Well, it sure isn’t helping!
Do you feel like this guy??
Are you sucking down coffee to wake you up each morning and then drinking wine and chocolate at night to help you calm down?
Are you reaching for sugary snacks mid afternoon to combat stress, cravings and that afternoon lull??
Are you stressed, overworked, underpaid, under appreciated, rushed and drained?Are there too many things on your to-do list and it seems like things just keep getting added to it?
Is this affecting your weight or the ability to lose weight?
Actually – it very well can be. And not only your weight but your health in general.
Have you heard of the “stress hormone” cortisol?
Cortisol is a hormone that assists in regulating blood pressure and your body’s ability to use fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It helps with metabolism, releasing insulin for blood sugar maintenance and inflammatory response.
Normal levels of cortisol will help increase energy and metabolism and helps to regulate blood pressure.
Even small increases will help improve memory, reduce sensitivity to pain and help sustain energy.
Cortisol is secreted in higher levels during the body’s fight or flight response and during high levels of stress. This all sounds good, right? I mean if a normal level helps with increased energy and metabolism then wouldn’t that mean more stress = more cortisol = increased energy and metabolism?
High levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which is realeased when you are under stress and pressure) can cause
- Suppressed thyroid function
- Increased blood pressure
- Decreased bone density (high levels of cortisol is a primary cause of osteoporosis)
- Blood sugar imbalances (blood sugar imbalanced = cravings for sweets, salts, fats)
- Lower your immunity
- Lower inflammatory responses
- Slow down the healing process
- Hormone imbalance – the more cortisol the higher the need is for other hormones like thyroid, insulin, estrogen and testosterone
So what’s the solution?
We need to reduce stress in our lives. Of course this is easier said than done!
Next week I have over 70 ways to deal with stress – that don’t include eating junk food!
There is no magic pill to reduce stress but there is an amazing ingredient in Shakeology that
- improves learning, memory, and reaction time
- reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
- stabilizes blood sugar
- lowers cholesterol
- reduces brain-cell degeneration
- offers anti-inflammatory benefits
Do you know what this amazing herb is? It’s called Ashwaganda. Ashwagandha works as an adaptogen, promoting the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis and resist stress and everything listed above!
Those of you who are already using Shakeology are already getting this amazing herb daily, not to mention over 70 other whole food, healthy ingredients to help you
- lose weight
- gain energy
- lower cholesterol
- reduce cravings
- improve digestion
- just feel better
Still unsure about Shaekology? Grab your bag and try it risk free for 30 days!
If you don’t like it you can return the empty bag for a full refund, no questions asked!
Those who order Shakeology on Home Direct on or before Feb 18th, 2013 will automatically be invited to participate in my upcoming 21 Day Clean Eating Challenge held on Facebook (just add me as a friend!). I’ll provide weekly meal plan options, daily support and tips to help you eat clean for 21 days. Just place your order and make sure we are friends on Facebook!
Keep your eye out for an upcoming blog– I already have over 70 tips to help you deal with stress. I’d love to know what your favorite way to deal with stress is that doesn’t involve junk food, cigarettes or alcohol! Will you help me get to 101 ways to deal with stress? Leave me a comment and I’ll have a little prize for my favorite one!
I mean, I care, but I don’t care. I guess what I am trying to tell you is I am not here to judge you. I’m not here to point fingers or make “shame on you signs” or give you looks of “do you know how many calories are in that?” or “Don’t you read your labels?” No. Jeez, I have better things to do, like make a kale salad… kidding.
I’ve been doing a few free health consultations and realize how nervous people are to share with me what they are eating on a daily basis. Fear of being judged for their choices in breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Listen, I don’t think you are a bad person if you eat six bowls of cereal for breakfast, skip lunch and have a ½ pound steak for dinner washed down with a bottle of wine. I really don’t.
I also don’t think you are necessarily an amazing person if you blend up green smoothies for breakfast, eat a salad everyday for lunch and cook a vegetarian home cooked meal for your and family each night.
What you eat and drink does not determine your worth.
Let me say that again. What you eat and drink does not determine your worth.
I’m here to help guide you.
I’m here to listen.
I am here to ask YOU questions.
I’m here to learn what it is like to be YOU.
I’m here to help you find solutions to your struggles.
I’m here to share what has worked for me and others in your position and to help you determine if that will work for you or not.
Every time we connect I will learn more about you and with that knowledge I’ll be able to help you find something that works for YOU.
So keep talking.
There are no right or wrong answers. There is no good or bad food. There’s not even hard and fast rules that can’t ever be broken!
There is only you, your goals, your struggles, your hopes and dreams and your fears. I’m just here to help you sort it all out and figure out what works best for YOU. Sound good? If so drop me a line, leave me a comment or add me as a friend on Facebook and let’s schedule a free 30- 45 minute consultation. Sound good?
Three years ago if you told me I would be eating a completely vegan diet for the next 21 days I would have laughed in your face. I mean I love salads and all, but vegan? No cheese, no chicken, no eggs, no MILK?? I love milk!! What do you dunk your cookies in?? Seriously what do you EAT without all that food??
Back then typically 2/3rds of my meals included meat. Lunch was typically a ham or turkey sandwich and dinner was lasagna, chicken parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken fingers, cheeseburgers, or salad with grilled meat on top. I also, rarely, if ever ate fish.
My nutrition first started to change when I bought P90X 3 years ago and started to use that and follow the meal plan. What, no cookies or MnMs??? What do you have for afternoon snack?!?! No sodas?? How am I going to stay awake??
I was pretty ignorant with our food system. I remember reading on menu’s “Corn-fed beef burger” and not knowing any better. Later I learned that cows aren’t supposed to eat corn and it really affects them negatively. I switched to grass fed beef but actually didn’t like the taste of it at all. I didn’t even know that I didn’t like beef because I had never actually tasted the way beef SHOULD taste. I couldn’t be responsible for a cows messed up stomach because I thought it tasted better!
More recently, back in February of 2012 I actually read a book that really affected me and my eating habits. Just a few months ago I was still eating meat regularly but I did want to “experiment” with eating more vegetarian meals. I just really didn’t know HOW. I mean, besides the obvious of just don’t eat meat! For me I think it comes down to that typical plate – your main (meat, chicken or fish) taking up the majority of your plate with two sides, a couple vegetables and a healthy grain or starch. What’s for dinner was always answered with an animal protein – “Fish. Chicken. Venison”. Not “Lentil soup and leaves!!” Leaves for dinner!! YAY!!
I have watched all the scary documentaries like Food Inc., Foot Matters, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and I KNOW how bad the factory farmed meat is and how beneficial a plant based diet is, yet I still bought meat regularly. I would get sucked in at the grocery store looking at a breast of organic chicken and a breast of farmed “chicken” and 9 times out of 10 chose the chicken that was bigger and cheaper. I can’t see the hormones and nasty stuff that’s in there, maybe this one is ok… I just couldn’t quite justify it. Until I read this one particular book.
There is something different that happens when you read vs when you simply watch a 90 minute documentary. Or at least there was for me.
I read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and it absolutely changed the way I bought and ate my meat. Maybe because my mind actually imagined what he was describing – I wasn’t being shown an image on a tv I could turn away from while sitting in my comfortable house. I wasn’t watching a short clip about factory farming on You Tube that would soon escape my memory. My mind had to work to imagine the pictures he was describing. They got more ingrained in my psyche.
Check out the way he really describes the living condition of egg laying hens:
Here is another excerpt from the website:
After reading this book I immediately changed my buying habits. I didn’t go vegetarian but I stopped purchasing factory farmed meat. I haven’t gone that way for fish, yet. I simply decided if I was going to eat meat I had to do it more responsibly. It’s more expensive to eat meat responsibly so in order to keep my grocery bill the same I had to replace meat with other choices. I was sick of supporting the big companies that are making the world and its people sicker and sicker because they are worried about their bottom line. I was saddened to really know that every time I chose to eat meat I was affecting the environment.
I also stopped ordering meat in restaurants. This made ordering always go MUCH faster as there is rarely more than a couple vegetarian options on the menu! I used to have to read the whole menu then ask oodles of questions about which meal was best!
Now, summer of 2012,I am doing a 21 day Reset/Cleanse. I’m excited because it is such a well laid out meal plan that takes me easily to a gluten free, dairy free, alcohol free, caffeine free, sugar free, vegan diet. I don’t know what will happen after the program is over. I’ll be able to asses how MY body feels with this new nutrition. You can follow my blog to see how I manage. I am not doing this because I want to be a vegan or vegetarian for the rest of my life, but I do want to learn how my body reacts to being on a meat free diet.
I’ll leave ya with my tips on what I would recommend to people looking to eat less meat. I’m definitely no expert on this – just trying to make the best choices for my body and our lovely earth.
Make just one meal that isn’t typically a vegetarian meal meat free today.
Order the vegetarian option in restaurants.
Hang out with a vegetarian
Buy only organic, ethically raised meat. If it hurts your wallet there is less of a chance you’ll eat a lot of meat.
Check out a vegetarian cookbook at the library and try a new recipe.
Know WHY you want to change your eating habits.
Well, day one is coming to a close and I wanted to share what I experienced, and share some tips for those of you who are about to get started yourself.
When did you start? I started my Reset on a Sunday. The booklet that comes with your package actually recommends starting on a Wednesday so you don’t have to go through a whole workweek while you get used to the changes right off the bat. For me, I am self employed so I chose Sunday May 20th because it was the first day I was going to be home after six weeks on the road! You can BET I need a Reset to my system after eating out WAY too many meals!! Actually, starting right after a move was ideal for me. I really feel I got to start from an absolutely clean slate. I had no food in my fridge so my initial grocery trip was exactly what I needed for the reset! When YOU should start is really based on what is going on in your life. Look forward the next 21 days to make sure that you don’t have anything drastic coming up in your schedule that will cause a speed bump!
What about your workouts?? I’m going to follow the system the way it laid out (as best to my ability) and not do any strength training workouts. Most mornings I will be up at 5:30am-5:45 and do either a sunrise bike ride for about 40 minutes, a 40 min hike or some yoga. I am pretty active throughout the day and we tend to hike and swim, but I never consider that a “workout”. I’ll listen to my body and if it is SCREAMING for some more exercise I may add in a bit more.
Is your boyfriend doing it with you? Nope. It’s not his thing at all. In fact I’m worried about how my new eating habits may affect the relationship. For the next 21 days I will opt to not go out to eat (which we tend to do a lot of) and that could definitely frustrate him. I have looked ahead at the meals for the week and made some adjustments so we are eating similar but not exactly the same (I’ll get into more detail as the week progresses) I’m also a bit nervous of different emotions that may come up during the detox and how that may cause tension during the reset. Guess that is where the meditation comes in handy
What are your goals? I’m really not looking to lose weight. In fact I am more nervous about losing muscle tone. I don’t want to be “skinny”. I want to be FIT. I’m guessing I’ll lose a few pounds.
My main goal is to learn yet another new way of eating. About 4 months ago I read a great book called Eating Animals and it really changed my outlook on eating meat and I decided to eat A LOT less, and the meat I DO chose to eat I wanted it to be raised and slaughtered ethically. This reset helps me to get away from meat completely so I can learn if this is a lifestyle I want to keep or not.
Don’t you already eat healthy, do you really think you’ll feel different? Yes and YES! “Eating healthy” is relative, to some people I am super healthy, to others I still have a lot to change. I eat LOTS of fruit, veggies, lean proteins and very little processed foods. Cookies are my weakness and I’m looking forward to seeing how my taste buds change. I’m excited about trying many new foods and preparations so I can learn how to incorporate things like tempeh and seaweed soup into my regular weekly menus.
What are you most excited about?
Clearer skin!! Increased focus and clarity. More stable and increased energy. I’m envisioning this being a turning point in more ways than just my nutrition. Let’s see what comes!
My boyfriend and I travel 2-3 months out of the year for 3-6 weeks at a time. It’s not really a “vacation” so skipping workouts and indulging in umbrella drinks or overeating is not our goal.
When I pack my bags I always make sure I have the following items:
1. Laptop and DVDs – I actually bought my first “home based” workout because I would be traveling and not be able to go to my favorite gym classes. Now I simply bring my classes WITH me and have no excuse to miss a workout! Need me to help you find your favorite travel workout? Just ask! Oh – and here is an example of what you can do if you have an extra long layover!
2. Sharp knife – Do I have to tell you to NOT bring this in your carry-on bag? I have a favorite knife that when I travel long distances I always bring it. If you have a small cutting board you may want to throw that in as well. I can easily make a salad if I have veggies and a knife!
3. Cooler Bag - They fold down flat and are inexpensive from the grocery store. Great for roadtrips if you don’t want to invest in a big cooler. When you get to where you are going and if you have access to a freezer freeze a water bottle as your ice block. If you REALLY want to get fancy check out six pack bags – these may not be as easy to travel with – I just got mine from the grocery store.
4. Resistance Bands – I love the ones that Beachbody makes – you can find them here. I recommend the “medium” set for a decent variety
5. YogaPaws – These are a new toy for me! Yoga mats are heavy and take up space and you don’t REALLY need one to do yoga. I googled up “yoga gloves” and found these guys. Here is a 15% off coupon code!
6. Shakeology with a shaker cup and ball. Eating on the road is TOUGH, I get it! I always travel with Shakeology because it is SO easy. I at least know I am getting one super healthy meal, 9 servings of fruits and veggies, fiber, protein, superfoods, I sure don’t see that in my free continental breakfast options!
When I get to my destination of the the FIRST places I find is a grocery store to stock up on some travel friendly foods. I’ll post some ideas of things to grab to keep you on track!
What is always in your suitcase to keep you healthy, fit and sane?
I just listened to some repeat information and NEW informtion about Shakeology, wanted to answer some FAQ
1. They ARE working on a Vegan option – woo hoo!!! I am SO excited about this!
2. It is FAIRTRADE – meaning Darin Olien, creator of Shakeology, literally SHAKES the hand of the farmers and manufacturers to make is truly SUSTAINABLE for everyone involved
3. Yes, they are working on Vanilla – Vanilla is such a neutral flavor – meaning to get a good NATURAL vanilla flavor it will compromise the integrity of the product. It’s not as easy as throwing a vanilla bean in the mix.
4. It took over a year to get the current flavors – Chocolate and Greenberry.
5. It is not kosher. Kosher wouldn’t not change the quality of the product, but it would increase the price.
If you want more information on Shakeology please check out www.myshakeology.com/rainbowmandy
Ready for your own BAG?
I wanted to share with you part of the success I had with P90X and give you something to think about in the weeks ahead. When I first started P90X I wasn’t in horrible shape, I was fit and active and was lucky enough growing up to have a high metabolism so I never really watched what I ate. I bought P90X for various reasons (I wanted something portable, intense, structured, challenging, oh, and something that would give me 6 pack abs). P90X did all of that AND more. What it really gave me was a grasp on my nutrition. I remember writing a note a while back about how I thought I ate ok, you know salads (covered with ranch dressing and cheese), skim milk (with cookies or sugary cereals), I drank tons of water (and a soda everyday around 4pm before work), steamed veggies (with melted butter), and so on. When I really started writing down what I was eating I started to realize that it wasn’t nearly as clean as I thought I was and that was the main reason the results I wanted were hiding from me. Have you heard the saying abs are made in the kitchen? It is SO true!
Anyway, the point of this email is that working out and nutrition go hand in hand! Just because you work out 5 or 6 days a week does NOT mean that you should be eating whatever you want. Way too many people work out and then reward themselves with food. Have you ever worked out and then thought to yourself, well I worked out today so I can have this piece of chocolate cake, or fried chicken, or muffin and double cream latte with whipped cream and caramel because I deserve it. NO!!! That way of thinking has GOT TO STOP!!! Your body needs good fuel both before and after a workout. The more good food you put into your body the better you will feel and the better you will look. (On a side note, since starting this program a little over 90 days ago and making the changes I have made in my diet people have been commenting on how much healthier I look- my eyes, my skin, my face, You just LOOK healthier, is what I keep hearing.)
Did you know that when it comes to diet and exercise, 80% of your results are determined by what you put in your mouth? Once I changed my diet and followed my nutrition plan did I really start seeing the amazing results. It is hard. It does take practice. I am STILL a work in progress. If you have questions about your nutritional plan let me know. I am here to help.
Scientists have said that our body is worth around $500 million to $1 billion dollars! If you owned a machine worth $1 billion dollars, how would you treat it?? Wait, you DO own a machine worth $1 billion dollars, so think about that as you decide what type of fuel you are putting in your body today, tomorrow and further into the future.
A couple weeks ago I was hanging with a friend of mine and she remembered that years ago I started throwing my change into a jar to save up for a two month trip to New Zealand. I was always so excited to empty my wallet and throw in what could have been 0.81cents, sometimes I threw in paper money as well if I had a couple extra bucks. Doing this didn’t change my daily life much – it isn’t like I was missing the change in my wallet, but when I finally got around to counting the cash I had it was like I had hit the jackpot! All of a sudden I had FREE money- and it sure did add up!
This post is all about CHANGE! Many people want to SEE something physically change – definition, smaller waist, etc. That is great, but of course that isn’t going to happen overnight, right? How many get frustrated thinking – “This isn’t working!! I give up!” only to go back to the way things were (which CLEARLY weren’t getting you the changes you so desire). The trick is to NOT focus on the results on a day to day basis, instead focus on the changes you need to make on a day to day basis.
Here is a great quote by Jack Dixon for you to take with you this week: “If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” Just because you can’t SEE the changes YET, doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.
Here are two examples for you. First of all: Think of when chicken lays an egg. There is something happening INSIDE that egg that is changing everyday! On the outside it doesn’t appear to be any different from day to day. And then one day, it starts to wiggle, shake and crack and out pops a chick! Now I know our bodies aren’t an egg that one day our 6 pack abs and toned muscles will suddenly appear and our fat will melt away, but realize that even though you don’t SEE the results YET change IS happening inside of your body, making you healthier, stronger, leaner, etc and you WILL be able to see your results if you keep with it!!
Second: Are you tracking your workouts, the weights you use, the reps you do, how you FEEL after your cardio, etc. Look back at your numbers from day one to day 30, 60, 90 etc and you will be amazed at the changes!
Focus on the change you need to make in your life and your results will fall right into place. Take on a few changes at a time – no more than you can handle, and if you need to adjust your changes, do it. Trying to change too much too quickly can be overwhelming and you might be tempted to give it all up. Then, once your changes become healthy HABITS add more changes. Finally, don’t be afraid to fail. Have ever watched either your child, or any child, learn to walk, did they fall down? Did they fall down more than once? Twice? Three times? Of course! Did they get back up? Can you imagine if we all gave up the first time we failed walking- millions of adults crawling around this world of ours, pretty silly. Same with reading, playing an instrument, riding a bike, etc. So why give up on your weight loss or fitness goals? Don’t you deserve to be the best you can be and be as healthy as you can be?
If you slip up a bit don’t beat yourself up, get RIGHT BACK on track the very next meal for your nutrition plan or the very next day with your workout. Don’t let one slip up derail your entire goal! Here’s to turning CHANGE into RESULTS!!
This week I wanted to chat a bit with you about “cheating”. As many of you know I did a 30 day challenge to myself: “no cookies, no cakes, no sweets, no cheats”. It went very well and I thoroughly enjoyed my first cookie (Vegan – 26 calories) on February 2nd since my last piece of cake on December 30th. It felt great knowing that I COULD do it. But of course the question is: Do I want to give up cookies for the rest of my life? Absolutely NOT. I learned that even Tony Horton has a special place in his heart for cookies. I used Chocolate Shakeology as my “treat” to help with the cravings and I know it helped!
Anyway, I got to thinking about cheat meals, treats, days, etc and how to handle them. Someone asked me a couple weeks ago if I have “cheat meals” and would have to say that the answer is “no, not really”. That doesn’t mean that I eat perfect 100% of the time – but I don’t have an entire BAD meal. I do my best to live by the 90% good, 10% not as great. Some people are more comfortable with the 80% good, 20% not as great. What can you commit to this week?
Here’s a little story about why I don’t. Over the holidays my manager took us out to dinner after work. I work for a show so it was a LATE dinner for me, 10pm. I normally don’t eat a full meal at 10pm but this was an exception. The restaurant really took care of us bringing out an appetizer pizza, I had a bowl of pumpkin soup, a burger (subbed fries for veggies – but there was definitely more than just a squeeze of lemon on them), and two desserts for the table of 5 to share. I ate A LOT of food, and late at night. I had a hard time sleeping that night with all the food trying to digest and felt horrible the next day. It wiped me out. My body just couldn’t handle it. For a full day and a half my energy level was off, I felt heavy and just overall blah. Looking back, it sure wasn’t worth it to me to “cheat”.
My “cheats” have turned into the salad bar buffet restaurant where I’ll get the full fat ranch dressing instead of a lighter olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar based dressing. I might have a couple blueberry mini muffins and some fat free frozen yogurt over a small homemade brownie. My “cheats” aren’t greasy pizza, fried foods, a bag of cheetos, a six pack of beer, 1/2 a sheet cake, sodas and candy bars. For me, it isn’t about not wanting to feel guilty, it is about not wanting to feel like crap the next day.
There HAS to be balance. So I am not saying that having a “cheat” meal or “free” day doesn’t work for some. Mentally knowing that those options are still there, and you can choose to have them once a week, once a month or only on special occasions helps many to make smart decisions the rest of the time to keep the balance. If you are going to indulge make it WORTH it, savor it, enjoy it. If it is cheese and bread, make it the BEST cheese and bread you can get – not the wonder bread and processed American cheese. Chocolate? Go for antioxidant rich dark chocolate and bypass the “33% less fat 3 Musketeers”. Cookies? I’ll only do cookies made from scratch and not cookies that come in a sleeve or box. Fast Food burgers? Skip the fast food this week but treat yourself to a nicer, hopefully grass fed lean beef burger on a whole wheat bun with baked “fries”. Get the idea? Let me know if that helps.