Somewhere around the end of February, bathing suits start to appear on the racks of our favorite stores reminding us that beach season is around the corner, and we immediately start thinking about ways to detox for Summer. DUN DUN DUN!
Our mindset suddenly shifts from sipping warm hot cocoa around the fire to rooftops, rose, s’mores, and how we’re going to prepare ourselves put on last year’s swimsuit with confidence. We start to think juice cleanse, kale salads, and more intense workouts.
Who doesn’t want to look and feel great in their bikini [or on-trend one piece?] I feel you, I do too. But for me, detoxing is about more than looking great. It’s about feeling fantastic, increasing my energy, and feeling clear headed. I find when one of these elements is off balance, I lose traction on the others.
Unfortunately, while filled with the mostly fresh, seasonal foods, Summer can be one of the hardest times to keep our health goals on track. The days are longer, which means a later bedtime, right? Hence more time to spend at Happy Hour. Summer vacations to foreign lands; weddings; parties; and just a better mood in general all present us with delightful and delectable distractions.
However, there’s room for indulgence and fun while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I promise! It’s all about tuning in with your body, recognizing what makes you feel good and energized, and doing more of that. What works is different for everyone, but there are common threads and health rules.
The world is increasingly filled with toxins that harm our body. Despite our best intentions, we’re exposed to these toxins when we walk down the street, when we eat store bought food, and even in our own homes. When we ‘detox’ our mind, body, and soul, we allow our bodies to find balance and gain more innate awareness of what it feels like to live in a healthy ecosystem.
Detox can help:
- Prevention of chronic disease
- Weight loss
- Increase energy
- Improve skin
- Mental clarity
- Reset your metabolism and kick cravings to the curb
- Restore balance in your body’s ecosystem
If you’re feeling bloated, low energy, have cravings, are experiencing skin problems try these 3 quick fixes to start the detoxification process.
Eat Clean, Whole, Real Food
A baked chip is still a chip dressed up in a ‘health-ier’ label. It’s time to say so long to the easy to grab, packaged foods. More often than not, they are filled to the brim with ingredients you can’t pronounce even if they’re labeled otherwise. Instead, try reaching for foods you can pronounce. Things with one word are my favorite…cucumber, pineapple, avocado, carrots, beets, sweet potato, fish…you see where I’m going with this? The closer to nature in a whole natural form the better.
A few foods that are incredibly helpful in detoxifying are fruits, vegetables, garlic, citrus fruits, cold pressed juices,
Drink. More. Water.
This seems like the solution for everything doesn’t it? Considering our bodies are made primarily of water, and it’s what helps our body absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins, it makes sense!
I’m not a great water drinker, I admit it. I need some help remembering to get enough. I try to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day out of a pretty mason jar or my swell water bottle. I also infuse water with fruits, herbs, lemon and cucumber to motivate me.
Shake your booty, move your body
Dance, walk, swim, run, barre, pilates, spin, roller skate, skip, jump, I don’t care what it is as long as you’re moving.
Exercise promotes the detoxification process because when you’re moving all of the nutrients that you gained from step one are moving through your body to your organs and muscles. Sweating is also a great way to eliminate toxins.
While these are three simple practices that you can incorporate into your every day life to look and feel great, there are more comprehensive detoxes you can participate in that will have a more profound, long lasting effect. Implementing these 3 items into your life will certainly have a positive impact, however, just know that these are all small changes and you might not see results after day 1. Be kind and gentle to yourself knowing that you’re working towards positive, long-lasting sustainable habits.
Here are a few detoxes that I like:
Promise me one thing. If you’re thinking about the benefits of a detox and want in, know that there is an option for you and that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to…you are enough. Feeling great and looking good doesn’t have to be expensive. If spending money on shakes isn’t for you, that’s totally cool. Focus on the basics and you’ll reach your goals.
Feel free to reach out if you’d like to talk more about how to detox in a way that’s right for you or meals that will aid in detoxification.
And leave a comment below to let me know how you’ll detox for Summer!
You want to feel healthier, you might even know what it feels like.
You have a clear vision for what your healthiest self looks like.
Every Sunday night you tell yourself, ‘this is the week I turn it around and commit to my goals’.
So why can’t you achieve the plan that you’ve set out for yourself?
The most common obstacle I hear holding people back is time.
I get it! You’re b-u-s-y. You’ve got a career to kick ass at. Another person to give and show your love to. Clothes to clean. Kids to chase and snuggle. The list could go on and on.
How the HECK are you supposed to find time for you?
Time is a funny thing. We either have too much of it and feel bored, or there’s not enough and we’re running from thing to thing. However, I think it’s the way we view time and how we schedule ourselves. Here’s the thing, and don’t be too shocked, we get to choose how we spend our time. Did you hear that? YOU have the power over your iCal, and if feeling great and being your healthiest self is important to you, you can choose the activities that help you achieve that feeling. I know you have commitments to fulfill, but we can take action maximize our free time and channel it towards more effective things.
3 tips for getting healthy when you’re busy (AF)
One of the best ways to ensure maintenance of a healthy lifestyle when a busy week is impending is planning ahead. I know, I know ‘you’re not a planner’. Give it a shot.
Get out a calendar, digital or old-fashioned pen and paper, and write down your commitments. Fill in the rest of the time with how you would typically spend it – gym, TV time, Instagram, reading, cooking, eating.
Reflect and notice where you have a few hours that could be used more effectively and fill them in with new activities that will cater more towards your desired healthy lifestyle.
Perhaps it’s your lunch break when you eat at your desk scrolling mindlessly through articles or social media – try going for a walk instead!
Maybe it’s after dinner, you sit on the couch watching reality tv. Try doing some crunches while you’re watching TV or make your healthy lunch for the following day. My roommate and I do ‘sips and squats’ where we have our glass of vino and do a 45 minute workout – sips in between squats.
Cooking ahead has changed my life. I like to use the concept ‘cook once, eat (at least) twice. This is hugely beneficial for a number of reasons.
First of all, it eliminates decision making at the end of the day when your capacity to make a healthy decision is already depleted. It also provides consistency in your diet and gives you the ability to fill your fridge with healthy options to reach for when you’re in a pinch. This will help you add in more good stuff that will eventually help you get rid of those unruly cravings. Finally, it will save you SO MUCH time and money when you can throw together a well-balanced meal and pack your lunch all at the same time.
I prefer items that I can throw in a bowl and mix together for a tasty meal. Check out my weekly grocery shopping list at the bottom of this post for what I like to keep around and fill it in with some of your favorites.
Plan your meals out on paper, and pick one day a week to go to the grocery store to get everything you need. Set aside a few hours to prep a bunch of goodies. Don’t forget your list! Some meals can be more complex and others can just be super simple. It’s completely up to you and how much time you have.
Reprioritize & Shift your Mindset
Even though it may not feel like it, you have time. I promise. Some weeks you might have more than others, but there is time to fit in at least a few healthy habits. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
You don’t need to have a smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and protein with steamed veggies for dinner to have a ‘healthy day’, and a 30 minute workout or even a walk is better than no movement, and getting in veggies.
Remember that whatever you do is enough for that day.
Let’s reframe how we perceive time with a little math equation:
There are 7 days in a week x 24 hours a day = 168 hours every week that you get to delegate your actions to.
I hope that 6-8 X 7 of those hours are dedicated to sleep, so let’s call that 49 hours of sleep.
That leaves you with 119 sleep free hours of your own.
OK work, I know, you work. Let’s call work 45 hours including a commute.
Even with work and sleep you still have 74 hours of time. That’s a lot of time!
How will you choose to spend it?
My Grocery Shopping List
These include items that I buy every week and things that I keep around all the time for easy, healthy meals.
- Coffee aka the holy grail
- Almond Milk
- Organic Eggs
- Sourdough Bread
- Fruit (always bananas, sometimes berries or something that’s on sale)
- 2 Greens (kale, spinach, arugula, mesclun)
- Gluten free or chickpea pasta
- Roasting veggies (pick 2-3 sweet potatoes, cauliflower, brussels, broccoli)
- Frozen veggie burgers
- Veggies steam or eat raw (zucchini, peppers
- Smoothie ingredients
- Nut butters (peanut & almond)
- Brown Rice
- Nuts & Seeds (almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds – whatever’s on sale!)
- Organic chicken
- Wild caught salmon
- Black beans, chickpeas, white beans
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- German mustard
- Dark Chocolate
- Medjool dates
**Some of these items can be purchased in bulk, so you don’t have to get them every week. But most things aside from meat and produce will stay good longer than you think and you can always freeze meat you don’t eat.
** This doesn’t include any special meals I make, like if I have friends over for dinner or make a curry or soup
My Favorite Anytime Bowl
This meal is thrown together from all of the items that I meal prep.
Quinoa, arugula, kale, 1/4/-1/2 avocado, roasted veggies, protein (beans, eggs, meat or fish) topped with olive oil, hummus, lemon squeeze, german or Dijon mustard, a little apple cider vinegar
Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix together
Still confused? Questions? Want to work together to build a healthy pantry? Reach out to me anytime and we’ll figure it out together.
Let me know in the comments section below how you are going to take action this week!
A food mood connection? What do you mean?
Brain fog. The jitters. Anxiety. Depression. 3 PM Crash. ADHD. Hanger. Plain old BLAH.
Ever had any of those feelings and couldn’t quite pinpoint why?
If you’re like most humans on the planet, I’m guessing the answer is yes.
I’m with you. From 2011-2013, every afternoon around 3pm, as I sat at my desk, and my brain to feel a bit fuzzy and that space between my eyes and my brain clouded over. I started to get snappy and irritable. It had only been about three hours from lunch, so it ‘wasn’t time’ for a snack yet. My days looked a bit like this…
Breakfast: coffee with lowfat milk, boxed frozen waffles, Jif peanut butter, and banana or a low fat yogurt with banana for breakfast
Lunch: Salad, a sliver of avocado, a dash of chickpeas, maybe a bit of a tortilla wrap and then some fruit with granola for dessert.
Around 5pm every day, by the time I was ravenous and light headed, I’d reach for a KIND bar or a handful of nuts and head to the gym. Leaving the gym, I’d feel a bit stressed about the next day and what was to come.
Wasn’t I doing everything right? I was following all of the healthy living rules – exercise, eating well, why was I feeling like this?
// Something was off. I was heading in the right direction, but needed to make a U-Turn, head back home and reset my internal GPS. //
It turns out there is a critical food mood connection, so what we eat affects how we think, act, and feel.
Good food equals a good mood!
This concept was a game-changer for me, and it makes sense. You get out what you put in. Your body is your vehicle, and you wouldn’t fill your car with dirty water would you? I don’t think you’d get very far.
Think you might be experiencing the food mood connection? Here are a few examples of common symptoms:
STRESS When we’re stressed our bodies go into fight or flight mode increasing adrenaline and cortisol levels, which causes us to reach for foods that aren’t as good for us, skip meals, and decreases the amount of oxygen that moves nutrients through our bloodstream.
BRAIN FOG can be a symptom of nutrient deficiencies, inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and stress. All of these symptoms can be prevented improving your diet primarily reducing sugar, caffeine, and refined processed foods.
ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION excess sugar and caffeine can also lead to feelings of anxiety and depression by enhancing the effects of low dopamine and serotonin levels.
So, Hailey, what are some solutions!?
In general, I always encourage eating whole, real foods. But here are a few other rules I live by:
- Eat more healthy fat, and don’t fear fat! This includes nut butters, avocado and wild fish
- Get more protein through lean animal products, eggs, tempeh, legumes, nuts and seeds
- Eat a balanced breakfast of healthy grains, fat, protein, and sneak in some veggies: I love avocado, eggs, and spinach on a bread that has just a few ingredients
- Get enough servings of dark leafy greens and other veggies
- Reduce sugar intake and try to not eat too much fruit on an empty stomach
- Eat more frequently
- Stay hydrated
- Change up your caffeine routine. If you have two cups of coffee each day try switching to decaf or swap in a cup of green tea
- Reduce low fat foods. I promise a full fat yogurt will not make you fat! It will actually make you more satisfied for longer.
I know it can feel intimidating to make changes to your diet and lifestyle. Will people judge me? What if I fall off the bandwagon? What if I fail? What if I don’t like the food? What if I don’t have time?
Don’t worry! It’s totally doable. Just choose a few simple things to change up; things that feel within reach for you and do those and then incorporate more. Take it slow and be kind to yourself.
I keep these food mood staples around all the time:
- Cacao or dark, dark chocolate
- Wild Salmon
- Sweet Potato
- Pumpkin seeds (great salad topper)
- Coconut oil
- Raw nuts (I like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and brazil nuts
If you’re feeling stuck and want help to turn your ‘car’ around and start heading in the right direction. Shoot me an email, I’d love to talk it through with you.