Cherish Your Gift

A special gift.

Have you ever had someone give you a gift, like a piece of furniture, jewelry, a painting, or even a small figurine and no matter where you move or what you do, you always take that gift (whether you like it or not) because someone special gave it to you?  

Have you ever kept old hand-me-down furniture in your house because you don’t want to give it away because you don’t want to disrespect it?

Have you ever taken really good care of things that someone else gave you?  Like keep them clean, keep them out where people can see them, tell people about the gift?

Well, I think that is how we should treat the biggest gift of all.  The biggest gift we’ve ever been given.

The gift that God gave us.

Our body.

I’m amazed and honestly, even angered at the way people care or rather don’t care for their bodies. This special, unique, completely miraculous thing that we all have is truly a gift from God.

If you don’t believe in God, then how in the world did we come here?  How did we become a thing? How can you explain having lungs that work in unison with your heart? How can you explain breathing? How can you explain your digestive tract processing, absorbing and distributing nutrients?  How?  (BUT that’s a whole different discussion).

I am in awe of this incredible machine that we all have.  We have all been given such a spectacular and intelligent vehicle to carry our soul around. 

We have feet that keep us up; legs that move us forward and backward; we have arms that hold the things we love; we have hands that create; we have brains that control how we feel, think, see, and hear; we have tongues that help us taste all the food we eat; we have amazing energy systems that run efficiently or adjust when they aren’t well.

But when we don’t take care of our body, all these wonderful parts of our body will start to fail.  Yet, our body is so freaking amazing that it even adjusts and continues to thrive by changing energy systems, by adapting to using any resource it can to keep us alive. 

Your body is the most amazing gift you will ever receive. 

Our body is strong, resilient, and powerful when we treat it appropriately.  It’s even strong and resilient when we don’t treat it appropriately, but it won’t last that way as long or as happily. 

I have been through times of not treating my body the way it deserves.  I still am not perfect about food, exercise, rest and stress management, but when I see people mistreating their body day in and day out, I want to scream! 

Mistreating your body looks like this:

·        Smoking

·        Drinking in excess

·        Using illegal drugs

·        Stuffing fast food in your mouth daily or weekly

·        Sitting on your rear end all day long

·        Taking handfuls of over-the-counter drugs to ease pain too often

·        Taking handfuls of prescription drugs

·        Staying up all night watching TV or playing video games

Mistreating your body can also look like this:

·        Not eating enough

·        Exercising too much

·        Jumping from diet to diet

 Unfortunately, not everyone has been given a fully functioning body.  Not everyone has legs.  Think of people with serious diseases and kids born with spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy, cancer, missing limbs, etc… OR even veterans that have been in serious accidents, losing body parts.

 I bet those people wish so much that they could get up and run, play and do all the things that WE ARE capable of, but don’t fully appreciate.

 When we are born with all our parts working correctly, I believe it’s our responsibility to take good care of this gift. So, I get a little frustrated and upset with people when they don’t. 

 Yes, we will get sick, we will have physical complications, we will get injured, we will not be perfect, but we better damn well do the best we can to honor our God and to honor ourselves by taking the responsibility of loving and caring for this body.

 Some people treat their cars and other possessions better than they treat their own body and life.

 I decided a long time ago that I am going to live this life to the fullest and on top of my priority list is my health.  Without health, I won’t be able to do all the things that I desire to do before I leave this planet. 

 I have mountains to climb, countries to visit, oceans to sail, and people to meet. 

 I honestly don’t care if that sounds selfish.  To be my best to those around me, I have to be MY best and no one else is going to take care of me like I do

 I don’t mean to sound like I’m on a high horse.  I don’t think I’m any better than anyone else.  AND that’s just it!  I’m not an exception.  I’m not any better than you. I’m not better than anyone.  I just made the choice and decision to care.  To stop making excuses.

 Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your life by eating treats in moderation, drinking a glass or two of wine, or having lazy days watching Netflix.  That’s fine!  When your normal day is not moving or only eating a bunch of junk, that’s when there becomes a problem. 

 I don’t want you to look back at your life and think “I really should have tried harder when I could.”

 If you are reading this and you have excess weight to lose, chronic illnesses, inflammation, are addicted to drugs, alcohol or smoking, spend too many hours working, overeat unhealthy foods, skip exercise/movement, or find yourself jumping from one diet to another, please just stop and think about it.

 What can you do to honor this incredible gift? What can you do right now to take action?  What can you do to start appreciating what you have instead of breaking it down more?

 Here’s the other part of this; it’s not just about how you look.  It’s not about your dress size or looking hot in a bikini, it’s about truly striving to keep your body nourished, strong and capable so you can live a high quality, amazing life!

 I’ve made it my purpose and passion in life to help people live a healthy life.  I love more than anything to see someone move from a place of hurt (physically and mentally) to a place of pure joy.  It’s possible.  I’ve done it and I’ve seen it be done over and over.

 The hardest part for me is that I can’t do it for you.  I can’t make you want to be your healthiest.  I can’t eat for you, exercise for you or even cook for you (unless you pay me A LOT).  ONLY YOU have the choice and the power to be an amazing you.  Mind, body and soul. 

 I am ready to help more.  I will be accepting only 10 women into my upcoming program that starts later in June.  If you have more than 30 pounds to lose, are ready to put aside your excuses and truly start living your best life, please consider working with me.  You can email me now to get on the pre-registration list and receive 10% off the program fee.  More details will be available soon!

What the heck is the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load?

Glycemic this and glycemic that. Does it matter?

 In the last couple of weeks I’ve heard these terms thrown around quite a bit and not necessarily in a correct manner, so I decided it was time to give you a little more information on the topic.

 You'll notice that they both begin with "glycemic." That's one tip that they have to do with sugars and carbs. Not only how much sugar is in foods, but more importantly, how it affects your blood sugar levels.

 In general, diets that are high on the glycemic index (GI) and high in glycemic load (GL), tend to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

 FUN FACT: Starches like those in potatoes and grains are digested into sugar; this is because starch is just a bunch of sugars linked together. Digestive enzymes break those bonds so that the sugars become free. Then those sugars affect your body the same way that eating sugary foods do.

 Glycemic Index (“how fast”)

The most common of the two terms is “glycemic index” (GI).

 As the name suggests, it "indexes" (or compares) the effect that different foods have on your blood sugar level. Then each food is given a score from 0 (no effect on blood sugar) to 100 (big effect on blood sugar). Foods that cause a fast increase in blood sugar have a high GI. That is because the sugar in them is quickly processed by your digestive system and absorbed into your blood. They cause a “spike” in your blood sugar.

 So, you can probably guess that pure glucose is given a GI rating of 100. On the other hand, chickpeas are right down there at a GI of 10.

 Regarding GI: low is anything under 55; moderate is 56-69, and 70+ is considered a high GI food.

 Remember, this is a measure of how fast a carbohydrate containing food is digested and raises your blood sugar. It's not a measure of the sugar content of the food.

 How the carbohydrates in food affect your blood sugar level depend on other components of the food. Things like fiber and protein can slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, and this can make even a high-sugar food, low on the GI scale.

 So, lower GI foods are better at keeping your blood sugar levels stable because they don't increase your blood sugar level as fast.

 FUN FACT: Can you guess which food has a GI of higher than 100? (Think of something super-starchy) White potatoes! They have a GI of 111.  BUT, that doesn’t mean you should never eat a white potato.  They are good for helping with muscle growth, recovery and more!  Just be aware.

Glycemic Load (“how much”)

The glycemic load is different.

 Glycemic load (GL) doesn’t take into account how quickly your blood sugar “spikes”, but it looks at how high that spike is. Basically, how much the food increases your blood sugar.

 GL depends on two things. First, how much sugar is actually in the food. Second, how much of the food is typically eaten.

 Low GL would be 0-10,  moderate GL would be 10-20, and high GL would 20+.

 Example of GL and GI

GI GL CHart.JPG

 So, let’s compare average (120 g) servings of bananas and oranges:

 As you can see, the banana and orange have almost the same glycemic index.; this means they both raise your blood sugar in about the same amount of time.

 But, the average banana raises the blood sugar twice as high (11) as the orange does (5). So, it contains more overall sugar than the same amount (120 g) of orange.

 Of course, this is all relative. A GL of 11 is not high at all. Please keep eating whole fruits. :)

What does this all mean for your health?

Certain people should be aware of the effects that foods have on their blood sugar. People who have diabetes or pre-diabetes conditions like insulin resistance need to be aware of the glycemic index and glycemic load of foods they are eating regularly.

 The GI and GL are just two factors to consider when it comes to blood sugar. Some high GI foods are pretty good for you but if you want to reduce the impact on your blood sugar, have them with a high-fiber or high-protein food.

  If you are at risk of diabetes or heart disease, you might try swapping out some higher GI/GL foods and replacing with lower GI/GL foods.

 Oh, and try this low GI recipe I have for you.


Mediterranean Salad

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Serves 2

  •  1 cucumber, chopped

  • ½ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • ½ cup black olives

  • ¼ red onion, diced

  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp garlic

  • 1 tsp basil

  • ½ tsp oregano

  • 1 dash sea salt

  • 1 dash black pepper

 Place first five ingredients together in a bowl.

 Add remaining ingredients to a jar (to make the dressing) with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously.

 Add dressing to salad and gently toss.

 Serve & enjoy!


Are you ready to start taking charge of your health and your happiness? I can help! In June, I will be working with a small group of women who desire to lose 30+ pounds. If you are interested in learning more, get your name on the pre-sale list! Anyone who joins the pre-sale list will get an additional 10% off the program! Email me at raeanne@raeannemullins.com and put “I want my 10% off” in the subject line!

5 Action Steps for Moms to Enjoy Life Now

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers,” Rudyard Kipling

Hey there beautiful mother!

I am writing this to all of you amazing moms out there because you are just that – AMAZING.  Don’t deny it, don’t shrug it off, just accept my compliment and read on.  This blog is meant for any mom, no matter if you have little babies or big, grown babies.  And this blog is also for you soon-to-be moms who have no idea what is about to hit you.  LOL!

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From the moment you see that baby you know you are changed.  You know that now you have the biggest responsibility of your life.  You have created this perfect little human and NOTHING is going to stop you from taking care of him/her or them in some cases (twins).

You are a great protector, hunter, gatherer, doctor, teacher, listener, fixer, coach, confidante, short order cook, baker, fundraiser, organizer, housekeeper, hairdresser, personal driver, massage therapist, shopper, stylist, bank and so much more. 

The time, energy, effort and emotion that you put into your child’s well-being could fuel a 737-jet plane or maybe two.  You lose sleep, you lose time with friends, you lose jobs, you lose your little waist and you lose your desire to accomplish your own goals because your child(ren) is the most important thing in the entire universe.

Good for you. Good for you putting so much time and energy into your child.  Good for you for putting this human before your own needs.  Good for you for sacrificing your own dreams for the future and health of your child. You are doing a great job!  Yay mom!

But honey, these beautiful little humans grow up.  They start to be their own hunters, gatherers, cooks, drivers, hairdressers, and stylists.  They get their own friends, not the ones you arranged playdates with, and they start having their own hopes and desires.

My mother and I at my wedding. I’m sure she couldn’t believe her baby was getting married!

My mother and I at my wedding. I’m sure she couldn’t believe her baby was getting married!

As a mom of young children, this can seem so so far away.  Trust me, it happens before you even realize it.  I still have my kids at home, they are 14 and 16, but I CANNOT believe how fast the years have flown by.  I cannot believe that in a short 4 years I will not have kids at home anymore.  It’s insane to even think of that.

I promise you, the time will pass quickly and before you know it, you are no longer the most important person in their life.  Yikes – hard reality.  Sure, you’ll still be a shoulder to cry on and important in many aspects, but our kids won’t need us forever.

So mom, where does that leave you?

Where is that pre-child woman?

Where did your hopes and dreams go?

I talk to so many women who are in the throngs of raising children.  They work, sleep, eat and poop kid sports and activities, kid clothes, kid food and kid toys. 

Many of these women come to me to help them lose the extra mom-weight they’ve gained over the years of taking care of their kids.  Some of them come to me to start exercising.  Some of them come to me to learn how to cook better for themselves and for the kids. 

BUT the main theme is that they all want their life back. 

These moms have spent most of their adult years being a mom.  Then they realize they have gained weight, have high cholesterol, maybe pre-diabetes and have a bad back or bad knees.  They feel lost, they feel behind and they feel like they have lost their opportunity to be something more.

The great news is that there is still time.  As long as you are still on this planet, you have time to turn things around. I don’t care how much weight you have to lose or how out of shape you have gotten, YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY RIGHT NOW TO CHANGE. 

AND lucky for you young moms, you can do something now before this even happens to you! 

I feel very fortunate that I realized this was going to happen to me too if I didn’t act right away. 

Now, you may be thinking that you don’t want to be selfish.  You don’t want to be anything other than a super mom. 

That’s awesome!  You CAN BE a Super Mom AND still have your own life and health! 

I promise it’s possible!!

The last thing I want for you is for you to wake up one day years after the kids are gone and think; “What did I do with my life?”  or “What did I do for myself?”

I would even argue that it’s important for your kids to see you doing this as well.  It’s important for your kids, no matter their age, see you doing something for yourself.  Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to show love to your kids AND it makes you a really awesome role model too!

Please don’t take me wrong; raising kids is an important and tough job.  Also, if your only dream in life is to raise kids, then rock on with yourself!  BUT, even if that is your biggest dream, you will still have so much life left AFTER kids.  Don’t forget about that part.

Here are 5 Action Steps to Being an AMAZING Mom AND to living an AMAZING and healthy life. Some of these I learned the hard way and some of these I conquered early on.

1.      Move your body! 

Exercising your body is one of the BEST ways to reduce your stress levels.  We all know that having kids can be very stressful.  So, move your body to keep your mind strong AND your body strong.  Carrying children around is not easy, so keep your body strong so you can handle the extra load.  Have older kids?  Keep your body strong so that you can keep up with them!  Keep your body strong so that you can participate in activities with them.  One of my favorite activities is playing basketball with my son – if I wasn’t strong, I couldn’t do it.  JUST MOVE YOUR BODY!! 

2.      Learn how to cook healthy. 

One of my favorite things to do is cook a meal while having conversation with my kids.  Eating together can be a wonderful experience (and also a horrible experience, but let’s stay positive here). Cooking not only nourishes your family, but it can bring your family together.  Our country is full of obese children and parents, so learning this one task can help everyone and be a good quality time activity.  Mostly, it will keep you healthy and strong to continue being a great mother.

3.      Go out with friends without the kids.  YOU NEED TIME AWAY FROM YOUR KIDS.  It’s not mean to need space.  It’s not bad to want to hang out with friends and not talk about dirty diapers and dance class.  It’s critical to have your own friends that you can share with and have a margarita with on Taco Tuesday.  You need the time to recharge your battery.  This time away will help you handle the everyday stress of motherhood.  Just do it!  OR go to Target alone – that’s fun too.

4.      Go on a date with Dad.  Don’t forget about Dad!  He needs you too.  Remember he’s the one that got you in this situation!  He needs to feel the love too.  Setting a time away from the kids is very important for a strong marriage.  So many marriages “end” when kids come in to the picture.  I believe that’s partly due to the fact that kids take our time and energy and then we have little left for our spouses.  Being a happy couple starts with being proactive.  When you let the kids take over your life, they also inadvertently take over your marriage too.  Make the time to have dates and remember why you fell in love in the first place.  The kids will be happy to see you happy together!

5.      Say NO more often.  Seriously – you have to be willing to say “no” sometimes!  I am the world’s worst at saying no, so this has been a tough one for me.  Saying “no” to volunteering, to church, to the school, to your kids, to your boss, to your clients, to your neighbors.  You must set limits or else you will never have time for yourself.  If you keep saying “yes” to everyone and everything, the requests will keep coming and you will be sucked into other peoples’ issues.

As I was writing this, I thought of MANY tips that I’ve discovered over time for myself.  If you can just start with the big ones (which I think are above), then you will be doing great!

From one mother to another, I hope you have an AMAZING Mother’s Day and are treated like the queen you are. 

Just FYI- I’m super stoked to be opening up a new, very personalized 90-Day program this Summer!  I will spill the beans in a couple weeks!

OMG- I gained 9 pounds on vacation!

I went on a first-time cruise to the Caribbean with my family for Spring Break this year.  The trip was actually a celebration for my husband and I as we just had our 20 year wedding anniversary.  Yay us!

In preparation for the trip I was eating extra clean and was switching up my workouts some so that I would feel comfortable (as best I can) in my bathing suit and shorts.  But overall, I wasn’t really worried about it.

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What I did not plan for was the enormous amounts of food and fruity frozen cocktails that were tempting me from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep at night.

I had heard stories of people gaining anywhere from 10-30 pounds on a cruise!  Yes, I actually know someone who gained 30 pounds!

“Not me! I never gain weight on vacation because I know how to choose healthy foods and I exercise,” I said to myself. 

<Insert cough here.>

Well, I caved.  I didn’t even think about what I was eating. I just ate freely.  I ate cookies, quesadillas, hashbrowns – the fried, greasy kind, drank multiple Miami Vice’s (holy shit these are amazing), drank lattes with real milk and cream, I even ate a cream-filled donut (which was disgusting, but I slammed her down anyway!), and of course I drank beer because I love it.

Now, I love to workout, so I visited the ship’s gym daily.  I ran on the treadmill (not easy when the ship is tipping back and forth), lifted weights, did my own personal boot camp session and more!  I enjoyed it so much. 

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I knew I had done some damage – workouts or not. 

I mean, I was eating gluten, dairy, sugary crap and drank way too much alcohol.  So, why the hell was I so surprised to see I had gained 9 pounds?! 

Here’s the thing though.  I’m not scared of those 9 pounds.  Nope. 

I am completely aware of what I did and guess what?  It was perfect!  I needed a moment like that to appreciate how amazing I feel when I DON’T do that. 

I should mention that I felt like hammered rat shit the entire time. My joints were swollen, my eyes were puffy, my fingers wouldn’t grasp anything due to the pain and inflammation in my finger joints and I felt like I had a bowling ball in my gut.  (Yes, “hammered rat shit” is a thing. LOL!

Now that I’m back from vacation, I figure I have 3 choices of what to do now and here they are:

1)     I could totally freak out and starve myself and spend hours doing cardio workouts to “burn off” the excess pounds. 

2)     I could totally freak out and continue the eating freight train. I could feel bad about myself and stuff my emotions with more of the glutenous, sugary foods and alcohol that got me here in the first place. OR

3)     I could just do what I normally do when I am at home.  Live a health-conscious, active and real lifestyle that isn’t extreme either way.

You guessed it!! I am doing #3! 

There is absolutely ZERO reason to freak out at all.  I know what I did. I know that I don’t do that normally.  So, I will move forward like nothing happened.

After 3 full days of being home and doing what I normally do (eat lots of protein, fiber and water along with small amounts of starchy carbs and healthy fats), I am already down 4 of those 9 pounds.  I have worked out a normal amount – no extra sessions. 

As a side note:  When you are inflamed from overeating or whatever reason, it’s not a great idea to over-exercise because you may in fact injure yourself.  When your joints are inflamed, you need to take care of them, not pound them into the ground!

So, please learn from me that shit happens.   Weight gain happens when you are not doing your normal eating.  UNLESS of course your normal eating is like my vacation eating.  If it is – STOP IT! 

I hope you find it encouraging that a fitness/nutrition/health professional can also have these moments of “going off” the tracks.  Nobody is perfect.

If you are someone who does not already have a realistic, healthy approach to eating while you are NOT on vacation, let’s talk! I can show you how to live a happy, fun and realistic lifestyle. One that will allow you to just be free on vacations and one that will help keep your blood sugar level, your inflammation down and your weight off your mind.

Contact me if you would like a free 15 minute consultation call to see if I am the coach for you!

How Can I Get Enough Vitamin D?

How Can I Get Enough Vitamin D?

Did you know that Vitamin D is one of the most common deficiencies? It’s very possible you are deficient right now! It can be very difficult to get enough Vitamin D.

 When we think of "vitamins," we know they're super-important for health. 

But vitamin D is special.

So, let's talk about how much of this critical fat-soluble vitamin we need, and how you can get enough. The three ways to vitamin D are:

  • exposure to the sun,

  • consuming vitamin D containing food,

  • and through supplements.

 

Why is vitamin D important, and how much do we need?

Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium from our food and acts like a hormone to help us build strong bones. Vitamin D can also help with:

  • immune function,

  • cellular growth,

  • and help to prevent mood imbalances such as depression and seasonal disorders.

 

Not getting enough vitamin D can lead to:

  • bone diseases like osteomalacia,

  • increase your risk of heart disease,

  • autoimmune diseases,

  • certain cancers,

  • and even death (Yikes!)

The "official" minimum amount of vitamin D to strive for each day is merely 400-600 IU. Many experts think that this is not nearly enough for optimal health.

 To ensure you get adequate amounts of vitamin D, you can implement any combination of the three vitamin D sources mentioned above on a weekly basis.

How can I get enough vitamin D from the sun?

sun cartooon.jpg

Your skin makes vitamin D when it's exposed to the sun; that's why it's referred to as the "sunshine vitamin."How much vitamin D your skin makes depends on many things. Location, season, clouds, clothing, all affect the amount of vitamin D your skin can produce from the sun.

One standard recommendation is to get about 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. to the face, arms, legs, or back. This should be done without sunscreen, at least twice a week.

Of course, we should always avoid sunburns and of course in some locations (and seasons of the year) it's not easy to get sun exposure.  So, how can we get enough vitamin D in other ways?


How can I get enough vitamin D from food?

Vitamin D is naturally found in fatty fish, liver, and egg yolks. Some mushrooms make vitamin D when they're exposed to the sun.

Some foods are "fortified" (which means vitamin D has been added) with vitamin D. These include milk, some orange juices, breakfast cereals, and yogurt. It will say on the label how much vitamin D has been added per serving.

 Because vitamin D is fat-soluble, you can increase absorption of it from your food if you eat it with some fat (healthy fat, of course).

I’ve included a recipe at the bottom of this email!

Between sun exposure and food, it still may be difficult to get even the minimum of 400 IU of vitamin D each day; this is why vitamin D supplements are quite popular.

How can I get enough vitamin D from supplements?

It's easy enough to just "pop a pill" or take some cod liver oil (which also contains vitamin A). Either of these can ensure that you get the minimum amount of vitamin D, plus a bit extra.

But before you take vitamin D containing supplements, make sure you check that it won't interact with other supplements or medications you may be taking. Always read your labels, and ask a healthcare professional for advice.

Do not take more than the suggested dosage on the label of any vitamin D supplement, except under medical care.

The maximum amount recommended (for the general population) is 4,000 IU/day. Too much vitamin D can raise your blood levels of calcium (to an unsafe level), and this can affect your heart and kidneys.

The best thing, if you're concerned, is to ask your healthcare professional to do a blood test and make a recommendation about how much vitamin in supplement form is right for you. Your healthcare practitioner may recommend higher amounts of vitamin D supplementation for a short time while under their care.

Personal Story

A couple years ago I noticed that I was extremely fatigued, irritable, sore and just not feeling like myself. A lot was going on - super busy, working out too much and just stressed out. So, I figured it was all of that, BUT to my surprise, I was extremely deficient in Vitamin D. I had other deficiencies as well, but I started a Vitamin D supplement and really focused on increasing foods containing Vit D and did the sun exposure when I could.

It was a short 3 months and I was feeling so much better! Now, I take a Vitamin D supp everyday!

 
Conclusion:

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin which; many people have a hard time maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D.  There are three ways to get enough vitamin D: sun exposure, through certain foods, and in supplements.

 I've given you some ideas how you can get the minimum 400-600 IU or vitamin D daily.

 Remember, if you're concerned, it's best to request a blood test that tests your vitamin D levels to be sure what's right for you. Always take supplements as directed.

One of the biggest benefits of working with me as your health coach is that I understand how to read your lab results from the doctor and can help guide you, with your doctor’s approval, on your supplement intake. I currently have 2 One-on-One personal coaching slots open. If you think you might need a health/wellness coach on your side - give me a shout!

If you’ve ever felt alone on the journey of getting and staying healthy, let’s talk. I will be your guide, support, and wellness advocate! CONTACT ME


Recipe (vitamin D): Super-Simple Grilled Salmon

Serves 4

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  •  4 wild salmon fillets

  • 1 bunch asparagus

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley

  • 1/4 tsp. dried dill

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

 Preheat the oven broiler and raise the oven rack. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and place fish on top, skin-side down. Surround with a single layer of asparagus.

 Sprinkle the fish and asparagus with sea salt, pepper, parsley, and dill. Drizzle with olive oil.

 Broil for 8-10 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork.

 Serve & enjoy!

 Tip: Serve with a side of rice or quinoa.


Move it OR Lose it?

“Move it TO Lose it” OR “Move it OR Lose it”

Both of these terms are all over the weight loss industry.  I’m going to break down what each phrase means and how I interpret them in my life and in my coaching business.

“You’ve got to move it to lose it!”

I can just imagine this mantra being shouted out at a large boot camp facility or during a Weight Watchers meeting as all the participants raise a fist in the air.  It’s intended to motivate and inspire movement and exercise.  All good stuff.

This quote or phrase means that if you don’t exercise you will not lose the weight, the fat, or the inches Exercise is a critical part of the weight loss and fat loss equation. 

BUT…

So many people get this wrong.  Of course, they don’t mean to and really want to take the advice and add exercise to their schedule.  People hear all the time that you have to burn calories to create a caloric deficit to lose weight.  Exercise is definitely one way to do it, but how much should you do and should this be the only way to lose weight?

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Cardio, weights, yoga, stretching, cardio, weights, Barre class, Pump class, cycle class, running, elliptical, circuit class, HIIT, Zumba, boot camp, and the list can go on and on…

GREAT!  These are all great classes and workouts to do if they are working for you and if you enjoy them. 

Where people go wrong is when they choose exercise as their main mode to lose weight instead of looking at how they are fueling/feeding their body. 

Exercise can only do so much for your results for so long. 

If you do use exercise as your main tool to lose weight and inches, your body will get accustomed to the exercise and you’ll have to keep increasing the intensity of the exercise and/or time that you do the exercise.  Your body adapts to the effort – no matter what size you are. At some point this is not going to be sustainable.

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Also, if you build your entire weight loss strategy around exercise, what happens to your plan if you get injured or need surgery and have to stop the exercise?  There goes your entire plan out the window!

 Then there is this idea…

“If you don’t move it, you’ll lose it.”

Absolutely.  If you don’t move your body, your muscles, or your bones, you will lose “it” meaning mobility, balance, and strength. 

Our body is meant to move. Have you ever noticed how tight and stiff you feel after sitting for hours?  Maybe you are on a long car trip and you sit for 2 or more hours.  When you stand up, you feel tight in your low back, in your hips, in your calves, and in your neck.  It’s because you need to keep your muscles and joints mobile or else they get stiff and lose elasticity.

Sure, exercise can make you sore and stiff too when you do too much or if you are trying to gain muscle.  There’s a good reason for this as well.

In general, whether you attend the above-mentioned classes (or do any formal workouts) or not, you MUST keep your body in motion. 

Much of our society stays seated most of the day, not moving very much except to get from point A to point B.  We are a busy society, constantly working hard, pushing ourselves to work more and more, so it’s easy to see why so many of us sit a lot during the day.

Also, people with injuries may tend to shy away from movement in fear of having pain.  However, movement may be exactly what they need to keep the pain levels down.

To “move it or lose it” you don’t have to punish your body every time you get in the gym.  You don’t even have to go to a gym! It just means that you do some type of movement every day.  I mean EVERY SINGLE DAY!

 

Here are some tips for keeping your body in motion besides formal workout sessions:

1.      Go for a walk.  Couldn’t be more simple.  Doesn’t have to be long.  Doesn’t have to be hilly.  You don’t have to hold little hand weights.  Just put on your shoes, open the front door and go!  If you’re just starting out – aim to walk one direction for 5 minutes, turn around and come home.  Easy.  If you are more advanced, aim to walk for 30 minutes a day.  You’ll be amazed at how it helps to clear your mind and keep your body feeling less achy and stiff.  Enjoy the walk, feel how good it feels to be moving in the fresh air. 

2.      Clean the house.  This could mean dusting the tables, vacuuming the carpet, wiping the counters off, doing the laundry (yuck- I don’t do laundry), cleaning the inside of the windows, making beds, etc…  This is functional movement – not only are you moving your body, but you’re knocking out some chores.

3.      Dance.  Turn on your favorite tunes and get down!  Seriously, have fun!  Life is too short to not turn on the music and dance like no one is watching.  I have a dance party every afternoon.  You know that time of the day when you want to eat something because you’re tired and sick of working?  Well, that’s when I break it down.  I listen to all different styles of music and dance like crazy!  The dogs love it too!

4.      Stretch.  Stretching is also a form of movement for your body.  This is especially important if you do a lot of other exercise.  So many people walk straight out of the gym without stretching a single muscle.  This adds so much stress to your ligaments and tendons – as your muscles get tighter and tighter, you risk inuring your tendons or getting a pulled muscle or even cramps.  You need to lengthen the muscles to keep them strong and pliable. 

5.      Play a sport.  We have a basketball hoop at my house, so I shoot baskets and attempt to play a game of basketball with my son.  I’m getting a little scared to do this these days because I think he forgets I’m his mother and not another 14 year old boy.  BUT, it’s fun to get outside, shoot the ball, move around and spend time with my son. 

6.      Play Chase with your kids, your grandkids or your dogs.  I literally chase my dogs around the yard or my house daily.  I’m sure I look a little funny, but I don’t care.  That’s why I’m the favorite human in the house because I play with the furry kids.  They love it, I get movement and we are all happy.  Except sometimes Max gets too excited and will accidentally bite me and then the fun ends. 

7.      Stand and pace more.  Just standing alone will help give you more opportunity to move.  If you are on the phone, pace the room while you talk.  If you are working on your computer, try to lift your computer to a higher surface and work standing. 

 No matter what you do, get up and move your body for 30 minutes every day or more if you can!  Even if you need to do it in small bursts  - like 5-10 minute increments. It’s ok!  Just move.

 In fact, one of the best ways to keep your metabolism flexible is to do more NEAT exercise. This is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.  That’s just movement.  The more NEAT you do, the more calories you will burn over the entire day and the better your metabolism will adapt to your activity, stress and food intake.

 Bottom line:

MOVE IT TO LOSE IT and MOVE IT OR LOSE IT! Just be sensible about both options!

If you like my realistic approach to a healthy lifestyle, I would love the opportunity to work with you! I only have a few spaces open for one-on-one coaching, but I do have a membership group that is all about living your best life! If you want more information for working with me one-on-one - CLICK HERE. If you want info on my group membership program- CLICK HERE.