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You can’t eat healthy if you don’t do this

If you have just been diagnosed with PreDiabetes, chances are your Doctor told you to "eat healthy" and "be more active". We are just going to focus on the "eat healthy" part in this blog post and we will even assume that you know what "eating healthy" means. Which honestly is not necessarily that case, but we can come back to this topic in another article. Hint: eating healthy doesn't mean the same thing to you, your neighbor, your doctor, or me.

Couple cooking in a kitchen they enjoy

Now let's say you know what eating healthy looks like for you. If you want to stick to your healthy eating plan, the most important thing you have to to is to make sure that your environment is promoting the healthy habits you want to implement. Otherwise, I can promise you, you will fail. 

This is where most of us go wrong when trying to adopt healthy eating habit: we focus on ourselves and we try to change what we do and who we are, instead of focusing on what is around us and changing our environment.

Are you relying on Self-Control to be healthy?

One of the worst mistakes you can make, when trying to lose weight, is to think that you can rely on self-control. Don’t get me wrong. I know you are strong, and I know you are dedicated. That’s not the question. I know that once you set up your mind to do something, you follow through, until… well... until it’s just unbearable and you can’t do it anymore! I know… I am the same. Most of us are!

Self-control is like a muscle.

Self-control can be trained and strengthened, but it also gets tired.

You might have noticed how usually in the morning, we don’t eat crap, we drink our water, we are patient with the kids... And as the day goes by, we start snacking, we get more easily frustrated, and we find excuses for all the things we don't want to do. We become tired, and so does our willpower. As the day goes by, it gets harder and harder to resist temptation. And in case you are wondering, no, that’s not being weak! That’s not giving up! It’s just being human, that’s how it works. If we hike for 5 hours, do we expect to be full of energy at the end of the day? No, we don’t! At least, most of us don’t… So if we consciously make good choices all day long, why would our self-control remain strong and intact? It gets tired, just like our body does.

That’s why we have to rely as little as possible on self-control when trying to lose weight. We have to tweak our environment so that bad choices are not even an option.

Make sure your environment forces you to be healthy

What does that mean? Well, it means that if you are trying to eat healthier, you really have to look at all the opportunities lying around for poor eating. Are there places in your life that promote unhealthy snacking for instance? Thing about your car, your desk, the break-room at work, your game room, your pantry, even the night stand by your bed. What's in your workout bag? What's in your purse?  Look around and question everything. And of course, don't forget your kitchen!

Your kitchen is full of traps

Our kitchen is often the most “dangerous” place when we embark on a weight loss journey. This is where food is stored, this is where food is prepared (or at least reheated). And for many of us, this is where food is eaten.

So if you have decided to eat healthier, either to reverse PreDiabetes, to lose weight, or just because you realize that aging won't be as smooth if you keep eating the way you eat, start by reorganizing you kitchen to make sure it's not constantly tempting you into eating the stuff you know you shouldn't eat too much of. 

Not sure where to start?

If you feel that you need some help to get started, apply for a FREE Healthy Lifestyle Kick-Off Session.  If I feel that I can help you, I’ll be happy to chat with you for 30 minutes and see how you can stack all the odds in your favor. Allons-y! Let’s Go!

Disclaimer

None of my content is intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease. The information provided on this website is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.

Should I eat when I am hungry?

No! Don’t trust your stomach! Yes, you read that right: don’t trust your appetite, it’s not reliable!

We all know that the feelings of “hunger” we have are not always due to our body needing food. Sometimes, we feel hungry because we are bored, stressed, emotional, happy, pissed, or lost… You name it! Sometimes we could devour the entire planet just because it is that time of the month (hey ladies, I am talking to you here!). Not to mention all the occasions when we feel hungry just because there is something to be “hungry for”. You know, you had lunch an hour ago, you are walking down the mall, and all of a sudden, this delicious cinnamon roll smells attacks you; you start feeling your stomach growling, but is that really hunger?

Confused woman: not knowing if she should eat or not

It is hard to know whether we are hungry or just feeling like eating something tasty.

And that’s the tricky part. It is very hard to differentiate between being really hungry and just “wanting to eat”. So my advice to you for the holidays is: don’t even try to tell those two apart. You will end up exhausted because, during the holidays, we get so many more opportunities to wonder “Am I really hungry?”.

Rely on your tested eating habits

The point here is to keep up the wellness efforts that we have all been making for a while already. We are not trying to set up new goals, bump up our ambitions, or even start working on implementing a new lifestyle. We are talking about maintaining our current efforts and not falling off the wagon during the holidays.

If you want to STAY healthy and happy during the holiday season and avoid some stress and extra pounds, don’t let your stomach rule the game. Instead, rely on the eating routines that you depend on the rest of the year. When you think about the busy days to come, look at where your meals usually fit into your schedule and make sure you organize your day with those meal times in mind. Plan to bring healthy snacks with you, or even full meals such as a thermos of soup, a good homemade sandwich, whatever makes you happy and satisfied.

Don’t try to skip meals thinking that it’s going to save you some calories for later. This strategy always ends up backfiring. Just stick to what you have been doing so far when it comes to your meals. If you are used to having 2 or 3 meals a day, keep doing just that. If you are used to having 2 snacks per day, keep your 2 snacks. Maybe they will be more festive and rich: a cupcake instead of an apple, or a Christmas feast instead of a Caesar salad. Yet by sticking to your routines, you will greatly limit the amount of unwanted food you ingest. Plus, you will reduce all the debating, the “should I/shouldn’t I” that not only is draining emotionally, but also keeps you from fully enjoying the food you are eating.

Are you an intuitive eater?

Oh, wait, someone tells me “I trust my stomach all year long, that’s my routine, that’s what keeps me healthy”. Maybe you are super good at it. Then you probably don’t even have an issue with indulgences and cravings over the holidays. Lucky you! But maybe you have been working hard on intuitive eating and are worried that you won’t keep it up over the holidays. If that’s the case, take a few days before the holidays to record your food intake and look at the pattern that comes from this. It will give you a good idea of when you are really hungry. Once the holiday season kicks in and temptations are coming at you like bullets, you will have something to refer to when differentiating between real hunger and temptation.

Prepare now for healthy holidays!

Sit back for a minute, and try to get a good picture of what your eating routines are right now. Write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your purse. Keep those routines in mind. And if you think you are hungry 15 times a day visiting booths at the Christmas Market, remember: most of us cannot trust our appetite, especially at a time of high stress and temptations like the holiday season.

If you want more tips like this before the holidays, you should like my Facebook Page. You can also follow me on Instagram. And if you think this article can be helpful to someone you know, share with them! Because together, we are healthier 🙂

As always, if you feel that you need a bit of extra help figuring out what to do and how to do it, contact me or make an appointment for a FREE 20-minute consultation. I’ll be honored to chat with you and see how you can stack all the odds in your favor. Allons-y! Let’s Go!

 


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2017 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

Start your day healthy

Staying healthy over the holidays, keeping up good eating habits, not falling off the wagon when it comes to exercise… To be able to stay on track, we have to BELIEVE we can do it. Let’s be honest, if we are not even sure it’s possible, what are the odds we will try, right?

Do you know what’s the best way to remind ourselves every single day that YES, we can stay healthy, and YES, we are that healthy person? It is to take one small action every single morning and use it as a proof. Yes! Healthy morning routines are the key to a healthy day and healthy holidays.

Cat stretching outdoor as example of a healthy morning routine

Stretching, walking, drinking water… Morning routines put you in a healthy mindset. Choose yours!

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Morning routines make the difference!

Start your day doing something (anything!) that will put you in the shoes of a healthy person for the rest of your day.

It can be as simple as drinking a large glass of water as soon as you set foot on the ground. It might be hard at first, but you will soon get to appreciate the feeling of awakening and purity that comes from drinking water first thing in the morning. And you will be less likely to eat unhealthy, greasy, or sweet processed food for breakfast, because you will want to prolong the beautiful feeling of clean insides.

You can take a 20-minute walk (before breakfast if possible!), or stretch for 15 minutes, or do a solo workout in your bedroom for 10 minutes, or go up and down your condo stairs for 5 minutes. All those actions won’t take much time and will put you in the mindset of a healthy person. If not for the rest of the day, at least for the next hour or so, which will help you make more healthy decisions, one thing leading to another. Yes, there is a snowball effect to this!

If time is a real struggle for you, skip the extra physical activity, but make sure your breakfast is as healthy as can be. Not only will it give you energy for hours, but it will also remind you very early on that you ARE a healthy person, and can be the entire day.

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Keep your morning routine simple

Your “healthy morning action” should be easy and enjoyable enough that you don’t dread it. You might not look forward to it (at least not at first!), but it should not require much willpower. Because you want to do this EVERY SINGLE DAY. So make it short, easy, and sustainable.

Yet, not too easy!

It should still be some kind of effort though! Not a tough battle like showing up at boot camp class or spending an hour cooking a 5-star vegan breakfast. But you want to make sure that the achievement feels just good enough that you don’t want to ruin it within the next hour. That’s the secret to success! If you have to push yourself a bit to do some yoga for 15 minutes, will you want to gobble up 4 waffles covered in syrup right after? Most likely not. Otherwise, you would have done yoga pretty much for nothing.

What’s your healthy morning plan?

You have to find the right activity and the right level of difficulty. Why not start today and experiment with different things? I suggest that you think about what you are going to do tomorrow morning! Write it down and start experimenting. Try it until the end of the week and see how it works. Check off on your calendar every day you successfully complete your activity. If you are not happy with an action or can’t do it every day, find something else. Keep experimenting until you find the short activity that will make you FEEL healthy.

This little tweak in your day will make a big difference in your holidays, and it won’t stop there, believe me!

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That’s it!

If you want more tips like this before the holidays, you should like my Facebook Page. You can also follow me on Instagram. And if you think this article can be helpful to someone you know, please share! Together, we are healthier 🙂

As always, if you feel that you need a bit of extra help figuring out what to do and how to do it, contact me or make an appointment for a FREE 20-minute consultation. I’ll be happy to chat with you and see how you can stack all the odds in your favor. Allons-y! Let’s Go!

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PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2017 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

What to ask a potential coach

Are you thinking about hiring a health or lifestyle coach to help you lose weight and live a healthier life? Here are some important questions to ask any potential coach before making your decision. Remember, we all place a different amount of importance on various aspects of a professional relationship, so ask the questions that matter the most to you.

Stella Loichot - ACE Certified Health Coach

What is your accreditation?

It is important to know that as of today, anyone, anywhere, can proclaim themselves “Health Coach” and establish their brick & mortar or online practice without any kind of knowledge, training, or credential whatsoever. For that reason, it is particularly important to check the background of the coach you are thinking of hiring.  You need to make sure that they have gone through the right training and keep their knowledge up-to-date by meeting nationally approved re-certification requirements. Here is an article that lists the most popular Health Coach Certifications currently offered.

The ACE (American Council on Exercise) Health Coach Certification is the only one that is accredited by the National Council on Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA is the organization that accredits certification programs for nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, and registered dietitians among others. ACE requires that as Health Coaches, we renew our certification every other year. To do so, we need to pursue continuing education and take exams that allow us to stay up-to-date with evolving science in the domains of nutrition, exercise, and behavioral change among others.

Many coaches are certified by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). ICF offers a unique globally recognized and independent credentialing program for coaches.  The ICF’s mission is to train coaches who are expert in the art of coaching, separately from the industry in which they decide to practice. ICF Credentials are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements. Yet, ICF Credentials don’t grant a coach any knowledge in health or nutrition. For that reason, it is important to make sure that their background and other trainings are filling that gap, if you are looking for a coach who will be able to provide you with nutrition consulting for instance, or help with a chronic condition such as cholesterol, diabetes, etc.

What is your approach? Why does it work?

Of course, you can’t expect a coach to give you all the bits and pieces of their program in a first introductory call or session. There is no time for that. Plus, if a coach is doing their job right, they will adjust their program to your specific needs, so it won’t be the same exact content for every client they are working with. But you should be able to get a pretty good idea of what a potential coach’s approach to wellness is and how it can help you.

How do you apply your principles in your own life?

Stella Loichot wearing apron for cooking mealWe have all met that guru who wants to take us down a road that they are not traveling themselves. Why would that be? Is it because what they recommend is not realistic? Or because it doesn’t lead to the results they are describing? Ask your potential coach for a few examples of how they are walking their talk. Not only will you get a better idea of how candid and open they are, but you will also get a better idea of whether or not what they are promoting is something you actually want for yourself. Why are you a coach?

Listen to their story and see if it resonates with you. It does not have to be something crazy or amazing. Yet, having someone explain their big “why” to you will give you a better idea of who that person really is and what their purpose is. You will get to know them a little bit more and by now, you should know if you want to work with them or not.

What makes you different?

The difference between two coaches comes from so many directions. Their coaching philosophy, whether they coach in-person or remotely, the length of their programs, how available they are in-between sessions, whether they provide education and guidance or just coaching, whether they “push” you or let you move at your own pace. Do they use technology? Do they have their own platform or do they adjust to yours? Are they flexible with appointments or not?

It is not always easy to choose between coaches. Sometimes you like them all! Their approach, their tools, their prices, everything seems equally appealing to you. Then just ask them! Ask them what makes them different. Ask them why you should choose them rather than another health coach? They will probably know and will explain in detail.

Will you get in touch with my doctor?

In my opinion, a good dedicated health coach will ask you to put them in touch with your Primary Physician. Of course, you won’t have to agree to that, but your coach should at least ask. It’s important for a coach to introduce themselves to your doctor and establish this idea of a team approach to helping you reach your wellness goals. Of course, you, as a patient and a client, will be responsible for keeping communication flowing. You will make sure both your coach and your physician are aware of what’s going on with your health, but having the coach make that first introductory step, if you so wish, is important. If a coach is not planning on getting in touch with your doctor, it might be an issue down the road.

Will you support no matter what?

In other words, will your coach support you if you take avenues that they don’t necessarily endorse, such as special diets, workout regimen, etc.

Health Coach Stella Loichot working out with healthy and happy client along the beach

It is important to know that many health coaches also offer guidance. What does that mean? It means that they will make recommendations when it comes to nutrition, physical activity, etc. And this is one of the areas where health coaches might largely differ from life coaches. Because Certified Health Coaches have expertise in areas such as nutrition or exercise science, they are not just going to ask you questions and let you come up with your own answers. They will guide you, they will walk you through a process, they will educate you along the way, they will arm you with tools and knowledge that you will be able to use later, long after the coaching is over, to make healthy choices for the rest of your life.

Now since health coaches often have a plan in mind for you, it’s important to know from the start whether or not your coach will stick with you if you drift away from their program. If a coach promotes a vegan diet, what will happen if you decide to actually eat fish? If a health coach recommends that you do meditation, what will happen if you just can’t “comply”. Some coaches are very flexible. Others stick to their plan because they think it’s the ONLY way. Others are right in the middle… Ask them where they stand and decide what you feel comfortable with.

Can I get in touch with your past clients?

A coach might just be starting out or have 20 years of experience under their belt. Numbers are not necessarily the most valuable data in this case, but you are the one deciding what you feel comfortable with.  I believe that it is important to ask a potential coach if you could get in touch with one or two previous clients though. This way, you can get a better idea of what it feels like to work with that person. You will be surprised at how many coaches won’t grant you that privilege and will just ask you to read their testimonials. And I don’t blame them. Many do that out of respect for their previous clients.

If you know that you have found the coach you want to work with, then this step is indeed unnecessary and it might be good to leave people alone. But if you are still wondering and if you are still feeling scared (because often that’s what it’s all about!), just ask! I doubt that any coach will give you a client’s email address or phone number (although it might be possible!), but if YOU are willing to have your email given to a past client, they might contact you directly. If it’s the case, just let that person talk and try to get a better idea of what you will get out of the coaching work.

Which coach do I choose now?

If a coach does not provide you an opportunity to ask the questions that are important to you, you should see that as a red flag. Most coaches offer a free discovery call. That call allows you to get your questions answered and also get a feel for the coach’s personality. Make the best out of that free consultation and use it to make sure that your coach is not just answering your question but is also a good listener.

Be ready to answer questions too. Just as you are trying to see if your coach might be a good fit, a potential coach should also try to assess whether they can help you or not. They need to ask YOU questions. They need to save you time and money and tell you right away if they believe they can’t help you.

What’s next?

Now you can go and browse the Internet to find a Health Coach among the thousand coaches out there who are or are not certified. Or you can schedule a FREE Intro Session with me! Yes, I am the Certified ACE Health Coach who you know already because you have been reading my blog posts for a while! Take that first step, take your health seriously… the longer you wait, the harder it will be! Let’s Go! Allons-y!

How to handle Halloween candy

How we eat during the first holiday of the season will often determine how we handle Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. That’s why it is so important to start this season off right and set a good example for ourselves. If we don’t stop the Halloween candy madness this year, we know it will just slide downhill as the season goes on.

10 Tips to Stay in Control this Halloween

Read 10 simple tips below and make this Halloween a different one. A fun one, a sweet one, and yet, a memorable one: this year, YOU will be in control, not the candy.

Halloween trick or treater with her candy

1/ Procrastinate

Halloween is on October 31st, not as soon as the bulk bags of Kit Kats and Milky Ways start popping up in the aisles. Wait until the very last minute to buy those bags of candy. Stop by the store after school, or after work on Halloween night. Chances are, you will get a discount, save money, and will-power! And since you didn’t buy your candy two weeks ago, you and your family didn’t get a chance to get into the bag and eat it all before the special night. So you won’t have to spend extra money to go buy more.

Be careful not to fall for the “buy 4 get the 5th bag free” trap though, or to buy your candy for next year because “it is such a great deal”. We all know where that would take you: most likely not to where you want to go!

2/ Only Buy What You Need

You’re not a rookie. You had trick-or-treaters for a while now. No, there won’t be 280 kids visiting your house, so no, you don’t need 10 lbs of candy. If you used 3 bags of candy last year, buy 3 bags this year too. Now I know, you might be tempted to buy extra, “just in case”. No one wants to be the house that turns off the lights at 7:30 pm, I get it! So distribute the candy smartly throughout the night and that won’t happen. Kids want candy, yes, but they don’t need an armful of them from every household!
Deep inside, we are all hoping for leftover candy after Halloween. But save ‘future you’ some trouble, and don’t buy more than you will hand out. Candy isn’t helping your wellness goals, and there’s no way around that.

3/ One Bag at a Time

When trick-or-treaters start knocking at your door, empty one bag of candy into your bowl. Not two, not three. One is enough. When it’s gone, you can open the next one. If you want to offer a nice variety, then buy a variety bag in the first place! If you open all the bags at once and you have leftovers, we all know what will end up happening. But if leftovers are in an unopened bag, you can return it and get your money back and you won’t be tempted to eat it! You can also donate extra candy to organizations such as Soldiers Angels for our troops. On a side note, I think it might be better not to donate Halloween candy to food banks and shelters. I might be wrong though. People who are struggling to get around food are also trying to stay healthy. Yet, they are receiving sugar goods more often than not, so it might be better to donate canned vegetables, beans, and other healthy foods to them.

4/ Buy Candy you Don’t Like

It’s not mean, it’s not selfish, and it’s not because you don’t like a type of candy that others dislike it as well. There is no need for you to buy all of your favorite sweets and spend the entire night trying to resist eating them. Pick the treat that doesn’t tempt you and go with that! Kids generally love everything with sugar, and they won’t be too picky when it comes to Halloween candy. This is something to keep in mind when trying to manage your weight. The idea is not to “be good and strong,” it is to make sure your environment is not tempting you in the first place. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Make your life easier for yourself!

5/ Buys toys instead of Candy

Do you love all sweets, no matter what? You can’t resist anything with sugar? That’s okay too! In that case, buy toys for the kids instead. They will be thrilled! Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get creative with Halloween. You can buy stickers, key chains, glow sticks, silly putty, bouncy balls… Ask your children to help you come up with ideas! As long as you don’t give out carrot sticks and raisins, anything that your kids approve of will work, and make your night much easier.

6/ Strike a Deal

OK, so you have been handing out candy all night and are quite satisfied with yourself. Now your kids are coming home with their bags full of your favorite sweets. Tough!!! You want to indulge? Of course? There are ways to make it controlled so that you don’t ruin your healthy streak.

In my house, I have a deal with my little one: she gives me all of her Kit-Kats (she is very generous!). I eat as many as I want on the night of Halloween, and after that, that’s it! So I usually eat them all at once (yep, that’s me!), feel a little nauseous but very content, and then go right back to my normal habits. That’s what works for me. Try to find a deal that works for you! Don’t try to implement a “no candy policy”, but don’t let yourself binge every day for two weeks either. Make a plan and stick to it. Find something that is an improvement compared to usual, so that you feel proud and good about yourself for the rest of the season. But make sure it’s also satisfying, because you want to look forward to Halloween, not dread it.

7/ Chew Gum

Fish chewing gum and blowing a bubbleIf your kids spend hours and hours sorting their candy, trading, negotiating, organizing, and the whole process is excruciating for you, chew some gum. It’s hard to eat anything while chewing gum, and you can try lots of sweet candy-like flavors that are sugar-free!

8/ Throw Away as Much Candy as You Can

The easiest way to resist temptation is to eliminate temptation. So right after Halloween, get rid of as much candy as you can. I will let you negotiate with your own children and see what kind of deal you can strike.
With the candy that’s left, have the kids hide them, or if the kids are also struggling with self-control, have a spouse hide them. Be upfront with what you are dealing with. Trying to fight your demons on your own is the best way to lose the battle. Putting pressure on yourself by going public and getting help from your loved ones is an amazing way to stick to your goals.

9/ Let your kid be the boss

You rule the house most of the time, right? So for once, let the kids be the boss of you! Once your kids know what you are trying to do (stay away from the candy) they will be more than happy to keep you in check. For once, they will be the ones saying “NO!” and they might really enjoy that shift of power. Plus, sometimes, they will see how hard it is to be the bad cop. They will realize that when they say no to you, you get pissed off, you try to negotiate, you insist… and they really wish they could give you candy to please you. It might be a great learning opportunity for them, depending on their age.

What is YOUR plan for Halloween?

You have some tips, now what are you going to do with them? If you want this year to be a different one, you have to make a plan. Here is how you do it.

First, ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. Look back and think about what WILL happen if you let things go as usual. Then, think about what you would like to see happen ideally. You now have the worst case scenario and the best case scenario. Find a compromise somewhere in the middle and settle for that. Then, make a plan using the tips above as well as your own strategies, and talk to your family to make sure they help you stick to that middle-ground solution.

If you feel that you won’t be able to make it, send me an email or book a FREE 20-minute phone call and let’s brainstorm! Sometimes, it does not take much to get started on the right path.

The ultimate trick: #10

No matter what, there is one thing you should never forget. Whatever you love, don’t feel guilty for it! Whether you wish you could binge on chocolate or eat a bag of candy corn every day, whatever you wish is perfectly fine. It doesn’t mean you can indulge overtly, because it would keep you from reaching your wellness goals, but please, stop feeling bad for what you crave. There is no shame in loving unhealthy food, and for wanting a lot of it!!!


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2018 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

Protein-rich snacks without nuts

Are you running out of ideas for what to put in your children’s lunch boxes and snack sacks? Not to mention your own brown paper bags! With most schools and daycare centers abiding by the “no-nut policy” – if only they could also have a “no-crap policy!” – it is sometimes difficult to provide a protein-rich snack for our little ones. And even for us, moms and dads, who have a nasty tendency to eat leftovers from the kiddos anyway. Plus, most schools don’t have refrigerators, so the options are even more limited!

No worries, I’ve got you covered! Here are a few ideas of snacks that are rich in protein, don’t contain nuts, and can stay out of the fridge for a few hours (or forever!).

Brown paper bag with question mark to represent lack of ideas of healthy snacks with protein

Combine them with healthy carbs such as a piece of fruit or minimally processed whole grains. You will obtain a balanced snack for your child or for yourself. By the way, when I say minimally processed, what I mean is “no more than 5 ingredients listed on the label”. If you don’t have any such products in your pantry, don’t panic! Just start replacing them little by little with healthier choices. When change happens progressively, nobody really pays attention.

Healthy snacks rich in protein – no nuts – no fridge:

  • Seeds: they can be a great alternative to forbidden nuts. They are rich in protein and other nutrients, don’t take up much space, and there are plenty to choose from. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are usually a hit.
  • Edamame in a pod makes for a great protein-rich snackEdamame is also a good snack that can stay out of the fridge for a little while. To add variety, you can sometimes choose it pre-cooked in the pod, and sometimes roasted and crunchy.
  • Crispy crunchy chickpeas: they come in many different flavors. Find the ones you and your kids like the most and go for them!
  • Cheese: of course, we think babybel and string cheese, but you can also cut pieces of all your favorite cheeses and roll them up in plastic wrap. Getting your children to appreciate all kinds of cheeses is a great way to develop their taste for the good things of this world. Did I ever tell you I am French? Furthermore, keep in mind that when you eat a stronger cheese, you don’t need as much of it to feel satisfied. You know, it’s like chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the less you eat at once. Because the taste is so powerful that a small piece is enough. So when you or your children start appreciating more flavorful cheeses, you will also feel content with a smaller amount of them. Don’t you like that idea?
  • Dried seaweed (nori, kelp…): they are often sold in individual packages and are super light, which makes them great if your child’s backpack (or yours) is heavy. You might want to pack gum or a toothbrush with them though. The taste has a tendency to stick around!
  • Jerky: you can alternate beef jerky, turkey jerky, but also salmon jerky if you can afford it. They are all somewhat high in sodium, but once you know it and make sure you compensate with less salty foods during the day, then you’re all good. Oh, by the way, don’t forget to provide plenty of water to your child when there is jerky on the menu!

Of course, in case nuts are not an issue, then those are always a great snack to keep in mind. Almonds, pecan, cashew, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts… and all the kinds of butters that come from them obviously. Keep an eye on the portions though. I have an article to help you with that and to help you figure out when nuts are really good for you.

Meal prep counts for snacks too!

Remember that most of the time, unless you or your child has a specific condition, what is healthy for your child is healthy for you too (and vice versa). Keep in mind also that we usually derail from our wellness goals when we are starving and unprepared. So if you are making healthy snacks for your little treasure, why not prepare double portion so that you too are covered.

Take 30 minutes on Sunday night to get all your snacks ready for the week. Put them in small bags and in a closed container and grab them as you go during the week. You will save time, energy, money, and so much frustration! Once you have done that for a month or two, healthy snacks will be second nature for you rather than a source of headaches.

What’s next?

Having a healthy snack is fantastic, but it won’t help much if you don’t start your day and your child’s day with a healthy balanced breakfast. Read my article “What to eat for breakfast” for a list of quick and easy breakfast ideas.

If you want more ideas or need help with Balanced Meal Planning, let me know. I am here to support you. Contact me via email at stella@allonsycoaching.com or book a FREE 20-minute phone call so that we can chat.


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2018 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

How dare you sleep?

Do you feel guilty when work or kids get in the way of your healthy eating? For instance, when you have a “heavy” lunch with clients, work overtime and skip dinner, or finish your kids’ leftovers? If you are like most people who are trying to “eat better”, chances are yes, you DO feel guilty when life events keep you from making healthy choices.

I am not saying that guilt is a good thing. I personally feel that we should feel responsible, but not guilty. But we won’t go there today, it will be a topic for another blog post.

Fingers pointing to express guilt feeling when not eating healthy or not working out

What about exercise? Do you feel guilty when you have to skip a workout because of work, kids, or whatever life is throwing at you that day? Again, I am pretty sure that you DO feel guilty in those instances, at least most of the time.

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Double standard

Now tell me: do you feel guilty when you wake up 3 times at night because your kids have nightmares? Do you feel guilty when you set your alarm at 4 am because you have an early conference call? Do you feel guilty when you are sleep deprived because you travel for business? My guess is that you DON’T feel guilty in those situations. I might be wrong of course, but from what I have seen and heard from my clients, most of us plainly and simply don’t take responsibility for our poor sleep.

We blame ourselves for our imperfect choices when it comes to food and physical activity, but when it comes to sleep deprivation, we think of ourselves as the victims.

As a society, when someone tells us that they “can’t resist” the donuts at work every morning, we tend to think that they have no will-power. When someone tells us that they “have to” answer emails at 10 pm each night because it’s corporate culture, we have compassion. Yet actually, where is the difference? Why such double standards?

When it comes to sleep, we feel powerless.

It even goes further than that. We live in a society where sleep deprivation is considered a good reason for bragging.

“Hell is other people”

That’s not me saying that of course. That’s Jean-Paul Sartre.

It is true that when we don’t sleep well or when we don’t sleep enough, it’s often because of external factors: kids, work, a snoring spouse, hot weather, stressful events, etc.

Yet, if you think about it, all those factors that affect how we sleep, they actually also affect our exercise routine and our eating behavior (maybe not the snoring spouse!). Yet, because we feel empowered with our nutrition and physical activity, we adjust to those obstacles, we control them, and we don’t give up our goals because of them.

If you want to eat vegetables and your kid throws a tantrum because they don’t like veggies, will you just give up and not eat vegetables for the next 16 years? No! You’ll find ways around it, right?

It’s the same thing with work. If you have to work overtime for 2 weeks and can’t take a lunch break, you will figure out a way to bring healthy lunch boxes so that you can eat at your desk. You will adjust and make sure that you keep eating healthy because it is your priority. And you will do the same with exercise.

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Sleep is like food and workout

If you want to sleep well, you have to start thinking the same way about sleep than you think about nutrition and workout. You have to realize that YOU are in charge of your sleep; YOU have the power to make your nights better.

If sleep is a priority of yours, you cannot let others decide how you sleep, when you sleep, and how long you sleep.

Poster with sleeping cat and note saying "dont bother me I am sleeping"

5 years ago, I had absolutely no control over my nights. I am a very light sleeper and need perfect conditions to fall asleep. In a nutshell, I am a pain when it comes to sleeping, my husband and kids can testify! Yet, despite all that, I have been able to change my surroundings, educate my family, eliminate tensions, and develop many strategies that now allow me to sleep as much as I need. And I can tell you, I need A LOT of sleep! I never thought that it would one day be possible!

No sleep = no weight loss

But wait a minute! Why does sleep even matter? I won’t get into the details in this article, but there is one thing you should know. If you are eating well and moving well, but not sleeping enough, you won’t lose weight. It’s that simple.

That’s why sleep goes hand in hand with weight loss. That’s why I spend a lot of time giving workshops about sleep in the Seattle area, to make sure people stop struggling with diets and crazy workouts, and instead, start focusing more on their sleep.

So please, if your goal is to improve your overall health and lose weight, think about it. Just like you have power over your nutrition and your exercise routine, YOU are in charge of your sleep. And just like with food and workout, if you start making small improvements in your sleep routine, you will be able to build on your successes and you will soon feel completely empowered. When it comes to sleep too, YOU are the boss, you are not a victim.

It’s an entire culture of sleep deprivation that we have to change. It starts with you feeling proud of taking care of your sleep, rather than feeling guilty for sleeping in. You can do it! Allons-y! Let’s go!

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25 Tips to Sleep Better

If you need help establishing healthy sleeping habits, reach out to me or check out my Stress Management & Sleep Program.

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You can also download 25 Tips for Better Sleep (and a bonus!) and get started right away!

Not sure what to do and where to start?  Contact me via email or book a FREE 20-minute phone call. We will get you unstuck!

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PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2018 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

Make fewer decisions to reduce your stress

If you are tired of making decisions all the time – at work, at home, within your group of friends, for the school PTA… – establishing a new healthy lifestyle might add even more to the load. Having to make healthy meal choices 3 times a day, choosing between sleeping-in and going to the gym, resisting the donuts or splurging, working over your lunch break or going for a walk… This will soon become exhausting and extremely stressful.

Actually, stress is one of the main reasons people give up their wellness goals.

Stressed woman facing too many decisions

It is very important that you work on reducing the number of decisions you make on a daily basis. Not only it will limit your risks of making poor choices, but it will also help lower your level of stress hormones. After that, use my “TOP 10 tips to control your stress (plus a BONUS!).

Let’s see how you can easily reduce the number of decisions you make every day.

1/ Simplify your life

– Automate

Organize your life so that recurring choices become automatic. It’s OK to eat the same thing every single Monday, to have the exact same grocery shopping list every week, to always do the same thing at the same time with the same people for a while. Especially in stressful times! This will appease your brain.

For instance, design a meal plan for a week or 2 and use it over and over again, only tweaking your shopping list according to seasonal produce. If you need help with meal plans, let me know, I can provide that to you!

Don’t forget to put into your calendar anything you need to automate, until it really becomes a habit: meals, snacks, workouts, chores, etc.

– Get rid of stuff

Make sure you don’t have too many clothes and shoes to choose from in the morning, and that those you have are well organized in your closet. It will save you plenty of time and loads of stress. Get rid of items you are not wearing, throw away the make-up you never use, and actually do the same with everything in your house.

Too many handbags create stress

Clutter is known for being a huge stressor. Give stuff away, empty your home and office. Not only you will have fewer options to chose from, but you will also reduce the time it takes for your to clean up your mess. Not to mention the rewarding feeling of having other people benefit from what you can’t put to use.

– Establish routines

Have as many routines as possible in your week and link them to healthy habits.

Let me give you a few examples of stress-reducing routines:

  • Always go to the gym on your way from work on Tuesdays and Thursdays;
  • Go for a run every Saturday morning (rain or shine) before your usual family brunch;
  • Walk around the field during your son’s soccer practice while calling friends and family.

You get the idea, right?

If you look at your calendar, there are many things that you already do regularly. Associate them to a healthy activity that you are trying to set up as a new habit, so that little by little, it will just be weird for you to do one without doing the other. Those routines can be lifesavers when you are starting to lose your motivation for living a healthy life.

2/ Establish rules

When it comes to your “diet” and exercise plan, establish “rules” that you just have to follow without having to make decisions. Any rules! They can be completely random!

For instance, I have a rule that goes: “I can eat all the treats I want but only if they are homemade”. It makes it super easy for me to “decide” whether or not I will eat a piece of cake, wherever I am. I actually don’t have a decision to make, I just follow my rule.

Your rules don’t have to make sense or be logical. They just have to work for you and be “no-brainers”. Of course, this strategy only works if you are a rule-follower. If the first thing that comes to your mind when you see a rule is “How can I bend this one?”, you might want to focus on another tip! 🙂

If you find making decisions all the time stressful, it’s important to find ways to make decisions once and for all for as many things as possible.

3/ Involve others

Of course, chances are you are not just making decisions for yourself. You are making decisions for others too, and carrying alone the burden of the consequences.

It is time to involve others everywhere they can be involved. When you plan meals for the week, involve your family. When you plan vacations, nights out, getaways, potlucks, meetings, etc. Let others make as many decisions as possible and just be the coordinator if you really want to have control. Or you can even go further and let others handle it all while you become “just” an active participant. Remember, whatever you do, pretty much anyone else can do it too… as long as you let them do it THEIR way 🙂

Cat helping with laundry to relieve stress

You are not the only one who can do laundry!

Be careful though, involving others might add to your stress if it adds a lot of coordination and mediation. So make sure you are really letting go. Remember what your goals is: you want to have fewer decisions to make, you want to lower your stress level, you want to free some brain space so that you can keep your focus on what really matters to you: your health, your wellness goals, your well-being.

When you involve others, LET GO! Don’t micromanage. If the grandparents are watching the kids, let them decide what they do and when they go to bed. You are here today, right? So the grandparents must have done something right! If your spouse is cooking, just sit back and enjoy the meal. It might not be what YOU want, but remember when people do their thing, they might just do it THEIR perfect way.

How do you lower your stress NOW?

– Go and look at everything you do in a week.
– Look at what you can automate, at the routines you can establish, at the rules you can put in place, and at the people you can involve. Don’t forget the kids!
– Set some time in your schedule for the coming month to go through your house and office to do some cleanup. Get rid of stuff!
– Tell people around you about what you are doing and ask them where they would like to get involved.
– Start today and make one small change right away.

If you struggle or if you feel that your stress load comes from different places, download my  “TOP 10 Tips to control your stress (plus a BONUS!), or reach out to me. I have tools and resources that could help you a lot with stress management. Contact me at stella@allonsycoaching.com or schedule a 20-minute phone call (FREE) so that we can chat together.

Good luck with this! You can do it, just get on it. Allons-y! Let’s Go!

 


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2017 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

Best and worst beverages for your health

When it comes to beverages, the most common mistakes we make are the following:

  • We don’t drink enough WATER: if you drink less than 6 cups per day, there is a good chance you are not getting enough.
  • We don’t know what’s in our drinks: ingredients, sugar, calories.
  • We drink mindlessly: while driving, walking, working, etc.
  • We don’t take drinks into consideration when evaluating our nutritional intake: we end up swallowing plenty of unnecessary energy, which, of course, will be stored as fat!

Starting from those observations, how can we improve?

What’s the best beverage for our body?

Well, it’s pretty straightforward. The best beverage for our health is water. No coconut water, no vitamin water, no electrolyte water, just plain tap water (unless your water system has been contaminated and in that case, you might consider bottled water).

Clear healthy tap water running from faucet

We all have different needs when it comes to water, depending on our age, gender, level of physical activity, the amount of water we get from our food, the climate we live in, etc. I won’t tell you how much water you need to drink, because it’s very specific to each person. Yet, if you have no clue what a reasonable amount of water is for you, you can start with the following plan:

  • a cup of water right when you wake up;
  • some water after every bathroom break;
  • some water before each meal;
  • a bit of water before you go to bed.

This should amount to about 6 to 8 cups per day. Of course, if you are thirsty in-between, drink! Thirst is a great indicator that you are not getting enough water :-). And if you workout, drink extra water too!

If you are still in doubt, here is another way to assess your hydration level. If you pee almost clear, you probably drink too much water. If you pee dark yellow, you are not drinking enough water. Yep, it’s that easy! No need to get all fancy, scientific, and complicated!

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Which beverage is the worst for our health?

Some will tell you it’s coffee, others will tell you it’s soda, and many will tell you it’s alcohol. In my opinion, the worst beverage is the one you are drinking mindlessly. Out of habit, without enjoying it, and without being aware of what you are actually gulping down.

Soda?

I would like to give you just a little more information about soft drinks. If you take a look at the food label on your favorite pop cans, you might notice that many of them contain added fructose. Natural fructose, which you find in fruit, is good for you. But added fructose is very damaging to your liver. Regular consumption of fructose-containing beverages is a cause of fatty liver in patients without risk factors, according to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine. Considering that fatty liver is the second leading indication for liver transplantation in the US, it is quite scary, isn’t it?

Surgeons doing surgery on patient with fatty liver

I am not saying that soda is the worst beverage for your health (although, you would not have to tickle me much to have me confess!), but please, if you drink pops regularly, make sure you are really enjoying every single sip, because your body is paying quite a high price for this small pleasure.

Also, here is a word of caution regarding diet sodas. Their calorie content is very low or negligible. Yet, because they are very sweet, they don’t quench your thirst, they make you crave sugar, and they even make you eat more food. So don’t try to replace your regular pop with diet soda. It might help a bit, but not that much in the long term.

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Alcohol?

I won’t demonize alcohol. Yet, I have seen clients struggling with weight loss because they are sleep deprived (yes, it’s linked!). They don’t always realize that their poor sleep is due to the couple of drinks they have at night. If you are having trouble sleeping through the night despite the fact that you are old enough to read those lines, alcohol might be a reason.

Alcohol makes you drowsy, so you might fall asleep better when you drink a glass or 2 at night. But, alcohol has a strong side effect: it is dehydrating. As a result, you will want to get up at night to pee. A good reason to wake up! Plus, you will be thirsty, so you will also want to get up to get a glass of water or you will be very uncomfortable with a dry mouth and maybe a headache. Chances are, you will wake up before your alarm gets off. Not to mention that once the “depressant” effect of alcohol is gone, you will have a sudden burst of energy and awareness, which will make you very likely to wake up during the night, no matter what.

Man suffering from headache because of alcohol consumption

Alcohol also aggravates breathing problems such as snoring, and it interferes with the most restorative stages of sleep. So when you drink alcohol before going to bed, you won’t feel as rested the next day and even feel groggy.

So, if you are having trouble sleeping, keep an eye on your alcohol consumption. By the way, if sleep is an issue for you, you might want to read my article “Why can’t I sleep well anymore?” and download 25 Tips to Sleep Better (and a Bonus!). You can also take a super quick SLEEP QUIZ to find out whether or not you are sleep deprived and what you can do about it.

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Whatever you drink, make it count!

If an average person needs about 2200 calories per day from food and beverages. That’s about 700 calories per meal if you have 3 meals per day, right? Did you know that a Starbucks Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino can contain up to 530 calories? 12 oz of apple juice contain about 180 calories, even more than 12 oz of beer.

I am usually not a fan of calorie counting, far from it! But if you know approximately how many calories are in the beverages you consume on a regular basis, it might be a wake-up call. And maybe you will decide to eliminate a couple here and there, you know, the ones that are not quite “worth it”!

Here is the thing with drinks. We have a tendency to wolf them down without really noticing and without getting much pleasure from them. Yet, drink 2 beers tonight and you will swallow the equivalent, calorie wise, of almost half a meal. Maybe that’s what you want? Maybe sharing a beer with someone might be a healthier option.

Evaluate your favorite beverages

Here is what I suggest you do ASAP. List all the beverages you consume regularly and find out their approximate calorie content. Here is a list to help you, with average values:

  • 16 oz hot chocolate: 320
  • 7 oz Gin & Tonic: 200
  • 16 oz latte: 190
  • 12 oz apple juice: 180
  • 12 oz lemonade: 170
  • 12 oz beer: 160
  • 8 oz whole milk: 150
  • 12 oz regular cola: 140
  • 5 oz glass of wine: 120
  • 4 oz Martini: 120
  • 12 oz sports drink: 100
  • 12 oz unsweetened iced tea: 2
  • water: 0
  • sparkling water: 0
  • unsweetened tea: 0
  • black coffee: 0

For more, you can go to USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

You can also use the Alcohol calorie calculator from the US Department of Health and Human Services. It’s pretty convenient!

Having your own list will help you identify the most “dangerous” drinks. Next time you are about to drink one or the other from your list, ask yourself the following questions first:

  • Am I drinking this because I am thirsty? If the answer is yes, drink WATER!
  • Am I drinking this out of habit? If the answer is yes, could you put a healthier habit in place?
  • Do I really want this drink? Will I enjoy it all?
  • Could I pick a smaller size and still be satisfied?
  • Is this drink worth the calorie content? If yes, could I cut my snack, or maybe skip dessert?
  • Can I replace this drink with one that would be healthier?
  • Can I make this same drink healthier by using slightly different ingredients?
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What can I drink then?

I am not telling you “stop drinking”, “no alcohol!”, “no sodas!”. Although honestly, I am not far from suggesting the latter, sorry! But be aware of their effect on your health and on your weight. Because sometimes, they are not worth it.

Green tea in a cup as a healthy alternative to sweet beverages

Whenever possible, favor the following beverages:

  • water or sparkling water: plain or with a slice of lime or lemon, with slices of cucumber, strawberry, with fresh mint;
  • herbal tea, unsweetened iced or hot tea;
  • black coffee (decaf or not, depending on your sleep!).

If you are hesitating between a cocktail and a glass of wine or a beer, your best bet is often to go for the wine or beer. And stay away from sports drinks, unless your workout is quite intense and lasts an hour or more.

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Want more?

Follow me on Facebook or Instagram for healthy tips and tricks that will make your wellness journey easier and smoother. And if you think this article can be helpful to someone you know, please share! If you’ve read that far, it means that you’ve liked it. Don’t keep it to yourself, that would be quite selfish.

As always, if you feel that you need a bit of extra help figuring out what to do and how to do it, contact me or make an appointment for a FREE 20-minute consultation. I’ll be happy to chat with you and see how you can stack all the odds in your favor. Allons-y! Let’s Go!

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PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2017 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

Positive psychology helps with weight loss

In the media, we talk a lot about positive psychology, and how positive thinking improves our feelings, actions, and success in life. Positive psychology is trendy, and that is a very good thing!

If you don’t know what positive psychology is, let me explain real quick with an image. If you know what it is, skip to the next section “How to think positively?”, where I will show you how a positive psychology strategy that will help you with weight management, fitness, and stress relief.

What is positive psychology?

Our thoughts, when they travel in our brain, create their own trail. We call those trails, pathways. If we have a thought pretty rarely, the trail will stay narrow and rocky (or muddy if you live in Seattle!).

Man having difficulty walking forward on muddy trail

Just like in real life, who would invest in trying to make a trail better if no one is using it, right? If it’s a thought that is coming back to us over and over again though, the trail will become wider, smoother, until it becomes more like a highway. Now, whenever there is an event in our life that can lead to different types of thoughts, which thought do you think is most likely to come up first? A thought that has a muddy trail to travel on, or a thought that has created a highway already? The latter of course!

The idea of positive psychology is that if you intentionally think positive thoughts as often as possible, they will end up creating highways in your brain. As a result, when an event happens, a challenge presents itself, or difficulties arise in your life, positive thinking will be more likely and much faster to occur because positive thoughts will already have highways to travel on, rather than rocky trails to scramble on.

Beautiful road leading to rainbow and happy place

If, on the other hand, you have a tendency to always focus on the negative and be pessimistic, then negative thoughts will have highways to travel on and positive thoughts will only have tiny and difficult trails. Consequently, you will be much more likely to feel depressed, give up on challenges, have low self-confidence, etc.

How to think positively?

One thing you can do to start thinking more positively, is to write down all the positive things that happen to you day after day. What do I mean by positive things? Well, everything that makes you feel good, makes you feel happy, proud, hopeful, excited, etc. And if you are really depressed right now, you can start with everything that does not make you feel too sad. Yes, we all have different standards for happiness, depending on where we are in life and it’s totally OK.

So when you record your positive elements, think about laughing with friends, eating something good, sleeping in, completing a project, watching a sunset, not fighting with your mother, having a smooth commute, anything that brings you some kind of contentment!

Positive journaling

In positive psychology, we encourage patients and clients to use a journal and record, every single day, at least 3 things that went really well that day. And if you have a tendency to focus on the negative, or even to just not pay much attention to the positive, I highly recommend that you try doing this for a few months. Every night, sit down and list 3 things that went well that day or at least did not go wrong. And every morning, sit down and list 3 things that you look forward to. Make sure that you always find NEW items to list, so it doesn’t get repetitive. You need to rack your brains a little! It will require some time, but this type of intentional focus will make a big difference after a while in the way your mind is wired and in the different pathways available to your thoughts.

Positive thinking and weight loss

Now you are wondering what this might have to do with weight loss, stress relief, and exercise. Here we go! If you list all the things that make you happy, bring you joy, or make you feel good, you will be able to get a very long list after a short period of time. Do that for a couple of months, you will be surprised at all the sources of happiness available in your life.

List of source of happiness categorized in groups: stress relief, exercise, healthy, and unhealthyAs you keep adding to your list, categorize your items into 4 groups:

  1. Less stress (anything that you find calming)
  2. More exercise (anything that makes you move)
  3. Healthy (helps you reach your wellness goals but not related to exercise or stress)
  4. “Unhealthy” (doesn’t help you reach your wellness goals)

Having this list of agreeable things will help you organize your new lifestyle. Get used to scheduling as many activities as possible from groups 1, 2, and 3 in your calendar. Sometimes, we don’t really know what to do, we lack inspiration or motivation. Having a list handy is all we need to get moving again! And when you list only contains things that you love doing, what a great resource!!! Now, don’t scratch out category #4 of course! It’s not because you want to establish a healthier lifestyle that you have to quit enjoying all the pleasures that don’t help you reach your goals. Just be mindful. Spread those activities out, make sure they are not your main source of happiness.

Are your kids bored sometimes?

If you have children and they are sometimes bored, I would encourage you to teach them how to do this as well. Not the categorizing part, but the initial listing part. Have them list all the little things that they enjoy doing. When the weather is bad, their friends are out of town, or the WIFI is down, they can take their list out and find something to do. Something that has brought joy to them before. Make sure they don’t just list big events such as “Go to Disney Land”. Teach them positive thinking early on. You will make them resourceful and give them a head start for working on their stress and happiness when they grow up.

What to do now?

Start your list today, and add to it, every day! If you find it hard to focus on the positive, email me or schedule a FREE 20-minute phone call so that we can chat. I will help you!

 

Of course, don’t forget to share this article on Facebook so that your friends can benefit as well. Let’s not do this alone! Wellness is a journey and if we don’t create a community around it, it will be hard for all of us. Now think positive and be healthy. Allons-y! Let’s Go!


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

 

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