Posts Tagged With: reducing stress

Life After Whole30

I hope you gave Whole30 a shot. I did and do not regret it. I lost 14 pounds without exercising much. I did take my Whole30 further than the 30 days. I went for two rounds. Yet 7 pounds a month is great progress. It is healthy progress. 

If you did or are trying Whole30, I highly recommend easing back into eating non Whole30 foods. They provide guidance for reintroducing foods-one group at a time. I started with some grains, example corn. I was okay with grains. Then I tried dairy. Ummmmm…my stomach hated it. So I am less prone to eat dairy post Whole30. It is rare to have it. I tried beans. Another irritant. Therefore, I have built a new meal plan that is 80/20. Eighty percent is Whole30 and 20 percent is non Whole30. 

I have not gained weight by reintroducing non Whole30 foods. I am still losing and have incorporated more exercise. 

After talking to your doctor, I would highly recommend this program. Whole30 changed the way I view food. It changed the way I make meals. It changed the way I eat. 

Eating processed foods does not appeal to me. In the rare occossion of eating junk food, it does not make my body feel good. I prefer fruits, vegetables, and whole foods. My body runs better on whole foods. I still read labels, and ditch foods loaded with chemicals. I have a fondness for bananas, mangoes, berries, almonds, olive oil, purple potatoes, steak, roasted chicken, natural salad dressings, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes. 

Learning a new way to eat is good. All the exercise in the world does not negate a poor meal plan. Changing the way we eat is a lifestyle change, not a temporary diet. Changing the way we eat leads to a better life, to wellness. 

So ditch the excuses and do something for your health! 



Categories: Motivation, Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Staying Motivated!


Hello my fitness friends! I hope you are enjoying a great start to the week. It is a beautiful, sunny day here. Thankful winter is over. Tonight’s topic of choice is, “Why did you start?” Feel free to post a comment with your reasons for starting on a wellness journey. I posted my reasons when I started this blog, but wanted to share some reasons again.

I work a full-time job that is normally high stress. I also juggle tons of outside work activities. As a young person, I should have had tons of energy! I didn’t. I was exhausted all the time. I heard someone say in a movie I was watching, “Are you living or just existing?” There is a difference between living (enjoying life) and existing (taking up space). I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was also tired of the hideous pictures my associates would post of me on Facebook. One in particular I remember was from a wedding I was in; I looked like I was pregnant.

It’s easy once you start the journey to get tired. It’s in those moments you must go back and look at why you started. I don’t want to go back to being tired all the time. I don’t want to return to the relationships that left me drained, stressed out, and unhappy. I don’t want to return to doing nothing but eating and sleeping after work. I don’t want to ever be mistaken for being pregnant without actually being pregnant. It’s been a year since I decided to embark on this journey….I FEEL great! I have far more energy. I dropped three dress sizes. My skin looks better. I enjoy life more. This journey for me was about improving my life, not fitting into a social mold of beauty. My life has improved: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’s about changing our lives!

So when you feel like it’s too challenging, remember why you started!

When you feel like giving up and going back to old habits, remember why you started!

When you feel like the progress is slow and tedious, remember why you started!

When everyone else is indulging and over indulging, remember why you started!

Lastly, I wanted to say I run an at work Biggest Loser contest. We have done it multiple years, and we have some of the same people each time. Weight is lost for the competition and for some, drastic measures are taken. The problem is those drastic changes cannot be maintained for life, so the weight comes back on. This year I am pushing lifestyle changes! It’s about changing your life. If we can start for the right reason, to change our lives, then we can stick with those changes. Say no to obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, increased risks of cancer or diabetes….say yes to HEALTH! You can do this!

The Four Food Groups

Categories: Emotional Health, Fitness, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy New Year!


Hello friends. Happy New Year! Since it’s the first day of 2013 (well at least for my part of the world), I wanted to recap some of the highlights from the year. Hopefully, they will motivate you to keep up the good work throughout the year.

Nutrition Tips:

Diet is crucial. Garbage in=garbage out. If you don’t eat quality food, your body won’t perform well. Most people fail in the diet area and expect good results on the scale. Not going to happen. I read somewhere it’s 70% diet, 30% exercise. I used to eat a rather unhealthy diet and work out like machine. My results were minimal.

Whole Foods. Eat whole foods. What are whole foods? Fruits, vegetables, unprocessed foods. Check back to early posts on healing foods. I recommend checking labels. Some foods say whole food and they contain tons of preservatives, additives, sugar, and salt.

Sugar and excess salt are not your friend. The melting of my belly fat came from giving up added sugar. I tried many other things and giving up sugar was the only thing that was effective. See post on fat loss.

Fitness Tips:

Drink Water! A dehydrated body is like a car running without gasoline. It’s imperative to stay hydrated if you want to be healthy and lose weight. Water helps flush the toxins from your body.

Hit the Weights/Resistance Train. Cardio alone,unless you are working your entire body, is not enough to change the shape of your body. Muscle also burns more calories than fat. I used to avoid the weights thinking I would look bulky. The opposite occurred. Resistance training is good for our bones and to change the shape of our bodies.

Train hard-get better results. I used to think walking or the elliptical was enough. I am not against those activities if you cannot do other exercises. However, I have seen the best results from challenging my body (no abusing it).

Be consistent (work out regularly) and change it up. Our bodies are smart. They adapt to what we are doing. Sporadic workouts mean minimal results. Doing the same things over and over leads to diminished results. Every 6 weeks switch it up. Once your body adapts to a routine it becomes more efficient at using less energy or burning fewer calories doing the same things.

Emotional/Mental/Spiritual Health:

Stress hurts your health. I found out some of my bodies resistance to losing weight was due to excessive amounts of stress. Find your stress triggers and figure out ways to adapt.

My Tips for Reducing Stress

1. Start the day positive. I start the day with prayer. If you’re not a person of faith, try to find a positive way to start the day.

2. Workout instead of eating when you’ve had a stressful day.

3. Try to plan ahead. One of my greatest stressors was misplacing things. Now I make time to plan, put things away, etc…

4. Limit time with people who stress you out, if you can.

5. Find positive people and spend time with them. Everyone needs cheerleaders. The world has given us enough critics. If you surround yourself with people who don’t love, respect, or treat you with dignity, you will be stressed out!

6. Give up trying to change things you can’t or expecting people to be someone they are not. I’ve found rude people are everywhere. I can let them stress me out, or I can say, “You’re unhappy and I refuse to let you make me unhappy.”

7. Be your own cheerleader, celebrate successes.

8. Ditch perfectionism. You’re human which means you will not be perfect. Embrace being human. Accept yourself with flaws and all. The goal is to become a better person, not a perfect person.

9. Take time to relax. I’m a pretty busy person. I work full-time, write for three blogs, and I am working on my second book. I have to take time to do nothing.

10. Limit what you allow in your mind. Just like with food. Garbage in=garbage out. I limit time with people who gossip, never have anything positive to say, or are critical or negative. Where the mind goes, the body follows.

11. Give and help others. There’s something great that happens when our lives aren’t just about us. What we do for ourselves, dies with us. What we do for others and the world, remains after we are gone.

Well, that’s all for today! I hope this motivates you to keep going. You can do it. I believe in you! I am excited for another year to Carpe Diem. Hope you are too.


Categories: Emotional Health, Fitness, Mental Health, Nutrition, Spiritual Health | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Beginning

It all started with exhaustion…

You know you are tired when no amount of sleep helps. You go to bed tired. You wake up tired. You live tired. I tried running because maybe my body needed a more strenuous workout to prep it for slumber. Epic failure! I was simply exhausted. The doctor’s said, “You’re fine. Your blood work is normal. There is nothing physically wrong with you.” Well, there was something wrong. Here’s the list of the culprits that were draining my life of energy. Maybe you will see the same issues in your life.

1. My high stress job. I won’t complain, as I am thankful to be employed. However, stress if not managed will cause damage to your health and immune system.

2. Poor nutrition. Yes, I was one of those people who ate what was quick and felt lousy because of poor choices with food.

3. Lack of relaxation. Along with my job, I was also hosting and leading a women’s group, volunteering in the community, working on writing books, and not taking time for myself. I rarely had time alone, and there was no real chill time. And my body was ticked off about it.

4. Toxic relationships. Some people we can not get away from, like family. Other’s we have to pick and choose. If you surround yourself with people who are negative, pessimistic, doom and gloom, continually gossip about people, are hot-tempered, etc…your body will respond to it as stress.

5. Lack of water. I am a Researcher. I don’t have the liberty all the time to run out to the ladies room. It’s not possible. So, dehydration became a way of life. We need water to live and survive.

How do you get out of the rut? It starts with a decision. Do you want the best life possible? Are you willing to do what it takes to have that life? If so, then make a decision to change. The change starts with you. You can’t force other people to change, but you can change yourself.

How did I do it? I started with taking things off my schedule and my plate. I resigned from my women’s group. Attendance had diminished, and I was putting far more effort into than I should. I started drinking water. Seventy Five (75) days ago I gave up sugar, processed foods, white bread, white rice, high glycemic foods, and switched to whole foods. I started arranging my work schedule so there were breaks, and I could eat every 4 hours. I started taking classes such as Krav Maga, boxing, and even going to a massage therapist. I stopped spending time with people who were dragging my spirit into the dumps or treating me like a garbage can (i.e. gossiping about others). I surrendered busyness, and set firm boundaries with people. Sometimes, you have to say no! Do you hear me? NO! No, I can not help you. No, I cannot be there for you. No, I cannot add another activity to my plate. It feels selfish, but if you don’t learn balance, you will kill yourself. You’ll die, everyone else will keep on living.

Dear friends, the world is an amazing place waiting to be explored. What on earth are you waiting for? Ask yourself, “What am I doing to live the best life possible?” The choice is up to you. No one can live life for you. You have to make a decision, and set your eyes on the prize! Be kind to yourself. You cannot love your neighbor as yourself, if you don’t love yourself.

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