Snacks on the go…

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School is out and temps are over 100 degrees…yup, summer is here!  With summer comes lots of vacations, travel, and fun activities, which makes it tough to stick to a regular eating schedule unless you pack some easily portable snacks.  So, what are some of your favorite on-the-go snacks for those times when you will be out of the house most of the day?

What do you do to live your best life?

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Once a month I receive a newsletter meant to give me encouragement. I think it a fantastic newsletter filled with great insights and inspiration. The newsletter is fromTom Reid and is called Encouraging You. In this month’s newsletter is the following article which helped to remind me how much potential there is in my life, I simply need to capitalize on that potential to make my life as magnificent as I want it to be.

As we focus on our fitness and nutrition, we can get so tunnel focused we forget that we are more than our weight. Food and fitness should be elements that help us live long, active lives…they shouldn’t take over our lives. This is extremely important to remember while you work through your journey to health.

Article…

We have no idea of what tomorrow will bring. Or even if it will come at all.

In one of my favorite movies, Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams plays a boarding school teacher trying desperately to convey one simple concept before his students get too jaded by life.

You probably remember the scene. The teacher, Mr. Keating, walks past a row of student in his class and beckons them to follow him down the hallway. Standing before the trophy case, he asks one of the students to read.

Gather ye rosebuds while you may, Old time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today tomorrow will be dying.

Earlier, Keating had made the boys stop to think about the import of their lives with the statement: “The powerful play goes on, and each of us can contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

With that thought floating through the hallways of their minds, the boys stand transfixed, gazing into the faces captured in old photographs of basketball and football teams. Faces, now with hollow stares, which once reflected the same hopes and beliefs as theirs – dreams that probably went unfulfilled.

Keating’s students realize that they don’t know anything about the people behind the faces, except that they are gone. “Fertilizing daffodils,” Keating muses. Then he plants a life-changing paradigm shift for the boys, and for those of us watching from our seats, who have now been drawn into the scene, when he whispers:

“Carpe…carpe…carpe diem…seize the day, boys…make your lives extraordinary.”

Carpe diem.

God has given you one life to live – make it count. Carpe diem – seize the day! Today and tomorrow and the next day…as long as He determines.

Live your life like it matters…because it does!

…end
Each day there are certain things that I try to do to ensure I’m living my best life:
1. Try to make someone else smile or feel good about themselves
2. Tell or show a friend or family member how much I love them
3. Take the time to appreciate my surroundings
4. Take care of my mind, body, and spirit by eating well, spending time outside, participating in an activity I enjoy, journaling if I need it, listening to music that makes me happy, and creating quiet or social time as I need it.

Things I’d like to do more of are:
1. Read more to expand my learning
2. Do a good deed daily, big or small
3. Dedicate more time building more meaningful relationships with people in my life

What do you do to live your best life?

 

 

Over 3 weeks in

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Whew, I’m over three weeks into my cleanse and feeling pretty darn good!  The weekends are toughest, as was expected, but the cravings get less and less each weekend…Yay!  The primary reasons I did this little experiment were to see if eliminating processed sugars, carbs and alcohol would stabilize my moods and emotions, as well as curb my cravings, and eliminate binge eating.  Well, after three weeks I can definitively say that yes, eliminating a certain food from your diet for an extended period of time does curb cravings for that specific food; no surprise there :).  However, that’s about the only thing this cleanse has done.  That surprises me! After three weeks clean of sugar, alcohol and processed carbs, my moods and emotions still fluctuate and I still have episodes of binge eating.  Through this process I have identified that both of those issues are directly related to my stress levels.  When my stress levels increase, my moods and emotions fluctuate.  When my moods and emotions fluctuate, then I have episodes of binge eating.  Being able to clearly define the root cause of these issues is a great outcome of this cleanse!  Now that I have identified what causes the binge eating, I can begin creating alternative solutions to eating.  For those of you that wonder exactly what it is that I do with my clients…this is it!  Through in depth discussions, journaling, and experimentation (like this one), we identify the root cause for someone’s eating challenges so we can create alternative solutions to eating.  For example, now that I know that my binging typically occurs when my emotions get erratic, and that my emotions get erratic when I’m stressed out, I can create a list of alternative solutions for handling my stress that does not include food. 

I know that journaling about the various things that are stressing me out decreases my stress levels.  Once my stressors are down on paper and out of my head, I immediately feel a sense of relief; my mind gets to take a break because I no longer have to continue to juggle all of those balls in my head.  Plus, seeing the stressors on paper helps to give me some perspective.  Some of the things on the list are typically very easily resolved and I can fix them right then and there.  Others are out of my control and recognizing that I can let go of them.  Then, I create a plan of action for whatever is left over on the list.  This process creates a sense of control over my life that takes away the need to eat.  It calms my mind which stabilizes my emotions. 

Another stress relieving technique for me is going to a Zumba or Yin Yoga class.   Zumba allows my mind to check out while my body has tons of fun.  Zumba is all of the fun of dancing at a club with a group of girlfriends but without the hassle of getting hit on.  By the end of the class I’m soaked through with sweat, absolutely tapped out, and grinning from ear to ear 🙂  Yin Yoga, on the other hand, encourages quietness and stillness. These are two things I have very little of in my life and being given “permission” to shut down and do nothing for an hour is wonderful for me.  By the end of the class, I am completely relaxed and in a dream-like state in which nothing seems to bother me.  

So, as you can see, there are always alternatives to eating, but its tough to know what they are until you know the root of the eating problem.   

I’m curious to hear what techniques you use to handle the stress in your life.  I’d love to capture a lot of ideas that I can share with my clients that also struggle with stress.  I can’t wait to see your ideas!   

 

Wow, it finally hit!

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Life has been a bit insane lately, so posting hasn’t been possible, but I have got to tell you about my Sunday.  Sunday was day 7 of the cleanse and I had a fantastic morning.  I woke up, snuggled with the honey and then left to train a client.  We did a nice walk/run interval on a gorgeous morning and it put me in a great mood!  When I got home, I went for my own outdoor workout which got interrupted as another woman and I saved a lovebird that obviously escaped its home.  That cooled me off enough that I gave up and went home.  I decided to get a start on my grocery shopping and hit Sprouts, my favoritist of all grocery stores.  Yes, favoritist is a word 🙂

Anyway, my tradition at Sprouts is to explore the bin foods and taste some chocolate here and there.  Well, out of habit I headed towards the bins when it hit me that I can’t do that!  That brought me up short.  It was just so automatic to head over and eat some chocolate that I didn’t even think about it.  That in and of itself was an eye opener, but then the disappointment I felt for not being able to taste and experience all of the textures and yumminess was also surprising.  But, I got over it and went on with my grocery shopping and seemed to be okay.  However, within 30-45 minutes I crashed…HARD!  I went from okay to downright grumpy!  I was feeling resentful and mean and unhappy and crabby and everything negative, and the feelings were extremely strong and didn’t feel controllable!  Now, for those of you that don’t know me, I can feel down and blue every once in a while like most people and I can get downright pissed with the best of them over…something, but to get resentful and snappy over nothing is just not typically in my makeup.  It was an awful feeling and it came out of nowhere, just WHAM!  I didn’t get over it the whole day.

Now, let me back up a bit.  I hadn’t experienced any real cravings until the weekend.  David and I went to the ballet Friday night and that is when we usually enjoy a drink or two.  It was very difficult for both of us not to drink that night.  That was the first really strong craving I had had.  Then, Saturday night, after the kids went to sleep, we were craving a drink again because we were used to having a beverage while we sat on the patio or the lawn watching the moon and stars.  Then, Sunday is when the chocolate craving hit.  I’m not sure if it was the buildup of the cravings or what, but Sunday is when I snapped and my mood went sour.

The good news is I didn’t give into the cravings at any point and once I got through Sunday, I snapped back to normal.  My mood is leveled out again and although the cravings are still coming, I’m not crashing like I did on Sunday.  That was intense and I hope that I don’t get another one of those :/

It’s a bit funny, but I’m actually gaining weight now that I’ve taken out the chocolate and alcohol.  I’m eating a lot more real food, nuts, and fruit than normal to compensate for the lack of sugar as well as the lack of bars.  I didn’t expect that at all, so each week I’m refining my meal plan even further.  My meals are more balanced this week, but I’ve noticed my diet is still really high in nuts, which means fat, so I need to pull back on those and replace them with lower fat/calorie foods.

This process has definitely been eye opening for me.  I am really glad I am doing it!  The process of withdrawal and cravings aren’t fun, but it is making me more self aware, stronger, and a better health coach.  I suggest an exercise like this for anyone that is concerned that they have an unhealthy relationship with certain foods.  It will either confirm or deny it so you can determine the best path for yourself going forward. 

Day four

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It is midday of day four of what I’m calling a cleanse.  I’m happy to report that cravings are minimal except for my NUGO bars.  Definitely craving those!!  One, because they are sooo damn yummy, two because they are so damn convenient!  I’m really struggling to stay on my eating schedule without the bars.  The only non processed, non perishable foods that is easy to grab on the fly are nuts and dried fruit…that I can think of on the fly anyway.  My fat intake is through the roof this week because I’m subsisting off of nuts and seeds all day.  I’ve gotta find a better alternative.  That is my goal for this weekend…find snacks to replace my NUGO bars with for when I spend the entire day on the run, which is most days.  That will make this easier on me.  Right now I’m either starving because I don’t have anything with me or I’m eating nuts and seeds ask day long.  Ugh!

I’m open to all suggestions!