6 Healthy Habits to Adopt Before 2019

6 healthy habits to adopt before 2019. The time to start a healthy lifestyle is now!

As of today, we only have 55 days left in 2018 - I can barely wrap my mind around it! Chris and I just celebrated our first year of marriage on October 27th and it’s hard to believe that a year already flew by since then. I guess this is just how life goes when you are adulting!

Right around this time is when everyone is buzzing about the holidays (I literally just bought 2 small glittery Christmas trees from Target yesterday and it’s only the first week of November - I am part of the problem), before you know it, those 55 days will have zipped right on past us and we will be staring 2019 in the face!

It’s been mine and Chris’ goal this season to help our clients and you build healthy habits BEFORE the New Year starts instead of waiting until January 1st when all the damage is already done. Just because you will be celebrating with holiday parties, desserts, cocktails, and dinners, doesn’t mean that your entire rest of the year is already ruined.

Read Chris’ post: 5 Tips for how to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals

So, I have listed some super easy tips that you can start implementing today to help you de-bloat and feel awesome all throughout this holiday season. It’s not about perfection, just start making better choices and building healthier habits that will help you feel good mentally and physically! 

 
6 healthy habits to adopt before 2019. The time to start a healthy lifestyle is now!
 

 

  • Drink half your body weight in water -

    One of the easiest things you can do daily that will help you look and feel healthier is make sure you are drinking enough water. Drinking water can help improve digestion which decreases belly bloat, flushes out toxins from our environment as well as all the yummy goodies you will consume this holiday season, help you have clearer skin, and help you fight of cravings! Everyday you should aim to drink about half your bodyweight in ounces of water. So say you weigh 150lbs, then you should drink about 75oz in water throughout the day! So easy and refreshing! Want to bump up the refreshing factor? For added taste and benefits such as better digestion and a possible weight loss boost - make your first morning cup of water, warm and add half of a fresh squeezed lemon to it.

  • Start meal prepping and make it a weekly habit -

    This is an easy one but so beneficial! When you cook your own meals, you are in complete control of the foods that goes into your body! You have the power to eat foods that make you feel energized and healthy. How amazing is that? Meal prepping weekly can save you lots of time, money in your pocket, and inches around your waistline. It can seem like a daunting task, but really what isn't when you are first learning something that is new to you?! You just have to remember that it will come easier over time! Check out these tips on how to get started meal prepping as soon as tomorrow!

  • Start taking a high quality probiotic -

    We have about 100 Trillion bacteria in our digestive tract which weighs about 3 pounds. So as you can imagine these guys make a pretty big impact on our health. Our gut is full of 85% good and 15% bad bacteria which helps to keep our immune system strong, keeps us happy – about 80% of our serotonin is in our gut, It helps to maintain healthy gut flora so we can reduce inflammation as well as avoid leaky gut syndrome which can cause food allergies and sensitivities, eczema, weight gain, as well as a host of other issues, and keeps our digestion running smoothly. Many things we put in our body such as antibiotics, medications, alcohol and certain processed food can kill off both these beneficial bacteria. Supplementing with a high quality probiotic supplement (this is the one we use and suggest to our clients!) with at least 15 billion live organisms as well as probiotic-rich foods like kefir and sauerkraut can help you to be healthier by keeping your gut flora in check and digestion functioning better. Better digestion = flatter belly!

  • Chew your food well -

    Digestion begins when you first see and smell food, this gets your saliva going which contains enzymes to help break down your food as you chew. That's why having a quiet moment before you eat is so great, you can sit in prayer or a quiet moment to give thanks while you let those enzymes start working! Next we have to slowwwwww down! Most of us do not chew food properly as a result of being distracted and rushing through meals. Large chunks of food then go through the digestive tract without being broken down properly making it harder for our stomach acid to break down properly. It is important to really focus on the food you eat, try eating without distractions such as TV and phones (I know that seems impossible but you can do it!). Really concentrate on the look, feel and taste of your food. Chew until it becomes liquid in your mouth or aim for about 20-30 bites depending on the type of food you eat. As we get older our body produces less enzymes so we have to give our digestive system as much help as possible!

  • Move your body every day -

    Keeping your body moving every day is key to stimulating circulation, creating a healthy digestive system and maintaining good energy. Exercise helps you to reduce cortisol, a stress hormone, which can cause you to store fat in your midsection. When you are under constant stress, your body goes into "fight or flight" mode and holds onto fat for dear life. But daily exercise will actually create a healthy stress on your body which in-turn helps you to deal with other life stressors in a healthier way and also helps to boost your mood by releasing endorphins, your bodies natural pain-killer and mood elevatorWin-win!! Getting in about 30 minutes or more of exercise a day will help improve your daily bowel movements and will make a huge difference in every aspect of your life! We get into this practice with the ladies in our 28 Day Beat Belly Bloat group via our fitness app so they can keep on top of it! Don't get overwhelmed, just start moving. Take a walk, jog, weight lifting session, a hike, a class at your local gym or a yoga class. You can also check out these workouts to get you started at the gym or in your home! The time to get started is now!

Supplement with Magnesium daily -

Taking magnesium daily is vital for great health because it can affect everything from headaches to our sleep. Magnesium helps control over 300 bio-chemical reactions in the body so when we become deficient, it can lead to things like headaches, migraines, constipation, moodiness, insomnia, dizziness, PMS, restless leg syndrome, eye twitches, leg cramps (hello Charlie horse cramp at 3am!!) and so much more! Most Americans are deficient in magnesium due to lack of it in our soil and therefore the food we eat, poor nutrient absorption, and it leaving the body through both sweat and stress. Magnesium deficiency has personally affected my health in many ways and it may be unknowingly affecting yours in ways you would never think of. I take 400mg of magnesium citrate each night before bed each night. Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin by taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath at night with 1-2 cups of Epsom salt in very warm water or magnesium spray on the bottoms of your feet. Add some lavender essential oils in your epsom bath as well to get the most amazing spa-like experience! Your body will thank you for adding in this vital mineral!


So there you have it! You don’t have to wait until the New Year to start implementing healthy habits. You can use these tips and start right now! Do you have any tips to share that have made a big impact on your life? If so, share them in the comments!


Want to learn more about how you can stop bloat from happening?

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

Amber shares 6 healthy habits to adopt before 2019. The time to start a healthy lifestyle is now!
 

3 Foods to Avoid if You Want a Flat Stomach

3 Foods to Avoid if You Want a Flat Stomach

Do you have foods that just trigger belly bloat for you? It's ok if the answer is no because a lot of folks out there just can't quite put their finger on the culprits.

I have 3 main foods that I really try my very best to avoid if I want to keep a flat tummy. This is especially critical if (1) I am wearing a form fitting dress, (2) if I am in a swimsuit, or (3) I want to look hot for my hubby :)

These are foods that are common in most all of our diets because they are in a lot of packaged foods and on our plates in most restaurants. These foods are known to cause inflammation in the body in general and especially if you have a food intolerance to them.

When you are in a constant state of inflammation, it causes weight gain, insulin resistance, and also messes with your hormones. So food intolerance or not, it’s a good idea to limit these and other inflammatory foods as much as possible!


3 Foods to Avoid if You Want a Flat Stomach

  • Soy - After experiencing tons of bloating and gas anytime I ate soy, then doing an elimination diet and later food allergy testing, I learned that I was allergic to soy. All forms bloat me such as tofu, soybean oil, also called “vegetable oil” (one of the main oils that many restaurants cook with!), soy milk, soy sauce, soy lethicin (a binding agent ALSO in everything, think most packaged foods - hint hint...check the back of a Cliff Bar). So many people have an allergy or intolerance to soy but they simply don't know because it's in their diet nearly all of the time.

Soy not only causes inflammation in the body for many but it also contains phytoestrogens which mimic estrogens in the body of both men and woman. For men it can cause feminine characteristics to take shape (think man boobs), and for women it can cause serious health issues such as hormone-related issues, infertility, and breast and cervical cancer just to name a few issues. I seriously cringe anytime I see anyone feeding soy to children whose little reproductive systems haven't fully formed yet.  

  • Dairy - This is another major bloat food for me that I discovered when I did the elimination diet and realized I was lactose intolerant and allergic to soy. When you are lactose intolerant, it simply means that your body does not produce lactase which is the enzyme that you needs to break down milk sugars.

Dairy is another food that 75% of people around the world can't tolerate and yet they still consume it quite a bit. It causes digestive upset, stomach cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, acne, headaches, constipation and more. I'm sure when you hear the word dairy, it seems like a no brainer as to what that entails but you would be surprised to hear how many people tell me "I've gone dairy-free for a month!" only to find out they are still eating butter, whey protein shakes, half and half creamer, and even cheese. I don't judge because I too was just in the beginning stages of an almost dairy-free lifestyle at one point and I know how hard it can be to change old habits. 

  • Canola oil - This horrifying oil is high in trans fatty acids and causes inflammation in the body which for me and many others = major belly bloat! Canola oil is also commonly called “vegetable oil” and is a highly processed, genetically modified, rancid cooking oil that a ton of restaurants also use along with soy, as well as it's in nearly every food on the Whole Foods Market hot food bar (this used to be my go to food option, bummer!!), most all common hummus brands that are on the shelves (um hello, hummus is supposed to be made with EVOO!), and again most packaged meals and foods like my beloved tortilla chips. Here you can learn more about canola oil and why you should never cook with it again.

3 Foods to Avoid if You Want a Flat Stomach

Are you noticing a trend here with these belly bloating foods?? One word INFLAMMATION. It can cause a host of problems for your health but a big one is that it will cause insulin resistance, and insulin is our fat storage hormone which = belly fat and the inability to lose weight. NO thank you!

So as you can see, these 3 foods that are often labeled as health food can affect all of our health and our waistlines negatively but lucky for us, there are many great alternatives out there that will benefit our health in big ways.

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Want to learn more about how you can stop bloat from happening?

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

Amber Hale.png
 

5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Procrastinating So You Can Crush Your Health and Fitness Goals

5 tips to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals

The holidays, believe it or not, are just around the corner! Amber and I have been seeing Christmas displays popping up in stores recently, which absolutely blows my mind, given that’s it just the mid-October! At least wait till November folks!

Seeing Halloween decorations and costumes next to Christmas trees is pretty hilarious though. The reason I bring up the holidays is that NOW is the time to start up building good fitness habits instead of after the holidays!

Every year, I see folks waiting until after the New Year to implement a fitness and nutrition program thinking that’s the best approach.  Remember 2 or 3 months from now is a decent chunk out of the year - that’s 16 – 20% of your year!

After the fallout of the holidays, not only are you then trying to FINALLY establish good workout and nutrition habits BUT also typically digging out of a MASSIVE hole that was dug over the months around the holidays eating season.

The statistics of post-New Year fitness habits actually sticking around are pretty bleak because you don’t already have those good habits put into place after eating and drinking a lot over the past few months. It can also be confusing not knowing what workouts you should be doing and can be discouraging.

Plus It’s cold and dark out. It takes some will power to get out and get your butt to the gym. Losing those  inches around the waistline takes more time then people believe and too often folks quickly throw in the towel. 

Hopefully now you see that the urge to procrastinate on your health and fitness goals is a huge mistake and is one that the AVERAGE person unfortunately often makes.

We don’t want you to be average! We want you to separate yourself from the average and choose something different.

NOW is the time to start building those habits! TODAY is the day you do that workout. Not 2 months from now. Doing something that builds up your good habits and helps you feel fitter and stronger is going to pay off in the end.

If you start focusing on your nutrition and building a fitness habit now, you will go into the holidays actually burning more through building exercise and establishing better eating habits. So when the holiday parties roll around, you can enjoy it guilt free and know that you have prepared your body to be able to put those extra fun calories to good use in the gym!

EVEN IF all you end up doing is staying mostly the same, CONGRATULATIONS!!! The average weight GAINED during the holidays is 10+lbs so you’ve avoided that AND you have the habits necessary to sustain you post holidays.

The urge to procrastinate is a strong one and one that I have to fight off as well.

Don’t wait for things to be perfect to get started because there will never be that perfect time. Focus instead on the little things that build you up towards your future self. Focus on the things you CAN do!

5 tips to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals

5 Tips for how to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals:


#1: Ask yourself what motivates you to get the results you want to see? What drives you?
 

This is your chance to stop and listen to yourself, cut out the outside noise and see what intrinsically motivates you. Write it down! Be specific! General responses tend to lead to general outcomes.

#2: Get started by establishing a short term goal with a reward at the end. 

Wanting to lose 50 lbs is awesome but why not start with actions that lead you towards that goals such as going to the gym 4 days a week for the next 2 weeks. When you do that, plan a little reward for yourself. The brain likes to be rewarded and it feels good to accomplish something you set out to do. Once you’ve accomplished that, they shoot for another 2 weeks.

#3: Practice visualization. 

You need to actually envision the future, see your future self and imagine what you will look like, how your clothes will fit, and how it will feel to like to achieve this for yourself. Some of the most accomplished athletes and people in the world make this a practice. You are training your mind to help you accomplish the tasks you need in order to achieve your goal.


#4: Prioritize the tasks that are going to lead you to success.
 

Now that you know what you would like to achieve, you’ve clearly defined what that is and you can see yourself doing it. Now is the time to cut out the distractions. Every one of us has 24 hours in a day. Most often the things that aren’t as important will just end up taking care of themselves if you can just FOCUS on the things that matter. Stop with the illusion of multitasking. Often the multitudes of things that you are juggling are just keeping you feeling busy but robbing you of focus. Focus on your priorities before even worrying about the other things.


#5: Get in there and get messy! 

Life is messy and so is starting something new. Just make a mess and get started. It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as you make an effort. Your future self will be very grateful you did!



Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

5 tips to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals
 


Ditch Empty Calories and Eat Real Food for Real Weight Loss

It's mid-December and everyone is already buzzing about their New Year's Resolutions to lose weight. You may be hearing a lot about detoxes or juice cleanses that will help to shed those pounds you gained over the holidays. But today we want to just stick with the basics: empty calories and exercise. We always hear so much about how to lose the weight the fast way but we want to talk about the reason so many of us are in this situation in the first place and what it would realistically take to lose the weight. NOT all calories are the same. In a day and age when so many foods we get are processed and packaged and picked up at a drive through window so many of the calories we are actually taking in end up being empty calorie foods which are calorie dense but are nutritionally devoid. Empty calories are the walking dead of calories. They pack all the punch calorically often have lots of sugars but are devoid of the fiber, vitamins and minerals that the body requires. All those empty calories that don’t truly feed the body also take a lot of effort to work off.

Here are some average calories burned after walking or jogging 1 mile:

100lb person: 70-90 calories 150lb person: 90-110 calories 200lb person: 110-140 calories 250lb person: 140-170 calories

Now let’s compare how much I would have to run just to simply burn off an order of French Fries.

1 order of small French Fries (230 cal) = Jogging 6 mi/hr pace for 2.1 miles 1 order of med. French Fires (380 cal) = Jogging 6 mi/hr pace for 3.45 miles 1 order of large French Fries (500 cal) = Jogging 6 mi/hr pace for 4.54 miles

I would have to jog more than a 5k race to burn off a large order of empty calorie French Fries!

To put that in context of bodyfat, there are 3500 calories in 1lb of fat. So if I wanted to burn off 3500 calories from those nutritionally devoid empty calories that I ate I would have to jog 31 miles.

We are just picking on French fries here, but you can replace this with any nutritionally devoid food. It is important to know the amount of calories your body needs daily and choose your calories wisely!

Now we can't sit here and talk about French fries all morning and not include an awesome recipe! So next time you have a hankering for French fries, make yourself a healthy version that won't hinder your fat loss goals. We found this amazing sweet potato fries recipe from Nom Nom Paleo!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries - via Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients: 

  • 2 large garnet yams
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted (I just nuke it in the microwave for ~30 seconds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Smoked paprika (or your favorite seasoning – cinnamon works well, too!)

 Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F on convection bake (or 425 F in a non-convection oven).
  2. Peel the yams and cut them into even matchsticks. Toss the yams with the coconut oil, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika and place them in a single layer on a foil-lined baking tray.
  3. Pop the tray in the oven for about 30 minutes, flipping the frites and tray halfway through. The fries are done when they’re brown and crispy on the edges.

Serves 4 people as a side dish.

Leave us a comment and tell us what food what your favorite healthy food swap is?

 

Thanksgiving Day Bodyweight Workout

3 days until the big feast! Things start to get a little crazy as we get closer to Thanksgiving day, we all get in preparation mode with grocery shopping, party planning and of course food preparation. We understand that it gets harder and harder to make it to gym when family is in town and you have a million things on your todo list. Last week we gave you 3 solid ways to avoid holiday weight gain and we really want to keep the momentum up so this week we are giving you another tool to arm yourself with. So here is a at-home workout to help you stay on track with your goals this holiday season. This bodyweight workout can be done in your backyard, garage or wherever you can find space. Start thinking about when your ideal time to workout would be and have a plan, morning before everyone is still sleeping is probably best and you will feel motivated and ready to start the day!

 
Thanksgiving Day Bodyweight Workout
 

THANKSGIVING DAY BODYWEIGHT WORKOUT ROUTINE

3 Sets of each workout with 90 seconds to 2 minutes rest in between each circuit before repeating

1)Prisoner Squat (4 seconds down, 2 second hold at bottom) – 20 reps                      *raise your heels up slightly with a book or something equivalent if you are having trouble keeping from folding forward too much in your squat or you can't get low enough in your squat

2)"Happy feet" for 10 seconds then drop and do 10 push ups – 6x (Happy Feet - find a straight line to step over, one foot at a time forward and then one foot at a time backward, as fast as you can.)

3)Reverse crunches on floor - 20-30 reps

4)Forward lunge to a raised step-up to back lunge on the same leg then alternate to the opposite side – 20 reps per side

5)Jumping Jacks – 30 reps

6)Vertical Jumps w. stabilization (2 second hold at the bottome of the squat) – 10 reps

7)Planks – 30-60 seconds

8)Dive bomber pushups – As many as possible

9)Side planks – 30 seconds per side

10) Shuttle Sprint – 30 seconds

We hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving and look forward to seeing all of your foodporn photos on instagram! If you have any questions about the workout, leave them in the comments below!

What are some of your favorite workouts to do when you have a crazy busy week?

 
 
 

3 Ways To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

TGIF! The week has almost come to an end and before you know it we will all be preparing our Thanksgiving feast! Do you have your menu and Turkey Day activities planned yet? For the past few years it's a tradition for us to wake up early to watch the Macy's Day Parade in Central Park, then go back home to cook and of course watch football. But that usually means we don't actually eat until late afternoon. Once all of our mess is cleaned up, the day is just about over. So this year we decided that we would skip the live parade and opt to watch it on TV that way we can have our Thanksgiving lunch and still have the entire day to do whatever we want! Movies, workout, walk in the neighborhood...the possibilities are endless!

 
 

Chris and I are still trying to decide what delicious food we want to eat on Turkey day. Last year we chose recipes from my Clean Eating Thanksgiving Pinterest board to make us a pretty healthy meal. We will probably do the same again this year because it all tasted really good and without a lot of guilt! I realize that we are lucky, in a sense, because we have total control over our menu and can make a healthy meal without the fuss of our relatives. The downside is that we are not with our relatives and we of course miss them a lot during the holidays! So I wanted to give you some clean eating holiday tips to help get you through day!

 
 
  • Make some of your own healthy side dishes! Vegetables and sweet potatoes are pretty easy to prepare especially if you don't have to make a ton for the whole family. Find a few of your favorite holiday side dishes, swap out some of the less-healthy ingredients for healthier options {like replacing butter with coconut oil} and make a few portions just for you to enjoy!
  • Choose your splurge! You don't have to feel deprived on Turkey Day in order to stay on track with your goals. Find one or two items that you REALLY love {like pumpkin pie with whip cream, a dinner roll, or stuffing} and enjoy a healthy serving with your meal.
  • Turn your "I can't" into "I don't want to"! When your family or friends are lovingly pushing deserts in your face, tell them {and yourself} " I don't want a second helping of pumpkin pie" rather than say "I can't have the second helping of pumpkin pie". Telling yourself "I can't" will leave you feeling deprived and powerless, and will probably result in your giving in at some point. When you tell yourself "I don't" you are empowering yourself to make the decision because you know it will hinder your goals and are no longer restricting yourself because it is an active choice. Click here to read more on this topic.

I hope these tips help you get through the holidays without unraveling all your hard earned work!  Don't worry about what your loved ones will think or say about your lifestyle choices, just remember that you have to do what's best for YOU and your goals!

 
 

What are some of your tips for avoiding holiday weight gain?