Who is on your team? 4 ways to get more helpers

Who is on your team? 4 ways to get more helpers

Monday, Aug 21, 2017

The other night, while reading Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, I got to thinking about my people. You know, the ones that make life more fun, doable, and interesting. I joke that God knows I am such a handful I needed two partners – one in life and one in business. 

If you have ever been through tough times, you know how important relationships are. Whether it’s the relationships with your family, best friends, or church community we all want to know that we matter and have a sense of belonging. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the need to feel loved and accepted is just above the need to be safe. 

Back to Harry Potter, in the fourth book – The Goblet of Fire – Harry is competing in the Triwizard tournament. He is at least three years younger than his competitors and has less magical education, knowledge, and experience. Luckily, Harry has several helpers along his journey to give him the support he needs. For instance, his best friend, Hermione, helps them learn a summoning charm to successfully complete the first challenge. He also gets a tip from one of his fellow competitors for the second challenge, and so on throughout the story.

We cannot expect to reach our big goals alone. It is imperative to have support and help from others to succeed. 

Who are you hanging out with?

Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, says we are all the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. If your goal is to be fit and active, but all your social time is spent sitting at a friends house eating snack foods and drinking wine, is that helping you reach your goal? 

In another example, we can look at Sarah’s story. Sarah has always been a healthy eater who also happens to enjoy sweets. She recently started dating a guy who loves all things chocolate. He takes candy with him everywhere and often brings chocolate to share with Sarah whenever they hang out. In the first six months of their relationship, Sarah was surprised to find she gained 8 pounds. 

In life, there are helpers and hinderers when it comes to living well-balanced. We have friends and accomplices. Our friends genuinely want to help us and our accomplices want to help us… get in trouble. 

Be the change

Before you go saying farewell to all of your friends or family members, let’s consider a few other options.

  • Find a helper. Get someone on your team to support your health initiatives. This can be an accountability partner at the gym that encourages you to work out consistently. Or a coworker that is keeping a spreadsheet of your progress. 
  • Join the tribe! We have an active and fabulous Facebook group that provides ideas and encouragement to help you make healthy lifestyle changes.
  • Train your people. I have a client who has successfully “trained” his guy friends that he does not drink alcohol on work nights. That means they do not offer him a beer or other drink if it’s Sunday through Thursday.  This helps him continue to make good choices while still enjoying the social time. 
  • Get accountability. Find a friend, coach, or app that can support and encourage your healthy habits.

Food for thought: It’s never too late to ask for help. If you noticed your partner bringing more snack foods home lately and it’s affecting your habits, perhaps now is a good time to have a conversation about your goals and how the ones that love you most can help you reach them.

And while you’re at it, check out this accountability tool to help you get or stay on track! Just a few more days to sign up for 4 free weeks of the Healthy Habit Tracker. 

Laugh at yourself for better health – Malinda’s #TransformationTuesday Story

Laugh at yourself for better health – Malinda’s #TransformationTuesday Story

I first learned about Well-Balanced Nutrition (WBN) at a Health Fair my company had last year. I went because I really wanted to adopt a new and healthier lifestyle. I signed up for the email newsletter [Motivational Monday] and shortly after I met with Lucy for a one-on-one appointment.

I knew I wanted to be healthier but talking with Lucy helped me pinpoint exactly what milestones I wanted to achieve on my journey. I feel like Lucy is a great person with an exuberant passion for teaching her Well-Balanced friends and clients how being healthy can be fun. She helped me figure out what my goals were on this journey. Now that I am more on-track, meeting with Lucy is like I have my own personal “cheerleader.” She has knowledge and insights to share with me along the way.

I knew I was getting on track when I started feeling healthier and craving fruits and veggies instead of those “quick fix” snacks like chips, candy bars, etc. Now I am eating healthier and including small healthy snacks during the day to keep my metabolism in a constant “burn” mode.  Also, I could tell I had more energy towards the end of my work day. Opposed to when I was eating less healthy foods, such as those afternoon carbs binge with a side of sugary soda. I even started making healthier choices when eating out instead of choosing high-calorie fast food (hello, endless broccoli at Red Robins!).

The best strategy I have learned on my well-balanced journey is to have fun! Try new things, mix it up, and learn to laugh at yourself!! Like the first time I ever made homemade chicken fried rice and used waaaayy too much black pepper because, well… that’s what the recipe called for! Let me just admit that I actually Googled “can you die from eating too much black pepper?” Let me assure you, my Well-Balanced friends, you cannot!!! (Unless, you inhale it in large volumes!)

| When I get off track, I try to remember why I began this journey. I have cravings, sometimes bad ones. I’m still human! |

I started working with WBN because I wanted to learn more about my new healthy lifestyle and not just a temporary diet to achieve a specific weight goal. I mean, sure, everyone wants to lose weight, don’t they? But my main goal was making sure my heart is healthy because heart disease runs in my family. It is also stated by the CDC that heart disease is the “…leading cause of death for both men and women.” That’s scary!

I have cravings just like anyone else and sometimes I give in. Most of the time, I think about how many more memories and life experiences that I can be around for if I live a long healthy life. I also remember that I can positively impact the people and the world around me. Woah!  🙂

I really want the tribe to know it’s okay to have “set backs” or “bad days” because what matters is that you are trying to be healthier! If you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure you are successful at it already.  So, don’t beat yourself up for having a weak moment, a “cheat day,” or even a “cheat weekend” if you’re on vacation, or going through something emotional. Just shake it off and “Keep on Truckin’!”

Are you ready to make a transformation like Malinda? Contact us today to set up your own personal wellness adventure.  

How to actually follow through with your health goals

How to actually follow through with your health goals

“I’m going to do better,” you say. “I need to lose this weight and I’m starting today.” “I’m so out of shape, I’m going to join the gym.”
How many times have you said something like this to yourself without following through? Or maybe you did, but it only lasted a day, because things like this happen….

We all want to do better. It’s just not always easy getting there. 

When clients come to see us at Well-balanced Nutrition it’s often not about what they need to do. They show up knowing what to do. They just can’t make it happen on their own. Maybe, just maybe, they think to themselves, there is a secret solution they can share with me so I can finally do this. That’s true, we have a few secrets to making healthy changes, but they might not be what you think.

Why is it so hard to follow through with our goals?
Because they come from within and nobody else knows about them. Many people respond to outside expectations and make them a priority, while their inner expectations fall quickly to the wayside. For example, you may want to meal prep on Sunday, but then you get asked to help someone move or your boss gives you a new assignment you want to get ahead start on. So you choose the activity that involves others’ expectations over fixing your meals for the week. Gretchen Rubin, the author of Better Than Before, classifies people like this as obligers. She says, “for Obligers, accountability is crucial. Key. Necessary! If you’re an Obliger, external accountability is the element that will allow you to follow through.” There you have it. One of our secrets to successful change.

So, are you an obliger?
If you could relate to the above scenario or if you are a person who really needs deadlines and late fees to keep you on top of things, there is a good chance that you also need similar accountability with your health habits. When people learn that they are an obliger, many are relieved. They realize it’s not their fault for letting themselves down, putting others first, nor lacking “willpower” to make a change. It’s just the way they are wired. So if you would call yourself an Obliger, instead of blaming yourself for not following through… again, this time set up some outside accountability that will ensure you make the change you desire.
Accountability: The obligation of an individual to account for their activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.
Which types of accountability will you try?
Here are some ideas:
The scale (regular weighing), your Well Balanced dietitian, your coworkers, your BFFs, your doctor, your food journal, your weight loss group, your fitness buddies, clothes you want to fit into…
There’s an app for that: 
It’s never been easier to get accountability from your favorite dietitians here at Well Balanced Nutrition. 😉 We just launched an upgraded version of our Healthy Habit Tracker and Obligers are going to love it! It allows you to track and share with us your:
  • food journal
  • exercise
  • steps (syncs up with your fitbit)
  • weight
  • measurements
  • Healthy Selfies or before and after shots
The best part is you can try using the Tracker for one month at no cost when you sign up in August (no tricks, contracts, or obligations – we promise!). So, start today because we know how much you want to make that change and how hard it can be to do it on your own. Let us encourage you along the way. We bet you finally follow through with those goals!!
Tracking leads to progress

Tracking leads to progress

Revised: Monday, July 31, 2017

“You cannot manage that which you do not measure.”
Peter Drucker

As dietitians, Kristen and I are big advocates of food journals. I know, I know… Oh, here it comes.  This request is often scoffed at when brought up; however, a recent literature review suggests that self-monitoring is the cornerstone of behavioral weight-loss treatment. What’s more, is recognizing that keeping a food journal does not guarantee change; however, having a coach that is also keeping track of your progress can improve outcomes dramatically.

I sometimes ask clients to keep track of everything that’s going in – including food and beverages – before an initial assessment or follow-up. Similar to the doctor asking for blood samples, it is essential for a dietitian to know about your food habits. In reviewing our top posts about tracking, I discovered that every one of our #TransformationTuesday stories, such as “It’s a Journey, Latoyia’s Baby Steps are Paying off,” include some form of self-monitoring.

The good news is, keeping a food journal is not only easy and one of the most effective means of behavior change.  It’s also a great way to keep yourself on track. You don’t have to be precise. Just be consistent. Try it! You might like it :-).

And MORE good news! We are now offering the Healthy Habit Tracker for a FREE 1-month trial when you sign-up in August. This handy tool is powered by Healthie, offering:

  • EASY: No calories or points to worry about here. Simply snap a photo of your meals and snacks.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY: Both you and your dietitian can see your entries which can keep you accountable.
  • FEEDBACK: Get frequent feedback and non-judgemental advice from Well Balanced Nutrition dietitians
  • FUN: take a healthy selfie (aka a Healthie!), track your workouts, rate your hunger and track your metrics so you can see how far you’ve come.

 

Why we might remind you of your mother….

Why we might remind you of your mother….

Lucy always says she was put on this earth to spread the good news about fruits and vegetables. I feel the same calling. To us, it’s an important mission because many people often forget or downplay the power of produce. If fruits and vegetables had labels they would boast all kinds of health benefits. If you want to prevent disease, protect your body from cancer, and fight off fatigue then fruits and vegetables are your friends. But because no one can make big bucks off nature’s bounty, there isn’t a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign helping us fall in love with them in their natural form.

Even though they don’t get enough publicity, there is no denying that fruits and vegetables can help us THRIVE. And yeah, we know this is not new or sexy advice, and we might even remind you of your mother saying “Eat your vegetables. They’re good for you!” but hear us out. There are 4 things you need to know about fruits and vegetables.

  1. Well Balanced Eating means half your plate should be full of non-starchy vegetables (and sometimes fruit, too). That means nothing else on your plate should take up more room than your veggies. We love this guideline because it’s much easier to fill half your plate than to get out measuring cups and/or count calories. Hooray for simple rules!
  2. Many colors = many micronutrients. The more colors you have on your plate the greater variety of benefits you will reap. Although we all know fruits and vegetables contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, scientists are also discovering thousands of plant super-powers called phytochemicals (like the ones listed below) that provide even more health-boosting benefits.
  3. Vegetables will volumize your meals. This means you can eat a larger portion of food without consuming excessive calories. By having generous servings of fruits and vegetables in our meals, we can literally fill our bellies to the brim. This is important because when our stomach reaches its compacity, stretch receptors send signals to the brain telling us we feel full. To give you an example, a measly handful of potato chips provides 100 calories, whereas you can eat a bowlful of blueberries for the same amount. It would cost a lot of extra calories to fill our bellies with potato chips than it would if we were to fill up on blueberries.

        4. Fruits and veggies can add variety to your diet. If you find yourself eating the same thing over and over, tap into the world of produce to expand your palate. There are countless varieties and types of produce to choose from, so eat “outside the box” and try something new.

I leave you with some color inspiration from one of my favorites, Jamie Oliver.

Want help getting more color on your plate? Click here to start working with Well Balanced Nutrition.

“It’s a Journey” – Latoyia’s Baby Steps Are Paying Off, #TransformationTuesday

“It’s a Journey” – Latoyia’s Baby Steps Are Paying Off, #TransformationTuesday

Latoyia is a successful and busy professional in Durham. She started working with Well Balanced Nutrition back in the Spring. Like many others, she had dieted in the past without a ton of lasting success. When we first met, I could tell she was ready to try something different, something more realistic and long lasting. I am blown away by her progress to date and I’m excited to share a little bit about her journey with you.

 

I really want the tribe to know…”I’ve learned that weight loss and fitness is a journey and about changing your lifestyle for the better. It’s not about following a fad to quickly lose weight and then reverting back to old habits. I’ve learned to be patient and realistic with my weight loss goals and that has been yielding success.”  -LB

Being patient and realistic has paid off. To date she has lost 13 pounds. How? Partly because of her new habit of walking 3-5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes fairly consistently. In the past, she had trouble sticking to an exercise routine but now she is being careful not to get too carried away with unrealistic exercise routines only to burn out. This time it needed to be something simple and fun.

Walking is something she really enjoys for a few reasons: it’s a way to socialize with other walkers in her neighborhood, her husband or sister. It can also be a time to listen to music and clear her mind. Another plus? She notices that she has more energy now. She has even started to include bouts of jogging into her walking routine.

She also found that starting her day with a simple, healthy breakfast and making her lunch on the weekends was helpful.  Last but not least, she is keeping her trigger foods out of the house and staying hydrated with refreshing citrus water.

Even when she does less exercise or doesn’t prep her lunch in advance for a week or two, she’s learned to make the most of her choices and ends up getting right back into the game when she can. Here’s what Latoyia wants to share with you about her journey.

I started working with Well-balanced Nutrition because …

I was struggling to reach my weight loss and fitness goal on my own. I felt I needed more guidance and support.

I knew I was on track when…

I started to see my weight going down on the scale. It wasn’t a rapid decline, but even the incremental decrease was helpful in motivating me to continue.

I’m still human and learned that when I get off track …

I’m never completely derailed. I just have to pause, refocus, and start fresh the next day. I realized even in my “bad” weeks there were things I did right. I may not have met my exercise goal, for example, but I ate breakfast every day and had healthy lunches.

The best strategy, tool, tip, or technique I have learned on my well-balanced journey is…to keep foods that I tend to overeat out of my house and serve my meals on smaller plates instead of dinner plates.

 

Are you ready to make a transformation like Latoyia? Contact us today to set up your own personal wellness adventure. It’s your first baby step toward success. 

 

Comfortably Chubby | 3 Steps to improving your body image

Comfortably Chubby | 3 Steps to improving your body image

Monday, July 17, 2017

Last week while hanging out by the pool, a new friend, Katie, and I got to talking about body image, how we grew up, and our own habits. Katie is beautiful and full-figured. She exudes confidence in her body. Katie told me she enjoys her lifestyle – especially eating and drinking (and not much cooking). She does CrossFit a few times a week and works at a local pub bartending most nights. She explained that she recognizes her way of life prevents her from losing weight and states “I’m not worried about it because I’m comfortably chubby.” She has seen the diet and lifestyle of some CrossFit enthusiasts and decided that does not interest her. She is happily married and states, “my husband doesn’t like skinny girls anyway.” 

Katie understands that we are all more than just a number on the scale or image in the mirror. How can you feel confident and comfortable regardless of your size or shape? 

Find your body confidence through body kindness

There is so much conflicting information about how to live a healthy life. For instance, body mass index is the standard metric for determining who is normal-weight, overweight and obese, yet it can be argued that it is actually a poor tool for measuring health. Some argue Paleo is the best way to eat while others fight for a vegetarian lifestyle. The WHO recommends we exercise at least 150 minutes of exercise per week and The Washington Postpublished an article that 30 minutes of daily exercise is not enough.

Instead of worrying what the outside world says you should do or what you should look like, it’s time to listen to your body and treat yourself with kindness.

For our most recent book club adventure, Kristen and I read Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield, a book about changing the way we talk to and treat ourselves. Instead of shaming and blaming our bodies, Scritchfield provides practical ways to start loving, connecting and caring for ourselves. She explains it as an upward spiral – each body kindness action will help you spiral up into making more healthy decisions. 

Have you said something kind to yourself lately?

One of my mentors, Amy E. Smith of The Joy Junkie, explains that we all have an inner dialogue happening in our minds. This inner dialogue is how we identify and it makes up what we believe about ourselves and our world. In other words, we are always telling ourselves stories and regardless of whether they are true, we believe them and internalize them. Because this all happens quietly in our mind, we can often go without realizing the terrible things we think, believe and say about ourselves.

Ready to be kinder to yourself?

Here are 3 steps to improving your body image through kindness and compassion:

  1. Notice the voice or internal story – What does that little voice say when you look in the mirror? Does it exclaim how beautiful your eyes look today or is it nitpicking on a double chin or muffin top? The first step is to notice what that little voice says and recognize you are more than those thoughts.
  2. Identify the triggers – For some of us, the simple act of looking in the mirror can trigger our inner bully to come out and play. Others get a story in their mind when they step on the scale. For many of us, including myself, it’s all too easy to get caught up with the “compare and despair” of social media where someone is always fitter, stronger, happier, richer, more successful, and so on.
  3. Create a nicer way to speak to your body. Make one change – for example, if you’re constantly exclaiming about your fat thighs next time that voice comes up change direction. I like the simple “cancel, cancel, cancel” method to stop negative thoughts and I like to take advantage of the power of words by using mantras. I share healthy mantras for my clients to use, such as “every healthy change I make creates a healthier body.”

 

Food for thought:

What’s the story in your mind? Studies suggest that 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies. We don’t have to live with the hurt of striving for an unrealistic image. Let us know in the comments below what you will do to improve your body image this week :-). We’d love to cheer you on!

Are you ready to feel confident in your body? Contact us today to set up your own personal wellness adventure.

Find your own way: Rebecca’s #TransformationTuesday story

Find your own way: Rebecca’s #TransformationTuesday story

I started working with Well-balanced Nutrition because…

I needed guidance on nutrition to help me meet the physical demands of my job and personal goals. As a hybrid athlete, I am constantly training in a variety of formats; from powerlifting to triathlon/marathon training, as well as teaching group fitness classes. I was also seeking help with weight loss and because I have a history of eating disorders and crash dieting and I wanted support to achieve my goals in a healthy, sustainable way. 

I knew I was on track when…

I was seeing a difference in my body composition. My weight fluctuates so even if my weight was down, I didn’t use the scale as the only measure of success. That being said, my body was (and still is!) feeling good and I was happy and comfortable with how I felt in my skin. I liked how my clothes were fitting and how my body was performing. I didn’t feel like I was carrying extra weight anymore and I also felt in control of my eating habits.

I’m still human and learned when I get off track I …

I have resources and support to help get me back on track. I no longer beat myself up for having slip ups but instead, acknowledge them, and move on.

The best strategy/technique I have learned on my well-balanced journey is…

Tracking my intake and using the HALT method when I get “snacky”.  I use an app on my phone and it has been crucial for me. If I do not track my food intake, that is when I turn into a bottomless pit and overeat. It helps keep me accountable and it has taught me a great deal of discipline, in a good way. I feel like I have control. Along with that, the HALT method (Hungry, angry, lonely, tired) has taught me to pay attention to how my body is feeling. If there was a way to throw a “B” in there for BORED, that was certainly a big reason for why I would over eat. Learning to supplement those emotions with something other than food was a big help for me!

I really want the tribe to know…

There is no one RIGHT way to do something. Everybody is going to find something that works for them and that’s what matters. If you want to go paleo and eat clean, more power to you. If you are like me and find that tracking macros fits your lifestyle, then get down with your bad self! I want everyone to know that every BODY has different needs and different approaches to achieving success. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing and find something that works for you. 

Are you ready to make a transformation like Rebecca? Contact us today to set up your own personal wellness adventure.  

Do you need to replace electrolytes on these hot steamy days?

Do you need to replace electrolytes on these hot steamy days?

A recent visit back to my hometown in Indiana inspired me to answer this very question. My dad always has his refrigerator stocked with little bottles of Gatorade for him and the grandkids and I was reminded that many people believe Gatorade is the best way to hydrate. He was a little offended and surprised when I told him that it wasn’t the healthiest thing to offer the kids. “What? Why not? Don’t they need electrolytes after playing outside?” he said. I get where he is coming from, I do… Here is the gist of what I told him…

Sports drinks tout themselves as electrolyte replacers and marketers have made us believe that a sports drink is the best way to quench our thirst and replace our electrolytes on a hot summer day. But is it really?

What the sport drink companies don’t tell you is that sports drinks are designed for athletes or those who exercise intensely for more than 60 minutes, not your average person or kid. Most of us can easily get enough electrolytes from food. Plus no one really benefits from the added sugar, artificial flavors, and colorings that are found in many sports drinks.

Did you know: The amount of sodium and potassium in a sports drink is low compared to what you eat in typical meals.

But what if you ARE an athlete or you just sweat a lot in this heat?

For every CUP of sweat, you can expect to lose around 225mg of sodium, 50mg of potassium, 4mg of calcium and 3g of magnesium. Are you sweating that much? If so, you might benefit from a 12 ounce serving of Gatorade which contains 80 calories, 21g carbs, 160mg sodium and 45mg potassium. You could also just drink a cup of chocolate milk.

8 ounces of chocolate milk contains 120 calories, 20g carbs, 150mg sodium, 350mg potassium. It also has calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, niacin and vitamins A, B12 and D.

Marathoners and other endurance athletes who don’t eat much before or during exercise would be wise to choose a sports drink.  In contrast, hikers, bicyclists, and people who eat before and during lengthy workouts can do fine with just plain water. That’s because food helps retain fluid in your body. In comparison, plain water consumed on an empty stomach quickly goes in one end, out the other.

If you are planning to sweat for more than four hours in this NC heat, a sports drink is helpful but not your only option. You can eat salty foods beforehand. A salty meal can help your body retain fluid, keep you hydrated longer and will enhance endurance.

Bottom Line

If you are exercising for less than an hour/day and eating 3 balanced meals you are likely getting plenty of electrolytes through your diet. So for most of us, we don’t need to do anything special to replace electrolytes. We do, however, need to stay hydrated and the best way to do that is by simply drinking water.

Endurance athletes need extra electrolytes during longer bouts of exercise and may benefit from a sports drink. Food is usually a better source than sports drinks and athletes can choose salty foods before and after workouts to aid in performance and recovery.

Have questions about your personal electrolyte and nutrition needs? Contact us today to set up your own personal wellness adventure.  

3-Ingredient FroYo Fruit Bites

3-Ingredient FroYo Fruit Bites

Are you in need of a healthy and refreshing treat this summer? Look no further! These 3-ingredient FroYo Fruit Bites make a great snack for kids, taste delicious by the pool, and can be the perfect after dinner treat that will hit the spot. They are super simple to whip up – even kids can make them! Wendy Sharer, a local dietetic student, shows us how.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

The only ingredients you need to make these refreshing FroYo bites is yogurt (I used Oikos Greek yogurt, plain) and 1 cup of berries or diced fruit. I used blackberries and raspberries because that’s what I had in the fridge at the time, but you could use almost any fruit such as strawberries, kiwi, peaches, pears or mango. 

After chopping up your fruit, just mix together the fruit and yogurt in a medium bowl. Finally, spoon bite-sized scoops of yogurt-fruit mixture onto a flat surface such as a plate covered with aluminum foil and place in the freezer for a 2 to 3 hours.  (You can also toss them in a blender for a smoother consistency and freeze them in an ice cube tray.)

Storing: Relocate FroYo Bites to a freezer ziplock bag or other container and enjoy within 1-2 weeks

FroYo Fruit Bites

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Scoop bite-sized amounts of yogurt-fruit mixture onto a flat surface.
  3. Freeze for 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Relocate FroYo Bites to a freezer bag or freezer-friendly container.
  5. Enjoy within 1-2 weeks.