I wish that I could travel back in time and chat to the me that thought being healthy and fit reflected a number on the scale. A me that was afraid to put full fat cream in my coffee. And a me that wouldn’t dare miss a workout for fear that I would gain 10 lbs. Oh, how far I have come!
I, as are you, am on a never ending journey to the healthiest version of myself. Finding the delicate balance between kicking my ass but also honoring the days when I need yoga and restoration. Eating clean, healthy foods but also enjoying a cold one and burger.
Here are some of my top nutrition and wellness tips that have helped me along the way. My hopes are that they will save you a little time and effort.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV has SO many health benefits. It is pretty much a miracle food. Even my great grandmother used it for its medicinal properties! I use it mainly for its digestive properties. It helps stimulate the good bacteria in your gut to breakdown proteins. It is a fermented food which gives it many of the same benefits as consuming a probiotic. One thing that immediately changed my health from consuming ACV is I am less bloated and my digestion has improved. Food doesn't sit in my stomach after a big meal but rather moves out of my body the way that it is supposed to.
How to use it? Take 1 tbsp upon waking and 1 tbsp before bed. I usually take a big swig of the bottle instead of measuring it out. If you can’t stand the taste then mix it with warm water.
2. Meditation. You may have heard this before but some of the most successful people meditate. People do it for different reasons but I mainly meditate to find clarity. There is always a little voice inside of us that is essentially our streamline of consciousness. It removes all of the unnecessary thoughts of worry, stress, self doubt and confusion by really being able to listen to your “gut”. Remember hearing always listen to your gut- it’s always right, right?
There is so much clutter in our brains from TV, social media, work and we are rarely aware of it. “Meditation trains us to prune and hone our thoughts, to only focus on what’s useful and important, to disregard the rest, and to separate our egos and identities from the thoughts and emotions running through our heads.”
How to use it? I like to start by using the guided meditation video in the link below. Find a comfortable place to sit, use headphones if needed and try to allow your brain to quiet.
3. Wellness Formula. This supplement saved my life when I felt a cold coming on and had to speak at an event the next day. I was instructed to take 2 tablets every 4 hours until the symptoms subsided. It worked like a charm! This vitamin is designed to support the immune system when under any physical stress. It is full of antioxidants, vitamins, herbs and minerals to aid in any rebuilding.
How to use it? Feeling sick? Take 2 every 3 hours. Want to keep your immune system strong? Take 1-2 a day. You can find it at Wholefoods or really any vitamin shop.
4. Do Something Outside. By far one of the biggest game changers for me. Fresh air is like therapy. Add moving your bodyand you have a serious endorphin rush. Running, skiing, biking, swimming, hiking or paddle boarding. There aren’t many more things that I would like to be doing.
Once upon a time I spent little time outdoors. I lived in a city, worked a stressful job, went out to dinner all of time and often had drinks after work. That was essentially what my life consisted of. Yeah, the dinner and drinks were fun but that was my hobby and I started to gain weight. I moved to Boulder in order to change my lifestyle and the first thing that changed for me was getting outside. Changed my mentality and my perspective on what my body needed.
5. Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea. I love tea. One of my favorite things about hot tea is how it serves as something to slow me down. Because it is hot, I have to drink it slower. It goes perfectly with a piece of dark chocolate at night. With a book. In the car on a cold day. Or to share with a friend. Another perk- it has 0 calories and suppresses my appetite!
New recipe? Drink it just as is or try it with a splash of unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk.
6. Eat fat not sugar. I spent years avoiding fat because every diet in the fitness magazines told me to do it. Never ever again. Fat is absolutely essential for a healthy human being and also for someone who is trying to lose fat. The low fat diet was born in the 90’s when trans fats were found to make us sick. Unfortunately, the message became oversimplified and ALL fats were labeled as bad. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
What fats are good? I try to incorporate fats into every meal. For breakfast, I usually have full fat yogurt. Lunch, avocado, vegetables cooked in coconut oil, eggs with yolk, fattier meats. Dinner looks the same as lunch. Bottom line, don’t be afraid of fat! It is sugar that makes you fat.
7. Sex. Talk about life changing. My relationship made a 180 when I was consistently having sex. The subject has become quite taboo but sex is one of the greatest pleasures in life and when you are deprived of it, you do not release the feel good hormones. The type that actually help you lose weight, lower stress and have a better outlook on life. Also, you develop a better relationship with your body by allowing yourself to be in it's truest, most pure form. The way that it really is.
Some of us find it hard to strip down and see ourselves for what we really are, belly fat and all, but we are actually our worst critics and judge ourselves more than our partners do. Ask Lena Dunham from Girls. Curves are beautiful and fluff is natural around the midsection, ladies. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise :)