What Can Detoxing Do for You?

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Detoxing has become a popular way for people to restore their health, jumpstart their metabolism and kick off a weight-loss or clean-eating program. There are many reasons a detox can be beneficial, and done right, detoxing does a great job of helping you achieve those goals.

However, there are many different ways to detox, and the process you choose should be based on your individual needs, challenges, goals, and preferences. Don't just jump on the detox bandwagon without doing your research first! Beware of any program that requires extreme calorie deprivation or prolonged fasting, even juice fasting, as these extreme protocols can do more harm than good.

While healthy eating and/or detoxing should not feel like an exercise in depriving yourself, nearly all programs include refraining from one main food that may be the cause of many of the symptoms people suffer from most – fatigue, bloating, moodiness, headaches, congestion, itchiness, and stomach upset issues of one kind or another. That one food is sugar.

Consuming sugar does more than cause weight gain; it causes inflammation, belly fat storage, and spikes in your blood sugar that create a roller-coaster effect: it provides a burst of energy, but then it depletes your energy, so you crave MORE sugar. The more you eat, the more you want, and its effect on your body makes it nearly impossible to lose weight or reduce your symptoms.

Did you over-indulge over the holiday season? Have you been feeling more sluggish or achy than usual? Has your stomach been upset for days (weeks or years!)? Do you suffer from headaches, heartburn, or have trouble sleeping? Do you feel like your clothes have shrunk? Do you want to get back on track, feel and look fabulous and have more confidence? Would you love to fit into your skinny jeans? If you answered yes to any of these questions, embarking on a detox or clean-eating program for 10 to 21 days may be a great way to remedy your symptoms, increase your energy and lose the post-holiday padding. My best advice includes:

1) Recognize that there are many types of detoxes – they don’t all involve juicing, fasting, or deprivation. In fact, my program includes real, whole food at every meal – plus snacks, and a wide variety of easy, delicious recipes. Remember, a detox isn’t just about what you DON’T eat – it’s also about what you DO eat and how you nourish your body, mind and spirit.

2) Ask yourself how you feel, what you want and why you want it. Write it down. Don't rely on willpower for motivation! You need a driving purpose to keep you in the game. 

3) Get Support – Don't try to go it alone. Get a close friend or loved one to detox with you and/or talk to an expert who can help you determine the right approach for your individual goals. Prep week for my Reboot Your Bod 21-day winter detox starts Tuesday, January 2nd and the detox begins on Monday, January 8th. This is a great opportunity to reboot your system with a great group of like-minded people, and start the New Year feeling great! Read more about it here.

I’m happy to answer your questions about detoxing and help you find a program that’s right for you. YOU CAN DO IT. I can help you! Click here to schedule a free 50-minute Coffee Talk.

Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail and How You Can Make Sure Yours Succeed!

Did you know that 95% of New Year’s resolutions are forgotten or denied by the last day of January? Studies find that by February, many people are further behind than when they made the resolution! Here are some of the reasons why, and what you can do to avoid the pitfalls.

Challenge: New Year’s is a false start-time influenced by a group mindset. People have a greater chance of succeeding when they have laid the groundwork for success and considered the best time to begin working on their goals. January 1st is an arbitrary date, and we get caught up in feeling as if everyone is doing it. That said, there are some great ways to kick off the New Year on a positive note by taking care of your physical and emotional health and establishing healthy habits.

Solution: Collaborate with a friend or coach to pick a start date that’s right for you to begin working toward your goals. For example, if your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight, you may first want to keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, then clean out the “temptations” from your pantry and refrigerator. This helps you set up for success from the start. The best way to accomplish a long-term goal is to work toward it all year long. If you do choose to participate in a January health or fitness program, look for something like my Reboot Your Bod Detox that will teach you healthy, sustainable habits that you can incorporate in your daily life long after the program ends. 

Challenge: We set vague and/or unattainable goals. Resolutions are typically black and white – dealing in absolutes: I will quit smoking. I will exercise every day. I will not spend money. Goals like these set you up for failure before you even begin!

Solution: Set realistic and specific goals. Don’t try to fix everything all at once. Focus on what is most important to you right now, for THIS year. For example, “I will lose weight” is not a specific goal; however, “I will lose 10 pounds” is both specific and measurable. To make it realistic, give yourself a reasonable timeframe to attain your goal and set smaller, weekly goals. Then, celebrate when you’ve reached that first weekly goal, such as losing your first pound or two!

Challenge: It is difficult to stay motivated day after day, week after week. If we decide to give up or give in, who’s really going to call us on it? In order to make true change, we need to “retrain our brain,” create new habits and ensure accountability.

Solution: The #1 tip from health experts is: get support. Have an accountability partner, work with a Wellness Coach one-on-one, or exercise with a “workout buddy.” Accountability increases your opportunity for success by more than 50 percent! For example, with a Wellness Coach, you can explore your individual challenges and what’s holding you back, without feeling judged. With a workout buddy, you’ll show up on time, week after week, and have someone with whom to share your successes and hardships!

Try these other proven tips:

Picture your preferred future. Close your eyes. Picture how you will look, act, talk, walk, smile, when you’ve achieved your goal.

Feel the feeling of success. Consider how you will you feel once you’ve achieved your goal: Happy? Confident? “Lighter?” Go ahead and let yourself imagine it! Be specific – are you walking down the aisle in your wedding gown (or bridesmaid dress)? Are you dancing in skinny jeans and sexy heels? Are you on the beach in a bathing suit – without a cover up? Visualizing yourself as already having achieved your goals will help you stay on track toward what’s truly important to you.

Understand what de-rails you. Have you ever heard of “emotional eating?” That’s when we use food to comfort us when we’re depressed, scared or stressed out, for example. Let’s say you get upset at work; you may head to the vending machine thinking something sweet or salty will make you feel better. (It won’t.) Or if you’re bored, you might find yourself mindlessly eating chips in front of the T.V. Identifying your own unique, emotional eating triggers is the first step toward creating new healthy habits!

Start with these tips to help you ring in the New Year – healthier, happier, and with more intention and compassion for yourself!

Boost Your Brain Health With Meditation and Prayer

Amazing changes happen to your mind and body when you meditate or pray. During meditation and prayer, there is a physiological shift that takes place called the "relaxation response" (RR). This response is exactly the opposite of the stress response that so many of us chronically experience in our daily lives. You may think you have lots of ways to relax - sleeping, watching TV, reading - but these activities don't have the same physiological effects as meditation and prayer.

In addition to changes in brain waves, heart rate and respiration rate, meditation allows you to disengage from the thinking process. You become a detached observer of the clutter that fills your mind and learn to let go of it all, one breath, one moment at time. Your troubles won't magically disappear, but your perspective about them will shift, even if you meditate just a few days a week. Prayer has been shown to have similar effects.

So how does Meditation work?

When you are stressed (and let's face it, who isn't?), your body releases hormones that have a negative impact on your health. Research shows that having stress hormones (e.g., cortisol) circulating through your body for prolonged periods is associated with certain diseases. Meditation and prayer bring about the Relaxation Response and reduce the levels of stress hormones your body produces. Now, your immune system is better able protect you from illness, recover quickly, and restore optimal wellbeing.

What can Meditation and Prayer Do For You? Alot!

  • Reduce tension-related pain
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Strengthen neural pathways
  • Improve emotional stability
  • Enhance creativity
  • Boost brain chemicals associated with mood, memory and learning

Start a Meditation Practice

Begin with 5 minutes a day and progress to 20 minutes at least 3-4 times a week. Use sounds of nature, music, a candle, or a guided imagery to help you get started. Meditation is often done seated or lying down. Use cushions or a chair to support your posture. Eyes closed or open is up to you.

When you pray, begin with expressing gratitude to your higher power for all of the good things in your life. Then give all of your concerns over and ask for help and direction with all of your concerns. Visualize placing all of your worries, hopes and dreams in the hands of your higher power and allowing them to carry any burdens and bless you with your heart's desires. 

You'll soon discover that meditation and/or prayer is a state of mind involving awareness and acceptance, that you can do in the midst of any activity. Namaste!

Reduce Your "Foodprint" and Slash Your Grocery Budget

Every day, Americans throw out enough food to fill the Rose Bowl stadium! As much as 40% of edible food in the United States goes uneaten. Holy Crap, right?! That's a drain on your wallet of between $28-$43 a month and all of that uneaten, but perfectly good food doesn't just lay waste to your budget, it rots in landfills and pollutes the planet.

While your virtual self is looking for spare change in that mountain of food trash, we've got good news: With a little mindfulness, there are easy ways to reduce your "foodprint" and put money back in your pocket!

Net-Zero Your Fridge. Before you restock, make sure it's emptied of all edible food. If you really must stick to a shopping schedule, try freezing, canning or preserving foods.

Befriend Your Freezer. Most frozen foods remain safe indefinitely. Freeze leftovers if you won't have the chance to eat them before they go bad.

FIFO Your Meals. Plan and cook meals using the "First In, First Out" rule. Place the most recently bought items toward the back so older items, in the front, are used first.

Love Leftovers. Look for recipes that will help you get creative with using leftovers.

Shop Smarter. Plan your shopping and avoid impulse buys. If you have no idea how much food your family wastes in a month, do what restaurants do to manage profit and loss: keep a log of what you buy and what you throw away.

Get Savvy about Expiration Dates. "Sell-by" and "use-by" dates are manufacturer suggestions for peak quality. The dates are not federally regulated to indicate safety, except on certain baby foods. Not sure if you should keep a food or toss it? Search online for a shelf life guide.

Bought Too Much? Donate or Compost. Non-perishable and unspoiled food can be donated to a food bank, soup kitchen, church, or a neighbor in need. Perishable food you can't donate can be composted to recycle their nutrients and nourish the planet.

Use the Resources List to access charts, instructions, and tools to help you reduce your foodprint.

5 Tips For Successful Resolutions

 

Every January 1st, 41 percent of Americans resolve to lose weight or get in shape. (More than half have made this same resolution for five years or more!) In fact, health clubs and gyms see an increase in membership of 25% during the first week of January alone! But by January 30th, 95% of resolutions are dropped and most of us quickly go back to our old habits. What can you do to achieve your health and wellness goals this year?

Here are 5 Top Tips for turning your dreams into reality this year:

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1. Do it “write”. Studies show that the simple act of writing down your intentions helps your mind and body connect and increases your chances of success. Select no more than three resolutions and write them on a piece of paper. Include specifics that you can measure (i.e. I will lose 10 pounds by June 1st; I will have no more than one glass of wine per week). Post your resolutions in a visible place -- your bathroom mirror or the dashboard of your car, for example, and say them out loud to yourself each day.

2. Plan ahead. Now that you’ve created your resolutions, plan the specific actions you’ll need to take to achieve them – don’t leave it to chance! For example, if your goal is to "exercise daily," mark your calendar with the workout classes you’ll attend. Pack your gym bag the night before, and take healthy snacks to work or in your car for pre-workout energy. As another example, if your goal is to “eat healthy meals” cook a week’s worth of soup, quinoa, vegetables, beans, etc. and pack your lunch each morning.

3. Get to the source of what’s sabotaging your efforts. Are you in a bad relationship that causes you to splurge on sweets every night? Are you stressed out at work from a demanding boss and feel too drained to exercise after work? Keep a journal and get in touch with what's eating you. See if you can make slight changes to the way you respond to situations. Or perhaps it’s time to look for a new job or relationship! When you are able to recognize and tackle the root cause of why you eat or why you don’t exercise, it will be easier to reach your goals without turning to food for “comfort.”

4. Visualize what your life will look like when you achieve your resolutions. Start by asking yourself: What do I want and why do I want it? If you resolve to lose 20 pounds, how will this benefit you? (i.e. more energy, more confidence, longer life.) Picture how you will look – what are you wearing? A little black dress? Skinny jeans? How do you feel? Visualizing yourself as having achieved your goals will help you stay on track toward what’s truly important to you.

5. Share your resolutions with friends and family. When you tell others, your commitments become more real and you become accountable. Consider finding a “workout buddy” or invite friends over to cook and eat new healthy recipes. See my Recipes page for tasty, healthy options!

Follow these 5 top tips and this may be the last year you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get healthy!

Here's to your success and a happy, healthy New Year!