Here We Go!

 

Welcome! I’m so glad you chose to join me on this crazy journey! I’m Linda, a very proud Momma of 3 grown boys, step-mom to 1 girl and 2 boys who I’m crazy about, a few daughters-in-law who warm my heart and grandmother of 6 of the best kiddos on the planet!! Oh yes, I can’t forget about my Granddog Hayden.

At this point in my life, I’ve decided to take a very different journey. I’ve taken a step back from the corporate world where I was a successful sales manager. I worked for fantastic brands and fabulous products. I truly loved what I was doing, the people I was blessed to work with and my fantastic customers but knew in my heart something was missing. Always striving to be the best I could be, I decided to enroll back into school…gulp. I’ve decided to get my Health Coach Certification so I’ll share every step of the way with you! As I learn, so will you! Let’s get started and see where this path takes us…

Raw Food, Harmful or Healthy?

When I moved to Las Vegas in 2008, I learned about eating Raw from a new friend. She loved how it made her feel so I decided to try it. You’ll find with me, experimenting on new ways of eating healthy – to give me more energy and vitality – I’ll try anything once.

After 1 week of eating Raw, I crashed and burned! I was lethargic and didn’t have the energy to open an envelope let alone get my butt out of bed and go to work. I called my Dr. and told him what I was experiencing. His advice was, if I was committed to giving the Raw Diet a chance, to give it 2 weeks for my body to adapt to this new way of taking in foods and nutrients and see what happens. He reassured me I wouldn’t die. I stuck with it and to my surprise, I had more energy than ever before, my skin glowed and I felt amazing! I could conquer the world while munching on a carrot stick!

Young-woman-biting-carrot-smiling

But for me, trying to sustain the Raw way of eating was insane. Going out to restaurants and trying to order everything uncooked – the wait staff would look at me as if I’d lost my mind. The prep work at home of constant peeling, chopping, juicing, storing fresh, raw veggies and praying they didn’t go bad in the fridge was just too much for me.

And, as always, depending on who you talk to, raw is either THE ONLY WAY TO GO – according to David Wolfe (look him up, he’s a blast to listen to) or Dr Weil, MD, and his opinion, (Is The Raw Food Diet Healthy or Harmful) you need to make your own choices on a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Have any of you tried the Raw Diet? I’d love to hear your experience – comment below 🙂

Ravioli Pillow?

I have to share this story with everyone…it made me laugh out loud.

Both my hubby and I are following a low-carb, healthy fat way of eating and my system is really responding positively. Gary is a carb lover and always has been. He can’t imagine ordering a burger without the bun or not eating pasta 6x’s a week so it’s been more of a challenge for him.

The other day he looks at this pillow, one that we’ve had for a few years and says, “doesn’t that pillow look just like a ravioli?” 😂 Clearly my husband is carb-starved!

So here are some of the suggestions I offered him and wait until you read #5:

1. Steer clear from white starchy carbohydrates including all forms of bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. Yes, all of them… even wheat varieties and healthy grains like quinoa.

2. Pick and choose between a few meals over and over again. This is especially true for breakfast and lunch. Try to make each meal consist of a protein, green leafy vegetables, and beans/legumes.

3. Stop drinking your calories! Cut out all beverages with calories and sugars in them. The only exception is one or two glasses of a dry red wine each night. This made him smile.

4. Try to limit your fruit intake, except avocados and tomatoes. They contain sugar which is an enemy of the slow, low-carb diet.

5. And this is his favorite – mine too: leave one day each week as a full cheat day. This doesn’t mean that you can eat a little off the plan, this means that you should eat literally anything and everything you want. During the week, keep a food log of the foods you are craving and make a point to eat that food on your cheat day. This cheat day not only satisfies your physical cravings but it can also help you mentally stay on track because you know that after 6 days, you can eat what you want.

Now, I’m going to go hide the pillow before my husband pours some red sauce on it and eats it. 🤣🤣🤣

Too busy to snack healthy? Think again

Having raised 3 boys and been in sales and on the road most of my career, I know how difficult it can be to snack healthy. I used to stop at those ‘smoothie’ places thinking I was doing the right thing. Beware! A lot of those more established Smoothie franchises are loaded with unwanted sugar and not the least bit healthy.

Today, while shopping Trader Joe’s I grabbed the usual prepackaged Trek Mixes for $5.99 a bag. Each individual serving comes prepackaged which is a breeze for someone crazy busy. And for $5.99, each individual snack bag is $.60 so very reasonable.

Then I grabbed a bag of Cashew Macadamia Delight which isn’t prepackaged and thought…why don’t I just package it myself!

This bag costs $6.49. If I were to leave this in my pantry as is, I’d be grabbing handfuls everyday and consuming way above the recommended serving size which is 1/4C. Or, I’d throw it in my car and eat it on the run, not thinking about how much I was jamming down my throat. So…I opened the bag, measured out individual servings of 1/4C and put them in snack bags.

The bag said I should get approx 13 servings but I only got 12. But, think about it, it took me 2 minutes to bag them myself and each filled snack bag only costs $.54.

Then I grabbed a bag of my husband’s favorite – Dry Roasted Almonds.

This bag costs $5.99 and each individual serving is again, 1/4C. The bag says you should get approx 15 servings which I did. Each individual serving only costs $.39! Whoa!!

They’re all chock full of protein, starting with 3g of protein for the Cashew Macadamia Delight to 7g of protein for the Dry Roasted Almonds. And, if you’re watching your carb intake like I am (staying under 50g a day) stick with the almonds at 5g pet serving. Cashew Macadamia Delight has 12g per serving, Omega Trek Mix has 14g and Simply Almonds, Cashews and Chocolate has 16g – but this one is ideal when you have a craving for chocolate but don’t want to eat an entire bar of it!

These are the perfect snack to throw in your purse, your office desk drawer or your briefcase and feel good about your snacking choices!

If this healthy tip was helpful, share this and tell your friends what you think about it. If I can help just one crazy busy executive or Mom eat healthier and cut the guilt, I’m successful! 😊

Intermittent Fasting – give it a try!

As many of you know, I’ve been following the Primal Diet (low carb, healthy fat, not much sugar at all) as well as doing IF(intermittent fasting). For those whose impressions of fasting involve hunger strikes or gaunt figures sitting in meditation, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Intermittent fasting to me is simple and looks like this – Don’t eat after 8pm and skip breakfast….that’s it.

As Mark Sisson, creator of the Primal Diet said, he enjoys mixing it up beyond the use of one approach by missing meals naturally or on an unplanned basis in addition to full day fasts. Let your choice(s) fit with your personal/family schedule, natural rhythms, and your personality (some of us are meticulous planners and some are more spontaneous – “and that’s O.K.”). The point of IF is this: episodic deprivation takes your body “off the track” for a while and allows systems to reinvigorate and recalibrate (also known as up-regulating and/or down-regulating gene expression). And there are tons of documented benefits of doing so.

  1. Insulin levels drop significantly, which facilitates fat burining
  2. Short-term fasting actually increasesyour metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories
  3. Intermittent Fasting Can Reduce Insulin Resistance, Lowering Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  4. Can reduce inflammation in the body
  5. May have important benefits for brain health. It may increase growth of new neurons and protect the brain from damage

Just google Intermittent Fasting and you’ll get a world of knowledge on the benefits and all the research that’s being done.

fasting clock

As for me, I can personally attest to the fact that I’ve dropped weight around my waist, my brain fog has lifted and I feel fantastic. And, some of other benefits I’ve experienced is; when I go off on a ‘let’s party’ tangent and eat what I want and drink a few cocktails, my body seems to rebound much quicker and I don’t automatically put weight back on. I’ve been able to maintain my lower weight now for over 2 months.

If you’re interested in learning more about Intermittent Fasting and how to do it, email me at wellawarebylinda@gmail.com and I’ll help you out as much as I can!

‘Tis the season for Winter Squash!

I love the taste of winter squashes and their nutritional value: protein, vitamin, niacin, copper, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, manganese…the list goes on and on. And there are so many simple ways to cook them. You can brush them with EVOO and bake them. You can slice them open and throw them in the microwave, or put them on the grill – YUM! But be aware! Winter squash are higher in calories and higher in carbohydrates then some veggies.

As you all know, I’m following a low carb diet along with IF – intermittent fasting, and my bloating is completely gone, my brain fog has lifted and I’ve never felt better. So if you’re like me and following any type of low carb way of eating like Paleo, Atkins or Primal diet, do some research before diving into an entire squash for dinner. For instance, most winter squash has approx 10-20g of carbs per 1 cup…1 CUP! I can sit down and eat an entire Acorn Squash while binge watching Veep! Much healthier than a handful of Cheeto’s tho 😜

Get Involved – Make a Difference

Our hearts go out to everyone who is suffering in the wake of Hurricane Harvey – including our Consultants and Clients in Texas and beyond.

To aid in the relief effort, we’re donating 10% of all proceeds on Thursday, Aug 31st – TODAY, to the American Red Cross. Funds raised will help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, and comfort to families displaced by the storm.

Doing nothing has never set well with me; I like to get involved, help others and do my best to make a positive impact.

Beautycounter is an advocacy based company which is why I got involved. If my posts regarding Beautycounter and what we stand for have piqued your interest but you’ve never ordered, I urge you to order today.

Make a Difference.

ORDER TODAY TO AID IN RELIEF

The dreaded ‘body image’ topic

Do you like having your photo taken? Your response to this simple question can reveal a lot about your body image.

I’ve watched as some people get in front of their phone/camera, whip out the selfie stick and go into immediate ‘selfie pose’ while others jump behind someone else before snapping the picture.

HIDING-BEHIND-A-TREE

Here’s a way to get a bit more comfortable with yourself and curb the mean girl voice in your head that constantly tells you “you’re not smart enough, you’re not pretty enough, blah, blah, blah”.

Using your phone, laptop, or digital camera snap a series of self-portraits. Try to capture yourself in different settings that represent your view of yourself. If you love to work out, you might choose to take a selfie at the gym. If you want to capture that you’re a parent, take your photo at the playground or even the grocery store. The goal here is to find where you’re most comfortable.

When you’re finished, consider your comfort level during this exercise.

  • Did you change into a particular outfit or put on makeup?
  • Did you crop a part of your body from the shot? – don’t judge yourself here, we’ve all done it!
  • Were you tempted to position the camera at a certain angle to capture your “best shot”? If so, why?

Let yourself explore the relationship you have with your body image from a nonjudgmental place. The goal of this exercise is to simply notice the ways in which you project positivity and negativity on your body – not to beat yourself up for your perceived imperfections.

This exercise isn’t meant to catapult you into super “I’m completely happy and content with my body image” frame of mind; rather, it starts the conversation. I did this exercise last week and was really surprised at how I view myself and how I love to hide some of my perceived flaws. Something to work on.

Let me know how it goes.

Health Nut?

Are you an enthusiast for healthy food? Have you ever been called a Health Nut? If you’re reading my blog, I’m sure you can relate. I’ve been there…oh, who am I kidding? I’m there now! Haha, all joking aside and because I’m a Health & Wellness Coach, it’s easy for me, or anyone, to fall into this pattern of living. It’s healthy, right? Well…

For some people, interest in healthy food can transform into an eating disorder. The following self-test is designed to help you determine whether you have come close to, or have already crossed, that line.

  • Do you spend more than 3 hours a day thinking about your diet?
  • Do you plan your meals several days ahead?
  • Is the nutritional value of your meal more important than the pleasure of eating it?
  • Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet has increased?
  • Have you become stricter with yourself lately?
  • Does your self-esteem get a boost from eating healthily?
  • Have you given up foods you used to enjoy in order to eat the ‘right’ foods
  • Does your diet make it difficult for you to eat out, distancing you from family and friends?
  • Do you feel guilty when you stray from your diet?
  • Do you feel at peace with yourself and in total control when you eat healthily?

Today, I learned about a term called Orthorexia Nervosa, coined by Dr Steven Bratman, MD, MPH. Have you heard of it?

If you’re health focused like me, and according to Dr Steven Bratman, answered yes to at least 4-5 of the above questions, you may be developing Orthorexia Nervosa. Let’s take a look.

(1) I spend so much of my life thinking about, choosing and preparing healthy food that it interferes with other dimensions of my life, such as love, creativity, family, friendship, work and school.

(2) When I eat any food I regard to be unhealthy, I feel anxious, guilty, impure, unclean and/or defiled; even to be near such foods disturbs me, and I feel judgmental of others who eat such foods.

(3) My personal sense of peace, happiness, joy, safety and self-esteem is excessively dependent on the purity and rightness of what I eat.

(4) Sometimes I would like to relax my self-imposed “good food” rules for a special occasion, such as a wedding or a meal with family or friends, but I find that I cannot. (Note: If you have a medical condition in which it is unsafe for you to make ANY exception to your diet, then this item does not apply.)

(5) Over time, I have steadily eliminated more foods and expanded my list of food rules in an attempt to maintain or enhance health benefits; sometimes, I may take an existing food theory and add to it with beliefs of my own.

(6) Following my theory of healthy eating has caused me to lose more weight than most people would say is good for me, or has caused other signs of malnutrition such as hair loss, loss of menstruation or skin problems.

Dr Steven Bratman defines Orthorexia Nervosa as: an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food. The term is derived utilizing the Greek “orthos,” which means “right,” or “correct.” He believes very strongly that Orthorexia can be a debilitating behavior or way of life, especially if it gets in the way of the more important aspects of your life such as relationships, career, etc.

I’ve always taken the 90/10 approach. 90% of the time, I eat healthy foods and exercise.  I don’t like to live in a world of absolutes when it comes to my diet and I don’t think you should either. 10% of the time I eat french fries with mayo, spicy nacho Doritos…OMG, SO GOOD! and indulge in a cocktail or two. I believe we need to take care of our bodies but we also need to be kind and forgiving with ourselves, live life and enjoy every moment, indulge our cravings and just ‘let loose’ every now and then. Think about what you ate as a child, all the junk food you and I consumed…it didn’t kill us.

If you feel that you have an obsession with healthy eating and it has had a negative impact in your life, you may want to read Dr Steven Bratman’s book titled, ‘Health Food Junkies.’

And remember my approach; 90/10 rule – and enjoy life!

Keto Fat Bombs are the Bomb!

If you’re eating the Primal, Paleo or Low Carb way and are looking for a nutritious, high fat snack that is bursting with flavor – look no further!

Many fat bomb recipes leave a ‘taste’ in my mouth that I’m not comfortable with. In other words, yuck. These have just enough sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth and the prevailing taste of this keto fat bomb is rich, cocoa goodness!

And here’s what makes these particular fat bombs so special. Not only do you gain all the major benefits of collagen and a healthy dose of nutrient-dense fat from coconut oil and almond butter, but you get to have your cake and eat it too (I know, it’s not cake).

So, you can be sure this keto fat bomb offers more than its share of both delicious flavor and essential nutrients.

Servings: 10 (approximately)

Time in the Kitchen: 10 minutes (plus 1 hour for chill time)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Salted Almond Butter
  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • 2 scoops PRIMAL KITCHEN® Chocolate Coconut Collagen Fuel
  • 3 Tbsp. Raw Cocoa Powder

Instructions:

Mix 1/2 cup almond butter, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and 1 Tbsp. coconut flour. Place the “dough” in the refrigerator or freezer until it firms up enough to scoop and roll into balls. I don’t really recommend the freezer as I tried this and it froze quickly.

Roll into 1 1/2-inch balls and put them back in the freezer to firm up (about an hour). Again, I put them in the refrigerator and they were perfectly firm.

At the end of the hour, make the glaze by mixing 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, 2 scoops of Primal Kitchen Chocolate Coconut Collagen Fuel and 3 Tbsp. raw cocoa powder, in a small bowl until fully blended.

Remove the balls from the refrigerator and coat in the chocolately goodness glaze mixture. Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon or any other garnish you wish. I’m going to use Sea Salt next time.

This is my first attempt…not bad.

fat bombs

I’m still trying to get exact nutritional value for these Fat Bombs but I will give you the low-down on the Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel Chocolate Coconut powder. You can go on Amazon and buy this – they have it in Vanilla flavor too.

0 grams of sugar – Dairy and Whey Free – Soy Free – Gluten Free

2 scoops – 140 calories, 6g total fat, 40mg potassium, 170mg sodium, 4g dietary fiber and 20g of protein

Next time I make these, I want mine to look as pretty as these:

fat bombs square

And, as usual, since I’m building a community here – let me know what you think? Have you found a healthier recipe? Have you tried this recipe? If so, what did you think?