Did you know approximately 1 in 5 of American’s have IBS and 40% of the population is living with a chronic condition?
This is a good reason to be nice to ourselves and nice to others because we don’t know what they are going through. It can be especially challenging to know how to eat well while traveling.
In January, Kristen and I went on our first international Well Balanced adventure to Costa Rica! It was an incredible trip coordinated by our new friend, Amanda Chay, with Wonderment. Needless to say, we had a lot of new experiences such as repelling down the side of the canyon into surprisingly cold water and discovering my new obsession with papaya!
As many of you know, I (Lucy), have been managing and coping with IBS for several years now. Click here to learn more. Anyway, whenever I travel, I get a little extra anxious around the lack of control regarding my food choices. In our small group of seven, we had 80% of the meals preplanned and catered to us. Normally, this sounds like a dream come true! However, when you have food sensitivities it can be more like a nightmare.
How I stay routine and regular
On our first morning in San Jose, Costa Rica, while I scooped up a small bowl of oatmeal my fiancé told our tour guide leader, Amanda, that oatmeal is a daily ritual of mine. She laughed and said, “well you can enjoy a break from that because I don’t have oatmeal on the menu for our breakfasts this week.” I laughed, I looked at Andrew and said, “isn’t she so funny?“ What Amanda did not know is I had packed six portable oatmeal packets and mini almond and peanut butter packets in order to continue my routine, which helps keep other things routine (*wink *wink).
So often, while talking about setting up healthy habits and sticking with them I hear clients say “but I don’t want to be picky or difficult.” For instance, if someone has a digestive and sinus issues they may greatly benefit by going dairy-free; however, when going to a friends house or out to eat they decide to just be polite and eat all the things despite knowing the negative effects of eating dairy products.
Change takes effort at first
Two years ago, when I did the big IBS elimination diet, I found my brain consumed thinking about “what am I going to eat at my next meal??” We’ve learned between 80 to 95% of everything we do is subconscious – think about last time you took a shower… did you think about every move you made? It takes time and energy to make conscious changes to our dietary choices, but it is possible. First, we must become aware of what and why we want to change. Then, we can make a plan and take action.
It doesn’t take that long to start feeling a little better and for your brain to pick up on new habits if you stay consistent. Some people will tell you it’s only 21 days; however, we learned from the book Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin that on average new habits take about 66 days.
Your permission slip…
If you’re in the midst of making dietary and lifestyle changes or you already know what works for you, remember it’s OK to be picky and know that on occasion we might slip up and put cheese on the salad with ranch dressing because after all, we are human.
If you’re ready to feel better and determine which foods may be triggering inflammation and pain in your body, let’s chat.
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.
We all know we need to move our bodies, that sitting is killing us, and that we ought to get to the gym or go outside more. After all, our health depends on it. Right?
BUT WAIT, we are thinking about it all wrong….
As it turns out “health is not an optimal way to make physical activity relevant and compelling enough for most people to prioritize it in their hectic lives,” says Dr. Segar, a psychologist who specializes in helping people adopt and maintain regular exercise habits and the author of “No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness.”
The exercise mistake
We are making the mistake of putting too much emphasis on the long term effects of exercise. According to the research, we spend the least amount of time exercising when we do it for weight loss and better health. That is true even for older adults, a study of 335 men and women ages 60 to 95 showed.
Furthermore, we think of exercise as hard work, a struggle, or a chore.
So what are the two secrets to exercising more?
First, make it FUN!
This may be different for everybody. What you think is fun, might not be the same thing your coworker thinks is fun. That’s okay! You get to find what works for you and your personality. If you grew up participating in team sports, then find an activity you can do in a group. If you like dancing, find a fitness class that will reflect that. Outdoor activities like walking on scenic trails or riding a bike in the neighborhood could be the right fit for those who hate the gym. If you are a busy mom or busy professional, you could find quick workouts on youtube that take 20 minutes or less that you can do from anywhere.
Second, call it anything but exercise!
Give your workout a name that focuses on the immediate benefits you will receive from moving your body. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
- Adventure – Scenic Walk – Field Trip – Play Break – Nature Bath
- Mood Lifter – Stress Reliever – Trail Mediation – Me Time – Sanity Saver – Mindful Moment
- Brain Booster – Memory Lap – Clarity Walk – Mental Break – Focus Booster
- Daily Vitamin D Dose –Sunshine Soak – Sunshine Therapy
- Fresh Air – Breathing Break – Energy Enhancer
Food For Thought:
Similar to the word diet, exercise has a negative connotation for many of us and doing it for “better health” is just not rewarding enough to make it a regular habit. Answer these questions in the comment section below.
- What could make exercise fun for you?
- What immediate benefits of exercise do you enjoy most?
- What will you call your workout sessions now?
Monday, May 1, 2017
Like many of you, Christina is a busy professional who is in a position of leadership. She was a pretty healthy gal before she started coming to see me, but she wanted to do even better, especially as a leader in the office. Her wellness WINS are highlighted below. Her story is a reminder of how our behaviors not only impact our own lives but also those with whom we work.
Making self-care a priority
Christina hates running but she found that training for a 5K and 10K race last year kept her inspired to exercise consistently. She pushed herself because she knew being active was important for her health. To fuel her life she enjoys healthy vegetarian foods. She especially loves anything with chickpeas and fresh vegetables.
Inspiring and encouraging others
Not only do Christina’s coworkers notice and get inspired by her healthy meals she brings from home every day but they also see her taking an active role on the employee wellness team. Plus, after enjoying a fun well-balanced walking session with me around downtown Durham, she incorporated walking meetings with her staff. How fun is that!?
She also cares about her friends and encourages them to adopt healthy habits. One example includes suggesting busy professional friends invest in a meal delivery service, which can make it easier to prepare fresh and well-balanced meals at home. Click here if a meal delivery service sound interesting to you.
Now it’s your turn.
A healthy and happy team is a more motivated and productive team. Here are 3 healthy leadership tips we can all learn from Christina.
Lead by example – It starts with you. Christina found an exercise strategy that worked for her. She also packs her lunch with leftovers and keeps healthy balanced options in her desk, like that can of chickpeas :-P.
Make it fun and do what you can – Would you rather sit windowless office for meetings or enjoy some sunshine? Take your team out for a walk like Christina or break up your long meeting with a fun mini activity break. It does not need to be a sweat session, just let everyone get up or get out and move their bodies.
Provide/create a nurturing environment– Donuts and candy dishes look fun but often leave people feeling guilty or sluggish after the sugar buzz wears off. Do you have sliced veggies and a fruit for an easy colorful side dish with lunch or dinner? To live healthy and happy we need to set ourselves (and others) up for success, y’all. Check out Kristen’s blog for a few more ideas.
Food for thought
We have an opportunity to positively impact those around us, whether it’s our family, friends or coworkers. How are you leading yourself and others to healthy habits?
Which healthy leadership strategy are you already rocking?! Let us know in comments below or give a shout out to the healthy role model in your life!
Local charity: Activate Good
Activate Good is located in Raleigh and offers volunteer opportunities around the Triangle. That are affiliated with hundreds of local nonprofit organizations to provide volunteers for the local charity events and programs.
Mark your calendar for April 23-29, which is national volunteer week!
Favorite TED talk: You are what you think
I love TED talks! This one spoke to me because of the touching story and the wonderful message explaining how our spoken and unspoken words lead to actions that lead to our destiny. Powerful stuff.
Daily Mindfulness blog: Daily Om
“All too often our lives can be spread too thin and it becomes important to gather our thoughts and center ourselves to become whole again.” -Madison Taylor
Sign up to receive these free inspiring emails: https://secure.dailyom.com/cgi-bin/userinfo/settings.cgi?subscribe=1
Recipe of the week: Roasted Beets ‘n Sweets
If you don’t think you like beets, I am guessing you have not tried them roasted. This is a simple, delicious, and nutritious side dish (or dessert if you’re weird like me!).