I’m just going to get straight to the point here and tell you that what you eat affects your productivity.
Your lack of motivation or energy is not always just due to lack of sleep or your mindset. Often, low energy and decreased productivity are the results of a poor diet.
Food is fuel and the different nutrients that you receive from food are essential for your body to perform certain tasks.
For example, carbohydrates are needed for energy, protein is needed growth, development, and tissue repair, and fats are essential for cushioning our organs and insulating the body.
When your body lacks a certain nutrient it will let you know, often through unpleasant physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, or irritability.
This is a lesson I’ve learned multiple times…
When I was a kid, I constantly had headaches. (I clearly remember my pretty much daily doses of children’s Tylenol.) In high school they were even worse and not a single day went by without one.
It wasn’t until I became interested in health and wellness in college that they finally went away. What changed? I was drinking the correct amount of water for my body! I know for sure that this was the solution to my headache problem because now on the rare occasion that I’m dehydrated the headaches come right back.
The second time I learned this lesson was when I first starting testing out a vegan diet and my skin cleared up! I know now that dairy consumption is the main cause of my acne.
This past week, I learned this lesson once again, this time it was about what happens when I don’t start my day with a protein packed breakfast.
An absolute total lack of energy and motivation, that’s what happens!
I ran out of my Arbonne Protein Powder, which I put in my smoothies every morning, and was at a total loss for a quick vegan protein source.
Side note: This stuff is AMAZING! If you are vegetarian or vegan or just someone who wants to get more protein, I HIGHLY recommend Arbonne. Not only does it taste great, but it is also NONGMO, Gluten Free, Vegan, has a low glycemic index (which means it won’t spike your blood sugar) and is packed with vitamins and minerals.
The first few days without my protein powder I had a banana for breakfast…
YUP... just a banana… yikes.
I can give you a lot of reasons and excuses for why I didn’t make myself a proper breakfast, but none of them would be valid. Self care should always be a priority.
So the first few days of my single banana breakfasts I thought I was just tired, stressed, and emotionally down in the dumps. I had very little energy, no drive to do anything, and I was constantly snacking.
By the fourth day I was getting pretty annoyed with myself! Why can’t I just find the motivation? Why am I so down? I’m having a great week!
It wasn’t until I actually sat down and reflected on my week that I made the connection. Every day I had a horrible breakfast, I had low energy, decreased motivation, and decreased productivity. Duh!
Once again, I learned how strong the connection is between how we take care of ourselves and how our lives play out.
Thankfully I have more protein powder on the way, but until then I’m taking that extra time to make oatmeal or a quinoa bowl in the morning. I know the extra time is worth it to have energy for the rest of the day!
Long story short you have no idea how your eating habits are affecting your life until you change them. You could make one small change to your diet today, that could completely transform your energy levels, productivity, or happiness!
Start taking the time to figure out what your body needs. Don’t forget, YOU don’t allow your body to do things, your body allows YOU to do things. You need to give it what it needs in order to have a happy, healthy, and productive life.
Have you made any dietary changes that have changed your life?
Tell me about them in the comments below!
Happy April! It’s that time of year again when our social media feeds are flooded with memes about flabby winter bodies, and for women everywhere to begin stressing about getting that, “summer body.”
Before I dive into my thoughts on what it means to have a “bikini body” I must confess that feeling good in my own skin for the summer (in terms of weight) is not something I’ve ever really worried about. I’ve never been overweight, nor have I ever gave sh*t if my stomach wasn’t completely flat in my bikini. (It’s called having a normal human body people!)
Now before you decide to hate on me for never feeling chubby and uncomfortable in a bikini, let me remind you that I’m Italian… I have a whole other set of bikini line, stomach hair, leg hair, and underarm hair problems that make me feel plenty uncomfortable in my bikini! So I do understand those moments of feeling totally exposed, imperfect, and wanting to wrap myself in a beach towel and hide.
In recent years I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “If you want to have a bikini body, all you need to do is have a body and have a bikini.”
While I appreciate the thought behind this, and the power it gives woman to not feel like they need to have a certain body type in order to wear a bikini… I personally think this mentality misses the mark.
I don’t think having a “bikini body” has anything to do with your body at all!
I believe it is all about your MINDSET.
Although it has become socially acceptable to wear a bikini even if your body doesn’t fit the “ideal beauty standards” if you still feel awkward and uncomfortable, you don’t have a bikini body.
If you can’t walk around feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin, no matter what size you are, you don’t have a bikini body. (Yup, even the woman who is model skinny, but still feels fat doesn’t have a bikini body)
To me, having a bikini body means NOT WORRYING about having a bikini body! It means being able to just put a bikini on and go have fun at the pool, lake, beach, etc. and not give the way you look a second thought.
Easier said than done, right?
So how do we get the confidence to have a true bikini body?
I believe the best starting point is to get really honest with yourself about why you feel uncomfortable. Is it weight? Body hair? Cellulite? Stretch marks? Why are you uncomfortable? Be real with yourself! If you don’t face the thing that is making you feel uncomfortable, you will never be able to make it better! Instead, you will be trapped in that insecurity forever and no one wants that! So get real.
Once you have figured out what is really holding you back, your next step is to ask yourself the following questions:
-Why does this make me feel uncomfortable?
-Who taught me that this is bad?
-Does it really matter? Why or why not?
I guarantee that if you really dive deep into those questions, you will find that the thing you’re worried about… isn’t even really that important! Not only that, but you will also realize that you were taught to feel insecure. Someone else created the rule or the idea in your head that you have to feel bad about certain things. How ridiculous is that?
After you get clear on the answers to those questions, that the final step is take that power back!
Decide for yourself how you want to feel about your own body.
Decide for yourself if you want to take steps to lose weight or make any other change that might give you more self confidence.
Or just decide you aren’t going to care because it doesn’t matter anyway.
Just remember though that at the end of the day having a “bikini body” isn’t about your body at all, it’s about your confidence.
I wish everyone a very happy and healthy spring that doesn’t involve killing yourself in the gym, eating like a bird, or stressing about the summer days ahead. You are beautiful and ready for summer just the way you are.
Cheerios, Apple Jacks, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Special K Fruit& Yogurt, Blueberry Morning; that was my progression of breakfast cereals from childhood to adulthood. I remember it so clearly because I was very much a creature of habit, only switching up my cereal of choice every few years.
Looking back now, I cringe at the thought of eating Apple Jacks, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or even the Special K Fruit & Yogurt. Why? Because I was starting my day with a bowl full of sugar!
When you pour yourself a bowl of sugary cereal in the morning, you are essentially choosing your seat and getting buckled in for a long day on the blood sugar roller coaster.
What is the Blood Sugar Roller Coaster?
When we take in foods with a high sugar content our blood sugar immediately spikes. Next comes the crash, during which we crave more sugar to deal with the low. When we give in to those craving for sugar, the high kicks in, and is once again followed by the crash, and so up and down the roller coaster we go all day long.
Without getting too scientific, these highs and lows put A LOT of stress on your body! Unbalanced blood sugar can cause weight gain, brain fog, moodiness, headaches, fatigue, and is ultimately a lot of unneeded stress and work for your body!
Unfortunately, with entire aisles of the grocery store dedicated to sugary cereals, and endless combinations of sugar in a cup to choose from at Starbucks or Dunkin for your morning coffee run, it’s easy to see why people fall into a sugary routine.
The good news is, this problem has a really easy fix… read your food labels! Thankfully, by law we have the right to know what's in our food, but many of us don’t use that information to our advantage.
The old rule, don’t judge a book by its cover, applies to cereal boxes as well! Regardless if words such as “whole grain” “high fiber” or “heart healthy” are plastered all across the front of the box, or if the brand selling it has a reputation for being “healthy” don’t take anything at face value. Flip that box over and read the nutrition label. If sugar is one of the first 3 ingredients listed, chances are the cereal is mostly made of sugar. If the amount sugar per serving is double digits, steer clear, and please, if a rabbit, tiger, leprechaun, or a slightly insane bird is trying to sell you the cereal, put it back.
Quickly and easily check the sugar content of your favorite morning coffee using the links below, and don’t forget this rule applies to other breakfast items such as oatmeal packages, pancake mix, and yogurt as well. The less sugar in your morning routine the better!
Please note - In order to see the sugar content of Starbucks drinks you must click on the individual item because they don't include it in the chart you first see.
If you are here reading this blog or checking out this website, you are probably considering hiring a health coach. Maybe you are even trying to figure out what exactly health coach does! Read the information below and take the quiz to find out if hiring a health coach is right for you!
What is a health coach?
A health coach is exactly that, a coach, which by definition means someone who instructs, directs, and trains, who focuses on helping you achieve your health and wellness goals! Health coaches educate and support their clients through behavior and lifestyle adjustments, and provide guidance and accountability that people normally wouldn't have on their own.
Health coaches are not nutritionists, doctors, or medical professionals, but rather, they serve as partners to these individuals, and help serve the growing need for health and wellness guidance.
For me, being a health coach is about being a master of habit change. I help my clients achieve their goals through simple, effective, long lasting, and personalized habit change coaching methods. I have found that being a health coach is about so much more than just giving advice and healthy recipes. I have learned that it is about providing the perfect balance of tough love, and unwavering support and positivity. I take pride in helping my clients learn to acknowledge and celebrate their efforts, big or small, rather than constantly feeling as if they don't measure up. For me, being a health coach is about helping people feel good about themselves, one simple step at a time.
Do I Need a Health Coach? - Quiz
1. Do you have health and wellness goals?
2. Do you struggle to meet those goals?
3. Would you consider yourself overweight?
4. Do you often find yourself overeating or eating for comfort?
5. Do you often find yourself restricting what you eat?
6. Are you confused and overwhelmed by all of the diets, trends, and health information out there?
7. Do you struggle to hold yourself accountable for your health goals?
8. Do you feel you could benefit from a personalized health and wellness plan?
If you answered mostly "yes" than hiring a health coach is right for you! Click the button below to learn more about my programs and services.