4 Simple Nutritionist Approved Ways to Get Started when You Feel Stuck

4 Simple Nutritionist Approved Ways to Get Started when You Feel Stuck

Do you have a desire to improve your health, but you find yourself not knowing where to start?

Does a holistic mind, body, and soul approach feel good to you? Let’s walk through some basics that may be just the thing you need!

Making small changes and shifting based on how your body responds is a simple way to get started on your health. The goal is balance, right?  Having the energy to do the things you desire, while feeling really good and being productive so that you can be your best self… You deserve that!

Now, you may think that untangling health imbalance is complicated… and it can be!  But, getting started is quite easy.

Here are my 4 Simple Nutritionist Approved Ways to Get Started when You Feel Stuck:

#1. Identify Areas That Need Support

The very first thing you need to is to identify the areas where you need support. Do you struggle with digestive issues or acne or PMS?  Are you getting enough sleep? Do you need to lose a few pounds? Or maybe you need time management strategies to help balance time for work, home, social life and self-care?

#2. Track The Basics

Jot down how you sleep, how you feel, your energy level, when you poop (and the quality of your poop).

Why journal?  Easy – taking a mental note doesn’t let you review and assess. Actually jotting down the basics lets you actually SEE what’s going on rather than guessing.  It may seem overwhelming to journal like that… and if it does, I want you to ask yourself what’s more overwhelming: jotting down a couple things during the day or continuing to feel off your game and not knowing what to do about it?

The beauty of this step and this “ask” is that it’s all about your individual path to wellbeing; no one else’s.  You

#3. Track Your Diet

Before you raise your hand and point out that this is another thing to jot in your journal, know that I get it… this is a slightly bigger ask.  Thing is, this is no more difficult and really doesn’t take much time.  Just jot down what you eat in addition to basics or use an app like MyFitnessPal, to track your diet each day (BONUS points if you track what you’re doing for fitness too!)

Thing is, you don’t have to track forever.  This is a for now thing.  This is a couple of weeks thing.

Doable, right?

#4. Assess and Respond with One Shift

  1. You made a list of a few things that you think need support.
  2. You tracked the basics for a few weeks.
  3. The next thing to do is review your work and assess the situation.

It may surprise you to see that you feel snippy the day after you eat dairy or have less energy on days when you drink less water.  Be on the lookout for shifts in focus and memory when you have a difficult night’s sleep and look for changes in your poop around your monthly cycle (yep, that’s a thing).

Once you have the data, one or two things will probably stick out.  It may be obvious what action to take to support yourself.  For example, if you bloat or breakout after eating dairy, then the logical step would be to ease off the dairy.

If nothing sticks out, go back to your list of things that you know need some work.  My suggestion is to experiment for a few weeks and see what happens if you avoid gluten, dairy, caffeine and processed sugar.  Those four things are known troublemakers that can disrupt hormones, sleep, digestion/absorption and blood sugar.  So many health issues are rooted in those four factors.

Why This Process Works

This process is similar to the model I use as a Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Practitioner.  The ART of Functional Practice includes Assessment, Recommendation and Tracking.  Basically, we can’t know what steps to take until we have a clear picture of what’s happening.  It’s why I don’t recommend particular supplements or targeted strategies to people in the produce aisle and the same reason neurosurgeons don’t diagnose people at the dinner table.  Trusted practitioners take the time to use the tools and training that we know will get results and ensure your safety.

Tapping into the Functional process provides you with a framework not only for action, but for success! Take the four simple steps outlined above and get started. You’ll see that it’s easy to step out of overwhelm when you break it down and start slow. Track your basics and use that information to improve your quality of life as you continue your journey to overall wellbeing.


Start your journey from stuck to health savvy.

Action Steps:

  1. Download your free journal page by clicking here (no strings attached – it’s instant access!)
  2. Print as many copies as you need AND commit to use them for at least 2 weeks.
  3. Post below and let me know if you like the worksheets and if this strategy is helpful.

Making a ton of changes all at once can actually cloud the picture!  Try the 4 simple ways I outlined above and get started when you feel stuck… your mission is to start small, keep it simple and keep it up!

Using a Vision Board to create the life you want

Vision boards are coming in hot as 2019 is kicking off.

I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing them all peppered in popular mags and posted all over social media.

Are you curious?

If you are looking for a new way to help keep yourself focused and directed towards your goals (life and health goals!) while engaging your creative juices, then read on and get ready to gather up your glue sticks.

Here’s what you need to do to make a simple, kick-ass vision board.

While most people think of vision boards as a way to manifest the life and lifestyle they want, I think there’s deeper potential here.  As you read more, I want you to really consider not only the life you want — the vaca’s, the spouse, the house, the dream job — but also the health you want and how you want to feel.  By adding intention and getting crystal clear on your vision for your whole self  {mind-body-spirit}, you can begin to use a vision board as a holistic tool that supports hope, healing, and happiness rooted and aligned with your life.

Make your intentions clear

Before you go gathering supplies like a Robin in Springtime, it is important to identify your goals and intentions. That means getting real with what you want to achieve and then thinking about how you see yourself getting there.

Your vision board goal can be one thing, like running a marathon or publishing a book or it can be more of a life vision, like living on the beach, working from home, having a successful business, travel…

You get to define your vision, but whatever it is, I want you to really want it, and I want you to round it out.  That means doing a deep dive with details.  

Write it out.

Sleep on it and get to the point that when you see your goal in writing it makes you feel alive.

Once you’re clear with what you want, write down the kind of feelings do you want to encounter along the way.

How do you want to feel when you have accomplished the goal?

Take THAT feeling, as if you have already achieved it and ask yourself what your days look like as a marathon runner/an author/a CEO/ a rockstar?

  • How do you live? — what time do you get up and go to sleep, what do you do for transportation? Do you travel or are you a homebody?
  • Where do you live? — is there a particular climate, culture, specific place?
  • What does your home look like, smell like, feel like?
  • Who is by your side? — describe the person, people, animals, etc even if you don’t have a specific someone in mind; how do these companions make you feel and how does your relationship and commitment to and with them look and feel?
  • What food nourishes your body? — do you cook, do you care about local, organic, paleo, plantbased, etc?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • What do you do for self-care? — how do you take care of your body, your mental health, your emotional well-being?
  • What do you do to challenge yourself? — in relationships, business, learning, spiritual growth?
  • How does your life feel? — relaxed, care-free, focused, adventurous, spontaneous, planned?
  • How does your body look and feel? — and what do you do to foster that?

Work it out. See your life as if you are where you want to be.

Once you’re clear, write it down. Write it ALL down.

  

Collect supplies

Many of the supplies you need for your vision board you may have just lying around the house, but you may also need to procure the pictures that really capture your vision. The internet is great for image searches. Your local library or bookstores may help with finding books or periodicals that depict your vision in a way that really resonates with you. If you find an image you like, snap a picture of it or make a color copy for your personal use.

The key is to find pictures that evoke the feeling or the scene you envision.

These are the basic supplies needed:

  • Blank art book or Posterboard
  • Glue or pins
  • Markers, pens, and paints
  • Colorful or plain paper
  • Magazines, newspapers, books that can be cut up, and journals
  • Scissors

 

Create

Follow these steps to create a kickin’ board.

Step 1: Make space

When you are clear with your vision and intention and you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to carve out a comfortable space to make your board.

You want to be able to spread out and see everything that you have. A big table or even the floor can be great!

Continue to create your space by playing your favorite music, pouring yourself a cup of tea or glass of water, diffusing an uplifting oil blend or lighting a candle to help you relax and tap into your positive energies.

 

Step 2: Choose your images and words wisely

On your vision board, you can use words and images that you can easily relate to and that will help motivate you toward your goal. Cut out the images from magazines and newspapers or use some of your own photos. Everything you put on your board should be appealing and attractive to you in one way or the other.

Refer to the words you wrote down as you were getting clear on your vision.

Let those words guide you into alignment with the visual piece of this project.

  

Step 3: Placement

 Once you’ve chosen materials that match your vision, spread them out.

With a quick glance, go ahead and select a few favorites.

These are the pieces that you should place prominently on your board.

Before pasting anything down try to arrange them in a way that makes sense to you; there may be images that go together or things that may come first as you step closer to these goals.

Leave out images or words that have a negative impact on your feelings or make you feel unmotivated about your goals. Vision boards are not the place for tough love or any kind of blame or shame game. They are about creating a depiction of what we want rather than what we don’t want.

 

 

 

Working with your board

Your vision board is designed to be a visual reminder of the life you want. It’s also one piece of a dynamic relationship.  Without action on your part, the board itself is meaningless.  Wanting change while doing nothing to achieve it won’t get you anywhere.  The idea behind the board is that you are taking the steps to define and clarify your wants and needs, depict them and get yourself in gear.  Here’s how: 

Step 1: Hang it

Hang it somewhere you can easily connect to it every day.

Popular places to hang vision boards include a bedroom wall, closet door, near the bathroom mirror or even in your kitchen.

Techy tip: snap a pic of your vision board and connect with it on your smartphone or tablet when you have a moment in between meetings or while you have downtime.

Step 2: Notice and heal

When you look at your board, NOTICE how you feel.

Let’s sit with that a minute.

Look at your board, breathe in as you take in the images. 

Take your time. 

Where do your eyes linger?

Note any resistance or constrictive feelings that arise when you look at the board.

These are areas that will need more work.  Even though you desire whatever it is, you also harbor some sense of not deserving it or not believing that it is yours.

Resolving those feelings removes the obstacles keeping you from living your dream.

For example, if your goal is to publish a book but you are feeling like no one will read your work then you have a barrier in place and are less likely to take the steps you need to succeed. You might try blogging and asking a few friends for feedback or joining a writers group and working through some pieces to gain insight on how your writing is received — this way you are taking action to figure out if the feeling is just a fear or if it’s a sign that you need to shift a little to get the success you want. Make sense?

Step 3: Connect

 Vision boards do not have to be big or time-intensive.

The beautiful thing that a good Vision board does is make connections.

  • You connect with the goals you deeply want to achieve.
  • You connect with how you want to feel and how your life will be.
  • You connect with the steps you need to take to get there and begin to see the gaps or places where you may need support.
  • Most of all, you connect with yourself and make yourself an agent in the practice of actively creating the life you want.

There is nothing too small to Vision Board.

There is nothing too big either.

Take that one thing you’ve been dreaming of or take everything and make your Vision Board today.

I challenge you to try it and invite you to email me in 3 months to share your reflections on your experience.

Seriously – here are 2 accountability action steps:

  1. Once your board is finished, snap a pic on your smartphone and email it to me with a little snippet about your main goal, if you are cool sharing with me.
  2. Open up your calendar right now and set a reminder for 3 months out. Copy and paste my email sarah@yourholistichealthcoach.com right into the reminder and when it comes up, take a few minutes and share what you laid out, how you’ve been using the board and what progress you’ve seen. 

For more simple strategies to support you in creating your best life, click here and join our newsletter! Your Holistic Health Coach delivers nuggets of awesomeness straight to your inbox. Support for every step of the way!

Yours in health and wellness,
Coach Sarah

5 Savvy Ways to Jumpstart Weightloss

Whether your motivation is a New Year’s resolution, planning a special outfit for an event or aiming for a Summer bod — fitness, diet and weight loss are top on the self-care hit list.  Am I right? We prioritize health and wellness and “finally losing the weight” at times when we feel most motivated.  Here’s the thing: if all it took was motivation, we’d be there!  And if it was about going to the gym or dieting, everyone would be getting results.  The bottom line is that it takes more than motivation and the standard strategies.  For results, we need to SHIFT from our notion of motivation, willpower and drastic action to a plan that focuses on simple, do-able, daily steps designed to SUPPORT your body’s innate wisdom.  Keep reading to learn the top 5 things to put on your daily action plan so you can ditch diets and stressful strategies and get closer to your goals, starting now.

 

1.      Break a Sweat:  Go for a short hike with friends, or a brisk walk or become a Wogger, like me – I’m a proud Walking Jogger. I walk a bit, jog a bit; wash, rinse, repeat.  Then, at least once a day, have a dance break.  I double-dog dare you to pop on some rockin’ tunes and dance around.  Grab a YouTube yoga video or something cardio (I love the Fitness Marshall videos – popular, fun music and cardio dance combined). Why not the gym, you ask?  2 reasons: #1, People fail to go to the gym due to lack of motivation. There’s always something better to do and driving to the gym becomes a low priority.  And, #2, gym workouts can put so much stress on your body that you produce more cortisol and halt weight loss.  If the gym is your zen zone, by all means, keep doing your thing, but if it’s not, know that you are allowed to find your own rhythm… you don’t have to train insane in the gym.  You do have to break a sweat, activate your muscles and get your heart rate up a little doing something that you enjoy.

 

2.      Drink Water:  I know you read this all the time and it sounds like the simplest advice. Drink at least 8 ounces of water a day… blah…blah..blah!  Gorgeous, I am telling you right now that without enough water that’s exactly how you feel (and you may not even know it).  Even as a Health Coach, I didn’t really believe it.  I used to get maybe 4-6 glasses of water every day in the lineup with a couple cups of coffee and some tea.  I figured all was well, all things considered.  But, I was way wrong, and you likely are too!  Especially in the summer and especially on sweaty days or days with higher activity, our bodies need more water.  Eight (8), eight-ounce glasses of fresh, clean, no frills added W-A-T-E-R is what’s on tap, for real.  Not only is it something your body has a critical need for (for basic metabolic functions and pretty much every bodily function), but it also keeps you out of the trap of sugary drinks with lots of empty calories.  Ditch everything else for a week and switch to plain water.  This step alone can result in a few pounds of weight loss, better sleep, improved skin tone, better focus and more energy.

 

3.      Mock Me: Alcohol contains sugar, stresses the liver and sets off insulin resistance – all of which can result in weight gain. So, if you are looking to lose some weight, take a break from alcohol and opt for the mock!  Not only are mocktails super refreshing and fun but they allow you to feel festive and engaged at social events without sabotaging your health! Many mocktail recipes can be found with a simple Google search, but you can also join me for a Mocktail or Kombucha Class for hands-on tasting fun!

 

4.      Prioritize Produce: When people look to lose weight fast it’s often at the expense of proper nutrition.  Short term “solutions” can add up to long-term weight gain because of the negative impact on metabolism and digestion. Instead of doing something drastic, shift your approach and prioritize produce.  While summertime means greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables, stick with fresh seasonal produce or opt for frozen.  Eat Clean. Ditch processed foods. Eat the rainbow daily. Your body will respond with slow, even weight loss!

 

5.      Sleep: You’re not alone if you’re wondering what sleep has to do with weight loss.  What’s wild is that improving sleep almost always improves weight balance and overall health!  Studies show that insufficient sleep affects appetite and satiety hormones. It also impacts the ability of our fat cells to respond to insulin (if you’ve heard of “insulin resistance” this is it).  Without enough sleep or enough good sleep, we experience increased levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin and decreased levels of the satiety/fullness hormone called leptin.  Sleep deprived study participants consumed about 300 calories a day more than when they are well-rested, with the calories coming from higher-fat and higher carbohydrate foods. Long story short — Don’t compromise on your sleep.

 

Cause I love ya, I can’t wait to connect with you some more.  Reach out on Facebook, tag me on Instagram or email me — sarah.lawrence@yourholistichealthcoach.com I want to hear about your savvy weight loss wins, your warms and wonders about everyday health.

xo,

Sarah

How to Sleep Better, Lose Weight, and Live Longer

What if I told you that you can lose weight without changing what you eat or exercising?! Would you think that’s crazy?  Well, don’t get me wrong: Nutrition and exercise are important to our health! But there’s a key to weight loss that most people don’t even know about it.

You’re not going to believe it…

It’s sleep!

Sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health besides eating a whole food, nutrient-dense diet.  Research has uncovered that sleep deprivation can make you fat, lead to depression, increase the perception of pain, worsen heart disease, diabetes, and much more!  I mean — really — this is HUGE!

Your body is governed by a series of biological rhythms synced with the light and darkness of day and night. These rhythms keep you healthy and trigger a cycle of hormone production, including melatonin and growth hormone, so your body gets time for healing, repair, and growth. We now know that the cycle is integral in everything from repairing our DNA, building tissues and muscle, to regulating weight and neurotransmitters (mood managing chemicals). When your rhythms are disturbed by poor or inadequate sleep, disease gets the upper hand and things start to break down.

It is estimated that 70 percent of Americans are sleep deprived.

When sleep is off, cortisol rises.  Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the Adrenal glands and, in small quantities at the right time, it’s helpful.  But, in excess, its effects are harmful and include brain damage and dementia, weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, depressed immunity, and countless more.

Eight hours of quality, restful sleep is what most of us need, but meeting this goal is difficult, if not impossible with our busy, connected lives. Sleep hygiene is not something that comes easily when we’ve got LED clocks, TV’s and Cell Phones in the bedroom.  The good news is that there are clearly defined strategies that support healthy sleep.

Here is what you need to do to help restore your natural sleep rhythm. The process is all about making sleep a priority.  You will not see immediate results, but in a month or two you should be able to reset your biological rhythms:

  1. Practice regular sleep patterns – this means you should go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  2. Make your bed a place for sleep and romance only – reading and television watching should be done in another room
  3. Use soft colors and textures in your bedroom and get rid of clutter so your sleeping space is restful
  4. Create total darkness and quiet – consider using eyeshades and earplugs
  5. Skip the caffeine – studies show that it makes your sleep worse, even if you drink it early in the day
  6. Avoid alcohol – as your body works to process and eliminate the toxins in alcohol, you can expect interruptions in your sleep
  7. Sweat and Sunlight! Aim to enjoy at least 20 minutes of both every day. Daylight signals your brain to release hormones like melatonin that are vital to good sleep, mood, and aging.  One caveat: don’t exercise after dinner.  Your body will be enjoying a boost of energy at a time when you should be winding down for sleep!
  8. Close the kitchen!  Don’t eat within 3 hours of your bedtime.  The digestive process can mean difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep.
  9. Write it out.  About an hour before bed, write down anything that is on your mind.  Write about any plans you have for tomorrow.  This exercise helps you push worry and task-oriented thinking to the side so you can move into deep, restful sleep
  10. Get in the tub.  Taking an Epsom Salt bath helps raise your body temperature before bed, which can induce sleep. A hot bath relaxes your muscles and reduces tension. Add two cups of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) and two cups of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to your bath; both help with sleep. You will reap the benefits of magnesium absorbed through your skin and the alkaline effects of the baking soda
  11. Warm your belly.  Use a hot water bottle or a heating pad to gently warm your abdomen about thirty minutes before bed. This raises your core temperature and triggers sleep
  12. Explore herbal therapies – passionflower tea or tincture, or valerian root extract (standardized to 0.2 percent valerenic acid) as directed on the label, about one hour before bed
  13. Mag.  200 to 400 mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate before bed can help relax the nervous system and muscles
  14. Chill out.  Try a CD with relaxing music, meditation or guided imagery
  15. Aromatherapy.  Put a few drops of therapeutic grade Lavender, Vetiver and Roman Chamomile into your diffuser and set it on a timer as you are trying to get to sleep.  Subtle aromatherapy can help your body relax and trigger a calming physiological response.

If you continue to have poor sleep, check in with your doctor.  Thyroid issues, hormonal imbalance and adrenal problems can all mess up your sleep.  Your doctor will review your symptoms and determine if things need some deeper work.  You can also grab some session time with me for energy work, aromatherapy or health coaching.  Both can help tremendously to improve your quality of sleep!

Sweet dreams!

XO,
Coach Sarah

 

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