Category Archives: Nutrition

Your Gut Health and Mood

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We often feel a bit hungover when we return home from holiday travels after too many glasses of wine and a tad too much pie (let’s not kid ourselves, sample bites and partial pieces of pie add up to a whole slice). We wonder why the food coma haunts us for days, leaving us lethargic and foggy-headed, perhaps even coming down with a touch of a cold. As the holidays approach and we begin to daydream about those heaping piles of mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce, it’s important to remember that a lot of our health and immune function lies in the gut. When we mess with our gut health, we impact our hormones, immune system, nervous system and mood. Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

Today, I’m going to take a plain-language approach to gut health so that you can quickly and easily understand what hurts it and helps it, and why it should matter to you. Disclaimer: There’s just a liiiiitttttle bit of scientific jargon included because at the end of the day, I’m a nerd. 

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Gut Health…The Bad News

Research over the last several decades has increasingly pointed to poor gut health as a major contributing factor in a variety of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, autism, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and more. Chris Kresser, named by Greatist.com as one of the 100 most influential individuals in health and fitness for his leadership in nutrition, functional and integrative medicine, helps people understand what contributes to gut dysfunction and what they can do to restore good health.

Kresser claims that gut health comprises 75% of the immune system and can be broken down by the following lifestyle and health factors:

  • Antibiotics and other medications like birth control and NSAIDs
  • Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
  • Diets low in fermentable fibers
  • Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils that cause leaky gut
  • Chronic stress
  • Chronic infections                                                                 (Kresser, 2011)

While it’s easy to think that we may not have an issue with our gut health if our stomach and gastrointestinal function seems fine, an increase in bad gut flora and/or breakdown of the barrier of our gastrointestinal systems (i.e., leaky gut) can show up in all sorts of other forms. For example, gut health can be linked to depression, brain fog, eczema, psoriasis, diabetes, allergies, asthma, heart problems and more. Even simple things like falling victim to multiple colds, infections and/or inflammation in joints/muscles which leads to injuries can be linked back to what’s going on in the tummy. Holiday weekends packed with stressful travel, extra rich food and exposure to germs (gotta love when someone sneezes next to you on the airplane) can throw us off our game.

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Gut Health…The Good News

Some things that stress our bodies aren’t fully under our control, so don’t guilt yourself if you feel less than optimal. There’s no telling exactly what the cause is or whose “fault” it is. The only thing we can do to feel better is remove things from our diet and environment which stress our bodies and add in positive foods and habits that will help us. In this way, we slowly allow our bodies to restore good gut health. This will allow us to have better immune function and hormonal balance. As we become less prone to feeling “blah,” we will find new energy and have an uplifted mood.

Kresser recommends the following for boosting gut health:

  • Remove all food toxins from your diet
  • Eat plenty of fermentable fibers (starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.)
  • Eat fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, etc., and/or take a high-quality, multi-species probiotic
  • Treat any intestinal pathogens (such as parasites) that may be present
  • Take steps to manage your stress                                         (Kresser, 2011)

If you take simple steps like these to feel better before the holidays, your gut health won’t take such a big hit from the stress you experience and the food you consume. You will be able to enjoy a few indulgent meals without making yourself overly inflamed and sick. After the holidays, gently steer yourself back on track with healthy habits and you’re good to go. There’s no stopping someone who feels GREAT!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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Healthy Grocery Store Routines

If you can change your grocery store routine for the better, you can change your life. I’m totally serious. What we eat impacts our energy, body shape, body image, confidence and overall vitality. Healthy eating habits aren’t just about weight loss or gain. There’s a reason women and men trying to conceive are told to watch their diet for three months prior to trying. Even people attempting to heal from a physical injury are consulted on how best to eat to reduce inflammation and improve more quickly. The scope of what we can change through better eating is endless. The best place to start is your grocery store routine. From the moment you arrive to when you leave, there are simple strategies you can use to make the experience healthier. Here are 5 easy ones to try.

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1) Where You Park

We’ve all been there…driving furious laps around the grocery store parking lot, attempting to find a space near the automatic front doors. It can feel like a personal assault that no spaces are open when we are in a hurry. We may even roll our eyes in exasperation as someone packing up their car with grocery bags seems to take fooorreeevvveerr.  

Instead of wasting time trying to find that golden parking lot spot near the front or waiting for slowpoke to roll out, just take the first spot that you see. Why waste time going up and down the lanes when you can save time by parking in the first open spot (even if it’s way in the back) and walking in to the store? The extra steps won’t hurt you. In fact, changing this simple “find the easiest route” mentality is a huge deal. If we look at walking 100 yards or less from our car to the store as a nuisance, what other forms of movement throughout our day are we trying to shortcut? Do we avoid getting up more than a couple times a day from our desk to stretch, get water or loosen up with a little stroll around the office? Do we routinely take the escalator when the stairs are right beside it? Change this one simple thing and you’re on your way to including more movement across your whole day.

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2) Shop the Periphery

The periphery of the grocery store is where the good stuff is. You might be thinking I’m wrong because the cookies, crackers, chips and soda are all in the aisles, but I promise you, the periphery of most stores is where you want to do the bulk of your shopping. Why? The perimeter is where the fresh items are: fruits, vegetables, freshly baked breads, meats, fish, and dairy (or dairy substitutes rich in calcium). These foodstuffs are lowest in additives like sugar, sodium and processed chemicals. They are also lower in calories than processed foods and can be delicious on their own or cooked with a little olive oil or some spices.

There are some healthy items such as beans, legumes, plant oils, nuts and grains that can be found in the aisles, but if you spend most of your shopping experience wandering up and down tossing boxes and bags of food into your cart, you’re probably missing out on the most nutrient-dense items your body needs to thrive. Next time you’re grocery shopping make note of where you’re spending most of your time. See if you can pull away from the chip aisle in favor of the produce section.

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3) Plan Ahead

Healthy eating takes planning. Writing down how many meats and veggies you need for the week is a helpful way to have a game plan versus walking into the grocery store, getting overwhelmed thinking about dinner prep, and buying frozen pizzas and burritos. Leave them for hungry college kids to buy. If you balk at the prospect of making a unique meal for each dinner and/or lunch of the week then find two or three recipes that you can tackle one weekend afternoon and separate into meal-size portions for the whole week (or toss some in the freezer for later). Whatever works for you, write it on a notepad or in a phone memo. You want to go in to the store knowing what you’re buying so that last-minute stress and indecision can’t throw off your choices and wreck an entire week of eating.

Another way planning ahead with a list helps is to keep you from overindulging, especially if you go to the store hungry. This will always backfire so try to go after you’ve had a meal or snack. For example, ever gone into Trader Joe’s in the fall? Every inch of that store boasts a delicious pumpkin item from pumpkin butter to pumpkin ice cream. It’s serious pumpkin overload for both lovers and haters of the food. For those of us who LOVE this time of year, especially at TJ’s, it’s nearly impossible to walk out of the store without making impulse buys without a grocery list plan ready.

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4) Allow Yourself a Splurge (or two)

Would it be fair to walk into pumpkin heaven (see above) without allowing myself to splurge on an item or two? No. That would be mean and cruel. Allowing yourself a very specific number of splurge items to buy is totally fine each grocery trip. I suggest two. I usually allow myself to buy some of my favorite sweet potato crackers as one splurge item and then, depending on the week, will let myself get either dark chocolate or coconut milk ice cream. I don’t eat any of these things in excess or all at once, but I like having them in my kitchen for moments when a little something special fits the bill.

Contrary to what people might think, allowing yourself to eat things that you crave can result in eating less, not more. Studies have shown that people who try to deprive themselves of desirable foods end up caving and eating way more of them (they even think about those foods more too!). People also tend to “eat around” what they really want. For example, they really want ice cream but will try to eat some nuts to satisfy their craving first. When the nuts don’t seem to work, they eat some bread or cheese, and on it goes until the person finally eats the ice cream. At this point, they are feeling so guilty for having overeaten other items that they also overeat the ice cream in a shame-binge. Save yourself from this. Just eat the darn ice cream already. And buy it too. 

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5) Get Active as You Exit

We often stand twiddling our thumbs while the cashier swipes our food items and bags them too. Instead of sitting back waiting to complete your transaction, try offering a helping hand. Start bagging the groceries. You will burn a little more energy, make things faster for other shoppers if the lines are long, and will help the friendly cashier with her job. Help out even if they aren’t friendly – you never know what someone is going through! You will also benefit by getting out the door faster and you will save your bananas and eggs from getting crushed. Always a worthy cause to motivate a shopper.

Lastly, as you prepare to leave the premises, your grocery bags neatly stowed in the trunk of your car, there is one last step before turning your key in the ignition. Put the shopping cart away!!! I see grocery store parking lots littered with shopping carts from people too lazy or busy to be bothered to complete this simple step. It’s a courtesy to the people working at the store and other drivers whose cars are at risk of getting hit by runaway carts. Just like step one in this article, this transition in mentality, taking action instead of the easy route out, transcends into other areas of your life too. This same mentality controls whether or not you get off your couch on the weekends and go on a run. It dictates whether you order take-out or cook something healthy.

Keep making the simple decisions that are best for your health and body. It doesn’t have to be hard. It can start with these basic steps at your local grocery store!

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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Proper Nutrition for Healthy Skin

It might surprise you that what we consume is just as important as the products we use when it comes to keeping our skin healthy.  It’s important to get the nutrients we need to keep our skin looking great.

So, what foods can help keep our skin healthy?

  1. Eat foods rich in Vitamin A.  This vitamin is important for overall skin health.  Foods rich in vitamin A are carrots and low-fat dairy products.
  2. To help prevent age related issues caused by sun exposure, make sure you get plenty of Lycopene in your diet. Some foods that contain Lycopene are tomatoes, guava, and watermelon!
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids help nourish the skin and regulate oil production. Fish, flax seeds, and eggs are all examples of foods high in Omega-3s.
  4. Vitamin C. This vitamin can help fight wrinkles. Some foods that are rich in Vitamin C are sweet potatoes, squash, melons, and citrus fruits.
  5. Vitamin E helps repair damaged cells. Get the benefits by eating nuts and seeds.

A healthy digestive tract is also important to keep your skin looking great.  These are some additional nutrients you should include in your diet to help keep your gut and skin healthy:

Fiber – Foods rich in fiber will help your digestive system remove waste.

Probiotics – These healthy bacteria will help balance your digestive tract

Digestive Enzymes – These can assist in helping you get as much nutrition from the foods you eat as you can.  Look for a quality digestive enzyme.

I hope you learned something new from these tips.  Check out our infographic below that illustrates the importance of how proper nutrition and a healthy gut can help keep our skin healthy!

Personal anecdote from Maggie, author of WellnessWinz: When I started taking probiotics and eating veggies at every lunch and dinner, my skin improved dramatically! Wellness is in the little details and adjustments we make in our lives. 

Healthy Skin infographic non-branded

This article was contributed by Samantha Thayer at USANA Health Sciences.  Infographic design by Taylor Romney, and used with permission.  For more information on how you can love life and live it, visit us at our blog, What’s Up, USANA?. Thank you, Samantha and Taylor! I know I learned something and I’m sure readers did too!

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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Are Juice Cleanses Worth It?

Juice cleanses, exercise programs and new fitness trackers are all hot topics after the holidays. Fast results are tempting and can influence us to heavily invest in the latest solution for weight loss success. Juice cleanses seem like a great option since they don’t require much effort (unlike exercising to lose weight), but with prices ranging from $75-300 for a package of juices, it’s worth pausing to ask, “Are juice cleanses worth it?”

Juice Cleanses

Benefits of Juicing: 

  • Fresh juices are a delicious and relatively easy way to cram lots of vitamins and minerals into your diet.
  • Juicing may help you jumpstart a healthy eating lifestyle and develop a palette for natural, chemical-free foods.
  • For people who have gastric upset on a regular basis, juices may allow a bit of relief as they require less acid to digest.
  • Energy improvements may be seen for people who have an otherwise unhealthy diet and/or who regularly consume coffee and alcohol (both of which can dehydrate you and thereby drag down energy levels).
  • Juicing may help you lose a little bit of weight (assuming you’re juicing for at least a few days). Most of this will be water weight and maybe a little bit of fat. But hey, if you’re bloated, the water weight loss may be enough to satisfy you!

For more benefits, the Chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine weighs in on “The Real Reasons Juice Cleanses Can Get Your Health Back on Track.”

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Drawbacks of Juicing:

  • Juices are pretty expensive, usually ranging from $7-12/bottle. If you want to do an official “cleanse” you may pay hundreds of dollars for only 3-7 days’ worth of juices.
  • Although good juice brands will add pulp from the fruits and vegetables back into the beverage, many leave the chunky stuff out (because a lot of people don’t like the gritty consistency). If the pulp isn’t included then many of the nutrients and fiber get stripped from the beverage. Bye-bye optimal health benefits!
  • Juices typically don’t include healthy fats and proteins so they are lacking in essential nutrition. In short, when you juice, you’re having an all carbohydrate diet…albeit a colorful and tasty one. 
  • Although juicing may help you behave in a healthful manner for a few days, it’s no long-term guarantee or strategy for how to eat a balanced diet. Yup, you still have to figure that one out…
  • Juices are high in sugar. While it’s natural sugar versus processed, it’s still sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar. Too much of this sweet stuff can be harmful to the good bacteria in your gut (which is essential for your overall health, energy and immune system).
  • There are professionals who claim that detoxing the body is entirely unnecessary because it’s a process that the body is already capable of doing for itself.
  • If you feel the need to juice in order to reset your health, you may also want to ask yourself why you’ve been in an unhealthy pattern or lifestyle. Juicing originates from detoxing, and detoxes are historically based in spiritual discoveries, fasts and devotions. It’s worth asking yourself if just losing a few pounds will really fulfill you, or if something else more profound needs to change in your life.

For more information, check out the 4 Myths About Juice Cleansing.


Still Feeling Torn About Juicing? 

Try This Alternative:

Use a juice drink (full of pulp and organic produce, if possible) as a substitute for one meal or snack every day for 3-7 days. Make sure that you’re being intentional about healthy eating during your other meals too (don’t forget that healthy fats and proteins are your friends). This option is cheaper than replacing every meal with juices and is more practical and sustainable. You can stay intentional about your health AND have energy to exercise (usually not possible on other juice cleanses due to how low calorie they are).

Best of luck deciding what is best for YOUR health! Don’t hesitate to ask questions or chat it out. I’m here to help you feel amazing and make choices that are sensible for the lifestyle you want. 

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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How to Avoid Binging At Holiday Gatherings

What’s the best thing about holiday gatherings? The food. What’s the worst thing about holiday gatherings? The food.

It can certainly put a huge smile on our faces to see festive tables adorned with some of our favorite holiday meals, decadent homemade desserts, and pretty much every high fat snack imaginable. However, the reality is that this same vision also scares a lot of us. This is especially true if you’re prone to holiday binges.

young adults sitting at a festive christmas table and laughing

Holiday binging involves eating way more than you should, whether you’re physically hungry or not. Usually this winds up with you feeling stuffed, wondering why you don’t have more self-control this time of year. Sometimes it even means eating when no one is looking, almost as if we believe that calories consumed outside the sight of others don’t really exist.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to stop binging at holiday gatherings, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the season physically as much as you do mentally and spiritually.

 

Don’t Show Up Hungry

Arrive at a holiday gathering starved and you will be drawn to the food table like steel to a magnet, making it harder to resist eating more than your fair (or at least intended) share. Therefore, eating a healthy high protein snack before you go is a great way to keep your hunger in check, making it easier to make better food choices. A few to consider include Greek yogurt with berries, a hard-boiled egg, or a handful of nuts. Snacks like these will help “take the edge off.”

 

Be Picky About Where You Sit

Believe it or not, where you decide to sit while you eat at the gathering may just have an impact on how much you eat as well as which foods you put on your plate to begin with. Based on the findings of one observational study, if you want to make better food choices, try to sit in an area that is well lit (you’ll make healthier food choices); not near the alcohol (alcohol tends to lower your food-related inhibitions); and away from distractions like a TV if your family tends to have a holiday show or game on during the gathering (likely increasing the odds that you’ll engage in mindless eating).

 

Give Yourself Permission to Enjoy Your Favorites

When you declare certain foods off limits, you almost become obsessed with them. Well, one way to lessen the power they have over you then is to give yourself permission to enjoy them. As suggested by College News when trying to help students avoid the freshman 15, give yourself a “treat day” the day of the gathering. You’ll likely find that once you’ve made it okay to eat your favorites, you’re less likely to do so without abandon.

 

Focus on a Different “F”

If your main focus at the gathering is food, then it’s time to put your efforts elsewhere by paying more attention to the other “f”s that matter—like friends and family. Instead of using the gathering as an excuse to eat things you normally wouldn’t, optimize your time by sharing stories and laughter with the people you care about most. Set out to learn one new thing about each of them and you’ll spend more time engaged in conversation than you will eating.

 

Do these four things and you’ll be able to enjoy some of your holiday favorites in moderation, providing you the best Christmas gifts of all: greater health and a smaller waist.


 

More info on our contributing writer:

Shelly Stinson is a Denver, Colo.-based freelance writer. From eating to exercising, she enjoys covering anything related to healthy living. You can find out more about Shelly by following her on Twitter @shellystins  or http://www.twitter.com/shellystins

 

 

A BIG thank you to Shelly Stinson who contributed this article to WellnessWinz! Shelly has been my little Christmas miracle, showing up to help write excellent content during the busy holiday season. I wish I could stow her away in my stocking for safekeeping. 😉 

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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Your Healthy Holiday Reading Guide

A good book can make things a whole lot cozier while you’re relaxing by the fire with a warm cup of cocoa. Enjoyable reading can also help pass the time as you travel back and forth between family and friends over the holidays. The 12 books on this list cover a range of health and wellness topics (Healing, Lifestyle Choices, Spiritual Reflection, Relationships, Attitude, and Workplace Satisfaction), and they have all been vetted by yours truly. Each of these books has impacted my life in a profound way. I believe that whichever one speaks to you is worth investing a little time in. Give yourself the gift of some soul-searching and/or nuturing this season. These books are sure to do the trick. Healthy Holiday Reading

 


*Healing*

Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can

“Both visionary and practical, Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can presents a bold new account of the development of human consciousness and spirituality over the ages, and examines the dynamic global transformation of attitudes about healing. To help you get and stay on the path to wellness, Dr. Myss provides rituals and prayers for gaining a symbolic perspective on your life issues; for bolstering your personal power; and for connecting with a universal divine energy. Dr. Myss’s breakthrough views on energy medicine and her active approach to healing life issues and physical illness will help you overcome the mental blocks that keep you from becoming well.”

The Language of Letting Go

“Melody Beattie integrates her own life experiences and fundamental recovery reflections in this unique daily meditation book written especially for those of us who struggle with the issue of codependency.

Problems are made to be solved, Melody reminds us, and the best thing we can do is take responsibility for our own pain and self-care. In this daily inspirational book, Melody provides us with a thought to guide us through the day and she encourages us to remember that each day is an opportunity for growth and renewal.”

 


*Lifestyle Choices*

The Power of Habit

“In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.”

Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss

“For many, losing weight is a never-ending struggle, especially since our bodies are designed to keep weight on at all costs; it’s a matter of survival. But a medical revolution is under way, showing us how to work with our bodies instead of against them to improve nutrition and ignite the natural fat-burning furnaces that lie dormant within us.

Drawing on cutting-edge research about nutrigenomics—the science of how food talks to our genes—Dr. Hyman, author of bestsellers including The Blood Sugar Solution, The Ultra-Mind Solution, UltraPrevention, and The UltraSimple Diet has created a method for losing weight by eating the right foods to detox and manage food allergies.”

 


*Spiritual Reflection*

Proof of Heaven

“Dr. Alexander’s brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back. Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle.

Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.”

The God-First Life; Uncomplicate Your Life, God’s Way

“There are thousands of how-to books for improving various areas of life―self, relationships, finances, fitness, business, marriage, family. And there are nearly as many books written for believers offering a framework for the “right” approach to a new life in God.

In The God-First Life, Weems shows that true success in our walk with God and in life in general is not an issue of need, but an issue of order. Brilliantly unpacking the simple Scripture in Matthew 6:33, Weems gives a fresh and practical perspective on what Christian “discipleship” is about. Bringing clarity, depth, and simplicity, Pastor Weems makes clear core truths that have been misunderstood by many Christians and non-Christians alike.”

 


*Relationships*

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

“Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?

In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.”

The 4 Seasons of Marriage

“Spring, summer, winter, fall. Marriages are perpetually in a state of transition, continually moving from one season to another―perhaps not annually, as in nature, but just as certainly and consistently. Sometimes we find ourselves in winter―discouraged, detached, and dissatisfied; other times, we experience springtime with its openness, hope, and anticipation. On other occasions, we bask in the warmth of summer―comfortable, relaxed, enjoying life. And then comes fall with its uncertainty, negligence, and apprehension. The cycle repeats itself many times throughout the life of a marriage, just as the seasons repeat themselves in nature.
The seasons of marriage come and go. Each one holds the potential for emotional health and happiness, and each one has its challenges. The purpose of this book is to describe these recurring seasons of marriage, help you and your spouse identify which season your marriage is in, and show you how to enhance your marriage in all four seasons.”

 


*Attitude*

Choose Your Attitude, Change Your Life

“You’ve heard the expression, “Attitude is everything.” But can a positive mental attitude make all that much difference in your personal and professional life? Deborah Smith Pegues, author of the bestselling 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue, believes strongly that it can.

In Choose Your Attitude, Change Your Life, Deborah explores the root causes of 30 negative attitudes, their impact on your life and relationships, and how you can learn to think positively instead. As a result, she helps you recognize and conquer counterproductive behaviors, such as criticizing the choices others make, being inflexible, and being indifferent to the needs of others.”

Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change

“Is it possible to live well when the very ground we stand on is shaky? Yes, says everyone’s favorite Buddhist nun, it’s even possible to live beautifully, compassionately, and happily on shaky ground–the secret being that the ground is always shaky beneath us, and everyone who has ever learned to be happy has done so with that understanding. Pema Chödrön presents a simple Buddhist practice that we can use to commit ourselves to a life of profound sanity, even when it seems like there’s only nonsanity all around us. Using this practice, called the Three Commitments, can really change things.”

 


*Workplace Inspiration*

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead

“Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.”

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

“Mark Twain once observed, ‘A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.’ His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas–business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others– struggle to make their ideas ‘stick.’

Made to Stick is a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas. It’s a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures)– the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of ‘the Mother Teresa Effect’; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice. Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas–and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.”


Wishing you a physically, mentally and spirutually healthy season! Happy reading!

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

wellnesswinz blue sea

3 Elite Trainers’ Advice for the Holidays

Give

It’s the holiday season and sharing is caring, right? Today, I’m hosting three awesome trainers on WellnessWinz. They are doing us the courtesy of sharing their go-to tips for the season (which we all know can be a challenge to juggle…both in terms of shopping and decorating agendas and figuring out how to approach the holiday buffet spread). Enjoy these three pros; they’re keepers.


Allison Blake 1

Alison Blake is a NASM Personal Trainer and an Arbonne International Independent Consultant. Alison has trained for bikini competitions and recently got married! One of her group exercise classes is a favorite of mine – she knows how to work the glutes, let me tell ya!

Alison’s Advice: Give to Yourself

“During the holiday season we spend a lot of our time with family and friends. We get to see relatives that may only come around a few times per year. Many of us travel to stay with relatives or host them for days at a time. Many great memories are shared, but it leaves us with very little alone time.

Waking up an hour early, maybe even before the others are awake, and using that time for exercising, stretching, meditation or prayer can make a big difference around the holidays. We can re-charge our batteries and give something good to ourselves, since most of the day will be spent giving to others.

By beginning the day with a healthy mindset, we help ourselves make healthy choices throughout the day (like resisting the urge for the second helping of mashed potatoes or pie). One example is to go for a walk or a run. If the weather keeps you indoors, try push-ups, squats, lunges and planks. The bit of effort that exercise takes can give us a greater appreciation for the moments we share with others. ‘Tis the season of giving,’ but we cannot forget to also give to ourselves.”


 

Kevin deadlift

Kevin Mullins is back, folks! Last year, Kevin was a guest on WellnessWinz, writing the very popular article: Men’s Health Next Top Trainer Weighs in on Women. Kevin offers fantastic content for fitness enthusiasts via his blog: Kevin Mullins Fitness. Oh yea, did I mention that Women’s Health recently named him one of America’s 10 Hottest Trainers? Get it, Kevin!

Kevin’s Advice: Choose What Matters

“During the holiday season our social calendars can burst at the seams with calorie-bombing events. Weekends become full of holiday parties, happy hours, and dinners and drinks with family and friends. This time of the year is beautiful for its ability to draw us closer to those we love, and for that reason, I often coach my clients to relax and enjoy the holiday spirit. This does not mean exerting a blatant disregard for their training and nutrition habits. I often ask my clients to point to the one or two holiday activities that mean the world to them and tell them to enjoy. Even I look forward to a couple good whiskeys with my father every Thanksgiving, and a few stocking-stuffer candies on Christmas. These are my ‘gives.’

For everything else, we should put it through the test: Is it worth setting us back from our goals? Is there a way to do it without going overboard? Can I train that day to help offset the calorie loads?

Overall, I recommend working out over the holidays and eating most meals as you normally would. You’ll be better prepared to say ‘no’ to deserts, another round of drinks, or a late evening with friends when you keep your habits consistent.

For the indulgences, choose what matters most to you and enjoy, but be sure to pick what actually matters. Don’t just say ‘yes’ to everything!”


 

Jessica B 1

Jessica is a former collegiate swimmer who knows a thing or two about hard effort in the pool – and the gym! Jessica is a Certified Personal Trainer who lives in Utah and enjoys a spectrum of outdoor activities (her Instagram pictures make this city girl very jealous). Also, Jessica recently started a blog: JBrauzFit.com where she offers lots of creative workouts and tips, especially for strength training. Fun fact: Her cat is named Pinot Noir. Yes, a trainer with a cat named after wine.

Jessica’s Advice: Hydrate – Move – Relax!

“As the holidays are approaching, many people are busy doing last minute shopping, decorating and tidying up before their loved ones come over for all of the festivities…But what are these people doing to prepare for their health?

Some people may be freaking out, cursing left and right, ‘ah, hell. I haven’t been eating well this past week so I might as well just let it go for the holiday parties too…’ It doesn’t have to be this way if you plan ahead. Proper planning will keep you from feeling out of control towards the year’s end.
Here are some tips that I have found helpful during the holiday season:

1-Drink water! I know, I know. We all want to indulge in some amazing holiday cocktails (and I do too!) but it won’t hurt to have a glass of water for every cocktail/wine you consume. Plus, your head will thank you the next morning. Quick tip: Stick with wine or light beers if you’re concerned about calories. These beverages won’t have as many as specialty cocktails and heavy brews.

2- Work it out with a 20-30 minute workout in the a.m.! I like to do more metabolic resistance-type training during the holiday season; combining strength and heart rate boosting to torch fat!;) Here is a MRT workout to try:

Barbell pyramid complex:
-Do the following reps for each exercise: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2. (ladies be mindful and start with the barbell if you have never done this before, or complete it with dumbbells)
-Exercises: Deadlifts, Bent Over Row, Front Squat, Military Press, Reverse Lunge
-For added intensity, complete burpees over the bar in between each set!

3- Don’t deprive yourself. If Grandma just made some amazing Christmas cookies, or your mom made her favorite peanut butter balls, enjoy and have a couple of bites! You don’t need to stuff yourself silly, but sampling at parties is just fine. Enjoy the holiday! Laugh with family and friends and don’t stress too hard if you slip up. It will be okay!”


 

HUGE thanks to Alison, Kevin and Jessica for taking the time to share their professional advice with WellnessWinz readers! You guys are awesome.
Yours in health and wellness,
Maggie
wellnesswinz blue sea

The Skinny on Fat

I have always steered away from talking about the ugly “F-word.” Yes, the word fat makes me cringe. I think of how it was callously thrown at innocent, overweight children on the playground during my grade-school days and I feel my heart fall in my chest. It reminds me of a few heavyset personal training clients from my past who tossed the word around in jest, using it as a lighthearted way to make fun of themselves. Their usage of the word made my stomach twist into a knot.

You think it’s peculiar, right? A fitness professional with a phobia of saying the word “fat.” I seem to have put it in the same off-limits vocabulary pool as using the word “retarded” for mockery and taking the Lord’s name in vain. Somehow, the meanness of the word fat in our society has never escaped me. But, here’s the thing…fat is not an ugly or inappropriate word at all. It’s a scientific one.

 

donuts

 

Fat has taken on so many different meanings in the modern world. Most people associate some kind of deeper meaning with the word when, in fact, it’s simply a macronutrient that fuels and nourishes our bodies. During my Exercise Physiology degree in undergrad, I learned about fat metabolism, fat storage, fatty acids, and more. It was an entirely unemotional experience to learn about it. Fast-forward to the real world, and the various ways it’s used, and I’m paranoid all over again. I think it’s time that stopped though.

Name calling or using the word with malice will never be okay, in-person, behind someone’s back or via cyber bullying. But, enhancing our dialogue about what fat really is, may help us feel more comfortable with it. It may help us start to differentiate between the playground and professional uses of this very important, relevant word. Let’s look at “fat” as a noun instead of an adjective…

 

The Role of Fat in Our Bodies
As you probably know, fat is one of three macronutrients; carbs, proteins and fats. Each of these macros provides our bodies with energy and should be consumed in a healthy diet. The body needs each of them to properly function.

Fats are sources of essential fatty acids and also help with the absorption and transport of Vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning they can’t be properly digested and used by the body without the support of fat.

Fat is important for healthy skin and hair. Pass the olive oil! It helps the body regulate its temperature and cell function, and also protects the organs against shock.

This fascinating molecule can also help prevent (yes, prevent!) disease. Fat helps the body dilute toxic levels of substances in the bloodstream by removing them from circulation and putting them into “storage.” The body intelligently holds onto the toxic substances in fat tissue until it determines that it’s safe to release them for excretion or metabolism.

 

Fat Storage: Nature vs. Nurture?

Some people mistakenly think that we are born with a certain number of fats cell, which we hold onto for the rest of our lives. This isn’t true. Although babies may be adorably chubby, they have fewer fat cells compared with the number they gain throughout childhood and adolescence. In the absence of excess weight gain, fat cell acquisition will stabilize by adulthood.

The number of fat cells we have as adults appears to be linked to our genetics, but there are also many lifestyle factors (diet, exercise, inflammation, etc.) that can cause the number to be higher than our DNA-dictated amount. Our genetics may also play a part in where fat is stored in our bodies. Some family lines will consist of “hippy” women while others may be barrel-bellied. Even in families or individuals with more weight retention in the stomach, there are differences in how that fat can be stored. Some people have more subcutaneous fat (located beneath the skin) while others have more visceral fat (located behind/beneath the abdominal wall of muscle).

 

fork

 

Will Eating Carbs Make Me Fat?

Muscle for Life explains the common misperception of high vs. low-carb diets as such:

“High-carb diet = high insulin levels = burn less fat and store more = get fatter and fatter

And then, as a corollary:

Low-carb diet = low insulin levels = burn more fat and store less = stay lean”

This thought process is what some might call “pseudoscience.” Although insulin causes fat cells to expand (via absorption of fatty acids and glucose), it doesn’t lead to a person gaining weight. Eating in excess of the body’s energy demands is what leads to fat gain.

People on low and high-carb diets can lose fat at equal rates. It all depends on eating less energy (i.e. fewer calories). Yes, it’s true…that co-worker of yours who nimbly picks at popcorn and cookies throughout the day can lose weight if she isn’t eating very many overall calories compared to what her body demands. Keep in mind that weight gain vs. loss isn’t the full picture when it comes to health though!

 

Fat and Disease

Fat cells produce and secrete hormones and other substances that are vital to metabolism. When fat cells are large, these secretions happen at higher levels. This can cause all sorts of health problems that correlate with obesity, including diabetes, hypertension, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer and more. In short, one excellent means of disease prevention is to lose weight through a healthy diet and exercise. I know, not groundbreaking news…and, yet, knowing this information doesn’t seem to result in more people taking action to protect their health…

The Washington Post Magazine recently published “Our ever-expanding waistlines,” a page of graphics about present obesity rates in America compared to rates from 2010, 2005 and 1995. The data represents information from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Current obesity rates exceed 30% in 22 states, with three of those states above the 35% threshold. What’s more staggering is comparing these numbers to 20 years ago. Back in 1995, roughly half of the states had rates as low as 10-14.9% while the other half hovered in the 15-19.9% range. Not ONE single state had obesity rates higher than the 15-19.9% range. Let that sink in a minute…Not. One. Single. State. was at the level of obesity that exists today.

What does this mean?! Obviously, we’re eating more today than ever before…and exercising less. To combat this issue and prevent disease, we’ve got to look at our entire lifestyles though, not just diet and exercise (although that’s a darn good place to start). We must ask ourselves “why do we eat too much?” Is it stress? A hectic schedule? A feeling of control? There are often a lot of emotional complexities behind this unhealthy phenomenon. We must address ourselves as whole beings to fully embark on the path towards wellness.

 

ice cream cone

 

Weight Loss; i.e. “Fat Shrinking”

How do we get rid of this excess fat? Well, here’s the bad news first…

Your body can’t get rid of fat cells. That’s right, they are there to stay. It’s a bizarre reality that our bodies are capable of making additional fat cells but can’t ever eliminate them once they exist.

Now, the good news…

Although you can’t lose fat cells, you can make them smaller. Yup, losing weight shrinks your fat cells. If you lose 30 pounds of body weight and reduce your body fat by say, 10%, then you have done an excellent thing for your body and overall health, but you haven’t gotten rids of the fat cells themselves. Next time you step on the scale, and see that you’ve dropped a few pounds, you can call out: “Honey, I shrank my fat!”

Now that you’re jazzed about making your fat cells miniscule, keep in mind that you don’t have control over which areas of your body you shrink fat/lose weight from. You can’t target any single area of your body. This can be quite disappointing for women who just want to get rid of their love handles while keeping the fullness of their chest. It means that underarm jiggle and inner thigh fluff can’t be pulverized. *Sigh.* Nonetheless, if you stick to healthy habits, your body will eventually lose weight from all over, including from your “problem areas.”

 

See, the F-word doesn’t have to be scary and intimidating! Once we take a microscope to it, we see that it’s mostly on our side. Fat is meant to protect our health. So, it’s up to us to stay healthy and keep fat from getting out of control and  becoming harmful. It doesn’t like to hurt us, but, if we get too excited about donuts and pizza, what choice does it have?

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

wellnesswinz blue sea

Wait, Food is NOT Fuel?

Precision Nutrition is a coaching, mentoring and support system that trains individuals to become Certified Nutritionists. These qualified professionals in turn help tens of thousands of people with their food choices and diet. To date, the Precision Nutrition coaches have helped 35,000 individuals lose over 450,000 lbs.! Precision Nutrition has advised companies like Nike, Equinox and Life Time Fitness, and has done consulting for sports organizations like the Seattle Seahawks and the USA Olympics. To put it simply, these professionals are on a mission. They have found excellent success in helping people achieve better health…and, yet, they don’t believe that food is fuel…hm…how can this be?

Girl at cafe

Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition recently published an article for fitness professionals called “No, Food is NOT Fuel.” Dr. Berardi writes:

“Something’s been bothering us lately. We keep hearing this analogy:

‘Food is fuel.’ You know, like gasoline.

And we keep hearing:

‘The human body is like a high-performance race car.’ You know, like a Ferrari.

So, you have to get enough fuel to run your car. Without getting too much, of course. Or else the Ferrari — uh, you — will get fat.

You also have to choose only really high-quality, high-octane, and expensive fuel. Or else the Ferrari — oh, right, you again — will gunk up and break down.

We’ve heard this analogy — this story — repeated over and over again. Ad nauseam.

And we think that’s a real problem.”

Sushi display

Why is this a problem?

For starters, if food were only fuel, and our bodies only cared about calories in versus calories out, then we could eat a handful of candy bars every day to get our “fuel” without negative consequences to our health. I’m trusting that readers are intelligent enought to figure out that this just simply doesn’t fly. 

How our bodies handle energy and gain or lose weight is far more complicated than this. Our bodies don’t just care about calories in vs. calories out for weight control. Our bodies are dynamic, complex organisms that are impacted by stress, oxidation, inflammation, hormones, the metabolism, and “toxins.”

Dr. Mark Hyman, author of New York Times Bestseller, Ultrametabolism, helps debunk the notion that food is merely fuel by highlighting “7 Myths that Make You Gain Weight.” These include:

1) The Starvation Myth: Eat Less + Exercise More = Weight Loss

Not always the case!

2) The Calorie Myth: All Calories Are Created Equal 

FALSE!

3) The Fat Myth: Eating Fat Makes You Fat

We need fat…big time.

4) The Carb Myth: Eating Low Carb or No Carb Will Make You Thin

We need all 3 food types: fats, carbs and protein.

5) The Sumo Wrestler Myth: Skipping Meals Helps You Lose Weight

Not ideal for metabolism, need we say more?

6) The French Paradox Myth: The French Are Thin Because They Drink Wine and Eat Butter

If only…

7) The Protector Myth: Government Policies and Food Industry Regulations Protect Our Health

Sadly…we’re not protected. 

As you can see, there’s a lot more going on inside our bodies than meets the eye. For this reason, you may actually eat more than usual and somehow LOSE weight! Or you may forego all the usual culinary temptations and suddenly GAIN weight!

Friends over food

Laura Ingalls, a Certified Holistic Health Coach, NASM Personal Trainer, and Certified Running Coach, wrote an article for Run Haven titled “I Trained for a Marathon and Got Fat.” For the record, I’ve run a few marathons myself. During the first one I lost too much weight and was malnourished…the second one, yup…you guessed it, I gained way too much weight.

Laura writes “unfortunately, food is about more than calories. Food is about nutrients.” Her three reasons for gaining weight, in spite of exercising more, include:

You are replacing calories but not nutrients.”

Ex: Too many carbs like breads/cereals/pastas but not enough healthy proteins for zoochemicals and fruits/veggies for phytonutrients.

You are hitting the sugar hard, and you don’t even realize it.”

Ex: Too many sports drinks and supplements to replace the lost energy and water. 

“You are overtraining, under-recovering, over-stressing, and thus over-taxing your endocrine system.”

Ex: Only getting 6 hours of sleep after a long training run and getting up early to hit the gym for another hour of hard exercise. 

Laura and I both gained weight because of #3. Honestly, when I look back on my former training mistakes, I can only thank my body for trying to protect me. It thought I was in a state of emergency! I mean, major sleep deprivation combined with high stress, labor-intensive work days, a lack of proper nutrition AND marathon training? Are you kidding me? I would never disrespect my body like that again. But, thankfully, biology sent me a strong signal with an added 12-15 lbs. of weight, primarily added in my mid-section and baby face (didn’t need the extra puff!), so I got the picture. After a mild panic attack (or two), I got back on track and learned the importance of nutrition for the first time in my life…and by “learned” I mean internalized why it’s so important.

Like me, everyone has heard of the importance of healthy eating and exercise. It’s not fresh-off-the-press news. But, somehow we have a much harder time implementing changes in nutrition compared with understanding why those changes are important.

Spices in spoons

Why is implementing changes in our diets so hard?

I have trained a few dozen women who have come to the United States from other countries and, for the first time in their lives, have packed on weight. Most of these women have been thin and small-framed their entire lives, so when they suddenly bloat and gain weight, it’s very alarming for them.

Part of their weight gain could be due to a difference in how fresh and organic foods are in their cultures compared to the heavily modified and pumped-with-preservatives foods that are in abundance here in America. But, I think an equally important part of the sudden weight-gain equation is due to how food is tied to our culture…our identity…

A lot of people fall into one of two camps when they go through a major life change that challenges their identity:

Food-Averse Anxiety

-or-

Emotional Munching

The first group avoids food and often loses energy and weight. The second group also loses energy but it’s because their bodies are getting overtaxed by too much food processing on a daily basis due to emotional overeating (it takes a toll on the body to turn food into fat stores!). These two juxtaposed relationships with food reflect how intimately tied food is to our emotions…and guess what? That’s okay.

Boat of food

Food is a part of our life story.

So, I implore you to think about the following question: “What does my food say about ME?

Does it reflect that you’re feeling shameful or joyful during this season of life? Does it give you comfort or cause you stress? Most importantly, Dr. Berardi suggests you ask yourself:

“What would you like food to be?”

Once you start delving into that answer, a whole new world may open up. And, it’s yours if you want it.

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

wellnesswinz blue sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Inspiration: A reader’s struggles lead her down the path of wellness

WellnessWinz is thrilled to introduce you to Lucy Taylor! Lucy is one of our readers who is a devoted wife and mother of two rambunctious little girls (oh yea – and with another bun in the oven!). She used to be a full-time wedding and portrait photographer before realizing that she needed more work/life balance for her growing family. Now, Lucy has followed her passion for health wellness and has begun representing a brand that means the world to her. I encourage you to read on and learn about how Lucy has managed her journey through challenges with weight loss, body image, depression and eating. Insights galore! 

Lucy's favorite shirt

Lucy posted the above picture to Instagram:

“That day when your favorite shirt fits again and you can breathe.”

Q & A with Lucy: 

1) Lucy, can you fill readers in on the ups and/or downs of your personal health journey? 

For most of my life, weight and body image has always been a struggle. I started running in college and fell in love with it but I still wasn’t eating well. Fast forward to 2011, my husband and I had gotten married and we were pregnant with our first, Edith. I gained 55 pounds with that pregnancy and had a lot of trouble losing the weight. I wasn’t eating well and I wasn’t active.

In April of 2013, a year after Edith was born, my husband and I decided to do a Whole30. I lost 12 pounds and numerous inches! I also gained energy and the desire to be active again. Around that time, I also started working out with an amazing group of moms once a week. After our whole30 though, we went back to our old eating habits…

Info on what the Whole30 challenge is all about:

“Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.”

Later that year, we happily got pregnant with our second, Ruby. During that winter, I struggled with very bad depression. It was one of the darkest times of my life. When the second trimester finally came, I went completely gluten and sugar free. It made an immense difference in my mood and energy levels. I also started walking daily and vowed to not gain the 55 pounds I did with Edith. When our second little lady came into the world, I had only gained 24 pounds. I attribute this to my clean eating.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Left Image: 24 lbs. gained in pregnancy #2 thanks to clean eating.

Right Image: 55 lbs. gained in pregnancy #1 before adopting a healthier lifestyle. 

Arbonne, an inner and outer health and beauty product line, came into my life around the time I had Edith. I started using their clean nutritional supplements and I saw amazing results while getting back into shape after having the baby. My husband and I did our first Arbonne “30 days to Healthy Living” in 2014 and it totally changed our lives. The program has drastically changed my relationship with food. It has truly freed me to know how to give food the proper place in my life.  It was easy to eliminate the foods that didn’t serve us because we were given the tools we needed to succeed.

facebook lucy food

I can now happily say that most of the time, our whole family eats gluten free, sugar free, and mostly processed food free. We do like to celebrate though so we strive to find a healthy balance. We have started to enjoy gluten-free baking so that our girls can still enjoy things like a delicious chocolate cake or a warm chocolate chip cookie from time to time. Clean eating does take immense discipline, but, once I realized how good my body was created to feel, I didn’t want those other foods anymore. You start to crave the foods your body was made to be fueled by.

 

2) What has been the hardest thing for you to manage in terms of your health, exercise and/or diet? 

I would have to say that depression is definitely the hardest thing that I’ve had to manage in terms of my health. My desire to exercise, get out of bed, and eat well is greatly affected by my mood. I am grateful for an amazing support network, (my husband and dear friends) who encourage and lift me up during those hard times. I also am grateful to my faith and the Lord who gives me hope for healing.

Lucy's First Whole 30

Before & After Lucy’s first Whole30

 

3) What solutions have you found that other women may be able to apply to their lives too? 

I truly believe that my diet has drastically changed my mood. I love that our Arbonne “30 days to Healthy Living” program also makes it possible for someone who is busy and may not have ever eaten this way to have great success with a clean eating program. I do also take a daily anti-depressant which has also helped immensely. (I don’t believe this is needed for everyone but for some it is completely necessary.)

I also cannot imagine life without daily exercise. The best solution I’ve found is to make exercise a habit. Do it every single day. Even if it’s just a walk around the block. In our family, we’ve made it a goal to walk places where we would normally drive. Yes, it takes a bit more time, especially with two little movers, but I love that we can encourage our children to be active and healthy.

Lastly, women with children often need to have the proper gear to get active (it is already hard enough to leave the house– can I get an Amen?!?). I walk/run daily with our Double Bob. I couldn’t live without it. We found ours on craigslist and it was SO worth the investment so that I could exercise daily.

Lucy's First Whole 30

Before & After Lucy’s first Whole30

 

4) How do you describe wellness?

I think wellness is all about finding balance. It’s becoming the best and healthiest version of yourself in all areas of life – social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, and physical.

Ahem, Maggie with WellnessWinz chiming in here! 5 GOLD STARS go to Lucy for recognizing the complex nature of wellness and having such an incredible understanding of what it’s all about! BRAVO!

 

5) How does your definition of wellness play into your many roles in life as a mother, a professional, and a woman of faith? 

I’m currently reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and in the book she talks about self-love; that we can’t love our spouses and our children the way we are truly called to do unless we love ourselves. I think women, especially mothers, neglect themselves because they believe they need to always do more and be more for the people in their lives. I do feel called to lay down my life for those who have been entrusted to my care, but I feel that you can do that without sacrificing the body God has given you to be a good steward of.  If you aren’t taking good care of yourself, how can you be the best wife, mother, friend and professional that you are truly called to be?

Lucy's First Whole 30

Before & After Lucy’s first Whole30

 

6) What made you interested in representing Arbonne

I love that I work for a company that is truly changing lives. We offer the gift of a healthy product that could potentially change someone’s skin, help them to lose weight, and feel confident about who they are. I also love that I can give to others the gift of a life changing business that can allow them to be at home with their families, gain financial freedom, pursue a dream job, or assist a spouse who may be drowning at work. The list goes on and on.

The best part of my work is getting to partner with others on their journey towards clean eating and achieving a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Arbonne creates an incredible culture of empowerment. It’s truly unique. I also love that I have a product that I can stand behind. I truly don’t have to sell anything in Arbonne; I just have the amazing opportunity to share and educate people on why a healthy product could better serve them and their families.

Lucy's family

 

7) Do you have any additional health advice you’d like to impart on readers? 

Wellness is just like our lives – it’s a journey. It’s meant to be a progression. Good health, just like weight loss, doesn’t happen overnight. I believe that we’re meant to find joy in the journey. So, be merciful with yourself and the process (albeit that’s not an excuse to give up!) 🙂

 

Clap – Clap – Clap!!!!

Lucy, thank you SO much for sharing your story with us all. You have been the epitome of vulnerable and open in this Q&A, with the intention of helping others. I hope that other women can embrace this quality, too! 

 

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

wellnesswinz blue sea