Warning: life-y, non-thematic entry ahead

SummerHolidays

If you’re here for healthy eating strategy, I’ve absolutely got your back—next week.

Today, we’re veering slightly away from practical + helpful, and more toward personal. And I have a question or two for you.

See, June and July have been filled with plenty of staple summer activities: patio lunches. Lazy lake days. Salty beach stays. Boozy, music-filled nights with friends both old and new.

But those moments have been peppered into a mix of major milestones:

- My main squeeze and I proposed to each other (long backstory here).

- Jake, my brother, and Kayla, my (now) sister-in-law, tied the knot.

- Grandma Suellentrop—mother of 13, grandmother and great-grandmother of enough people to populate a small town—turned 90.

And now, to throw our lives onto a completely different course, I’ve just said yes to a really rad job.

In Atlanta.

Which means that the luxuriously long, meandering four months Stephen and I were about to spend in Jersey City together—him finishing his thesis, me packing up our lives and reconnecting with precious, much-missed friends—has been smashed into a little three-week sandwich.

It also means that our plan to relocate to Wichita—to make family a part of our daily lives again, to enjoy + play a part in the development of our hometown’s rapidly growing culture, to build businesses and relationships and a home base there together—has been put on hold for another few years.

It’s deeply bittersweet.

We’re young, we’re largely commitment-free, and we’re totally open to adventure. And diving into everything Atlanta + the smaller surrounding cities (Athens, Chattanooga, etc) have to offer? Epitome of adventure right there. Plus, I’m genuinely thrilled to be able to join a rapidly-growing company in its early stages and to make a direct impact on its visibility—it feels so purposeful, so challenging, so useful.

I just hate that doing so means no more debauchery with Catherine (or the rest of my cousins), no more taco nights at Jake + Kayla’s adorable new house, no more goofing around with Harrison, no more girl-time with these beautiful ladies or trips to see my beloved Kansas City women or supporting favorite local bands and drinking favorite local beers in favorite local bars.

At least, not for a few more years.

And I’ve got enough healthy eating strategies and shortcuts to last a crazed, pack-up-and-see-ALL-the-friends kinda gal months, but my question to you is this:

When you’re dealing with a major transition–within the context of your relationship, your geography, your career, your emotional state, your world–how do you cope?

What parts of your life do you ease up on, and what rituals do you hold dear?

 

 

10 bites is about right

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Guys, I don’t think it’s ever not going to be Food Season.

The winter holidays have their butter-and-sugar laden reputation going on, but real talk: it’s July, and I just spent two very festive days in a lake house. With about 30 celebrating, hungry drunk people. And the large, laaaarge majority of what we ate and drank would definitely be classified as “indulgent.”

When you’re faced with a seemingly endless buffet of less-than-nourishing (but crazy-tempting) options, there are usually two ways to handle it:

  1. Go HAM and enjoy the free-for-all, knowing how hard it’ll be to “stop” once you start. Swear you’ll get back on track tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month.
  2. Do it up right this time. Indulge in the food you love and actually, consciously enjoy it. Eat what you really want, and pass on the rest.

How to find the balance between eating in moderation, and going totally overboard? There are a couple of different ways. But here’s a pretty solid one:

10 bites is about right.

If you’re moderately hungry* when you eat, it’ll take about 10 bites of food to feel full. Think about that as you head down the buffet line/snack table/dessert line. If there are five different foods you want to try, you’ll only need about two bites of each to feel satiated. If there are three different foods you want, you’re looking at 3-4 bites of each.

Once you’ve finished your plate, wait a while–say, 20 minutes or so. You don’t have to cut yourself off from something that was delicious; you can have more when you want more. When you go to get it, though, really have it. Pay attention to what’s going on in your mouth. Don’t scroll through Instagram while you eat. If it’s a special occasion, make it special.

What do you do to keep the balance between enjoyment + overindulgence? Any tips/tricks you swear by?

*10 bites might not be as satiating if you’re completely ravenous when it’s time to dish up. If this is the case, eat a bowl/small plate of something super-nourishing first–veggies, fruits, whole grains–before embarking on the 10-bite trip down the buffet line.

 

PS: What is the 80/20 rule, and how do I follow it in real life? + The “healthiest” things to drink at the bar

 

What’s your excuse?

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There’s always a reason not to do what you say you’re going to do.

“I’m too busy.”
“I’m too tired.”
“It’s Friday. I’ll get a fresh start at the beginning of the week.”

Which is why we all need a Cassie in our lives. My girl over at Witty Title Here isn’t afraid to call people (or herself) out on their (or her own) bullshit. Today’s post is a refreshing, firm but supportive kick in the butt. Read through it if you–like me–are sitting at your computer in yoga pants.

———-

Hey, you—yes you, behind the computer in the comfy sweatpants with multiple browser tabs open, nursing a glass of wine. Are you forgetting something? Don’t look so surprised. You know what I’m talking about, because you haven’t really forgotten, have you? You’ve just been pushing it to the back of your mind, or trying to. It’s that thing you’ve been meaning to do. That dream you’ve been putting off until you have more time. That major life goal you’ve kept at bay because other stuff just keeps coming up, and because those other, less important things need to be done first so you can “clear your mind.” Am I making you uncomfortable? Good.

Because here’s the deal: If you’re not going to go after whatever it is that will make you happy, the world will not weep. No one will care, nor notice. You can go quietly on, leading your comfortable (albeit discontent) life, telling yourself that your novel wouldn’t have gotten published anyway, that no amount of exercise will make you beautiful, that the world doesn’t need one more photographer. Would that make you happy, or would it just make you bitter?

Ask yourself the following:

When am I going to make myself a priority?
When am I going to realize that I’m the only person who will hold myself accountable?
When am I going to stop making excuses? 

You will always have life’s little bullshit activities to deal with. Don’t wait until something big and life-alteringly tragic happens to learn the tough lesson that you should’ve started sooner, that those things weren’t really what was standing in your way. Don’t wait until next month or January 1st to radically and drastically change your habits. Start today, and start small if you have to. But start, already. It’s so much better to say you are a writer/musician/entrepreneur/basket weaver rather than just an aspiring one.

So, what’s your excuse? If you’re going to stick with it, make sure it’s a good one.

———-

Cassie Paton, Witty Title Here Isn’t Cassie the best? Follow her on Twitter, and check out some of her other fantastic essays, for more of that much-needed realness.

Healthy gym, conference + festival eating: here are all the resources you need

Friends! My brother + almost-sister-in-law tie the knot this week, so I’ll be largely away from the internet. If we’re buds on Instagram, though, we can “like” each other’s visual updates and laugh together about our adventures. Come say hi!

And speaking of friends, I’m so grateful for connections many made with fellow creative, passionate, driven people–all via the internet! The online world is a wonderful place. To celebrate that, here are a handful of useful guest posts I’ve swapped back and forth with various internet crushes; check ‘em out, poke around their sites, and who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with a new friend’s writing, too.

If you’re ready to start eating healthier + cutting out the junk, but are just too overwhelmed by everything else on your plate, go say hi to Cassie.

 

If you’re a driven business babe trying to navigate professional conventions + conferences without caving to the crappy complimentary buffet table, check out what Halley’s up to.

 

If your summer plans involve singing + sweating + dancing it UP at a music festival (or three, or four) and you want to bring your newfound healthy habits on the road, Miranda is your girl.

 

And finally! If you’re a gym junkie/are working to become one, but are totally baffled by all the pre-workout fuel options (energy bars! Protein shakes! Muscle milk!), the Fit Bottomed Girls have all your answers.

What are your favorite internet haunts? Where do you go for inspiration and life improvement?

PS–5 pantry staples that will repeatedly save your ass + eating veggies when your significant other hates them

How to eat healthy with no time

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TRUTH BOMB: life may look poised and planned out and perfect online, but in reality…that simply ain’t the case. Life is chaotic and cluttered and full of emotion–and that’s what makes it a) beautiful, and b) difficult to plan for.

I’m just shy of reaching two full weeks back in the U.S., and it’s been just dreamy. Lazy afternoons poking around secondhand stores with my sister, after-work champagne and strawberries watermlon with my mama, digging into local brews + music, and some Big News soon to be shared (eep!) It’s been at once a sultry, summery reassimilation and a blurred whirlwind of hugs and kisses and tears.

What it’s left little time for, however, is the ritual that keeps me most centered, most grounded–simple, home-prepped meals. From Fathers’ Day brunch to a catch-up lunch with Grandma to dinners and drinks downtown, there’s been minimal meal planning and grocery shopping goin’ on.

But without the habits and rituals that keep us calm + focused, where do we end up? We get frazzled and frayed, convinced that we can just gogogo and change everything tomorrow, that’s it, cold turkey. We fall into the all-or-nothing trap, which, for me, sounds something like a few margaritas alongside a basket of chips + salsa + guac today, then nothing but salad tomorrow.

And as we all know, that’s not the most realistic–or fun–way to live. The good life is all about balance.

HOW, though, is it possible to maintain that elusive balance when it really does feel like there’s just no time?

I have a suggestion.

Instead of thinking:
“What am I going to eat for [breakfast/lunch/dinner] today?”

switch to:
“What am I going to eat for [breakfast/lunch/dinner] this week?”

And plan the next few days out for just. that. meal.

Are you on vacation, and know you’ll be checking out restaurants nightly for the next five days?
You can still stop by the grocery store and pick up fixin’s for green smoothies every morning.

Are you catching up with friends and relatives over coffee, and treating clients to dinners?
Bring a batch of rice, beans, frozen veggies and sauce to work.
Instant, nearly-effortless healthy lunch.

Are you working a job with wonky hours that rushes you straight through lunch, sans break?
Throw a biiiiiiig ol’ batch of stew in the crock pot.
Add as much produce as you can fit.
Filling, healthy dinner every night.

Keep this up long enough, and you’ll start planning for more than just one meal (right now I plan all three, but leave wiggle room for fun).

But for now, start with your one. And go all in on that one.

It’ll keep you calm.
It’ll keep you grounded.
And it’ll keep you on track, healthwise, toward where you want to be.

 

PS: Healthy food is so boring! and The Kanye West approach to better eating

4 questions to ask yourself before working with a health coach

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Real talk: working with a health coach is serious stuff—even if your coach loves whiskey more than green juice and uses a less-than-squeaky-clean vocabulary during sessions.

I’ve gotten some questions recently about what a coach’s role is in a person’s journey to better health, and about who might need one (as well as who might not).

If you’re struggling with your health/fitness/weight goals and are considering seeking outside help to make them a reality, here are four things you should ask yourself to determine a) whether hiring a coach is the right fit, and b) whether doing so is going to provide the results you’re looking for.


[Read more...]

PSA: a lot of great things for a little bit of cash

SelfCare101

Heads up, friends! I’m taking part in Self-Care 101, a collection of resources that work together to create a course on self-care your way (not your yoga studio’s way or your annoying vegan neighbor [hello]‘s way).

This is the How To Take Care Of Yourself class that never existed in school (or, if it did, that I neglected to take because I was too busy blasting heavy metal, hanging out in diners at 2am and running from NYC cops).

The value of the whole shebang: $700.
The price: Just $72.

But only for today.

The offer ends at 11:59pm PST Thursday, June 5th (aka, tuh-day).

Invest in yourself (or in someone you love) here right here.

You’ll get the Eat Well. Party Hard. ebook + 18 other awesome books, courses and programs, all rolled into one 90% discounted rate.

Check it out here.

Over and out.
See y’all at our regular time next Tuesday.

 

Healthy food is so boring!

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Spoiler alert: I don’t actually believe that healthy food is boring. I’ve gotten to a point in life where, on an average day, I actually crave foods that nourish and energize me—not those that leave me sluggish, bloated or feeling guilty.

However! This is not because I’m some kind of special case. There was no Food Fairy that hit me on the head with a magic wand and erased all of my french fry cravings. It’s taken years (yeeeeeeears, guys) to get to this point, and even now, I’ve been known to let loose on a mountain of chips + guacamole, or to top off a late night with a stack of diner pancakes. Being all about balance, I’m confident in my ability to get back on board with smoothies and steamed veggies the next day.

If you’re still working toward that balance, though, it can be annoyingly easy to get stuck in a food rut—to feel bored or limited by the healthy options available, when your taste buds are far more accustomed to heavy doses of added sugars, salts and fats.

When your healthy food routine leaves you more frustrated than full, it’s time to get creative. Here are four ways to bust food boredom without caving to a Big Mac or a pint of ice cream.

[Read more...]

How are health coaches, dieticians and therapists different?

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Okay, so you’re a health coach. But what do you, um, do?

The term “coach” is still a point of confusion for many folks–and that’s totally understandable. After all, you can hire a coach to do all kinds of things–whip your kid’s football team into shape, help you change careers without falling apart, or even redecorate your house in the way that’s most “you.” It’s a pretty broad term.

Thankfully, as a health coach, my field is more focused–but it’s still a bit vague. With so many other similar-sounding professional titles in the health realm (therapists, dieticians, nutritionists), how can you tell what’s going to be most beneficial for you?

Here are some of the major differences between therapists, dieticians or nutritionists, and coaches. Each takes a different approach to life + health improvement, and each offer their own unique benefits. [Read more...]

I have news! + 5 non-food-related ways to make life more awesome

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A few weeks back, I mentioned that workin’ with me was about to get a bit more expensive. Curious as to why? Today’s the day to find out!

My coaching packages are now way more specific—which also makes them way more benefit-filled and, ultimately, truckloads more effective. If you’re trying to get healthy or lose weight but gag at the sight of veggies and “weird” foods, or if you know how “healthy” works but are trapped in a cycle of food addiction or emotional eating, we can change that together. Like, for good. Learn more about both here.

However! If you’re here just for the free resources and to procrastinate on all the work you’re supposed to be doing today, read on. The following are some of the best internet haunts you’ll find for making your life more awesome in all kinds of ways—not just food + physical health. I read these peeps’ posts religiously—they’re real, they’re smart and they’re wonderfully creative—and would happily grab a drink with any + all of them in real life.

TO UP YOUR GAME IN FINANCES

Read Budgets Are Sexythe personal finance blog for people who hate personal finance. For a while, the quote under the header read “It’s like the Miley Cyrus of personal finance.” I have no clue what that means, but J. Money is one awesome mohawk rocking, beer drinking, hip hop blaring guy.

TO BUILD MORE KARMA WHILE LOOKING HOT

Read The Little Foxes. Ashlee is the queen of compassionate beauty and fashion. While my own plant-based life is fueled primarily by the health perspective, Ashlee’s approach is all about kindness to living things—which I completely support, even if my posts don’t focus on it. Homegirl is constantly giving away great swag—upscale bags, clothing and style products galore. SCORE.

TO EXPAND YOUR MUSICAL HORIZONS

Read The Bomber Jacket. I get really sick of the cynicism, pretentiousness and lazy following of trends that oozes from major music news publications (looking at you, Pitchfork). The Bomber Jacket has none of that. The pieces are passion-filled, enthusiastic and fair, and writers do not “rank artists, but rather, we will try to explain what it is that makes an artist either adored or reviled.” What’s more, the site employs music journalists from around the world, so that “people who want to read up about Canada’s Diamond Rings will also be able to read about a band in Barcelona called Za!” So rad.

TO SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE YOUR DAILY LAUGH LEVELS

Read The Rheel Daze. At least once in almost every post, I get the feeling that Kelly has somehow crawled into my brain, taken a look at all my first-world problems and pet peeves, and put them down on (digital) paper in a far more hilarious way than I ever could.

Take, for example, the opening line of this post, which revolves around the drawn-out battle with her fire alarm: “Have you ever been so lazy that the steps you take to avoid doing something end up requiring more energy than had you just fixed the problem in the first place?” Why yes, Kelly, that’s actually my M.O. for most of the problems I have. It’s not working out very well.

TO FUEL YOUR SECRET ENTREPRENEURIAL DREAMS

This one’s a tie between several stellar ladies. All marching to the beats of their own drums, all doling out crazy-useful biz advice.

Where do you go to make your life more awesome?

PS: Speaking of free resources, I wrote a free guide to creating killer confidence—anywhere + at any weight. You can snag a copy here.