The Rungry Health Coach

10 Tips to Have a Healthy and Awesome Vacation

So often, vacations become calorie-laden bombs. Individuals think that like them, their goals and habits are also on vacation. Soon, this becomes a justification to drink every night and eat heavy foods until the point of extreme fullness. And upon return, your body feels greasy, groggy, bloated, uncomfortable. Ever feel like you need a vacation "detox?"

I used to travel like this all the time. I would take that vacation time as an excuse to stuff myself with all the foods I deprived myself of during my regular life. I also stopped exercising. There was also a time that I was so afraid of other foods and calories, that I would eat very particular things and make sure to bring all of my own snacks. The latter mindset would not let me fully enjoy the experience. 

I traveled at one of two extremes...I had no middle ground. No balance. 

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Now, I allow myself to indulge in treats, but only as they sound good. I only eat something I truly want...and I eat until I'm satisfied. (That may mean just a few bites.) I do something active everyday--a morning run, a bodyweight workout, walking, bike tour. I drink alcohol sparingly and instead drink plenty of water. I put emphasis on vegetables but still seek out local delicacies. I also still bring snacks--especially for the airplane. And as a vegetarian who eats fish occasionally, I don't let my preferences stop me from enjoying the local foods. If I want something with meat, then I'll eat something with meat.

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My mindset on travel has drastically changed. It's because I allow myself to enjoy the vacation, but I also keep my long-term goals in the back of my mind. I don't like the idea of coming home bloated and uncomfortable. I don't like the idea of needing a "detox." I put emphasis on daily movement, I eat until satisfied and I know that all foods are on the table. I put memories over calories...but I do it within reason. And when I'm home in my normal life, I allow myself to have a few treats so stop me from feeling deprived. 

You can truly enjoy your vacation without guilt and without extreme restriction. Here are my top 10 tips to have a vacation you love without sacrificing the experience. 
  1. Pack plenty of snacks. Depending on where you're traveling, you may not have immediate access to something to eat--especially when the hunger beast comes. And for long plane rides, having snacks at the ready not only decreases cost, but stops you from eating poor-quality airline food. Apples, oranges, avocados and veggie sticks travel well. Protein bars, jerky and hard-boiled eggs are great protein options. You can even pack a whole meal salad!
  2. Put emphasis on daily movement. You don't have to continue your strict exercise regimen while on vacation, but some kind of daily movement can go a long way. It can also help ease jet lag. And daily movement, doesn't have to be structured exercise. You could go for a long walking tour or rent a bike. Of course, you can still carve out some time to do a sweat session. There are many pieces of equipment like resistance loops or bands that can travel well. 
  3. Seek out vegetables. Often during vacation, we put sweets and other delacies over veggies. If possible, aim for a vegetable at every meal. You can also challenge yourself to eat a salad every day.
  4. Eat until satisfied, not full. It can be really, really easy to eat an entire piece of chocolate cake for example, well past the point of feeling satisfied. There comes a point where eating that cake no longer becomes enjoyable. Sometimes eating until satisfied does not mean finishing the entire piece of cake, plate of food or ice cream cone. Eat until you're satisfied. 
  5. Put memories over calories. Put down your calorie counter and don't fret about all that you're eating. Enjoy yourself, but again, listen to the cues your body is sending and don't eat until you're overly uncomfortable.
  6. Lay off alcohol. I know...I know. Alcohol always seems an integral part of vacations, but it does inhibit our functioning. And as we get older, our bodies just can't bounce back quite as fast as they did. Enjoy a glass of wine at dinner every now and then, but try not to go overboard.
  7. Do something educational. While you're in a new place, do everything that you can to learn about the local culture and customs. Immerse yourself in the goings-on. Visit a museum, take a tour or talk to the locals. Feed your soul with information.
  8. Disconnect from your phone. Do you really need me to expand on this?
  9. Prioritize sleep. You may be in a new place, but that doesn't mean you can't get a good night's sleep. Stick to a reasonable bed time and wake up time. If you're struggling from jet lag, do your best to get yourself on the country's time table. This will make it easier for you to adjust.
  10. Choose local eats over creature comforts. You're in a new region, state or country--I hope you're sampling the local cuisine! But, I do understand how a few days away from your own routine and favorite foods can be overwhelming. As tempting as it may be to indulge in something form your home, remind yourself this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. That burger, peanut butter blob or fried chicken will still be there when you get home. 
Beth Sandwich
Need more help with mindset shifts? Set up a FREE health strategy call!

The Rungry Health Coach

Five Awesome Foods for Runners

Runners are a unique breed of human: They believe that all of life’s problems can be solved with a long run, and get excited about a $125 pair of sneakers. (They won’t blister your feet!)

With this uniqueness comes a unique set of needs, especially when it comes to fueling. Runners need a good mix of nourishing fuel to help them continue doing the sport they love. Similarly, like filling up your car, not all fuels are created equal—some nourish, heal and energize our bodies better than others.

To help boost performance, heal quicker and ease pain and inflammation, there are five foods that stand out to help a runner.

Fruits and Nuts

Probiotics

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of probiotics because new research is constantly coming out about them. But what are those little buggers? They’re these microscopic bacteria that live in your gut and boost health. They keep you healthy by being the gateway to your immune system. When we eat more probiotics, we’re setting our bodies up for success.

Probiotics can help athletes by supporting proper immune function, and by increasing antioxidant absorption. These little guys also improve digestion and the absorption of protein and fats, which is good news because athletes have the highest nutrient needs than anyone.

Probiotics come in many forms. Many organic grocery stores carry probiotic capsules. Do read labels to learn what strands you’re getting. But probiotics from food may be best. Naturally-occurring probiotics can be found in yogurt, kefir, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut and kimchi.

Also, make sure you’re eating fibrous foods like banana, onions and garlic, which are considered pre-biotics. These act as the food source for the bacteria.

Beets

Beets have a very distinct taste—you either love them or hate them. But, beets are incredibly beneficial for athletes and runners.

Beets have naturally-occurring nitrates. It’s converted in the body into a compound that helps dilate the blood vessels. With the vessels dilated, a runner’s blood-flow capacity is increased and it lowers the amount of oxygen needed. This is good because it helps a runner use oxygen more efficiently and ultimately move more efficiently.

These vegetables can be spiced and roasted, turned into soup, blended into smoothies and even grated into salads. Beets can be eaten cooked or raw. If you’re on the fence with these red-hued powerhouses, try golden beets! Their flavor isn’t as earthy as their red counterparts.

Avocado

Fats are friends, not foes! (Please tell me you’re imagining a shark…)

Yes, fats got a bad rap in the 1990s, but they’re incredibly beneficial to runners. Fat provides energy. Although our body’s main source of energy is carbohydrates, when those stores run low, our bodies run on fats instead. There are certain vitamins as well, that need fat to be metabolized and properly absorbed. Fat is also loaded with beneficial fiber, and fiber helps keep the tubes running properly and smoothly.

Avocado Toast

Whether you pile on the guacamole to your toast, add avocado to your dinner, hide avocado in a batch of brownies or simply add some into your smoothie, avocados

Ginger/Turmeric

Both ginger and turmeric, either ground or fresh, have anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is a warming spice and it has antiseptic properties. It can also promote circulation throughout the body. Turmeric can be used as a medicinal herb and it can drastically increase the anti-oxidant capacity of the body.

Sprinkle liberally in spices or stews, add a fresh chunk into your morning smoothie or add a thin slice to tea as it steeps. 

When it comes to turmeric, also add some black pepper (Yes…even in smoothies!) to help with the absorption of the turmeric.

Coconut Water

During a long run, a runner’s electrolyte stores run dry, and they need replenished. Electrolytes are minerals that help stimulate the muscles and nerves. They also help regulate the body’s fluids which can affect blood pressure, blood volume and cell function.

Most runners and athletes reach for an over-sugared sports drink. They’re often handed out at races, too. In addition to having a sugary punch and artificial colors, they are nutritionally void.  Coconut water is nature’s sports drink.

Coconut water, the clear liquid inside a coconut, is higher in naturally-occurring electrolytes than sports drinks, and is also lower in sugar. It’s incredibly hydrating and very versatile.

Add it to smoothies, fill up your hand-held waterbottle, or make your own sports drink!

Next time you run to the grocery store to grab these foods, read up on some of my favorite grocery store tips! Download my FREE guide.

The Rungry Health Coach

Why I Stopped Counting Calories

Dietary numbers surrounded me most of my life--calories, fat grams, Weight Watcher points. The numbers were always there. So, when I wanted to lose weight after graduating college in 2009, I started counting calories. It seemed like the obvious choice.

I downloaded a little fitness app to my iPod Touch (I'm dating myself), and started counting. At first, it was such a rush to see the numbers add up. I loved adding in my exercises and seeing my deficit increase. I distinctly remember a day where I had consumed under 300 calories after adding in my exercise. And I was so pleased with myself.

But the habit wasn't sustainable. It made going out to eat incredibly difficult and awkward--seeing as I always had to type something in. 

It took me about two years to lose 25 pounds, and throughout that time, I switched on and off with calorie counting. Eventually, I realized how unsustainable the habit was, and stopped. But my disordered eating habits continued.

I frequently thought about food and used it as a weapon. I ate too much or too little. I chose food as comfort and did not choose foods that fueled my body properly. I demonized foods and labeled them as "good" and "bad." When I switched to a whole foods diet, I neared orthorexia and began to demonize all "unhealthy" foods instead. (I was terrified of things like white bread!)

Then, I wanted to lean out. 

It was 2015, and I began working with a dietitian to increase my muscle mass and lose body fat. She prescribed macronutrient numbers to reach--those are suggested ratios of proteins, carbs and fats. She knew about my history of disordered eating and I had convinced her and myself that I was over it. (Spoiler: I wasn't.)

70.3 Chuck Norris


I re-downloaded the calorie counting app--this time on my iPhone--and began to track. I did see some results from using my dietitian's suggested numbers. I started feeling much stronger in my runs. I felt well fueled. But slowly I started to obsess.

I planned out my day of eating meticulously at the beginning of every day. I tried hard not to go out to eat, and if I did, I tried to find foods and numbers that best fit what I could find via the app. I developed a phobia of certain foods--especially carbohydrates. I kept telling myself I was healed from my eating disorder days. 

To make this more complicated, I was training for my first marathon, and I followed this eating style to the T while training. My daily caloric base was around 1,800--again, while marathon training--and my dietitian told me I could lose a little weight. (I remember, I was under 128 pounds.) There was a rule that I could eat an addition 100 calories for every mile I ran over six miles. I looked forward to those days because that meant I could eat more.

After that race, I knew I needed to get out of this. I wasn't seeing the results I wanted. I wasn't "leaning out." So I switched dietitians. My experience with her was a good one and I was able to wean myself off of macronutrient counting.

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Now, I just eat.

I try not to worry about calories, fat grams, sugar grams or macronutrients. I know how unsustainable counting can be. While some people may need to count macronutrients to reach certain goals (I'm looking at you, body builders), it's not a habit the rest of us need to undertake.

I do still naturally balance things like my carbohydrate intake (maybe I don't need bread at every meal), and I do consume more protein on days where I'm lifting very heavy. But, I have become much more fluid with my carbohydrate and gain intake--something I needed to do. 

My body has a good understanding of what it needs and wants. I listen to those cravings and callings. I still put emphasis one wholesome ingredients--but I let my body do the rest. Sometimes, I eat more. Sometimes, I eat less. I try to put emphasis on protein, fats and veggies first, and try not to worry about the rest.

By breaking my habit with numbers, I was able to continue healing from my eating disorder. Even today,  it's still an ongoing recovery process, but I know I'm doing right by my body. 

Do you struggle with counting calories? Are you ready to stop using tracking apps?


The Rungry Health Coach

How to Fuel Before and After a Workout

Pre- and post-workout nutrition can be really confusing.

There are many, many, many, many tips, suggestions, recipes, blogs on the topic...and you've probably read most of them. And yet, you still have some confusion. 

"Do I need a full meal before I workout in the morning?"
"Does that 30-minute feeding window really exist after a workout?"
"Wait! I can't even get home from the gym in 30 minutes!"
"I ran five miles today...GIVE ME ALL THE FOOD!"

This is just a small sampling of the inner monologue you're probably having.

But pre- and post-workout nutrition doesn't have to be overly complicated. Ultimately, put emphasis on real, unprocessed foods like oats, eggs, veggies, nuts, fruits and lean meats. Also, when fueling, consider your current activity levels and current goals. Someone training for a marathon is going to fuel differently after a run than someone who just finished a 30-minute weight workout at the gym, and they both are going to fuel differently than someone who is looking to lose weight. 

Fruits Veggies On Cutting Board

Pre-Workout Nutrition

There are two schools of thought on this...and neither are wrong. 

Pre-workout nutrition often depends on when the workout is. For those who enjoy to workout first-thing in the morning, many can workout on an empty stomach. When the body has not been fed, it's in a fasted state. And it is in this state, where the body can burn fat as fuel. Once the body eats, it switches to burning carbs as fuel. Some people don't like working on a full stomach--it feels heavy and sloshy. But, some people really do feel better with a little something. A small snack like half a protein bar or banana may do the trick. If you're going to eat before a workout, stick to something like fruit, juice or a whole-food protein bar that can be used as quick energy.

But others just feel they perform their best after a meal. In that case, you may want to wait at least an hour for the food to properly digest before getting into your workout. (When you eat right before a workout, your body is competing to both digest food and help you workout.) For the meal, stick to real foods, and a good combination of protein, complex carbs and fats. Oatmeal with berries, Greek yogurt with berries, peanut butter and apples, or chicken with sweet potatoes are all great options. 

Ideally, listen to your body. If you're hungry first thing in the morning, then have a little something. If you're ravenous and have the time, then treat yourself to a full meal.

If you're working out later in the day, like after work, you may need a little something to tide you over as you workout...especially if you didn't have a snack in between lunch and getting home. 

(Some companies do sell drink mixes that are used for pre-workout energy. Me personally, I do not think they are needed. If you want to try one out, read the ingredients and make sure they are all real ingredients that you feel good about ingesting.)

Your activity level and the extent and intensity of your workout all play a role in this. 

Couple Running_copy

Post-Workout Nutrition

Just like pre-workout nutrition, there are different ways to fuel after a workout. 

The post-workout snack or meal should contain protein and carbohydrates. Protein is needed to repair muscles and help them recover. When your body is working out, you're burning energy. Carbs are needed to help replenish your body's energy stores, which were depleted during exercise. You can either have a snack, or slide right into a meal like breakfast. 

Ideally, you'll refuel within 30 to 60 minutes after a workout. That's the body's sweet spot when it needs replenishing and can really utilize those nutrients. Oatmeal with peanut butter, homemade protein bar, eggs and whole-grain toast, turkey meat on a whole-grain wrap, or smoothies made with a healthy mix of fruits and veggies, are all great options. Smoothies are an ideal snack because they are easy to digest and can pack a nutritional punch. 

Some people just aren't hungry after a workout, or aren't very hungry. In that case, honor your hunger cues and either have maybe a small smoothie, half a protein bar or something with a little protein and carbs.

(When someone workouts in a fasted state, and does not immediately refuels afterwards, but instead waits hours for a snack or meal, that is called intermittent fasting. It's not for everyone.) 


Have more questions on fueling? Drop me a note! 

The Rungry Health Coach

My gripe with "high-protein" ice creams

You've probably seem them in your grocer's freezer: ice creams that are lower in fat but rich in protein.
For any ice cream-loving person (I'm looking at a mirror for this one), this can come as a huge win. "You mean to tell me that I can eat an entire tub of ice cream without any guilt or excess fat?! Sign me up!"

After standing in front of the ice cream section with the freezer door wide open trying to find a flavor you want, you end up purchasing two in every flavor because just in case. And remember...these are "healthy."

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But what if it's too good to be true....?

Anyone that knows me, knows I love ice cream. I have a huge sweet tooth, but ice cream is probably my favorite dessert. (And ironically, I can't handle certain kinds of dairy.) When I want ice cream, I listen to that craving and get myself some ice cream.

But this new fad in low-calorie, high-protein ice creams left me stumped and a bit confused. While this ice cream may seem like a great idea in theory, when I started actually thinking about it, it started to drive me a bit crazy. 

These ice creams promote behaviors and have characteristics that I just can't get behind. 

Taste--You don't eat ice cream because it has protein. You eat ice cream because it has sugars and fat. That's what makes ice cream, and most foods, delicious. Fat is luscious  When manufacturers start tinkering with recipes, that when the taste and often texture of our beloved ice cream changes. Sometimes, it's left tasting like "diet." Other times it has an extremely ice texture.
Binge Eating--If something is marked as lower calorie, we have a tendency to eat more than we need. This form of marketing is promoting binge eating behavior. The ice cream is marketed as something that you can enjoy while watching TV, and not feel any guilt about accidentally eating the whole tub. We should not be disconnected and distracted from our hunger and fullness cues. If you want to eat a whole tub of ice cream, then eat a whole tub of ice cream, but make sure your body actually wants it. Instead, portion out a scoop or two and see how that satisfies your craving. 
Ingredients--When a manufacturer strays away from the classic ice cream recipe--cream, yolk, sugar--new and oftentimes artificial ingredients can be added as preservatives and thickeners. I'm not a huge fan of white sugar, but I prefer that into my ice cream than these gums and other things that I can't pronounce. 
Health Food--Ice cream is not a health food, and should not be marketed as one. Even the names of certain brans create a "good" and "bad" mentality around this frozen treat. It's the "healthy halo" effect. If a food is perceived as good, we'll eat more of it--and this goes back to an earlier point.
If you want a healthy frozen and creamy treat, eat a smoothie.

If you want to eat ice cream, then eat REAL ice cream. Look for brands made with real ingredients, and bonus points if the cream is from happy cows or the brand is organic. Or visit a local ice cream shoppe that specializes in homemade flavors made with local cream. Don't worry about the calories, fat content or protein content. Ice cream, and most desserts, are meant to be enjoyed and savored--not as a security blanket. Portion yourself out a small bowl and enjoy each bite. Be present, mindful and full of intent. When your fullness cues start to kick in, or if you've had enough of the sugary treat, stop eating. 

Yes, there are tons of healthy ice cream recipes available, and I have definitely made a few of my own. But even when making your own healthful version, they're still made with real ingredients and don't contain extra protein powders or fillers. 

Have questions about how to ready nutrition labels and how to find the best ice cream? Shoot me an email!

The Rungry Health Coach

How I Started To Lose Weight (And Made A Bazillion Mistakes)

I remember when I finally decided to get my shit together and try this "healthy living" thing.

I had just graduated college with a degree in journalism, and was working part time as a waitress at a chili diner. I had no idea where my life was going to take me, but I knew I was unhealthy. I drank four to five nights per week, ate take out for most of my dinners, smoked and didn't exercise. 

Disney Beth

I tried "dieting" a few times in college. When my weight would creep up to a point where I was uncomfortable, there was about a month's time where I'd eat more salads and go to the rec center. Once the weight came off, I hopped back into my drawer of takeout menus. There was a time I drank chocolate weightloss shakes as a breakfast. There was also a time I wrote down my idea weight, and taped it into my wardrobe so I would be reminded of it every time I opened the little door. 

So, without any idea what the heck I was doing, I put myself on a "diet" once and for all. I tried to eat less and I also picked up running. I reigned in how much takeout I ate, and tried cooking at home a bit more. I was still eating a lot of processed "diet foods" and drinking a bit, but the weight slowly came off. I was also running about 10 miles per week.

But, my definition of "healthy" was a bit skewed. I would eat half a bag of baked potato chips paired with half a bottle of wine because it was healthier than greasy chips and beer. (This was after eating a full portion of chicken curry.) My pantry was stocked with fat-free, sugar-free and taste-free bull shit. I regularly swapped artificial sweeteners into my baked goods because I was afraid of calories. I would feel guilty about eating certain foods, push unhealthier foods onto others, and often felt deprived. Because of this feeling of deprivation, I would go "hog wild" on weekends and wake up with regret and on Monday mornings. 

However, I was eating more vegetables and I was still running...so there's that. 

After I finally lost my desired amount of weight, I then spent years learning how to be truly happy and healthy. Weightloss was just a stepping stone into a new life. (Granted this new life also took me into the throngs of an eating disorder...but we'll save that topic for another newsletter.)

The more I read magazines, cookbooks, food blogs and Internet articles, the more I became immersed and obsessed with health culture. I started learning about different diets and through my research, I started learning more about "whole foods." Something clicked, and I started transitioning my diet into more wholesome and less-processed foods and ingredients. This is where I learned how unhealthy dieting truly is. 

70.3 Chuck Norris


I'm now deeply passionate about home cooked meals, veggie-packed dinners, exercise, using food as medicine and all things wellness. 

If I could do it all over again, I'd skip the "diet foods" and go right into a healthy combination of vegetables, whole grains and moderation. Because dieting culture was so engrained into my brain, I had set myself up for failure. I always looked at the short term and not the long term. 

Health and wellness did not come naturally to me. I had to work, and I had to work hard. I had to teach myself what choices would serve my body best. I had to figure out what foods made me feel my best. I had to learn why fat-free foods weren't the best options, and why avocados were. I had to learn how to be an athlete and find my limits. And I am still putting in the work because my definition of healthy is always changing. 

Yoga Beth

Does this sound all to familiar? You're not alone in your struggles with dieting and weight loss. It's scary and overwhelming. For me, it's not about dieting--it's about creating sustainable and healthful habits to help us with a lifetime of success. And, if we happen to lose excess weight in the progress, great. If we don't, that's fine too. It's about real food, portion control, self-love and mindset. 

The Rungry Health Coach

Why You're Not Losing Weight

You're doing everything right:

You exercise four to five days per week.
You eat most of your meals at home.
You eat so many vegetables, you feel carrots coming out your ears.
You eat until you're about 80 percent full, and make it a point to not overstuff yourself.
You limit desserts and alcohol, but still indulge every now and then.
You journal, sleep well and practice positivity. 

And yet....

That damn scale isn't budging! (And hasn't budged in weeks! Gahhhh!)

WHAT'S THE DEAL?! Simple...You're stress levels could be so high that they're inferring with your hormones.

Stressed Out
 
The body's main stress hormone is cortisol, and it does play a role into weight gain. Cortisol is our body's "flight or fight response"--if our body perceives something as threatening, cortisol is released into the body. 

But we don't face danger everyday, and our body can misinterpret the signals resulting in the release of cortisol into the bloodstream. If we're constantly stressed, it's possible to have chronically high cortisol levels. 

New research suggests that when our cortisol levels are high, it can cause excess fat storage around the tummy or an increase in appetite. It could also increase the consumption of sugar and fat. All these factors could contribute to weight gain.

How do you know if you have high cortisol? Do any of these sound familiar? 
  • Digestive issues
  • Zero sex drive
  • Menstrual abnormalities
  • Back pain
  • Acne and/or poor skin healing
  • Weight gain
  • Feelings of anxiety, irritability or sadness
  • Poor sleep
  • Swelling in the hands and feet
  • Common colds
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Hormonal imbalances

To treat high cortisol levels correctly, it's important to get to the root cause of the problem. Positive changes could be dietary changes, incorporating more mediation and relaxation techniques, limiting the consumption of stimulants (coffee, Excedrin, tea, energy drinks, Midol, etc.) or using natural supplements. 

A diet rich in lean proteins and high fiber, and lower in carbohydrates could help. Also, eating in regular intervals. Healthful supplements include vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, glutamine, l-theanine and omega-3 fatty acids. (Do consult a doctor/dietitian/nutritionist/health coach if you have any questions on natural supplements and herbs.)

In order to reduce cortisol levels, some lifestyle tweaks may be needed. Continued yoga, getting outdoors, time management, meditation, positivity, exercise and other forms of relaxation could help reduce cortisol levels. (You could even go so far as to schedule a time to relax!) A more positive outlook and even seeking emotional support are also positive lifestyle changes. 

Once under control, even cortisol levels can help you lead a more healthful and nourishing life. It can stave off adrenal fatigue and other serious health conditions down the road. Plus, who wouldn't want to be less stressed?

(As cortisol levels change throughout the day, it is important to get those tested if you are afraid you suffer from chronically high cortisol. Talk to your doctor about performing a test.)

Do you have more questions about weight loss? Do you need help reducing stress? Send me an email! 

The Rungry Health Coach

What's the Un-Diet Bootcamp?

You probably shouldn't trust the word "diet;" it has the word die right out front. 

The healthiest "diet" may not even be a diet at all. Through a new mindset, a fresh perspective and information, you can transform your life to live happy and healthy. That's where the Un-Diet Bootcamp comes in.
RHC Bootcamp 1

The RHC Un-Diet Bootcamp is designed to help you not only break free from dieting, but to help you learn how to sustainably and healthfully regain control of your life using a real-food and whole-life approach

Weekly sessions will cover a wide range of topics—because wellness and weight loss go far beyond the food on your plate. During our one-on-one sessions, you’ll discuss nutrition, grocery shopping, eating out, goal setting, motivation, exercise, relationships, careers, cooking, organics and more. By addressing all of these topics, you’ll be better equipped to reach your goals.

What the program includes:
  • Twelve 50-minute weekly wellness-centered conversations (to take place via video chat, phone call or in-person (location depending)
  • Access to a private Facebook group
  • Weekly goals
  • Follow-up emails
  • Recipes, cooking tips, references, cheat sheets and other handy forms
  • Program notes and evaluations
  • Contact outside of the weekly sessions
  • Awesome vibes
Sustainable and successful weight loss is not about calorie counting; it boils down to healthful decisions. Interested in learning more about the program? Click here!


 

The Rungry Health Coach

8 Steps to End Emotional Eating

Binge and emotional eating are tough to overcome.
It can be hard to stop the voices in your head that are compelling you to eat. It's like an out-of-body experience as you feel your arm reaching for another snack, but you feel powerless in stopping it. 

Throughout most of my life, I used food to cope with stress, anger and fear. I turned to food when I was most vulnerable and ate until I felt numb. Cereals, chips and other foods that I could grab by the handful were my weakness. 

I've tried the philosophy of "just eat a bite and the craving will be satisfied," but when I want to binge, I'll eat the whole damn thing and probably another. My thoughts typically change to, "Well, you've eaten a piece, you might as well finish it." I eat the whole thing and my thoughts changed yet again, "Now, you should probably eat another."

Fruits and Nuts

When I tried to heal my bad days with food, I always felt worse. I knew a binge wasn't going to help me, and yet they kept happening. 

As I cleaned up my diet, I knew I had to change this habit. I also knew these foods had to go. I replaced cereals with dried oats and chips with carrot sticks. I was less likely to binge on carrot sticks and other healthful foods. I had to limit what healthy treats I kept the house, and often times, I hid things in the freezer--out of sight and out of mind. 

I also changed my way of thinking. I analyzed my feelings and as I would open with the refrigerator, I would ask myself, "Why do you want to eat?"

And because I only had good-for-me foods in the fridge and pantry, I didn't want to waste those tasty things on a binge. Slowly, it became easier to manage my feelings and my binges became less frequent.

There are still times that I struggle (mid-afternoon work stress is still a weakness), but I'm stronger now and more equipped with mental tools and better-for-me foods.

But there are strategies to put in place that can absolutely help break the cycle.

  1. Listen to your mind and analyze your thoughts and feelings. What is causing you to feel this way? Why are you stressed? Why will eating make it better?
  2. Drink a glass of water. Our bodies send the same signal when its hungry or thirsty. Before you reach for that comforting cookie, drink a glass of water and see if it helps. 
  3. Get away from the fridge. When you want to emotionally eat, the kitchen is a dangerous place. Get out of the kitchen and maybe get as far away as you can.
  4. Find a hobby to occupy your mind. Whether it be crossword puzzles, needle point, running/walking, reading or cleaning the house, find a hobby to distract your thoughts away from the desire to eat.
  5. Get out of the house. If nothing seems like it's working, get out of the house. Hop in the car and go for a drive, or simply walk around the block. Clear your head for a few minutes and see how you feel. 
  6. Write it out. Find a scrap of paper or a journal and write down exactly how you're feeling. Write about what caused the frustration. 
  7. Start creating a plan. To better prepare yourself for the next binge, create a plan of action. Be ready and be mindful. Know how to analyze your thoughts and what you can do to make it better.
  8. Acknowledge you're having a bad day. It's ok to admit you're having a bad day, and it's ok to admit these feelings want to be soothed by food. Acknowledging that these moments happen is a huge step in ending them.
As you get stronger, the binges and desire to eat while emotional slowly go away. Remember, one binge or one "bad day" doesn't dictate the rest of the day or week. You can always hop right back into your healthy routines.

The Rungry Health Coach

10 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight

Just because the scale doesn't budge doesn't mean you're broken.

We've all made a tiny prayer to the gods before stepping on top of our bathroom scales and hoping for any decrease in number. 

And, we've all been there, when the number doesn't budge. There's some swearing, maybe a few tears, and then there are promises to eat a little less, exercise a little more and to not step on the scale for another week.

Kettlebells

Even with the best of intentions or best plans, everyone hits a weight-loss plateau. It happens. It's natural, and you have nothing to feel bad about. 

But, here are 10 common road blocks that people face when losing weight. 

  1. You're losing without realizing it. It's common to go a few weeks without seeing the number on a scale decrease. The foods we eat and our hormones play a factor into our fluctuating weight. You could also be gaining muscle as you lose fat--very common for newbie exercisers. Find another way to measure your weight-loss progress that's not the scale--use measurements, or a too-tight pair of jeans.
  2. You're not exercising. Exercise is a very important part of the weight-loss equation. All it takes is 15 minutes of exercise to boost moods. You can do anything for at least 15 minutes right? Start by going for a walk around the neighborhood, and slowly make the walk longer. Play with speed. Mix in resistance training with weights to help with muscle toning and strengthening. 
  3. You're eating too many calories. While I personally don't believe in calorie counting, eating fewer calories is part of the weight-loss equation. Jot down what you eat and keep a running journal. This is also a good way to track how much protein, carbs and fats you're eating.
  4. You're not eating enough whole foods. There are many benefits to eating a diet free of processed foods, but when these foods can keep you fuller longer. They can also help boost energy levels and moods. (And keep in mind that boxed foods labeled as "healthy" probably aren't too healthful.
  5. You're still drinking sugar. No one wakes up and drinks a glass of sugar-water every morning, but with sugary sodas, fancy coffee drinks or juices, that's exactly what you're doing. Ditch the sugared beverages--they can tack on 150+ calories. Our brains can't comprehend drinkable calories much like we can when we eat. Swap out the soda for seltzer water, try drinking black coffee and stay away from juices. 
  6. You're sleep isn't great. When our bodies are well rested, we can perform our best. Our brains get foggy and tired, and can't make good, healthy decisions. We often seek out larger portions or foods to make us food good. That's right, I want you to get more sleep. 
  7. You're eating too many carbs, and the wrong kinds. Carbs are not the enemy, but there are different kinds of carbs. Sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, millet, whole wheat are all consider complex carbohydrates. They take longer for our bodies to digest and give us steady energy. Fruits and processed white flours digest faster and give us a quick energy buzz--they also lead to fluctuating energy levels. Stick to whole grains, but in moderation. Ease back on the carbs and put emphasis on healthy fats and protein.
  8. You're not eating mindfully. Ever sat down on the couch to watch your favorite Netflix Original Series with a big bag of M&Ms, and 10 minutes later, the whole bag is gone? When we eat while we're distracted, we're not paying attention to our hunger cues. We need to slow down and savor each bite. Put down the phone and walk away from the television. When you start to feel full, stop eating and drink some water. 
  9. You have a medical condition that's slowing things down. There are medical conditions and medical that can drive weight up and make it hard to lose weight. Or, imbalanced hormones can also make it hard. Know that nothing is wrong with you, and even though you may not be seeing the results you want, you body is appreciative of the extra care. Talk to your doctor or health coach about your options.
  10. Your expectations are too high. Weight loss is a slow process. Very slow. Snail's pace. When you accept that, know that it's ok to lose one pound per week. (That's incredibly healthy!) It's common to lose weight in the beginning, but weight loss does often taper down. Don't pay attention to the magazine ads, social media, television shows and other distractions that make weight loss look easy and effortless. Ditch the diet mentality, and put emphasis on nourishing your body--not weight loss.

Wait!

Before you leave feeling down about your efforts, you are doing many things right!

You made a strategic decision to change yourself. You decided that you wanted to improve your lifestyle and make sustainable changes. That should be celebrated. Don't forget this. 

Weight loss is a long, and often maddening process. Remember to celebrate your accomplishments and non-scale victories. Celebrate fitting into a pair of old jeans, nailing your downward dog, picking up the pace on your run, saying "no" to office chocolate, or grabbing a slightly heavier pair of dumbbells. You're so much more than a number on the scale. Remember, your healthiest weight is wherever you feel your best. Fuel naturally, move your body and love yourself. 

Have more questions about weight loss? Send me an email!

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