A Healthy Life

Hi there New Leafers!
I hope that your summer has been a wonderful journey so far; full of adventure, fun, and relaxation!
I just wanted to write a quick note to remind you all that healthy living is your own life’s mission; it is unique to you and your specific goals.

Sometimes we can fall into a habit of comparing ourselves to others. We covet others motivations and want to know what THEY’RE doing, and how we measure up to some social standard. Unfortunately, we can set ourselves up for disappointment and live in fear of judgement from others this way. Find your own self motivation by exploring the basics: what is one thing you can modify to improve your health?

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tell that inner critic to take a leap. You know that voice. It’s the one which helps you in the comparison to others, saying things like:
“You can’t do that!”
“You’re not doing it right!”
or
“You’re not doing enough!”

One foot in front of the other. Baby steps turn to leaps and bounds, and small changes make a big difference. Focus on one healthy living aspect you wish to cultivate (eating more vegetables and fruits, drinking less sugary drinks, drinking more water, going for a 30 min walk everyday) and get that habit down. Then incorporate the next. You’re learning new behavior patterns; it takes time to let go of the old ones. Be patient with yourself and keep your eyes on the prize; a healthier, happier you! Not someone else, or someone else’s version of what healthy means.

Get out there, have fun, and as always; let me know how I may help!

Getting back to basics!

Happy Monday, folks!

I don’t know about you, but I know that I need to up the ante on taking care of myself…starting today! In case you were wondering: yes, fitness professionals, like myself, get off track with eating right, too! At the very least, I’ve been feeling lethargic, constipated, irritable, broken out, and bloated…it’s not pretty. Kind of scummy and dirty on the inside.

My plan, you ask? Getting back to eliminating nearly all packaged foods. Historically, I’d occasionally have a Kind bar, eat a little pre-made quinoa pasta, etc. Not anymore. It’s been daily, and my body is feeling terrible. For a while, I’d like to get back to all grains, veggies, fruits, nuts, lean proteins and plenty of water and green tea!  Who’s with me? Time to lessen the inflammation in this body and to start feeling “normal” again.

The first step? Meal planning! What’s on my plan? Here’s a starter list:

  • Sweet potato chili (recipe here)
  • Stir fry veggies and brown rice (carrots, celery, mushrooms, bok choy, onion)
  • Brown rice with greens, walnuts and cinnamon (excellent breakfast)
  • Homemade black bean veggie burgers (I’m omitting the parm and bread crumbs to lose the wheat and dairy):

MAKES FOUR 4-INCH BURGERS
1½ cups cooked beans
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
¾ cup toasted bread crumbs, plus more if
needed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a mixing bowl, mash the beans using a potato masher or fork. Fold in the eggs, parsley, Parmesan, mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Fold in the bread crumbs, adding more if the mixture is too loose. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes for the crumbs to soak up some moisture. Adjust seasonings. Shape into 4 patties.
3. In an oven-safe skillet or nonstick sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and cook until browned on each side, 6 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.
▶ Prep and cook time: 30 minutes

Excerpt From: Volger, Lukas. “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way.” Perseus, 2010-08-17. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=473931289

  • Apple cinnamon bars (I’m going to try these)
  • Big-’ol-veggie-filled salads with lean protein (sautéed shrimp, baked or grilled chicken and salmon, are some of my favorites!)

 

Let’s try it for the next 30 days?! Eliminate excess sugar and preservatives. Notice the change in your digestion, skin, energy levels and mood. At least for two weeks? Join me! Let me know about your journey; you know you’ll be updated on mine!

Be well!

Jess

 

 

A love letter to Montana

Good morning, everyone!
It has been a while since I sat down and shared a blog. Lot’s of things have been going on; my business is in full swing and I am now getting the privilege of working outdoors with my clients in this lovely weather here in Bozeman. It’s such a bonus to live here and help people take steps to living healthier lives.
When I moved here 10 years ago this past April, I had no idea that I would fall so deeply in love with my surroundings and the opportunity for adventure that it provides, practically at my doorstep!
Many things in my life have changed over the past 10 years, and in particular over the past year-and-a-half. Change is good. Experiences, events, and the people we encounter, shape who we are and who we become. This is all part of our story and makes us who we are. I have had some wonderful experiences along this journey in life some painful, others full of joy and love; all have led me to where I am right now.
The other day, I awoke with such a love and joy for where I live that I wrote a little love to poem for Montana, and I thought I’d share:

Dear Montana,
I can’t imagine myself falling out of love with your inspiration, energy and versatile beauty. Thank you for helping me to be whole, good and appreciative of life’s best ways to live: through exploration and adventure.

Love,
Jess

I encourage you to review the past, gaze into the future, and relish the present! What brought you where you are today? Where do you want to be tomorrow? What steps can you take today to bring you toward your best life FOR YOU?

Eat well. Get sweaty. Be kind. Laugh and smile…ALOT!

image

Have a great day!

Take care of all of you…

Lao Tzu

Taking care of yourself is not only about exercising and eating healthy. Stress management and mental health are enormous components in self care.

Sometimes we get caught up in our own minds. It’s very easy to look ahead to the future and focus on the past. Living in the present can be challenging and painful at times. My advice: try not to wish away today for tomorrow; don’t let the life you’re living pass you by in this very moment!  We can easily get distracted from the steps we need to take to reach our future goals by reliving our story from the past. Set your sights on what needs to happen today to be able to reach that goal for tomorrow.

Be kind to yourself and others!

Let’s live!

 

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It’s mid-February, how are those pesky resolutions going? You know, those things we vowed to change for good just 6 weeks ago? I know for myself personally, I have not lived up to all of my goals, and have faced some pretty interesting challenges. One of my resolutions was to blog more, and we have seen how well that’s been going! So, I woke up this morning with this thought; change can begin at any moment. It’s a conscious decision to create the direction you want your life to go in. Change starts today, in this very moment.

Change. It’s a dirty little word, isn’t it? How many of you cringed just at the sight of it?  We all have things that we want to change: things we recognize would benefit ourselves and others. Instead of beating ourselves up for not changing, let’s take a different approach, one with self-compassion. Give yourselves a big internal hug. Silence that voice in your head that says “you’ve tried this before and it didn’t work”, or “what makes you think that you will succeed, you’ve always failed in the past.” It’s a new day. It’s a new moment that you haven’t lived yet! Let’s be kind to ourselves and make little modifications to strive toward our goals! I found this the other day and fell in love:

image

Look. We’re human! This road of life can get bumpy; it’s easy to lose track, get off course and forget what’s important. There’s no perfect road map we’re all supposed to follow; each day is a new day of growth and discovery. The best thing that we can do is to awake each morning and remind ourselves of our purpose, goals and directions in life. To take each day as a chance learn from others and our experience. To think of the sunrise as a fresh new start; not just the first of the year, or your birthday as a new beginning. Heck, not even just at the start of a new week! (Although, I am posting this on a Monday.) Today can be that new day where we can make changes in ways that matter most to us, in health, family, work, and relationships. Not everyday will be perfect. We are not perfect! Human beings are messy; we’re emotional, impulsive, and spontaneous. However, if we set out each day with the intent to be the best we can, then it was a close-to-perfect day.

I believe in you. I believe you can make your day, month, year, decade what you want it do be. You can take small steps to improve your life. Make yourself a priority. Remind yourself what you’re here on this earth to do. Everyone has a purpose. If you’re not sure what that is, or who you are, then find a way to discover what this life means to you. Set small goals for today. Be kind to yourself if you’re not perfect at what you set your mind to do. You’re being present and mindful of your actions, and that’s more than half the battle.

Take care,
Jess

Just a quick hello after the New Year!

I hope you all survived the holidays and are looking forward to getting on with the year ahead. Maybe some of you are thinking that 2014 will be the year for you to get in shape, lose that muffin top, and feel your best? If so, I want you to also consider the health benefits to all of those goals.

It can be nice to put a magazine picture of a bikini body on the fridge for motivation, or to have an idea of wearing a little black dress; but, the reality is that being more active and eating healthy benefits your life in so many other great ways! In this culture, there’s so much pressure to be a certain size and shape, that we lose sight of the health benefits of just caring for our bodies by being physically active, eating healthy and exercising regularly. The benefits to regular exercise are abundant and well-documented:

” Regular physical activity has been shown to lower the risk of early death, help control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some types of cancer and a host of other conditions. It lowers the risk of cognitive decline and hip fractures.
And recent research suggests that exercise may be as effective as medication in preventing early death in people who’ve had heart attacks or strokes.”

Remember, restrictive dieting may work in the short-term, but is very difficult to maintain in the long run. Plus, you will lose weight, but what about your fitness level? Rapid weight loss does nothing for strength and endurance, and in fact, depletes muscle mass. I’m not talking about what you can lift or do in the gym, here. I’m talking about climbing stairs without being out of breath.  Or, being able to maintain muscle mass so that in 10-15 years you can pick up your grandchildren. Ladies, it’s about helping your body ward off osteoarthritis by keeping your bones strong and healthy.

Moderation is key to eating and exercise; with any exercise you want to start off slow, as to avoid injury. Working with a fitness coach is key to get started on the right track. Let me know how I may help you have a fitter, healthier, happier 2014!

Winter has arrived, and it’s freezing!

 

cold_winter_days_by_lomil_gathiel

 

Although it’s SO cold outside-arctic temperatures in Bozeman right now, for those of you that live outside of the immediate area-I hope you’re still finding ways to work up a sweat and stay active.

Whatever that means for you, whether it be bundling up and bearing the cold, dusting off those workout videos, or doing an in-home workout with yours truly; make sure  you’re still making your health a priority, especially during this holiday season! Remember: regular exercise can help keep your immune system healthy, staving off any of the crud that you may be exposed to when out shopping and socializing. 

 

Stay warm!

Jessica

 

Tips to surviving Thanksgiving Day!

Happy Holidays!
I know, they’re here… I don’t know about you guys, but the holidays have snuck up on me this year! Oh well, here are a few ways to have fun and be healthy this year:
1. Have your favorite foods. Often times, there’s an abundance of food on the table, and some of it you may think is tasty, but not necessarily your favorite; have some small portions of all your absolute favorites and leave the rest.

2. Fill half your plate with green veggies. You lessen your load (and may not have to unbutton the top button of your pants) by utilizing this little trick. The fiber from the veggies helps to fill you up so you don’t feel compelled to have that second serving of pie…maybe…

3. Don’t fill up on booze. I get it. It’s the holidays, and if you’re spending them with your family, there may be some past conflicts that surface whilst cramming yourselves in a hot kitchen. Don’t self medicate with alcohol! One reason, is the increased caloric intake quickly without making you full; save those calories for something tasty, like a little pie and whipped cream. Besides, lowering your inhibitions over the holidays is generally a recipe for disaster; do you really want to tell your siblings how they should be living their lives; or to tell everyone what you really think of dad’s new girlfriend?
4. Reduce stress. Keep it light, I’m not talking just food here. Polite conversation on the holidays that does not involve the usual suspect topics: religion and politics, can help to increase the enjoyment of the holidays. (Also, another reason to keep excess alcohol out of the picture.) Stress can be a big trigger for cravings and create a cascade of hormone imbalances which wreak havoc on our system. Try to stay calm and turkey on. Just a 5 minute walk outside will help to reduce stress if you get overwhelmed and can’t get away for too long.

5. Move. That’s right, C&C Music Factory said it right in “Everybody dance now”; MOVE. Go for a walk, jog, hike, bike, skip, dance. Play touch football. That physical activity will help you digest your meal more efficiently, help you to have a clear head, and reduce your likelihood of getting the blues.

Most of all, have a great day, and I look forward to seeing you all very soon!
Much love,
Jessica

Tips for Making Eating Healthy Convenient!

 

Make-Healthy-Eating-Fun

Hello all!

I know that we all set out each week to make the best food choices for ourselves and our family. We may even take the time to meal plan for the week. However, somewhere in the middle of the week we get a little tired and don’t want to take the time to prepare dinner, lunches, etc. and we get tempted to go out, which may derail our goals.

Whatever your personal challenges that crop up in the week, here are some tips that I have implemented in my kitchen to help the week go according to plan:

1) Make a plan and make a list. Make a meal plan not just for meals, but for snacks, too! Planning for snacks will keep you from getting ravenous and overeating at meals, by going too long in between. Being prepared will also keep you away from pesky vending machines at the office, or from Sally’s candy jar on her desk! Also, make a grocery list and follow it; don’t go unprepared or hungry to the store.

2) Get creative! Do you have a favorite food that always tempts you away from your meal plan for the week? Look up healthier recipes of your favorite foods! By avoiding the restaurant, you may not only save money, but have better portion control. You also have the ability to manage what goes into your food preparation. I like the Eating Well website for some healthier, lower calorie versions of Chinese food, pizza, etc. Not everything on this site is healthy, but there are some tasty renditions of my favorites with less calories.

3) Wash fruits and veggies before putting them away.  Save that extra step in preparation by getting it done as soon as you get home from the store. Remember, you still need to wash organic produce!

4) Make a salad for the next 3-4 days. Chop up your greens, carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. and toss them in a glass bowl with a lid in the fridge. Now you have a salad available for lunch or dinner; just scoop, dress, and enjoy! Or, make individual salads to take with you for lunch for the week rather than reaching in the big bowl each day. Take 20 mins on a Sunday, and be ready for the week.

5) Make brown rice or wild rice ahead. Make enough for the week. For us that’s generally 2 cups dry. Then, you have your healthy whole grain fiber source available on the ready! I love rice. I hate that it takes an hour to make on weeknights. So, rather than going the Minute Rice route-which is devoid of nutrients that the whole grain provides- make rice while you’re doing other chores  over the weekend. I generally make it while I’m doing my housecleaning, or even yard work. Just don’t forget about it! Set a timer!

I hope these suggestions help you make good, healthy choices this week, and they get you that much closer to your goals.

5 ways to make fitness a part of your day: some tips on what works for me to get (and stay) motivated.

1. Find a time on your calendar and make it a date with yourself.
I  prefer to workout first thing in the am. Not only do I get it out of the way, but this doubles as my “alone time”, as well. However, this doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s ok! The time of day doesn’t matter.  Just plug it into your day; think of it as a treat to yourself for working hard, not a chore!
2. Make it so much fun, you can’t help yourself! 
Find a class, go for a hike, a bike ride, a power walk, or a run; don’t like to do one of those, don’t! Didn’t Digital Underground say it best? “Do what ya like!” (Now you will have that song in your head all day! I apologize.)
2. Do it incrementally.
Try booking 15 minutes for your activity, and work up to 60 minutes. Every little bit counts, and it’s all about making it happen and creating the new habit.
3.Make it entertaining.
Find a good book to read/listen to only while you’re working up a sweat; this will keep you motivated to find out what happens in the next chapter! I’ve known many long distance runners that have used this method to help them go the distance. One summer, I even went as far to listen to a trashy romance novel while mountain biking! Or, if you’re indoors you could even watch your guilty tv pleasures. (While maybe feeling a little less guilty because you’re moving!)
4. Set your self up for success. (Part I)
Want to get out of bed and go? Lay out your exercise clothes the night before, or just sleep in them, and you will be ready to go in the morning! (Who cares, you’re just going to get sweaty, anyway.) Or, get your stuff together for after work and change there. Don’t let yourself lose steam trying to prepare.
5. Set yourself up for success. (Part II) Avoid caffeine and alcohol at dinner time.
These can inhibit a good nights rest, and leave you not only feeling sluggish in the AM, but less likely to be motivated in the PM, as well.