Hi friends! I have an exciting guest blogger today, Whitney is a personal trainer who is sharing with us some tips on body image! With it being the new year and we all are setting goals,it is important to take some of these great tips into consideration when we work hard to achieve them! Body image is a struggle for so many people, remember to keep your health first and apply these great tips and you're well on your way to achieving your 2015 health goals!
Body image is so important to your overall wellbeing. There is a lot of controversy in the world these days surrounding body image. Positive body image oftentimes turns into shaming of the other end of the spectrum, such as “fat shaming” or “skinny shaming” - both of which I despise. This phenomenon is typically experienced by women. Songs such as Megan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” was meant to promote body confidence, but stirred up controversy with words that seemed to be bashing the appearance of women that were thin. Seriously, why can’t we all love our bodies and promote that to one another?
I want to add a disclaimer here, as we get started in this post, to share that while I do believe a woman can be beautiful at any shape or size, we also need to promote health and wellbeing. We are our most beautiful when we are taking care of our bodies; we just need to remember that God created us all in different shapes and sizes.
When you start to lack confidence in your body, I want you to come back and read this article again. Really take these tips for loving your body to heart, and implement them into your life so that you can have that rocking confidence again!
• Find an exercise program or another physical activity that you enjoy. You may always feel free to contact me if you need help finding one perfect for you. Get your body moving on a regular basis - at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes. Don’t use this exercise as a way to punish your body because you are unhappy with it; use exercise as a reward to yourself because you LOVE your body and want to feel your best.
• Spend a little extra time getting ready. I know that you’re probably constantly running in what feels like a million different directions, and chances are you may not always give yourself much time to get ready to conquer your day. I know for me, I work from home, so it is very easy to roll out of bed and work in my pajamas all day. However, if I spend a little extra time in the morning putting on some nice clothes and fixing my hair, maybe even putting on a little makeup, I just feel better about my appearance. Something so simple can truly change your outlook on your day.
• Really ponder what your body does for you every day. Your body helps you get around the house, it helps you drive your car, digest your food, create life - your body is a miracle and is the instrument of your life, not just a pretty outer shell. Really think about what your body is capable of doing.
• Smile! This may seem simple, but when you are out and about during your day, be sure to hold your head up and smile. Smile at a stranger. Trust me, it will brighten their day AND your day. Remind yourself that you are beautiful when you smile, and it may completely change the course of that stranger’s day.
• Stop comparing yourself to others. Just stop it. Like I mentioned before, God designed us all differently. The same shape of a person running around everywhere would make for a boring world to live in. What 175 pounds looks like on me may be comparable to what 140 pounds looks like on someone else, but I have to remember that I am just shaped differently from that person. We may weigh different amounts but look the same. Or someone else may not be battling a health concern that makes it difficult to lose weight like you may be. The only person you ever need to compare yourself with is yourself.
I’d love to hear if you have any tips for loving your body - we could all use some extra tips from time to time and I would love to hear yours!
Whitney DeLong is a certified personal trainer and online fitness coach specializing in helping women become happy in their own skin, confident with how they look in the mirror, and empowered to help others do the same. Whitney hosts online fitness groups and one-on-one coaching for weight loss. Contact Whitney and view services at http://www.whitneydelong.com.
Like a lot of people, I love a good cup of coffee. Sometimes you find people boasting the benefits of a cup each day while others preach the damage it can do to your health.
Don't worry, I am not anti-coffee, not at all!
There is a lot of evidence that says coffee offers lots of nutritional benefits, including increased weight loss (due to the activation of metabolic pathways), reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and others mostly due to the antioxidants and polyphenols.
A typical cup of coffee contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that can benefit health. Coffee also stimulates our nervous system and causes excitation. A lot of people benefit from coffee as it can help relieve constipation. It can also induce diarrhea, so be mindful of that too!
Coffee has also been studied to reduce the risk of some diseases including cancer and diabetes. While these all seem like great reasons to drink a bunch of coffee there are some people who should exercise caution when consuming it!
I recommended an individual approach when it comes to coffee recommendations, just like in everything I recommended, it really depends on the person and situation.
Coffee also can induce anxiety and may lead to dehydration too. Those who are sensitive to caffeine can experience jitteriness, headaches and mood swings too.
Who should and (should not) drink coffee?
While I don't think everyone needs to be drinking coffee every day forever, I love a good cup a few days each week. Anyone who truly enjoys the taste of coffee can enjoy it sparingly if they want to!
However, I do believe that we should all do a coffee "detox" and go a while without the caffeine laced drink for at least a week or so. Removing coffee from our lives for a period of time can be helpful to truly determine the effects it has on your body. I go without often and I truly know how my body reacts. I also spent a month of two when I started to clean up my diet without coffee to ensure I was maximizing my health.
You should NOT drink coffee if you experience anxiety or mood disorders, coffee is a stimulant and can cause further anxiety. If you are someone who has trouble falling asleep, consider removing coffee from your diet too! Especially the afternoon cup.
Those who are not very active and looking to crush a sugar craving or lose weight might want to consider removing coffee from your daily routine. Coffee causes a jolt of cortisol, which releases glucose from stores. What this means is that unless you burn off the releases glucose by exercising or some kind of activity, it can get stored as fat. It can be tricky for those who are looking to lose weight to have a coffee everyday if they are not fat burners.
Finally, those who are healing from certain diseases should also consider eliminating coffee, especially if those diseases are directly related to the gut (which disease isn't?!) because we want healing in the gut and coffee causes bowel movements, which we want but if we are sick we are also in desperate need to nutrients and nutrition. Hurrying things through the gut means less time to absorb the nutrients, so coffee is trouble there too!
The kind of coffee and also what you put in your coffee are important considerations!
Buy organic, please. Organic coffee is the best option as coffee is one of the most sprayed crops. Luckily organic coffee is readily available and not very expensive, it is worth the investment!
Really enjoy your cup. When you drink your coffee enjoy it for what it is and really sip it and employ mindfulness. This is important to really enjoy the coffee, especially if you are looking to enjoy it only on occasion.
Avoid to sugar and milk. Opt for something other than sugar in your coffee! We know that coffee spikes blood sugar so I suggest blending a little coconut oil (or butter, heavy cream, etc) to help slow the sugar impact. I use coconut oil and never sweeten my coffee, and I have truly grown to love the taste! Remember coffee is supposed to be coffee, not a sugar delivery method! Avoid conventional milk products, and go for organic and heavy cream when possible!
Go with alternatives. There are lots of coffee alternatives, I personally love Teeccino! It is so tasty, caffeine free, and easy to get your hands on. You can also choose tea as an alternative or chicory tea, and dandelion tea.
Drink more water. This is important to help counterbalance the effects of dehydration!
Have coffee before 12pm. Drinking coffee before noon will help to prevent the sleeping problems people associate with coffee.
What do I do?
As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist I get asked "what do you eat" regularly. When I speak on a topic, people want to know how I apply that to my life!
I drink coffee, usually about 4-5 times a week. I only ever have 1 cup a day, and it is on days when I teach fitness most, I burn off the sugars that get released. I experience no withdrawal symptoms when I don't have coffee and I love my Teeccino when I want a second cup later in the day! I add no sweetener and opt for just a tsp of coconut oil and I blend it on high for 15 seconds or so! This helps to mitigate the effects of the released glucose.
Anxiety, stress, sleep habits and gut issues do not plague me much, but I do have trouble drinking enough water every day, so I really make an effort when I am having a cup of coffee. I do notice my skin gets drink when I have too much coffee and not enough water. I am really getting into tea lately though!
Do you drink coffee? Have you noticed any reaction or problem when you consume too much or at the wrong time? Let me know in the comments!
Okay, so I am one week into my second round of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, feel free to read about my first experience here. This time I did very little planning, this is because I knew exactly what I was getting into, and because I am almost already 100% gluten free (I say almost because there are times that you just can't be sure) and I ate mostly paleo meals, not to say I am paleo, I am not, but I knew that level 3 would be easier this time around than before.
So far so good, not planning things is nice, makes things feel more sustainable, but I still have cravings, mostly for fruit, strawberries in particular. Also, I went to the fair, and truth be told I didn't exactly follow the detox, and realized how fast I can slip into the world of sweets.
I find that I lack self control if I am not being conscious about it, so I need to be more conscious about that. One thing I wanted was a quick snack, high in fat and protein, low in carbohydrates and more interesting then just plain nuts. I created this sugar-free no-fuss paleo "granola."
It is sort of pumpkin-ish, it tastes nothing like pumpkin, but I used gingerbread spice and a scoop or two of pumpkin puree, so it is sort of pumpkin, I am not sure, it all made sense when I was making it.
This turned out crispy and flavourful, not sweet at all (be mindful, granola traditionally is just oats masquerading as candy, this granola has ZERO sweetness, you were warned), but I am excited about the possibilities. I plan on using bananas or apple sauce in the future to add to the mix (but I didn't want to waste my daily fruit option on granola), and potentially add in some raisins after cooking to make it just a touch sweet without a sweetener. It makes a yummy topping to a chia pudding (chia seeds + nut milk) or as a cereal substitute, I think it will look cute on top of a smoothie as well for photo purposes.
Sugar-Free Pumpkin "Granola"
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 cups nuts* (I used hazelnuts and walnuts)
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 egg white, whisked
1 tbsp gingerbread spice blend
2 tbsp pure pumpkin puree (I used canned, nothing added)
Have you done a sugar detox? What would be the most challenging thing for you to have to give up?
Amanda is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist out of Southwest Middlesex, and London ON. She works with clients to help them achieve their health and wellness goals!
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