hand-crafted health & fitness

Category: Nutrition (Page 1 of 2)

Smash Your Scale!

One of the first questions we ever get asked when we are starting our health journey, filling out paperwork, going to the doctor, etc. is “How much do you weigh?”

This is such a loaded question. Especially for women.

There is such a negative stigma on certain weights & there is so so much pressure for women to be a certain weight. We are constantly being reminded about it from our doctors, the media, our friends, our trainers, etc. Many of us have scales in our bathrooms that we step on on a daily basis.

One of the biggest challenges I give my clients at the beginning of our work together is to stop weighing themselves all the time. To get rid of the scale or better yet – smash it! Especially for those who are constantly focused on making sure that a certain number shows up on that scale every day.

There is way too much focus put on reaching a certain number that we really stress ourselves out. As we have talked about before, when we put ourselves into a stressed state, it can completely reverse any healthy habits you are working on.

When we are in a stressed state, our body produces extra hormones that store fat, our metabolism won’t work correctly and we will end up storing weight, our blood pressure goes up, and so much more.

So, I challenge you to smash your scale and to stop using your weight as an indicator of whether or not you are being healthy. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, start focusing on how your energy level is. Focus on what healthy habits you are adding into your daily routine. Focus on eating foods that you love and that your body will also love. Focus on moving your body. Focus on feeding your body with self-love and positive thoughts & energy.

If you aren’t comfortable with getting rid of your scale, how about reducing the number of times you weigh yourself. And don’t forget that when you are starting a journey to health, you will oftentimes gain weight at the beginning & you will fluctuate a lot along the way. So many things play into that number on the scale (gaining muscle, water retention, hormones). Don’t be afraid to smash the scale & start measuring the facts that really matter.

Why we love NutritionFacts.org

One of the hardest things about ‘getting healthy’ is all of the conflicting nutrition information out there. How do you know who to trust? How is it that we can go from one headline that says “Don’t eat butter” to another one that says “Eat butter” and make any sense of it?

When you start to follow nutrition studies, you quickly learn that many of them are funded by the very industries that are being promoted in the study. This conflict of interest presents all sorts of issues when it comes to getting truly accurate and unbiased information.

One of our favorite nutrition information resources is NutritionFacts.org.

The site is a strictly non-commercial, science-based public service provided by Dr. Michael Greger. Essentially, they review all of the latest nutrition research and deliver up free updates in bite-sized videos.


For years, Dr. Greger has been providing this service and over time, it has become an incredibly invaluable resource. You can go to NutritonFacts.org and search from a database of thousands of videos on nearly every aspect of healthy eating or any disease and you will find something to learn from as well as references back to the original study. In addition, they add new material every day. Most of the videos posted are about 3-minutes long and there are transcripts available if you prefer to read.

Dr. Greger is a physician – licensed as a general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition. He is a New York Times bestselling author and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. We’ve heard him speak several times and his best-selling book How Not to Die is definitely one to keep on your bookshelf as a reference guide. He’s actually quite funny and has a great sense of humor.

We love Dr. Greger and NutritionFacts.org because:

  • You can easily access evidence-based nutrition information that would be challenging to find on your own.
  • They are very thorough and objective.
  • While nutrition information can be dry, Dr. Greger makes it engaging. He also does great Facebook LIVE Q & A’s while walking on his treadmill each week.
  • 100% of all proceeds Dr. Greger has ever received from his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements has always and will always be donated to the 501c3 nonprofit that runs NutritionFacts.org – that means no advertisers, no corporate sponsorship, nothing to sell.

If you want to start educating yourself about the latest in nutrition research and healthy eating, visit the site and sign up for their weekly email. Just watching these short videos and information each week will add up over time. You will always have something interesting to talk with to friends and you will begin to see patterns between the studies as well as actionable information you can apply to your eating habits right away.

Dr. Greger also just did his first PBS special based on his book How Not to Die. Definitely check it out.


Beets to boost your endurance


Beets. Beets. Beets.

If you are like me, then beets are definitely not on your list of preferred veggies. BUT they SHOULD be!

I’ve always heard that beets were good for endurance, but I was never really willing to try them as a pre-workout.

BUT one day, I decided to try it out by drinking a beet smoothie before my workout and let me tell you, it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

The workout turned out to be one of the best workouts I have ever had. My endurance was insane throughout the entire workout. I was able to run longer, do more reps in my sets, etc.

In fact, when I ended my workout, I still had energy! It was almost scary how great the beets worked.

Beets contain a lot of nitrates, which reduce the amount of oxygen required to produce energy, which means the body is able to perform more work using the same amount of energy as it would without the nitrates.

The science behind it is that nitrates are converted into nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to relax and widen. This allows more oxygen-rich blood to flow through body. And the more oxygen reaches the muscles, the longer they’re able to perform at a higher intensity.

To top it off, beets have many other healthy benefits including: lowering blood pressure, encouraging healthy cholesterol levels, they contain a lot of antioxidants (which boost immune system), cleansing, and much more!

Anyways, all you have to do is cook the beets and then blend them up.

You could also juice the beet, but then you are not getting all of the other nutrients and fiber from the beet. The juicing will give you the benefit of the endurance, but like they say, if you eat something you should eat it in its entirety not just parts of it.

So, if your looking to get in a good workout, want some great nutrients, and want to avoid drinking the pre-workouts filled with chemicals and artificial flavoring/coloring, then go make yourself a beet smoothie!!

A Healthy Mint-Chocolate Chip Milkshake


(photo by Chocolate Covered Katie)

We all know milkshakes are not by any means healthy for us. But, sometimes, don’t you just want that ice-cold yummy treat anyways?

Well, here is a super delicious healthy mint-chocolate chip milkshake recipe for you!

The recipe is from Chocolate Covered Katie’s healthy dessert blog (which I definitely recommend checking out).

All you need this particular recipe is:

  • a blender
  • frozen bananas
  • cacao nibs
  • peppermint extract
  • milk (of your choice)
  • spinach. (I know it doesn’t sound good, but trust me it is!)

Here is the link to the recipe: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/02/24/raw-mint-chocolate-chip-milkshake/

Now you can enjoy this treat without feeling guilty and meanwhile you are even getting some good nutrients in your system ☺

BEWARE! Though this recipe is healthy, it doesn’t mean you can have these all the time. As with everything, moderation is key. Use this recipe as a trick up your sleeve when you are wanting something sweet and need a quick fix! ☺


No time for lunch? — Using mason jars


Do you find yourself buying junk food while you are out and about running errands? Or during your lunch break? Or between dropping off the kiddos at school?

So many times I find people saying they didn’t have time to pack a lunch or to prepare a good meal. But thanks to this handy little trick you won’t be able to use that excuse anymore!

Just like anyone, the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is spend a bunch of time cooking dinner. So I started using mason jars to help cut cooking time way down.

The trick is to pick one day (I usually do it after I get back from the grocery store) to prep your food for the week. Cut your veggies and store them in a mason jar. The veggies will already be ready to be used in any of your recipes throughout the week. You can easily toss them into a salad, sauté them, roast them in the oven, etc. It is also helpful because they will be ready to snack on during the day if you find yourself needing a mid-morning or late afternoon pick me up.

You can also cook your beans or your rice/quinoa/any grains you need for the week and store them in the mason jars as well.

Mason jars are also great for lunch. You can make salads for the week (or any grain mixtures, etc). When you are walking out the door, all you have to do is grab the jar and a fork and your lunch is ready to go. No more excuse of not having time!

If you need an idea, here is a great mason jar lunch recipe from The Kitchen Skinny.

The mason jars will keep everything fresh for about 5-7 days.

We even started making double batches of our green smoothies and storing them in mason jars so that we don’t have to make a whole new batch every day. Though I wouldn’t really recommend storing green smoothies for as long as your veggies/grains. (Usually about 2 days is the max on freshness for a smoothie.)

There are endless possibilities using these mason jars. It is a great trick and if you find yourself using the excuse of time, then you definitely need to try it out!

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