Mindful Eating

In the modern world, we eat for convenience rather than for nutrition. We eat for instant gratification rather than long-term health benefits. Can you imagine learning a new way of slow eating in which you actually get to experience the tastes and textures of your food rather than wolfing it down in a hurry or snacking on the go?

I can help you to learn to slow down and eat mindfully! It is possible to change your mindset so that you see the food you eat as medicine that not only nourishes your whole system, but also tastes delicious.

So, what is mindful eating?

Mindful eating means taking the time to honor your body by choosing high quality food, preparing it with care, and eating it slowly using your five senses to really enjoy it. It means allocating quiet time to prepare and enjoy eating your meal without rushing or multitasking. Mindful eating is a way of saying to yourself: “I respect my body enough to be mindful of what I put into it and of the way I eat.”

Eating mindfully helps to:

  • Sense intuitively when you are full
  • Gain more satisfaction from eating
  • Develop a healthy relationship with food
  • See food as medicine
  • Discover new tastes and textures
  • Improve digestion (less gas and bloating)
  • Regulate bowel movement
  • Discover food sensitivities
  • Create healthy habits that enliven you

How will I know if it’s time for me to learn to eat mindfully?

Glad you asked! It’s time for you to practice mindful eating if you answer “YES” to any of these questions:

  • You get bloated after eating
  • You scarf down your food like there is no tomorrow
  • You eat just to feel full not to enjoy the tastes
  • You eat to numb out
  • You want to learn to enjoy healthy food
  • You feel bloated easily
  • You gain weight easily
  • You crave sugar or starchy foods
  • You have difficulty focusing or foggy brain
  • You feel lethargic after eating
  • You have allergies or hay fever
  • You feel addicted to eating foods that aren’t healthy for you but you can’t stop
  • You tend to gain weight easily, especially in your belly
  • You have extra pounds that won’t come off with diet and exercise

What do I do now?

In my health coaching practice, I help clients discover what triggers them to overeat or binge eat. Then I lead them through a step-by-step process to learn how to eat mindfully and to learn what to eat for their unique body type. If you answered “YES” to any of the symptoms above, then click here now to schedule a time to talk with me about how you can learn to eat mindfully.

To your health!

Homemade Cereal

If you’ve made the switch to clean eating and are missing your morning cereal, give this recipe a try. This recipe was born one morning when I could not bear even one more meal of mushy oatmeal. Sometimes you just need to crunch something! As an added bonus, it makes your house smell heavenly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ c. any kind of nuts ( a mixture is good too)
  • ½ c. unsweetened coconut shavings
  • ¼ c. melted coconut oil
  • 2 T. cinnamon
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix all the ingredients together. Make sure the coconut oil and honey is evenly distributed and that there are no clumps.
  • Cover a cookie sheet in foil and spread cereal in an even layer.
  • Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Pay close attention if you leave it in longer than 8 minutes because it begins to burn quickly!
  • Let cool completely before eating. Cooling will give it the crunch factor you’re wanting.

Cereal

Eat dry, combine with some dried fruit for a trail mix, or pour some milk over it and eat it like your regular cereal. Store in a jar or other airtight container. Makes about 1 quart or 4 servings.

The Dreaded Meal Prep

First things first: it doesn’t have to be dreadful! Now that we have that cleared up…

Meal prep. If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest, in a gym, or around a group of health-conscious individuals, you’ve probably heard this phrase before. Meal prep is exactly what it sounds like. You prepare everything you’ll need for meals a few days or a week in advance so that when the actual time for that meal rolls around, you’ve already done half the work (or ALL of the work and all you have to do is warm up your food). Glamorous? Not really. But it is the number one thing that could make or break your well-intentioned clean-eating efforts. You are much more likely to avoid the drive thru if you know there is already a meal ready to be eaten at home in your refrigerator. The problem is, meal prep can be extremely overwhelming. Here are some tips to help make the process less daunting.

  1. SIMPLICITY is key. You don’t have to plan a different food for every single meal, or have multiple dishes for each one. Stick with one-bowl dishes like stir fries, casseroles, and Chipotle-style bowls.
  2. Pick 4-5 things to make. For example, bake a package of seasoned chicken breasts, roast a tray of mixed vegetables, brown a couple of pounds of ground meat, make a pot of rice, and chop up a large bowl of fruit. Presto! Those 5 things can be thrown together in a myriad of ways and last you the entire week.
  3. Liven things up with sauces and spices. Spices can go a long way in changing up a simple bowl of meat and veggies. Don’t be afraid to experiment! As far as condiments go, keep in mind that MOST bottled sauces contain all sorts of chemicals and additives and therefore aren’t clean. Some good topping options are salsa, pico de gallo, mustard, coconut aminos (for a soy sauce flavor), and homemade sauces.
  4. Keep a list on your refrigerator of what’s in there. That way when you’re rushing out of your house on a Wednesday morning and see things already prepped for dinner, you’ll know you have a good meal waiting for you. This will also help reduce waste.
  5. Proportion meals out. If a large batch of food is already ready to be eaten, go ahead and divide it into smaller containers. When meal time rolls around, it doesn’t get any easier than reaching in the refrigerator, taking the lid off, and popping it in the microwave.

The important thing to remember is that, as with learning anything new, there is a bit of a learning curve involved. It may take extra time at first, but after a couple of rounds of meal prepping, you’ll have a better idea of what to buy, how to efficiently make it, and what works for you as far as packing it up goes. The time spent upfront will save you time, money, energy, and probably even failure. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying it!

Be Prepared!

This song from the Lion King, or really just this one lyric and all of its gusto, has been in my head for days.

beprepared

August is kind of like January for me. Maybe it’s because my brain is still on the school schedule despite being out of school for several years. Or maybe it’s because when all the kids are on a schedule, the adults have an easier time sticking to theirs. But August brings about a sense of newness. There are different schedules, a change of seasons, and a new rhythm of predictability. Just like January, it is an excellent time to establish new routines and habits. When thinking about these goals, it is crucial to keep these words in mind:

“Set up the conditions for success so that follow-through is inevitable.”

In other words, set up your environment or your calendar so that it caters to your goal. If your goal is to be prepared by cooking and packing up all of your lunches for a week on Sunday, yet your kitchen is a wreck and you can never find the right lid for your avalanche of food storage containers, follow-through for that goal most likely won’t last beyond a couple of weeks. The conditions are just too overwhelming and frustrating to deal with. Or, if your goal is to be less stressed, but your calendar is packed to the brim with events, play dates, weekend trips, and coffee dates, it is going to be really hard to take the time you need to enjoy moments of peace. So, the trick behind reaching your goals is to first take a step back and fix, change, or remove anything that might stop you. Reorganize the most-used kitchen cabinets. Cancel a couple of unnecessary things you have coming up. Design your living space, work space, kitchen, or schedule so that it naturally allows room and time for the things that are most important to you. What ambitions do you have for this new season, and what are you doing to be prepared for it so that success is inevitable?

When Water is Boring

By now, we’ve all heard the importance of drinking enough water. Knowing that you should drink it is no longer the problem. The problem most often heard now is “water is so BORING. It’s no fun to drink half my body weight in ounces of plain, flavorless liquid.” And that’s when the diet sodas, sweet tea and energy drinks start making their way back to your desk and cup holders. While all of these beverages may certainly offer more flavor, they are unfortunately having a reverse effect. The caffeine and sugars actually further dehydrate you, which leaves you unsatisfied and craving even more liquids and food. So, if you find yourself unable to reach your daily water goal because of its lack of flavor and excitement, here are some ways you can liven it up.

  • Add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or orange to a pitcher of water and let it chill and absorb the flavor overnight
  • Add mint leaves to water
  • Add your favorite flavor Emergen-C to water for sparkle and taste
  • Drink your favorite flavor herbal tea, iced or hot. There are TONS of herbal tea flavors from fruity to minty to sweet
  • Heat water and drink with lemon
  • Invest in a water bottle that makes you happy to use and look at
  • Use a pretty goblet or wine glass with meals
  • Pour some LaCroix Sparkling Water over ice for a fancy-feeling beverage. Flavors include coconut, lime, berry, passionfruit, mango, and many more.
  • Add a drop or two of lemon or orange essential oil to your water (make sure your oil is safe for internal use like doTERRA brand essential oils)
  • Set a timer on your phone to remind you to take a few sips
  • Check out this recipe for a Coconut Cooler Mocktail using my current favorite LaCroix water.

The important thing is to find something that works for YOU! Play with some of these options and make it your goal this week to stay properly hydrated. You never know what’s in store for you until you try it. Decreased cravings? More mental clarity? Vibrant, glowing skin? Let me know what increasing your water intake does for you!

Holistic?

Plato

What does the word “holistic” even mean? It may sound like one of those trendy words that has recently popped up in the world of health. But the truth is, people have been paying close attention to their holistic health since the beginning of time. Your health isn’t just about what kind of food you put in your mouth, although that is an important aspect of it. The giant umbrella called “healthy living” also includes how and how much you exercise, how much water you drink, your sleep habits, your stress levels, your connection to something greater, how much you have packed into your schedule, how much you have packed into your house, your self-talk (optimism vs. pessimism), the medications you take (or don’t take), your sense of safety, belonging, and love, your happiness, and the list could go on and on. To look at your health holistically means to look at the whole picture, rather than just the physical symptoms. What if your insatiable sweet tooth could be cured with an hour of extra sleep per night? What if your cluttered kitchen triggered a stress response every single morning and prompted you to reach for the packaged muffin, thus setting you up for a day of sugar crashes and cravings? What if your unhappiness is causing chronic pain, keeping the door open for a steady stream of pain medications, and therefore a host of other side effects? These are all real-life, holistic examples! In my programs, we take a look at the WHOLE picture. Somehow, we have wrongly been led to believe that all being healthy means is that you must be on a boring diet and go to the gym x amount of times per week. Or to be holistic means that you must eat tree bark and do sun salutations every morning. Both of these assumptions are far from the truth. Let’s turn healthy, holistic living into what it truly and simply is: being happy in your skin and happy in your home.

 

Breakfast Hash

This recipe, adapted from Little Coconutty, was tested out last weekend and given the thumbs up! It was very easy and would be great for a group brunch or to make ahead and warm up for breakfasts throughout the week. Give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 white potato
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 chicken apple sausages (I used Open Nature brand from Market Street)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • Optional: Avocado and salsa

 

Instructions

  1. Cut up all of the veggies and the sausages into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil (enough to coat), salt, pepper and seasonings like garlic or oregano.
  2. Cook in a foil-lined 9×13 baking pan at 420 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until veggies can be pierced with a fork. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, make 6 small holes throughout the pan and crack an egg into each one. Place the pan back in the oven for 10 minutes or until the middles of the eggs are set.
  3. Top with sliced avocado and salsa!

 

Original recipe link: Whole30 Breakfast Hash

Olivia’s Testimony

Check out the awesome results that Olivia Boggs had completing the 12-week program. I’m so proud of all of her hard work and change over these last several months!

 

So, I started my program with Emily several months ago. At that time I felt like I needed something other than the most current fad diet. I had tried everything from metabolic research, AdvoCare, Atkins diet and even counting calories. At one point I was only consuming 900 calories a day. I have three kids and work full time and part time. I am almost 40 years old and if that doesn’t tell you anything, those 900 calories a DAY was not good for me.

So I took the leap of faith and tried Emily’s’ holistic plan sometime in November. Within two months I had lost 18 pounds and 5% body fat. As of this date I have lost over 22 pounds and 10% body fat. It doesn’t sound like much but the overall feeling is amazing.

So why the holistic plan?
Well to be honest I was desperate. I wanted to look like all the CrossFit women. I wanted to look like I was in my twenties again. But the truth of the matter is that when I began the program I learned that it was not about eating the right things, but it was about learning what your own body is telling you.
Not everyone can be a vegetarian. Not everyone can live off of no carbs. But I learned that it was not about what I could and could not eat but about why I crave foods. I learned that when we crave food there is an underlying craving in our personal life. But the most important thing I learned in the program is that there is not one diet that will work for you, but that this is a lifestyle change. Change is not only what you put in your mouth, or how much you work out, but it is the change on how you see yourself. This program has helped me grow in all aspects of life. But the best part is losing weight!!

Evolve Holistic Nutrition – Welcome

Evolve

e·volve:
Verb. To change or develop slowly into a better, more complex, or more advanced state

As human beings, we are constantly changing. While our bodies and needs are seemingly the same from one day to the next, our bodies and needs are drastically different from year to year as children, and from decade to decade as adults. The food and lifestyle choices that worked just fine for us at the age of twenty are probably not anywhere close to what we need at the age of thirty. Change is inevitable. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

Option one is to let change happen to us while we passively sit back and watch. We have all been in this situation. These are the times when we wake up wondering about the dark under-eye circles in the mirror and why that shirt that fit perfectly a few months ago now feels snug and uncomfortable. It’s when we look at the calendar and don’t know how every single day got filled to the brim. It’s when life seems in control, and not you.

Option two is to actively take part in the change, or to evolve with a purpose. It is to make an intentional effort into becoming a better, more complex, advanced version of you than you were before by learning about and recognizing your needs, then taking appropriate action. It is when you are in control. Change is not bad when we know how to handle it. When we take control, to change is to evolve. And to evolve is to grow. Join me in this lifetime process of growing into the people we were made to be!