The Dirty Side of “Clean Eating”

It’s a Saturday morning as I’m sitting in cafe scanning the clientele. My friend is a couple of minutes late so I order a coffee – long black with milk on the side because I  want a cafe au lait but for some reason no one seems to make it or know what it is.  I digress… Two ladies walk in wearing “active wear” and order kale smoothies. Their hair is neatly coiffed in perfectly positioned pony tails, makeup free faces are luminous in the early morning light. Something about them screams wellness. Did they just go for a workout because I don’t see any sweat? Is this what people look like when they rock up to brunch? Long gone are the mascara smeared hot messes in sweatpants and unbrushed hair ordering scrambled eggs and toast with a side of bacon (not that I was ever a fan of bacon).

I had just stumbled upon the “wellness” movement. It’s a place between work life and the home life in which perfectly coiffed people order their perfectly proportioned food in their perfectly put together “active wear” with a dab of makeup and pretend they have just thrown the look together, while taking filtered pictures of their virtuous plates on Instagram to get 500 likes. It’s a cause passionately advocated by many in which this unattainable, vagueness claims to be able to get you everything you have always wanted from money to love, beauty, enlightenment and more. Meanwhile we continually scroll through photos and view other people’s lives with rose-coloured glasses, waiting for that  moment when we will finally achieve and have it all in order to feel content.  The problem is that achievement, happiness and contentment rarely comes from comparing yourself to other people. Nor does it often come from striving for perfection.

The wellness movement is not necessarily a negative thing. We have come far from stuffing ourselves with low-fat, high sugar carbs to high fat low carb meat laden diets. Healthy options have  been introduced to fast food joints. People are starting to educate themselves about nutrition which is an amazing, wonderful thing. Before wellness we started out on the bottom, stuffing our faces with french fries, pizza and hot dogs. Before wellness not many knew what quinoa or kale was or that fasting all day and drinking slim fast shakes was not the answer to lasting weight loss. The kale chips are out there and lentil burgers are safe within our grasp but have we reached the point where wellness has become a new obsession that we cannot shake?

More healthy food equals more health right? So doesn’t that mean we should eat gallons of vegetables and swear off gluten forever ? (unless you are celiac or gluten intolerant) What about sugar? That’s bad too right? French fries are a definite no no. Forget birthday cake. I’ll have a gluten free, raw, vegan chocolate cake. Actually that’s my favourite desert! The waters start to get murky when food groups are sworn off without allergic or moral reasons or when food gets labeled as “good” and “bad”. Colourful plates of vegetables fill profile pages and I get excited. Does that mean I’ll never eat a potato chip again? Are us wellness people really healthier than the “sinful” fast food eaters who don’t workout or even pretend to by slipping into their active wear? As I sit in my cute cut out running shorts and stylish matching running shirt without intending to break a sweat today I ponder these things. The answer could be just as vague…

 

Advertisements

Trust Your Gut – as seen on Women’s Health & Fitness

imagesLast night I dreamt that I was driving an out of control sports car at top speed and I could not slow down. Swerving into oncoming traffic I was somehow able to manoeuver the car out of harm’s way and eventually came to a screeching halt in a ditch. The door was completely jammed so my only exit was through the driver’s seat window that I was able to roll down.  As I crawled out of the window, my adrenalin was pumping like a heavy bass sound from an oversized speaker. Relief washed over me as I kissed the ground after such a wild ride. Is this what it feels like to stop counting calories?

In my dream I was the driver of the car. According to my not-so-scientific Google searches on dream analysis, if you are the driver of the car, regardless of the journey, it means you are making a conscious decision to move in a certain direction in your life and taking responsibility for your own actions.  Yes I felt out of control in the dream as I did when I stopped counting calories but in reality during my calorie counting of over a decade, I was never in control; I was the mercy of a sense that to be okay, I needed to deify an arbitrary number based on one or other historical moments and strive like hell to keep my nutrition within its parameters.  When I ate less than my calorie quota, I congratulated myself and when I exceeded it, I tormented myself by reveling in guilt.  You could show me any food and I could tell you the approximate calorie content – such is the deeply entrenched ritual and data instilled by repetition. I told myself it was fine because, hey, it’s not like I was starving myself. But in many ways I was; I was starved of the freedom to choose what I ate based on what I wanted to eat and what by body felt it needed; every food choice followed strict calorie criteria to ‘fit in’ my budget. The cruel part is that while sometimes I lost a little bit of weight, although not enough for anyone to notice, most of the time my weight remained stable despite my suffering. (That’s a no to impromptu parma night). Worse, I’m convinced that my most rigid arithmetic periods coincided with weight gain – perhaps because the calorie counting mentality engenders episodic overeating driven by both appetite neuropeptidies and the ‘last supper’ mindset that says ‘you’ve blown it, so you might as well’.

Calorie counting had its place in the beginning for me. I was eating doughnuts, bagels, cheesecake and super sized chocolate chip muffins washed down with sugary, milky extra-large lattes and my weight crept up. I didn’t realise how many calories, fat and sugar were in these foods and how they were negatively affecting my metabolism.  My mood, energy levels, and hunger signals were out of whack. All these foods had sugar in common. The effect of high-glycemic index foods, for which processed foods often qualify, is rapid release of glucose into the bloodstream and concomitant blood sugar drop, colloquially known as the ‘sugar crash.’  The corollary is cravings for more quick hits, perpetuating a vicious cycle. One type of sugar, fructose, has been found to bypass the satiety switch by sneaking past the fullness hormone leptin. Many obese people are leptin resistant, meaning they literally don’t have the built-in sense of when they have eaten enough (the word comes from the Greek word, leptos, which means to be thin).  For most of us, however such a glitch is likely caused by processed foods rather than flawed physiology, so in effect we are creating a self fulfilled prophecy that we can’t trust our bodies.  My preference for sugary foods led to weight gain and believing that my body was insatiable. When I learned the caloric and nutritional content of foods, I started making healthier choices and reducing processed foods. Calore counting was a useful training drill – not a long-term solution.

Eventually I got sick of counting because I was no longer enjoying my meals, as they turned from delicious nourishing sustenance to bland numbers. What’s the point of having taste buds and cooking delicious dishes if food only amounted to numbers? Being in control my calorie allowance was the grandest illusion of all because in the end I realised it was the calorie counting that controlled me. The energetic manifestation of not trusting my gut spread into other areas of my life where I ultimately felt out of control. Only when I made the conscious decision to stop counting did the windfall of all that head space I was using up to occupy my mind with arbitrary numbers help me to gain something greater in return.

One of my favourite quote is, “Insanity is doing the same thing again and again yet expecting different results.”  Could not counting calories have unlocked something that was dormant in me for so long?  I decided to continue my experiment of not counting to see where it led and the results were not as I had anticipated.  Changing the strategy completely changed my life – transforming it in other positive and unexpected ways.

I now find myself trying to persuade clients who have become convinced that they need to count calories to lose and maintain weight that this is not the case. Tellingly, even the most disciplined aren’t underweight and most are looking for answers – calorie counting is supposed to work. And it does. While it doesn’t promote sustainable weight loss or afford control over anything that matters, it is something consistent in an ever-changing world – and many people become dependent on that in the same way a chile drags a blanket around.  When I tell people that I don’t count calories and eat what I want, they look at me like I have two heads. Can you recall a time when you were a healthy weight and didn’t have to think about what you were eating and how many grams of fat, carbs or sugar it contained?

Science supports the case for swan-diving off the calorie wagon – both due to the physiological effects that occur when one eats fewer calories than their body needs and the psychological tumult of the starve-binge cycle.  In fact while I don’t want to promote intuitive eating as a weight loss method per se, abandoning my inner abacus caused me to lose weight because without the preoccupation – and I didn’t quite realise how much head space it consumed until I gave it up – I was able to focus on things that really mattered; and without food occupying a leading role, I was surprised to find myself stopping eating before I finished because despite what I believed while calling muffins a food group, I just knew when I’d had enough. What’s more, I did still say “yes” to office cake when I felt like it, which meant I wasn’t compelled to go on baked good benders.

If your goal is weight loss and you just want to free yourself from the limitations imposed by what is akin to a second job for the brainpower it demands, stop thing about weight and start thinking about healthy eating. Nourish your body, take care of it and truly love it, for it will love you back. As a result of not counting calories I healed my metabolism by eating foods my body needed and eventually got leaner, stronger, more energetic and my bloodshot eyes cleared up.  My mood improved and I started making conscious decisions about my life to move it a direction that I wanted.  In feeding my gut with as much fantastic and nourishing food as it so desired it thanked me and steered me in new and exciting directions no doubt my decisions were sharper without competing for brain space). I started trusting myself and I got outside of my head. In not counting calories I embraced being “uncomfortable” and achieved more than I ever thought possible.

I still have days where I over think what I have eaten and worry that I am overindulging. Old habits die-hard.  Ultimately what really matters is getting up and starting fresh every day.  New habits take time to form until they become ingrained, much like brushing your teeth.  Accomplishing this goal inspired me to motivate my health coaching clients even more with their personal goals.  Being in the present and enjoying my food was the first step in showing up for life in general.  There is no reason why you can’t do the same – although I know you won’t believe it until you do it.

Stephanie Siemion

Certified Health Coach

www.nutritiongal.com

Demystifying Diets

imgres.jpgWe all do it. The holidays happen and before you know it you’ve creeped up a few pounds or your favourite pair of jeans doesn’t quite fit the way they used to. Perhaps you have to lie down to button them up and before you know it you’re Googling “waist training” only to find out that it has nothing to do with strengthening your abs. You come across the low carb and 5-2 diets only to get caught in the cross-hairs of high carb, low protein lifestyle.  First you need to stop eating carbs and then you are told to stop eating meat. It seems like you cannot eat anything. We are surrounded by an abundance of food only to feel guilty and shamed for eating it. How did we get here?

I won’t bore you with a summary of all the various diets you can go on, as well as the pros and cons because I’m just not going to go there. Why?  Because the second you start a “diet” are you already stuck in a mindset where an unhealthy relationship with food is starting to develop. Eat carbs, eat meat, don’t eat meat. Do it because that is what you want to do but not to lose weight. The second you do it to lose weight it becomes about the weight and not about your health.

They say if you have health you have everything. Why compromise it to fit in a pair of jeans? The minute you go on a diet your “change” in lifestyle becomes something that is temporary to get the fastest results in the shortest amount of time. You have to keep on doing the diet to maintain those results. Otherwise the weight creeps back, and then some.

The lasting change you seek in order to accomplish your fitness and weight loss goals has to be something that you can continue to do for the rest of your life – not just 6 weeks. Can you stop eating your favourite foods for life? Why would you want to do that? Shouldn’t we be able to enjoy what we eat?  I think we should, especially since so many people cannot. We just need to eat healthier and learn to enjoy those foods too.

You don’t have to achieve your goals without structure. Working with a health coach will give you the tools you need to develop your own structure without the diet and maintain that for years to come. Think of us as your personal trainers for the pantry.  Everyone needs one from time to time. I had one too and she inspired me to carry on coaching myself. I have helped a lot of people achieve their fitness and weight loss goals and I can help you too. Schedule a free consultation with me HERE.

Happy New Year to you all.

Nutritiongal

 

Recipe : Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Fall is here for those of you residing in the Northern Hemisphere, which is a perfect time for a delicious and hearty soup. Even if you are in the Southern Hemisphere like me, pumpkin soup is always is season! Rich in vitamin C, beta carotene and tons of fiber, pumpkin is a “go to” food for those of us who love our vegetables or want to eat healthier. With delicious metabolism boosting spices, such as chili flakes, who could resist this dish?

IMG_1806

RECIPE – Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients
1/2 Acorn Squash or Pumpkin cut into square inch pieces
3 Garlic Cloves
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Onions Diced
700 Ml of Vegetable Stock
1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes (can use more if you like it extra spicy)
1/2 Tsp Tarragon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions
Bake the diced pumpkin and whole garlic cloves in 2 Tbsp olive oil until soft at 200 degrees celsius for approximately 40 minutes. Stir fry onions in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until golden. Add vegetable stock and chili flakes, baked pumpkin and garlic. Bring everything to a boil, then simmer for approximately 10-15 min. Blend with a stick blender or any any method of your choice.
Serves 4
Find out more about how you can improve your health and fitness HERE

Recipe: Breaded Eggplant

Nutritiongal Health Coaching

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that is great to add to stir fries or as the main event of a meal. It can be a bit tricky at first to find the right way to prepare it and it takes a bit of trial and error. I found that this recipe suited my palate.

It’s important to get vegetables from all colors of the rainbow onto your plate so that you can get the maximum amount of flavonoids, which are antioxidant rich pigments.

Eggplants are rich in fiber, vitamin B1, copper and manganese.  They are a great vegetable for weight loss as they increase satiety due to their fiber and vitamin content. Although they play a central part of many vegetarian dishes their protein content is modest 1 g per 100 grams.  If your protein requirements are higher due to illness or increased physical activity it is recommended that you add some protein to this meal whether it is vegetarian or meat based.

Breaded Eggplant

Ingredients12032965_10153637996266369_2272964744339429661_n

1 whole eggplant

1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1/2 Cup Cornflour

1 Tbsp Paprika

1 Tsp Sea Salt

4 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions

Dice eggplant lengthwise into medallions.  Spread the greek yogurt onto a plate and coat each side of the eggplant medallions with it.  Add the cornflour, paprika and sea salt into a ziploc bag and shake.  Add the coated eggplant medallions to the bag and shake until the sides are coated with the flour. Coat a large pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and lightly fry the eggplant medallions until they are golden brown on each side. Repeat with the rest of the olive oil until the entire eggplant has been cooked.  Serve with roasted vegetables and enjoy with fresh ground pepper.

3 Simple Steps to Complete a 1/2 Marathon

runningThe journey of 21.2K begins with the first step. Training isn’t hard. The hard part is deciding to do it. Once you’ve laced up your tennis shoes and stepped outside all you have to do is take the first step. Whether it’s the scorching heat, the brisk cold air, hail, rain or shine get out there and give it a try – even if you don’t feel like it.  You may surprise yourself and find that you enjoy it. Hate running outside? No problem! That’s what treadmills are for. No excuses if you want it, right?

Do you have a goal to finish a full or 1/2 marathon? You can do it! Find how to complete one with these 3 simple steps!

1.) Consistency, consistency, consistency is key. Get out there and do it! Any effort is one step towards achieving your fitness goals – even a 1K run. Don’t give up. Keep on training. You don’t have to train every day. A consistent effort of 1-3 times per week is a great start as you slowly build your mileage. Check out these free training plans! Here. I don’t live in the gym and neither should you – unless you want to. Most people don’t run a marathon without training. Nor do you get results instantly.  I slowly built up my mileage over a period of time. You can gradually chip away at any goal you choose with consistent effort. A sculpture is slowly crafted by the gradual chipping away of a stone. Every effort you make is a win because you are working towards your personal goal. Giving up isn’t an option if you truly want it. You will get there.

2.) Eat to compete. You don’t need to be a health nut. Nourish yourself with healthy, satisfying and delicious food. Some great runner’s power foods are hard-boiled eggs, whole grain bread, pasta, brown rice, quinoa, chicken breast, almonds, lentils, fruits and vegetables… I could go on. The list is long. Running a race isn’t license to binge eat and unfortunately fatty foods are not a runner’s friend.  I remember eating a double portion of fettucine alfredo the night before my first 1/2 marathon and being sick the next day.  Simple carbs are best as they are the body’s preferred source of fuel.  Check out my pre-race smoothie recipe Here. That being said there’s no harm in enjoying treats too!  Food should be enjoyed. My favorites on a very long list of guilty pleasures include chocolate, potato chips and the occasional glass of red. Find out more about the health benefits of wine Here! I also recommend eating jelly beans throughout the race to keep your glucose levels up.

3.) Stretch it out. In my opinion a running program isn’t complete without a stretching regime. Pair up yoga with running to ensure your muscles get a good stretch and toxins, such as lactic acid are released. Yoga, Pilates or any stretching regime of your choice is really helpful in preventing injuries and getting rid of muscle tightness. I like to do yoga at least once per week. If you don’t have time its easy to find a quick 10-15 min yoga session on YouTube. Make time for yourself.

Now that you are armed with some tips for completing your first race go out there and do it!  Frequently I wonder why I’m crazy enough to do a race, especially when I have to get out of bed in cold pitch darkness but there’s something enticing about crossing that finish line.  I feel like I can accomplish anything. What a great way to start the day! Our nomadic ancestors walked on average 40K per day! I think I can do a 20K every now and then and so can you! Go out there a rock it!

Sincerely Nutritiongal

AADP Certified Health Coach – Sign up for your free nutrition consultation Here

3 Reasons Why You Need Goji Berries Now

Dating back approximately two thousand years goji berries have long been considered a key to longevity.  It is alleged that the famous Chinese herbalist Li Ching Yuen, who regularly consumed goji berries lived to be 256 years of age. He was born in 1677 or 1736 with disputing records on file. While either date seems unlikely, Li Ching Yuen was a real person and he did live to be freaking old!

Rich in Vit C, selenium, calcium, zinc and 15 times the iron found in spinach, goji berries are the most nutritionally dense fruit on the plant.  Their powerful antioxident properties help prevent diseases. Considered blood builders, goji berries add a powerful immune boosting punch to your diet.

Organic goji berries are the highest quality and do not contain pesticides. You can add them to cereals, smoothies or make a tea by adding the berries to your favourite brew with some honey.

Caution: like most foods moderation is key. If you are trying to get pregnant or expecting it is recommended to use goji berries in moderation. Due to their energising properties, goji berries are best consumed during the day or no later than 3 hours before bed.

The Pros and Cons of Coffee

People tend to either love coffee or don’t have much to say about it. Could the addictive nature of the caffeine be effecting people differently? Are you someone who has it occasionally and forgets about it at times, or can’t you go on a holiday functioning without it? Determining where you are on the scale may give you a more accurate picture of how dependent you are. This is a rundown of the pros and cons of coffee plus a delicious herbal alternative.

When I was 8, my grandma had a steaming cup of a dark, intriguingly aromatic substance and offered me a sip that I quickly spat out. Years would go by until we met again. My love affair with coffee started at the Bravo Café where I worked in my hometown in Michigan where pastries were abundant and the sweet smelled caramel and mocha lattes permeated my nasal passage. It was time to try coffee again. This time the bitterness was masked by sugar, milk and whipped cream. The synergy of bitter sweet melted in my mouth and I was instantly hooked. It was going to be a long affair – more than half my life before I realized it was time for a trial separation.

Coffee is great once in a while for a pick me up. It is rich in cancer fighting antioxidants, just like wine and some studies have shown it to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s Disease. It gives you that little boost of energy with an exciting buzz that can last for hours. It’s great to enhance performance in races and tastes delicious. With this impressive portfolio it seems baffling why anyone would willingly choose to cut down or abstain from this substance.

When is it time to kick your craving? The last comeback from my second relapse was uneventful. I was drinking one cup per day and nothing more. Then things got busy and stressful. I was feeling tired and rather than sleeping more, I decided to up my dosage. A few months went by and before I knew it I was drinking 4-5 cups per day. Was the double shot of espresso one or two cups of coffee? How many of those did I have? I lost count. My sleep was interrupted and I was getting overly anxious. I would come home from work in a nervous frenzy most days and began grinding my teeth. On particularly high caffeine intake days it took a while for me to wind down, even at 11pm when I had to work the next day. Additionally, I was feeling tired all the time with or without coffee. The exciting buzz was no longer there and it was time to cut down.

Coffee is a stimulant that works by increasing excretion of cortisol, a stress hormone, from your adrenal glands. The adrenals are important for the fight or flight response. Think of someone running with extra speed from danger or superhuman strength during a stressful time, such as lifting a car to get a person out from underneath it. The adrenals are our friends but they can wreak havoc on your body when stimulated all the time. Continual stimulation may result in adrenal exhaustion. People with this suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), difficulty coping with stress and thyroid problems. Coffee depletes your body of calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Hidden calories are also added if you have it with sugar, milk and other additives such as, syrups and whipped cream.

All of my attempts to quit coffee have resulted in relapse. I cannot promise that you won’t find me ordering a cappuccino or three but I will always strive for if I can help it. One of my favorite coffee substitutes is for example Teecchino. It is a caffeine free, aromatic coffee substitute that is brewed just like regular coffee. It is delicious and almost as good as the real thing. It comes in vanilla, hazelnut, almond amaretto, java Mediterranean and chocolate! With all these delicious flavors I never get bored. Whether you are a coffee, tea or Teecchino drinker, moderation is always best at the end of the day.

Top 5 foods for beautiful skin, hair and nails

Recently I noticed a friend of mine had extra radiant skin while she was visiting. She mentioned her consistent skin care regime and healthy eating. She is almost 30 and looks like she could be 25! It got me to thinking about how important it is to nourish your body from both the inside and out. You don’t have to get plastic surgery or a face lift to look radiant at any age. Why not try some foods that give your skin that natural glow without the plastic look. Enjoy my top 5 foods for fantastic skin, also great for hair and nails!

1. Carrots – High in Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, consuming them has sun protecting qualities because they increase the collagen, which is the elastic part of your skin that gets depleted with years of sun exposure and ageing. Please use sunscreen if you plan on spending more than 20 minutes outside. Unfortunately, carrots do not render your skin completely invincible to UV rays.

2. Leafy greens – Rich in Vitamin A, B, C and K, you can also add iron, fibre and calcium. As if there weren’t enough reasons to eat those dark, leafy gems, add gorgeousness to your list! Yes dark leafy greens are good for you for so many reasons! Look for the ones that are darkest for the highest vitamin content. Try different flavours and find your favourite. Mine is arugula or rocket as they call it in Australia. This bitter green is wonderful for cleansing your blood and lungs. You body converts the Beta Carotene found in greens into Vitamin A, which is responsible for turnover of dead skin cells, producing smoother looking skin. Try your salads with different toppings to balance the bitterness, such as dried cranberries, nuts, chopped celery, cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes etc. The options are endless!

3. Fish Oil – Omega 3′s found in fish oils are anti-inflammatory, preventing loss of moisture in the skin. Eat that salmon, mackerel and tuna and you will reap the benefits of beautiful, lustrous hair and suppler skin. Fatty fish do tend to contain higher levels of mercury. If consumed in moderation, 2-4 times per week it is perfectly fine to have and it’s great for your heart as well! If you don’t like the taste of fish try odourless fish oil tablets sold at your local chemist.

4. Oysters – High zinc content nourishes your hair. Did you know that hair can grow anywhere from 1/4- 1/2 inch per month and in some people; I swear it grows about 3 inches per week! All kidding aside, what are these people eating that I’m not? Maybe the secret is visiting the oyster bar from time to time. Oysters are also rich in selenium which is considered a basic building block for healthy skin, hair and nails. If you are feeling squeamish about eating the little critters refer to the other items on this list. You don’t have to eat something you find unappealing just to look hot.

5. Kombu – This edible sea vegetable from East Asia comes in all different varieties such as miso, soup stock and seasoning for rice that is used to make sushi. Kombu is rich in, iodine, which is essential for normal growth and development. It is touted for its hair growth stimulating properties. Remember that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Kombu is meant to be eaten as a seasoning. Dousing it on every morsel will only lead to iodine overload, which could disrupt thyroid functioning.

At the end of the day, what really matters when it comes to beautiful looking hair, skin and nails is a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eating as many nutritious foods as you can that appeal to your taste buds will get you is where you want to go for health and beauty. Not only will you look better but you will feel better too.

Sincerely,

Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
Schedule a free consultation for your personal nutrition plan at http://www.nutritiongal.com/

Top 5 Tweaks to Add Some Fabulousness to Your Life

Take some time to stop and smell the roses.

With yet another New Year coming up and so much happening in the world we can get caught-up in the mundaneness of our lives or even stuck in seemingly endless ruts. The New Year is about growth and change and we have a chance to do that each and every year – or even every day.  Don’t be afraid to try something new.  It’s never too late to make positive changes today or any day.  Start now and you could soon be on the path that leads to where you want to go.

The New Year celebration was started by the ancient Romans and used to be March 1st.  This was changed to January 1st by the Roman emperor, Julius Caesar.  The New Year was celebrated to coincide with the new harvest and, symbolically, was meant to encourage growth and renewal. The ancients cleaned their homes and bought new garments to ring in the New Year.

http://kevin-peter.hubpages.com/hub/New-Year-Celebrations-and-Traditions

What can we do to spice things up now that it’s 2012?  Rather than make the same old boring New Years resolutions that we make every year I propose 5 little tweaks to add more fabulousless to your life without the guilt and denial. Now is the time and it is never too late to start!

1.) Afraid of heights? Try skiing or taking a balloon ride.  You will feel challenged and exhilarated! If you cannot quite make it to the sky try climbing a tree, riding a horse or taking an elevator ride up to the penthouse of a beautiful hotel.  Rooftop party anyone?

2.) Feeling bored and uninspired? Learn something new. Try taking a cooking class or learning a musical instrument?  Maybe you should check out that dance or yoga class that you always wanted to try “one day”.  It is never too late to master a new skill! Learning new things keeps your brain stimulated and your mind fresh.  Remember to use it or lose it.

3.) Eating the same thing day in and day out?  Try switching at least one meal per week to something you have never tried before. You may discover a new favourite food or lose some weight.  As omnivores the body craves nutrients from a variety of sources. Your body gets tired of eating the same old thing day in and day out and it may even result in a weight loss plateau.  Try adding spices and flavours. For example, chili is a popular spice that is praised for it’s metabolism boosting and fat burning qualities.

4.) Feeling lonely?  Reach out to an old friend that you haven’t spoken to in a long time and catch-up for a coffee or Skype date.  Meet new people when you join that dance class or cooking class that you have always wanted to try.  Sign up for networking groups where people with similar interests congregate, like http://www.meetup.com

5.) Hate your job? Yes it can be intimidating to think of moving on when many people have lost their jobs in this economy.  While quitting before getting a new job may not be the best idea you can at least start searching and putting some feelers out there.  Regardless of your employment status it can be empowering to know that you have options and to see what they are so that when the time comes to jump ship you’ll have a safe and wonderful place to land. Take it from me who has changed jobs 1000 times!

What’s your new fabulous tweak?  Share it with me on my facebook page and the winner gets a free 1 day meal plan!

http://www.facebook.com/Nutritiongal

Sincerely,

Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach