mind.

One cool side effect of this week is I made the conscious decision to slow down and enjoy the process.  Cooking and preparing the food became really enjoyable and I looked forward to setting my husband and I up for the next day.  I feel like we really became closer in this phase as we went through the process together and were able to talk about how we were feeling. 

There will be a lot of cooking but some of the recipes are really delicious.  I loved a lot of the new flavors that I was trying but one of my absolute favorites from this week that I will surely keep making long after this journey is over is the Ultimate Reset Quinoa Salad.  It's so easy and super delicious! 

Here's the recipe for your enjoyment:

Ultimate Reset Quinoa Salad

  • 2 cups cooked Quinoa
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan salt or Bragg® Liquid Aminos (to taste)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 4 Tbsp. finely minced fresh parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. finely minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 10 chopped pitted Kalamata olives


Toss quinoa with olive oil, salt or Bragg Liquid Aminos, and lemon juice, mixing well. Gently fold in parsley and mint, followed by remaining ingredients. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Serves 4.