Join the #Spring2Wellness Challenge Today (3 more weeks left)

Spring (1)Since the start of spring, over 1,000 people have been enjoying their time learning new tips for motivation, recipes and workouts absolutely FREE with my latest challenge, “Spring 2 Wellness.”

It’s not to late to join in. We have three more weeks left of weekly challenge emails. Sign up here.

After you complete it, I’ll be sharing my 7-day “feel good guide” (also free). Then you’ll get messages from me ongoing 1-2 times a month, with some of my favorite tools, tips and resources right to your inbox.

Read on if you would like to catch up and get some wellness in your life instantly! Next challenge goes out Friday April 25th,

Spring 2 Wellness Week 1

Week 1 was all about goal setting.

Your intention is your commitment to take action. Start by (1) get a clear on what you want and why you want it and (2) WRITE IT DOWN or it isn’t happening.

I will ______ on (or by) ________.

Check out this link for more goal setting tips 9 Habits For a Happier Healthier Life

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 2

Week 2: plan, plan, plan.

You know the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Even if you can eek by without planning, imagine how much more could you get done with healthy living if you plan. You save time, you’re more clear on your goals, and you’re more likely to stick to them when you feel like bailing.

Learn how to meal plan like a boss.  Meal planning makes grocery shopping much more efficient (saving you time and money), and keeps your mind set on eating healthy.

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 3

Week 3: Move to the rhythm of the work out

Turn something dreadful into something less dreadful.  Let’s face it, you may not feel like working out at all.  It’s tiring, takes up time or uncomfortable.  It’s OK.  Do it anyway.

Use music as a distraction and it can make your workouts more fun.  Think of some of your favorite songs, create a play list, and I dare you not to move to them!

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 4

Week 4’s challenge was all about meditation.

While I love yoga, I could never seem to get into meditation. My brain is constantly thinking, moving from one idea to the next. Trying to control or stop my thoughts seems like the opposite of what I am supposed to do.

However, after trying to give my self 1 to 5 minutes every morning to just do nothing, I could see how it helped me feel more positive and energized for a great day. I got a real boost to my health and happiness.

I wrote an article published on US News: Health, check it out, it talks more about Mediation and how and why you should try it.

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 5

Are you dying to know? Sign up for the challenge and you’ll see what’s up my sleeve next.

Spring Clean Your Kitchen: Food Ideas and a Free Tip Sheet

Happy Spring! 

happy-47083_640I’m sitting outside soaking up the 70 degree sun (and getting some much needed vitamin D). I hope you are enjoying some warmer weather wherever you are.

We all need a little “sprucing up” after a long dark winter. I spent part of my weekend giving my kitchen a “refresh” and then I shared some food ideas on TV.

Get my 4-Step Kitchen Refresh 

If you love the idea of a kitchen “refresh” here’s a little gift for you. Download my 4-step kitchen refresh for free and share it with your friends. If you like stuff like this, get on my e-mail list. It’s free and it’s the best way to get my latest and greatest – including my “feel good guide” which launches next week!!!

Below you will find my TV clip, some easy snacking and food prep tips, and links.

(disclosure: Applegate, Sargento, Wonderful Pistachios, Body Armor, and Vitafusion are clients of mine. I was compensated for TV.)

Applegate HALF TIME Natural and Organic Snack Kit

This snack is the first nationally available natural and organic pre-packed lunch and snack kit.  It’s a great way to eat healthier with the busy lifestyle spring brings; sports, road trips, and living on the go. HALF TIME group shot

The Applegate Half Time snack option means parents don’t have to sacrifice quality for convenience. Kids on average snack at least 3 times a day so the Applegate half time is a great option to have.

Half Time comes in three varieties with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  The meat has no added nitrates and is antibiotic free. When you compare the nutrition to other pre-packed kits, Applegate HALF TIME has less sodium and fat but more protein. There are three options: turkey and cheese, ham and cheese, and bologna and cheese.

Sargento: Portable Protein and Portion Control 

“Sweet Dreams are made of Cheese…” 
SringCheese_OriginalPeople love cheese and I love recommending Sargento Natural Cheese Snacks – a natural source of protein that keeps you fueled and satisfied.

The Sargento Natural String Cheese Snacks has to be one of my favorites.  It has 8g of protein per serving—that is more protein than a serving of almonds or a hard-boiled egg.  They also help you stay fueled when you are on the go, without sacrificing taste.

Here are some ways I like to eat them: I like paring the Sharp Cheddar with blueberries and carrots; Pepper Jack paired with shelled edamame; and string cheese made into Caprese skewers.

For more smart snack ideas visit sargento.com/snacks

Put Wonderful Pistachios On Your Desk and Counter

One of my favorite nuts to have on hand are Wonderful Pistachios.  Every one-ounce serving has six grams of plant-powered protein and three grams of fiber, which may help you, stay full for longer. WP flavors packshot

Plus, with nearly 90% “good-for-you” unsaturated fats, pistachios are a healthier snack choice when you are craving a crunchy treat.  When you crack open pistachios, you will notice vibrant green and purple hues.  These are the antioxidants present in the nuts.

Try all the Wonderful varieties including roasted and salted, sweet chili, and no salt added. Get a coupon and watch their hilarious videos at www.GetCrackin.com

Upgrade Your Sports Drink With Body Armor

It’s not just about the food, this spring.  We can’t forget exercise and especially hydration.

Potassium packed sports drink, no artificial ingredients.

Potassium packed sports drink, no artificial ingredients.

If you are an athlete or have a very active child, you might benefit from more than just plain water especially activity over 60 minutes.  I often get asked, what the best sports drink is for their active child and I always recommend Body Armor.

Body Armor has no artificial ingredients and is low in sodium – unlike other sports drinks.  This sports drink is packed with potassium electrolytes and vitamins than any other sports drink, and it’s made with coconut water.

Try these five great tasting flavors such as, fruit punch, orange mango, and strawberry banana.

Cover Your Bases With Vitafusion

VF_MultiVitesDespite our best intentions for healthy eating, we don’t always hit our vitamin and mineral targets.  Taking a good multivitamin can help you cover those bases.

I love Vitafusion Multivites – one serving of two gummies provides a fusion of essential vitamins, minerals and natural fruit flavors in a delicious gummy.  Vitafusion is actually the #1 adult gummy vitamin brand rooted in the belief that healthy habits should also be enjoyable so you keep doing them.

The great thing about these vitamins is that they are made in the U.S. with no artificial colors or flavors.  They are also easy to take—you don’t even need water.

Another Vitafusion I like is Biotin, which provides an excellent source of this essential B vitamin important for skin health.

For kids 2+ years, the gummy vitamin is Lil Critters and has the same great quality as the adult version.


(disclosure: Applegate, Sargento, Wonderful Pistachios, Body Armor, and Vitafusion are clients of mine. I was compensated for TV.)

 

Balance Your Plate Better: My Food Tips for National Nutrition Month

(Disclosure: National Peanut Board, Post Grape Nuts FIT, Nestlé, and Genova Seafood are clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)


March is National Nutrition Month which means it’s time to celebrate with the theme“bite into a healthy lifestyle”.  I’m thrilled to share these ideas — they’re easy, fun, and delicious and perfect for all occasions!

WBAL TV 11 March 14, 2015

WBAL TV 11 March 14, 2015

Check out my recent segment on NBC WBAL TV 11 and read on to get my tips and recipes you need to balance your plate better – and it’s not hard!

Add Peanuts and Peanut Butter Anywhere

Use peanuts and peanut butter anywhere.

Use peanuts and peanut butter anywhere.

Peanuts and peanut butter are a smart choice for any meal, any time of day. Have a handful as a snack, top a piece of wheat toast or wheat pancake, stir in your oatmeal or smoothie – they are so convenient and easy.

Peanuts have more energy-boosting protein than ANY other nut with 7 grams protein per serving PLUS over 30 vitamins and nutrients. Peanuts are also an affordable source of protein, which anyone on a budget surely can appreciate.

Both my girls are eating real food now (they grow up so fast!) Both love to “dip” and I made up a super easy dip that taste great with fruits and veggies.  Simply stir 2 tablespoons of peanut butter into 1/2 cup yogurt or Greek yogurt and dip your kids favorites. Let them help make it and taste it if they are old enough.

Get more creative recipe ideas at www.NationalPeanutBoard.org

 Try Grape Nuts FIT Granola

Everyone loves granola and I’m digging the taste and crunch of this new Grape-Nuts FIT granola, which is a good source of fiber, provides 30 g of whole grains and has 9g of protein per serving.GrapeNutsFit225

Made with crunchy Grape-Nuts nuggets, puffed barley, and cranberries, it’s a nutritious way to fuel your everyday adventures and your workouts.

Try it with Greek yogurt, milk or oatmeal for a power-packed breakfast or snack. You also might like it on it’s own. Instead of running to the vending machine in that afternoon energy slump, try a couple handfuls of this granola and get re-energized without the crash.

Get more information and recipes at www.GrapeNuts.Com

 

Balance Your Plate 

nestle-mac-cups

I enjoy working with Nestlé on their “Balance Your Plate” education campaign. The idea is to pair frozen prepared foods with vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins for a balanced meal.

Mac and cheese is a family favorite, including mine. But I don’t always have the time to make it homemade.  Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese has freshly-made pasta and real cheddar cheese.

I love these Stouffer’s Classic Mac Cups because they are conveniently portioned with 10g protein, no preservatives, and they cook in about 3 minutes!

On a busy weeknight, the Classic Mac Cups can be an easy and tasty component of your family’s meal. Serve it with any vegetable. My girls love broccoli and we say “mac and cheese with little trees” when we eat this (cute, huh?) Then pick your protein. I happen to like grilled chicken with this dish. Then, serve up some fruit for dessert and you have yourself a simple and easy balanced plate.

For more information about the Nestlé Balance Your Plate, visit www.NestleUSA.Com/balance.

Upgrade Your Tuna with Genova Seafood  

Higher quality food is more satisfying and enjoyable, making eating healthier more fun. Genova is premium quality seafood with three simple ingredients – wild-caught Yellowfin tuna fillets, a touch of salt and just enough olive oil.

Chilled grilled vegetables with Genova tuna.

Chilled grilled vegetables with Genova tuna.

The simplicity of the ingredients make Genova uniquely satisfying – whether you simply top it on your salad at lunch or use it as an ingredient at your next dinner party.

Because Genova is a premium quality tuna, it’s a favorite of local foodies and culinary experts.

Try chilled grilled vegetables with tuna and tuna with black lentils – both of these recipes and many more yummy ideas for tuna are available at www.GenovaSeafood.Com

 

 


(Disclosure: National Peanut Board, Post Grape Nuts FIT, Nestlé, and Genova Seafood are clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)

National Nutrition Month: Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

(Disclosure: Post Grape Nuts, KIND Snacks, Body Armor, National Frozen and Refrigerated Food Association, and Sunkist are TV clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)


March is National Nutrition Month which means it’s time to celebrate with the theme“bite into a healthy lifestyle”.  I’m thrilled to share these ideas — they’re easy, fun, and delicious and perfect for all occasions!

Check out my recent segment on Let’s Talk Live D.C. in the video clip and read on to get my tips and recipes you need to “bite into a healthy lifestyle” today!

Cook Once Eat All Week

Grape nuts crunchy oatmeal pancakes

Grape nuts crunchy oatmeal pancakes

Grape Nuts cereal has been nourishing us for over 100 years. A half-cup serving of Grape-Nuts cereal
is an excellent source of fiber, provides 100% of your day’s whole grains, and it’s high in iron. You know you can enjoy Grape Nuts with cold milk or warmed up – but did you know you can also cook with it?

Crunchy Oatmeal Grape Nuts pancakes are a huge hit with my family. I love making them once on the weekend and having left overs to enjoy during the busy week. There are lots of creative recipes for meals, appetizers, and snacks at GrapeNuts.com.

Brighten Meals With Citrus

Specialty citrus is in season right now through April. You can get lots of varieties like cara cara oranges, which offer 150% of your daily needs for vitamin C. Moro blood oranges have a beautiful distinctive red interior and hints of raspberry flavor, and Minneola Tangelo, which you can identify by the distinctive knob at the stemare an excellent source of both Vitamins C and Folate.

Sunkist minneola salsa over  grilled chicken thighs

Sunkist minneola salsa over grilled chicken thighs

If you’ve never had a Minneola tangelo, you’re in for a real treat. They are a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, giving them a juicy, sweet and tangy flavor!

Try pairing fish, meats or grilled vegetables with minneola salsa – The salsa has oranges, roma tomatoes, onion and cilantro adding flavor and zest to ANY dish. I used grilled chicken thighs, but you could also use this salsa with fish or black beans and rice. Check out Sunkist.com for this recipe and more.

Make Your Homemade Meal Easy

Real food, frozen.

Real food, frozen.

We all know how hard it can be to get a wholesome, homemade meal on the table. When you’re in a dinner dilemma look in the frozen foods section where you’ll find REAL FOOD, frozen.

Butternut squash and sage ravioli from Evol, is prepared and FLASH frozen which locks in nutrients. Add color and nutrition with Green Giant Tuscan broccoli. These vegetables are picked at their peak ripeness and frozen, also locking in nutrients.

Real food, frozen

Real food, frozen

Let’s talk convenience. Start to finish, dinner is on the table in less than 20 minutes and you don’t have to order take out, which can be pricey. Here you can be in charge of quality even if you don’t cook from scratch.

Frozen foods aisles have global flavors available too – lots of ethnic-inspired dishes for the types of cuisine your family enjoy. Visit EasyHomeMeals.com  to discover your next homemade favorite.

Do the KIND Thing

KIND healthy grains bars

KIND healthy grains bars

Try KIND Healthy Grains Bars. Granola bars made from ingredients you can see and pronounce.

With five super grains: Gluten Free Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth and Buckwheat,  KIND healthy grains granola bars have at least 18 grams of whole grains per bar, and a good source of fiber.

They have a chewy and crunchy texture for a satisfying snack morning or afternoon.

KIND is on a mission to inspire “KINDness” in our communities.You can go online and vote for your favorite socially impactful cause and KIND will give away $10,000 a month to the cause with the most votes. www.KINDsnacks.com

Upgrade Your Sports Drink

Spring sports have started (or will start soon). Parents will often ask me, what’s the best sports drink for my active child. If you are an athlete or have a very active child, you might benefit from more than just plain water during activity, especially if it’s over 60 minute

Potassium packed sports drink, no artificial ingredients.

Potassium packed sports drink, no artificial ingredients.

I recommend BodyArmor because it has no artificial ingredients and is low in sodium – unlike other sports drinks. BodyArmor has more potassium-packed electrolytes and vitamins that any other sports drink, and it’s made with coconut water.

Try 5 great tasting flavors like fruit punch, orange mango, grape, and strawberry banana. Pick it up at Target or retailers near you. www.DrinkBodyArmor.com


(Disclosure: Post Grape Nuts, KIND Snacks, Body Armor, National Frozen and Refrigerated Food Association, and Sunkist are TV clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)

 

 

 

Creating New Healthy Habits, Part 2

Change? Who has time for change?

iStock_000007370546XSmall

Now that we’re exiting February and approaching March, I have to ask, “how are those New Year’s resolutions coming along?” I’m sorry. I’m only half kidding…

We all have the best intentions when we create those resolutions, don’t we? Exercise more, eat less, sleep more, spend less, and the list goes on and on. The fact of the matter is that we are all want to do better! But so many of us just can’t seem to find the time or don’t know how to get started. (hint, the goals are way too unrealistic for your brain to go along for the ride).

So if you bagged on your resolutions already, that’s alright. You’re like the other 65% of Americans (probably higher than that). Now you are ready for the real change. Putting effort into habits that will stick with you.

I blogged a couple of weeks ago about a podcast in which Dr. Christine Carter discusses eight steps to building healthy habits. If you haven’t read it yet, go back and read it. Do it now. I’ll wait.

In that blog, I covered Dr. Carter’s first four steps of her change process and also included a link to her second podcast, which includes the last four steps.

The more and more I thought about, though, I felt that just didn’t do the last four steps enough justice. So I’m going to discuss her last four steps here in more detail. Yeah, it’s THAT important!

So here they are: the last four steps in Part II of the podcast, Getting in Good Habits.

How to Change Your Habits (part 2)

 (5) Pick a super-easy first step. Now we aren’t talking about a goal like, “exercise more.” Because that is not only non-specific,  but it also can be super intimidating. So Dr. Carter suggests picking a teeny tiny first step, something that will literally take less than 30 seconds. And even if you’re tempted to jump to the next step immediately after this one, don’t!  Trust me – if you do this step over and over again, your brain will eventually recognize it as a new habit.

You can do it challenge: Decide what that “teeny tiny” first step will be. (and let me know about it in the comments) I challenge you to think what is the LEAST you can do to change the habit and work with that first then move on. 

For example, if you tend to eat when you aren’t hungry. Many of my clients deal with eating when bored, stressed, or feeling emotional on some level. Your first step should not be “stop emotional eating” (LOL!) If you knew how to do it, you would already be there. But the first step may be. Spend 30 seconds thinking about the choice, asking if I am hungry, bored, or just interested in eating. Asking would I eat this at a table with no TV or other distractions. Then, decide. Taking that crucial “pause” can be short – just 30 seconds – and even if you still want to eat something, maybe you do and maybe you don’t. But the point is, you started asking question. See what I mean?

(6)  Anchor your first step. Instead of creating a whole new schedule for your first step, try anchoring that step into an existing routine. Dr. Carter uses the example of flossing. If you’re already in the habit of brushing your teeth, maybe that teeny tiny first step is getting the floss out with your toothpaste.

I love that idea… again with the emotional eating example, you could start brushing your teeth immediately after dinner and getting water or herbal tea to give your hands something to do while you watch TV – and hey, it’s hydrating! Two-for-one. Another idea is to anchor getting a drink to walking into the kitchen and then taking your 30 second pause to figure out why you are there — physical hunger or emotional hunger?

(7) Visualize success. This might sound unnecessary, but believe me…it’s critical; the whole point of these steps is to rewire your brain into recognizing a new habit. So spend just a few minutes actually thinking about what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’ll feel once you reach your goal. It’s okay, you can revel a bit. :)

Also important in this step is thinking about what some potential obstacles are and how you’ll overcome them if they actually happen. For example, let’s say your goal is meditation. What will you do if the phone rings in the middle of your meditation time?

Obstacles are a big thing with emotional eating, I suggest anticipating the types of obstacles you face and plan a healthy and sustainable work around. (If you need help, see a therapist or RD like me who specializes in Intuitive Eating and/or disordered eating patterns.)

(8) Celebrate! Every single time you do this super-easy first step, it’s time to celebrate! You don’t literally need to throw yourself a party everyday, but giving yourself a mental high-five is a good practice to have; it reinforces your habit and goshdarnit, it feels good.

You can do it challenge: Decide what that teeny tiny first step will be. (and let me know about it in the comments)

So, it’s cold. You hate the gym. You’re busy. But you want to incorporate exercise into your life. Somehow. How do you get started? Well, what’s the tiniest step you can think of? Maybe that step is putting sneakers by the front door with your work shoes. Or maybe on your walk to lunch you add another 30 seconds by taking a slightly different route. Or maybe instead of changing into the usual casual outfit after work, you change into workout clothes instead. Or maybe it’s something else. But whatever it is, make sure it’s small, easily achievable, and something you can celebrate once it’s done (because let’s be honest, you’ve got this!).

Anyone can do something for 30 seconds, right? So, let’s start there. The only thing you have to remember is to start small and practice that ridiculously small step over and over again. After all, practice makes…perfect-ly healthy habits. :) If you follow these steps mindfully, your brain will join you in partnership…I promise!

You can do this!

What’s your habit goal and first step? Tell me in the comments below.