The Rungry Health Coach

How to Rebalance Sugar Levels

Amidst all the holiday sweets--from Halloween through New Years, it's hard not to indulge and overdo it. Eating one too many cookies or that extra small slice of pie is part of life. It happens. 

Sugar Doughnut

These sugary foods spike our blood sugar levels, and leave us lethargic, bloated and often hungry for more. It could also lead to more overeating and eventually weight gain. When our blood sugar levels are high, we feel jittery and overly-energetic, but once the effects where off, there is the notorious sugar crash. And, when blood sugar levels are spiked for too long it can lead to health problems, most commonly diabetes,

When blood sugar levels are stabilized and controlled, the body has a steady source of energy to fuel throughout the day. When you eat, the body breaks it down and it enters the bloodstream. It's insulin that helps move that fuel from the blood and into the cells, where it is used as energy. Blood sugar levels naturally fluctuate day-to-day.

So, what can you do to help you rebalance your blood sugar levels and keep your cravings in check?

1. Avoid foods that spike blood sugar. A diet rich in these foods can leave little room for over-indulging. These will help keep you satisfied and provide your body with fuel. Eggs, meat, fish, eggplant, peanuts, walnuts, peppers, onions and broccoli are all examples of foods that will have minimal impact on blood sugar levels. If you know you're going to eat a sugary food, try eating something before hand that is rich in fiber, fat and protein. These three amigos work together to help keep blood sugar levels stable. 
2. Return back to your routine as soon as you realized you overindulged. One overindulgence can lead to another and it can snowball out of control. As soon as you know you overate sugary foods, commit to starting the next day fresh and return to your healthy diet. Don't fret about what you did, just acknowledge that it happened and move on. 
3. Rethink sweet snacks. Sometimes, you just need a little something sweet--it's a natural craving. Before you indulge, take a few sips of water and think about the craving--why do you think you feel the way you do? If you still have the craving, indulge...but not in typical fashion. If you want something sweet, reach for a piece of fruit, sweet potato, carrot or a small piece of dark chocolate. These foods are not heavy with processed sugars and will help you retrain your brain.

Remember, treats are special, and should be treated as such. 

Need some more tips on how to keep sugar cravings at bay? Send me an email! 


The Rungry Health Coach

How to Write Goals You'll Want to Stick To

Setting resolutions at the start of the New Year can be a great way to both challenge and better yourself. But often, typically just a few weeks into the new year, even the best-intended resolutions fail. 


Writing Down

So, what can be done to make goals that you'll want to reach? What can be done so that in June, you'll smile at your resolutions that still need completing, instead of an eye roll?

It's all about creating achievable and specific goals that you can feel excited about throughout the entire year. 

1. Brainstorm. Sit down and write down anything you'd like to accomplish. It can be work-related or fitness-related. It could be in regards to cooking or keeping the house clean. A resolution doesn't have to be all about weight loss and quit smoking.
2. Write it down. After you created your basic list, start elaborating more on this list. When you write down your goals, you're more likely to stick to them. Describe your goal in specific terms and write them in terms of what you want. For example, "I want to do three consecutive pull-ups by March." Or, "I want to increase my personal workplace productivity by 20 percent in two months."
3. Tell someone. When you tell someone about your goals, it creates accountability. This person will act as a buddy and help keep you striving to your goal.
4. Break it down. Big goals can feel intimidating. Take "get healthier"--That's a really big goal. Although vague, this is a great starting point. Think about what actions you can take to achieve this huge goal--fitness classes, nightly walks, cooking at home, meditation, etc. Start getting specific in what you want to do, how you want to do it, and when you want it completed by.
5. Plan your first step...and take it. Achieving a big goal is all about taking small steps. Look back at Step 4 and see how you broke it down. Take a tiny step into achieving one of those small actions. In regards to being healthier, it could be registering for fitness classes or tackling cooking at home. 
6. Keep going. As much as we all love instant gratification, big goals don't happen overnight. It takes time...sometimes a lot of it. With every step you take, celebrate every accomplishment and use that as motivation to move forward. If you're struggling, ask people you know and trust their opinions and what they'd do next. Keep your list of goals near you, and re-read them as needed to stay motivated.
7. Celebrate. No accomplishment is too small. These mini-celebrations will help keep you motivated. Take time to enjoy it and thank those who helped you reach it. Think about all that you enjoyed, and what you can do to keep this progress going. 

When setting goals, keep them SMART.
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Timely

Need help with goal setting, or just have questions? Send me an email and we'll chat! 


The Rungry Health Coach

Three Tips for a Healthy Holiday

The holiday season is a time of sheer joy, but it's also a time of stress, indulgences and maybe a bit too much fun. It can be easy to succumb to holiday stress, eat a few too many desserts, and completely let healthy routines fall by the wayside.

AutmnTea-CardSize

But, with a few smart strategies, you can navigate everything from extra stress to extra desserts. 

  1. Bring a dish to share. Most holiday parties are potluck-style get-togethers, so bring a dish to share with guests. Brainstorm a savory main course option that you’d feel both comfortable eating and sharing with others. This ensures you’ll have something hearty to enjoy and help you stay away from mindless snacking later. Load up your dish with vegetables and protein like chicken, beans, quinoa, pork or beef.

    Do taste the other dishes that are available, but tread lightly around store-bought foods. Sample the foods that are homemade and made with an extra ingredient: love. As you make your way around the communal table, load up your plate with vegetables and fruits first, then add a helping of your dish, and try a small taste of one dessert.

  2. Stay active. Throughout the season, it’s important to stay active. Not only will physical activity help burn calories and rev your metabolism, but it’s also a great mood booster.

    If you’re new to exercise, start with 20 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity exercise like going for a walk or jog. Slowly start increasing the duration, as you feel comfortable. If you’re an avid exerciser, try not to stray away from your typical routine.

    Before a holiday party, assemble your family together and go for a nice jaunt outside. Or if the weather is particularly good, start up a game of touch football, tag or Frisbee. As the sun sets, explore the neighborhood and see the beautiful holiday light displays. Exercise doesn’t have to be in a gym or on a treadmill. 

  3. Practice gratitude. Although it can be a season of joy, the holidays can bring about stress. Before you shut off the lamp before bed, or just as you rise in the morning, take a moment to envision all that you’re thankful for. Whether it be your family, your career, your body or your furry friend, this sets a positive intention. Keep this growing list in the back of your mind, or write it down.

    Allow other forms of mindfulness into your day. If there is a particularly stressful moment at work, take a moment to walk away from your desk and center yourself. Shut your eyes and envision your gratitude list.

    Intentional breathing is also a great tool to create a more peace within the body. Shut your eyes and take slow and deep inhales through the nose, and exhale slowly through your mouth.

    Repeat this about five times. 
Need more help with party strategies? Let's chat

The Rungry Health Coach

Why You Should Eat the Yolks

During the 1990s, we waged an all-out war on fat.

Fat was the enemy. Fat was causing us to become obese, and ruining our health. Fat was clogging our arteries and raising our cholesterol. Soon, fat was omitted from cheeses, yogurts and every snack in between. We were told we needed more carbs and egg white were delicious. 

Egg Wrap (1)

Commonly-eaten foods were soon off limits, and were subsequently replaced with processed foods loaded up with sugars, salts and additives because they were lacking in fat. 

At the center of this war, was the lowly little egg. The white orb had been the center of controversy for some time, but this recent war on fat seemed to finally tarnish its reputation as being healthy. Yolks were full of fat and "bad cholesterol," so it was assumed that they would lead to our poor health. 

What we weren't told is that the egg yolk is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and should not be avoided. Healthy fats are needed in our diet for everyday functioning, and those yolks are important. 

When you're whipping up your next omelette, keep these considerations in mind. 

The yolk is full of dietary cholesterol, and that's a good thing. The bulk of an egg's cholesterol is found in the yolk, but dietary cholesterol does not pose a big threat to our health. What does make our  blood cholesterol skyrocket are foods containing trans and saturated fats. (High cholesterol is linked to conditions like heart disease.) Dietary cholesterol, such as what is found in eggs and meat, is needed to regulate our testosterone. Plus, the cholesterol in eggs actually helps lower LDL, or "bad cholesterol."

Many essential vitamins and minerals are found within the yolk. That little yellow dot within the white holds more than a pop of color. Within that splotch of yellow is nearly every essential vitamin and mineral our body needs. Yolks are one of the few natural sources of Vitamin D, and carry many B vitamins. Plus, the whole egg contains a protein punch--seven grams. 

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They're an easy and versatile food. Eggs can do it all. When they're not scrambled up next to a stack of whole-grain toast, they're sitting in a rich and bubbling tomato sauce. Eggs can be prepared in a number of ways--from boiling to poaching--and are great for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. The trick is in preparation. If you're going to fry your eggs, choose a quality cooking liquid like coconut oil, grass-fed butter or olive oil. If you've learned a lower-in-fat diet works for you, you can always poach or hard-boil them. 

You can tell a lot about a chicken from the yolk. After you've cracked your egg, analyze the yolk. Is it a murky yellow or a vibrant orange? The brighter and more orange the color, the healthier (and happier) the chicken. Free-range, organic eggs have been tested to be more nutritious than their conventionally raised counterparts. When fed a diet of corn feed, chickens can accumulate high pesticide levels from the feed itself--and usually the feed is made from genetically modified corn (GMOs). In an ideal world, the chickens are roaming around and able to forage for their food--that's what makes the yolks a deep orange.

And last but not least, brown eggs are no healthier than white eggs. Brown eggs just come from brown chickens. (I still have yet to figure out why some eggs are blue-ish, however.)

Need some new ways to whip up eggs? Check out my recipes