Being Healthy is Soooooo Hard!!!!

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by how hard being healthy is. That’s right, I said it. It’s hard!! Some days it kicks my childbearing butt. 

Ok, let me back up and define what “healthy” means to me. It means that I am managing my stress, getting as much quality sleep as I can, eating foods that nourish my body and being at peace with that, being in right relationships with my husband and friends (as much as I can), exercising in ways that make me feel alive (like hiking, biking, walking and weight lifting) and finding time to pray and be still. 

This is F-ing hard!!! 

There, I said it! After 12 years of dieting, un-dieting, CrossFitting, yoga, Paleo, training and so on, I am still struggling to make this mentally easier (maybe I am just a slow learner and everyone else has it figured out). Here is why I think it is so hard…..

1) Managing Stress

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I work two paying jobs. Mondays, Saturdays and sometimes Wednesdays, I drive to Gresham to drop off my son with my mom in-law. Then I drive 40 minutes to the gym and work with clients on physical fitness and nutrition. While I am there, I schedule in a half hour for pumping in the locker room and lunch. Then it’s another 40 minute drive to pick up the baby and take him home and feed him. 

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Every day, I coach people online about how to do what I myself am doing (some days I do it better than other days). I deal with frustrations, joys, challenges and triumphs. It brings so much joy, and unfortunately, so much stress. It can be sooo hard working from home with a baby. My schedule is a mess and my follow up time with clients can be sketchy. 

And…..I take care of my 8.5 month old baby all day….’nough said. 

2) Quality Sleep

I am not talking about quantity of sleep, I am talking about quality. That means no light in the room with the white noise blaring and the ceiling fan on low. 

I would love to say I sleep through the night, but I often wake up once or twice searching for my baby in the sheets (even though he has been sleeping in his own room for 5 months now) worried that I am squishing him or he has somehow drifted toward the end of the bed. 

If I can’t get 8 hours at night, I make up for it by sleeping when my baby sleeps (it took my 6 months to be ok with doing this….why am I such a slow learner!?). 

3) What I Eat

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I have been “Paleo” for about 3 or 4 years now. I hate labels like “Paleo”, but it gives the overall scope of what I eat. I find that my body does really well on high fat, high protein and low carb. I loooove to eat veggies (weird, I know), meat ( I am a total carnivore!) and lots of fat (bring on the buttah!). I do eat fruit (hello berry season!) and occasional grains like rice and quinoa, but for the most part, I feel better eating meat and veggies. 

(Wow, that’s a lot of parenthesis!!)

I have had trouble with my stomach since my early twenties (oh wow do I feel old) and discovered that I have a sensitivity to dairy, corn, sugar and starch because I had SIBO.  After clearing that up, I still find that I run best when I stick to a Paleo mindset. 

That said, it’s soooooooo expensive!!! Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you. We pay $7/pound for beef, $8/pound for bacon, $7/dozen for eggs, $10/bottle of Avocado oil for mayo and a gagillion dollars for organic produce. I tell myself that it’s an investment in our health, but sometimes the sheer sticker shock on my receipts is enough to make me want to run to Mc Donalds instead. 

It’s a TON of work!!! I cook almost daily. I grocery shop, I cook veggies, I brown meat, I hardboil eggs, I make mayo, I pack lunches, I do dishes, I bbq….I am pretty much the Julia Child of my house. It has gotten easier as I get more efficient, but it is still hard and time consuming.

4) Exercise= DWYLT

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My boss Kevin at the Rebooted Body came up with the idea of DWYLT, Do What You Love Today, instead of being a slave to the gym. I love the lifestyle mentality and use it just about everyday. It’s about listening to your body and going with what your body is wanting, not just what you “should” be doing.

Most of my exercise comes in the form of throwing this guy in the pack and walking or hiking around Portland. 

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When I am not hiking or walking, I like to do occasional workouts at the gym (I aim for 2x/week). I like to do heavy squats and a 20 minute HIIT workout. And even this is hard! It’s hard to motivate myself (I want a personal trainer!!) and even harder to orchestrate getting to the gym. I have to time it just right when my hubby is home. 

I do yoga at home (see all things Eoin Finn) and occasionally throw around a kettlebell. But mostly, I just want to sit on my butt because staying in shape is hard!!! 

5) Relationships

I try soooo hard to keep up with my friends and family, which is why I am an absolute Facebook fiend. I can’t help it. I need people. I am not a SAHM kind of gal. But, since my 20# baby rules my schedule, I often am more of a flake than a friend. It drives me crazy!! I know it is just how it is right now and that some day I will not have to schedule my life around his three naps. But for right now, it sucks and all I want to do is going shopping at the mall with a friend. 

6) Quiet Time and Prayer

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This one is hardest of all. I value and crave time to sit and pray or be silent, but my mind is always racing. There is so much for me to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all. 

I want to make this more of a priority in my life, but I am also ok with doing it on the fly. I love to be silent when I hike. I pray when I am in the car. I work really hard on emptying my mind and meditating during yoga. But it’s still sooooo hard!!!! 

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So, that’s my rant. Being healthy is hard. It would be sooo much easier to lay on the couch and order pizza, but instead, I am working it out. I am trying to find ways to make living la vida “healthy” doable and sustainable. 

What tips do you have for living a healthy life??? What does “healthy” look like for you??

What I’m Eating Lately

My first Mother’s Day was kind of a bust :( I got some sort of weird stomach bug where every time I ate something, it hurt. It lasted like 4 days. It was rough!! It felt like a sibo flare up, but it was worse. Glad that’s over! 

So, in light of eating again, I thought I would share some of my current faves

1) Weekend Glow Kale Salad from Oh She Glows

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This salad is a staple in my house. It has a bright lemony creamy dressing and a million different toppings. My faves are peas, raisins, cashews, shredded carrots, green onions, bell peppers and avocado- holy yummers! I make a biiig batch and have it throughout the week.

2) Goat Cheese

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I have sworn off dairy as it doesn’t do good things for my kiddo or for me. But I still love something a little creamy, so goat cheese it is! I love to eat it plain or melted on top of a burger. Soooo yummy! This bad boy was $7 at Costco. 

3) Deschutes Brewery Red Chair 

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A friend gave me some of this when we were hanging out in her backyard with our babies. I’m usually a darker beer kinda gal (when I drink, which is a lot more recently due to be relaxed and enjoying things I normally avoid) but I really like this IPA! It’s so delicious and flavorful! 

4) Blueberries

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These guys are back in action at Costco!! It’ll be a while before the ones in our backyard are ready, so in the meantime, I am loving these. I already made blueberry muffins that were super good! 

5) Raisins and Sunflower Seed Butter

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Breastfeeding is exhausting and it makes me soooo hungry! So I have been looking for more calories in a quick snack besides nuts. This is a perfect combo! I stir in some raisins with the butter and top with cinnamon. It’s easy to eat and doesn’t get my tummy hot n bothered. 

6) Bone Broth

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And, as always, I am sipping on bone broth. I use grass fed knuckle and femur bones (from New Seasons) and toss it in the crockpot with onions, carrots, celery, egg shells, salt and apple cider vinegar for a nice dark broth. Some people roast the bones before cooking, but it’s warm out and I don’t want to heat up the house. Plus, aint got time for that! 

So, those are just a few things I am currently enjoying. What are some things you are munchin on??

My First Motherless Mother’s Day

Sunday will be my first time celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother!! Go me! I feel like I have definitely earned it, lol. I told my hubby I want a nice piece of jewelry for my special day, even if I can’t wear it for a little while :) 

Our last photo together a few weeks before she left us.
Our last photo together a few weeks before she left us.

I have to admit that I am approaching this sacred day with mixed emotions. That’s because the last 30 Mother’s Days that I have been alive for have been to celebrate my mom, Chris. The last 11 of which she has been in Heaven for. 

The past 8 months have been so incredibly challenging, amazing, hard, wonderful, joyful, anxiety provoking and exhausting! I love being a mother to my son, Louis! He is my pride and joy, my most precious gift from God himself. I feel so blessed to be his momma.

My wonderful Mom in-law, Cindy
My wonderful Mom in-law, Cindy

And yet….being a mom has been slightly tainted for me. That is because I am a Motherless Mom.  (I want to pause and say how grateful I am for my mother in-law, Cindy. She is incredible!!! She is selfless, caring, thoughtful, generous and loves my baby almost as much as I do! Without her, I have no idea what I would do!!)

I bought this charm for my mom.
I bought this charm for my mom.

But, I miss my own mom. The past three months especially. Louis was struggling with sleep for the first time and I juuuuuuust about lost it. I made the really hard decision to get help and start anti-depressants so that I could be a better wife, mom, trainer and friend. (Zoloft has been such a blessing to me! I feel like I am myself again and for the first time, I actually FEEL like I love my baby, instead of just KNOWING that I love him!!)

Her recipe box.
Her recipe box.

I have felt like my mom has died all over again. It’s like when I got married 6 years ago. She wasn’t there and I felt an ache like I had never experienced before. I was a wife without a mother. Grief was a whole new beast and it took a long time to sort through this new form of pain and sorrow. 

Now, I am faced with the same issue- the grief looks different and I feel it differently as a mom. I want to call my mom and ask about teething , sleeping, which stroller she thinks I should get. What we are going to do for Louis’ first birthday. I want her to pop over and bring clothes and toys that she found at garage sales for Louis. I want her to plan a double Mother’s Day celebration with me. 

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My incredible mother, Christine (Chris) Ellerbroek

But….that will never happen. My cell phone will never ring with her 916 number. I will never get texts from her. I will never be able to Skype (yes, I still use Skype) with her. She will never randomly show up with gifts for her grandson. She will not be present at his first birthday party, first day of school, first dance, first time driving, his graduation, his wedding or when he has her great-grandchildren. 

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All of this brings up so much sadness in my heart. I am desperate to tell her “Thank you” for all that she did for me. For the nights she stayed up with me when I had colic. For all of the diapers she changed. For all of the miles she put on the car driving me around. For all of the spit up she cleaned and poop she got out of my clothes. For all of the kisses and hugs. For all of the prayers she prayed on my behalf. For all of the love she unconditionally showered on me. For all of the battles she fought for me. For the sacrifices she made so I could have a life she always dreamed of for me. 

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So, I approach May 10th with excitement for my first Mother’s Day, but also a new layer of grief for the most incredible Mother that I miss every single day. Mom, I love you. Thank you for being my mother for 19 years. Your Grandson is amazing- I show him your picture all the time and I tell him stories so he will feel like he knows you. 

We were pregnant at the same time, just 30 years apart.
We were pregnant at the same time, just 30 years apart.

I tell him about your crazy love of cats. I tell him about “Cat Talk”, your own made up language. About endless garage sales and Ebay. About the epic stockings for my cousins at Christmas. How you loved to deck the house for every holiday. How you let me sleep on the floor next to you in your room if I was scared. How we made cookies and jams together. Of our adventures wading through thorns to find the perfect blackberries. About all of the many projects at church that we did. How you would call the yogurt shop when I was working  and ask what flavor yogurt an alligator would like. How you would blow your whistle through your nose. About how you worked endlessly to provide inner city kids with a better life. 

About how you served others tirelessly. How you loved doing nails. When you would bribe me to rub your sore feet and paint your toes. When you were at my high school graduation in a wheel chair and helped me get ready for prom from your hospital bed. How you would tease me about marrying a boy named Tim (which I did, just a different one). How you would do cheers in the grocery store just to embarass me. (Falcon fans, pump it, let’s hear it, go-fight-win!). How you wrote to me at summer camp and sent me the coolest care packages. How you told me I could do anything if I set my mind to it. 

She was always making people laugh
She was always making people laugh

These are just a few of the stories I tell my son about his wacky and wonderful Grammy in Heaven. 

PS, he has your nose  and our cheeks :) 

I also want to recognize my Stand In Mamas, Aunt Jamie and Renee. Thank you for standing by me and supporting me when Mom could not. Your guidance, wisdom, love, kindness, teaching and support has meant the world to me and I am soooooo happy that Louis will grow up with you in his life. Happy Mother’s Day!!

Aunt Jamie
Aunt Jamie
Dearest Renee
Dearest Renee
My Stand in Mamas
My Stand in Mamas

Losing Weight Didn’t Make Me Happy

**Spoiler Alert!!**

This is a reallly long post and I feel slightly narcissistic writing it, but I know what a struggle this is with my clients and a lot of women that I know. So, here it goes! 

I grew up on a steady diet of sugar. Literally. My mom managed a gas station with a large convenience store filled with frozen hamburgers, candy, frozen yogurt, Slurpees…you name it, it was in there and I was allowed to have anything I wanted. At home, I ate Pop Tarts with butter, sugar in my sugary cereals, five packets of instant oatmeal, two cans of Hormel chili and Kraft Mac N Cheese with butter and extra shredded cheddar cheese.

I would stash candy in my bedroom and hide Pop Tarts in my doll house. My parents would lecture me about how much sugar I put in my Cheerios and how I would regret not eating salad (which consisted of iceburg lettuce, ground beef and cheese).

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A size 14

I never played sports (except for cheerleading three years in high school, and let’s be honest, that’s not really a sport) or exercised on purpose. I did Rollerblade and ride my bike, but only until I hit my teen years. My favorite activities included watching tv, reading and eating.

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I was sucking in trying to hid my stomach

By the time I was in a freshman in college, I was the biggest I had ever been! I weighed about 170 pounds and had almost 40% body fat! In 2005, I started working at Costco pushing those giant carts and lifting heavy boxes and cases of water. For the first time in my life, I was fit! I lost about 10 pounds and discovered that I had hip bones!

I got a membership at 24 Hour Fitness by my work and after 8 hours of work, I would go workout for another two hours. I would run when I wasn’t at the gym and would wake up at 4:30am to take a step class. I became obsessed with my ever shrinking body. I started writing down what I ate and banished all forms of sugar for a whole summer. I ate out of measuring cups and went to bed with my stomach growling.

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Me as a size 4

But, every morning, I awoke just a little bit smaller. By the summer of 2007, I weighed 139 pounds and was in a size 4. I looked gaunt and struggled enormously with IBS type symptoms. I lived on diet Pepsi and reduced-fat popcorn while working out 7 days a week (sometimes two times a day!).

Finally, I realized that my eating and working out habits were killing me mentally and emotionally. I started focusing on being healthy. I subscribed to Clean Eating Magazine and made dozens of “healthy” cookies (I am a recovering Sugar Addict) and cooked with every whole grain I could find. By 2009, I was a mess! I was 145 pounds, running 25 miles a week and still having stomach issues (we had lots of candles in the bathroom).

After my first half-marathon, I decided I wanted to become a personal trainer and help people like myself. I wanted people to feel the rush from achieving things physically that they had never been able to do before. I got certified and started working in a gym pursuing my dream. I helped people cut out sugar and count calories, like I had done and was trained to do.

My clients had small term success because they were eventually tired of working out and couldn’t adhere to low-calorie diets. I wanted more for them and more for myself. In 2011, I was certified as a Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Around this time I also started CrossFit and the Paleo Diet. It changed the way I did training and nutrition for my clients and they started seeing better results.

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I even did CrossFit during vacation while my hubby slept in every day.

I became obsessed with CrossFit, going four or five times a week. I became the strongest and leanest I had ever been. I was a size 6 and incredibly unhappy.

Yes, unhappy. My stomach issues were all but gone and I was doing strict pull ups and deadlifting three times my body weight. I was wearing small clothes and had a toned body people would kill for. Why was I unhappy?

I was unhappy because I still struggled with food. I struggled with the “can’t haves”, the “shouldn’ts” and the “have to’s.” I was obsessed with making sure my hip bones and collar bones were poking out and that my biceps were defined, not saggy.I worked out incessantly even my hands were calloused and would rip open and I was sore every day. I had to avoid foods I loved in order to keep my tummy happy and fat off my hips. It.Was.Exhausting!

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My xxx-large t-shirt covered with my “should” statements.

Finally, in 2013, after working with a therapist for a couple of years, I  realized that I was being held hostage by my beliefs about being skinny, fit and healthy. I was obsessed with my body, food and workouts. I truly lived by statements that involved “have to”, “can’t” and “should”. These powerful lies had become my reality and I worked really hard to break them down and find freedom in figuring out what my trigger foods and behaviors were. Once I knew those, I chose to avoid or limit them in order to maintain my new way of thinking and living.

I quit CrossFit because it triggered the competitive and over-doing side of me. I stopped calling myself Paleo because the label enforced restriction and the “can’t have” mentality. I started doing yoga to quiet my soul and reduce anxiety about making good choices. I found acceptance of my body and was proud of all that it had accomplished.

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32 weeks pregnant

Since that revelatory time in 2013, I have had  a baby, which has ushered in a lot of the “have to’s” and “can’ts” and obsessions with body size. I wrestled again with counting calories and watching the scale. I was triggered and obsessed about losing the baby weight. The difference is that I was able to recognize triggering behavior and stop it in it’s tracks. I remembered that my goal for my life was not to be the thinnest or the strongest, because that does not make me happy.

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And proud of it!

I want to pursue health and be the best woman, wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend and employee that I can be. I want to call a truce and be friends with my body, not at war with it or working against it. I want to have a healthy, balanced mind that seeks nourishment and choices. I don’t want to be a gym rat or sore every day- and I don’t have to! I don’t have to be on a fat loss diet or do fat burning exercises! I can if I want to, but I no longer “have to”.

At Rebooted Body, we talk about DWYLT and I strive to live this out and not feel guilty for napping when my son naps instead of working out. I listen to my body and trust it entirely.

Society says that I should be skinny or strong and that is what makes me beautiful or sexy. That I should have perfect skin, makeup, teeth, hair and make that my priority. That I should fit into cute cutoff shorts or skinny jeans. That I should have no bulges, bumps or lines. That I should workout every day and eat like a bird. That I should strive to look like all the airbrushed models on TV and magazines and that my competition for my husbands attention is all the models on the internet. Do you know what I have learned about all that? It is complete bull shit

All of this to say, dear friends, is that if you are looking to lose a lot of weight, I can tell you, it will not make you happy. It is incredibly hard to do (especially for women over 40) and takes a lot of work to maintain. Instead, focus on being the healthiest you you can be.

Make choices that make you a more balanced person and create margin in your life. It is in this sacred trust of your body and balance in your mind that you will find peace and contentment with your body. Find happiness in God, your family and friends, your body’s ability to do incredible things, nature– it’s all there for the taking!!!

If you don’t know how to trust your body or identify trigger foods and behaviors, I welcome you to Total Body Reboot. Here, we will teach you how to achieve the body and life you love and cherish without feelings of guilt, shame, frustration or sadness. Don’t hesitate to email or call us with questions about how you too can Reboot your body, mind and life!

Unstoppable Morning Supplement Routine

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Merry Christmas Eve!!! 

I can’t believe it is here already! It doesn’t feel like “Christmas” this year. Probably because I haven’t been able to do the “christmasy” things with Louis being so little. He does make an adorable Christmas baby though!! 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt hasn’t been particularly cold this year (rarely are the 50’s considered cold….) but I have loved these slipper socks!! So comfy!!

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Anyways, back on topic! Want to feel unstoppable every morning? Do you want increased energy? A feeling of fullness that lasts well passed lunch time? Then check out this morning routine of supplements to help you achieve that awesome feeling! 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, this is what I do every morning. **PLEASE consult your physician or Naturopath before starting ANY new supplements or routines!! They are waaay smarter than me, so be sure to ask!!** The morning ritual and routine. It looks like a lot, but it’s not so bad once you get in the rhythm of it.

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 So, I start with my pills. I take iron to replenish my stores from childbirth. I was in the low 20’s, so I take it twice a day (always with food!!). I take 500mgs of GABA with 100mgs L-Theanine to boost my brain and improve my mood. It’s amazing how fast those suckers work!! I also do 7 drops (7,000IUs) of Vitamin D. (At night I take Vitamin D3 and K2 along with my multi for another 1,000IUs of D). 

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Next up are my two liquids: Apple Cider Vinegar and Cod Liver Oil. I do a teaspoon of CLO and chase it with a tablespoon of ACV in a shot glass 😉 ACV has soooo many amazing health benefits!! Plus, you can make a tasty hot apple cider out of it too! Same goes with CLO- soooo many health benefits! I have been using it for 2.5 years and love it!!

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Finally, my decaf bulletproof coffee! I don’t have time to make a fresh cup of decaf every morning (and no, I am too lazy for the french press or pour over), so I keep a pot in the fridge and re-heat as needed. I add in a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of MCT oil and about a tablespoon of coconut oil. I also add a teaspoon of gelatin for it’ awesome health benes too! Blend it all up and you have delightfully frothy love in a cup :) 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll right friends, this is where I leave you. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a most joyful New Years!!

 

Nutty Granola & Spiced Almond Milk

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s not too often that I miss carby things like bread and pasta. I have lived without them so long that I don’t miss them. One thing I do miss pretty regularly is cereal and oatmeal. These are hard to “paleofy”. Oats give me a headache similar to dairy and cereal is full of crummy ingredients (same with commercial almond/coconut milks). 

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So, I decided to try my hand at making my own almond milk and “cereal”. I know granola is not really cereal, but when you’re grain/dairy/soy free, it’s the next best step. Typical granola has oats, grains and lot’s sugar in it.

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This version is low sugar and still tastes amazing. It doesn’t clump like normal granola which makes it perfect for cold or hot cereal! 

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The almond milk is tasty! I enjoyed the whole process and felt very domestic while making it. You can add any spices you want, I just went with this “wintry” blend. 

Spiced Almond Milk and Nutty Granola
A yummy grain/oat free granola that can be eaten hot or cold or even just as a snack. I served it with my Spiced Almond Milk!
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Prep Time
24 hr
Prep Time
24 hr
For Almond Milk
  1. 2 cups almonds
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  4. 3/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 2 tablespoons maple syrup (more or less depending on you)
For Granola
  1. Leftover almonds from almond milk
  2. 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  3. 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
  4. 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  5. 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  6. 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  7. 1/3 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (optional)
  8. 1/4 cup almond butter or sunflower seed butter
  9. 1/4 cup honey
  10. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
For Almond Milk
  1. Soak almonds in water overnight.
  2. Rinse in bowl until water is clear.
  3. Add water and almonds to blender and blend for 90 seconds.
  4. Use fine mesh strainer or nut bag (cheesecloth) to strain out milk.
  5. Save almonds for granola.
  6. Put milk into a glass jar and add spices, syrup and vanilla.
  7. Shake and serve!
  8. Store in the fridge and shake before you use it.
For Granola
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. Put a piece of parchment paper down on cookie sheet and spread nut mixture.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, stir, bake for 6-8 more minutes.
  5. Let cool and store in a glass jar.
Notes
  1. You can also add chopped walnuts, pecans or sliced almonds to granola for more of a crunch.
Train Your Body-Change Your Life http://trainer-kim.com/
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I added the almond milk to my decaf coffee this morning and it was delightful! It had just a hint of sweetness and a nice spice. Perfect for the stormy weather outside :) 

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Complete side note, my little man is already 3 months old!! How did that happen?! He continues to bring so much joy by sleeping 6-12 hours at night, drooling up a storm, laughing and smiling with adorable dimples and basically looking super cute in any outfit! Love this little guy!

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Anyways, an early Merry Christmas to you and yours!! 

 

Warming Enchilada Soup

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Picture from Paleo Grubs

I just made this delicious soup and wanted to share it with you! I love the perfect balance of spices in it. I love making soup in the crockpot. It makes the house smell amazing and is hardly any work at all. The other day, I threw chicken breasts, rice, beans, lime and cilantro in and let it cook for four hours. My hubby loved it! It was a great way to fill him up :)

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How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was nice. I was really proud of the dishes that I made. One was my Topless Apple Pie, but with a top! I doubled the crust recipe and made a lattice for the top and a little apple to top it with! 

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Picture from Ohsheglows

The other was a Sweet Potato Casserole from Ohsheglows, my favorite vegan blog. She has the most wonderful recipes! I made her Caesar Salad the other night too- soooo good! 

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It was little mans first Thanksgiving! I just love his little “I am stuffed” onesie :) Can’t wait until Christmas!! Only 3 weeks from today!

Did you make anything fun for Thanksgiving???

5 Tips for Thriving Through the Holidays

This is a throwback post that I did last year. I wanted to balance it with the earlier post about not dieting through the holidays. I feel like there is a balance between eating what you want during the holidays and being really restrictive. For some, it is healthier to avoid the stress and anxiety of staying on track and for some it is healthier to have a plan to follow or food rules to help them stay on track and be successful. 

I know for me, I thrive on having certain foods that I will eat and ones that I avoid. Going all out, even for a day, triggers my disordered eating and makes it hard for me to feel good about my food choices. I have practiced mindfulness enough that I feel really good about skipping the rolls, stuffing and bringing my own dessert. 

So, for those of you who feel like you would like some tools to help you stay on track, these five are for you! 

 1) Chose a smaller plate

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Photo from Crate and Barrel

My in-laws have gotten (mostly) used to my quirks about diet and exercise during the holidays. I always bring an entrée (or side) and a dessert that I make that I know I can enjoy without setting me back emotionally (hello sugar addicts, I am talking to you) or physically (I work hard for this body!).

One of the habits I engage in is using a smaller plate. A lot of satiety (feeling of fullness) is visual. Seeing a full plate can be very visually satisfying and thus leaving you without feeling deprived by only filling up half a regular dinner plate.

Using a smaller plate is great because you can fill it up and eat the whole thing versus taking a little bit on a bigger plate and going back for more. The portion sizes you eat will be smaller than if you place them on a bigger dinner plate. I often grab a salad plate out of the cupboard and swap it for the huge china dinner plate. Think I’m crazy? Try it for yourself and see what a difference it makes!

2) Have a satisfying breakfast or lunch before having a holiday meal

Photo from Dailymail
Photo from Dailymail

Appetizers, egg nog, apple cider, booze, candies, nuts- most of these are present at holiday get togethers. It’s not that they are bad, but indulging in these little delights will not only increase your overall caloric intake, but they will also ruin your body’s ability to digest well, especially the sugars. They can also trigger cravings and turn of inhibitions which help keep you aware of what you are putting into your body.

By eating pre-emptively, you can avoid these little bombs, eat a reasonable size meal (remember your smaller plate) and not over do it. The thing I hear about the most is waiting to eat until the Big Meal. This is the worst idea because you arrive at the meal starving so you eat more than you normally would. And, because it’s a social event, you might even be tempted to eat beyond the point of satisfaction and eat a second (or third) helping or pick at foods even if you’re full.

Eat a normal amount of protein, complex carbs and fats before you go to ensure that you have a clear mind and balanced blood sugar before you go.

3) Chose your dessert wisely or bring your own

Photo from Country Living
Photo from Country Living

Apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, Oreo cookie cake, fruit cake, sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies….it’s all there. Everywhere you start to see these sugar laden treats pop up. This is the hardest part for most of my clients. Cookies at work, pie at families, bars at parties….its never ending during the holidays! I am a huge believer in moderation, and having small treat at a holiday party is an ok way to avoid feeling deprived.

That said, think about how many parties you are going to. I would limit dessert to once a week to avoid excess calories, fat and sugar. Never, EVER put dessert with alcohol. If you must drink, do it far far away from carbohydrates like breads, pastas, potatoes, stuffing and especially sugar!! It’s one or the other this time around. Always opt for wine over cocktails, hard cider over egg nog, beer over margaritas or hard liquor over mixed drinks.

As for which dessert to choose, opt for a small slice of pumpkin pie over pecan, apple over pecan, lemon bars over 7 layer bars, gingerbread cookies over sugar cookies and one piece of candy over ice cream. If you can, make a dessert that has less sugar and enjoy that instead of trying to guesstimate on the rest.

4) Walk after a big meal- don’t sit!

Usually after a big meal, there is a lot of sitting. Sitting means no extra calories being burned which can add up fairly quickly. So, grab your scarves and mittens and head out for a half hour stroll after the big meal.

It doesn’t have to be a cardio workout or even a fast walk, just enough to use some of that ingested energy (calories are energy- if it doesn’t get used, it gets stored!). If it’s too wet outside, play an active game like charades, Twister (yep, I totally own that one!) or find a way to move your body. Not only does it burn calories, but it also helps aid digestion of all that food.

5) Stay consistent with your diet, exercise, sleep and stress management

Photo from Vision Fitness
Photo from Vision Fitness

Nothing is more stressful than the holidays. Decorating, parties, food preparation, family interactions, a busy schedule, more traffic, buying presents- it’s all very stressful and stress is the arch-enemy of weight loss. The best thing you can do to ensure thriving through the holiday season is to keep the status quo- keep doing what you have been doing.

-Don’t skip the gym- hire a trainer to keep you accountable

-Keep focused on your diet (and by diet I mean the foods you eat) and don’t chalk it all up to the “holidays”.

-Manage your stress by deep breathing, staying organized and finding outlets for emotions that don’t involve food (walking, talking, journaling, creating)

-Sleep as much as you possibly can!! Go to bed as early as possible and sleep in as long as you can manage. Make your breakfast the night before so you can sleep just a little longer. Sleep is your body’s rest and recover time-it’s also your greatest weapon against getting sick!

Keep checking back for more helpful hints on surviving and thriving through the holidays!!

How to Not Diet for the Holidays

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Yep, you read that right. Today’s post is not about cutting calories or tip to staying lean and trim through new years. Nope, today’s post is about celebrating! It’s about being with family and enjoying delicious food.

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 It’s about acknowledging the hard work you have put in this year to keep yourself clean and lean when it comes to diet and exercise. It’s about celebrating the victories, accomplishments, struggles and trials of a year gone by. It’s about looking ahead to what 2015 has in store for you and you for it.

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So, my challenge to you this holiday season is to enjoy your holiday, “bad” food and all. Listen to your body, yes, but don’t restrict to the point where you feel left out and deprived. I have done this so many times and it is not worth the mental anguish that comes with being deprived. Know your limits and when you have had enough, stop.

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Enjoy the pleasure that Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years brings and let go of all the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”- the “can’ts” and “musn’ts”. Hug your friends and family. Make a toast to good health for all with a flute of bubbly. Break bread with those who drive you crazy. Get a little tipsy and giggly with those you let your hair down with.

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Be present in moments like this. Don’t worry about tomorrow, it will take care of itself. Enjoy living life to the fullest! Use all of your senses to enjoy this magical time of year!

And then when it is all over, look ahead and begin again on your journey. Don’t stay in party mode, but appreciate the break and get back to work:)

Happy Holidays!!!

Product Review: Wild Zora Beef and Veggie Bars

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Ok, I’m not gonna lie. When I first heard about a beef and veggie “bar” I was a little concerned. Beef and veggies put together in a bar….and I am supposed to, what, eat it?!? 

Fortunately for me, I did! I got to chow down on some delicious beef and veggie bars from Wild Zora, a company out of Colorado (why do all the cool things come from there?!). 

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I got to try three different flavors: BBQ Hickory Tomato, Cheesy Parmesan Basil and Spicy Cayenne Apricot. 

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My favorite by far was the BBQ! I am not a spicy person, so the cayenne wasn’t for me, but my housemate said she really liked it. We both agreed the parmesan wasn’t our favorite, but that kids would probably really enjoy it! 

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I was expecting a texture similar to Epic Bars, but these were thinner and less “airy”. I really liked the texture of these bars! They didn’t get stuck in my teeth (a common occurrence with jerky-like products) and didn’t leave a weird after taste. 

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I love the idea of having these in the car or gym bag just ready to go. And, as a breastfeeding mama, I love having protein available in a nice, non-messy medium! 

So, be sure to head over to Wild Zora and grab a bunch because you get 10% off your order with the code “trainer-kim” (expires 12/16/14). 

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Eating and Moving for a Healthier Life!