Working out is hard to get started, but usually once you get into a routine you begin to enjoy your sweat sessions. There aren't any negative effects of working out. Sure you might have an injury or two here or there or may have a couple sore muscles, but I always say wouldn't you rather be sore from using your muscles than from not using them! Either way you're going to be sore at some point.
Recently we've began a new workout regime that has required us getting out of bed and working out before our daughter is up.
There are 2 habits that I had to establish before I could consistently commit to getting up early.
1. Drink more water. 2. Go to bed at a decent hour.
You see water is essential to your body feeling energized, so if you are living in a constant state of dehydration when your alarm goes off the last thing you are going to want to do is get out of bed. Secondly, if you aren't getting enough sleep on a consistent basis, ideally going to bed and getting up the same time each day/night, then you aren't going to want to get up either.
These are the keys to life balance. You can't add one thing in without taking something out or adjusting so that it will be easier to accomplish. Setting yourself up for success is half the battle. If you are tired and have no energy then it's going to be hard to get past that second and third week where the results aren't happening as fast and you're less motivated than when you started.
When I'm coaching others into a more balanced and healthful lifestyle these are the 2 things I recommend to start doing immediately.
Everyone is throwing butter in their coffee with the new trend, now before you say butter in coffee, think about what cream is made of. Before you head out and start putting butter in your own coffee, let’s decide if it’s worth it to you.
Bulletproof coffee was designed by Dave Asprey because the coffee standards in the US aren’t up to par with the rest of the world. Bulletproof coffee has it’s own set of standards when it comes to mold and other factors when producing and selling coffees to consumers. It’s a brand I’ve come to trust and believe that I’m getting better quality than the run of the mill coffee you buy at a supermarket store.
What you put in the bulletproof coffee is what makes it bulletproof. To start off, you should really only be drinking bulletproof coffee if you are following a bulletproof diet. High fat, low carb. Meaning high good fats and low (no) sugar, white flour, beans, breads, dairy, pasta, or artificial sugars. If you use the high fat without the low carb you’re most likely to gain more weight than you want.
1-2 tps unsalted (or if you’re like me and can get salted cheaper at Costco and don’t have cholesterol problems)
1-2 tbsp MCT oil or Brain Octane oil (I get mine from the Bulletproof website)
You blend it for 20-30 seconds to create a frothy texture. It has become my daily breakfast and I’ve moved my Shakeology to my afternoon pick-me-up.
My personal experience so far has been very positive. It took me about 2 years to give this a try, besides the whole trying to make it myself with butter and coconut oil (which doesn’t work). Never being a coffee drinker it was hard for me to overcome the idea of starting to drink coffee for no good reason.
My morning breakfast ends up having about 260 calories of high healthy fats that help boost my brain productivity for the day. The MCT oil is much more intense for lack of a better word than coconut oil. It’s more easily processed and takes less steps for your body to actually be able to use the nutrients so you get more of an instant effect.
If you haven’t tried Bulletproof coffee and are interested in giving it a shot, I recommend only doing it the way it’s meant to be. The high quality ingredients are why it’s become a phenomenon.
Here's how a typical day in my life looks currently.
7 am - wakeup drink 8 oz water / workout drink 8 oz water 7:30 am - drink another 8 oz post workout along with recovery drink 7:30-8 am - check email, social media, write blogs and newsletters 9 am - drink bulletproof coffee (I buy it from bulletproof coffee.com and use kerrygold butter and xct oil) high fat 11:30 am - lunch; normally soup or salad or sometimes leftovers from the night before. If it's a salad I use salsa or make my own dressing. 3 pm - shakeology with banana, spinach, peanut butter, flax, coconut, chia seeds 6 pm - dinner; this is always different but always contains a meat and lots of vegetables, sometimes rice or quinoa but I limit the portions of carbs while eating a high fat diet. Especially white carbs and sugar.
Sometimes I'll have a small dessert or an evening snack if I'm still hungry depending on what I chose to eat for lunch and dinner.
You can find recipes on my Pinterest or this website.
Control is something I like to have and I don't handle change well, but that's most people with my personality, right?
My anxiety goes to a deeper level. If you change plans on me, or do something that I didn't know we were going to do so I wasn't mentally prepared, I can get pretty intense to say the least.
Until recently, I just sort of thought I was a bit crazy, but I've started reading more and more about anxiety and depression and I've realized that I definitely have some disorder. I think it peaked when I became a mom. I literally wanted to control every second of my daughter's life and what she ate, when she slept, etc. The older she got the harder that was to do and the more anxious I got over it. Luckily, I was in therapy at the time and had a place to talk through my anxieties, but I think what really helped me the most was just understanding that it was a thing.
If I know I have a problem or a potential problem, I can learn how to solve it. I've been reading more and more about anxiety and I've vowed to not turn to medicine unless necessary. Most people that would be their first choice because it's a quick fix, but I know too much about the possible side effects of pharmaceuticals and that you really don't have an end plan on when to take most of them. The solution is to take them for the rest of your life, that might work for some, it's not how I choose to live my life.
Here are some helpful tips to overcoming anxiety:
1. Know as much as you can about a situation before you're in it. 2. Drink plenty of water. 3. Eat less white carbs and sugar. 4. Eat more fresh vegetables and fruit. 5. Workout daily, even if it's 15 minutes of yoga. 6. Meditate daily. (I've just started doing this and IT'S HARD! But so good for us!) 7. Get up early so you're not starting your day frazzled and late. 8. Get enough sleep each night. (Even better to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.) 9. Keep a journal of your moods. 10. Go to therapy and talk to someone about what's happening inside your mind.
These are the top 10 things that help me keep my mind in check.
It's interesting that for the past 5 years I've been focusing on my physical strength when what I really need to work on is my mental strength and how to keep my anxiety to a minimum and eliminate negative self talk.
If these are things you need to work on too, stay tuned, I plan on sharing how I plan to overcome these adversities.
For daily accountability please join my community on Facebook.
You know my motto: Keep it simple. And really, nutrition doesn't get much more simple than drinking one Shakeology a day. It's totally up to you when you want to drink it: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. There is no wrong way to do it. You can shake it up with water and ice, or you can blend it with additional ingredients. Your shake, your way.
When you really look all the healthy stuff you get with Shakeology, it's is an incredible deal. One of my customers said, when learning of the price, "Cassie I would have paid TWICE that! This stuff is amazing". So not only do you get your money's worth with Shakeology, because it tastes so amazing, is so healthy, and the attention to every detail is so complete, you truly get your money back in health benefits.
It's your body, your health, your life—and YOU are worth the very best of the best. We think so—and that’s the Shakeology difference.
A phrase that I sometimes hear is 'Shakeology is expensive.' But it is? Really? Once you break it down, it comes out to be about $4/day. YOU are worth $4 a day.
While other shakes may be less upfront about cost and even less upfront about ingredients, it's important to look at the big picture. Since other shakes aren't as nutritious as Shakeology, the companies might recommend that you buy a separate vitamin and mineral pack that could run an extra $150 per month! If you want chocolate flavoring, then you might be out another $25 per month for a separate flavor packet. And if you want metabolism-boosting effects and appetite control, you might have to buy two additional products at $50 each. Once you add it all up, most other shakes are hardly a good deal. When I say to folks that there really isn't anything else on the market that can compare to Shakeology, it's the absolute truth.
With Shakeology, you get EVERYTHING in one bag for just $4/day!
Shakeology 411: The scoop on sugar 2015
Our society has become inundated with "free" foods...fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free...and there is a lot of benefit to decreasing sugar and eliminating gluten. However, if we choose to grab a drink or snack only because it says 'sugar-free' or 'fat-free', we aren't getting the full picture.
If the sugar content has been taken out of a food, often SOMETHING has been put in its place. Other protein shakes might only have 1 gram of sugar documented in their Nutritional Facts, yet they are loaded with artificial chemical sweeteners (check the label for sucralose, aspartame, or sugar alcohols). Beachbody refuses to sweeten Shakeology with something so detrimental to the body.
Shakeology’s small amount of sugar only comes from natural sources, which can easily be processed by the body. Plus, Shakeology has been tested and certified by an independent lab to have a Low Glycemic Index (GI) of between 14 and 29 (depending on the flavor).*** This is lower than most fruits (an apple has a GI of 39, and a ripe banana has a GI of 62).†
So while the best stuff in life might be free, read those labels to make sure you aren't paying a price you don't want to pay for something that is "free".
Shakeology 411: Quality first 2015
Hands down, QUALITY is a top priority for Beachbody. We truly aren't willing to sacrifice quality for cheaper ingredients.
To ensure that every batch of Shakeology is of the utmost quality, Beachbody analyzes the source of every single shipment that shows up at the manufacturer.
From the Shakeology Blog: "If its discovered that the manufacturer is cutting corners, or that there are any quality or safety concerns (allergens), or shelf-life issues, we tell them to find another source, or else we’ll take our business elsewhere—no matter how inconvenient it is for us.. This is the kind of scrutiny that other companies simply don’t give their products."
You don’t have to follow a recipe in order to make a healthy, energizing smoothie. Sometimes, after you have practiced a bit with recipes from other people, it’s exciting to experiment a bit on your own!
To start, set your blender out on the counter and be sure to leave it there - if you have to get it out every time you want to blend something, you’re not going to get into a routine of making these delicious smoothie combinations daily (and you want to make these daily in order to keep your healthy habits momentum going, right?).
Take a look at the basic ingredients and options listed below and give some combos a whirl! It may take a couple of tries to make blends that suit your taste, but once you start getting the hang of it, you’ll be whipping out your own concoctions one after the other in no time.
Have you already created one or more that you really like? Feel free to share it in the comments below!
Here’s the basic guidelines to building your best smoothie:
Greens - 3-4 handfuls Choices:
Spinach Kale Arugula Collard Greens
Fruit - 1 cup or 1 piece (ex: apple) Choices:
Berries Cherries Grapes Oranges Peaches Apples Mangoes Pears Melons Pineapple
Creamy texture - Choose 1 Choices:
Banana ½ Avocado ⅓
Healthy Fats - 2 Tbsp Choices:
Flax seed or oil Chia seed Coconut oil or flakes Nuts Seeds Nut butters
Liquid - 2 cups Choices:
Water Coconut water Milk - almond, coconut, soy, cow’s, goat’s, rice
spinach - has multiple benefits including anti-inflammatory effects, rids your body of free radicals, filled with flavonoids, and is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, C, B2, B6, and E. It’s full of magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, and potassium as well.
apple - fiber which keeps you full longer and helps your body detox.
avocado -healthy monounsaturated fat proven to reduce inflammation, it can also help you absorb plant foods such as spinach so they are a great combo.
flax, coconut, chia - these 3 are powerhouse superfoods rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, omega 3 and protein.
ginger - helps with digestion, inflammation, nausea, pain reduction, and is full of healthy nutrients.
Mom’s and Dad’s alike realize that nutrition is important when becoming parents. Babies grow quickly in many ways and the first 3 years of their lives are crucial for brain development.
How can you be sure that the brain develops at it’s best?
Proper nutrition is key as well as engaging your toddler and allowing him/her to practice his/her skills. From sitting up, to crawling, to his/her first steps, your child is learning and being challenged daily. Once he/she is moving around, he/she begins to realize there are other important things to learn about and begin the world of exploration.
To be sure your baby has what he/she needs to be properly fueled on his/her journey, here are a few tips on what to feed them:
Nutrition for babies and toddlers is no different than nutrition for adults. The basic concepts are the same. They need the 3 macronutrients and, of course, micronutrients as well.
Let’s start with the macros.
The best source of food for your baby for their first year of life is breastmilk. It contains all the essential nutrients your baby needs to survive and thrive. If you are unable to provide breastmilk and need to supplement, it is best to start introducing solids as soon as your baby shows signs that he/she is ready. Otherwise, food before one is just for fun!
1. Protein – Proteins are the amino acids that are the building blocks of our cells. Protein is essential for growth and development, so being sure your babies receive high quality protein sources is crucial.
Some examples of high quality protein are farm fresh eggs, applegate sausages or chicken links and greek yogurt (I prefer Fage and whole milk). It’s best to get these sources from organic, grass-fed farms and it’s even better if you can get them locally.
2. Carbohydrates – These are your baby’s main fuel source and are also essential for growth and development. Complex carbs are the best source as they take longer to digest – and that’s a good thing!
An example of a complex carb is whole grain, such as ezekiel bread, brown rice, quinoa (technically a seed), lentils and beans.
3. Fats – 60% of your brain is composed of fats, so healthy fats should be in a toddler’s everyday meal plan.
Some examples of healthy fats include avocado, coconut oil, whole milk, meats, egg yolk, extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, grassfed butter or cream and peanut or almond butter. There are great, easy recipes to make these yourself without all of the extra additives and preservatives as well!
Next we will move on to the essential micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins. Specifically…
1. Iron – Critical for brain development as much as healthy fats. It’s been shown in research that a lack of iron can lead to thought-processing and motor deficiencies. Most pediatricians recommend iron fortified cereals as a baby’s first foods to be sure they are getting enough iron.
If you are like me and see no other nutritional value in cereals though, some good sources of iron rich foods are meat, poultry and fish. Other sources are avocado, baked potato, broccoli, chickpeas, eggs, prunes and spinach.
2. Calcium – Necessary for building strong bones and preventing breaks and fractures, calcium also helps toddlers achieve peak bone mass, which is necessary for building strong bones. Again, pediatricians recommend whole milk at age 1 because it’s filled with calcium. Personally, with the amount of people who are allergic to dairy and don’t know it and the amount of hormones and antibiotics injected into cows these days, I prefer other sources.
Here are some sources that are great for calcium: salmon, broccoli, white beans, tomatoes and oatmeal.
3. Zinc – There are a variety of roles zinc plays in the body, but it’s primary role is to maintain immune function and assure maximum cell growth and repair. It also has a positive effect on cognition and development. If there is a deficiency in zinc in the body, it can cause impaired growth, increase risk of infection or disease and diarrhea.
Good sources of zinc include turkey, beef, fish, eggs, lentils and cheese.
4. Vitamins A, D, E, & K – Vitamins are essential nutrients that the body does not produce on its own, so we need to get them from food or supplementation. Vitamin A improves vision and skin health. Vitamin D increases bone growth and calcium absorption. Vitamin E increases cell growth and helps develop the nervous system. Vitamin K helps regulate normal blood clotting.
Examples of Vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli. Vitamin D is in egg yolk or fish, but you can make this really simple and just be sure your child gets 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight a day. Vitamin E is found in grains and Vitamin K is found in leafy vegetables and fruit.
5. Vitamins B & C – Vitamin C increases iron absorption and helps prevent bruising. Vitamin B increase the immune and nervous system’s effectiveness. It helps maintain healthy muscle and skin tone, promotes cell growth and regulates metabolism.
These can be found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy sources. If your baby is growing well and is getting a wide range of food sources, you don’t have a lot to worry about.
To summarize, a good, balanced meal plan for your growing toddler should include a variety of these foods. A sample day in my 14 month old’s life looks like this (and still includes breastmilk):
Breakfast – Smoothie filled with berries, half a banana, leafy greens, flax seed, chia seed and coconut flakes with almond milk. Snack – Oatmeal with berries or peanut butter. Lunch – Turkey sausage, broccoli or peas and fruit. Snack – Hummus and carrots or cucumbers. Dinner – Pork, Beef, Chicken or Salmon with beans, asparagus and sweet potatoes.
The world we live in is FILLED with toxins and there are only more and more developing as we speak. From the air we breathe having less oxygen, to the water we drink being full of many more toxic chemicals, to the food we eat being sprayed with pesticides – we are surrounded.
One thing’s for sure, we can’t stop breathing, drinking water or eating food and manage to survive, so we need to find a way to do these things with as little chemical and toxin consumption as possible.
Toxins cause inflammation in the body and inflammation causes us to hold on to unwanted fat cells and for some reason this always happens in the belly. It can cause you to not be able to lose weight if you add stress to the toxins you have in your body.
Here are my top 5 tips to detox your belly and prevent toxins from entering your body.
1. Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of distilled water adding in electrolytes in the form of pink Himalayan crystal salt. Just a pinch is enough to reap the benefits when done regularly.
2. Sleep 7-8 hours a night on a regular consistent basis. This helps even more if you have a set bedtime and a set time to wake-up time each day, because your body gets used to the routine and you hold on to less stress in your body. Bonus if you can do this without an alarm clock!
3. Find houseplants that naturally detox the air in your house. For a list of houseplants, go to my page and view the pinned post.
4. When buying foods, stick to whole foods, skip anything that is man made in a package, bag, box, can, etc. Go for the fresh fruits and veggies and choose organic or, even better, go to a local farmers market and buy from them – you’ll know where your food is grown and be able to ask the farmers questions about your food.
Think about joining a local CSA program that provides fresh fruits and veggies or meat in the summers or even year round!
5. Use natural cleaning supplies. I’m not sure when the last time you looked at the ingredient list on pledge, windex, or any other cleaning supply you use was, but most likely it’s loaded with chemicals. How about your laundry detergent? Shampoo? Hairspray? There are companies that make household items WITHOUT the toxin filled chemicals that can harm our bodies. There are also ways to make homemade supplies where you know the ingredients in them and that they are safe for you and your family!
I hope you are able to use these 5 tips to begin to detoxify your life. You will notice that your body will respond to natural ways just fine. It may take some getting used to, some changes in thinking or how you shop, but your health will thank you!
Vitamins are often used as a supplement as they are needed in our diets. If you are someone who eats only whole foods and a variety of fruits and vegetables and grass-fed meats, then I’d feel comfortable saying that you have a good handle on your vitamin consumption.
Most adults, however, don’t eat that well, let alone kids who are picky and need to experience foods up to 7 times before they find they like them. Yes, that’s right, 7 times.
Growing up, there were a ton of foods I wouldn’t touch that now, as an adult, I love. I just wasn’t introduced to them enough and was a little too stubborn at the time. But what kid isn’t?
Kids need vitamins, especially since they are in their developing stages. You can do your best to sneak veggies into shakes, smoothies, etc., but chances are, they still aren’t getting all that they need.
Did you know an apple today has less nutrients than an apple from 50 years ago meaning, you’d have to eat a lot more apples in order to get the same amount of nutrients than in previous years?
In order for your children to get the nutrients they need in this day and age, a good multivitamin is often recommended.
What vitamins are the best for your child?
That’s a tough one. I personally am thankful to have found a shake that provides all the vitamins and minerals we need daily. I let my 1 year old drink some every day with me. We also found a natural poly vi sol at the health food store we use as well. As she ages, we will continue with the shake alone.
Here’s some advice on picking a multivitamin for yourself or your children – Know the company and what they stand for:
Do they care about the environment? What sources are they getting the vitamins and minerals from, a lab or a food where it is simply dehydrated and put in powder form in a pill or shake? Do they overuse organic with the same ingredients that a generic vitamin company would use?
Avoid high fructose, artificial sugars, food dyes, natural flavors and synthetics if at all possible. Do your homework, don’t just go to the store and compare prices like I used to do!
I’m won’t offer specific brands here, but if you’d like my opinion on the ingredients involved, I’d be happy to talk with you personally. Feel free to comment below as well on any questions or suggestions you may have!