My significant other hates vegetables. How do I eat healthy at home?

HealthyEating
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A client recently approached me with the following dilemma:

I’m trying to eat a more balanced diet, but my boyfriend haaates vegetables of all kinds. I make the meals in our house because he works later, but since he’s grossed out by anything that isn’t cheese, carbs or meat, I usually just end up eating what he likes because I don’t have the energy to make two different recipes. What can I do?

Cooking for two can be a chore—especially if it’s your goal to eat healthy at home, but your main squeeze couldn’t care less about his/her daily produce intake or gags at the mere mention of kale.

Check out the suggestions below to get your green on, even in the company of confirmed veggie haters.

[Read more...]

What’s the “healthiest” thing to drink at the bar? Your 4 best bets

healthy drinking alcohol tips
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To get straight to the point, I like to drink.

Drinking is fun, whiskey tastes great and, in the right context, alcohol catalyzes the kind of crazy adventures* that spark new friendships and solidify old ones.

However, it’s common knowledge that from a physical standpoint, drinking night after night is extremely taxing—on your waistline, your digestive system and your ability to wake up without a painful, productivity-killing headache the next morning.

This isn’t great news if your career and/or social pursuits place you in bars several nights a week.

That used to be my life.

Those of us who spend a significant amount of time in alcohol-heavy environments have to get crafty when it comes to juggling the social situation and our health. So to avoid unknowingly consuming buckets of creepy chemicals, artificial ingredients or a few hundred (sometimes thousand) extra calories, here are your four best boozing bets for a fun, relatively healthy night. [Read more...]

“Quick and Clean: Raw ‘Til Dinner” makes me want to start a high-raw diet so I can eat like an 18-year-old linebacker

What most readers probably took from Quick and Dirty Clean: Raw ‘Till Dinner Meals for Busy Folks is the knowledge that a diet high in fruits and veggies leads to vibrant health and weight loss; what I took from it was that going low-fat, high raw means getting to eat truckloads of food every day without suffering an ounce of guilt.

quick_and_clean_cover

If you haven’t met Adria DeCorte of Healthy Vegas Vegan, she’s the badass babe who recently published this bright, colorful and no-nonsense cookbook. She lives in Las Vegas—known more for “guilt-free indulgence than living a balanced life”—and even in this environment, manages to not only get by, but to thrive on a low-fat, high raw vegan diet.

To show how approachable and non-terrifying this way of eating can be, Adria created Quick and Clean–a guide that can be used to jumpstart a low-fat, high raw lifestyle, or that can simply inspire you to (creatively!) squeeze a few more fresh fruits and veggies into your current lifestyle. The featured breakfast and dessert recipes are fully raw, the lunch recipes mostly raw, and the dinners cooked (using only whole foods and minimal spices/preparation steps).

[Read more...]

Is green juice really good (or really bad) for you?

is green juice good for you? Source

Green juice: it’s the new low-fat diet. It’s the new South Beach. It’s the latest in the constantly fluctuating world of health crazes, and if it works for you, great. It’s not something I hold any major judgment against, unless it’s serving as the base of your caloric intake—if that’s the case, please eat some guacamole, like, now. With drinking fruits + veggies in such high fashion, this recent email from a certain badass babe is right on point:

I was just in the grocery store, and pulled out my phone to quick find a good green smoothie recipe I could make with a few simple ingredients to sort of level out this intense caffeine buzz I’ve got going.  One of the articles I passed over while scanning was something to effect of “How Green Juice is Devastating Your Body” and I just, you know, like, what? I was hoping you would tackle the “what’s true and not true” about all these “what’s good for you” tales, and where an average girl can lay her trust.

Oof. So the Miracle Drink is bad for us, now? This feels like that time in the early 2000s, when the Atkins diet started to fall apart because people were trying to subsist on chicken nuggets (it’s protein!) and lite Cool Whip (no calories!)—seriously, I know someone who did that.

Here’s a rundown* of the arguments against + for juicing and a heavy reliance on veggies, plus some actionable strategy on eating your greens in the healthiest way possible.

[Read more...]

I have no idea what I’m doing (but maybe that’s okay)

LaserLaunch

Laser Launch blog party (part deux) is a collection of behind-the-scenes stories of online business owners. Check out the other links here. 

Here’s what I know:

  • Setting internal systems in place allows for new action, not just reaction, every damn day.
  • Getting out of your own head makes challenges less scary and new projects more approachable.
  • Nothing is as satisfying as coaching a client through a major personal breakthrough, then being there with them to celebrate the changes that breakthrough sparks–in self-image, nutrition and so many other intertwined parts of life.

Here’s what I don’t know:

Pretty much everything else.

Having just recently transitioned Eat Well. Party Hard. from hobby to side hustle, I spend about 30% of my work time feeling confident, impactful, filled with purpose…and about 70% of my work time feeling totally lost.

Every decision holds so much potential for exhilarating success or frustrating, bewildering failure; and I don’t have months or years months to spend planning, creating and launching a string of failures.

Be it which services to pimp and which to retire, whether to dive into an uber-focused (but potentially off-target) niche or to serve a large (potentially too vague) range of clients, or even whether to spend more time on fucking Twitter or Pinterest, the hardest part of flying this plane is trying to piece together my own map from the snippets of those who’ve flown before me.

I may not have wanted to continue climbing the ladder at my previous job, but at least there was a formula in place for doing so. I was given room for creative risk, but there was also a tried-and-true blueprint to stick to; even if my efforts didn’t go as planned, the paycheck still came through at the end of the day, and I could dust myself right back off again.

Running Eat Well. Party Hard., though, is an experiment in getting comfortable with being, well, really damn uncomfortable. I’m writing the map as I go, and I’ve never been here before. It’s liberating, yet simultaneously so scary knowing that whatever happens, it’s on me. I either made something great happen, or I didn’t. I helped change a life, or I didn’t. There’s no boss to blame for squashing my creative drive, and there’s no boss to rely on for the regular biweekly direct deposit. Every little action either helps this venture grow, or keeps it stagnant. And that’s a lot of weight to carry around.

I get the feeling, though, that sometimes it’s okay to be lost. While digging through this amazing woman’s archives recently, I came across some terribly-needed lines of affirmation:

So much time in my business and life I feel like I’m wandering around in the wild blue yonder. The more alone I feel, the more I…wait for approval, look for certainty, wear pantyhose, join groups of people I don’t even like and try to get them to like me.

You have to risk being the weirdo cast-off in order to truly belong. You have to stand up and speak your truth. You have to risk isolation in order to find community.

Most days, I feel much more like I’m risking isolation than nurturing a solid community–but maybe that’s just because the community’s still growing. Maybe only a handful of us have found each other so far, and the rest are still on their journeys here. While they travel, though, I’ll continue to do what I do every day: reach out to the people I want to serve, listen to their problems, and figure out how to help.

The whole point of doing this is to be of genuine help (that, and to set my own hours). And the former, I know I can do today. The latter, for sure, is still a work in progress.

Special thank-you: the (free!) guide to killer confidence

Creat Killer Confidence

I help people zero in on + tackle their health goals through one-on-one coaching. And you know what? It’s the greatest.

Bullshit-free conversation + deep self-reflection + the sharpening of lofty, abstract desires into actionable steps that actually make a difference? Talk about impactful, badass work.

But not everyone needs a health coach–right now, or ever–and that’s okay. Even if you’re here just for the blog posts, the meal planning templates or simply out of curiosity, your time is incredibly valuable. And for the time that you spend here, I am so grateful.

So I wrote you something.

It’s a guide to the number one desire that’s shown up in almost every coaching session thus far: confidence.

SO. MANY. of us are depriving ourselves of self-worth and, yes, confidence until we cross XYZ Goal off our to-do lists. You know the one–to lose ### pounds, to make $### per year or to finally buy that [full sleeve tattoo, effortlessly chic wardrobe, plane ticket to New Zealand].

But it totally does not have to be that way.

What if I told you that you could feel awesome, sexy and free right now, while you work toward those goals?
This guide breaks down how to do just that.

And in appreciation for the time we spend here together, it’s totally free.

Snag your copy by scribblin’ your email into the form below; you can also find the same form on my About page.




If you need someone who’ll truly believe in you and (lovingly) kick your butt into gear, let me know. Otherwise enjoy the read and keep rockin’ on with your bad self.

And thank you, truly, for hangin’ around. I’m here because you are.

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Want more personalized meal-planning and habit-changing help, but don’t have time for long-term coaching? Check out my Immediate Relief session.

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The maniac’s guide to meal planning (with free stuff!): part 4 of 4

Meal planning part 4 of 4
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This is the third post of a four-part series on meal planning like a boss–even when life’s crazy.
The first post can be found here.
The second post can be found here.
The third post can be found here.

Friends, we’ve covered how to stay healthy + energized during those crazy, zero-kitchen-time weeks known as Crunch Weeks.

We’ve gotten real about upping the fresh ingredients during your slightly sane, somewhat more balanced (aka: typical) weeks–the Breathing Space Weeks.

Today’s focus, then, is on:

  1. Making the most of your Vacation Weeks (the best weeks!)
  2. Effectively planning for each week to make healthy eating as hassle-free as possible (resources for this below).
If Crunch Week and Breathing Space week are about fitting in fresh fruits and veggies wherever possible, then Vacation Week is about goin’ wild with ‘em. This could be as simple as tossing a ginormous salad together for dinner, but it doesn’t have to be–now that you have the time, consider treatin’ yo’self to the really good stuff. Get fancy. Bonus points for any dish that can be packed up for lunch the next day*.
Breakfasts: who can say no to pancakes, or breakfast burritos, or pumpkin bread in a bowl?
Lunches + Dinners: here’s how to make awesome, goliath-sized salads without getting totally bored, and if you have time to actually pack a sandwich in the AM, this one and this one look uuuuhmazing.
Snacks: Fresh fruits, veggies with  buffalo chickpea dip (drooool), and any foods that still look the way they did before they reached the grocery store (read: not Cheetos) are a good choice for this kinda week.
*I cook because it’s therapy, but totally realize that’s not the case for everyone. If you don’t want to spend your precious free hours in front of the stove, consider making a double batch of one or two fancy dishes at the beginning of the week, then freezing individual portions of the leftovers for effortless healthy eating over the following days.

A note on recipes vs. formulas

You may have noticed throughout this series that I’ve included links to specific recipes and to flexible formulas. Both have their perks.

Recipes allow cooks of any level create something spectacular, even if the only “cooking” you’ve ever done is burn a few Pop Tarts. I scavenge for new recipes like a fiend, and never really run out of new ideas that way. However, I realize you may prefer to spend your free time doing more exciting things than stare at photos of someone else’s food. If that’s the case, and you therefore keep reusing the same recipes over and over, you’re bound to get sick of them eventually—who wouldn’t?—and rebel, likely by way of the nearest takeout joint. This is where formulas come in.

Using a formula allows you to mix and match ingredients depending on your taste, on what’s in season, and on what you haven’t already eaten for three weeks straight. This is what keeps me from giving up on the grains + veggies + protein lunch; I can make it radically different from week to week, or I can keep enjoying the same thing if I happen upon a combo that I’m crazy about.

A note on “cheat” meals

Planning your meals down to the very last bite is like quitting every single one of your favorite guilty pleasure foods cold turkey—admirable, but not super realistic. And as empowering as it is to start each week with a stock of seriously nourishing food, it’s also sanity-saving to consider how you’ll react when something does go awry. As you begin to more systematically plan your weeks and what you’re gonna eat for the next several days, hang on to these formulas:

  • 7 (days) x 3 (meals per day) = 21 meals
  • 7 (days) x 2 (snacks per day) = 14 snacks

Twenty-one meals, 14 snacks. That’s a lot of food, yo. And just as one salad won’t suddenly make you skinny or reverse all of your health problems, one stack of diner pancakes won’t do the opposite. Sometimes, it’s okay to indulge.

Resources

Download these meal planning + grocery list templates (they’re totally free) to make planning your healthy week super straightforward. They’re taken, page for page, right out of the Eat Well. Party Hard. ebook:

Eat Well. Party Hard. meal planning template (PDF)
Eat Well. Party Hard. grocery list template (PDF)

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Want more personalized meal-planning and habit-changing help, but don’t have time for long-term coaching? Check out my Immediate Relief session.

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The maniac’s guide to meal planning: part 3 of 4

meal planning: breathing space week

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This is the third post of a four-part series on meal planning like a boss–even when life’s crazy.
The first post can be found here.
The second post can be found here.

Last week, we got down n’ dirty on how to survive Crunch Weeks: your busiest, no-time-for-the-kitchen weeks. We made BFF’s with dried fruits, nuts, canned goods and other nonperishables.

By now, your tastebuds are probably jonesin’ for something fresh, but you’re still juggling away-from-home commitments a few nights this week–meaning that spaghetti squash recipe that requires an hour of roasting time? Probably ain’t gonna happen.

Worry not. Even if you only have two or three evenings free, there’s still plenty of time for healthy, non-bland meals during…

Breathing Space Week (in which life + work is actually kinda balanced and we’re all super zen about it)

I’ll hearken back to the formulas mentioned last week:

  • Breakfast–grain* + healthy fat + natural sweetness
  • Lunch and dinner–grain* + healthy fat + frozen produce

These formulas are flexible enough to allow you to adjust them to your own tastes, but solid enough to keep you healthy and fully nourished.

Rather than relying solely on non-perishables this time around, treat yourself to a few fresh additions—resorting to the template above is a great way to keep lunch low-maintenance, but to mix up your breakfast and dinner options, give these a go:

Breakfasts: Smoothies! Oh man, I could sing the praises of smoothies for days. Filling and delicious when you do them right, and easy to pour into a reusable bottle for drinking on the way to work. Rather than pore over the octillion smoothie recipes on the internet, I’ll just point you to Matt Frazier’s amazing Perfect Smoothie Formula—life just got 1000x easier.

Lunches + Dinners: I cook because it’s therapy, but totally realize that’s not the case for everyone. If you don’t want to spend your precious free hours in front of the stove, add a mass-quantity dish to your list of prep day items. Chilis (especially this one or this one), casseroles and burritos are all excellent choices, as they can be frozen for long-term storage in case your week gets more chaotic than expected. To clean up that burrito recipe a bit, sub brown or black rice for the white, go for sprouted tortillas instead of white flour and trade the cheese for an avocado.

Snacks: Tired of dried fruit, plain ol’ nuts and the like? Give something a little more decadent a whirl—banana bread, homemade energy bars, raw brownies or chocolate turtles = drool-worthy results for surprisingly little effort.

In need of Breathing Space Week recipe inspiration? Follow my whole-foods based Pinterest boards (I also keep a running list of Kitchen Hacks over here).

Next Tuesday, we’ll cover Vacation Week (funky n’ fresh all week looong). Until then, let me know how you handle your Crunch and Breathing Space weeks in the comments.

*If you prefer a grain-free lifestyle, substitute “grain” with a healthy starch–sweet or regular potatoes, squash, carrots and parsnips are good examples here.

  

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Want more personalized meal-planning and habit-changing help, but don’t have time for long-term coaching? Check out my Immediate Relief session.

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The maniac’s guide to meal planning: part 2 of 4

meal_planning_crunchweek

This is the second post of a four-part series on meal-planning like a boss–even when life’s crazy. The first post can be found here.

Last week, I asked all y’all who are ready to upgrade your eating habits to do a little homework. Specifically, I recommended jotting down when, each day, you found the most free time on your hands–be it an hour on Wednesday, four on Thursday or 30 minutes on Friday. Bonus points for anyone who used a sparkly pen to do this.

Now that you’ve got that info at the ready, do a quick recap of your time log. Which day affords the longest block of free time? That day, and that time, is your Prep Time for this coming week.

Put a sticker on your calendar.
Circle the date in sharpie.
Set a phone alarm.

Whichever you choose, dedicate this space–even if it’s just a few hours–to stocking up on healthy + tasty foods to get you through the rest of the week. Prepare now, and the hard part’s done; it’s smooth sailing for the next six days.

Because life gets nuuuts, I find that determining what type of week is approaching, then planning accordingly, to be the most efficient way of ensuring that 1) I’ve made enough of the right kinds of food, and 2) I don’t purchase or prepare anything that will end up forgotten + funky-smelling at the back of the fridge.

Enter the first type of week:

Crunch Week (in which non-perishables become your BFF)

This is the constantly-on-overdrive, commitments-every-night week. You’re at the office all day, then out for meet-ups with clients or networking happy hours, and won’t see your front door until around 10 or 11pm each night. Sound familiar?

During weeks like this, your most hassle-free option is to stock up on things that transport easily and won’t spoil. I tend to break down meals like so:

Breakfasts: A grain, a healthy fat and some natural sweetness to jazz it up. Try:

  • Making your own instant oatmeal packets! Toss plain instant oats and dried fruit into a few baggies, then either mix in some ground flaxseed OR, on Monday, stash a jar of peanut butter at work. Add boiling water from the office cooler + a spoonful of that PB (f you skipped the flax), and bam. Hot breakfast at your desk all week long.
  • DIYing some granola bars (because store-bought bars are typically craaaaaaaap). There are a bajillion good recipes out there, though I’m especially partial to this one from my girl Laura.
  • Doing the above with muffins.
  • Spreading chocolate hummus on sprouted toast.
Lunches + Dinners: Frozen produce, nuts/seeds and dry grains and beans are your secret weapons this week. Unprepared, they last forever, so no worries if you unexpectedly have to meet a client for dinner—the majority of what you bought will keep just fine in the pantry or the freezer. Try:
  • Cooking up a big—and I mean massive—helping of your grain of choice on prep day (rice, wheat berries, barley, farro, quinoa…get to experimentin’!) then portioning into Tupperware for each upcoming weekday. Or hell, just storing the whole batch in the break room fridge.
  • Stir-frying some frozen veggies and packing similarly, or tossing a bag in the break room freezer on Monday to microwave on those grains at lunchtime (the latter takes even less work—cheers to laziness)
  • Topping with your favorite nut variety (I love cashews, but choose your own adventure) or a generous scoop of beans, then smother the whole thang in some kind of awesome sauce. I particularly love this one (creamy and tangy), this one (spicy and peanuty, though I swap agave for white sugar) and this one (pesto, anyone?).

Snacks: Again, whatever won’t spoil is your goal. Nuts and seeds, dried fruits, chips that are good for you but still delicious, crackers and trail mix are all staples of my most insanely packed weeks.

These formulas–grain* + healthy fat + natural sweetness for breakfast, then grain* + healthy fat + frozen produce for lunches and dinners–are flexible enough to allow you to adjust them to your own tastes, but solid enough to keep you healthy and fully nourished, even if there’s no time to bake a casserole for two hours or stir steel-cut oats on the stove for 45 minutes.

In need of Crunch Week recipe inspiration? Follow my whole-foods based Pinterest boards (I also keep a running list of Kitchen Hacks over here).

Next Tuesday, we’ll cover Breathing Space Week (the happy balance week). Until then, may the frozen veggies be with you.

*If you prefer a grain-free lifestyle, substitute “grain” with a healthy starch–sweet or regular potatoes, squash, carrots and parsnips are good examples here.

  

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Want more personalized meal-planning and habit-changing help, but don’t have time for long-term coaching? Check out my Immediate Relief session.

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The maniac’s guide to meal planning: part 1 of 4

No time
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This is the first post of a four-part series on meal-planning like a boss–even when life’s crazy.
The second post can be found here.

“Cooking healthy food takes so much work–it’s such a chore.”

“My weeknights are too busy for dinner! I don’t have time for more than microwaved meals or fast food.”

“I know what I want my life to look like, but there’s just no time to actually make it that way.”

Do you find nodding along with the above sentiments, possibly with an “MMMMHMMM” or a loud “Amen“?

Then friend, you are not alone.
But don’t worry–I’ve got you covered.

Life makes maniacs of many of us. Be ye an entrepreneur, an assistant to a workaholic exec, or an artist scrambling to put your show together in time for next weekend’s opening, it’s tough at times to imagine subsisting on anything more involved than instant coffee and a packet of pretzels.

But it doesn’t have to be.

You don’t need to love cooking.
You don’t need to make every meal from scratch.
You don’t need to shell out $20 for overpriced restaurant salads.

You just need to be honest. With yourself, and with your schedule. Get that down, and you’re golden.

If you’re serious about changing your eating habits to truly nourish your self + feel awesome + look awesome, I’d love for you to join me in something:

  1. Grab your favorite sparkly pen and a few pieces of paper.
  2. Over the next week, jot down when during each day you find the most free time on your hands. It might be an hour on Wednesday, four on Thursday, 30 minutes on Friday–whatever you’ve got, write it down.
  3. Next Monday night, look over your time log, and pinpoint which day afforded the longest block of free time.
  4. Check back here on Tuesday for the next step.

Next week, we’ll start getting clear on what “type” of week you’re living in right now, and then planning accordingly to make sure that 1) you’ve got enough of the right kinds of food on hand, and 2) you don’t purchase or prepare anything that will end up forgotten and funky-smelling at the back of the fridge.

There’ll be three “types” of weeks–one for each remaining Tuesday of the month. So by March, you’ll be a meal-planning master. Even if you’re in maniac mode.

There will be personal, real-life examples.
There will be boredom-busting formulas.
And there will be downloadable planning + shopping templates.
For you. For free.

If you like what you read, you’ll love the oodles of additional resources in the Eat Well. Party Hard. e-book–this series is taken straight from it.

Can’t wait to see you next week. My sparkly pen is poised and ready.

 

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Want more personalized meal-planning and habit-changing help? Check out my Immediate Relief session. The first 10 people to email me about it snag their spot for just $30 (that’s 60% off, yo).

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