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!

Gluten-free does not equal healthy

I got a wonderful and thoughtful question from a blog reader last week, and I thought I’d answer it in a post because I am sure there are a handful of people that are confused about the same thing.

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I know there has been a lot of confusion over the past couple years about gluten free diets and whether or not they are healthy. Let me start by saying I have had my own experience eating gluten free and eating normally over the past few years, and have discovered that, for me, gluten free/paleo-ish is the healthiest way for me to eat for my health, digestion, and mental wellness. BUT, that does not mean that when we eat gluten-free, our diet is automatically healthier.

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One of my blog readers sent me a message last week stating that she saw that I eat gluten free, and that she tried going gluten free herself a few years ago but found that the gluten free breads, pastas, and mixes were all high in carbohydrates from rice and potato flours, and that they weren’t actually healthier. She wanted to know if she was right in thinking this and basically, what the deal is with gluten-free!

I’ll start by saying that this reader is SO smart to pick up on the fact that gluten free products are not healthier than their wheat flour counterparts. Just because a product is labeled gluten free does not mean it is healthier or a better alternative. And frankly, most of the time, it is higher in carbohydrates and sugar than the regular products. All foods are a mix of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and vitamins and minerals, so whether or not it has gluten in it does not change this fact.

Gluten is simply the protein found in wheat, and when people have allergies, they are typically reacting to the protein in a certain food. Gluten free products are substituted (most of the time) with rice flour or potato starch, plus are found to have even more sugar in them to make them taste good. They are still just has high (or higher) in carbohydrates, are often times devoid of fiber, and are still a treat. Gluten free cookies are still cookies, and gluten free pancakes are still pancakes.

 

My favorite  paleo cookie recipe  from Against all Grain! And I still treat them just like regular cookies; a TREAT to be consumed sometimes. 

My favorite paleo cookie recipe from Against all Grain! And I still treat them just like regular cookies; a TREAT to be consumed sometimes. 

Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy these foods. I love gluten free toast from Trader Joe’s and Pamela’s gluten free pancake and baking mix! But these gluten free treats should still be treated as TREATS. They should be eaten just as often as you would eat a regular pancake or regular cookie. Not an everyday food, but a sometimes food.

So be a savvy shopper. Just because something is labeled gluten free doesn’t mean that we can have bowls and bowls of gluten free pasta and still think that’s a “healthy” food choice.

And if you want to go gluten free, the best thing to do is replace your usual breads, pastas, or cookies, with plants. THAT is the healthiest way to go gluten free. So instead of having a hamburger, have a lettuce wrap with an additional side salad. Instead of having a cookie with your salad, have some more vegetables on the side or some fruit.

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And most importantly, if you don’t have negative symptoms from eating gluten, there is no reason for you to go gluten free. Yes, gluten is inflammatory over all, and I don’t think there is any harm in cutting it out (if done right like I mentioned above, with the addition of plants). BUT if you don't experience any negative side effects from consuming gluten, there is no need to cut it from your diet. It won’t automatically make you healthier, especially if you are still consuming gluten free noodles, cookies, pancakes, and more.

I personally gravitate towards a gluten free diet because it helps me with my digestion issues and my anxiety. I even tried to incorporate some back into my diet as recently as last week (kodiak pancakes are a favorite of mine!) and starting feeling those similar symptoms return. For me, I have a clear reaction to consuming gluten, which is why I avoid it unless a food is absolutely worth it (and trust me, it rarely is worth it for me!) But just because I eat a gluten free diet does NOT automatically mean I am healthy. I eat a ton of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, lean protein, and gluten free grains from time to time, along with those occasional gluten free/paleo treats, and all of that contributes to a healthy diet.

I hope this helps you become more aware of your food choices too and learn to be a detective in the grocery store and not just fall for any marketing that is slapped on our food products nowadays. The more we know, the better we do. And if you all have any more questions, please send them in! I love answering these types of questions I get, so please don’t hesitate!

Have a great Thursday, everyone!

 

 

My Goals and Intentions for 2018

Happy New Year everyone!!!! I am so excited for this year and all the opportunities that are open to us. I hope you all set some goals or intentions for the year to go in the direction you want. Often times, we wonder why our lives feel like a mess, and while life IS messy, having some intentional goals set throughout the year can help us get from where we are to where we want to be. Which is why I set some goals that I would like to share with you all in the hopes of inspiring you to set your own!

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If you saw my previous post, I am using Zig Ziglar's "Wheel of Life" method to set goals for different categories of my life. So, here we go!

1. Personal/social life: I started going to a new mommy group last year and have been on the sidelines for it. I get SO shy around new people and am a big introvert. But, I want to be more intentional and go to the monthly meetings with the hopes of making friends and being more open to what God brings to me! Also, another goal in this area of my life is monthly date nights with the hubby!! We are kicking off our first one tonight and I am so excited! :)

2. Blog: I want to be more consistent on this blog because I love to write. And guess what, you can help me with this! What would you like to see MORE of on my blog?? Daily eats? Workout motivation? Recipes? Mom life? Let me know! I also am working on a new site that I hope to launch later this month, so look out for that!

3. Family life: my husband and I want to do more things with our baby now that she is older and so much more interactive! We've discussed some family vacations we want to take, as well as just honoring our down time over the weekends and not stretching ourselves too thin with our obligations!

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4. Spiritual life: I am determined to get back into my spiritual disciplines of quiet time, Bible reading, and prayer in the mornings! We also serve as the youth leaders at our church and my goal is to do more with the girls in our group now that Emma is older and I will (maybe) have more of my attention to give to the group on Friday nights. But as always, a baby is unpredictable, but I plan on doing my best!

5. Money: we want to SAVE more this year, and specifically save a certain amount every month to use on Christmas gifts next year. We love Christmas shopping but don't like our credit card statements the following month. We also want to be good stewards of the money and blessings that God has bestowed on us, so we are praying for constant wisdom on that as well!

6. Mindset/intellect: my goal is to read one personal development book and one fun book each month. I also want to read more REAL books vs. iBooks, because I love the smell of books and the feel of the pages between my fingers, and hate how glued I already am to my phone! I kicked off this goal with an amazon order of some books I've had on my wish list!

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7. Health: my goal is to continue with my gluten free/paleo-ish lifestyle, do 80 day obsession starting January 15th, and keep up with my overall self care of working out and meal prepping and taking care of ME, so I can better care for my family. I've been feeling amazing and so energetic the past couple months, and I always want to feel this way. It's so true that good habits bring about more good habits, and once you start, you'll always want to feel great and treat your body with the respect it deserves!

Your turn! I would love to hear what some of your goals are for the coming year. Don't be afraid to set some big, scary ones too (I didn't share ALL of my goals with y'all, because boundaries!) but I hope you know that the bigger your goals, the more you'll grow and stretch. You were made for great things, my friends! Believe it and live it!

 

Finding my HAPPY...and how you can too

It's no secret that I am the happiest that I have been in quite some time. Heck, I even changed my Instagram name to happywholeeats.RD because I want everyone to experience the peace, joy, and overall happiness I've felt. I am so thankful to God for this and for His direction and wisdom in this crazy ride called life! I hope this post helps someone out there find their own happy too, and know that I am always here to help!

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I don't think people realize how important the foods we eat are, not only to our health but our overall quality of life. This post is about just that. How I've found my happy through the foods I'm eating and choosing, and hopefully, how you can too.

It’s been 1 month since I have gone 100% gluten free. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that my history with eating gluten free has been rocky. And if you just started following along, let me recap you so you are all caught up. It’s storytime, ladies and gentleman!

Back in 2012, I was diagnosed with a severe gluten intolerance after months of bloating, basically looking pregnant, and uncontrollable gas that kept me home most nights instead of out with friends because...embarrassing! Cutting out gluten eased these symptoms almost immediately, and I was grateful to finally find a way of eating that worked and didn't' send me running to the bathroom after each meal like I had done since I was a little girl.

All was fine and well until I started dating my then boyfriend, now hubby, Vasken. I didn’t want to be a high maintenance eater (even though he NEVER made me feel that way and even researched restaurants for gluten free options while planning our dates!) so I decided to slowly start incorporating gluten back into my diet. My stomach issues came back, but I wanted to ignore them, because I had missed all my gluten-containing foods SO much. I lived for bread baskets at restaurants, Panera cookies, and of course, my beloved Wetzel Preztel cinnamon bitz. I kept going back to my gluten free diet when I started feeling sick again, then hated the deprivation and went right back to binging on all of my favorite gluten-containing foods. It was years of this on again, off again routine with me, and I hated the inconsistency and the stomach issues that it was causing. I also wanted to be “free” with my food choices, but now I realized I was wanting this freedom as a way to binge on all of my favorite foods when times got tough, and at the expense of causing severe digestive distress, as well as brain fog, allergy symptoms, dark circles under my eyes, and constant anxiety. This went on for years and years, and the frustration with my health, stomach issues, and binging grew.

During pregnancy, I was also able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted, which I have heard happens with pregnant women and food sensitivities. Your body is so focused on the BABY, so those types of things take a backseat. And once Emma was born, with breastfeeding hunger and the craziness of life with a newborn, I didn’t really worry about what was going into my mouth. But I hated the fact that I had to cut some nursing sessions short because of my urgent need to use the restroom, or that I couldn't console Emma when she woke up because I was yet again, in the bathroom.

On top of that, going back to work was so hard on me, that I basically binged my way through work days on Oreos, crackers, and chips. This added to my stomach issues, stress, anxiety, and my waistline. At the end of October, I found myself 13 lbs heavier from when I had gone back to work back in August.

So, the morning of Emma’s 6 month birthday celebration, 10/29/17, I decided that enough was enough. I decided to start back up on my gluten free diet then and there. I KNEW that I would feel deprived, so I already had a plan of attack: finding the BEST gluten free and paleo recipes (Against all Grain has been my saving grace!) I could find for my favorite treats, so I would never feel deprived again.

And you know what the crazy part is? I saw improvements, not only in my health and weight, but in my anxiety and moods. I’ve been happier, less stressed out, I don’t cry at work anymore, I don’t binge at work anymore, and I have a more even temper (just ask my hubby). Yes, I lost the 13 lbs I gained, but to me, I’ve gained so much more:

 

  • More restful sleep (which is hard with a baby!)
  • More energy for my workouts
  • Less anxiety/stress
  • Less tears going to work
  • Clearer skin
  • Clearer mind
  • A more positive outlook on life as a working mom
  • Less urgent trips to the restroom
  • Less bloat
  • Trying on clothes I would “never” wear and actually feeling GOOD in them
  • ...and my jeans fit again!

 

And yes, not ALL of this may be attributed to cutting out gluten, but I know many people who have experienced similar benefits when they clean up their diet and start avoiding gluten. I know that I like this version of me way more than the anxious, stressed out, and teary one. I am more energetic, I am a happy healthy mama, I am a better wife, and I am enjoying the heck out of the foods I’ve been cooking and baking!

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And the truth of the matter is, gluten is an inflammatory agent. So we know that eating less gluten is healthier for us all in general. Check out this post for more of the science on that.

All this to say, I feel the healthiest and happiest I have felt in a good long while. And I want everyone I know to experience this type of joy when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle! The fact that I have been happier has been more motivating for me to stick to it than anything else. And, these cookies have made it easier as well!

My wish is to work with my clients from now on with a more holistic approach, and really dive into which foods may be helping their health (mind, body, and soul), and which foods may be hurting their health. Not everyone will be sensitive to gluten, because we are all different. My aim is to help you INDIVIDUALLY assess your health and create a plan that works best for YOU.

And what better time than now to start? My 2018 packages are a great and affordable way to get the complete package of working 1:1 with me as your own personal dietitian. These packages will only be available until December 29th, so take advantage of them now!

You only have one life to live on this earth. So why not live it as your happiest, energetic, and most vibrant version of yourself? Make 2018 your BEST year and let’s figure out how you can find your own HAPPY when it comes to eating and living well!

 

Day in the Life of a Working Mama

I finally feel like I’m getting into a groove as a part time working mom. I am home with Emma on Mondays and Wednesdays and go to work Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays. I’m grateful to be home with her twice a week and it feels like Christmas every time I see her after work! I feel like my heart grows by the day because I love her more than I can handle! 

When Emma was sleeping through the night, my mornings would always start with an early morning pumping session. I am still exclusively breastfeeding and even though we started solids last week, she is still not a fan of them (I know eventually she’ll get used to it!) But anyways! Emma has not been sleeping through the night for the past month, so since I’m feeding her throughout the night, most mornings I don’t really “need” to pump when I wake up. So usually I sip on my preworkout while doing my devotional and prayer time, and then I press play on my workout! I love working out at  home because sometimes Emma wakes up midway and needs her momma, so I can just pause and nurse/hold her for a bit, then press play and finish it up! So convenient! 

 

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After my workout, (this week I’m doing A Little Obsessed on my Netflix for workouts...SO SORE), I shower then head downstairs to pack lunches for my husband and I, and get Emma’s daycare bag ready (pumped milk, change of clothes, diapers, etc). I also make sure to eat a little something; this morning I shook up my recover protein shake with some collagen peptides, delicious! I forgot to snap a pic but just imagine chocolate milk goodness that is actually good for you! 

I try to nurse Emma before I head to work, but like I mentioned above, if she’s nursed all night and is sleeping soundly, I go to work and pump there rather than waking her up to eat. It’s also easier on my mommy-heart to sneak out while she’s asleep verses having to watch her sweet face smile at me as I walk away...I tear up just thinking about it! 

If I’m still a little hungry, I’ll make sure to grab second breakfast before I head to work! This morning was two paleo muffins, a chocolate zucchini muffin and a pumpkin muffin! I've been cooking through Danielle Walker's cookbooks from Against All Grain, and so far my husband and I have loved every single recipe!

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Once I get to work, I make coffee (duh) and see which patients I need to see or who is due for an assessment. I work as a dietitian at a dialysis unit with patients who have kidney failure. It’s pretty busy each day so I make sure to fit in snacks and occasionally some walks to get outside!  

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Morning snacks usually consist of carrots, apples with either peanut butter or almond butter, or a Larabar! I make sure to fuel myself well since I push myself pretty hard in my workouts, plus I'm breastfeeding! So many calories being burned all day long!

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Lunches have been so fun to pack in these portioned containers my mom got us from Amazon! This lunch was rosemary garlic chicken (I'll post the recipe soon!), with potatoes and green beans. Super simple and delicious!

If I get hungry in the afternoon, I typically have some nuts, but this week I've also been enjoying another treat from Against All Grain...her Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  My husband has been raving about these and I've already made two batches in less than a week. He says they taste just like the regular cookies I used to bake, but they are Paleo/gluten free and MUCH healthier! I highly recommend this recipe, you won't be disappointed!

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Once I get off work, I "safely" zoom my way over to Emma's daycare to pick her up. I get so excited to see her, and she has been smiling and kicking her feet in excitement when she sees me come into the playroom, which melts my heart! We usually get home and sometimes she'll fall asleep in the car, which gives me time to clean out my pump parts and put my milk away (pumping is a full time job in itself!), but most of the time when we come home, we nurse and snuggle and she falls asleep while I make dinner.

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Dinners have been simple this week: we've had grass fed beef meatballs, rosemary garlic chicken, salmon, and turkey burgers. I'll make a salad because we have 6 heads of romaine (thanks Costco) that are going bad by the second, so I've been forcing us to have salad each day so it doesn't' go bad because I HATE wasting food! I haven't snapped pictures of dinner because I've been a little distracted during dinner time trying to get Emma to have some solids with us at the dinner table! Last night she tried zucchini, and I think she liked it a little more than sweet potato. I'm getting a little worried that she hasn't been liking foods much, even though I know she will get used to it! It's funny, because I specialized in infant/toddler nutrition when I worked at WIC, and even though I HAVE the knowledge and have counseled others countless times, I'm still worried when it comes to my own baby!

After dinner, we bathe Emma and get her ready for bed. I've been trying to get her down between 7:30/8pm so I can get a few hours of sleep before the night-waking begins. Yes, I've been getting into bed by 8pm because Emma has been waking up at 10, 11:45, 1, 2:15, 3:45...you name the time, she's been waking up. She's going through a huge developmental leap right now, and with that comes a sleep regression. I've decided to roll with the punches instead of sleep training her and just rely on coffee to get through the day (she hasn't been sensitive to my caffeine intake, thank GOD)! Luckily when she does wake up, she typically nurses and goes right back to sleep, so even though I am getting broken sleep, I don't feel TOO terrible throughout the day!

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And that has been a typical day in the life on the days that I work! I was telling my husband earlier this week that I am feeling so much happier than I used to feel. As much as I miss Emma and wish I could be with her every day, I've come to accept the working life, enjoy my days at work with my coworkers and my patients, and relish the moments with Emma even MORE. I have also taken much better care of myself and have chosen foods that have supported my mental health and anxiety (look out for a blog post on this later on this month!) I really feel that God is working on my heart, helping me take care of myself so that I can take care of Emma, and has given me a strength that only HE can give. I am so grateful!

And with that, I hope you all have an excellent day, and thank you for reading and following along on this journey with me! I appreciate all of you so much!

Goal Setting as a New Mommy!

If you know me, you know how much I LOVE setting goals, dreaming big, and then crushing what I set out to do. I'd say I'm a pretty ambitious person and love challenging myself. But this can also work against me, because I set pretty high standards for myself and sometimes, if I don't meet them, I get disappointed, which doesn't really get me anywhere!

The key to healthy goal setting is to know your intention behind your goal. If you know WHY you are setting these goals, they are easier to accomplish and you know deep down that they are a journey, not necessarily a destination. Especially when it comes to health and fitness goals. Our bodies and our health are both constantly changing. It's an ongoing adventure to pursue health and vitality, so keeping these things in mind while goal setting is SO vital to a healthy outlook and accomplishing our goals! 

As a new mommy, I've got some major health and fitness goals. As many of you know, I had to take things easy during my pregnancy and couldn't push myself as much as I wanted. Now that I am (hopefully) getting cleared this week to workout, I am excited to gain my strength and energy back! And I'd be lying if I didn't have some appearance- goals too ;) I can't wait to get my muscle back and tone up my abs, legs, and arms again! 

But I also know that working out with a new baby will be challenging! Just last week, I was trying to do a low-impact upper body workout, and Emma wanted to nurse midway. So I paused the workout, nursed her, she went back to sleep, and I pressed play and finished the workout strong! I was proud of myself for rolling with the punches and still being able to finish the workout and take care of my baby at the same time! 

While I know it will be challenging, I also know that I am a better version of myself when I take care of myself. I am a better wife, mommy, daughter, friend, coach, dietitian, and every other role I have when I have filled up my cup and my soul. Only when I do this do I have enough fuel and energy to pour into others. I am more selfless when I am a little selfish in my self care. It's taken me a while to learn this, but trust me, you can't pour into others from an empty cup! Make sure you take care of yourself so that you can better serve those around you!

And with that said, on to some of my goals!

1.) Tone up! The after-baby body is no joke! I was blessed in that I was able to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight just 8 days after having Emma (thank you breastfeeding!), but my body is completely different! A little squishy in some areas and definitely lacking in muscle. My goal is to gain my strength and muscle back! 

2.) Pour into the ladies in my group, The Nourished-You Project! I am launching a brand new accountability group, focused on the fact that our health is an ongoing project and that nourishing ourselves, body and soul, is SO important. We are all following workout programs, drinking our superfoods, and encouraging each other along the way. I love being able to coach these women, but they also provide me with accountability as well! It's a win-win! If you want to join, it's not too late! Contact me here for more info! 

3.) Eat more plants! I am definitely not a vegan or vegetarian, but that doesn't mean that my diet can't be full of plants! The meal plan I am following counts colorful containers, not calories (thank goodness! Because calorie counting won't get you anywhere...trust me!), so I get a lot of vegetable containers and protein containers each day. I plan on using legumes and beans as some of my protein sources, as well as animal proteins, plus filling up on ALL the vegetables and fruits I can! Food can be so therapeutic, and filling up on plant foods can revitalize our health and energize us! Don't discount how powerful vegetables can be in your health! 

4.) Stick to my workout plan. This is the plan I came up with after chaining my mind a dozen times, but I really think that this will be the best plan for my post-baby journey!

  • 21 day fix workouts: June 7-11
  • SHAUN WEEK! (new program only coming to Beachbody on Demand, basically Netflix for workouts!): June 12-18
  • 21 day fix extreme: June 19-July 9
  • 21 day fix or Shaun Week: June 10-16
  • SHIFT SHOP: Starting July 17th! Shift Shop is Beachbody's newest program, all about making mental shift as well as a physical shift (because the mind is crazy powerful). I am so excited to get my hands on it! I will be running a test group for this new program in July, so stay tuned for more info on that if you'd like to join! 

5.) Show myself some major grace! I am one that loves routine, and I know that with a new baby, some days my routine may change, my workout may get switched from morning to afternoon to evening, and I may just have to roll with the punches. I want to be committed to my health, but I also know some days will call for improvisation and grace! Treats will happen, tired workouts will happen, and sleepless nights will happen, but that doesn't mean I just give up and stop taking care of myself! This is an ongoing journey, so I want to keep that mindset as I go into this summer and rebuild my strength and routine again. 

And that's a wrap on my goals and intentions for this month! I'm nervous about how it will all unfold, but I know that each day will be a new adventure and that I will only get stronger with time. If you'd like to join me on this journey, I'd love to connect with you and begin working with you! The more support, the merrier! Contact me here and we can start chatting about your goals and which programs and plans would be best for you!