12 Days of Health-mas!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! You guys, I am so so happy it’s finally December! But let me tell you, I didn’t always feel this way. There was a time that I dreaded this time of year, for two reasons. 

a) either I stayed on a strict diet, dreaded every holiday party we attended, and stuck to a strict meal plan devoid of any holly and jolly and fun... 

OR

b) I completely went off the deep end, ate every day like it was my last, and entered the new year feeling bloated, sluggish, and awful about myself. 

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I’m here to tell you there CAN be a middle ground. Balance is possible, and there is a way to enter 2019 feeling nourished, vibrant, and also feeling like you enjoyed all the treats and deliciousness that this time of year has to offer!   

I am so excited to be launching my new holiday challenge, kicking off next Monday, December 10th! The 12 days of Health-mas will include all you need to handle this holiday season in a healthy, but joyful and FREE way! When you sign up, you receive: 

  • a meal planning guide on building nourishing & sustaining meals

  • workout and activity tips to keep your body moving and energized

  • DAILY challenges that will help you grow in your mindset towards living a healthy lifestyle, and help you learn that you are WORTH living in freedom and health!

  • mindset challenges and journal prompts to not only get healthier on the outside but most importantly on the inside

  • AND a chance to win a $75 grocery store gift card!

This challenge will be run in my Nourished & Free community, which is my exclusive Facebook community for my group coaching clients where I teach on nutrition, mindset, the importance of exercise, and provide daily doses of accountability and support for all the ladies in there. Once you join the group, you’ll have access to all the files, educational videos, and challenges we’ve done, PLUS be able to join in on the 12 days of Health-mas! The Nourished & Free community is $19/month, but there is no contract! So you can join in for the holiday fun to test it out and it’s up to you if you want to continue with your membership in the new year!

You CAN make this year different, be more present with your family, enjoy some peppermint bark and Christmas cookies, and ultimately live Nourished & Free! I am so passionate about helping women everywhere live in the freedom and confidence that God intended, and what better time than NOW to start?

If you are interested in this challenge, fill out this form below and I’ll send the info your way. The deadline to join is December 9th, so be sure to fill out this form so we can get started! 

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Daily Manna: Navigating Food Freedom

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, and I always get great feedback from doing them! So I thought I’d let you all know what a day in the life has been looking like lately, especially as I navigate intuitive eating and food freedom.

I am currently 25 weeks pregnant with baby girl #2, and it’s been a crazy pregnancy to say the least! Thank God everything is going well with baby and I, but the pregnancy is just flying by! I am still trying to savor the moments, feel the baby move around, and thank God daily for the life He is growing inside of me!

This day started out like any other, with my morning routine! I am SUPER passionate about my morning routine and spending time with Jesus first thing, before I do anything else. I woke up, brewed some coffee (yes, in a Christmas mug) and settled down to my journaling and Bible study. Mornings are some of the sweetest times and I cherish them every day!

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After my coffee and Jesus time, I did a 30 minute leg workout. It was lifting + some (modified for me) HIIT at the end. It was such a good workout! I then went live for my Nourished & Free community members and chatted all about MINDSET. Friends, mindset is everything when it comes to well, everything. There is a reason God says that we are transformed by the renewing of our MINDS!

After my video for my clients, I got ready and got Emma ready for the day. I have been craving oatmeal lately, but for months I wasn’t allowing myself to have any because #carbs. BUT, now that I am in a healthier place of food freedom (you can watch this video where I go into all the nitty gritty details) I decided to whip up some warm, comforting oats. I cooked the oats with water and chia seeds, then topped with 1/2 a banana, peanut butter, cinnamon, and stevia. DELICIOUS!

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I dropped off Emma at daycare, then headed into work. I had a busy morning, but snacks included veggies and nuts! I then had to run some errands for work at Walmart and had an overall frustrating experience there with not only the staff, but the customers too. I left feeling so grumpy, which I hate. I am usually a happy person, so when I get upset or moody, it makes me upset! But, we all have our days. I got to my second clinic for the day around lunch time, and my coworker and I went on a short walk before settling down to eat our food. The sunlight + having a nourishing lunch of chicken, broccoli, rice, and a side of avocado that I forgot to include in the picture, was just what I needed!

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I meal prepped this chicken verde in the instant pot at the beginning of the week, along with the rice. The roasted broccoli took 20 minutes from frozen to deliciously roasted, and voila! We had lunch ready to go for today. It really doesn’t have to be complicated to plan and prepare your meals!

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I had a mini honeycrisp apple in the afternoon, but my cravings were screaming to have a cheddar-y snack. I knew that we had some cheddar + caramel popcorn at home, so I waited till I got home, took a relaxing shower (my hubby picked up Emma from school so I got some time to myself) and then I had some popcorn while cooking turkey meat for dinner! 

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This was so huge for me. I had a craving, but I didn’t haphazardly stop somewhere on the way home and shovel food into my mouth. I didn’t eat in secret or hide the evidence. I had a craving, listened to it in a calm way, enjoyed my food, and then proceeded with life! I finished cooking the turkey meat and made a huge taco salad, because that’s what my body was craving in that moment!

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Its been so interesting navigating this freedom after almost 2 years of following a tight restrictive plan. After dinner we bathed Emma, played with her a bit, and put her down to sleep!

Before we went to bed, my husband and I had brownies with ice cream as I’ve been needing a bedtime snack to not wake up starving (oh pregnancy). 

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This was the best nightcap and then I zonked out at 8:30 like the grandma I am.

 

Thanks for reading along! And remember, what a day of food freedom and eating nourished and free looks like for me is different than what it may look like for you! We are all different, which is why it’s important to know how to best nourish your body and what works best for you! 

4 Steps towards Food Freedom

Finding food freedom while still trying to live a healthy lifestyle is a delicate balance of nourishing your body with whole, nutrient-rich foods, but also allowing yourself to eat treats, sweets, and other foods that may not be as nourishing to your body, but more nourishing to your mind and soul. A couple of years ago, I developed a style of eating that truly made me feel nourished AND free. I had never felt so free in my food choices, but so healthy at the same time. Unfortunately, this past year, I got sucked back into diet culture, food rules, and found myself in a whirlwind of anxiety and confusion when it came to my food choices. God shook me out of it pretty abruptly and brought me back to a place of freedom with food that I am forever grateful for. My anxiety has been at an all-time low, while feeling the healthiest I have ever felt! I want to bring this nourished and free concept to you all, which is why I started my Nourished & Free community where I counsel and educate clients in a private group and show them ways to develop health habits, not restrict, and find their sweet spot of feeling nourished and free in their own healthy living journey!

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If you have a similar story to me and you are sick of the diet, restrict, binge cycle that seems to plague most of us, read on. Here are my four basic steps to starting on your journey with food freedom. I hope they help and inspire you!

Let go of the diet rules, the good and bad foods, or any other labels you’ve put on yourself.

The best way to get started on your journey is to let go of your mental list of “good” or “bad” foods. Yes, some foods have more health benefits than others, and some foods will be more nourishing to your body, but no ONE food or one food experience is going to make or break your health. The stress caused by confusing food decisions will cause more damage to your health than the slice of pizza or side of fries! Unless you have a diagnosed allergy or celiac disease or a food that really affects your health poorly (and that’s not just in your head, more on that later), the best first step towards food freedom is to allow all foods into your lifestyle.

Find a healthy form of movement you enjoy.

The next step would be to find a form of exercise or movement you enjoy. The only way I can get up so early in the morning to workout is because I actually look forward to my morning routine. Remember, our bodies were MADE to move, so we can all find a form of movement that we enjoy. Try out your local yoga or barre studio, join a gym, get some home workouts, or start training for a race. Whatever it is, I truly believe that we can all find a form of movement that we can enjoy a few times a week. I also think it is important to note that exercise alone does not cause weight loss, so we have to find other motivations to workout and move our bodies. Use exercise as self-care, to decrease your anxiety, and to increase your energy and motivation for a day. This will help you stick to a workout routine for reasons other than to see the number on the scale go down.

Add vegetables to your meals and snacks as often as you can.

Vegetables are nutritional powerhouses because of a myriad of reasons. They are full of fiber and water, which help fill you up during your meal. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which help protect your body against disease and energize you. They also can be prepared in SO many ways that there is no excuse anymore to not eat your veggies! I love to add veggies in wherever I can. You can add them to omelets in the morning, snack on carrots or cucumbers at work, always add a side salad to your lunch, and roast up some of your favorite vegetables for dinner. This way, you still feel like you are eating a lot of food (any other volume eaters out there?) but you are also nourishing your body with whole, nutrient-rich foods.

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Learn food freedom by incorporating some of your favorite foods and evaluating how they make you FEEL.

Lastly, the best way to start living out food freedom is to start incorporating some “forbidden” foods into your day, and then evaluate how you really feel. Does dairy really cause you to breakout? Does bread really cause you to bloat? A lot of these symptoms are caused by other factors such as stress, lack of sleep, etc. Did you know stress can actually make you feel blaoted too? I started testing this out a few weeks ago and its changed my entire mindset. For example, I decided to start enjoying the free food that work offered, and I realized that I was just as sleepy in the afternoon after having my homemade, paleo free lunch vs. the pizza and salad that work provided. Maybe I was just tired in the afternoon because I am PREGNANT, and not necessarily because of gluten, sugar, etc. While I do believe there is a time and place to make nutritional recommendations and changes based on symptoms, I found that I was overanalyzing every food decision I made and thinking all of my symptoms (anxiety, sleepless nights, a breakout) had to do with the food I was eating. I reality, there is SO much more to health than just our food choices. Sleep, stress, activity levels, financial issues, a life event….ALL of these factors play a role in how you feel as well. I don’t want to undervalue your symptoms, because trust me, they feel very real, and I’ve been there not too long ago. But if you want to experience true freedom with food, know that research is very blurry when it comes to food sensitivities, and there is no real way to prove that a certain food is causing an issue for you because most of us are also under stress, feel sleep deprived, and have other factors contributing to our symptoms. Become an investigator of your own body, and evaluate non-food stressors as well that could be impacting your health.

I hope these simple tips can get you started in your own food freedom journey. Know that life is worth living, and is about so much more than your food rules or what you do or do not eat. You do not have to live in two extremes: being deprived one week and then binging the next. There can be true freedom when it comes to nourishing your body, and if you want to dive into that further, I highly recommend you joining my Nourished & Free community!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Move your body, eat some delicious food, and love on/be present with those around you!

 

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Pregnancy Update: 24 weeks pregnant!

Poor baby #2. Emma got regular updates during my pregnancy with her, and this is only my second update since announcing that we are pregnant with baby #2! I feel so terrible, but life has been nuts and most of the time, I have to stop and remind myself that I am pregnant and need to take things easy! Being pregnant + having a toddler is no joke! On top of working full time, running a private practice, serving at church, and overall LIFE in general.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy season. Busy, but also exciting and full of God’s blessings! Every time I get exhausted or overwhelmed, I remind myself of how grateful I am for my life, my babies, my husband, and my community. God is so so good, y’all.

Anyways, onto the updates!

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How far along are you?

24 weeks! This pregnancy is FLYING BY.

Gender:

GIRL!! We’ll be announcing the name soon :)

How big is the baby?

She is the size of an eggplant…so big!

Total weight gain:

I am 4-5 lbs up from my pre-pregnancy weight! I’m really grateful for steady weight gain since gaining weight was so difficult with Emma and our abnormal umbilical cord. Thank God for a normal cord this time around and a healthy appetite for mommy!

How am I feeling?

I have moments of extreme energy and happiness, followed by being an emotional and exhausted mess. I had a breakdown yesterday just because I couldn’t switch a load of laundry (our machines are on the 3rd floor, Emma was on the 2nd floor, she’s getting heavy to carry up and down with me, but I digress). I’m learning that it’s ok to ask for help, and even though I want to do it all and feel like I should be able to do it all, those are just unrealistic expectations I have been placing on myself. Moms, ASK FOR HELP. I’m preaching to the choir on this one.

Maternity clothes?

I have been re-wearing all of my clothes from my pregnancy with Emma but I finally ordered a few new sweaters and a pair of pants this past weekend! I wanted some fresh clothes to enjoy!

Favorite workouts:

I workout at home and do mostly Beachbody workouts! I’ve been alternating between lifting, maternity workouts, kickboxing, and modifying some of my other favorites. I am so grateful to be able to move my body!

Stretch marks:

None and I hope it stays that way!

Cravings:

Hmm lately I’ve been wanting big leafy salads and warm fresh baked chocolate chip cookies!

Sleep:

Sleep has been off and on. Better than it was but definitely not great. I’d say it’s mostly just restless nights!

What I miss:

Intense workouts, more than 1-2 cups of coffee/day, having more energy to play with Emma, and having more energy to stay on top of house chores! Also, wearing cute(r) clothes!

What I am looking forward to:

This hasn’t changed: having two little girls to play with and enjoy! I am an only child and prayed for a sister almost every day of my life, so I feel so blessed and happy that Emma will be able to enjoy that special bond.

That’s all for now! Hopefully I’ll be a little more regular with these updates, I enjoy writing them and I’ve enjoyed reading through Emma’s old posts too! Thanks for reading and have a great afternoon, friends!

Weekend Eats + food experiments

Happy Monday everyone!!! Who else feels like this entire year has flown by? Emma is 18 months today and my heart just can’t take it. I feel like she was just born, and now we are expecting her baby sister in just 4 short months! Life is moving quickly, and I can’t help but appreciate each moment more and more.

This past weekend was just…so nice. We spent the weekend together as a family and enjoyed every moment of it. For our family, our weekends are typically busier than the workweek, and I often times find myself looking forward to work to rest and relax a bit. Weird, huh? Well, this is the first weekend where we had zero plans expect for church and a few errands. It was so low-key and relaxing…what weekends were meant for!

I will say that the eats I’ll be sharing are different than what you’ve seen on this blog lately. I’m experimenting with my body, but most importantly my brain and mindset. More on this later as I’m still trying to figure things out, but I thought I’d share anyway and show how “healthy choices” are not always so black and white!

But let’s backtrack to Friday! I went to work and met with one of my dear friends for lunch! Our plan was Chipotle but they were out of rice (um, what?) so we went to Blaze Pizza instead. I LOVE their green stripe pizza, so I got that with a side salad. This meal was so so good!

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Friday night was just a usual night of youth group. My husband and I are the youth leaders at our church and we so enjoy the time we spend with our church family! We got home pretty late Friday and crashed in bed.

Saturday morning, we enjoyed a family breakfast at home of waffles and eggs! I forgot to snap a good picture, but let’s just say waffles + peanut butter + syrup are the best combination! Then, we headed to a car dealership where we actually had a pretty frustrating experience. By 1pm, my husband and I were both starving and Emma was ready for her nap, so we had a quick lunch while Emma napped and vented to each other about how stressful car dealing is.

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We each got the 2-item plates at Panda Express, and had enough leftovers for Emma once she woke up, as well as some left for dinner! These plates are so massive, so we both listened to our hunger, filled up on the broccoli and the veggies, and stopped when we were full. My husband LOVES Chinese food, so it was nice to enjoy this with him and sit outside in the fresh air.

After lunch, hubby took Emma home and I hit the grocery store. We were out of so many staples, so I stocked up big time. Our Trader Joe’s is remodeling, so while it was difficult to get around, I got the job done and am so excited for our new and improved store to open soon!

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The rest of Saturday was pretty low key. I cleaned the floors at least 10 times as Emma has been throwing food all over the place. We put her down to bed early, watched the Lakers game, then I knocked out at 8:30pm. Oh how I love sleeping early even on the weekends!

Sunday morning consisted of my usual morning routine (quiet time, journaling, Bible study, and my workout!) We got ready for church and headed over for our English service and Sunday school class. I was SO hungry by 11:30 am that I was snapping at everyone (so sorry to my husband and mama!) so we had an early lunch at the local mall’s food court and walked around a bit! I had been craving a sandwich + salad combo, so I tried out Stone Oven for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised! I got the chicken pesto sandwich with with a side salad.

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We walked around the mall a bit, fed Emma once she woke up (we gave her leftover kebab + rice from my husband’s meal) then headed home. We were both in awe at how early we were getting home on a Sunday! We are usually out all day on Sundays, so it was nice to come home and relax. I got a head start on laundry and meal prep, and we enjoyed Emma’s playfulness while we got things done around the house!

For meal prep, I made pasta in the instant pot and roasted vegetables. Meal prep is continuing today, but it felt good to get a few things done and enter the week with food ready to eat in the fridge, which we also enjoyed for dinner!

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Emma went down early again, so we finished up the last 3 episodes of Man in the High Castle. This show is SO good, although I will say season 1 was my favorite. We just finished up season 3, and while it was intense, rarely is a show ever as good as its first season…ammiright?

And so far on this Monday, I have been running errands, cooking, finishing up laundry (will it ever end??) and enjoying a quiet day! Emma is at school for a few hours today, so this pregnant mama is getting all the rest she can!

I hope you all are having a relaxing and enjoyable week so far! Here’s to it being almost-November!








Baby #2 is on her way!

Yep, we are expecting our second baby girl and couldn't be more thrilled! Lord willing, we will be welcoming the 4th member of our family at the end of February 2019. We are so excited and blessed and happy Emma will have a little sister!

I blogged through my last pregnancy with Emma, and I want to TRY to do the same with this one. But let me tell you, being pregnant with a toddler is no joke. For all you first time pregnant ladies out there, ENJOY ALL THE REST. Because right now, I feel like I am forgetting that I'm pregnant because I am so busy running around a 16 month old, working full time, and taking care of all the things. It's okay though, God provides His strength and that's the only way I could get through!

I'm 15 weeks now, and finally starting to feel better and shedding that first trimester getting-hit-by-a-car feeling. I thought I'd do a little recap about how this pregnancy has been so far...hope y'all enjoy!

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How far along are you?

15 weeks and 2 days.

Gender:

GIRL!!

How big is the baby?

She is an avocado this week....so cute!

Total weight gain:

I am still below my pre-pregnancy weight since I lost some in the first trimester. I will say that I am definitely hungrier with this baby compared to my pregnancy with Emma, so I am sure I will be gaining weight in no time!

How am I feeling?

Pretty exhausted...the nausea really knocked me off my feet in the first trimester, but I have finally been feeling better the past couple weeks! A bit more energy and being able to enjoy the nourishing foods I love!

Maternity clothes?

Oh yes! I feel like I started showing the minute I found out I was pregnant this time around! It's like my body knew to just pop out!

Favorite workouts:

I do at-home Beachbody workouts because they have gotten me the best results and I've never been as consistent as I am when do their programs! Right now I am doing Liift 4, a 4 day/week program, plus adding their maternity workouts and MMA style kickboxing workouts!

Stretch marks:

None and I hope it stays that way!

Cravings:

Gimme ALL the Greek salad! And can I just say, I am so grateful I've been craving salads because for a solid 2 months my diet consisted of ritz crackers, cheez its, and bread. Those are the only foods that seemed to settle my stomach. It's such a relief to be able to eat some nourishing veggies again!

Sleep:

Sleep has been AWFUL, but it was the same with Emma so I was expecting it!

What I miss:

Intense workouts, more than 1 cup of coffee/day, and having more energy to play with Emma. She is such a good independent player and loves her toys. She sings and talks to me all day long while I rest and sit on the floor with her. I just wish I could be more active with her, but for now I know this will do, and she still loves me! (Mom guilt is real, guys).

What I am looking forward to:

Having two little girls to play with and enjoy! I am an only child and prayed for a sister almost every day of my life, so I feel so blessed and happy that Emma will be able to enjoy that special bond.

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That's all so far on this pregnancy! Thank you for all of your sweet words. We are praying for a smooth pregnancy and healthy baby, and are so excited for our new blessing!

Daily Manna: Chasing Joy

It is so important to find joy in every day. But I am realizing that joy won’t just naturally come to you; you have to look for it. You have to spend your day going out of yourself and find a little bit of joy and gratitude in the interactions you have, the people you’re with, and the places you go.

I used to write these daily manna/day in the life posts a few years ago as a way to get out of my “tent” so to speak and collect God’s blessings for the day (biblical reference in case you wanna look it up!)  

I thought I’d start doing them again as life has been crazy lately and I’ve been full of anxiety and worry and excitement all at once. I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I enjoy writing them!  

The past five or six days I’ve been getting up early to do my morning routine. I had been really disciplined about this earlier in the year and craved my mornings with Jesus, but like I said anxiety got in the way this summer and I found myself literally thinking “I have too many things to worry about...I don’t have time for my morning quiet time”...how crazy is that! That’s WHY we still need that time for prayer and reflection...because of all that worry and anxiety. I am so happy I’ve been able to implement it back into my day. This morning, I read a devotional and journaled about a Bible study I’ll be teaching this Friday at our youth group! 

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Then, it was workout time.  I’ve been in a workout rut lately and decided to start a new program this week. It’s been so helpful for me to follow routine and structure again! I’m only using 8 pound weights (I used to use 12-20 lb dumbbells) because I lost a lot of my strength over the summer, but I’m determined to keep going and build that strength back up! 

Instead of being hard on myself for my loss of strength, I decided to be grateful that I can actually move my body, lift weights, and that I am blessed with a home and area to workout in. Looking for your manna or blessings in the midst of frustration can completely shift our mindset and help pull us out of it!

     

 

 

And then, it was breakfast time! I made this shake and it was delicious! 1/2 scoop vegan vanilla protein (love the one from Sprouts!), 1 scoop collagen peptides, 1/2 frozen banana, handful of spinach, 1 tsp peanut butter, and some ice and water/milk! I forgot to snap a picture when it was full and pretty, so this is what it looks like almost done when I got to work!

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I work in a dialysis unit as a Renal Dietitian. The morning was filled with seeing patients, typing up notes, and catching up on emails. As most of you know, I am a working momma and leaving Emma at daycare has been hard on my mommy-heart. The past few months, I have been extra bitter about it, and it's effected my moods and the way I take care of myself. So, I have tried to make a conscious decision to be joyful even though this wouldn't be my ideal situation. At work, I get to use my talents and degree, collaborate with other adults and coworkers, serve and be a light to my patients, and I am able to contribute financially to my family. Again, this mindset shift and finding the JOY in being a working mom has been HUGE for me!

During my busy morning, I definitely needed snacks throughout the day so these were a few of them!

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Even with all those snacks, I was hungry come lunch time! Lifting weights can do that to you! I prepped a burrito bowl for lunch with rice, pinto beans, and peppers, with some chips we had in the break room because why not?

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It’s so funny how afternoons usually come with a dip of energy, but they are the busiest time of the workday for me! I had to fit this snack in between patients though because I was starving! Peaches have been hitting the spot this summer! 

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I've also finally begun enjoying RX bars again! I love these things. We did however just find out that Emma has a cashew and walnut allergy, and while not all these bars have those nuts, I've still been super careful because they are manufactured on the same equipment. I've only been having nuts and nut bars at work (minus peanut butter, which is actually a legume) because she has zero reaction to peanuts thank goodness!) and then brushing my teeth before I go pick her up from school. Hey, at least my dental hygiene is getting a little extra boost!

Around 5:30pm, I left work and went to go pick up Emma, my favorite part of the day! She's been at a new school for the past month and so happy there, so that's been helping my heart as I miss her throughout the day. Once I pick her up, we usually get home and I either cook dinner or heat up food if I've meal prepped. Thank GOD this week, I meal prepped, so we enjoyed my low carb veggie lasagna for dinner! Which was more like a lasagna soup but still tasted amazing! 

 

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and then....Emma had a meltdown. She only napped for 45 mins at school today, and she usually naps 2-3 hours. So we put her down to sleep and she was out by 7pm. My hubby and I settled down to a quiet night of some Netflix, reading, and an early night to bed! 

 

Even though it was a busy and somewhat stressful day, I had so many things to be grateful for! 

- a great morning quiet time and workout  

- a super productive day at work  

- cuddles with Emma before bed (once she calmed down!)  

- a quiet night resting at home!  

 

Always chase joy and look for the GOOD in your day...you’ll be glad you did! 

Addition Nutrition

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had a great week, and a great summer so far. It's been a busy summer for our family, full of vacations, exciting projects, and down time with my little family. Overall though, I am so ready to be out of this crazy California heat that we have been experiencing and can't wait to get into the Fall spirit! Anyone else??

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A topic that I’ve been chatting about recently with my Nourished & Free clients is Addition Nutrition. Nowadays, with all the diets out there, the majority of these plans focus on eliminating certain foods and food groups in order to reach your weight loss or health goals. These diets recommend cutting out meat, bread, fruit, fat, and so many other foods that leave many feeling deprived and reaching for junk food on day 3.

Been there, done that.

But, what I have learned lately in my own journey, as well as what I practice with clients, is the idea of addition nutrition. What can we ADD to our plate, our pantry, and our meals to feel healthier and fuel our bodies better? Can we eat more vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, wholesome carbs, and good quality proteins? Can we drink more water, add a salad to each meal, and snack on some vegetables in the afternoon?

OF COURSE WE CAN. It's all about your mindset and how you view healthy living. If you just follow a diet or plan that is a list of "no" foods, you won't be staying on that for very long.

What I try to do to keep my mind right is focus on the abundance of nutritious and satisfying foods that make me feel my best. Then I go buy those things, prepare those meals, and look forward to all the food that I have on my meal plan. I enjoy my meals because I am not coming from a place of deprivation. Rather, I am looking at all the foods I can ADD to my day that nourish me and fill me up.

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When we focus on what we CAN have instead of what we CAN’T have, that is where the JOY and freedom lies in a healthy lifestyle. That is when you actually stick to your goals, your meal plan, and finally follow through on your decision to get healthy. What a great mindset to make changes with!

My challenge to you this week is to make a list of all the healthy and nutritious foods you want to start ADDING to your meal plan. Then go to the store and stock up on these foods. Prepare some meals in advance if you can, and approach this new week with excitement and an abundance mindset towards healthy living. I promise you, it'll make all the difference!

Friday Favorites

Happy June everyone! I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by. Summer is here and I am so excited for beach days, time in the sun, and enjoying this season with my little tribe. I thought I'd share what I've been digging lately and what I've been grateful for in life, because God is good and I definitely feel blessed!

1. Father's Day cookies. I've posted about these cookies so many times, and you can find the recipe here. These are my husband's favorite cookies. They are so delicious and light, so I woke up early on Sunday morning to bake them for him! We've been munching on them all week, so delicious!

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2. Disneyland days. I am beyond grateful to have the chance to enjoy so many Disneyland days with Emma! We went on Monday and had so much fun! I love watching her learn and notice new things every time we go. She is growing up so fast!!! I also had to stop myself from buying this  cute Beauty and the Beast tea set. Belle is my favorite Disney princess! Who is yours??

3. Limiting caffeine. Ever since becoming a mom, I've gotten into a bad habit of having 3-4 cups of coffee a day. So I've made a more conscious effort to just have 1 cup of coffee/day, and I'm feeling a lot better! I am definitely a bit more tired, but I know that I will get used to it and it's better for me overall, and might help my sleep too!

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4. Free food at work. I used to not give in to the free food at work because it's typically not the healthiest, but this week I definitely enjoyed some! We had an all-day training yesterday and they brought Corner Bakery for breakfast and Panera for lunch...basically all. the. carbs. I ate what I typically don't eat, but health is not about being perfect 100% of the time. It's about eating nourishing food MOST of the time so that your body is able to handle the occasional treats and sweets! That's a much healthier mindset to live in long-term, and I got right back on my healthy eating plan today and feel incredible!

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5. Emma's Mickey Mouse toys. My cousin got Emma these toys for her birthday and she has been OBSESSED with them. Every morning she wakes up and talks to them, carries them around the house, and sets them up all around her. It's absolutely adorable to watch her play and interact and babble! I just love this girl so so much.

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I hope you can also think of some things you are thankful for in your life or the blessings God has bestowed upon you this week! Blessings are all around, you just gotta look for them! Happy Friday, everybody!