"Don't wish it was easier, wish you were better."
– Jim Rohn
Think about that for a moment.
The truth is that change is challenging. Often as I work my way through a new recipe or change my timing of meals or even just try to drink more water. I wish it would just be over. I want to be out of the changing part of the situation and be to where it is already done. I don’t like change, it’s hard.
In reality I know that the process of change is actually a curriculum to becoming a better version of myself.
The question is, how are we facing that curriculum?
Are we leaning into it? Am I looking at change and saying bring it on with all of the challenges of doing and being different?
Or am I complaining, wishing that it was easier?
I do both of these. Don’t you? Of course, but the more we shift our perspective from the latter to the former, the better we will be.
Where can you make that shift? I’ve found two areas have helped me the most. Using these two tools have changed my eating so that being healthier is easier for me to tackle.
Take one step at a time and give yourself a little grace if it doesn’t go as you expect the first time out.
To your best health,
Too many of us rush here and there. The western diet of fast food, pour from a can or out of a box, heat and serve, grab and go is slowly killing us. Let’s slow ourselves down and eat to regain our health.
Slow yourself down. It does YOUR body good.
To your best health,
Despite turbulence and other conditions keeping airplanes off-course 90 percent of flight time, most flights arrive in the correct destination at the intended time. The reason for this phenomenon is quite simple — through air traffic control and the inertial guidance system, pilots are constantly course-correcting. When immediately addressed, these course corrections are not hard to manage. When these course corrections don’t regularly happen, catastrophe can result. Small things — if not corrected — become big things, always.
5 Things You Shouldn’t Go Without Doing On a Regular Basis
1. Plan your meals. Planning your meals each week frees up your brain power for other things. After you create your plan you won’t have to rely on your brain every meal to think about what you are going to have. Your stress levels will be reduced greatly because you will have one less thing to worry about during the week. If you take a few minutes to think about the week ahead, you will be able to develop a plan to overcome any barriers that might come up. Then when the stress hits, you already have a plan on how to handle it.
Most people like to plan on Sundays, but do what works for you. Some like to plan 3 days at a time, some like to plan the entire week. Some plan at night for the next day. The strategy isn't important, taking action is. Try a strategy and see how it works. Pay attention, analyze, and decide if you should continue with that same strategy or try a new one for better success. Everything is better with a clear plan.
2. Shop from your plan. Shopping can feel complicated, or like a pain in the butt — if you don’t have a clear system and structure. It doesn’t have to be like that. With a shopping list full of foods that you like and will eat, you can hit the grocery store, get in and out quickly, and leave knowing you’ve bought all the things you need to make your meal plan happen.
3. Take time for meal prep. As you go along, you’ll learn more about what works for you, and how to make healthy eating part of your regular routine. You’ll practice planning, preparation and having strategies for when you’re busy, traveling, and/or eating at restaurants — or for anything else that life throws at you. This will help you feel confident and in control of your choices, and help you stay on the path towards the goals you want to achieve. Over time, you’ll build a “meal prep ritual” of your own: something you like, find easy, and can do reliably.
4. Eat slowly. Eating slowly takes practice every day. Lucky for you, since you eat multiple times per day, you'll get lots of practice! If you find yourself rushing mid-meal, set your fork down, take a deep breath, and start fresh and slow.
5. Listen to your body. When the clock tells you it is time for a meal ask yourself: Are you physically hungry? Pause and check in. Look for signals like a rumbling stomach, lightheadedness, irritability, etc. If you had a scale from 1-10, you’d want to be a 7 out of 10 on the hunger scale. During your meal, keep on listening to those signals. Pause after you eat your normal amount of food. Before you eat more, give your brain time to catch up. You want to feel satisfied, not stuffed. You’ll know you ate just enough when an hour after eating you are still physically satisfied with no desire to eat another meal.
5 things that sound so easy to do, but just like an airplane you can easily get off course. These steps will keep giving you’re that course correction to get you back on track.
To your best health,
I want to change the world. I know it can be done. Americans are getting fatter and less healthy all the time. New Hampshire isn't leading the way to break the childhood obesity epidemic. I see those around me in poor health.
I know this trend can change. I’ve seen it happen in people around me. I’m not content to change the world slowly. I need your help.
Here are 5 ways you can help me change the world.
1. Eat more vegetables daily and share your veggies with others. Vegetables contain a boatload of vitamins and minerals. They fill you up and satisfy you. Veggies are high in fiber. Another big bonus is that they are lower in calories than other foods we tend to eat.
2. Drink lots of water. Hydrate your system to keep all your tiny cells working well while helping to keep your body working optimally clean.
3. Have protein at each meal. While the saying milk does a body good, I think it should be changed to protein does a body good. It’s the building blocks your body uses.
4. Enjoy healthy fats. Fats are not evil as once thought. In fact your body works best with a portion of healthy fats at each meal. Olives, avocados, nuts, and seeds are some ways to get them at each meal.
5. Learn to cook. More and more people are stopping at fast food joints on the way home from work to help them feed their families. While they are feeding them food, they are missing the opportunity to teach their children how foods are cooked. Our society cooks less now then 30 years ago and we cook so much less than our grandmothers.
These few things will make an impact. Pick one or two to work on. Once those become a easier part of your day add in another step. You might find that by starting to work on one area, another area picks up the pace.
Help me change the world, one step at a time.
To your best health (and the health of those around you),
Who doesn't need to challenge themselves to eat more veggies?
Veggies are the triple win:
That's a triple win. Now I want you to eat more of these triple win foods.
Here's the ABC Veggie challenge. Your goal for the next 30 days is to place a check mark next to each letter of the alphabet (each letter stands for a veggie that you'll be eating). These are the rules. You can only check off one letter each day. You must have already eaten that vegetable before checking it off. For example, if I ate spinach today I could check off the S. I will have kale with breakfast tomorrow, so after I eat breakfast I can then check off the K. Its a 30 day challenge and only 26 letters so you have a bit of lee way. The vegetables listed are just ideas; you can pick another vegetable that starts with that letter. You don't have to go in order but you need to check off all 26 in 30 days. Who's up for the challenge?
A is for asparagus and artichoke
B is for beets, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts
C is for cucumber, carrot, and cabbage
D is for daikon and dandelion greens
E is for endive and eggplant
F is for fiddleheads
G is for green beans
H is for herbs of all kinds
I is for icy (came from the freezer)
J is for jicama
K is for kale
L is for leeks and lettuce
M is for mushrooms and mustard greens
N is for not bought in a grocery store (grown at home, CSA, farmer's market)
O is for okra and onion
P is for parsnips, peppers and peas
Q is for quiet when eaten (think raw crunchy carrot vs. softer cooked carrot - much quieter)
R is for radish, romaine, and rutabaga
S is for spinach and Swiss chard
T is for turnip and tomato
U is for veggies grown underground
V is for very spicy vegetables
W is for watercress
X is for an "xtra" serving of veggies
Y is for yams, yellow squash, and yellow peppers
Z is for zucchini
Life isn't fair, I should just be like...
"Comparison is the thief of joy."
There is a terrible new disease creeping into my life. Actually, it’s probably been there a lot longer than I want to admit.
It goes sort of like this: “I’ve been working really hard at doing a push up just like Jane, but I still can’t do one. I should be able to do at least one.”
Or sometimes I hear it like this: “I’ve stuck to my nutrition plan almost 100% and I’ve lost 3 pounds but I should be able to lose at least 3 pounds in a week.”
I’ve even heard it this way: “I’ve been training in the gym for almost a year and I also eat really well. The amount of spinach I buy is ridiculous. I should see really great results on the scale.”
It’s easy to say, “You’re right, you should be able to do a push up” …. and, “You should lose more weight than that” …. or even, “After all that spinach you should be as strong and looking just like Popeye.”
Hold on there, Superman.
First of all, let me clear this up - you are not Superman. Although you are wonderful and sweet and kind and work hard, and you are strong and full of smiles, and smart…you are not Superman.
Since we live like all other humans on this earth,
If we lived the in the realm where “shoulds” and “musts” and “have tos” exist, then this is what would happen when you do your yearly tax paperwork…
After you do hours of work, find all your receipts, fill in all the boxes on your tax returns, cross all the T’s and dot all your I’s; you’ll be soon holding a check written to you. It’s guaranteed, it happens. NOT.
We all know things can go wrong. Sometimes it’s on our end, sometimes it on their end. Sometimes it’s out of our control and a tornado wipes out the computer system and all our tax documents are lost.
You get the idea. While you can do everything right, the end is not guaranteed. It might take more work. It might take A LOT more work for you to get the same result as the next person.
Here comes the disease of the “Shoulds”.
Give yourself a break. Realize you are not the same person as everyone else at the gym. Remember you had surgery last year? Shoulder surgery can leave you immobile for 2 months. It will affect how your body is for a long time. It just will. Or maybe you have health challenges that make it harder for you than others to recover from physical exercise. You might be on a medication that has a side effect of weight gain. Now you have to battle twice as hard for the same two pounds others seem to easily lose.
I read recently in The Grateful Plate’s ProCoach focus times how to cure the “I shoulds”.
To your best health,
Imagine you just ate a really wonderful meal. It looked great, tasted fantastic, and it was high on the healthy scale. You knew it was full of fabulous proteins, incredible vitamins and minerals along with your share of healthy fats. It was a meal you’d be proud to share with me.
Now how did you feel after you ate that meal? What if you ate all your meals that day just like it? Imagine the goodness running through you.
Let’s back it up just a bit so we can see how that might work.
What did you have to do to make that one meal happen?
What would you do to make it happen over again?
3 Tips to Reverse Planning and Prepping
1. What made this meal so good?
2. What happened to prepare this meal?
3. How can you do this again?
You’ve just created a starting point for you to do this more and more often. By increasing the good stuff you already have going on, it will bring up the whole meal’s value.
Maybe you need to add in more crockpot meals so that you don’t have to wait for dinner, or cook enough chicken on the weekend to serve until mid week. Maybe you’ll need to take advantage of the bagged pre-mixed salads at the grocery instead of trying to clean, chop and make your own salads.
Make it as easy for yourself as possible. Start with the end, what you already can do. Then just do more of that.
To your best health,
Changing your body composition is only easy if you are trying to do one thing – be overfat.
Most of us have experienced that – you wake up one day and you weigh 30 pounds more than you did a couple years ago, and you didn’t even have to try!
Going the other way is not that easy, as many of us have also discovered over the years.
But it isn’t rocket science either. The #1 reason why we don’t make the progress we desire is because we are unwilling to change what we are doing, usually in the area of nutrition.
I defy anybody to demonstrate they have taken these three steps over a reasonable period of time (8 weeks maybe?) and not have made significant progress toward a better body composition.
I want to help you out. Do you really want to make the changes necessary to achieve your goals? I believe you do.
So here is what I want you to do.
I want you to find a way that will work for you to log (record) every bite of food you eat. There are several apps you can download. MyFitnessPal and Fat Secret are two of the more popular ones. If you are like me still a paper girl you’ll find a great food diary and planner at Get Fit NH for only $7. It will last you a whole year. Logging your food can also be done by snapping a picture of your plate each time you eat. Its eye opening what happens when you start to write your food on paper.
Log your food intake into your account for one week. When you have done that, send me an email and let me know. Don’t stop after a week, continue every day to be consistent.
After two weeks you’ll start to notice a recurring pattern or habits. Use that information, whether your habits are already good and need to become better or whether you realize you’ve made poor choices that need to be lessened. Sometimes we don’t ‘see’ our poorer choices until we write them down on paper. A habit of eating dessert every night might need to be tweaked so that is once a week instead.
No other changes, no other hassles, no nothing. Those three simple steps. Find a tool to use to journal. Use that journaling tool consistently. Evaluate the information you have in front of you.
I am excited to hear your success stories. Sometimes doing it on your own even though it seems like a simple plan isn’t as easy to carry out. I am more excited than ever about helping you reach your goals. The Grateful Plate is soon going to open up ProCoach for Women and ProCoach for Men. If simple steps like those above leave you feeling like it’s not that easy, let me know.
To your best health,
Few of us have a job, what you do to earn money, that you absolutely love all the time. It is called work because it is just that, work. Comparing work to food, usually doesn't have us calling for chocolate cake. Work is like eating anchovies (unless you like anchovies).
There are ways to help make 'work' feel more enjoyable but that's another blog post.
Sometimes working at improving our health feels like we have to eat anchovies but it doesn't have to. Improving your health should feel more like eating cake.
Here are three tips to improving your health feel more like eating cake:
1. Small starts, quick rewards. Create a system where you and your partner have to do small tasks and in return you get a small reward. For example, I can and I will drink 16 ounces of water and then I will eat breakfast. Or I will plan my meals the day before so that I can make getting to work on time more achievable. The smaller the task, the better, so you won't delay starting. Also small tasks done consistently over time reap a big payoff.
2. Recruit a friend or family member to join you. Two is much better than one in many ways. Humans are social creatures and you can use that to your advantage. Agree to set daily or weekly goals, and check in with each other daily. Share the work and set rewards for hitting your goals. Encourage each other and help each other when someone is faltering.
3. Get excited daily. It's easy to be excited about a project or goal when you first start, but that can die out. Renew your goal each day. Start by setting a goal for the day that you can accomplish and that you care about. Find inspiration, visualize your accomplishment, find some music that motivates you, find an inspirational quote or video ... anything to get you excited to accomplish your goal for the day! Don't forget to share it with your partner.
Better health doesn't have to feel like swallowing your daily dose of anchovies, you can actually enjoy it.
To your best health,
We've all heard this analogy, "When cabin pressure drops, put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you". You have to be taking care of yourself first in order to help those around you be well.
But are you truly living it? Are you each day putting time into yourself? Or are you too busy? Maybe too much stress to fit in drinking water today? Maybe just too tired to focus on planning your meals today?
Could it be that you are telling yourself the stress, the sleep, and the to-do list is more important than you are to yourself? Are you allowing your schedule, work or situations to tell yourself that you are not worth it?
I hear it all the time, "I'm too stressed to eat good"… "I'm just too tired to focus on taking a multivitamin"… "I have too much to do to eat broccoli".
What if instead you were honest and said, "I'm just not worth eating good food"… “I'm just not a member of society that is worth taking a multivitamin"… "I am not valuable enough as a person to eat broccoli and receive its benefits”.
OW, harsh, huh?
I know this journey is not easy, but take time to help yourself first so that you can take time to help others. You are worth it. I believe in your ability to take on better health for you.
I can’t take the stress out of your life. I am not able to tuck you in each night promptly at 9pm and ensure you’ll sleep soundly for 8 hours straight. I certainly can’t tackle your to-do list (you have skills I just don’t have).
I'm here to help you. I can serve you the tools, but you are on the front lines doing all the work/ Here is a list of tools I can open up to you:
You are valuable to me. Keep making it happen.
To your best health,