Even when you begin improving your eating habits, incorporating cleaner foods and better practices, you can still fall victim to the massive carb craving.
Do you feel me?
Sometimes, we attribute these carb cravings to a lousy day at work or a stressful situations at home, but carb cravings can also come from physiological imbalances.
When you feel stress, cortisol, the stress hormone, skyrockets along with your blood sugar. To compensate, your body releases the fat storage hormone, insulin, to help bring your blood sugar back to stable. When that happens, the insulin tends to overcompensate, and your blood sugar dips lower than it should. Your body becomes confused and thinks it needs more energy, and thus, a carb craving is born.
Now that you've got a sense of the science…
Here are a few of my favorite tricks on how to SWAP it OUT!
The Salty Swap. Next time you can't shake your craving for a crunchy, salty snack like potato chips, go for something that gives you what you want in a healthy way. For example, carrot and celery sticks with a side of hummus will fill you up and fuel you for the rest of your day. Or my favorite… make popcorn on the stove top! So easy and delicious… over medium high heat, put a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil in a large pan with one kernel, cover, and when it pops, add about 1/4 c. of kernels and VOILA! Sprinkle with a little sea salt to fulfill your saltiest desires.
The Sugary Sweet Swap. Sweet tooth at it again? Next time you're longing for a dessert, trick your brain with something naturally sweet that isn’t full of refined sugars and processed junk. A square of dark chocolate (go for at least 80% cacao) is a satisfyingly indulgent choice that won’t derail your habits. You could also have a banana “shake” using almond milk, cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla extract for a treat will satisfy your sweet tooth.
The Pasta and Bread Swap. And of course, there’s the staple items you’ve always eaten with every meal because that’s what you’re used to. Rice, pasta, bread, even cereal…these are all high-carb foods that can get you stuck in a carb craving pattern if you eat them too often. Luckily, there are swaps you can make that will fill you up while still being wholly satisfying. You guys knew this was coming… Cauliflower is a great way to make pizza crust, breadsticks, mashed “potatoes,” and rice. Seriously, it is delicious and satisfying!
So take note… and next time those carb cravings hit… go for a swap!
What is the first one that you will TRY?
Last week, as we prepared to bring 2017 to a close, I asked the question:
I shared that I was so focused on looking ahead to the new year, and frankly, judging what I hadn’t done in the current, that I lost sight of what I accomplished and how I grew…
But here we now are in 2018…
The new year is fresh.
The new year is clean.
The new year is full of possibilities.
Okay, I get it, big question…
So let’s focus in a bit here…
In my health coaching practice, I work with people to help them better understand the “primary food groups” in their lives. And no, this is not carbs, proteins, and fats… rather, it is about what fuels are soul.
And it is when these areas are out of alignment, or we don’t feel satisfied in them, well, that is when the actual food can become a struggle…
So when I ask you what you want to make of this new year, I challenge you to choose ONE thing in each of these areas that will improve your overall life.
This does not need to be grandiose, it might be as simple as talking more/texting less to have more fulfilling relationships in your life.
So that is your charge for today… as this new year shines upon us, reflect on how satisfied you are in these “primary” food groups and choose ONE thing in each that will help you to make each day a little more lively.
And… it just so happens that I am talking ALL about this in this week’s podcast:
Hope you’ll tune in…
So who out here has a sweet tooth?
Any hands raised high, like mine?!
Well this time of year can be a challenge if we aren’t careful because there are sweets EVERYWHERE.
And we all know, once you start, it can be hard to STOP!
So let’s take a seasonal staple and use it’s delicious and vitamin packed self to satisfy our cravings!
Yes, I’m talking about the fabulous SWEET POTATO!
They're delicious, grounding, and so versatile with many ways to add them to your dishes. But few people know what to do with them besides merely baking them or serving them in that almost dessert-like way that we most commonly associate with the holidays.
These spuds are the real deal… an excellent source of beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and a ton of vitamins, so they're certainly a great option to have around. If you’re looking for creative ways to enjoy them, here are four different recipes to shake things up.
Grilled Sweet Potato Fries. So easy, just slice them up, drizzle with olive oil and seasonings of choice and pop on the grill or bake in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes.
Sweet Potato Pancakes. This recipe for 2-ingredient sweet potato pancakes will be your new favorite. One steamed sweet potato plus two eggs equal this awesome breakfast that’s easy enough for any day of the week. Blend ingredients and cook in pan – it's as easy as that.
Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Who said you needed marshmallows to make sweet potatoes sweet? Drizzle your sweet potatoes with honey before roasting to add a little sweetness and flavor.
Sweet Potato Kale Frittata. Frittatas are an easy way to make a classy breakfast without much fuss. You can feed the whole family with this delicious frittata that combines eggs, kale, and sweet potatoes. Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.
What are YOUR favorite ways to enjoy sweet potatoes?
The holidays are here!
And as much fun as they are… they can lead to quite a bit of stress.
So… you likely have several invitations to gatherings collecting on your counter, a long list of people you need to send holiday cards to, and the daunting task of braving the shopping mall crowds to find the gifts for your loved ones. All of this, on top of your normal every day life. It can be overwhelming to say the least… BUT since we are all intent on bringing the JOY… we’ve got this covered!
Here are some of my favorite ways to keep feeling LIVELY while the season ramps up:
These secret weapons of mine include…
Put forth great effort to be present.
Ahh, yes, being present… so this is what I’ll be doing:
Give up those expectations.
Find time to move.
So there it is. Now, I want you to pick one thing in each category that YOU will do over the next several weeks to keep you feeling your MOST lively.
And you know I love when you share, so comment below and let me know what you’ve decided!
PS: Need a little more support during this time?
Check out my video coaching series and tune in when you need a quick fix!
And just like that, Thanksgiving is just around the corner…
Daylight saving time is over…
And for those of us living in areas where we experience changing seasons, the time has come to start preparing for the colder months ahead…
Admittedly, I tend to struggle this time of year, but as a “bringer of the JOY”, I refuse to wish a single moment of my life away (even the dark and cold ones!) so here is a list of easy things that you can do to help you stay LIVELY as the seasons change…
1. Create a Cozy Oasis: designate a small space in your home to serve as a your “happy place” and fill it with things that comfort you…
Here are some ideas to get you started:
•Get a comfy chair, meditation cushion, or pillows that are comfortable for your little corner. Add a cozy blanket to the mix.
•Try a Himalayan salt lamp or sun lamp to use in your space. Also be sure to use warm/soft light bulbs in this room for lighting that feels like the sun.
•Diffuse essential oils that create a warm and cozy surrounding. Try mixing spice and citrus such as nutmeg and tangerine (or try one of my favorite Young Living blend's for the fall/winter called Christmas Spirit, email me if you want to try it!)
2. Repeat After Me: Adopt a positive mantra to use during my meditation, this is so simple, but I will be saying: “I embrace the change in season and will enjoy each and every day as this is my life.”
3. Must keep Moving: Stretch regularly to keep my body limber, especially when the cold sets in. Moving your body moves your energy.
4. Spice it Up: What’s more comforting than cinnamon? Shake it on your coffee grounds, oatmeal, applesauce, or heat a few cinnamon sticks in water on the stove for a sweet and spicy aroma sure to warm up your day!
5. Gratitude Rules: Appreciate each and every day. Keep reminding yourself THIS is my life and I am going to make the most of it (even if shoveling snow!)
So there you have it, 5 easy ways to cozy up your life this winter…
And remember, life is not about adopting every tip or changing everything in your life in just one day… so start with one thing and build from there.
And with that in mind… what is the ONE thing that you will take from this list and make happen this week?
One of the many gifts of doing the work that I do, is hearing from all of YOU, which often happens after you read a blog post, or watch one of my videos.
For last week’s blog, I wrote about running the Tufts 10k and releasing the fear of being judged (by myself) about my pace and just enjoying the experience. Well my sister responded with how this post impacted her perspective and I decided to make her this week’s guest blogger.
So here goes… from Elena (it’s actually very strange for my to type her actual name and not refer to her as Bug, Lane, or Lena – but since I already posted her trophy selfie, which she does NOT know that I am doing, I guess I better refer to her by name.)
I pretty much never ran this summer because I knew my pace wasn't “as fast” as it was last year. I had run very infrequently since the half-marathon last Fall and soon avoided running all together and stuck to TRX, boot camp and the elliptical because there was no running app chirping my pace at me. Sure I could do the occasional Vine Street sprint – but I knew my pace on a 5k was not where it once was. So I decided I would not run a 5k, I would not fail, I would not be losing my edge.
Then one day at work I realized I really missed running. So I went for a trail run, my first mile was a 9:05. I completely freaked out at how “slow” this was and then the excuses started about – well its because I'm on the trails, and they're really rooted and I'm more used to pavement, blah, blah, blah. I made it a second mile at 9:20 and then walked the rest of the way back in shock that I was no longer a “fast” runner.
A week went by before I realized this was straight up freaking ridiculous.
WHO AM I COMPETING WITH? WHAT DOES IT MATTER WHAT MY PACE IS?
So I started running again and every moment I ran I thanked the sun (if it was out), the wind and the trees (if I was in the woods) for sharing their energy and my ability to run. I accepted that sometimes my pace would be “fast” and sometimes it wouldn't and that wasn't the reason I was out there. I was out there to run. I wasn't out there to motivate myself with criticism, app statistics or the allure of having a brag worthy pace.
I hesitantly decided to run in the Pamet 5k and this attitude carried me through – it was a beautiful morning whether I won or not (which I will insert myself here and say: SHE DID. See pic above).
The Oysterfest 5k is this Sunday and as I considered entering it, of course, the demon knocked on the door whispering: there are more people in this race, you probably won't win or even be in the top 5. But that is now fine, I am still going to enjoy the energy of everything and everyone around me.
And here is what she had to say after this race…
Oysterfest 5k was super fun and foggy and damp (haha!) even though I came in 4th female/16th overall and didn't receive a trophy. 😉
There was a guy running alongside me most of the way and he pulled ahead of my towards the last mile, but turned around and said – “you're doing awesome, keep going!!”
I thought that was very cool and hope to return the favor to another fellow runner someday soon…
And to that, the older sister replied: “Well Bug, you’ve heard me say it at least a thousand times, and I’ll say it again: A rising tide lifts ALL boats.”
Thank you for indulging me in this sisterly conversation…
Autumn has arrived, and the busy back-to-school season that's quickly met with the hustle and bustle of the holidays is among us. If you're anything like me, this last part of the year flies by in a wink. Because of this, it can feel like a time where your out of control schedule is controlling you. You're pulled in many different directions, and you just want to sit down for a second to catch a break.
One of the beautiful things about nature is that it knows. It knows how insane this time of year gets and exactly what we need to find our way back to what we need from nature. So many grounding foods become available this season, and it's of our highest benefit to take advantage of them. These foods can ground us and help us to re-balance when we are feeling out of control.
Here are a few of my favorites…
These are two traditional autumn foods, but they’re also exactly what we should be eating to ground ourselves. When you want some sweetness in your meal, these are the ideal way to achieve that and a much better alternative to chemical-laden artificially sweetened items. So, use that pumpkin you carved out for Halloween to create a healthy meal with the next day, you will feel oh so healthy and grounded while enjoying a delicious pumpkin dish.
Vegetables that fall into this category are sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, garlic, and ginger. They add some great flavor to your meal and will make you feel rooted and grounded. Interesting how that works, right? Foods that grow as roots in the ground are naturally rooting and grounding to us. Nature is amazing.
Raw sauerkraut is perfect to add some sourness to your autumn meals, while also strengthening your gut health. Fermented foods don’t only make your meals taste great and assist with grounding you, but they also act as prebiotics and feed all the good bacteria in your gut. Some other naturally fermented food items include kimchi, kefir, kombucha, and pickles, to name a few.
Finding healthy, high-quality protein sources will be of benefit to you this time of year. Proteins that come from high-quality foods give you the nutrients you need to build strong muscle while also feeling more grounded. We tend to crave more substantial meals this time of year due to their grounding effect. Hearty stews and soups are among the most popular food items this season, and that’s exactly why. Are there any plant-based proteins you have meant to experiment with in the kitchen? Now is a perfect time to be adventurous and try something new.
Don't pass up these delicious autumn foods that are not only enjoyable but beneficial to us in many ways. Aside from eating foods that naturally ground you, there are other ways you can enjoy feeling grounded. Being in nature has a natural grounding effect — so take a walk outside as often as possible to breathe in the crisp air and enjoy the colorful scenery. Breathing exercises help with feeling more grounded, so focus on your breathing throughout the day and take note on if you're breathing freely or holding your breath often. When you notice you're holding your breath, take a moment to practice a short breathing exercise.
And one of the things that I do that I find most grounding is to stand up straight, feel hip distance apart and roll forward and back on to the balls of my feet. Do this about five or six times and then settle into your heels. Allow your entire foot to settle down onto the floor. Take at least five deep breaths standing here in this grounded position. You won't believe how much it releases that feeling of being “in your head.” Trust me… give it a try.
Do you struggle with feeling grounded? What are you going to try after reading?