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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.

 

Is pizza a balanced meal?

You keep telling yourself that you should eat balanced meals, and yet, it is so hard! No time, no energy for cooking, no motivation sometimes, or even a lack of skills you think…

Balanced meals are too much work!

Maybe you are like some of my dear clients, who eat pizza or fast food 3 times a week for dinner, and most often than not, grab a cookie or a donut at snack time. If that’s the case, eating balanced meals every day might seem out of reach for you. Just like it used to seem out of reach for my clients.

Well, not so fast! Let me show you how easy it can actually be. Eating healthy for the long term is not about dismissing everything you have been doing so far. It’s about tweaking and making small improvements to your current habits.

We will just take 2 examples and then you will know how to adjust to your own needs.

Make your pizza night nutritionally balanced

Unhealthy pizza turned into healthy dinner (lettuce, pizza, orange)

 

Make your snack more balanced

Unhealthy snack (cookie and soda) turned into healthier snack (pear, milk, and cookie)

 

You get the idea, right? Always keep those principles in mind:

  • add fiber (greens/fruit) to whatever you are having for dinner or for snack;
  • add protein if there is none in your food already;
  • only eat 1 or 2 servings of the “unhealthy” food.

It’s important that you don’t always focus on eliminating what you like or what is convenient. Because you will be miserable and you will end up quitting. Instead, think about proportions: make sure that unhealthy food is only a small part of what you are eating. See how you feel after making that change!

If you want more ideas or if you need help establishing a healthier lifestyle, 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 and see where you could start. The first step is often a very hard one to take. Go for 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.

Lower your cholesterol naturally

Not happy with your latest cholesterol count? There are lots of steps you can take to lower your cholesterol naturally. Sometimes, medicine is inevitable, but not always. Lifestyle changes can, for many of us, do the trick in the long run.

And even if you need medicine, changing your eating habits and increasing your activity level should remain TOP priorities too. If you think of it, taking meds without lifestyle changes is a bit like driving your car into poles and walls all day long and stopping by the auto-body mechanics on your way home each night. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

So while you might want to check with your Doctor whether or not you need cholesterol-lowering medicine, it’s important that you start taking lifestyle measures right now to keep your pipes clean on a daily basis.

Clean pipe to illustrate arteries free of cholesterol

10 ways to improve your cholesterol numbers naturally.

The first and often easiest thing to do is to increase your fiber intake.

1/ Eat a lot of veggies

Make sure half of your plate is covered with veggies at each meal. When I say veggies, I don’t mean starchy veggies, so, potatoes don’t belong here. But all other veggies work: zucchini, eggplants, cucumber, carrots, string beans, celery, you name it. If you are still hungry, have second servings of veggies, rather than extra starch or meat. And if you really want more protein or more grain, have another half plate of veggies with them. You can’t go wrong with veggies; knock yourself out!

2/ Eat fruit

You know, most French people eat one piece of fruit at each meal. We consider fruit our dessert. Why don’t you try that? Eat fruit instead of a treat, you will get a nice sweet taste with tons of vitamins and good fiber. Bring an apple or banana with you for snack rather than energy bars or crackers. Fruit is super convenient, you just have to get into the habit of eating more fruit, all kinds of fruit.

3/ Eat beans and legumes

Lentils, split peas, chickpeas, white beans, etc. Whether you buy them dry and cook them or buy them canned and rinse them, they are a great way to add fiber to your diet and can easily replace meat in some of your meals. Think hummus or bean dip – with veggie sticks of course, not with chips! – Lentil soup, roasted chickpeas, edamame. There are so many ways to add them to your diet, start with once a week and increase the frequency little by little. Plus, they are cheap, so you really have nothing to lose (except maybe a few pounds!).

4/ Eat non-processed whole grain

We are not talking whole wheat bread and pasta here, but more like real whole grains such as brown rice, wheat berries, barley, quinoa. Buy whole grains in bulk, they are cheap and extremely filling. Just like beans, they are a great way to eat a super healthy diet without blowing your budget. If you don’t know how to prepare them, think salads: any pasta salad can be turned into a whole grain salad pretty easily. Use your imagination or web browser, inspiration will come!

Oatmeal to help lower cholesterol naturally5/ Eat oatmeal for breakfast

Plain old fashion oatmeal or instant oatmeal, whatever you prefer. Just not the flavored oatmeal with sugar and all kinds of added crap. Oatmeal, cooked a few minutes in water, cow milk, or vegetable milk. Here is a super simple overnight oatmeal recipe if you need help with this.

The second very important thing to do is to decrease your animal fat intake.

6/ Eat less meat

Start replacing meat with fish, beans, tofu, or eggs here and there. Little by little, you will end up eating meat maybe no more often than you end up eating one of the above. Go gradually and make sure you still eat the meat you love the most once in a while, without second thoughts. If you love meat, consider it a treat. If you don’t like meat that much, then don’t eat any?!

7/ Eat less cheese

Avoid the cheese that you don’t truly enjoy. Melted cheese is usually the one to skip first because it does not provide as much satisfaction for the same amount. Just like meat, if you love cheese, then consider cheese as a treat, not as a habit. Eat the best ones in the best company. Remember that fermented dairy is not as bad for cholesterol as other dairies. So cheese and yogurt are better than cream and butter!

8/ Avoid butter and cream

Instead of butter on your toast, have nut butter. Instead of butter for cooking, use olive oil, or avocado oil. At home, we use a butter that is a combination of butter and olive oil. We like the taste, plus it never gets hard which is great for sleepy kids in the morning. Instead of cream, you can sometimes use plain whole yogurt or cottage cheese. When preparing a recipe that has cream in it, look for substitution suggestions. You have to be intentional at first, but then it becomes a habit and gets much easier.

What else can you do?

 

9/ Keep alcohol in check

Alcohol itself, especially red wine, does not necessarily have a bad reputation when it comes to cholesterol. But you definitely want to avoid the extra calories – and thus extra pounds! Not to mention the dehydrating effect of alcohol, which might lead you to skip a workout, or not feeling up to increasing your physical activity as much as you would otherwise. So keep your alcohol consumption to only what you truly enjoy. Be mindful, as with any other treat.

Person hiking on the beach to lower cholesterol naturally10/ Increase physical activity

If your cholesterol is high with the level of activity you have right now, try to increase it (physical activity, not cholesterol!). As usual, one step at a time. Add a few minutes to your workout sessions and keep adding and adding. Squeeze in an extra session each week, and then 2 or 3. Increase the intensity a bit if you can. You know yourself, you know your body, your constraints, your schedule. Just remember that what you are doing now might not be enough to help you lower your cholesterol, so work on it. If you need motivation, think about joining a group, or finding a partner, or signing up for a program or buying a pass. Anything that will push you a bit further, while keeping you happy and balanced.

Pick one strategy and start today.

Don’t push it to the weekend, don’t wait until next Monday. Start right now with one of those strategies to lower your cholesterol, and once you start doing it without having to think too hard about it, add another one.
Make your way slowly but steadily through the entire list, experiment. Give yourself time but work on this and see what your next blood test will tell you. Talk to your Doctor of course. Your cholesterol levels might require more than just lifestyle changes. But remember, whatever your numbers, living a healthier life will always help you move in the right direction. You can do this, let’s go!

Not sure where to start?

If you want more ideas or if you need help establishing a healthier lifestyle, 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 and see where you could start. The first step is often a very hard one to take. Go for 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.

What to eat for breakfast?

Are you trying to start your day with a healthy breakfast but are struggling with lack of time, lack of inspiration, and lack of motivation? If you don’t know what to eat when you get up in the morning, here are 12 quick & healthy breakfast ideas that will take less than 5 minutes to prepare and will keep your energy level high and steady for the whole morning.

healthy breakfast ideas: toast with fruits and berries

Many of us skip breakfast altogether, for many different reasons. We would rather sleep 30 minutes longer, or we are SO NOT hungry in the morning, even slightly nauseous. For people who are trying to lose weight, there is another reason. We think that the longer we wait before we start eating, the fewer calories we will end up swallowing during the day. This is what we call “calorie hoarding”. I have done it for years and years! Unfortunately, this strategy does not work for weight loss, and is not good at all for our health and energy level. What we skip for breakfast, we usually end up eating later in the day, and because we are often responding to cravings or energy slump, we end up making poor food choices and go for snack foods, sugary foods, fatty foods. Not the best way to lose weight, would you agree?

Healthy breakfast for sustained energy

If you want to nourish your body, feel energized, and not crash at 11 am or right after lunch, eating breakfast is one of the best things you can start doing today. OK, for this one, you can start tomorrow actually!

Ideally, just like any other meal, your breakfast would include a nice variety of foods, covering all the macro-nutrients. That is: carbohydrates, proteins, and a little bit of fat. Yet, if you have just been skipping breakfast for as long as you can remember, start slow. Have at least proteins + carbs, and you will already feel a difference!

12 easy breakfast ideas:

  • Instant Oatmeal Bowl (click to download the recipe)
  • Quinoa/Brown Rice Porridge Parfait (click to download the recipe)
  • Cottage or ricotta cheese with fruit/berries/seeds/nuts
  • Banana or apple with almond or peanut butter
  • ½ avocado with healthy seasoning (1tsp balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, or just black pepper)
  • Toast with cream cheese & jam, or with butter & honey + glass of milk
  • Toast with ricotta cheese and fruits (such as cantaloupe, mango, or strawberries)
  • Plain yogurt with muesli (no sugar added) and fruit/berries
  • Plain yogurt with crunchy soy protein/raisins/berries/nuts & seeds
  • ½ English muffin with peanut butter and berries
  • Scrambled eggs, plain or with leftover veggies
  • Egg cracked in a bowl and cooked in the microwave (30 seconds increments until it’s cooked to your liking).

Those are just ideas to get you started with breakfast. You can enjoy them on their own and it will already be a good start, or you can mix and match them to make sure you cover all the macro-nutrients.

For breakfast, like for everything else when you are establishing a healthy lifestyle, take it one step at a time. If you are used to never eating breakfast, start with a healthy breakfast 2 or 3 times a week. See how you feel, then add 1 extra day, and so on. Pretty soon, you will love your breakfast. Oh, and of course, before you eat anything, don’t forget to drink that delicious glass of water that we have often talked about!

A bit overwhelmed?

If you want more recipes or if you 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.