WHAT ARE MACROS?! Everything You Need to Know!

Hello love birds!

As you may have noticed from my recent blog posts, I'm going back to the basics and teaching you the foundations of nutrition from a no BS, no extreme dieting, no deprivation point of view.

My ultimate goal is to educate you on how to eat well so that this becomes a LIFESTYLE, instead of just another fad diet that you try, fail at (no judgment, this is just inevitable with things like a juice cleanse/cabbage soup diet/insert other BS diet), and ultimately beat yourself up over.

Today, I want to break it down to the baaaaasics and teach you what macronutrients are and why each of them play an essential role in an overall healthy lifestyle. 

In the past few years, tracking macros has become a popular trend, but on a very basic level - it's important to understand what macronutrients actually are and how each of them affect your hormones and body composition. 

When you're educated about WHY you're making healthy choices, it's much easier to make them because you know you will look better AND feel better – from the inside, out. 

Let's break down MACRONUTRIENTS, shall we?!

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Macronutrients are the building blocks of any diet, and are comprised of protein, fats and carbohydrates. Each of us consume each of these macronutrients every single day, but you may not be familiar with what each of these ACTUALLY do on a cellular level in your body. 

Protein

  • 4 calories per gram
  • Protein takes longer than carbohydrates to break down in your system, making you feel satiated longer
  • Used as a source of energy when carbohydrates aren’t available
  • Aids in new tissues for muscle growth and repair, allowing for faster recovery after muscles have been broken down in a workout
  • Produces essential hormones and regulates digestion

Sources of protein: 

• Lean cuts of meat (ground turkey, ground beef, chicken, etc.)
• Fattier cuts of meat (steak, beef, lamb, veal, game meats, etc.)
• Protein powders *you can find my favorite protein powders here.
• Tuna
• Shrimp
• Salmon (rich in Omega 3 fats - one of my favorites!)
• Tilapia
• Oysters
• Trout
• Fish
• Eggs
• Egg whites
• Lean tofu (in moderation, because of soy)

Suggested amount of protein to consume per day: .75 - 1 gram of protein per body weight. So, if you're a 140-pound woman, you could aim to consume 140 grams (1 gram per pound of body weight) of protein per day. Contrary, if you're 200 lb., it could be very hard to hit that amount of protein in grams per day, so you could aim to consume (200 x .75 grams = 150 grams of protein per day)

Fat

  • 9 calories per gram
  • Helps your body lose fat when eaten in the right amounts
  • More calorie-dense than carbohydrates and proteins, but helps keep you fuller for longer
  • Regulates essential hormonal functions, especially in women
  • Omega-3 fatty acids support heart healthy and thyroid function (and your thyroid regulates everything in your body – including fat loss!)

Sources of healthy fat: 

• Nuts and seeds – almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia, walnuts, pumpkin seeds
• Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower, etc.)
• Avocado
• Coconut oil
• Coconut milk
• Coconut fat
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Flaxseed

Suggested amount of fat to consume per day: Around .5 grams per pound of body weight is a good place to start. Some people do really well with a moderate protein, higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet – others do well with a moderate protein, moderate fat, higher carbohydrate diet (especially if you're an athlete). Find what works best for you or work with a nutrition coach to figure it out. It just takes a bit of trial and error to find what style of eating makes you thrive. 

Carbohydrates

  • 4 calories per gram
  • Easily metabolized/broken down as the body's main fuel source, which is why it’s beneficial to eat them primarily before and after a workout (paired with protein, of course)
  • Indigestible carbohydrates (fiber) are necessary for intestinal health and help you stay “regular.” Beware of “high fiber” marketing and stick to getting your fiber primarily from vegetables (both green and starchy), and some fruit.
  • Play a huge role in the proper function of muscles, brain and kidneys
  • Two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex
    • Simple carbohydrates – fruits, processed foods and anything that tastes “sweet” essentially fit into this. Limit your consumption as much as possible (unless it’s starchy vegetables like carrots, squash, etc.). Often causes a spike in blood sugar, resulting in an extreme dip in energy after consumption.
    • Complex carbohydrates – vegetables, whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, etc. These are the carbohydrates (listed below in the grocery list) you’ll want to be consuming because they’ll keep you full for longer and not give you that “crash.”

Sources of healthier carbohydrates: 

• ALLLLL THE VEGGIES (spinach, romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, etc.) *this is where I like to get the majority of my carbohydrates from. The more colorful your plate, the better!
• Sweet potatoes
• Red or white potatoes
• Yams
• Squash (butternut, acorn, spaghetti squash, etc.)
• Carrots
• Apples
• Berries
• Bananas
• Cherries
• Grapefruit
• Beets
• Tomatoes
• Watermelon
• Any and all fruit
• Brown or white rice
• Beans
• Quinoa
• Barley
• Lentils
• Air-popped popcorn
• Gluten-free oatmeal

Suggested amount of carbohydrates to consume every day: As a general rule of thumb, consuming 30% of your caloric intake worth of carbohydrates is a good place to start. Obviously this will vary if you're training like an Olympic athlete vs. the average person working at a desk all day. I like to make sure I'm getting enough of the RIGHT carbohydrates that won't spike my blood sugar, by consuming TOOOONS of veggies. Again the more colorful your plate, the better!


It's important to note that there are some foods that fit into more than one category – salmon, for example, has a decent amount of fat, but it’s primarily classified as a protein because it contains more grams of protein than fat. Peanut butter, for example, contains protein, but has more grams of fat, so it’s considered a “fat.”

In general, I like to structure every one of my meals around a TON of veggies (complex carbohydrates), protein and healthy fats, which myself & my clients refer to as #GPF (greens, protein and fat).

This ensures that I'm hitting all my macronutrient goals for the day and balancing my blood sugar so that I'm not hungry every hour (because YO GIRL IS ALWAYS HUNGRY!) 

I talk all about how to make every meal healthy and satisfying – including recommended portion sizes and meal timing – in this article

Should You Track Macros?

Now that you know how protein, fats and carbohydrates work together to help your body perform, you may be wondering, "Should I track my macros?"

And, if you haven't been living under a rock, you've probably seen your favorite fitness idols on Instagram and YouTube talk about tracking macros. 

I have my own opinions about tracking calories and macros based on my own past experience, but I will do my best to objectively let you decide for yourself whether or not you want to track macros. 

You may want to track macros if: 

  • You're a professional athlete looking to achieve a certain skill level for a sport
  • You're interested in competing in some sort of bikini, figure or physique competition
  • You've been training and eating well (honestly) for a while and have hit a plateau (i.e. you want to dial it in and lose the last 5-10 pounds to enhance your performance or aesthetics)
  • You have a strict deadline that you need to lose/gain weight by (vacation, wedding, something that's important to you)

You don't necessarily need to track macros if:

  • You haven't nailed down the nutrition basics yet – meaning you're completely NEW to a healthy lifestyle and need to master the foundation (such as choosing from the list of healthy protein, fats and carbs above). If you are not already doing this, DO NOT PASS GO. You don't need to track macros yet.
  • You've never dieted or tracked macros before and are genuinely curious about how many calories you're consuming every day (this can be helpful for a beginner to do for 3-5 days, because it can be VERY eye opening – most people are usually eating way more or less than they think they are.)
  • You've tracked macros or calories in the past, have a general sense of what portion sizes look like, and can eyeball your measurements when making meals. 
  • You have a history of an eating disorder and/or body dysmorphia, because being attached to numbers (i.e. how many protein, fats and carbs you're consuming, or calories in general) can 10x the problem. 

Keep in mind there may be different seasons of your life where it can be beneficial to track your caloric intake/macros. Maybe you're competing in a weightlifting or Crossfit meet and need to hit certain strength goals, so tracking macros would be helpful to make sure you're eating enough. Or maybe you have a wedding coming up, and want to really dial in your nutrition to lose the last stubborn 5-10 pounds.

GENERALLY SPEAKING: you do not need to religiously track macros and calories to be an overall healthy person.

For the majority of people who just want to look and feel good, who live a moderately sedentary lifestyle (work at a desk all day), then you will be just fine if you follow a healthy way of eating that provides light structure, like my #GPF (greens, protein and fat) style

However, if you're a professional athlete, training for a show, or have a deadline coming up such as a vacation or wedding, then tracking macros can aid you in reaching your goal faster.

Remember: everything in moderation.

Just as it's not healthy to drink sodas and eat chips all day long, it's also not healthy to take things to the OTHER extreme and be glued to your phone tracking macros all day.

(I talk all about these extremes in my most recent podcast episode, if you're interested).

Everything in moderation, and during the appropriate season of your life. 

The most important thing to keep in mind is to let go of things that are no longer serving you, so if you find yourself becoming too obsessive about tracking your macros, take a step back. Contrary, if you find yourself too lax about your nutrition, maybe it's an appropriate time to track for a few days to get back into a routine with good nutrition habits.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND YOU WILL BE GOLDEN BABAAAY. 

 

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment down below, send me an email, or apply for my nutrition coaching services.

Sending you tons of HEALTH and HAPPINESS! xo,

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Things I'm Loving | January 2018

Hello, you lovely human!

I'm sharing a new-to-me series on the blog, although I know this idea has been around for ages.

SO many of you ask me what my favorite products are (protein powder, almond butter, vitamins, foam roller, etc.), so I decided I'd start sharing my new favorite finds every month!

I was inspired to start sharing my monthly favorites with you because I absolutely LOVE reading these types of posts on other people's blogs. Also, I have a running list of ideas for video/blog content in my Notes app, and some of these things I want to share with you but don't feel like it's necessary to dedicate a whole blog post to them.  

So, let's get into the health and wellness products I'm loving in January 2018!

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VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser

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Mark got me this essential oil diffuser for Christmas, and booooy oh boy do I love it. 

Actually, funny story: Mark originally got this for a girl at work as a Secret Santa gift. Since we share an Amazon Prime account, I got an email notifying me that an essential oil diffuser was on its way. Me, not being able to keep anything a secret, says to Mark, "ooooh baybeh!!! can't wait for the diffuser to get here!" And he proceeds to crush my soul by telling me it's a secret santa gift for his co-worker.

Needless to say, I hijacked that gift and she ended up getting a candle. (sorry, girl)

Right now, I use an orange zest scent in the morning to wake me up and invigorate my senses while I'm writing in the AM, and lavender at night to help me unwind and relax. 

I'm a HUGE scent person -- I love perfumes, candles, and now essential oils so much. So if you're the same way, I 10/10 recommend getting an essential oil diffuser. Game. Changer. 

*You can shop for this directly in my Amazon store!

Clue: Period Tracking App

My sister-in-law told me about this app and as soon as I downloaded it and started using it, I thought to myself, "HOW HAVE I NEVER TRACKED MY PERIOD BEFORE?!"

Ladies, if you're not already tracking your cycle - I HIGHLY recommend downloading the Clue app from your app store. As you can see above, there's the option to input how you and your body are feeling each day of your cycle. You can document your PMS symptoms, if you have a headache, how heavy your flow is, how much energy you have.

After a few months of tracking your cycle, apparently the app is able to predict when your next cycle will be, and sends you notifications on your phone. 

It also tells you when you're most fertile, based on when the last day of your cycle was, so it's great way to stay protected if you're into *natural* birth control methods. 

As someone who's always had an irregular, super crampy period - this is especially helpful, as it helps me track any unnatural things going on before/during my period. After losing my period for a whole year at one point, I don't take getting my period for granted (I'm actually happy to get it!) - so if you're in a similar situation with irregular or complete loss of your period, this can help you track signs and symptoms so that you can present them to your gyno without having to remember every detail (because who can, honestly?)

Overall: 10/10 recommend for all you ladies who want to stay more in-tune with your body and its divine feminine flow! 

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

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Have you ever tried to start a project or embark on an endeavour that was super meaningful to you, that you know has the power to change the world (or at least YOUR world), only to find yourself procrastinating, putting it off, or doing anything to avoid it?

That, my friends, is called RESISTANCE. According to Pressfield, here's where resistance is likely to show up the most:

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Here's what Steven Pressfield says about your true calling: 

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” 

Whether you're an artist, writer, content creator, entrepreneur, trying to lose weight, or anyone who's ever wanted to pursue something creative and meaningful, I highly recommend reading this book. It's also available on Audible if you're not interested in the whole sit-down-and-read thing anymore. (I'm old school, so reading + a cup of tea is still my JAMMY JAM y'all).

Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood Protein Powder

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YOU GUYS KNOW I AM A PROTEIN SNOB. 

You may also know that I cannot tolerate whey protein, so I unfortunately had to forego my love affair with delicious flavours like Cellucor's Mint Chocolate Chip *sigh.*

For the longest time, I tried to find a non-dairy protein powder that didn't taste like straight up dirt and/or chalk. That led my to discover some of my favorite non-dairy protein powders

Unfortunately, my go-to (Garden of Life chocolate) was out of stock last week, so I had to blindly order a new protein off of Amazon. I read a few reviews and decided to give this Amazing Grass Superfood Protein Powder (in chocolate - chocolate errthang, duh)... and I LOVE IT. 

I would say Garden of Life chocolate is still my Numba One Lova, but this one takes a close second in terms of flavor. I can mix it with just unsweetened almond milk, a few ice cubes and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and actually really enjoy the taste of it. I've also made my low-sugar protein smoothie with it, and it's fab. 

The verdict? Garden of Life is still my #1, but this one is also great and contains a lot of powerful antioxidants and greens. 

*You can order all my favorite protein powders directly from my Amazon store!

The Desire Map Planner by Danielle LaPorte

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Want to know all it takes to make me happy? 

Give me a beautiful planner, a pen and a cup of coffee, and I could sit there and organize my life for hours.

If you're the same way (and you love to set Goals with Soul), then you will ADORE this Desire Map planner by Danielle LaPorte. 

Apparently she has a book called the Desire Map that coordinates with this planner, but I haven't read the book. She mentions in the beginning of this planner that it's not necessary to have read the book to fill out this planner.

There are a few reasons I love this planner so much:

  1. At the beginning of the planner, you establish your core desired feelings. Then, you set your monthly/yearly goals in alignment with those core desired feelings. For example, if your core desired feeling is 'confidence' -- what goals would you set for yourself to help you feel more confident? Would you sign up for a 5k? Take a new dance class? Write a book? Go on more dates? The Desire Map planner helps you reverse engineer your goals - focusing on the FEELING you get when you achieve the goal, and working backwards. GENIUS. 
  2. Every month, there's a space to reflect on the previous month and set intentions for the month ahead. So often we get tied up in the long-term goals that we write ONCE in January, and forget all about them by March. These pages serve as a monthly remind to refer back to the goals you set in January, and asses whether or not you're on track to achieve them.
  3. Each day, you write down a soul prompt (which is different every day) + your hour-by-hour schedule + my favorite part: the 3 most important things to do that day. I looove the concept of focusing on 3 major things to get done, because it forces you to prioritize what you actually NEED to do (i.e. that parking ticket you've been meaning to pay off for 3 months...). Then everything else is just a bonus! 3 things is also totally doable, so it builds you confidence when you can check off all 3 items, vs. feeling like you 'never get anything done' when you still have 15 items left on your 20-item to do list at the end of the day. 

There's also a monthly calendar view, in case you're wondering, which helps you plan the month at a glance. This is where I write all major events (i.e. anniversaries, birthdays, dance workshops, etc.)

So far, this is the best planner I've used, so I HIGHLY recommend if you consider yourself a somewhat spiritual, creative, goal-oriented person. 

*You can also order this planner directly off of my Amazon store!

Kombucha (always)

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As I sit here and try to type all the things I love about kombucha - I am speechless. LOL JK LET'S CHAT ABOUT DA BOOCH.

First of all, why drink kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented beverage that contains probiotics, which are amazing for your gut health. Researchers say that your overall health is linked very closely to the health of your gut bacteria, so probiotics should be an ESSENTIAL part of any healthy lifestyle. Probiotics can aid in digestion, improve your skin, and even improve your mood! 

You can also find probiotics in foods like kefir, kimchi, pickled vegetables and sauerkraut - but let's be real, the booch tastes a heck of a lot better than any of those things. 

I will admit: kombucha can be an aquired taste for some. And you have to watch out for the flavours with a lot of sugar. I recommend sticking to the flavours that are lower in sugar (less than 5g per serving) so it doesn't send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. 

My favorite lower-sugar flavours by Synergy (the only brand I've found that I genuinely like) are Trilogy, Third Eye Chai & Cranberry. 


FEATURED IN THIS ARTICLE

I hope you enjoyed this new series! Let me know in the comments below what you're loving lately.

Subscribe to my podcast -- new episode dropping this week! xo

IN HEALTH & HAPPINESS,

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3 Simple Steps to Make Every Meal Healthy and Satisfying Using #GPF

There's a misconception that nutrition has to be complicated

And rightfully so! There's so much mixed information floating around out there on the Interwebs.

Should we be counting calories or macros, or intuitively eating? Are carbs the enemy? Will fat make you fat? How much protein should I be eating every day?

It's enough to make ANYONE confused and ultimately discouraged from making any healthy lifestyle changes at all.  

Through years of coaching people about nutrition (and in my own personal experience), I realized most people have an all-or-nothing mindset. They're either following a meal plan and eating only broccoli, brown rice and boiled chicken, or they're going balls-to-the-wall and eating a whole pizza, 10 Twinkies and a tub of ice cream.

I knew I needed to create a simple 'formula' for my clients to understand how to eat for hunger and health, which is how I came up with "GPF."

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Image courtesy of Downshiftology

WHAT IS GPF? 

GPF stands for greens, protein and fat -- and these are what lay the foundation for creating a healthy meal every time you sit down to eat (yes, even at a restaurant). 

The combination of the fiber in the greens, the protein, and healthy sources of fat help to turn off hunger hormones, signal to your body that it's full, increase satiety, and help you actually stay full between meals so that you're not needing to eat mini meals or snack every 2-3 hours! (Because let's be real, the busier we are, the less time we have to spend eating all. day. long.)

I notice that when I eat GPF-style, I'm able to eat three larger meals throughout the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner -- sometimes with a snack between lunch and dinner, depending on how late dinner is. 

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THE BENEFITS OF GPF

Our bodies are incredible.

When we sit down to eat a meal, there are many hormones and systems working together without us even having to think about it.

Your body has 8 hunger-related hormones, including insulin, leptin, ghrelin, peptide yy, neuropeptide y, cortisol, dopamine (the reward hormone), and cholecystokinin. #science

In an ideal climate, these hormones work together harmoniously and balance each other out, so that we never feel starving and eat more than is necessary for proper functioning. 

However, many of our bodies are not in an 'ideal climate': we're stressed at work or home, lacking sleep, produce too much insulin from overconsumption of carbohydrates, consume too much caffeine, or we're over-exercising.

ALL of these things can affect these hormones, making it harder for our body to work FOR us (especially if our goal is weight loss or maintenance) - even if we think we're doing everything 'right' and eating 'healthy.' 

When we understand these hunger hormones and how to shut them off, you don't have to fight your body NOT to eat. You can simply eat until you're satisfied, and go about your day without having to obsess about food.  

You don't have to spend all day wondering when you're going to eat again because you're starving from eating chicken and broccoli an hour ago. You don't have to waste time tracking every single morsel of food in an app (that has no idea about your unique body chemistry, btw. Also, if you're a busy person, this can be a huge waste of time and add tons of unnecessary stress and guilt when you don't 'hit your numbers'. not a fan.)

That, to me, is true food freedom. 

Eating #GPF makes it easier to eat for hunger and health, versus out of stress or emotion. 

You can eat intuitively, but with light structure that helps you look and feel your best. (Because let's be real - if I've been eating tons of bagels and donuts, yo girl will 'intuitively' just want more bagels and donuts). 

#GPF helps break the all-or-nothing mindset surrounding food by focusing on ADDING more of the good stuff, instead of subscribing to the 'do not eat' or 'can never have' lists that we're all so accustomed to if we've ever dieted before. 

And understanding the science behind WHY you're choosing to use the #GPF formula for your meal makes it a lot easier to make healthy choices. 

Photo courtesy of the National Institute on Aging 

Photo courtesy of the National Institute on Aging 

HOW TO STRUCTURE A GPF MEAL
(+ Grocery List Must-Haves!)

Step 1: GREENS. Select a base of leafy greens and veggies.

More volume = more fiber, which means that the more veggies you load onto your plate, the fuller you will feel. As a rule of thumb, about 75% of my plate is usually comprised of veggies. (Pro tip: an easy way to bulk up any meal is to add a bunch of romaine lettuce and/or spinach to the bottom).

Add any of the following in a variety and abundance:

• Leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, collard greens)
• Celery
• Cucumber
• Broccoli
• Onions
• Cauliflower
• Bell peppers
• Hot peppers
• Zucchini
• Brussels sprouts
• Seaweed
• Artichoke

*P.S. As you’ve noticed, ‘greens’ is just an easy way to remember veggies. Leafy vegetables and those deep in colour are your best options.

Step 2: PROTEIN.

Add 4-5 oz. of one of the following proteins for women, and 6-8 oz. for men.

Selecting a protein from the following list will help you feel fuller longer, and help you build lean, solid muscle. Try to buy organic as much as possible, focusing on grass fed, wild caught and free range products.

• Lean cuts of meat (ground turkey, ground beef, chicken, etc.)
• Fattier cuts of meat (steak, beef, etc.)
• Chicken breast
• Tuna
• Shrimp
• Salmon (rich in Omega 3 fats - one of my favorites!)
• Tilapia
• Oysters
• Trout
• Fish
• Eggs
• Egg whites
• Lean tofu (in moderation, because of soy)

Step 3: FAT.

Add one serving of healthy fats to your meal. For example, use a portion size of 15-30 g of fat = 1-2 tbsp nut butter, ½-1 whole avocado, handful of nuts – roughly 1 oz.)  

• Nuts and seeds – almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia, walnuts, pumpkin seeds
• Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower, etc.)
• Avocado
• Coconut oil
• Coconut milk
• Coconut fat
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Flaxseed

Step 4: (OPTIONAL, think of this as a 'plus one' on your existing plate of greens, protein and fats.)

If you’re creating a meal after your workout, this is the best time to add a serving of starchy carbohydrates.

Since these are higher on the glycemic index, they’re best used before and after a workout. Pre- and post-workout are when your body uses the sugar (insulin) created by carbs most efficiently. If you're not really active and work at a desk the majority of the day, it's best to stick to the lower-glycemic veggies (found in the 'greens' section above) because they won't spike your insulin as much, and your body doesn't need these carbohydrates listed below to 'refuel'.

Keep the portions to about a closed-fist size: 

• Sweet potatoes
• Red or white potatoes
• Yams
• Carrots
• Apples
• Berries
• Bananas
• Cherries
• Grapefruit
• Beets
• Tomatoes
• Watermelon
• Squash
• Any and all fruit
• Brown or white rice
• Black beans
• Quinoa
• Barley
• Air-popped popcorn
• Gluten-free oatmeal

Step 5: (OPTIONAL) Variety is the spice of life, right? Feel free to add any of these extras to flavor your meals or as substitute for your current faves!

• Spices (spices are your best friend! Add them liberally to every meal, but be sure to look for the natural spices, not the ones that have added MSG or a bunch of salt.)
• Cinnamon (great fat burning properties and reduces insulin spike)
• Turmeric (also amazing for hormones and inflammation)
• Pink Himalayan sea salt (great for thyroid production)
• Pepper
• Salsa
• Mustard
• Organic ketchup (low sugar, or find one made with dates if you're trying to get real fancy)
• Unsweetened cocoa powder
• Stevia or Truvia (use this as your sweetener versus sugar or Splenda. They have flavored Stevia now -- toffee, hazelnut, etc. BOMB.)
• Bragg’s liquid aminos (a healthier alternative to soy sauce)
• Srircha or hot sauce (look for low sodium, anything less than 200g)

Drinks

• Almond milk (unsweetened)
• Kombucha (great for digestion and gut health. Look for the ones with less than 5g sugar / serving.)
• Any kind of tea (especially green tea – drink a cup with lemon upon waking)

Herbs/Supplements

• Chia seeds (healthy fats + fiber)
• Hemp seeds (healthy fats + fiber)
• Greens supplement (powdered is great to add to smoothies)
• Cacao/cacao nibs
• Flaxseed
^ All these things are great to add to smoothies!

Recommended Vitamins

• Mutlivitamin
• Fish oil
• Probiotics
• Greens supplement (powdered – as stated above, I add this to my smoothies!)

What a Sample Day of GPF-Style Eating Could Look Like

This is just an example of a typical day in my life. It takes practice to find the foods you love and how much it will take to satisfy you, but it's worth the effort to find a way of eating that makes you feel so energetic, alive and happy -- plus it's fun to try new things!

  1. Wake up and drink a large cup of warm lemon water + coffee with a splash of unsweetened almond milk.
  2. 30 minutes of movement (minimum): a walk, a workout, anything that gets my blood flowing
  3. Breakfast: my low-sugar smoothie formula
  4. Lunch: huge bed of spinach and romaine + whatever chopped veggies I prepped over the weekend, 6 oz organic canned salmon, 1/2 avocado, balsamic vinegar + a dash of olive oil
  5. Snack (optional, depending on what time dinner is): 2 hardboiled eggs
  6. Dinner: 6 oz. rotisserie chicken, roasted butternut squash, roasted broccoli and cauliflower with olive oil

And sometimes if I'm craving something sweet after dinner, I'll make my healthy hot cocoa, which is just: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk boiled, 1 packet of stevia, a dash of cinnamon + unsweetened cocoa powder (1-2 tbsp., depending on how dark the cocoa is. The darker, the richer, the better ;).) Just warm up the almond milk on the stove and blend all the ingredients in the blender!

Some GPF Meal Ideas from Myself & My Clients


DISCLAIMER:

I've worked with many clients over the years who have thoroughly enjoyed the GPF style of eating, more than anything else they've tried. It's a low stress, low drama way of eating that allows them not to obsess about food constantly. You can use this style of eating whether you're paleo, vegan, vegetarian, or don't subscribe to any labels at all. 

This is based on my personal experience and that of my clients. Eating most of my meals GPF has truly changed the game for me in terms of my performance in the gym, my hunger, my hormones (helped me get my period back and has cleared up my skin x9482), and most importantly: has helped me become less obsessed with food over the years. Of course I will still enjoy pizza and ice cream on occasion, but I always try to remind myself that too much indulgence doesn't make me feel good, just like too much deprivation doesn't make me feel good, either.

It's all about finding balance: enjoying yourself, and having a GPF meal to autocorrect and get you back on track to living your happiest, healthiest life.

Sending you lots of love!

IN HEALTH AND HAPPINESS,

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[Healthy Habit] Add THIS to Your AM Routine to Improve Digestion, Skin & Gut Health

Good morning and Happy Monday!

I always love the fresh start to a new week. It helps me refocus on my goals (more on that here and the few blog posts before that, which you can find in that article).

Plus, I always just wake up grateful to live another day #AMEN.

After doing some soul-searching this weekend, I realized that I've been layin' it on ya pretty heavy and deep lately with all the goal setting, sharing my heart, blah blah blah... which can certainly be helpful at times.

But I wanted to lighten things up this week and give you one of my favorite Healthy Habits that I shared in our [totally free, everyone is welcome] Facebook tribe this morning!

This hack helps me start off every morning on a healthy note, and helps hydrate me before I chug a gallon of coffee. (Kidding... kind of hehe)

It's nothing revolutionary, but adding it has seriously been a game changer -- as you'll see in the benefits below.

*drum roll please*

Warm Lemon Water +
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

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Here are some of the benefits of drinking warm lemon water:

- Improves digestion (keeps ya regular, nawmsayn)
- Boosts your immune system thanks to the Vit C in the lemon
- Can lead to clearer skin
- Alkalizes your body
- Hydrates you, obviously
- Reduces inflammation as part of a healthy #GPF diet
- Provides adrenal and thyroid support (thanks to the minerals specifically in the PINK HIMALAYAN sea salt)
- Apparently sea salt water is a libido booster so... you're welcome

I drink this in the morning, along with my regular large glass of water + before my coffee.

Every time I let this habit slip out of my life, I 100% notice a difference in how regular I am, how clear my skin looks, and I get the sniffles more often since this is a huge source of Vitamin C in my day.

So, give it a shot and let me know what you think.

Have a fabulous week, my love!

IN HEALTH & HAPPINESS,

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An Easy Way to Stay Focused On Your Goals EVERY DAY

Hey hey, you gorgeous goal setter!

I hope you're finally winding down from the craziness of the holidays. Maybe you've been rushing around during your first week back at work and you haven't even had a second to think about your goals for 2018 yet.

If you feel behind on goal-setting and planning for 2018, I get it...

Writing down a list of all your goals and resolutions can feel overwhelming.

That's why I'm a huge fan of setting a THEME for the year.

What do I mean by a 'THEME'?

In my world, it's a one-word reminder, intention, mantra (or all of the above) that encompasses all of your goals into one phrase.

Setting intentions, words and mantras can be a quick, simple way to remind yourself of how you want to feel in 2018 -- without having to pull out your list of goals and resolutions.

In this post, I'm going to share my intention, mantra & one word for 2018 with you. Hopefully it will inspire you to create your OWN magic this year, and show you how these themes can be a positive reminder of even your largest goals on a daily basis.

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Although I'm sharing my own intention, mantra & word for 2018 to give you some real-life examples of how I embody these things in my everyday life,

I genuinely want this exercise to be about YOU and making your life 10000x more productive, happy and fulfilled in 2018.

So, after you read this article, grab some coffee, take out a journal and a pen, put on the DEEP FOCUS playlist on Spotify -- my fave for GSD (gettin shiz done, if you're new around here).

Give yourself some space to create some magic: I want you to create a mantra/word/intention that's meaningful to you so your 2018 rocks your freakin' socks off. (Do people still say that? I'm stuck in 2011).

Photo by my favorite Orlando photographer and bff, Katelynn Carlson!

Photo by my favorite Orlando photographer and bff, Katelynn Carlson!

My Intention, Mantra & ONE WORD for 2018

My main intention for 2018 is to CREATE MORE and CONSUME LESS.

This means spend less time consuming other people's blogs, podcasts, videos, etc., and instead, use that time to create my own.

My one word for 2018 is INTENTION. That means everything I choose to do needs to be intentional.

There are so many times in the past when I've tried to set resolutions or goals, go on a diet, create something for my business, all with the wrong intentions.

And when you go into something with the wrong intentions (because someone else wants you to do it, because it looks cool to other people, because you're trying to please someone else), you're never going to stick with it.

Whatever you decide to do this year, be sure you're doing it with the right intentions and because YOU actually want to make that change in your life. 

My main mantra for 2018: it's either a HELL YES or a NO.

Whenever I'm making a decision to do something in 2018 - whether that's create something in my business, start a new workout program, even buying a new outfit - it's either a HELL YES or it's a no for me.

If you have to think about the decision and are wavering in any way, it's probs a no.

Again, these intentions/mantras don't have to be yours, but I figured I'd share them to give you some inspiration to create your own!

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It's great to dream up some fluffy quotes and saying and mantras and intentions, but like I say all the time:

Intention without action is meaningless.

So, how can you create these phrases while you're super inspired in January, but also USE them to make decisions well into 2018?

For starters, you can use your phrases/mantras to ask yourself a question every time you're about to make a decision. Here's how!

how i use intentions, words, & mantras in my everyday life to stay in alignment with my goals

You're probably thinking, "OK Julie, setting a 'theme' with all these words is cool and all, but how do I actually use and apply them in my life?"

Glad you asked, love!

Using my intentions, one word & mantra, here are some examples of questions I'll ask myself when I'm deciding to work with a client, start a new project, go out for drinks, and anything else that comes up.

Scenario: An idea pops into my head about starting a new project (i.e. write a book, create a course, create a challenge)

Question: What is my intention behind this? Am I doing this for the right reasons (because I genuinely want to and I know it will help people), or am I doing this to appear credible, busy, or anything ego-based? Will I actually enjoy doing this?

Then, the answer appears when I dig deep to know my true intention.

Scenario: A client applies for coaching with me, but it doesn't seem like a great fit for whatever reason.

Reminder: if it's not a HELL YES, it's a NO.

Because I know from past experience when I take on someone who I know wouldn't be a good fit (because they're not ready to change, doing it for the wrong reasons, wouldn't be fun to work with) based on a scarcity mindset (i.e. I need to take on anyone who comes to me so I can pay the bills) - I never feel good about the relationship, which is not fair to me OR the client.

So now, if it's not a HELL YES, I refer the person to someone else who can help them - which makes it even better because if I do decide we're a good fit, you can trust that I am 100% HELL YES over-the-moon excited to work with you & confident I can help you!

Side note about this: if you're in a service-based business, especially when you're first starting out, it can be scary to turn people away. Your fear-based brain will say, "How could you turn someone away? You need to pay bills! You should want to help everyone!" But I now know from experience that the more I adopt an abundance mindset (telling myself 'there's more where that came from') and referring those who aren't my ideal client to others who are more suitable for their needs, the more I CAN help the people I'm currently working with -- and, even crazier, the more those ideal clients show up in my life! I could write about this all day, so if you want me to write a blog about it, holla at me!

Scenario: A friend wants me to go out for drinks, yet I've already had dinner out 3 times that week, I'm trying to save money, and I'm just overall blah about it.

Reminder: If it's not a HELL YES, it's a no.

If she's a true friend, she'll get that we can meet up later this week when I have less going on - and since one of my goals is to save money right now (and I want to stay in alignment with my goals), maybe we can meet for coffee or go to a gym class together instead of going out for drinks.

Scenario: I wake up and I'm tempted to scroll on my phone, check email, go through my social feed. OR it's the middle of the day and I am feeling lazy/procrastinating, so my first inclination is to head to YouTube and watch videos.

Reminder: CONSUME LESS, CREATE MORE.

By this simple reminder, I'll turn my phone on airplane mode, put it down, and start doing something creative that will actually fulfill me: writing, walking, creating a program, working on a client plan.

Bonus: all of these things actually make me happier, more creative and more productive, instead of keeping-up-with-the-Jonses and replicate what everyone else is doing (and/or having FOMO when I see people out there havin' a blast in their social media *highlight reels*)


So, there ya have it folks!

Grab your journal and a hot cup of joe, snuggle up, and take some time to write down your OWN themes for 2018.

I hope by setting a theme (words, intentions and/or mantras) for the year, you're able to quickly remember all your most important goals at the drop of a hat, in a sticky situation, or when you're tempted to be lazy & watch Netflix instead of pursuing your biggest goals and dreams (which is when we need to remember the most!)

Stay tuned for the rest of the blogs in the Set Goals with Soul series! And if you never want to miss a post, join my email list.

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PSSSST! Want more? Watch my LIVE Coffee Chat all about Setting Goals with Soul!

Join our Strong & Sexy Living Facebook Group where I teach you 3 unconventional ways to set Goals with Soul (and do Live coffee chats like this every week!) Hint: you're 10x more likely to achieve even your BIGGEST goals if you follow these steps!


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