Elimination Diets: The Hows and Whys

You may have heard or read about the idea of an elimination diet. But since this is a process that most people will work through with a practitioner, you may not know exactly what this means or if it’s something you want to consider for yourself.

Why try it?

You will want to give an elimination diet a try anytime you have negative health symptoms that you haven’t been able to connect to a root cause. It’s common that reactions to food are:

  • varied – they don’t necessarily impact digestion specifically
  • delayed – they can occur hours or days after eating the offending food

Our digestive system is a significant portal into our bodies. And because the system is so complex, 70% of our immune system lives in and around our digestive system. When we are exposed to foods that we are sensitive to, it can increase inflammation in our gut. And this can cause food particles to enter our bodies that weren’t intended to be there.

This makes food sensitivities and intolerances a huge contribution to an array of symptoms all over our bodies. The symptoms are varied and include problems associated with:

  • autoimmune issues,
  • inflammation,
  • our moods and mental health,
  • digestive issues,
  • other unexplained symptoms

That’s a lot of symptoms that could be impacted!

How to do it

An elimination diet is one where you strategically eliminate certain foods to see if your symptoms improve. By taking a “holiday” from these foods, you can then take notice of your energy levels and how your body feels.

You start out by eliminating the most common food allergens for a specified period of time. Then, on a specific schedule, you slowly add them back one at a time and note any symptoms (better or worse). It’s often upon adding them back that you notice how these foods really make you feel.

The Gold Standard

The elimination diet is considered to be the gold standard in identifying problem foods. The main benefit is that, by tuning into your body’s reactions to certain foods, you can pinpoint sensitivities and intolerances that you may not otherwise be able to identify.

Elimination diets can be less expensive, and in some cases more reliable, than standard allergy testing.

It can also be very empowering to know what foods work best for your body. And experiencing results first-hand can be very motivating when it comes to sticking to eliminating a certain food.

These diets can be customizable to you. And having a good plan makes things much easier (even exciting). When out grocery shopping, you don’t need to debate or decide what to buy because you have a plan.

The Challenges

You may not figure out everything you’re sensitive to. Your plan should be strategically created to ensure that the most common food allergens are eliminated. This will give you the highest likelihood of success. It can become complicated if you let it.

It requires a commitment of at least 4 weeks, and you need to be diligent during this time. This can be hard! It’s important that you take control over everything you eat during this time so that you don’t accidentally ingest something you’re cutting out. Then you might need to start all over again!

You also need to track your foods and symptoms so that you can make connections.

And you may find that you’re intolerant to some of your favourite foods!

Bottom Line

Elimination diets can be a very useful tool to identify food sensitivities. They can be empowering and customized.

However, they can be difficult to adhere to. For many people, a food sensitivity test can reduce some of the work. This is because the test can hone in on a smaller group of foods to eliminate at the outset.

Have you done an elimination diet? Or think it might be for you, but you’re not sure?

Book a discovery call to chat about it more with Bonnie here.

Dairy: Do I Have to Give it Up?

This is the question I asked myself. I kept reading about the problems with dairy. And since I had tested sensitive to it in my food sensitivity test, I knew I should try eliminating it … but I didn’t want to. In fact, it took me months to finally just decide to do it.

Along the way, I learned a lot that convinced me. And if you’re reading this, you are likely doing some research and considering going dairy-free too. Maybe you have negative symptoms that you think could be related to your dairy intake? Or maybe you are wondering what all the hype is about and wonder what difference it would make to have less of it.

Either way, dairy is not an essential nutrient. In fact, Canada’s Food Guide just removed it as a food group! And, there are lots of things you can have as a substitute for milk, yogurt, butter, cheese, and dairy filled desserts that are satisfying and delicious!

While you can find lots of dairy-free substitutes in the grocery store, make sure to read your labels! Some contain too much sugar, or other ingredients you don’t want.

Homemade is always best (and easier than you think!). Here are some simple ways to make delicious dairy-free substitutes right in your own kitchen as well as some store bought alternatives. And where applicable, I have linked to ingredients and tools that I use.

Milk

Nut and seed milks are so easy to make and flavour yourself. You just need a high-powered blender, water, and a cheesecloth or nut milk bag (optional) if you want to filter out any remaining bits.

For flavouring, you can add a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, or vanilla extract.

Here is a recipe that I use often because it takes only 2 minutes. If you want to make a “cream” instead of “milk”, just cut the water in half for a thicker consistency.

>>>>>>Check out my Cashew Milk Recipe here

STORE BOUGHT OPTION: There are lots of unsweetened coconut, almond and cashew milks available. For a thicker milk, choose canned coconut milk.

Yogurt

With the right yogurt starter probiotic culture, you can make yogurt out of any dairy-free milk. The one that I have fermented into yogurt is coconut milk. But you can use almond milk or other nut or seed milk.

The trick here is with the fermentation. Follow the instructions on the label of the yogurt starter culture (this is my favourite brand), and enjoy delicious dairy-free yogurt in a few days.

STORE BOUGHT OPTION: There are many brands of unsweetened coconut yogurt.

Butter

Nut and seed butter is a fabulous substitute for regular butter. Plus, they have fibre, protein, and other nutrients that regular butter doesn’t have. Another option is ghee (clarified butter). I love the taste of ghee and since it has the milk proteins removed, it is considered to be dairy free.

Have you tried coconut oil to replace butter? It’s a good option and is also great for cooking and baking. You can even use it for popping corn in a pot on your stove.

Cheese

Nutritional yeast in a wooden bowl, copy space, white background, copy space. Healthy vegan food concept.

If you haven’t tried nutritional yeast, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much it tastes like grated parmesan. Plus, as a bonus, it contains some B vitamins as well.

It’s a salty, cheesy, flaky powder that you can use wherever you want to add a pop of savoury flavour to any dish.

Here are some of the recipes where I use nutritional yeast

Desserts

Did you know you can make a delicious and thick pudding without dairy? And ice cream without the cream? Yes, you can and they are amazing!

Here are some recipes that I use and love:

You can make a chocolate pudding with avocado. Take one whole avocado and blend it up with ¼ cup cocoa powder, ¼ cup dairy-free milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and honey or maple syrup to taste. Then add dairy-free milk to thin if desired.

Bottom Line

While I once felt that going diary free would be difficult, I have now realized that dairy-free is easy! You just need to be willing to try. Making delicious dairy-free yogurt, milk, butter, parmesan, and even pudding and ice cream is simple.

Are you going to buy alternatives at the store or try any of these recipes? Do you have a great recipe to share as well? Let us know in our community group here: Making Healthy Eating Easy

And if you are still not sure where to start with making changes to your diet, please select a time to talk to Bonnie here or send an email here.

When Your Willpower Wanes

 

When we want to achieve a goal or new year’s resolution, willpower can start high, and then wanes over time.

 

Have you ever noticed how January in the gym is packed, and by February it’s back to the just the regulars?

 

It’s natural for willpower to wane, so expect it to happen. But what can we do so that we don’t fail? There’s nothing worse than not meeting your goal (except for not meeting it again).

 

Here are some ways to set yourself up for success and help reduce the need for willpower so you can achieve your goals.

 

Set Realistic Goals

 

Don’t try and overhaul everything at once. It uses up too much energy to change multiple things in your routine and you will burn out. When I was making changes in my own diet and lifestyle, I changed one thing at a time and added another change only when I truly had the first thing mastered. In some cases, it took me months to master one change!

 

Get the Support You Need

 

 

We all respond to expectations differently. However, the majority of us perform best when we have outward accountability. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does making a commitment to someone else help you to show up?
  • Do you work harder in a structured exercise class or personal training session over general running or cycling on your own?

 

The above applies to me for sure! If you are someone who works best with external accountability to get you to the finish line, then sign up for that class or course, or hire a coach to help you.

 

Also, talking about any roadblocks or challenges in your way can help. Sometimes the perspective of others can help you to see a situation differently and make more progress than if you kept your frustrations to yourself.

 

Make a Plan

 

 

Once you have your plan, then you need to create a routine around it so that the mental effort to carry out the plan is minimized.

 

Don’t have a plan or know where to begin? No problem!

 

Finding Foodease provides you with the plan you need to have in place and helps you to integrate it into your routines so that the changes become a habit.

 

>>>>>>>Check out the Finding Foodease Program here.

 

For instance, one goal could be to eliminate sugary “between-meal” snacking. In this example, the plan can be to have your daily food organized in advance, and your habit change can be to pre-prepare your food on the weekend.

 

Bottom Line

 

You will need more than willpower to achieve your goals. Our willpower gets used up with everyday tasks such as checking email, so you need more than that to be successful.

 

You need:

  • A plan that includes routines and hacks to make it easier.
  • Accountability to keep you on track.
  • And rewards other than food to nourish yourself.

 

Do you want more personalized help, or aren’t sure where to begin? Book a free call with Bonnie here to discuss your readiness to make a change and determine if we are a good fit to work together.

Is Clutter Getting in Your Way?

 

Clutter is something that we can all relate to. Each of us has probably experienced clutter getting in our way at one point or another. And maybe even more than we’d like to admit!

 

However, there are great reasons to get a handle on it. The main one being that it can create a roadblock preventing us from achieving our goals. Did you know that clutter has been shown to increase stress, trigger the release of cortisol and contribute to overeating?

 

When it comes to health and nutrition goals, we often think of clearing the junk or processed food out of our kitchen. And this is a great idea! However, if we want to sustain our health goals, we need to go further than that.

 

There is a strong connection between your physical and mental states. So, to get where you want to be, we need to address more than just the kitchen pantry.

 

Let me be your guide to create your environment so that you can achieve what you want.

 

Pantry Clean Up

 

 

Yes, this needs to be addressed. It will be super hard to make the healthy choices you want with a bunch of convenience snacks and processed foods in the way. So, it’s time to ditch the party leftovers and start fresh.

 

If you’re like me and hate to waste things, just remind yourself that you’re not wasting nutrients, because there is very little (if any) in the items you’ll be discarding.

 

My top tip here is to remove anything in your pantry with ingredients that you couldn’t buy in a store. NOTE: If the product comes in a box, it’s likely to fall into the “discard” pile.

 

Framework provides Freedom

 

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”

-Benjamin Franklin

 

Making decisions is tiring and uses up willpower. Even checking email or deciding what to wear uses it up! So, you need a plan in place so that you don’t expend precious willpower debating and deciding what to eat, how much to eat or when to eat etc.

 

My top tip here is to make a weekly plan when you are doing your grocery shopping (usually on the weekend). This makes it easier to have healthy options available on the more hectic weekdays. Also, planning the meals and snack you will eat the night before eliminates any debate so that you don’t veer from your plan.

 

Download a complimentary 5-day plan (with shopping list and recipes), so that you can start to feel the freedom from having to think about what to make.

 

You might think that this planning sounds restrictive, but consider that it actually provides you with more freedom! You’re the one making the plan, so you decide what you’re going to have and when you’re going to have it to achieve your goals. The freedom comes when you are less pulled by unhealthy options because you have already made your plan.

 

Hack Your Habits

 

As Shawn Achor says in “The Happiness Advantage” making something 20 seconds easier to do makes it much more likely to happen. I love this idea. An example that he gives in the book is when he slept in his gym clothes to make himself more likely to go to the gym in the morning. Then eventually, once it was a habit, he no longer had to do that.

 

 

My top tip here is to make sure that your healthiest choices are at eye level. And keep healthy leftovers in organized containers since they make convenient meals and snacks.

 

NOTE: best practice when you come home from the grocery store is to wash and pre-prepare as much produce, hard boiled eggs etc. as possible. This is so that you have a good selection of convenient foods that align with your values handy.

 

Bottom Line

 

You need to clear the clutter in both your physical environment and your mental state. They work together to get the best result.

 

Clearing the physical clutter, having your plan in place and making the plan easier to carry out all work together to increase your chances for success.

 

Do you need additional accountability? Book a call to chat with Bonnie about some options that will work in your life.

Water: How Much Do I Need?

Are you working on making changes to your diet and lifestyle?

One of the first and most important things that I suggest you focus on is to drink more water. Almost all the diet journals I review don’t include enough!

Water is essential for life. You can only survive a few days without it. I could argue that water is the most essential nutrient of them all. Water is needed for every cell and function in your body.

For instance, water

  • assists in weight loss
  • cushions your joints,
  • aids digestion,
  • helps stabilize your blood pressure and heart beat,
  • helps to regulate your body temperature, and
  • helps maintain electrolyte (mineral) balance.

Even mild dehydration can

  • impair mood and concentration,
  • contribute to headaches and dizziness,
  • reduce your physical endurance, and
  • increase the risk of kidney stones and constipation.

Water is the driving force of all nature

Leonardo da Vinci

But, how much is ideal? Is there a magic number for everyone? What counts toward water intake?

Ideal Amount of Water

We often hear the recommendation to drink eight-8 oz glasses of water every day (about 2 liters).

However, the “one size fits all” approach is not the best. Our needs are different from person to person and from day to day depending on a number of factors. You don’t need to force down glasses of water when you’re not thirsty. But it’s important to pay attention to your thirst mechanism and have water available as soon as you are thirsty.

Also, pay attention to the colour of your urine. The darker your urine, the more effort your body is making to hold on to the water it has to offset dehydration. The urine looks darker because it is getting rid of the same amount of waste, but in a smaller volume of water.

You may need to drink more than you realize if you’re

So, rather than following a “rule,” pay more attention to your body’s subtle cues for water.

NOTE: We’ll talk more about listening to your body’s cue’s on other things next month.

What Counts as Water?

All fluids and foods containing water contribute to your daily needs. And pure water is the best choice for much of your fluid needs.

If you’re not drinking pure water, consider the effects that the other ingredients you are consuming have on your body. Drinks containing sugar, alcohol, and caffeine will have effects besides hydration.

For example, sugar can mess with your digestion and cravings, alcohol passes the blood brain barrier and impacts your mood, and caffeine has been thought to be dehydrating. NOTE: If you’re drinking a small amount of caffeine regularly and your body is used to it, the dehydrating impact isn’t as great.

You can also get some water from certain foods. Especially fruits and vegetables like cabbage, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, celery, spinach, and lettuce. (click links for recipes)

Do you want more recipes that will help you to hydrate?

>>>>>>>>>>Get my Blood Sugar Balancing Dinners Recipe Book Here

Bottom Line

There is no magic amount of water that you need. Everyone is different and it can vary by person based on activity and other factors.

The most important thing is to pay attention to your thirst. Other signs you need more water are dark urine, sweating, constipation, and kidney stones.

Pure water is your best source of fluids. Here is a great way to make it taste great! But other liquids and some foods help too. One of my personal favourite “alternative” drinks is kombucha. I usually cut it with some water to keep my sugar intake low.

Let me know in our community FB group (Making Healthy Eating Easy) What’s your favourite way to hydrate?

Should I Eat a Low Carb Diet to Lose Weight?

There have been many versions of low carb diets over the years. Atkins and ketogenic are well known examples.

But does this way of eating actually help with weight loss? Are there other benefits or risks to eating fewer carbs? Should I take the trouble to count my consumption?

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are one of 3 macronutrients along with proteins and fats that make up the foods in our diet. Carbs come from sugars, starches and fiber.

  • Sugars are the smallest molecule of carbohydrate. There are many different names for sugar. It can be processed and refined and also found naturally in fruits.
  • Starches are longer chains of sugars bound together. They can be refined such as in flour or found naturally in foods such as whole grains and potatoes.
  • Fiber is also a long chain of sugars, but since it can’t be broken down by our digestive enzymes, it do not get absorbed into our bodies. Instead, fiber passes through our system, feeds our good gut bacteria, and helps us remove waste products from the body.

Because fiber isn’t absorbed, it is often excluded from the total carb count for those tracking their grams of carbs. For instance, many people following a low carb diet will subtract fiber from their carbs and count only the difference or “net carbs.”

Carbohydrates and Metabolism

When we eat carbs, our body breaks them down, which raises our blood sugar. Our body then releases insulin to tell our cells to absorb that sugar out of our blood and use it as energy now, or store it for later.

This is reasoning that many people use as to why low carb diets can help with weight loss. Fewer carbs, means less insulin, and less storage of excess calories. Let’s see what the science says.

Carbohydrates and Weight Loss

A long-term study compared low carb and low-fat diets for weight loss. However, what they found is that it’s very difficult to compare the two.

  • There isn’t one universal definition of low carb (see below).
  • People have more trouble sticking to low carb diets than low-fat diets.
  • Both diets work for some people, but neither one is significantly better for weight loss
  • The number of calories people eat is still a big factor when it comes to weight loss

Low Carb Definition

Spoiler altert: there isn’t one.

The average American eats about 300 g of carbs per day. So, some people consider eating under 250 g of carbs per day to be “lower carb.” That’s really not that low in carbs in my opinion!

Generally, eating less than 150 g per day of carbs is considered typical of a low carb diet.

Eating less than 50 g of carbs per day is consistent with ketogenic eating. At this level, most people will shift their metabolism into a state of fat burning (ketosis). However, this is difficult to maintain for most people.

Low Carb Health Benefits

Low carb diets help preserve muscle mass during weight loss. They can also improve heart health markers like cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Also, reduced intake of carbs improves insulin and fasting blood sugar levels.

Bottom Line

Eating a low carb diet can be healthy, as long as it contains enough of all the essential nutrients. Some people may lose weight eating fewer carbs, but it’s also important to watch which carbs you are eating and how much.

When we are trying to avoid carbs, we often think of foods such as bread, pasta, pizza, muffins, or cookies etc. These foods have a lot of processed or refined carbs, and are good to remove from the diet. But there are many other sources of carbohydrates that are healthy such as fruits and vegetables.

As with most things in nutrition, there isn’t one diet that works for all people. Low carb diets can be a good choice for many, but it’s not perfect for everyone.

Have you tried to eat low carb? How do you feel on it? How many carbs do you eat per day? Do you count them? (I don’t!) Let me know in the comments below.

4 Tips for Achieving Goals

Have you ever had the experience of setting a goal one year, only to be setting the same goal the next? Do you feel like you have trouble staying on track and end up giving up?

This is a common problem, particularly with health goals (and weight loss in particular). If I had the magic answer to the reason why, then I would have shared it by now. However, for now I have gathered up my observations of those who achieve their goals and those who don’t (including myself!). And I’ve noticed some trends.

The steps below are what the successful goal achievers have nailed down. If you implement these tips you will vastly increase your chances of achieving what you’ve set out to, even if you have failed in the past.

Know Your Why

This is a very important part of the work. However, it is the step that is most often skipped or not even considered.

You might want to lose weight, but it’s more important to know the reason why. Because once the excitement of a new program wears off and your willpower is gone, you’re going to need more than just a wish. Did you know that you can use up your willpower checking emails? Great!

As part of this process, you will need to dig deeper than just answering why you wish to lose weight. You will need to ask why to your answer and then why to that answer and so on until you have dug down deep to the real reason. Once you have your “why” nailed, this answer is what will give you the energy you need to persevere when it gets challenging.

Use SMART goals

There are various definitions of the term “SMART” goal, but a good one includes:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

I have found that the more specific you are about the change you want, how you will measure your success and by what date you want it completed, the better. Setting your goal in this way provides you with a framework to break it up into daily tasks over a specific time period.

This type of structured task framework is freeing since you don’t have to debate what to do or make choices. All of these decision-making activities cause a drain in willpower too. When you eliminate any decision making, you can then just follow your own plan without thinking about it (i.e. by habit).

Believe

Only set goals that you believe you can achieve. Sounds simple right?

However, if you are setting the same weight loss or lifestyle goal that you have in the past, you’re not as likely to believe that you will be successful this time. If you have failed once, it’s very hard to believe that things will be different this time.

In this case, it’s important to try achieving it using a different method. If just telling yourself that you will hit the gym every morning or avoid refined sugar didn’t work last time, it’s not going to work this time either. You need to make a shift in your methods. Although this shift might not have to be as dramatic as you think.

It might mean that you need to:

  • Get yourself an accountability partner or coach
  • Hack your habits (i.e. sleep in your gym clothes so you are more likely to go when you wake up!)
  • Set a smaller goal (see baby steps below)

Baby Steps

This tip goes back to making sure your goal is attainable. Or rather, that you believe it is, which is all that matters. The simpler and smaller the goal, the more you will believe that you can do it. For example, you might not believe that you can completely give up sugar, but you could probably give up sugary soft drinks.

That second goal is simpler, more realistic and very specific making it more likely that you will succeed.

Trying something out for a limited duration to test it out can also be helpful. It can give you a kick start and help you decide where you want to take your goal from there.

>>>>>>> Start with my free 5-day challenge here. It includes recipes and information to help you eliminate refined sugar for just 5 days.

Bottom Line

Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting drastic sweeping change to happen easily. Habit change is hard and is only sustainable if you integrate the changes into your current lifestyle. And there is incredible power in small incremental changes done consistently over time.

Book a free call with me here to discuss your goals and determine if we are a good fit to work together to help you achieve them.

Top Posts and Videos of 2018

Before we jump into setting our resolutions of things we want to improve, let’s take a review back at how much we have learned and grown over the last year! 2018 was awesome and I know that each of you in my community has made some tweaks to your diet or lifestyle that you are proud of. I would love to hear about them! Please post in our private community group here.

And as a fun stroll down memory lane, I’ve listed the top posts and videos that you enjoyed over the year. So, if you missed any of the ones below, click through and have a read/watch since others found them helpful. And if you don’t want to miss any in the future (and get some free recipes), please subscribe to my weekly e-newsletter here.

Top Posts

Is Coffee God or Bad?

With coffee being the top go-to drink for so many people, this was the top read post of the year!! Studies show that coffee is good for us and they also show that it’s bad for us. So, which is it? Read on to clear up the confusion and get the guidance you need to determine the best choice for you.

Check out who shouldn’t drink coffee here.

Why You Need to Get the Toxins Out

If you have worked on your diet and are managing your stress, yet still are experiencing negative healthy symptoms, it may be time to look into the toxins in your life. Since toxins are everywhere, this might sound like a waste of time or overwhelming. Yet it is definitely worth looking into.

Check out this post to help you figure out which toxins might be keeping you from achieving your goals.

4 Easy Nutrition Habits with Big Impacts

Don’t we all want to do some simple things that will get us what we want? As I work with clients who experience the most success, I have learned that it is the creation of habits that is key.

Here are 4 food habits to get started on now.

Top Videos

Common Weight Loss Myths Busted

With all the confusing information available, it’s great to set the record straight and bust come commonly believed myths. This video does just that!

Clear up the confusion on weight loss by watching this video here.

What a Nutritionist Eats for Lunch

I often hear the comment “I’ll just have what Bonnie’s having” when I go out to eat with close friends. In this video, I share one of my regular lunches that I vary up depending on what I have on hand so that you can create this routine for yourself if you want.

Check out the video on what I have for lunch here.

Two Things You Need to Successfully Manage Weight and Energy

We all want our health solutions to be simple, so I’ve narrowed down the most important things for managing weight and energy levels down to 2 things. We can all do 2 things, right? So the next time you are making a choice, go back to these tips and ask yourself, “is my choice consistent with these top tips?”

Check out the video of the 2 things you should focus on here and read the corresponding post here.

Tip to Manage Blood Sugar that Doesn’t Have to Do with Food

I always love a nutrition tip that doesn’t actually have to do with what you’re eating! Here is a tip to manage your blood sugar that falls into that category. Curious?

Watch the video to learn how to manage your blood sugar with lifestyle.

What Do You Want to Create for Yourself?

 

As we near the end of the calendar year, many of us start to plan our strategies in different areas of our life. Businesses plan out their year and so too should we create strategies for our life and health. Everything we become is done gradually over time…

“We are always becoming, and we can always make the choice to start becoming something else, if we care.”

 – Seth Godin

So, what shift do you want to make this year? (and note, this can be done at any time ofthe year!)

Research has shown that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goal simply by writing it down. So that is a great place to start. But many of you will be thinking, “but I’ve tried to _______ (lose weight, exercise regularly, get to bed early etc.) before and it didn’t stick.

There area few things that you need to do first to ensure that you will be successful. And these are steps that you cannot skip!

 

Decide That You Care and Are Ready

“No one changes unless they want to. Not if you beg them. Not if you shame them. Not if you use reason, emotion, or tough love. There’s only one thing that makes someone change: their own realization that they need to do it. And there’s only one time it will happen: when they decide they’re ready. “

–Lori Deschene

There’s no point in even beginning to set a goal that you aren’t ready to tackle. So, start by looking at the goal and analyzing the obstacles that have stood in your way in the past. Yes, actually write the obstacles down and have a look! Then decide if you are willing to take the steps to overcome those challenges.

 

Gain Clarity

 

Do things like lack of time, lack of knowledge or the belief that you aren’t worth it impair your ability to eat healthily? Are you willing to do what you need to in order to remove those obstacles?

It’s imperative that you gain clarity about what you want and what challenges you need to overcome so that you can set your expectations and make your plan for success. You also need to understand WHY you want to achieve this goal in the first place to make sure you actually care enough to follow through.

 

Get the Help you Need

 

If you are working towards a goal that you have had for a while and haven’t yet achieved, you will need to reach out for support. Most of us need outward accountability to achieve what we want. This support can come in different forms such as finding an accountability partner, hiring a coach/specialist, or paying for a group course/program.

This can make all the difference in getting you where you want to go. Did you know that if you continue to monitor your progress with a specific accountability appointment, you increase your chances of success by 95%?

 

Be Committed to the Process

This is important since your goal is likely to take some time and have its ups and downs as you work on new habits, learn new things and overcome obstacles. Rather than only being focused on the end result, wake up each morning being committed to the process. This is important so that you can be both consistent and persistent with what needs to happen for you on the current day.

When you wake each morning, before doing anything else, set your intention for the day with clarity and necessity so that you have the courage to get creative and make it through when blocks arise.

Are you interested in acquiring some accountability to gain energy and overcome your negative health symptoms? Book a clarity call with Bonnie here to help make a plan that works for you to get started.

Healthy Holiday Gifts (That They’ll Actually Want)

 

I often find that one of the biggest stresses of the holiday season is coming up with the perfect gift for everyone on my list. And all perfectly wrapped by a specific date too!

 

Well, this year, I’m dropping the perfection part, but still taking the time to find some fun gifts that show that I care (which is really the point anyway!). Since my lifestyle is all about health and feeling great, I like my gifts to help others and achieve the same.

 

Here is my round up of healthy gift ideas of all different kinds and in all different price ranges. These are tried and true gifts tested and loved by … me!

 

I know that you will find something on this list for you (and maybe splurge on a family member or two also).

 

Have Fun in the Kitchen

 

 

Instant Pot – I love this one because it has the functionality of a slow cooker, pressure cooker (and more) and I use both features frequently. And here’s a delicious stew recipe to get you started once you have it.

 

 

Vitamix – This is an appliance that we use almost daily in our house. From smoothies to dips, it blends everything perfectly (even lemon rinds!). Also, the customer service and warranty are excellent. Here are some of the delicious smoothies that I make with my Vitamix…

 

 

Actifry – many people haven’t heard of this appliance but I use it each week in our house for homemade fries made with a minimum of oil. They come out perfectly every time and there is minimal cleanup, so this alone is worth it to me. I have also used this appliance to make other vegetables and even granola!

 

 

Paderno Spiralizer – This is a manual device that I use to make “pasta” out of all kinds of vegetables. From zucchini to sweet potato to beets and more, this device makes spiralizing easy. And it’s less expensive than buying “pre-spiralized” veggies.

 

Reduce Toxins to Improve Your Health

 

 

DoTERRA Essential oils – I started to use essential oils in our home a few years ago and eventually replaced all of our toxic chemicals with a natural equivalent. My favourite product with doTERRA is actually the Lifelong Vitality supplements! Feel free to book a free call with me here to learn more about how you can use them for your individual needs.

 

 

Safe Sleeve EMF protector – I keep myself protected from the EMF frequencies being emitted from my device. I’m not about to stop using my cell, so this is the next best thing to reduce my exposure. Use promo code CELLSAFE15 for 15% off your first order.

 

 

Santevia Power Water Stick – Santevia is a fantastic company specializing in alkaline water filter systems. We have a reverse osmosis system in our house, so I don’t need a full filter, but I use their mineral sticks to re-mineralize our water. It makes for great tasting water that is healthy for the body too. A good stocking stuffer!

 

Jumpstart Your Health – Education, knowledge is power!

 

 

Essential Oils for Abundant Living Online Class – Have you ever wondered what people use essential oils for other than making your home smell nice? Do you wonder what the difference is between essential oils and synthetic fragrances? (hint: a lot!) This online course will help you to understand how you can use essential oils to improve the health of your whole family. I own it and refer to it often. Earlybird discount until December 14.

 

 

Finding Foodease Program – This is a fantastic online group program that cuts the confusion and takes you through 4 weeks of healthy eating so that you feel confident in your food choices and create the habits that make them a no-brainer. And the support extends beyond the 4 weeks in our private community so that you can continue to progress on your journey and make your results are long-lasting. Earlybird discount available, you can also email me here with questions if you want to gift this program to someone else.

 

 

FMTV subscription – This is one of my favourite channels. It’s like Netflix for health at about the same cost. With documentaries, recipes, exercise programs and lots of other information, there is something for everyone. It comes with a 30-day free trial too! I highly recommend that you give it a try.

 

Get Cozy and Relax

 

 

The Happiness Advantage – I am reading this book for a session that I am taking part in next year and am halfway through it. It’s a great read for anyone who wants to live a happier life. And don’t we all!?

 

 

Lovechock Dark Chocolate – I don’t keep it a secret that my special treat usually includes chocolate. This brand is extra special. It’s organic, vegan, has a high cacao % and is delicious. I know someone in your life would love to find this in their stocking! Use the promo code BFW for 10% off your entire order.

 

 

Glerup Slippers – I love these comfy and sturdy slippers to keep my feet warm in the cold months.

 

 

Philips Wake Up Light Alarm Clock – I recently ditched my phone as an alarm and instead use this gentle light alarm clock. It also has nature sounds that you can add to your wake-up routine. Start your day on the right foot and avoid those startling or annoying noises from traditional alarm clocks.

Realistic Tips for Healthy Holiday Parties

 

I hear from a lot of my clients how they feel that they don’t have the willpower to make the right choices during the holidays. Often, they tell stories about being so busy during the day that they end up not eating, and then they are starving at the holiday party and overeat everything in sight.

 

One of the biggest lessons that I have learned in coaching about nutrition is that deprivation is a recipe for overeating later. The idea about “saving” your appetite so you can let loose later definitely doesn’t work. We need a different strategy.

 

Here are my 3 top tips that work and are also easy to do…

 

Stay Hydrated

 

 

Stay well hydrated during the day. And then also, have a glass of water along with anything else that you are drinking in the evening. Being properly hydrated promotes good digestion, optimal energy, encourages metabolism and regulates appetite.

 

Alcohol, on the other hand, increases appetite and diminishes your ability to control what you eat. This doesn’t mean you can’t have any on a special occasion, just be mindful about quantity and alternate between alcohol and water.

 

Choose Health Promoting Foods

 

 

The foods you choose either help or hinder your health goals. And when you’re starving, it’s hard to make well thought out choices. The goal is to eat delicious foods that also make you feel great.

 

When you are heading out to a holiday party a great tip is to have a healthy snack before going. Really. I know this seems backward, but it really works. When you arrive at a party and aren’t starving, you make better choices.

 

And you can offer to bring something healthful that you love, so you know it will be an option. If there’s a buffet table full of unhealthy foods, I recommend that you stand on the opposite side of the room to reduce temptation.

 

Also, make your intentions of the event on the social aspect, including fun conversation and making connections, to take the focus off the food.

 

Eat Mindfully

 

 

Your attitude towards food can impact your ability to metabolize, absorb nutrients and feel satiated by it. So, mindset is one of the top keys to making healthy choices a habit. Here are 3 strategies to try…

 

  • Relax by taking deep breaths before and during eating.
  • Chew slowly.
  • Pay attention to what you’re eating so that you can enjoy it. (The enjoyment of your food is one of the factors in helping to regulate your appetite. If you can’t remember eating it, you lose that mechanism of satiation, so savour it.)

 

Finally, if you choose to eat a less healthy option, keep a positive mindset about it so that maximize any benefits it has for you without trying to digest guilt along with the food.

 

Bottom Line

 

Keep your story positive. If you keep telling yourself that you “always overeat at parties” or you “don’t have willpower” then these beliefs are more likely to manifest.

 

Replace these thoughts with phrases like “My relationship with food is positive” or “I make positive choices about my health” so that you can start living that way.

 

By staying hydrated, choosing health-promoting foods and doing so in a positive, mindful manner, it’s hard to go wrong. Do you want to join my community full of some of the most positive, supportive and fun people that I know? Click here to request to join us so that we can help to bring a lift into your day.

More Benefits of Exercise

 

…Exercise is the most potent, yet underutilized antidepressant. – Bill Phillips

 

Regular exercise improves your heart health, brain health, muscle and bone health, diabetes, and arthritis. It also reduces stress, boosts moods, increases your energy, and can improve your sleep. And these lifestyle-related, chronic conditions are on the rise.

 

I’ve written on this topic before here, but it’s so important that it’s worth saying again. Convinced? If so,

>>>>>>Register for the free get moving challenge!

 

More importantly, body movement is what the body was naturally meant to do. We aren’t meant to sit for hours on end in a car/plane/train or at a desk. So, let’s get motivated and make it simple to do. You don’t need to go overboard on exercise to get these amazing health results. As little as 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days/week is enough.

 

And you don’t have to do a particular kind of exercise. Here are some examples of different exercises that focus on different functions of your body:

  • Endurance – brisk walking, jogging, yard work, dancing, aerobics, cycling, swimming.
  • Strength – carrying groceries, lifting weights, exercises using your body weight, Pilates.
  • Balance – standing on one-foot, Tai Chi.
  • Flexibility – stretching, yoga.

 

 

All exercise counts, even if you’re not participating in a sport or going to the gym. Weekend hikes, walking to the store and doing household chores also counts. Ever notice that you get hot and sweaty doing these sorts of everyday activities?

 

Specific health benefits of exercise come from improving blood flow, reducing inflammation and managing blood sugar levels. They also come from moving your muscles (including your heart muscle) and putting stress on your bones. Here is the research…

 

Heart Health

 

 

Regular exercise helps to reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. It also helps to reduce the risk of cardiac mortality according to this study.

 

Your Brain

 

 

Exercise can improve physical function and quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease. It also reduces changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Exercise improves mental functions by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is involved in learning and memory. Aerobic exercise also increases the size of the part of the brain for memory and learning (the “hippocampus“).

 

Muscles and Bones

 

 

Regular physical activity can help maintain strong muscles and bones. Strength exercises are particularly important here. As we age, we naturally start to lose muscle mass and bone density. So, to reduce the risk of or prevent osteoporosis, exercise regularly. Balance exercises and Tai Chi are also important since they can help to prevent falls.

 

Diabetes

 

People with diabetes who exercise have better insulin sensitivity and HbA1C values (the marker of good blood sugar management). Exercise does this because by contracting your muscles, you’re using the sugar in your blood.

 

Bottom Line

 

This post is just a small snippet of the health benefits of exercise. By moving just 30 minutes 5 days/week, you can vastly improve your health in many ways. Since there are different types of exercise providing different benefits, try mixing up what you do throughout the week. You don’t even need an “official” workout. Walking to the grocery store or doing household chores can count too.

 

If you’re just starting, then pick something you enjoy. Get some accountability (an exercise tracker or a buddy), and just get started. My movement challenge is a great place to begin!

>>>>>>>>>>Register for the get moving challenge here.