5 tips to stop feeling meh & finally get fit

Take a minute and listen to your body. How is it feeling today? Maybe it’s feeling energized. Maybe it’s feeling tingly, excited! Or, more likely, it may be feeling tired. Maybe it’s feeling sluggish. Maybe you & your body are just feeling meh.

I’m here to tell you that your one and only life is precious to me. I desire for you to be feeling like this (minus the sugar):

You work too hard, love too much and God has way too much planned for you to feel meh. It’s just not good enough. You & your body were meant for more.

But maybe you can’t remember the last time got dressed and felt confident. Maybe you’ve noticed every time you go up the stairs or chase after the kids you’re a bit out of breath.

I understand friend.

Let’s look together at 5 tips for you to stop feeling meh and finally get fit.

1. Get REAL clear.

Many times I’ll have clients who come in and “want to lose weight.” Or maybe they’re here to see me “because their doctor told them to.” Then again, sometimes it’s just about to be bathing suit season or they’ve got a wedding coming up.

Those are all okay goals, I guess. They’re a good way to get an inkling of motivation. But we need to get REALLY clear. We need to really see the vision of what you’re going to look like, feel like and be like when you’re the ideal version of yourself.

You see, there are two versions of you. The one you’re living as right now and the IDEAL version of you. This ideal version of you has a lot going on. She’s pretty incredible, actually. She doesn’t have time to be bogged down by unnecessary weight or bad nutrition. She’s got hopes, dreams, goals and plans. She’s living life to the fullest. You need to get really clear on what her life is like. You need to get so clear that you can taste it!

You see fitness is a gateway to good things. Through this gateway you finally admit to yourself that you want something. You finally set aside the time to get it. You finally get the discipline to do what you need to do. Because of that, you’re going to find those skills ready and available in other areas of your life. It’s going to be incredible.

BUT FIRST! Let’s taste it. Let’s look at all the whys, the desires, the goals, the dreams of what getting fit really means to you. Guess what? It’s way more deep than “losing a few inches.” It’s OKAY to have desire. It’s OKAY to dream. It’s OKAY to want to feel and look good. It’s more than okay. It’s freaking awesome. Our world is going to be SO MUCH better when you’re on fire.

2. Come up with a plan.

You may have “accidentally” gained a few pounds or gotten out of shape. But it’s not going to be an accident to lose them and get in shape. It’s going to be according to a plan. You need a plan for your nutrition and you need a plan for your fitness. The good news is we can make this plan according to YOU. It doesn’t have to be someone else’s running / keto plan. Unless you like running and don’t like carbs. No, we can come up with a REALISTIC plan that you’ll actually stick to and enjoy.

How to make a plan:

  1. Establish your current level of fitness & your weight / inches / body fat. Establish your realistic goals.
  2. Pick or let me help you design a workout plan that has you moving at least five times a week doing something you enjoy. We can start slow and small, but we need consistency at all costs!
  3. Figure out what you’re going to eat and when. We are going to stick 80% to food God made. Man made stuff like bread, soda, etc is not on our plan.
  4. Figure out how you’re going to stay accountable to your plan & track your progress.
  5. Reflect & redo the plan each week or month. Understand it’s a new habit that will take time to get good at and find your sweet spot.

3. Track, track, track.

There’s a quote out there:

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure. 

It’s true. Imagine your personal financial budget. You can’t manage your spending if you don’t track it. Think about your kids’ attendance in school. Think about how much coffee is left in the pot!

Seriously though, you’ll never know if your plan is working if you’re not measuring your progress. You need to measure how often and how effective your workouts are. That can be as simple as an x on a calendar and making sure every few weeks you can do more squats, add heavier weights, hold Warrior II longer or run a little faster. Track what you’re eating, whether you liked it, how it made you feel. Whatever it is, let’s measure it. Get a little obsessed with this. It will help you stay focused.

We’re also going to measure your body metrics. We need to measure your weight, your inches and your body fat percentage. Listen, measuring that many things helps you have lots of ways to win! That’s a good thing. I know some of you have a “bad relationship” with the scale. I understand that. I have enough experience to tell you it’s not the scales fault. Yes, sometimes the scale is a bit stubborn or late with math. But it’s just math. What I DO know is that if you’re NOT tracking we won’t know if your plan is working or not. Listen, if your plan has pizza and beer every Friday night and your scale says it’s working, we’re going to STICK TO THE PLAN. If your scale says the plan isn’t working then we need to adjust something. And we won’t know that if we aren’t tracking. Got it?

4. Deal with the emotion.

Part of the reason #3 is so hard is because of our emotion. Most of the time when we’ve gotten ourselves into and overweight our out of shape state, there are some underlying emotions we aren’t aware of or are trying to numb.

You’re bored, so you eat. We need to deal with why you’re bored more than we need to deal with the food.

You’re upset, so you drink. We need to deal with why you’re upset more than we need to deal with the alcohol.

The best part of your week is eating out at the restaurant. We need to create different best parts of the day.

Most of the time when we’re snacking or eating, it’s to literally NUMB some of the feelings we don’t want to face. It may or may not be a conscious decision.

Then we have the other emotions. The dread of failing at yet another goal. The shame of letting it go so far. The embarrassment that you need help. The feeling, deep down, that you don’t deserve to be happy. As you read those, I know you 1) understand them and 2) know they aren’t right. They’re not right in that you shouldn’t feel that way but they’re not right also in that THEY ARE UNHELPFUL. They are time wasters. However, if we don’t deal with them–and I mean REALLY deal with them, your getting fit journey won’t work or it won’t last.

We have to deal with the emotion. So, get a journal out or schedule a session with me.

5. Don’t half ass it.

If you want to get half-ass results, then go at this at about a 5 MPH pace. If you’re READY, then treat this like a second job. This is your new hobby. This is what you’re totally focused on right now and you’re going all in.

When I teach folks how to get out of debt, we tell them get SUPER INTENSELY focused. Like nothing else matters until the debt is gone! That’s what I need you to do with this little journey. The more you focus, the faster your wins will come and the faster you’ll see progress. This doesn’t mean you’re going to be a self-obsessed gym rat forever. This means until this new lifestyle becomes habit and automated, you’re going to give it your full ass. Got it?

Okay friends, those are 5 of my tips to stop feeling meh and finally get fit. To review they were:

  1. Get REAL clear.
  2. Come up with a plan.
  3. Track, track, track.
  4. Face the emotion.
  5. Don’t half-ass it.

Now you know I’m a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In fact, I’ve also got a specialty in nutrition. If you want help, you need to fill out the form below. It’s a fairly simple.

  1. You’ll talk. I’ll listen.
  2. We’ll come up with a plan that includes your dreams, your budget and your debt-payoff date.
  3. We’ll work the plan together until you’re ready to do it on your own.

I’m here to help. You’ve just got to fill that form out below.

Put Your Big Girl Panties On!

At last! I can say that Put Your Big Girl Panties On is published! Hooray!

What’s it all about?

PUT YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES ON IS A SELF-DO BOOK FOR WOMEN WHO ARE READY TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES BUT HAVEN’T QUITE FIGURED OUT HOW YET. Does it seem like adulting as a woman should’ve come with a training manual? Well, now you’ve got one. In this down-to-earth and funny how-to guide, coach Shana will let you know you’re not alone, help you feel understood and give you some practical tips on how to move forward in the areas of life that are holding you back like:

  • Anxiety
  • Negative self-talk
  • Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Time management
  • Home organization
  • Personal finance
  • Motherhood
  • Marriage
  • and much more!

Put Your Big Girl Panties on will give you applicable questions, exercises, and advice from someone just like you. It will feel like a conversation at a coffee shop, filled with knowing glances and giggles. It will give you a safe space to feel the things you’re feeling while also coaching you ever closer to a better version of you. You see, one thing is absolutely 100% true. No one else is going to come along and magically save you. You are the hero of your own story. You are the one that is going to make your best life possible. You are going to show up for yourself, you are going to solve your own problems. And you’re going to feel really confident and satisfied when you do. You’re going to save yourself. Let’s go.

Put your big girl panties on

Sunday planning: How + Worksheet

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re having a great day! On Sunday’s, I like to do alllll the planning for the week while I’m calm, relaxed and happy.

Before I sit down with my hubby for our marriage meeting, I get my own things in line. Want to take a peek at my plan? Maybe it will inspire your plan?


Schedule for the week:

  • 5am Wake, Bible, Pray, Journal
  • 6 – 6:30 Breakfast with hubby
  • 6:30 – 7:30 Breakfast / Kid prep / Clean house
  • 7:30 – 8:30 Coffee & relaxing time
  • 8:30 – 9:30 Kid bus / preschool drop off
  • 9:30 – 11 Workout / Shower
  • 11 – 12 Work
  • 12 – 1 Preschool pick up / errands
  • 1 – 4 Work
  • 4 – 4:30 Bus / Folders
  • 4:30 – 5 Dinner prep / House reset
  • 5 – 6 Family dinner / dishes

My schedule varies week to week quite often. And my evenings are always different based on clients / classes but I like to have a good base. This is what I call “mom blocking.” When I have the basics blocked like when I will get quiet time, workouts, housework, kiddo time and my work done then I can breathe and relax and get excited for the week!

When I’m doing my schedule, I also set the priorities for the week.

  • This week I have to get my vision board workshops completely planned out and I need to file business stuff at the county court.
  • I also need to get December’s budget completed.
  • I need to get my girl’s birthday party planned.

Whew! So, I’ve got those things scheduled in on my planner so they’ll actually GET DONE.


Food for the week:

This week’s food is brought to you by leftover turkey and end of the month creativity.

  • Monday everyone will eat turkey sandwiches for lunch and I’ll have a shake. For dinner, I’ll have zoodles and they’ll have turkey & dumplings.
  • Tuesday they will have leftover dumplings for lunch and I’ll have a shake. For dinner, I’ll make chicken fried (cauliflower) rice.
  • Wednesday I’ll have a shake and they’ll have leftover dumplings for lunch. For dinner, I’ll make salmon & spinach.
  • Thursday they’ll turkey cranberry salad and I’ll have a shake. Then we’ll all have leftover chicken fried rice for dinner (it’s a busy night).
  • Finally, Friday will bring wraps for lunch and pizza for dinner!

Workouts for the week:

Another thing I plan is my workouts. You may be following a program but I’m just following my heart. Right now that heart says:

  • Monday / Legs: 5k + 4 rounds of 25 squats, 25 squat jumps, 25 walking lunges, 25 lunge jumps, 25 deadlifts, 25 skater jumps + 21 Day Fix abs.
  • Tuesday / Arms: 5k + 10 inchworms + 3 Supersets + 21 day fix Abs.  3 rounds each superset, 20 reps each move. SS1: Plank push-ups & Curls. SS2: Side planks & Skullcrushers. SS3: Pike pushups & Curl to press.
  • Wednesday / Full body: 5K + PIYO.
  • Thursday / Chest, Back & Booty: 5k + 10 inchworms + 4 tabatas.  T1: Chest Press w/ Leg Raise & Snow Angels. T2: Superman w/ band & Push-ups w/ chest bump. T3: Pullovers in bridge & Banded bridge w/ butterfly. T4: Fire hydrant R & FH L w/ hold.
  • Friday / Full body: 5K + Ladder workout. 100 squats, 90 lunges, 70 Everests, 50 Pushups, 30 Triceps dips, 10 burpees, 30 Triceps dips, 50 Pushups, 70 Everests, 90 Lunges, 100 squats.

I want to give you a free tool to help you plan to have a FABULOUSLY FIT week! It’s my Sunday Planning sheet that focuses on your fitness journey.

Get the printable Sunday Planner here!


Join me!

How about you? I hope this post just inspires you to plan your own week. If not, just copy mine as best you can! =D

Fill out the form below if you’re interested in:

  • Vision board workshop. I will have one vision board class in person and one online.
  • Online health & fitness groups.
  • 1 on 1 coaching to help you achieve your goals!
  • You can also check out my How To Have An Awesome Marriage Meeting course for $5!

 

 

What are you carrying around with your extra weight?

I’ve been carrying around an extra 15 pounds all year.

Yes, after sitting comfortably at my “fighting” weight for years, this year has thrown me for a loop. There is a lot left unsettled at this time in my life and it’s manifesting in my bodyweight.

Did you ever hear about the trainer who gained 70 pounds and then lost it again all in an effort to see what his clients went through? I kind of feel like that trainer. Except at least he can say he did it on purpose. Whoops.

During this mini-struggle, I’ve noticed changes to my mental health. I always preach about how fitness and nutrition affect your mental health. I totally believe that. But there’s this gray area where even when you’re doing those things, you’re fighting through a lot more.

It’s like the extra pounds you’re carrying around are holding you back from hitting your goals. They’re like little toddlers hanging on to your ankles as you try to walk away. And you just can’t shake them off.

Or maybe it’s like you’re fighting through a windy rain storm. You’re trudging forward, but the wet grayness makes it much more difficult to get from Point A to Point B.

I think those extra pounds manifest in different ways in our lives. It’s as if every pound represents an emotion or physical trait that is really hard to get over until it’s just GONE. It’s like every pound is a pound of bad mood.

So, if there are 5 pounds maybe 1 is shame, 1 is irritability, 1 is lack of sex drive, 1 is defeat and 1 is sleepiness.  Another 5 pounds might represent muffin top, regret, anxiety, self-consciousness and disappointment.

I’ve noticed that even though I’m mostly doing the same things I’ve always done, some of those emotions (and the muffin top) just won’t budge. They stick around even though I’m aware of them, even though I’m aware they don’t serve me.

That of course makes it so much more tough for us to lose weight. We can WANT to let go of those things, but it’s like they’re literally mixed in with the triglycerides and fatty acids.

The good news is fitness and nutrition work. We can overcome a LOT of mental issues by sticking to the program, honoring our commitments to ourselves and making progress. We can also acknowledge that it’s a process. It’s not fast and it’s not easy. But, as we make progress, we can nail those issues to the “long gone” board. We can leave them in the past.

So, lets say you lose a pound this week. Can you let defeat go away with it? Can you send them both packing and ask them to stay lost forever?

Then next week, let’s say you lose two pounds! Great job. That might mean irritability and anxiety can take a hike. Maybe pound number 10 and 15 can mean your sex drive  makes a comeback and that muffin top is banished!

So, take the time to consider what you’re carrying around with your extra pounds. What negative emotions? What negative circumstances (clothes not fitting)? Name them. Acknowledge them. Notice how they’re keeping you from success. Think about how you can overcome them, how you can outsmart them. If nothing else, think about how you can outlast them. Outlast them on the path you’re already on.

Then, as you lose each pound, nail one of those negatives to each one you lose.

Let them both go at the same time.

Food/Energy budget

One of the things I’ll be teaching my FIT group this fall is the concept of an food/energy budget. You see, making health changes isn’t as complicated as we make them. It’s actually simple math. And math doesn’t lie. We’re always working from two angles, with two numbers if you will when we’re trying to make changes. Your food/energy budget is all about the input and the output. Let’s talk about those today:

Metabolic Rate needs to go up!

Your metabolic rate is just the amount of calories (energy) your body requires just to function all day. You can calculate it here. (The equation is also at the bottom of the page) This is the output. In budget terms, it’s what you’re earning, this is your income. The more of this you have, the more you get to spend.

Your energy output increases while you’re working out. Obviously, your body needs more energy to do push ups or run. So, that’s a short term way to increase the output. You can add to your income by working out.

In my house, my husband always used to have an easier time losing weight than I did. Eventually I realized it wasn’t because he was in an alternate reality, it was simply that his resting metabolic rate was so much higher than mine. That meant he simply had to make a few adjustments and he’d start shedding any excess. Why was it higher? The biggest reason is because of his big huge muscles. He’s almost always worked out and he has a lot of muscle. Muscle burns through energy faster! As a gender, men have more muscle and women have more fat. (I don’t make the rules.) So, they’re typically going to have a higher metabolic rate.

Once I got my own lean muscle mass up higher, I found it a little easier to lose weight as well. This is the way you can add to your output, to your income like savings on a bank account. It just happens. Of course, that combined with the other big number is the ticket.

Energy going in your mouth needs to go down!

That sounded weird. Moving on. Your input is the amount of energy you consume. The food you eat equals a certain amount of calories. Calories equate to energy. In budget terms, this is what you’re spending.

The simple math here is we are consuming more energy than we are expending. Most Americans are consuming more energy (calories) than they expend (metabolic rate). We need to fix that balance. I see this in action every time I’m at the gym. I see folks trudging away on the elliptical. If they’re really pushing, they’ll burn 300 calories off. That is the equivalent to one soda, one bag of chips, one bagel, a sandwich, etc. It really doesn’t take much to undo all that work you’ve just done.

Counting calories is tedious but it’s a good learning tool. Begin by figuring out what your output is. Then, if you want to lose weight, you’ll take that number, subtract about 500 calories and then you’ll have the number for your input, how much food you should consume.

Here’s a hint: real, natural, whole foods are lower in calories and denser in nutrients. Anything processed or made by man will add up quick and it won’t fill you up as long because it’s not real food. So, if you’re sad your input number goes really quick, trade some crappy foods for healthier ones and you’ll be chomping much longer!

Another hint? Measure. You cannot, at least not in the beginning, eyeball portions. Without being very specific on portions, your math will be wrong. That’s not how you do a budget! You know exactly what you make and exactly what to pay the electric company. Specifics matter in math.

There you have it. Your food budget = (metabolic rate + workout calories – weight loss deficit). It’s very simple math. If you’re not losing weight, it’s most likely because you’ve got the math wrong. Your output needs to be higher than your input!

Equations:

  • For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
  • For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161

If you need help, I’m here. We can work together virtually! Just fill the form out below.

4 mindset switches to help you eat healthier

Our nutrition is the most important component to our overall health as well as any attempts to lose weight or reshape the body. Even if we know that, though, sometimes the doing it can be pretty tough. So, here are 4 mindset shifts you can ponder today that might help you.

Food is fuel.

Many of my clients (and myself) use food as a reward or for pleasure. If you really try to think about and practice using food as fuel, it can really help you. If your body is a car, it needs high quality food do perform well. The food you give it is simply fuel. Keep feeding it high quality fuel. It is what powers our daily activities and all of our body’s functions. 

In other cases, I’ve seen folks use food as a means for punishing ourselves by withholding it. But you know what? Food is just fuel. It’s what your awesome, strong, capable body needs to do awesome things. When you feed it the right fuel, it gets stronger and more capable. When you feed it the wrong fuel it gets sluggish and less cooperative. It doesn’t function well.

But, what about that yummy food that makes you happy?

Outsource your joy.

If you’re overweight, if you have a problem with overeating and over drinking there is a big problem. You’re relying on food for pleasure. No, really. The dopamine hit you get when you crunch those salty chips or drink that sugary coffee give your brain temporary pleasure signals and you think you’re happy. But, there are consequences. First, your body goes into panic mode trying to process and deal with the non-fuel you just fed it. Then there’s the fact that you might often feel bad either about that choice or possibly just your body image overall. In the moment happy. After the moment NOT happy. Instead, figure out what things you can do that ACTUALLY make you happy. That ACTUALLY bring you long-lasting, residual joy. Do those things instead. I’ve noticed many people feel their day is so out of their own control, the only time they can get some pleasure is their food choices. That might also be the only time they get to do what they want to do. That’s a really crappy way to live, and you all deserve better than that. Find more ways to infuse joy daily and you might find yourself turning to food/booze less. (I’ll post about creating a joy list soon! You can also just schedule a session with me if you need help here!)

Eat real food.

This is the easiest and hardest of all four. People try to come up with different strategies and different diets. That just complicates things. Keep it simple and make it so you might actually find some success. Just eat real food (food that God & nature produced, not man). For example, I have a friend who wanted to go gluten free and dairy free. So she bought gluten free bread and coconut dairy stuff. You know what’s way easier? Just don’t eat bread or dairy. That is SO much easier than trying to find these  sneaky ways to have your cake and eat it too. Now, I am not saying it’s what you WANT to do. I’m just saying it’s going to make it easier to be successful. Go back to the last strategy and do it LOTS more if you find yourself that upset over the loss of cheese.

Don’t eat food you hate.

Real food is colorful, flavorful, smelly (good or bad) and all the things. You know why? Because you are supposed to enjoy eating. It’s a total experience. But many times when we make the switch to healthy, we limit ourselves to really bland, boring or disgusting food. No WONDER we revert back to the drive thru or junk food aisle. I don’t want to eat steamed fish and steamed broccoli either.

What you can do is find your very favorite foods that also happen to be healthy. Keep them around and well stocked. Look forward to your food. That’s allowed, even in healthy land.

*The above is an excerpt from my upcoming book. To be notified when it’s released, simply put your name and email here.

*If you’d like to work together, fill out the contact form below.

Picky eater solutions

Last night I was at football practice listening to parents lament about their kiddo’s eating habits. Oh yes, this is something we can all relate to. If you can’t, you have some miracle parenting method that I really need to soak in!

We all face the picky eater issues to some degree. Sometimes that’s a toddler testing independence, a kiddo with texture issues or even a child who has never developed a palette for anything other than chicken nuggets and macaroni.

I always say I ruined my first kid, then I figured it out from there. Because I’d not ever learned how to eat correctly, I had no way how to feed him. To make matters worse, he had a gag reflex, made worse by the tool they gave me to feed him because of the reflex. Now I know it made things worse, but I just didn’t know then.

I fed my first kiddo Nutrigrain bars. I don’t really remember what else, but that was probably as nutritious as it got. As for texture issues, he would vomit spaghetti and other foods his mouth couldn’t handle.

As for my other kids, I literally just cooked down or blended whatever we ate and gave it to them. By the third kid, I had it down. Her first foods were avocado and eggs and she still drinks a shake everyday.

The road has been long. I don’t want to tell you all of my woes but I do want to tell you picky eaters can definitely be CAUSED by us parents and fortunately, they can also be REMEDIED by us parents. Today Zach eats eggs and oatmeal for breakfast and his favorite vegetable is raw spinach. He’s not perfect, but we have made great strides in his future. My goal is for my kiddos to leave my house with healthy eating habits so they don’t have the health issues or learning crisis I had as a grown woman.

Here are some strategies I’ve used and I recommend to you if you have similar goals:

Reduce portions.

The first strategy to help your picky eater is to reduce portions. We often put so much more food on their plates than they can or even should eat. They’re little people. With little bellies. Start with really small portions for the kiddos because it will seem less daunting to them as they look at their plates. I’m talking like two green beans. Then you can easily celebrate success because it might be one or two bites you have to get through. And you better celebrate. I mean, make this the biggest deal in the history of the world. Then maybe next time they’ll eat three green beans. Gains. We’re all about the incredibly slow, microscopic gains.

Choices empower.

The second strategy is that choices empower. When it comes to your picky eater, you can give them choices. A while ago I wanted all of the kids to try cherry tomatoes. To be fair, their dad doesn’t even like them. I wasn’t expecting much. I gave my son the choice of trying one tomato for dinner or ten pieces of spinach. Do you believe he chose a huge handful of spinach over the one tomato? I can. With this strategy he still gets nutrition (it wasn’t one tomato or candy) but he feels a little more in control. Control is a key factor with picky eaters. I let my kids pick their choices in their lunches. I control what they can choose from, they get to choose. Would you believe my son now chooses spinach every time as his lunch veggie? This is the kid who hadn’t even tasted a raw vegetable until he was 3 or 4 years old.

To eat or not to eat.

Another variation of this strategy is to allow your kiddos to choose whether to eat or not. You see, for so many of us meal times can become a nightmare. We are either making a million different foods or begging people to eat the food in front of them. It can be so draining. And we want meal time to be nice. I’ve given you some overall strategies for kiddos above like ensuring there is always something they like on the table, something worth fighting for. For your picky eaters, you should also consider allowing them to choose not to eat. Also, let them choose how much to eat. Consider allowing them to dish it out on their plates themselves. Then, sit back and ignore their choices. Choose not to engage in coaxing, nagging or arguing or any of it. I’m here to tell you you cannot out stubborn a picky eater, or at least not without unneeded consequences. Science shows it typically makes matters worse anyway.

Instead, serve it and let it go. Just ask about their day and get about the business of enjoying meal time, regardless of their choices. If they choose to go hungry, that’s their choice. Most mealtimes will offer something they will eat so they probably won’t starve. But if they do, they do. They’ve made the choice not to eat. Empowering them also means allowing them to feel the consequences of their choices. Your job is to give them the choice and then leave it alone.

The kitchen is closed.

The third strategy is to close the kitchen and it’s probably the one that can make the biggest difference in our lives. Stop allowing kids to eat all day. Most kids don’t eat because they are not hungry. They’ve been snacking. ALL DAY. You’ll be amazed at how this simple trick can change your picky eater’s habits. Also, don’t offer any other options for dinner or after dinner. They will learn. And no, they will not starve. You also win in this situation because you can be done with food battles in between meal times. That includes dishes. Yay!

Repitition is okay.

Fourth, I want you to be okay with repetition. If you can only get your picky eater to eat a few healthy things, that’s fine. Celebrate the win and understand that their palettes will eventually change. As they continue eating healthy, their taste buds will adapt to desire (or at least not hate) more healthy things. Remember how many times they watched that one show or wanted you to read them that one book? Kids are all about repetition, so use it as a tool in your toolbox.

Lead the way.

Finally, lead the way. One study showed the variety of fruits and vegetables purchased by the parents directly correlated to the amount the children ate. In 2005 researchers showed that kiddos were more likely to try something new if they saw an adult eating it first. This strategy also means eating as a family. 

So, what do you think? Do you think any of these strategies can help you?

Food is medicine

You are a fortress. The things your body has done for you, the things it does on a daily basis and the things it will do for you in the future are all pretty incredible. The fortress, though, needs fuel. It needs fuel to function, at least if you want it to continue to do be a fortress.

In the land of adulting, one of the hardest adjustments for me to make was how to eat like a human. You see, most of us are eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) and either don’t realize the damage it does or just don’t know how to get away from it.

In fact, I’d submit to you that learning about real nutrition requires you to completely unlearn what you’ve thought or been taught. It’s like learning a foreign language. I remember when my mom told me that I just knew more stuff about food than she’d ever been told. She had regrets, but there simply wasn’t the information out there when she was a mom that we have available now.

That’s more true than we realize. Some examples of popular ideas in the past include the food pyramid (doesn’t even exist anymore, hello) and how bad fat is for you (nope, fat isn’t bad. Eating fried food all day everyday? That’s bad). Those ideas are just a few of the ideas that illustrate we essentially have to unlearn everything and use our own common sense and critical analysis on nutrition.

The first step to getting our minds right about nutrition is to see food as fuel. It is what powers our daily activities and all of our body’s functions. Many of us have an unhealthy relationship with food. We may see it as a reward and we overindulge. Sometimes we see it as a means for punishing ourselves by withholding it.

But you know what? Food is just fuel. It’s what your awesome, strong, capable body needs to do awesome things. When you feed it the right fuel, it gets stronger and more capable. When you feed it the wrong fuel it gets sluggish and less cooperative. It doesn’t function well. That’s because:


Food is medicine.


 

Just like gas is made up of certain factors that make an engine run, (real) food is made up of compounds that our bodies need to run. You know, proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals. Fats, 50 grams per day. Vitamin C, 75 mg per day. Calcium, 1,136 mg per day (recommended daily intakes according to the USDA). You get it. Food is medicine. Let’s look at a couple of Merriam Webster’s definitions to really, effectively and annoyingly hone in on this idea:

 


m e d · i · c i n e: a substance or preparation used in treating disease


 

Okay, so if that’s true, then what is the definition of disease?

 


d i s· e a s e: a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms


 

So, if disease simply means the body is not functioning normally and we know that 1) medicine is what is used to treat those impaired functions and 2) food is the source of things that make our bodies function properly, then we can conclude food is medicine.

Every time you eat, you can be putting medicine down your gullet. Likewise, every time you eat you can be putting stuff down your gullet that impairs functions. That makes it pretty clear, at least to me.

Clear, however, doesn’t mean easy. Right?

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Fuel or chaos?

The food God provides also comes with instructions for your body. It’s fuel.

Yes, things like fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, beans and other stuff come with their very own decoding instructions. Your body knows what to do with them. They provide you with fuel without confusing anything (unless you’ve got a unique case).

The food made by man messes with your brain, hormones and digestive system. Your body doesn’t know what to do with it. It’s havoc.

Yes, things like flour and sugar are man made (I mean unless you’re chewing on some sugar cane) and therefore they elicit these really weird responses in your brain, with your hormones and with your digestive system. That’s not to say the body doesn’t work REALLY hard to figure out what to do. But the dopamine response you get is like CRAZY. The insulin response is like CRAZY. The turmoil your gut goes through (even if you don’t feel it) to break this food down into something it can transfer to cells to use is CRAZY.

Real food gives you lasting nutritional benefits. Energy. Vitamins. Nutrients. Fiber.

Fake food gives you lasting medical issues. I bet you can name someone you know with everyone of these issues: sleeping problems, energy problems, chronic pain, headaches, anxiety, depression. Then there’s things like diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, colitis, IBS, high cholesterol and more. While there are environmental factors to this disease, there’s also a lot to blame on the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Real food gives you lasting benefits like energy, pride and a body less encumbered. Because your body can use real food efficiently and nutrients and energy to cells, you’re going to have more energy. You’re also not slowed down by a digestive system that is literally  like WHAAAAT do I do with all this nonsense?

Pride! That you put your health first, that your clothes fit, that you honor and care for your body.

A body that is free to do more because it’s properly fueled. One that isn’t stopped by figuring out what clothes are going to fit. One that doesn’t have big obstructions when you bend over to do things.

Fake food gives you short term happiness and sacrifices those long term benefits. You feel happy in the moment (and it’s not your fault, your brain is like WOOOO and your gut microbes are like FEED MEEEE. But I teach, I PLEAD, how we can find OTHER sources of temporary, natural highs so that we can still ALSO get those long term benefits too.

I know that’s the logic. But how to put it into action? Actually IMPLEMENTING that can seem overwhelming. Need a coach? I’m your Huckleberry. Fill out the form below and it will come straight to me!

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“Low carb” isn’t the real answer

I’m not really a fan of oatmeal. But when I do eat it, I add pumpkin pie or apple pie spice and a tsp of raw honey.

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I eat a “low carb” diet but only by accident. Rather, I fuel my body with what it needs and it just only needs a small amount of carbs like these.

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I do eat a lot of veggies though. Also carbs.

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The solution isn’t eliminating them all together because the problem isn’t the carbs. It’s the AMOUNT. Carbs provide a LOT of energy. But we are not USING that much energy in a typical day. It’s a simple math equation.

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A friend of mine told me about her food one day through. Cereal in the morning, sandwich for lunch and corn on the cob with dinner. Among other choices.

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When I first started put, I realized this is what I was doing too. (Crappy) Carbs with every meal because they were fast, easy, people didn’t complain about hem and it just seemed normal.

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Now I know. A little with breakfast, a little with lunch and that’s how much I need to build a body I’m proud of. And I do mean a little.

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