Some people talk about continuing education as if it’s an option. Especially when you are talking nutrition and your own health, you have to keep on learning.
Let’s face it, our lives are very different than when we were kids. The time my kids spend playing is astounding to me. I wish it wouldn’t change but I know it will. Think back to when you were just driving. The amount of freedom it afforded you also cascaded to other choices and options. For me, I had the freedom to drive myself to work and therefore stop at any convenience store I wanted to buy what my paycheck could afford to feed me. That meant a lot of Little Debbie’s snack cakes.
Life has changed again. I am now the mother of 6 and Gigi (grandmother) to 3. I work full time. I rarely just ‘play’ and I certainly don’t have a whole lot of use for Little Debbie’s. While they still might taste good, I have learned what a diet of those can do to a teenager, and I don’t want to experiment with a 50-year-old body.
! am constantly learning about new hormones my body is not producing as well or hormones that are raging that I didn’t know effected sleep so much. I am glad there is someone out there who is knows all this medical stuff to help me out.
Don’t stop learning. While your circumstances are different from person to person and your life is constantly shifting gears, you have to match your nutritional needs to you.
I can help you do that. There are far too many barriers in health, but once you’ve started to make changes to your system (it could be the system of how you think about food, how you look at each meal, how you put portion sizes on your plate, etc), the opportunity to level up is largely driven by you. Level up the field by what you choose, by how much your chose, how often you chose to go outside of the plan and by who you choose to learn from.
To your best health,
Thinning out carrot beds is similar to what I need to do in my own life. In order to be the best version of me, in order to support my own growth and success, I need to get rid of everything/everyone who isn't helping. I’m wondering if you have some thinning out to do, too.
Some things SLOW me down. I find when I am over tired I drink way too much coffee and I tend to crave sweets. Since I am tired I give in to those cravings too often. It’s not the cravings I have to address as much as the sleep. So I might need to get rid of what is keeping me up late (a favorite TV show, a movie started way too late to fully enjoy, or maybe that coffee needs to stop at a certain point in the day so it doesn’t keep me up). Do you do something that can slow you down?
Energy Zappers steal my strength. There are a few people in my life who always seem to be down. Just listening to their conversations leaves me tired. I work hard to leave them in a better state mentally than when I first started chatting with them. BUT I am drained, not from expelling physical energy, but these people have left me drained emotionally. Naysayers also bring me down. Those that seem to see the half glass empty in my life and want me to fix it. As much as I try to keep an open mind to their thoughts, it tires me out to know others see such a gap in the goodness of what I am doing/trying to do. Do you also have those in your life who unknowingly take some of the positive energy you need to be successful and flourish?
As I’m gardening it's hard to cut out so many little carrot or bean plants. It’s my least favorite part of gardening, because I always feel bad that I didn't let them grow up. I know in the long run, those that are left will grow up bigger, better, and tastier than if I'd left all of them bunched together. While you might not enjoy it, think about who/what needs to be thinned from your own life in order to be the strongest, healthiest, best version of you. And yank them out without mercy. 🙂
To your best health,
1. Always have a water bottle in your hand.
2. Fill a gallon jug with water and only pour water from that. Empty it each day.
3. Leave a water bottle in your purse.
4. Bring a water bottle with you when you go grocery shopping. Drink every time you see something you want to buy that is not on your list.
5. Drink a water bottle on your way to work. Of course, only when your vehicle is stopped.
6. Drink a full cup of water each time you brush your teeth.
7. Have a cup of water near your bed. Drink some before you get up each morning.
8. When talking on the phone, sip water while you are listening to your friend gossip.
9. Add lemon or lime to your water.
10. Drink 8 ounces of water before breakfast.
11. For each glass of liquid you drink besides water, challenge yourself to have an equal amount of water.
12. Bring a water bottle with you to any appointments you have.
13. Always bring water to a business meeting. It might be the only way to stay awake.
14. Add a sprig of mint to infuse your water.
15. Drink 8 ounces of water before dinner.
16. Finish all the water in your glass when taking your multivitamin.
17. After dinner have 8 ounces of water for dessert.
18. As you walk out of the door, bring a water bottle with you to drink in the car.
19. Sip water while walking your dog.
20. Drink 8 ounces of water before lunch.
21. Always drink water while resting during your physical training.
22. Freeze a water bottle or two, it can keep your packed lunch cold while it thaws. Then drink it for lunch.
23. Always have a water glass on your desk.
24. If you watch your favorite TV show, drink 8 ounces before it is over.
25. At the beach, drink water.
26. At your son’s baseball game, drink water.
27. Drink water at dance lessons.
28. Add a few apple slices and a cinnamon stick to your water.
29. Place the number of filled water bottles you want to drink in a day on your kitchen counter. As you drink them they become their own check mark on your to do list.
30. When eating out, ask the server to leave a water pitcher on the table.
31. When you order your coffee, also ask for a glass of water.
32. Buy a special water bottle that shouts out your personality.
33. Remember to fill your water glass during your meals.
34. Strawberries and raspberries make beautiful infused water that tastes amazing.
35. Never leave home without your water bottle.
When it comes to health and nutrition, what are you afraid of?
- I'm afraid that eating healthy won't work, that my will power is not strong enough, that I won't look like myself anymore.
- I'm afraid it will work and I'll have to live a life of restriction forever in order to keep the weight off.
- I'm afraid if I lose the weight I want to, my relationship with my partner will change.
- Sometimes I think I wear my weight as a suit of armor, if I don't have the weight anymore, how will I protect myself?
- I'm a perfectionist, I'm certainly afraid of failure - failing to lose weight or keep it off or make the right eating choices, etc.
Being afraid is normal. Not knowing what is going to happen can be unraveling. Focusing on the ‘What If’s’ can be paralyzing.
Pick ONE small thing you could do today to confront your fear.
- The biggest thing I do to confront my fears daily is to stay with others who are in the same place physically and mentally as I am. Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I think to myself, "I thought I was alone in that thought/feeling/fear."
-Daily I fear this isn't going to work, but I still work on eating one healthy meal at a time. I don’t have to make or eat all my meals at once so why focus on them all at one time?
- Notice when I am feeding myself negative self-talk and then combat it with some affirmation - sounds a bit woo-woo, but it keeps me from staying still. I can move forward and plan my next meal.
-I know these "head fears” are in fact a way to sabotage myself. If I keep listening to the ‘What if’s?’ my fear is reinforced. Instead, I’m addressing fear, “Fear, I see right through you! And I'm determined to make it through.”
Fear is real. But like the monster under our beds as a child, find a way to turn the light on to diminish your fears. Then keep the lights on.
To your best health,
Lately, I have spent time paying attention to the personal productivity concept. You know the things I am talking about. Those small changes to what you do on a daily basis or a technique that can save you anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.
A personal eye opening example of a Productivity Hack is when you're filling your dishwasher at home, put all of the forks in the same cutlery compartment, so when it comes time to empty the dishwasher, you can simply grab them all in one go. You won’t have to spend time sorting the knives from the forks.
Now, these sorts of small tweaks to your day can play a role in getting more done in the same amount of times.
But in my opinion, the biggest productivity wins come from something else entirely: having the right productivity mindset.
For example, I hear from students that they would love to change how they are eating BUT they have this and that as a challenge in front of them.
Essentially what they are saying is: “That is great for you, but it is impossible for me.”
And that might just be the case, BUT what if it wasn’t the case? What if you could do such and such and succeed?
Having a mind frame that allows for the possibility will also allow for challenges to not become impassable obstacles but just a hurdle to overcome.
I recently read an article that was expressing this thought when it came to planning for retirement. They had developed a catch phrase: Dwell on Do, not Done.
Truth be told, I can get caught up in the fact that life is busy and stressful and doesn’t seem to run perfectly smooth for very long if much at all. I get impatient. I want to be DONE.
You see, I take my work very seriously, so does Dean, my husband. Working alongside of Dean we can dive into a problem, and honestly assess what was going wrong.
Usually we discover the core issue isn’t a problem that a "productivity hack" could solve.
Instead, what was required was a change in mindset for how the challenge was perceived.
If we had to be at 'done' on day one, it would require a whole lot of fixing.
The breakthrough comes when you view it in an entirely new way. When you take a problem and break it done into do-able pieces. And then Dwelling on the Do.
How can this help you?
If your problem is that you want to lose 50 pounds, dwell on what it would take to lose one pound. Then DO that until it doesn’t work anymore.
If your challenge is drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated, dwell on drinking more water than you currently are even if that is just 4 ounces more. Then DO that until you reach your goal.
If your challenge is to eat foods that will support your physical needs, dwell on knowing what those foods are and do what it takes to eat those foods.
Dwell on Do is the power of small, targeted productivity changes.
Now, of course, finding the right practices, habits, and routines that will work best for you is a personal journey, but it helps to have good teachers and guides along the way.
That is where I come in. I’ve helped hundreds of people find that next step. The one thing that will make productivity increase in their health and fitness.
I won’t toot my own horn more than just to say that I’ve been where you are, I’ve found a way out and I can help you like I’ve helped others.
If you're looking to find the right practices, habits and routines that will work for you, The Grateful Plate is the best place to start.
I'm here for you.
To your best health,
"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