A Bowl of WTH: Get on Track

A Bowl of WTH: Get on Track

Food journals. Fitness Apps. Calendars. These are a few ways health conscious people track their habits. What are they tracking? Their food relationships activity, types of activity, water, weight, and more. Why are they tracking? Fitness OCD? Thrill of goal achievement? Mostly, it’s accountability and discipline. I do get excited about those Fitbit badges. I do have specific recommendations and high suggestions as far as how and what to track in a small setting. However, one on one or reading this post, I am not in charge of your life, you are. That is a powerful authority you need to claim. This is your grab the bull by the horns moment tool to create your success and maintain it.

Simplicity & Commitment

This needs to become an almost every day investment; however, don’t over think what to use. I like Apps for the multitask that they do with minimal input from me. Quick App store search and you’ve got options. Play around with a few. There are some major players. Apple provides a health app. FitBit looks at food, activity, sleep, water, and even your menstrual cycle. Unless your manstrating- maybe a suggestion to the developers? Every one should be able to keep up with hormonal flows is my personal belief. My fav is MyFitnessPal. If inputting to an app takes away from keeping it simple, then keeping journal or calendar works too. It’s what appeals to you without over thinking it.  A factor in your tracking choice may be what helps you maintain commitment- accountability partners. It could be a physical presence of spirit, human or a virtual presence. Think beyond your front door for support. Most Apps provide communities, there are health lifestyle groups on Facebook or other social media. Create your own group/community! Even if you just spectate in these groups, seeing and having support makes making changes stick easier. Once your reach goals, use this tracking and support tool to maintain. So weight loss was my initial goal. As my food relationship shifted, my goals are now about addressing health issues and maximizing that relationship. Just participated in a group Sugar Fast. I love these transparent and empowering women! Now I am holding my water count accountable. Slipped off that wagon. I have my favorite account-abilities and connections, find yours. Join me on Fitbit, MyFitnessPal,or invite me to your Facebook/Social media group!

Head Game

Where the overwhelm may hit is: it’s new, so many goals to tackle, and comparison to others. It’s crucial to check in with your head when you develop this lifestyle habit. Defeat, self doubt, and mistrust in you can over ride any good. Your precious soul is worth more than a beat up. A new habit takes grace and when the wheels fall off, putting them back on. I will say this again and again, baby steps are steps. Creating a new habit and tackling those goals may require more time in smaller steps. When I set the goal to “loose baby weight” what made me successful this time over any others is honoring my time and one step at a time. My first focus was to drop 200 calories a day over two to three months and get active. This allowed my to focus on my how to do it and less on scale. Once I got that, then I hit my next goal. Then the next. My how became as important as what I was doing. My food relationship focus was on health not dieting. Activity exploration led to enjoyment and passion. My baby steps affected my head game in ability to create focus and see victories along the way. There was one huge stumbling block that hit. HARD. Looking at others and doing the comparing check list. Your physical body is not the same as mine. Mine isn’t the same as some one else’s. What I love about Ayurveda is the recognizing of different body types, they can all be different, and each has it’s own healthy form. This was the first enlightening of why I was struggling SO BAD. We are all so gloriously different. I had to stop, even unconsciously, aiming for an image. Stop hating for others looking a certain way and honor the image of me. Your head game needs to focus on your achievements, all of them, along the way. Your head game needs to respect and honor others along the way. Your journey from another is separate in what it looks like and common in humanity. The ability to grasp this concept is life altering. Gracefully Honor your – baby – steps and your journey cause head game is everything to your success.

Small add on. Be transparent in challenges, uplifting in words. Being authentic and honest when you struggle allows freedom in you and empowerment for others to love where they are. At the same time, I watch over and over again in some groups where we spur others to continue in harmful habits and spur on spiral. Don’t give advice or place judgement. You can honor and acknowledge a feeling or condition plus offer a nonadvice, nonjudgement uplift. “Hey I understand your struggling, we are hanging in there with you. You can do this.” This is trans-formative for you and the other soul, even if it may take a while to sink in.

Invest in your goals even when accountability seems frightening. Your changes will happen and you will find more you. I’m here to help. Follow my transparent journey of life, parenting, and wellness on Instagram. Follow Me on Pinterest for ideas, inspiration, and my love of memes. See you there!

Namaste

Juls

A Bowl of WTH: Why Health Professionals Say & Do Those Weird Things. Why We Need to Adopt Those Habits

A Bowl of WTH: Why Health Professionals Say & Do Those Weird Things. Why We Need to Adopt Those Habits

Part of my new year goal resets was to take my own advice and … reset. Everyone needs to take a moment to step back and check in to your healing. I bundle-blanket-binged on some random shows then spent this past week invested in the study of myself and my passions. I am a health nut. Sort of. I just made a homemade peanut butter and (dark) chocolate cup for a snack. I put protein power in it, so it’s okay. I am passionate about “wellness” and a healthy lifestyle as the Aha moments roll in on how I am finally maintaining a healthy weight, conquering long term mental health issues, and addressing health issues that had a “good luck” diagnosis. I am learning to accept my whole self in progress and enjoy where I am. I am not super skinny, or even “skinny,” nor ever will be. I am 165 ish pounds, size 8-12 (depending on how much a sadist the designer is), love chocolate, not a gym fan, yoga addict, and completely okay with doritos on an occasional basis. I may or may not have eaten a whole bag this weekend. It’s been months, so health nuts- chill. I also kept up my egg whites with herbs, greens, low carb yogurt, and oatmeal. I love the more I am learning the more I expand in being able to help others.

However, the more I find myself in the health and wellness world, I am finding myself saying WTH a lot. A. Lot. Most health-nut habits have real world applications that you may be missing out on or it could be the life altering change you have been needing for years. In getting this wheel spinning again I want to produce a transparent series on “A Bowl of WTH” looking at why health nuts suggestions can be an Aha moment for you and how to be practical with it. The title inspiration comes from countless photo stalking of health nuts in what they eat. It is (1) always in a bowl and (2) most of the time I’m “WTH,” either it’s unrecognizable or unappetizing. TBH. However, much of the photos shared is extremely useful to us and we need to take note. I am not going to offer a “one and done” deal or you can only do this, don’t do that. While there are common threads, we are individuals. The common threads will be pointed out so you can’t miss them. Yet, I will share what works for me and why. What works for others in order for you to have options that work for you. Beyond the what, is the why. Why you need to consider doing what health nuts are doing. We are made to thrive and those health nuts hold some of those keys.

The first of the issues I want to address is a weighty one. It’s our weight and our relationship with the weight scale. Nothing will hold you accountable with dread then stepping on a scale. As far as weight goes. You can’t deny the number. You and, yes even I, need to remember that the scale is a thing. If it actually taunts you, then you or the scale needs to be check out. Otherwise, its a thing. A tool. As far as what you should weigh comes between BMI, a trusted doctor, and a trusted health professional. BMI by weight and height only is a guideline and not everything. Your frame size, muscle density, and other factors needs to be considered in what you should weigh. A trusted doctor and health professional can measure around your body for inches of fat, take in other weight issues.

Do. NOT. Stand on a scale to get skinny.

Use a scale to get in a healthy weight range.

J.Riley

Weight can also fluctuate due to hormones and water weight by a few pounds. Most of the time it evens out but may be an indicator to watch your salt levels or address hormone problems. For me it was salt and managing stress, which impacts everything down to hormones. Squirrel trail, those with menstrual cycles, you can be so stressed out you miss a cycle. I had no idea until my early twenties and final exams. Stress affects us in powerful ways.

Back to scales and weight. Muscle weighs more than fat. If you take up strengthening, then you may put pounds back on. I lost 90 pounds and gained 10 back while my measurements changed for the better. Muscle is a positive weight outcome on the scale. This is why measurements are important. Other things that may change your weight: different time of day scaling, scaling wet opposed to dry, scaling in different locations, or your children/dog/cat decide to join you. I can have a range of 35 pounds to 90 pounds attached to my side. Every once and a while I remember to lock the door. So what do you do if you change your lifestyle for the better and nothing changes? See a health professional. It may be an adjustment needed, health issue, or you’re just lovely the weigh you are.

Using a weight scale to check in is a tool for weight loss, maintenance, and accountability. It is not the final judge of your healthy lifestyle. Please keep it once a week habit and no more. Purely, it’s a step to keep the food relationship and active relationship from serious denial.

I am ready to take on more! From this jumping off point, in no particular order, we will hit…

  • food relationship fads: what you truly should consider
  • diet idols
  • what workout for who
  • the deal with shakes and vitamins
  • what is detox, cleanse
  • the body/mind connection
  • why health nuts are addicted to leggings
  • the stress factor
  • why a water bottle should be your third arm
  • recipes and food ideas
  • More!

Look for “A Bowl of WTH” with the topic listed after. Easier is to click “YES” to get it directly to you. No spam promise.

Namaste and See You Soon!

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The Problematic Resolution

There is a personal matter with one specific resolution. My goal in wellness coaching is to work with individuals towards their unique dreams while tacking specific hurdles to that person. However, I hear and see this resolution everywhere and with clarity: dieting and body perceptions. It’s the time of newness we are inundated with images of gyms, diets, shakes, scales, plans, and images. A lot is valuable and can be an asset, the danger lies in your why and body perception.

My own journey back to well after having my son started with weight loss then snowballed into aha moments of tackling mental wellness and all kinds of curve balls along the way. One simple resolve to set a goal in losing baby weight was what I needed. That all said. I didn’t diet. I changed it. I did shakes for nutrition but also love my chocolate and pizza. OMG olives and bacon. I work out but found being gentle is more important for my particular body capabilities. I “listened” with filters, figured out what works for me, found grace, and made permanent changes along the way. In the mix, it was a real fight to address body perceptions. At first, my victories were not happy. Because I wasn’t skinny. As my mental health rose with my physical health, I realized how unbelievably dumb this is. Then the step of anger came. It’s so frustrating being in an industry that bombards you with images of perfection and “how-tos.” The most pinned recipes I had for a long time had the word “skinny.” I had to step away and get perspective. Thankfully, changes in how health and wellness looks are happening. It’s imperative you understand that healthy looks different. Resentment for those who are “skinny” isn’t acceptable and those who may be slightly overweight or not have a certain look can be healthy too and it’s not your judgment call. Healthy has different forms and its an internal affair. As you navigate what is your highest wellness, please keep these few things in mind.

It’s an Internal Affair

Its how you love on your self and accept your creation. Its finding your value in your gifts and talents. It’s what you eat to healing and promote physical function. It’s discovering your favorite ways or may be tolerable ways to move to gear up your body and brain. It about you.

Fight the Expectation of Extremes, Un-realities, and Fads.

Dieting sucks. It rarely works. It’s often harmful. While there are common threads in nutrition, there are differences that work for everyone. If you want to lose weight- professionals and common sense eating. Nutritionist, health coach, wellness coach, doctors, or take a nutrition course yourself — I don’t care how. Just please, do not put your body, mind, and soul on that yo-yo or in potential harm. Look for meaningful change in your lifestyle. There are plans, points, and programs out there that can help. Know that whatever change you make, its a long term change. Then keep the scale in perspective. Your weight fluctuates naturally and it can stall out for a time being. Trust your process and listen when things aren’t working in over an extended period of time. A professional can help you guide this. In all this scale talk, muscle weighs more than fat. After I lost weight, I gained some back and still doing a little. My waistline and measurements are not going in a negative direction. I am strengthening and seeing those results. Scale, overall feeling, and all measurements should be taken into account. Make those changes stick. Stopping the yo-yo means cutting the cord to go back.

Work It Out For You

Rarely do I find going to the gym enjoyable. I love my personal yoga studio and going to yoga studios. I love being outside. I love joining others in their active passions every once and while. Wonderful people own and go to gyms. It’s their thing. Some its kickboxing. Just a walk. Refit. Zumba. Pilates. Be open to anything and get to know you. Someone’s passion may become a shared passion. Or it may be love from a distance. Do not feel you have to run or do extremes. I love challenging myself and working within limitations, aerial yoga is for me. Work it for you.

Have grace in those pitfalls and don’t let it stop you getting back on your path. Love yourself while you create a greater you.

Namaste, Juls

Health Foodie: Iron Deficiency Myths

Health Foodie: Iron Deficiency Myths

About a year ago I finally dragged myself to the doctor.  I was blacking out, having heart palpitations, concerning exhaustion, and muscle cramps like you wouldn’t believe.  After a few vials drawn and a few days later, I got a call everything was normal, just my iron was low.  Let me tell you, there was nothing normal about what I was experiencing.  I was given a three month prescription of iron and miralax.  Then I was sent on my way.  Since I absolutely cannot stand miralax and it’s dangerous chemicals,  I dove into various studies, organizations, and more for more options.  I found a supplement to match the dosage.  Then I became violently ill from that. Scratch that.   I also don’t eat very much meat, which was the best dietary option given to boost iron.  That’s a problem.  

There had to be other options.  I was horrified at what I found as I kept digging.  I wasn’t going to be monitored as I should, unless I forced the issue myself with the doctor but I didn’t know at the time.  It takes months to level out our iron levels, as somewhere around six months mark.  That is if supplements and diet work. It doesn’t for everyone.   For some, this is all you need.  This sudden arrival of winter and constant need of all things fleece, I am reminded of this personal wellness issue.  When you aren’t well,  it infiltrates you more than body, your mental state and soul take a hit too.   It’s important when you aren’t well  investigate (with caution) and get answers. In all of it, follow your instinct, inner voice, gut.  

I am not a doctor and information shared is intended for informative purposes only. 

JRiley

Myth One: It’s a Simple Disease

No.  Iron deficiency/ Anemia ranges from headaches and fatigue to fainting, black outs, constantly cold, muscle spasms, nerve damage, difficulty breathing, severe fatigue, and more.  Testing may be simple but dealing with it is anything but.  Testing is important as the symptoms over lap with many other diseases and conditions.  If you suspect, before treatments or supplements, seek professional diagnosis. 

Myth Two: One solution works for everyone

My deficiency is different than yours.  There are so many reasons as to why your iron or red blood cells (anemia) are low.  It fluctuates.  Stress, sickness, menstruation, cancer, pregnancy, digestion issues are among many reasons it happens. Changing diet, reducing stress levels, or taking supplements may be all your need. It may not.  Find out where you are in your levels.   More testing, specialist, and treatments may be needed. The changes I made in my lifestyle and diet were based on the levels I had and maintained over time with success in those changes.  Some adjustments, like more rest and increasing certain foods may temporarily be needed.  However, without that success, I would be pursuing different professionals for more answers.  

Myth Three: Eat More Chicken. Beef. Liver. 

 If you are a vegan or vegetarian- you aren’t screwed.  This is where I get warm fuzzies as I personally love food as medicine and food chemistry.   You can change your food relationship to help with iron without ever eating chicken, beef, liver, or any meat.  These are the top iron rich Vegetarian/Vegan friendly foods: 

  • chard
  • bok choy
  • broccoli
  • lentils and beans
  • Pumpkin seeds, pepita seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds
  • Almonds
  • Figs
  • Dried apricots
  • Brussel Sprouts

But then iron isn’t the only part to this equation….

Myth Four: When Changing Diet- iron, iron, iron, iron

Nope.  And yes.  Yes you need to add in iron but some parts of your food relationship may be blocking iron and others may boost absorption.  Beets, chocolate, tea, wheat bran, rhubarb, strawberries, and spinach release oxalates, which can reduce iron absorption. Calcium rich foods inhibit your bodies ability to take in iron.  Black teas and coffee release tannins which may block iron absorption as well.  Walnuts, apples, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries release tannins.  So does cocoa, chocolate.  As a matter of fact cocoa/chocolate releases three different chemicals that can impair iron absorption.  All of these foods are needed and great for you, especially some dark chocolate.  The lesson is: love your iron and chocolate separately.  About two hours apart from iron rich/iron boosting foods and those known to inhibit.   You may be able to eat some of not so iron absorbing friendly foods in small doses in a meal when you are eating for iron and red cell boost if your levels are in the normal range.  

Iron with vitamin c is a great food connection.  It increases your absoprtion significantly. Iron also needs beta carotene (Vitamin A) and magnesium.  There is two for one deal often in the iron/magnesium/Vitamin A food list: swiss chard, kale, avocado, figs, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and bananas.  Beta Carotene (vitamin A) can be found in iron rich foods too: dried apricots, peas, dark leafy greens, and broccoli.   Its important to understand how your food relationship pairings work.  Everyone plays a role.

The Final Myth: All Supplements are Safe

Oh hell no.  Especially Iron and Vitamin A.  If you are aiming for Vitamin A.  Just eat it.  I meant it, don’t supplement.  Eat it.  Vitamin A is stored in your liver and doesn’t dissolve easily.  This makes it easy to over dose and make it a toxin. A.K.A. poison.  Iron in too small doses is detrimental; doses too high are toxic .  This is why getting testing for iron levels is crucial.  Make sure your levels are known and monitored if you have anemia or difficulty maintaining iron levels.  What I started with my supplements to get my levels up to speed is much higher than what I need now. 

I love experiencing how food can heal.  However, it isn’t the end-all-be-all.  Bodymind health tampers with everything.  Stress, prolonged or frequent,  messes with your body chemicals and blood flow ability.  The best investment we can make is mental health practices: prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, rest, and mindfulness.  Check out last weeks post “Hit. The. Breaks” for more ideas.  Stay warm.  Be kind to your body.  Care for your mind.  

Namaste and Keep Your Warm Fuzzies