We are busy people and not enough of us make the time to take care of our health. Eating well is much easier when we plan ahead, and even easier when we get other people involved. When we designate one day for food prep, we allow ourselves more time during the week to rest, relax, and enjoy our pre-prepped food. I recommend Sunday as the day for cooking and preparation. This way, when our lives our full of stress and things to do, we have pre-prepped meals to look forward to.
Top tips for eating better during the week:
1. Make a batch of your favorite whole grains
Whole grains can be very versatile. I love to cook a big thing of rice or quinoa that’ll last me through the week. For breakfast I personally love putting eggs over rice with avocado and hot sauce, and then for other meals top the rice with vegetables or other forms of protein. Fried rice is an easy enough recipe that’s always a favorite. For more information and a list of all whole grains, click here.
2. Designate one day for prepping
As mentioned above, one of the most useful tips I have is to prep ahead of time. On your designated prep day, slice all your veggies, cook your whole grains, and soak your beans. This saves time and makes eating healthy more realistic.
3. Cook once, eat twice (or more!)
Prepare enough food while cooking to have leftovers. Take advantage of the time you have to cook, because it can be hard to guarantee you’ll have time or even want to cook the rest of the week.
4. Keep a food journal
It’s easy to forget the meals we eat. If your goal is to lose weight or discover what foods work best for your body, I always advise my clients to keep a food journal. Keeping a food journal not only helps us track what we eat eat and our portion sizes, but we can note things we are feeling emotionally or physically when we eat or after we eat. Identifying our emotions or even things we are feeling physically from eating helps us pinpoint food intolerances or allergies, and can even answer questions about other physical ailments.
From my own experience, it wasn’t until I started noting how I felt physically and emotionally after I ate processed foods and sugar that I was able to solve feelings of anxiety and depression. I realized those foods made me physically sick to my stomach, and I was also experiencing high levels of serotonin while eating the food, and suffering from low dopamine levels after the sugar high wore off. Most of us probably aren’t conscious of these things as we’re eating and going about our lives, but once we stop and think about it, we may discover things we didn’t realize about our bodies.
6. Cook at home
I love going out to eat. It’s convenient, there are lots of options, and the food tastes pretty good, but why not save some money and calories by cooking yourself? When we eat out, there’s no way of controlling what exactly goes into our food. I enjoy cooking because I know exactly where my food comes from, I have control over what I put in my food, and I get to pick what I want to eat. Aim to eat at least two homemade meals a day, then work toward three meals at home a day.
7. Plan your meals
It’s much easier to eat well during the week if we take some time to plan meals ahead of time. Make a grocery list and write out what you plan to eat every day. There’s no need to get fancy. If you like having oatmeal for breakfast every morning and vegetable stir fry for dinner, then go for it!
8. Add in vegetables, nuts, legumes, fruit, and whole grains
By adding in more vegetables, nuts, legumes, fruit, and whole grains to our diet, we can naturally crowd out unhealthier foods and prevent unhealthy food cravings. When we fill up on foods that nourish our body, we become more satisfied quicker, so we’re less likely to go for the desserts or snacks after we eat.
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Western medicine is extremely necessary and saves many lives every day. That being said, doctors are busy people, so it’s not often we get the time we deserve with our doctors to get a full health assessment. Wouldn’t it be nice not to feel pressured by the doctor’s time constraint so that we could address everything that may play a factor in our health and wellbeing? Think about the times you or someone you know was prescribed a pharmaceutical drug. Did the doctor ever take the time to go over nutrition, lifestyle, and the role stress plays in our health before prescribing that little pill? Does that pill even get to the root of the problem, or does it simply act as a Bandaid, a temporary solution, for your problem?
John Oliver talks about the relationships between doctors and pharmaceutical companies the other night…
Over the years, I have had several instances with doctors where I was diagnosed for something or prescribed something without receiving proper education or a full health check, like what was going on in my life at the time or what my diet consisted of. Here are some experiences I’d like to share with you:
I think there have been at least three occasions in my life when I was prescribed antibiotics, each time by a different doctor. Antibiotics are used to kill bacteria, but in the process also clean out the healthful bacteria inside our intestines that we need, often causing leaky gut syndrome. Probiotics is a term I never ever heard until just a few years ago through my own research, but is absolutely something I should have been educated about by my physician. Whenever taking antibiotics, probiotics are essential, as they add back healthy bacteria to our guts. Definitely if you suffer from any type of digestive disorder, if you’ve ever been treated with antibiotics, or if you just want to do something amazing for your body for the hell of it, try taking probiotics. For a list of probiotics, visit my article here.
Ladies, some of you may be able to relate to this one. For many years I suffered from debilitating cramps, depression, and unhealthy food cravings the week before my period and during my period. None of my doctors ever talked to me about the importance of eating well, especially around the time of my period. I knew that my hormones were out of whack, but I never knew the science behind what was happening with my hormones. Estrogen levels rise as do our food cravings. I would crave and indulge in greasy foods, and would get awful cramps and hate the way I felt as a result, because my serotonin levels were suddenly dropping after the moments of pleasure while eating all that food. I felt more sad after indulging, and didn’t understand my body really didn’t want those onion rings, and that eating those foods would only increase feelings of depression. Not to mention I possibly had leaky gut syndrome as a result from my antibiotics and some undiagnosed food allergies. Once I learned to eat better, hydrate, and get light exercise instead of pigging out and feeling sorry for myself, I no longer get symptoms of PMS. Food, herbs, essential oils, and taking care of myself have become my monthly medicine. Here’s what someone should have told me to eat:
In high school I was tested, diagnosed, and medicated for ADHD. My mom was anti-drugs and I was all gung-ho about them at the time. After all, high school was tough, college was near, and I was only a B-average student. Not good enough in my mind. I remember telling my physician I wanted the ADHD medicine, Adderall. His response, was “Sure, you want Adderall? Then let me just write you up a prescription, no problem,” about as casual as if I had asked him to borrow a pen.
I grew dependent on my medication, taking unnecessarily large amounts of the drugs every day and paying the price in happiness and in health along the way. I became secluded and distanced myself from friends, stopped eating, developed insomnia, and was unhappy unless I was cracked out doing work. Nobody ever thought to discuss the bigger picture with me when deciding whether to write me a prescription. My diet was crap, I wasn’t properly hydrated, I had just stopped playing sports after being super active my whole life, and I was stressed from social and parental pressure to do well at school and get into college. Nobody told me that changing the way I eat and drinking lots of water could improve my attentiveness. I never heard of any natural forms of healing like essential oils, which can kick ass at assisting in maintaining focus. I didn’t realize that my sudden lack of activity was making me restless and contributing to my lack of energy. When I finally decided to stop my medication midway through college, I couldn’t believe how well I could focus on my own if I put my mind to it and used other techniques to maintain mental clarity.
When I was about 10-years-old I fainted during class. My mom took me to see my physician who diagnosed me with hypoglycemia. I learned that hypoglycemia means your body is in insulin shock, which depletes blood sugar to abnormally low levels. The doctor instructed me to drink some soda or have some candy when I was feeling faint, and especially in the afternoons around crash time toward the end of the school day. What the doctor didn’t mention, however, was that this didn’t mean I could eat as much sugar as I wanted. I learned to make sweets an excuse for eating whatever and whenever I wanted, which created unhealthy habits with food. Another thing my physician didn’t discuss was why I was suddenly hypoglycemic. It was probably important to know that I wasn’t eating enough at or before school, and the foods I ate weren’t the most satiating forms of energy. My diet mainly consisted of cereal, bread, cookies, and soda, when I should have been eating whole grains, healthy fats, protein, and vegetables.
This part is my mom’s story. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer (luckily, very early on) in 2008. She kicked cancer’s ass, but had to continue taking about 10 different types of pills daily, up until about two months ago. After seven years of taking these pills, which of course created other health problems like arthritis, bone density loss, and muscle and joint problems, and depletion of her normal hormone levels, my mom was fed up with taking them and finally asked her doctor why she had never spoken to her about her diet and lifestyle. The doctor’s response was, “Oh sure, nutrition can help,” but offered no prescription of leafy greens, antioxidants, or yoga.
If you have a personal story please feel free to share in the comments below. Most of us have experienced something similar to what I’ve described, even if you’re just realizing it now as you’re reading this article. I know I could go on and on about friends’ personal stories of being misdiagnosed or treated for something with a pill that created a whole list of awful side effects.
I understand the impact stress has on our physical and mental wellbeing. As a health coach, I give my clients the time they deserve to talk freely about their health and the areas of their lives that affect happiness and health: relationships, career, spirituality, and physical exercise. Satisfaction in these four areas, along with proper nutrition, is the key to lifelong happiness and health, not a little pharmaceutical pill. Consider all the money you can save on doctor visits and bills by taking control of your diet and lifestyle today. So, next time you need to pay a visit to the doctor, discuss the bigger picture with your physician, and remember that food, rest, and balance are often the answers to healing.
If you have any questions about any of the above topics, essential oils, or health coaching, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Owner of Jessica Kleid Health Coaching
Humans are creatures of habit. Most of us have a daily routine of some sort, whether we are conscious of it or not. Life can definitely be hard and full of stress. The more out of control we feel, the more a routine will benefit us. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, so keeping a routine helps greatly with time management, efficiency, energy, and motivation. Through personal experience and through my health coaching practice, I have realized that maintaining a routine is repeatedly one of the best ways for achieving success and happiness.
Everyone has their own morning ritual, but the day should begin with some type of routine. My morning routine begins with my puppy’s cold nose on my arm every morning around 6:45am. I get up, let him out and feed him, drink a warm glass of lemon water and have a small bite to eat while I journal for a little, brush my teeth, get dressed for the gym, work out, and then eat my post-workout meal. This doesn’t need to be everyone’s routine, but for me, I anticipate my morning going as mentioned. When these things don’t happen, my entire day is thrown off. Work gets put off, my energy is low, I get crabby often because I’m stressed from my routine being altered, I procrastinate more, forget to do certain things, crave foods I shouldn’t be eating, and just feel out of balance.
Think about the times you’ve traveled or had a reason to change your normal schedule. Did you notice any differences in your day? Perhaps differences in your eating, sleeping, emotions, motivation, or stress levels?
Sleep- Going to bed and waking up at the same time is crucial for healthy sleep patterns and deep sleep. Sticking to a schedule also gives our minds a sense of a starting and stopping point with work during the day. For example, if you work a 9-5 job, our minds know that those hours are working hours. But if you work a job with inconsistent hours, you’ve probably experienced your mind and body getting out of whack, and that it becomes more challenging to get in the mindset of work mode.
Meals- Try to eat at the same times daily. This keeps our blood sugar levels steady throughout the day and gives us a sense of consistency. Even eating the same foods (or similar foods) every day gives us one less thing to think about.
Morning Routine- In my opinion, having a morning routine is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Wake up at the same time, brush your teeth and wash your face, have a glass of water, and get dressed, even if you work from home. This pattern helps get our mind prepare for the day and for work. I also find I stay more organized and have more energy during the day if I stick to my morning routine.
Exercise- Even if it’s just stretching or getting off the subway a few blocks early so you can walk the rest of the way to work, a morning routine will help your success. Exercise is a great way to escape stress and it gives us a sense of accomplishment. This initial success in our day prepares us to take on the rest of the day and the obstacles it may throw at us.
Friends and Family- Spending time with the people that make us happy is important for maintaining balance in our lives. Even with a busy schedule, find a little time during the week to catch up with the people that matter most.
Personal Time- “Me time” is so important! Our lives are so busy that we often forget to make time for ourselves. This alone time is time to decompress, reflect, relax, and to do the things that make us happy. Don’t use this time to respond to emails or phone calls… that does not count as personal time.
Interested in health coaching? Check out my website jkhealthcoach.com for more information or contact me at email@example.com.
Last year my new years resolution was to paint more. I admit, even after buying all the paints and tools I needed to make the art happen, my supplies somehow ended up buried away on the shelf collecting dust. So, this year I’m attempting to get back in the game and create more art!
I was thrilled when my boyfriend bought us both tickets to a screen printing class at a studio called Workshop in San Francisco’s Western Addition. We got to screen print paper, shirts, sweatshirts, bags, and anything else individuals brought to the class. If you live in the Bay Area, I recommend checking out the classes, because they offer all sorts of cool craft classes, like sewing, beer brewing, pizza making, etc…
Anyway, Ed and I took this class and we got to make some dope shit! I love trying new things and getting inspired. Humans hunger for art and music, along with play, fun, touch, romance, intimacy, love, success, adventure, and spirit, so creativity is actually a significant form of nourishment for our bodies.
The point here is be open to trying new, inspiring things. Look for fun events and gatherings going on in your own area and give them a shot! You never know who you’ll meet or if you’ll find your new passion.
Did you know that the colors we wear influence our moods? The same applies to the colors we paint our rooms. Some colors inspire, some calm and some energize. I find color psychology to be very interesting. This information could be helpful if you’re preparing for, let’s say, a date or an interview.
Read on to find out what the colors you wear say about your mood.
Yellow- Represents optimism and creativity and can suggest a person is lively. Wearing too much yellow can be overpowering since it’s the hardest color for the eye to take in, which is why people and babies often get more upset in yellow rooms.
Blue- There are many positive physical effects of wearing blue. It is a color of faith, peace and creativity. People often paint their offices blue because the color helps with focus and clear thinking. Overall, blue calms, but wearing too much blue can stimulate feelings of depression.
Pink- Unlike red, the color pink soothes. It affects us both mentally and emotionally and calms aggression and feelings of neglect. The color inspires love and compassion. It is also used for skin treatments. In fact, my favorite blemish drying lotion by Mario Bedescu happens to be pink.
Purple- Purple is a purifying color used to detoxify the body. Diseases are often treated with purple because it is a strong vibrational color. Too much purple, however, can cause depression or suppress emotions, namely anger.
Black- Want to walk into a room and feel like you own the place? Well, black expresses power, authority and elegance. It is also associated with mourning and evil.
For more info, please check out this article by Huffington Post .