Take Action by finding clarity each week! feat. Hannah Brencher

“One system I’ve been implementing every Sunday is taking an hour or so to map my week out and make a massive to-do list. This happens before I do anything else.”

via Mapping my weeks: my current favorite productivity hack. — hannah brencher.

I really liked how Hannah laid it all out and is able to create a system that works for her! I do something similar in my planner as well and LOVE being able to check off the things I have accomplished! I encourage you to try this and see how it helps, especially with crazy schedules, it can sometimes feel overwhelming or you may even forget to do something!

Have your check list and go from there. Organization leads to productivity which leads to creativity which ultimately leads to less stress! Time to take action folks!

Thank you for reading and good luck! Take care

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Chicken drumsticks with Bacon Ranch Dressing and Cauliflower Mac & Cheese!

Hello friends! This weekend I made a delicious meal, all homemade and from scratch! I was so proud of myself and the way it turned out!

self_high_five

 

I’d like to share it with you and hope you enjoy it as well! It took me about an hour from start to finish, but if you’re a more proficient cook then it may take you 30-45 minutes. I started by making the ranch dressing first so I could put it in the fridge to thicken, Then I moved on the chicken drumsticks, and lastly the cauliflower. That portion only took about 15 minutes.

Here’s what you’ll need for the Bacon Ranch Dressing:

Prep Time – 10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

5 Strips bacon – cooked crisp and Crumbled (I put them on a paper towel, let cool, then crumbled) 

½ Cup Mayonnaise

½ Cup Sour Cream

1 Clove Garlic – Minced

1 Tbs. Fresh Parsley – Chopped

1 Tbs. Fresh Chives – Chopped

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. Fresh Dill – Chopped

½ tsp. Onion Powder

¼ tsp. Sea Salt

1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

In a large mixing bowl, combine bacon, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, parsley, chives, apple cider vinegar, dill, onion powder, sea salt, and black pepper.  Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. 

Chicken Drumsticks:

Salt the skin and place in hot Avocado oil (I used a cast iron skillet).  **Be careful of oil splatter!!** I cooked them until skin was golden. Then put on baking pan and broiled on high in over for ~10 minutes to cook fully.

Cauliflower “Mac & Cheese”

Ingredients:
4 cups of cauliflower florets (I purchased the frozen, steam-able bags of cauliflower)
4 tablespoon of butter
6 slices of cheese (i did pepper jack)
salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
Steam your cauliflower in a baking pan with butter and seasonings for 5 minutes, stir, steam for 5 minutes. Add cheese slices and microwave for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Best when served hot.
P.s. I regret not making a video! I’m still new to this so next time I will! But if you have any questions just let me know 🙂
Thank you again for reading! Take care

You don’t need motivation to make a change, here’s why!

Do you struggle with motivation? Good.

Why do I say this? Because motivation alone to make a change in your life is not going to cut it. We’ve all been led to believe that we are supposed to feel ready to make a change. At some point you’re going to have the courage, at some point you’re going to be ready. That’s not true at all.

This may sound harsh but it’s actually a huge relief! I have been struggling with motivation for years and I thought I was defective because I was lacking it. I thought all the successful people got to where they are because they ran on motivation, or people accomplished their goals because they were super motivated all the time. Not the case. Motivation has nothing to do with it. What I’ve come to realize is that these people are motivational because they made a CHANGE in their life by CHOOSING what direction they wanted to go in. For it is our choices that determine our life, our choices determine whether or not we are happy, whether or not you are successful. We are always a choice away.

Naturally, we are not driven by motivation we are driven by what is easy for us, what is comfortable, what is pleasing. Our brain is literally hard wired to protect us and keep us safe so why would we want to do something that’s beyond that?

Rather, I want you to outsmart your brain and make that change before you are able to talk yourself out of it. (How many times have you done that?? Like almost always right?)

I want you to try something, and I got this technique from Mel Robbins, she is a motivational speaker who worked to create THE 5 SECOND RULE.

The 5 second rule tricks your brain to push yourself to make a change. It gives you a chance to slow down, think, and command an action. While counting down, you shut down your brain from talking you out of making the decision to something that could change your life. Whether it’s getting out of the bed on time in the morning, going for a walk, asking someone to marry you, stoping before you respond (especially in an argument).

Give it a try, 5…..4……3……2……1 GO! Make a change.

Listen to Mel Robbins tell her story

THE 5 SECOND RULE

A balanced diet isn’t as simple as calories in vs. calories out, here’s why.

I have talked with patients who claim they have tried everything to lose weight. They tell me their metabolism is broken and now it seems impossible for them to lose weight no matter what they do and state they have come close to deciding to give up and just accept it. If you or someone you know has tried to lose weight, does this sound familiar?

I started to wonder if prolonged dieting could do permanent damage to the metabolism.

Thankfully, it’s not as bad as you may think. There is still hope as long as you are willing to commit to change. With that being said, gaining and losing weight over time can change the way your brain regulates your weight.

Let’s talk about how this happens…

Simply put, you need a certain amount of energy (i.e. calories) to stay alive. You can get this energy from the food you eat and from what is stored on your body (i.e. adipose tissue aka fat). Energy is neither created nor destroyed rather transferred throughout the body, so are you using that energy efficiently?

I’m sure you have all heard or tried the “eat less and exercise more” approach in hopes to lose weight or maintain weight based off the theory of calories in vs calories out. But somehow after “starving” yourself and exercising like a maniac or just by “controlling your calories” you still don’t reach your goals…now what?

This relationship is known as the Energy Balance Equation (EBE) and it is the most commonly accepted form of determining someones energy balance and how much weight they’ll lose or gain over time. BUT what it doesn’t factor in is someone’s genetics, body composition, hormones, macro and micro nutrients, exercise type/frequency, etc. So using the calories in vs calories out (or EBE) equation is really unfair to you and your metabolism. The frustration people experience from this is completely understandable because the equation is a lot more complicated!

Let’s go a little deeper.

The way companies (and even the government) come up with calorie and nutrient estimates is incredibly complex, rather imprecise, and centuries-old. As a result, food labels can be off by as much as 20-25 percent. Even if the food labels were correct, the amount of calories/nutrients in the foods vs how much we actually absorb, store and/or use would still be hard to know with certainty.

With that said, our food has to be digested and processed by our bodies in our own unique way (remember, every body is different). Furthermore, the way our foods are prepared/processed or cooked makes a difference too. Chopped, blended, and/or “chewed” (slow down and chew your food, people), all effect how it is absorbed and used in the body. The cutting helps make your nutrients more bio available because you are breaking the cell walls. Chewing or masticating your foods also helps to break it down, this is also known as “pre – digestion”. Each food/nutrient is broken down differently once inside the body.

Quick tid bit: A starchy tuber like sweet potatoes once cooked and allowed to cool will allow the nutrients to become more available for use. After cooling, it then becomes something known as a resistant starch. In short, a resistance starch isn’t fully absorbed in the small intestine and makes it’s way to the large intestine where it is then fermented to provide energy for your gut bacteria, which is a good thing. Also, the amount and type of bacteria in your gut effects your absorption. I will discuss this starch and healthy gut bacteria further in another post, so stay tuned!

So as you can see there are quite a few factors to consider that the calories in vs calories out logic doesn’t. This doesn’t completely invalidate the method it just suggests you shouldn’t rely solely on that principle to reach your goals. You need to understand your body, know what you can and cannot do, and also how you are responding to foods.

Now let’s talk about how you USE the energy you do have! There are 4 main points to consider:

  1. Each person has a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the amount of calories it takes your body to live, breathe, think. It all depends on your height, weight, body, gender, age, body composition, genetics, and even your gut bacteria.
  2. Thermic Effect of Eating (TEE). Did you know it requires energy to break down food? You may have felt this after eating a big meal and feel hot afterwards. TEE is the energy used by your body to eat, digest and process your meals.
  3. Physical Activity (PA). This is the amount of energy you use intentionally moving around throughout the day or in purposeful exercise like walking, running, biking, weight lifting, etc. Which could change day to day.
  4. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). This is the energy used in things like fidgeting, sitting up, etc. This too changes from person to person and day to day.

So while the Energy Balance Equation seems simple in thought, there is A LOT more to consider than just Calories in +/- Calories out = Changes in Body. The real equation looks a little more like this: (Calories in – calories absorbed) +/- (RMR + TEE + PA + NEAT) = Changes in body. BUT if you decrease/increase your calories, then that drastically changes what is absorbed which changes the second part of the equation. Also, if you’re not absorbing all your nutrition that plays a role as well.

With all that said, the metabolism is so much more complex and interdependent on other factors than most people realize. It is important to understand what works for your body. Also, what worked at one point may NOT work again. Keep your routine and meals varied. This is a never ending experiment on yourself. Be patient with yourself and understand your body is not going to drastically change over night. It’s a process.

If you’d like tips on how to optimize your meals refer to my post “The healthiest people aren’t dieting, why are you?”. It goes over how to restructure your meals to get the most nutrition/absorption in your day. And as always, if you’d like more help, just ask! You can comment below or contact.

My goal throughout my blogs are to make health, lifestyle, nutrition, and Metabolism easier to understand. As I write, I explore and challenge myself to learn and condense the information as much as possible in order for you to implement these tools into your life.

I wish you all the best! And of course, thank you for reading. Any questions/concerns please feel free to ask!

Change the system, not the symptom.

I understand that making a change can be a struggle or even scary. It takes us out of our comfort zone and into new and unexplored territory. For some, that can be exciting! For others it can cause anxiety. I think the anxiety from this may be because they think they are going to have to completely do an overhaul in their day – to – day life. Fortunately, that’s not necessarily true, yes there will be some change but focus on the changes you can make in your environment first. Like, do you struggle waking up the morning, move your alarm clock across the room so you HAVE to get up. Or pack your bag the night before and have it by the door to grab on your way out, etc. Just start by changing what you already do and make it a little bit better until you’ve created new and improved habits!

There are studies supporting that stress can change your brain and how you react to certain situations. It can actually push you away from goal-oriented behaviors to ones that don’t take you out of your comfort zone. At that point, there isn’t any amount of lecturing or motivational speeches, memes, posts etc to change the bad habit. So then, what can we do?

If stress is perpetually hindering you from getting you where you want to be don’t get discouraged! I’m going to try to help guide you through.

This example is from what I here from patients I work with on a day – to – day basis (before they change) but I have heard it more times than I can count. I want you to consider changing the way you address your issue. Rather than, “I am a sugar addict” or “I am a failure”. Instead, realize sugar is something you struggle with or you’ve had a few set backs. Separate yourself from the problem, it is something you have (and can learn to let go) rather than something you are… interesting huh?

Now we can start to focus on the task at hand, like re framing your mindset about your current situation. Your current story is just one perspective (not a reality), focus on what you can learn from that and really focus on what you DID or CAN accomplish.

Enact the KISS principle (keep it simple silly). Don’t get caught up in all the complicated terms or principles (that just gets overwhelming), set small goals or tasks and get to work. Focus your energy instead on two simple questions “what should I do today?” and “How do I do that?”

Consider also what is stressing you out and focus more on what you can control in your OWN life. Ask yourself “right now, what is in my control and what isn’t?”. With this question I believe you can begin to consider a different prospective and solutions that you may not have thought about otherwise.

Next, all of this is YOUR CHOICE! Choices drive human behavior. In order to really engage in something we need to feel like we can choose. Choice encourages people to feel engaged in their journey and empowers you to do more!

Finally, set expectations for yourself and understand this is a journey down a long path and there will be set backs, wrong turns, speed bumps, break downs, etc BUT there will also be discovery, acceptance, and creation of a better you!

Success or failure has more to do with what is going on in your head than the number on the scale, size of your muscles, etc. If have ambition the most important thing you have to do is START on your journey towards making it happen. Then it’s just a matter of perseverance. – Felicity Ashton, Arctic Explorer

p.s. I find that writing in a journal or documenting your journey will help to keep you on track to your goals and see how far you’ve come and what all you have accomplished!

Here’s some examples of journals that could help!

  1. minimal journal
  2. Start where you are journal
  3. Rustic Journal

Don’t forget a good set of pens either!

1. Gel pens

Pantry Items

I have composed this list for you guys so you can quickly find and shop for quality health food items! I will continue to add to this list as time goes on but these are some of the top ones you should almost always have on hand!

I’ll keep adding to this list over time!

  1. Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Bodum Coffee & Tea Travel French Press
  3. Smooth Move Tea (helps gets things moving)
  4. Sweet Leaf Stevia
  5. Avocado Oil
  6. Coconut oil
  7. Sweet Leaf Water Drops
  8. Premier Pink Salt
  9. Blender Bottle
  10. MCT Oil
  11. Chia Seeds
  12. Spirulina Powder
  13. Hand Blender
  14. Milk Frother
  15. Grass – Fed WheyCool Protein
  16. Spry Peppermints
  17. SteviaDent Gum
  18. Food Scale
  19. Ceylon Ground Cinnamon
  20. Raw Almonds
  21. Raw Cashews
  22. Almond Butter
  23. Cashew Butter
  24. Dark Chocolate

No Sugar Added “Gatorade”!

Is your water working for or against you? Many of us drink a lot of plain water in hopes to get hydrated, feel better, cut cravings, feel full, etc. While drinking water is great and needed for your metabolism so are minerals. Minerals assist the body in every day functions like muscle contractions, hormone regulation, alertness, sleep regulation, etc. A lot of people force fluids in to become hydrated then all they do is pee all day. The key is to add minerals to your water and then you don’t have to drink so much!    trouble staying hydrated or tired of peeing ALL the time because you are forcing fluids in. Focus on drinking when you are thirsty and try to sip throughout the day. In this mix the main two sources of minerals are pink salt and apple cider vinegar. I encourage you to add these to all foods and to other fluids as well. I typiactyp recommend my patients add pink salt to all fluids and then the vinegar to either Marinades or salad dressing or even in a tea.

At least get started with this quick recipe and go from there! I call it a Real “gatorade” because it is what a true electrolyte replenishment should be WITHOUT the added sugar (which also does more harm than good)

What you’ll need:

16 – 20 ounce Blender Bottle or your favorite water bottle filled with either Alkaline or Spring water or Tea

1 – 2 TBS Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 – 1/2 tsp Premier Pink Salt

A 2 second squeeze of Sweet Leaf Water Drops

You can also add fresh lemon, lime, ginger, or turmeric

*Other added benefits of this drink are decreased cravings, mineral absorption, feeling better, more energy, healthy skin, feeling full, regulated blood sugar, etc

*Drink this on the go or at the gym!*

Enjoy!