HOW DOES YOUR VACATION AFFECT YOUR WELLNESS?
With summer upon us, what are your travel plans? Overseas? Or a local staycation? Research shows that we should take advantage of our vacation time for a happier life. Particularly overseas travel. And travel in sunny places. Although I don’t believe they didn’t account for the beauty of the snow covered mountains and people who love winter sports. I believe taking our wellness seriously, both mind and body is important. So with that in mind, here are my tips:
I can’t afford it. This is an excuse we give ourselves about almost everything that is good for us. You don’t have to travel far for a wonderful vacation, just the desire. Find what you love and do it. Do you love music? Find your favorite group or artist and visit a concert away from your home. Maybe just a 3 or 4 hour drive from your home. Rent a room on airbnb and meet some new people.
Find a location that you can drive to
Stay in a room in an airbnb instead of an entire home
Go during off seasons when things are cheaper
Treat yourself to one or two meals out in the new city, instead of every meal.
Explore your surroundings! Go to historical places, the library, free outdoor concerts or rodeos. Parks and the beach are FREE!
Use some of the time to mediate or read a book. Quiet time away from the hustle and bustle.
I am going to continue to speak on travel and wellness for the next couple of weeks. What are are your tips? How does travel improve your wellness?
I hope this encourages you to begin your adventures now. Be good to yourself!
How do you set the reset button when you don’t feel as motivated to stay on track? Life can hand you lemons sometimes. Your schedule can change or you go on a vacation. Any little thing can set us off in the wrong direction. It’s ok. Every day is an opportunity to hop right back on that train.
So, where do you start?
SCHEDULE! Sit down and schedule your meals, workouts and other wellness activities (walks on the beach or in the forest, meditation, or prayer). Pick one day a week to set yourself up for success by planning.
Always have a backup plan. I keep a homemade frozen dinner and soup handy for a quick meal.
If you can’t find time for the gym, watch a youtube video. There are several videos that are only 5 - 10 minutes. Add steps to your daily routine. Park farther from your destination, set your timer to get up from your desk every 60 minutes, or take the stairs.
Keep healthy snacks available. In your bag. In your car. In your desk.
Get your coworkers and family on board. I told my coworkers not to let me drink soda or eat junk while at work. My favorite snacking time is at work. All I had to do is tell one person and I didn’t want to get “caught” so no need to tell the entire staff.
Use a tracker to track food, water and exercise. Like this one (https://www.bodyajenda.com/shop/tracker).
Please forgive yourself. No negative talk or thoughts.
Figure out a reward. I like to give myself something off my amazon wish list or new CUTE workout gear.
Take a hike. Literally. Get out in nature and take some deep breathes.
Journal. Write down your feelings, whatever they may be. Don’t forget to write down at least one thing you are EXTREMELY grateful for.
We all fall off the wagon. But it is our choice if we get back on or not. Be good to yourself and restart right now.
When eating out in restaurants, it can seem overwhelming. Nobody wants to eat a boring salad or plain fish when everyone else is eating clams and pasta in a butter sauce. I have a few tips on how to maintain your clean eating habits while dining.
Farm to table is really popular right now. That is great news for you. That means more natural foods. This is your best option when it comes to dining. The portions are usually more in line with the way we should be eating. This the BEST place for you to eat. Taste food from these places, and you will never eat at McDonalds again!
You can eat anywhere you want! Yes, that’s right. Anywhere. I can even eat at Red Robin or Olive Garden. How to I do it? Eat smaller portions. Don’t be scared to leave some food on your plate (or take it home for the next day).
Drink a whole glass of water before digging into bread, salad, or soup.
Eat slowly, enjoy every bite like it was your last. I usually stop and drink in between bites.
Load up on soups, salads or healthier appetizers, not fried appetizers. Thank goodness there are usually many appetizers to choose from.
Eat vegetarian. I love getting vegetarian pizza.
One of my favorite tricks is to eat at happy hour. The portions are smaller. I like to hit up restaurants that make the food from scratch so every bite is a party in my mouth.
Limit the amount of times you eat out. Go once a month and eat great quality ingredients instead of many times to eat cheaper and lower quality food.
I hope these tips help you enjoy the social aspects of dining out. With all the great restaurants these days, why not enjoy them and be happy! Taking care of your body and health doesn’t mean you can’t have this and you can’t have that. It means better choices. Bon appetite!
When learning anything new, I like learning about the person who is presenting the information. A look behind the scenes as it were. So here is your glimpse into my life. I am in my forties, a 1970’s baby. I am 5’7 ½. My lowest adult weight was 125 lbs after the birth of my 9lb 5oz son. My heaviest weight was somewhere in the low 200s. I was very active as a kid and young adult. But later in life, I had jobs that I sat at a computer most of the day. That’s when the pounds came on. I have always prefered junk food and snacks over vegetables and quinoa. So the weight caught up with me as I sat more than moved.
Now I have a job that allows NO sitting, I am a server. I climb stairs and a busy shift could be about 19,000 steps. But we are not always that busy. I also have a gym membership to swim, hit weight machines and take classes. However, I still like exercising in a natural way. Walking to the store, swimming in a lake, skiing down a mountain. I wish I had the time to do that, but like most people I don’t have hours to spend on natural exercise.
My work schedule changes every week. I have set up a workout schedule that works for me. That means before I do anything else, I workout. Normally that is even before breakfast because once I get distracted, it’s hard to get back on track.
Here is what habits work for me:
Exercise first thing in the am.
Put my workout clothes out on the bed at night and get into them as soon as I wake up
Always have water handy
Plan meals AND SNACKS
Always carry some snack foods with you. I like almonds and trail mix over a protein or meal replacement bar.
In the summers, I love to start the morning with a shake. (Fresh spinach, greek yogurt, lemon juice, frozen berries, coconut water and apple or pear)
Always end the day with reflection on what I am grateful for
Write what worked for me and what didn’t (new recipe, workout for the day) so I can evaluate and adjust to the weather, seasonal fruits and veggies, events,etc.
Always forgive yourself if you don’t eat perfectly or don’t workout. Start anew immediately! The very next meal. Add some steps in if you can’t exercise.
Lean on your community to support your efforts.
Here is a normal day.
Today’s workout (day off)
What I ate today (day off):
Noon - Whole foods prepared foods: ½ bbq chicken breast, ⅛ cup of mashed potatoes, ¼ cup mac & cheese, 1 cup of steamed broccoli, one dinner roll with butter (the treat!)
4pm - air popped popcorn and cantaloupe with coke zero (with lemon juice)
7pm - 2 cups spaghetti with turkey sausage and ground turkey, 1 cup salad with 1 tbsp newman’s light salad dressings
9pm - 1 each skinny cow
As you can see, a meal is missing. The way my schedule is, for most of the week I go in later in the afternoon or early evening. I eat when I get off work at 1am - 3am at night. Thus it ends up being 3 meals. Again, adjust your eating habits to when you can sit down and enjoy every single bite!
I hope this gives you an idea of what I do to keep my mind and body on track to stay healthy. As you see, I am not perfect. Be well and have a good week!
I recently got a nasty flu that had me calling in sick at work (it is extremely rare for me to EVER call in sick). If you are anything like me, getting back into your regular routine of working out and eating better is more difficult after indulging in some feel good foods. Here are my tips to getting back in the swing of things.
Talk a walk. Walking gets your blood flowing again. You begin to feel better by just getting out of the house. If you do it during the day, the sun will warm your skin and awaken your senses.
Do some soft yoga. By soft I mean more stretching than pushing your body. I would recommend this video by Yoga by Adriene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLS9uQQQyB0.
Drink lots of water and hot tea.
MEAL PLAN! Starting with a hot soup of whatever is left in your fridge. Chicken, pasta, and veggies are a great soup and healthy. Or use to google to use whatever ingredients you have in your fridge or freezer.
I take one multivitamin per day. I don’t over medicate myself with airborne, emergency vitamin C, and other vitamin supplements. It’s better to find extra vitamins in natural foods. Such as oranges and grapefruits or carrots and spinach.
Try a new exercise or class. Now is the time to get excited about doing something new not return to the same ole, same ole plan.
BE NICE to yourself. Positive vibes only when talking to yourself.
Once you find yourself feeling better, increase your workouts to 10 mins and slowly add minutes each day. Within a week of feeling better, you should go back to your normal workout schedule.
It is HARD to come back to my normal routine of working and life after a couple of days on the couch. Just do ONE thing, then another thing. Before you know it, your body will be ready for action!
Last month I was interviewed on my first podcast. I am a planner addict and attended a local conference for planner addicts. It was so fun and I really enjoyed being able to talk about my other passion, helping other people be the healthiest version of themselves. This blog isn’t to lecture to make you feel bad about what you are or are not doing. Instead, it is information that I gather from reliable sources written into an easy to read format. I want this to be a place where information is shared by me but also discussions between all of us. Because in the end, we all want to be happy and healthy. We want to be understood and supported. This is a safe place to talk about the things that worry us and the things that make us smile. Come walk with me.
Although I need to work on my public speaking skills, I hope you enjoy listening to this podcast.
How do you meal plan? Comment below. If you have any questions, please ask! Until next time, be good to yourself and your body. -Jenn
My full time job is indoors without any sunlight. Not to mention that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. And for a good portion of my life, I was overweight. According to the Harvard (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/), these factors increase my risk of vitamin D deficiency.
But what does Vitamin D do for your body?
* Vitamin D works with both calcium and phosphorus to help your bone grow strong as well as fight off disease and deadly cancer cells.
* It is believed that Vitamin D also assists with strengthening muscles.
* Prevent heart disease
* Studies show that the vitamin protects the body from type 1 diabetes and the flu
What can you do?
* Regular medical checkups with your doctor
* At least 15 minutes a day in the sunlight (with sunscreen on)
* Keep body weight within healthy BMI limits
* Daily multivitamin supplements (especially if you are losing weight)
When I think about how good it feels to sit in the sun for a few minutes, I do believe it feels good because it is suppose to be good for you. Our bodies are amazing works of art. If we take care of them, we can live happily and strong.
What do you do to ensure you get enough Vitamin D? Leave a comment below. Love and happiness. - Jenn
For many years, the common belief is that people who are healthy should be stepping at least 10,000 times per day. A new study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28138134) in Scotland suggests that maybe we need to increase our daily steps to 15,000. The study was conducted on postal workers who were walking mail carriers compared to their seated counterparts. They found that the walking mail carriers had smaller waist lines, small body mass indexes and lower cholesterol levels.
This study reiterates that sitting more than standing isn’t beneficial to health. I am not sure everyone can walk eight miles a day. Depending on how fast you walk, that can take 2+hours a day. So, what can you do?
Make a plan
Start out increasing your current goal by 1000 steps. This can be done quickly and in the matter of a 30 minute tv program. I like to not just walk in place, but side to side, 3 steps back - 3 steps forward. Add 30 second jumping jacks. Maybe you prefer books instead of tv. Listen to a book and walk around the block twice. Be creative and be happy!
Is there something you can do at work (if you have a sit down job)? Drink more water! You will be peeing more therefor going to the bathroom more often. Go to the bathroom that is farthest from your desk.
Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than normal and go outside for a quick walk to start your day. Maybe you take those 10 minutes while walking to pray or mediate. There is something wonderful about starting out the day on a positive note.
I encourage everyone to take those extra steps today. And tomorrow. And the next day, until it becomes a new habit.
Water is the most important part for losing weight and keeping it off. Water is also the best way to keep your body in good health. Here are my favorite tips and tricks.
- Drink 8oz of water before every meal or snack
- Bring a bottle of water everywhere you go.
- Find your favorite way to get the water in. There are a million ideas on pinterest on adding fruit and herbs but go back to basics too. Water with ice. Hot water with lemon. Water with crystal light or other alternative.
Most people ignore this tip by making excuses. I am too busy. I can’t sleep well. I just have to do...*(insert excuse). But your body needs to reboot. And rest. Sleep helps you live longer and happier. In weight loss and weight maintenance, sleep is crucial. And without proper sleep we turn to comfort foods (high calories, high energy) because our bodies think that we need to hold on to our resources. This ultimately slows down our metabolism. We make bad decisions. We are often cranky. Sleep is absolutely necessary.
Monitor your sleep daily. Notice patterns in sleep habits and adjust accordingly so you can get the best sleep.
Try and sleep at the same time every night
Take a fun quiz about your sleep patterns at http://www.thepowerofwhenquiz.com/
Clean eating is taking in whole foods, or "real" foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. In order to be good to your body, 90% of your daily food intake should be from whole foods.
Add fruits and vegetables to every meal and snack
There are clean eating recipes for old favorites. Check pinterest or clean eating magazine for recipes.
Check out domestic geek on youtube. She has a bunch of videos and meal planning tips that are easy to follow.
Check ingredients of the foods you eat. You will be surprised how much sugar is added to everyday foods such as peanut butter and marinara sauce.
FIND A BUDDY TO EXERCISE WITH
Everyone needs a support system when creating new habits. Why not your friends or neighbor? Or group exercise at your local gym? Find your people.
- Find a group on meetup.com that runs/walks/exercises in your area.
- Try something new. A swim class or masters swim club. Try tai chi. Explore new opportunities to find your people, your niche.
- Don’t know where to start? Try my exercise plans. It helps to have a goal and measure your progress. The exercise plans aren’t difficult, they meet you where you are.
You will never get where you want to go, if you talk yourself out of it all the time. What you think is so important to your overall health. This is going to be your saving grace. Your ace in the hole. I want to encourage you to try and pay attention to the way you think about yourself, your self image.
Be confident! Your body is going to change with age, with health factors, with exercise. Love your body. It is the only one you have!
Be grateful. Write down something everyday that you are grateful for each day. Not the same thing, something new each day.
I want to let you know that you aren’t alone in your struggles with your weight, food, life, stress and health. I am here. I have put together these tips to help you be the person you want to be. Happy and healthy. If you are ready, I am here to be the bridge between who you are now, and who you want to be.
Smile. Today is going to be a great day!