Slow Down & Chew!

March PhotoDid you know that by chewing your food more, you can improve your digestion? Something as simple as chewing more, can increase circulation, enhance immunity, increase energy & endurance, as well as improve skin health & stabilize weight! Digestion actually begins in our mouths, when our food makes its first contact with our teeth and the digestion enzymes in our saliva help break down the food we are eating. We are usually so rushed during our day to day activities that we tend to forget to chew our food well. We are eating while we are distracted, whether we are working, reading, talking, or watching TV. On average, we only chew each bite of food 8 times before swallowing.

Here are some benefits for slowing down and chewing your food:

  • Saliva will help break down our food into simple sugars, which makes our food sweeter. The more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes and it will help cut down on those sweet cravings we get after our meals.
  • Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb maximum nutrition from each bite.
  • The more we chew, the more endorphins we produce, which helps create more good feelings!
  • The slower you eat, the more in tune you are with your body. When we chew slowly, we are more likely to notice when we are full.
  • Slowing down allows you to enjoy the smells, flavors, and textures of your food.

To help slow down when eating here are some tips to help:

  • Try eating without any technology readily available or on. Turn off the TV, cell phones, and close your book or newspaper. Pay attention to what you’re eating and enjoy the company of the people around you.
  • Try counting how many times you chew a single bit. Try increasing this to 30 chews per bite. It will be hard at first, but with the benefits listed above, it’s well worth it.

Lemon Chicken and Couscous

It’s been awhile since I have posted a recipe! Here is a new one that was really good.

Lemon Chicken w: Couscous

Lemon Chicken & Couscous

2 lb chicken thighs
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp oregano, divided
4 tsp olive oil, divided
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 c. couscous
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
2 green onions, diced
1 carrot, peeled & grated

Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl, mix together lemon zest, 1 tsp oregano, 2 tsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place chicken in the bowl and cover with seasonings and oil. Place chicken in a glass baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray. Place lemon slices on top of chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 20 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, bring chicken broth, green onions, and carrots to a boil. Once boiling, stir in couscous and oregano. Cover, and set aside. Once chicken is done, serve with couscous and your favorite vegetable. We served this with steamed carrots.

Time Management

spital-notebook-listI get questions all the time about time management. How can you fit everything into 24 hours? Well, I certainly don’t! 🙂 Here are a few tips to help you stay organized and help you organize your time:

  1. Don’t stress! There will be things that come along that require a lot of energy and time, and they are very important. Focus on the things that must be done. Something that has a deadline. But don’t stress the small stuff. Whether those small things are dishes, laundry, or something else that won’t have a consequence if it doesn’t get done by a certain day.
  2. Make a list. Every day I have a list of what I need to get done. There are some very important things on that list, along with items that aren’t all that important. If I don’t get one thing done on that day, I move it to the next day. Once I’ve completed a task, I cross it off. Nothing feels better than crossing items off my list.
  3. Write down everything that needs to get done and add to the list if needed. I will write down everything that needs to get done, no matter how small the task may seem. The items I need to get done and write down will vary from things I need to do at my current job, items I need to do for Elite Health Coaching, along with things I need to get done around the house, like laundry.
  4. Have a schedule and stick with it! Around the house, my family knows that certain things get done on certain days. This allows me to have some time away from the things that aren’t always my favorite, like laundry, vacuuming, etc. I know that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, my son has soccer and on Fridays, he has snowboarding. Those things don’t change very often, so I know that I need to plan around those items every week. If something comes up, like a hair appointment, I write that down, so I know it’s on the schedule. I plan ahead and make sure everything is squared away before I leave so I have nothing to stress about other than my latest hairstyle. 🙂
  5. Just relax and breath. If you have a lot to get done, but don’t see a way of finishing everything in the time allotted, ask for help. This is the hardest thing for me to do. I hate asking for help! I want to be Superwoman, but sometimes that just isn’t possible. Ask for help to relieve the stress that you are experiencing. This will not only make you a happier person, but when you are less stressed and are able to relax, everyone around you will feel the same way.

How to Get Started on an Exercise Program

This is an exciting post. Not just because it’s about exercising (enter sarcasm here), but it’s my 100th post on my blog!!! Who knew that I would/could have so much to write about. Thank you to everyone who has supported the blog and me in this new journey 🙂

testrunsfeb500x310Alright, now back to the main topic, How to Get Started on an Exercise Program! So the first of 2013 has come and gone. It’s mid-January and you’ve yet to start an exercise program. Or maybe you have, but you are getting bored of the exercises. Here are a few tips to keep you going with what you’ve already started or to help you get going with what you want to do:

– Find an exercise that you really enjoy. I have personally found a new love of running. I absolutely HATED running in high school. I played basketball since 3rd grade, and whenever we had to run the mile during practice in high school, I dreaded every second of it. I’m not fast, I never had a sports bra that fit well, and I hated to run. As I got older, I would see people running outside and they always looked so peaceful. I figured why not give it a try. We moved into a new house that had a treadmill readily available, so I didn’t want it to sit there collecting dust. I started running and fell in love! 🙂 I’m in the process of getting back to running after a slight knee injury, but whenever I run I feel motivated to push myself a little bit further. On that note, running is NOT for everybody! I was talking with my mom this weekend, and we both said that the best way to stay on track with exercising is finding something that you thoroughly enjoy whether that is running, aerobics, riding a bike, yoga, spin classes, etc. Find something that you love. And if you find yourself getting bored, try something new. Who knows, it may be your new obsession!

– Schedule exercise into your day. I literally have to schedule exercise into my daily activities or else I won’t do it. I have a list of everything I need to get done on a daily basis, and if I don’t put exercise on there, I either forget about it or make up excuses as to why I’m too busy to follow through. Having it on my list and being able to cross it off when I’m done is gratifying.

– Set realistic goals and stick to them. A lot of us are guilty of setting goals that are out of range. For example, saying I am going to run 50 miles a week, I know it’s not going to get done. Set goals where you can start small, and work your way up. Maybe it’s something like, I want to eventually work out 5 days a week for 30 minutes each time. Start with 3 days a week. Once you get the hang of that, increase to 4 days a week, and eventually work your way up to 5 days a week. By getting over zealous in our goals, we can burn our body’s and our motivation out quickly.

– Find a workout buddy or an accountability partner! Some people enjoy working out alone. Others really like working out with somebody because it keeps them motivated and helps them stick to their goals. Whatever your style is, make it work. Maybe there is a neighbor who wants to start working out during the week. Schedule times where you can work out together. If you don’t feel comfortable working out with a friend or colleague, maybe a personal trainer could help you stay on track. Health coaches are also a great option to help you stay on track. For example, with my 6 month program we have a session every 2 weeks and support in between sessions. During those sessions, I can help you stay on track with your exercising and eating well. After 6 months of this process, you should be in the habit of exercising and be able to keep up on your own. If not, I’m still here to help with extended programs to help you continue on.

Reaching Your Goals with a Health Coach

healthy-woman-bAnytime I tell people what I am going to school for they always ask, what does a Health Coach do? I personally work with families or individuals that want to work towards a more natural and healthy way of eating. This style of eating can re-energize you without the use of supplements and it can also help you lose weight.

I provide one-on-one support to individuals and families to help keep them on the track that they choose. Have you ever received good advice that you were unable to follow? Has your doctor ever recommended a lifestyle change that you found to be unsustainable? Have you ever wanted something in your life, but found you couldn’t achieve it alone?

A health coach is a knowledgeable adviser who provides ongoing support and guidance as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and happiness. As your Health Coach, I will listen carefully and help you to navigate the world of contradictory nutrition advice to determine what changes are necessary for you.

Your personalized program will radically improve your health and happiness. Together, we will explore concerns specific to you and your body and discover the tools you need for a lifetime of balance.

As a client of my health coaching program, you will…

  • set and accomplish goals in a way that is empowering and exciting
  • work to achieve and maintain your ideal weight
  • understand and reduce your cravings
  • increase your energy levels
  • feel great in your body
  • learn about new foods and how you can easily incorporate them
  • improve your personal relationships
  • discover the confidence to create the life you want

Your program includes…

  • two 50-minute sessions per month
  • e-mail support between sessions
  • recipes that are healthy and simple to prepare
  • coaching and support to help you make the dietary and lifestyle changes you want
  • simple but informative handouts that will increase your nutrition knowledge
  • access to my monthly newsletter with the latest health tips and recipes
  • my personal commitment to your health and success

If you’re interested in a free, no-obligation health consultation, contact me here! And for a list of services that I provide, click here!