My 5 Pillars of Health

It’s January and everyone is making New Years Resolutions and often they are related to improving their health or weight.

Losing weight and getting healthy are great goals but is going on a strict, super low calorie, low carb, magic pill, 6 week diet the way to improve your health? No!

As a Holistic Nutritionist I deal with clients for many different reasons – weight loss, hormone issues, digestive issues but regardless of what that client has come to see me about, I always first look at their foundation of health. If this isn’t strong then anything else you try will only work short term, if it works at all!

There are 5 pillars that are your foundation of health, take a look at them below and see if you have a healthy foundation.

  1. Food & Diet

My #1 rule is to Eat Real Food. This means eating food as close to nature as possible. Real whole foods are foods that are unprocessed, unrefined and are free from additives or other artificial substances.

Food is delicious but it’s about more than pleasure – its essential fuel for our cells that helps us thrive. Every single function in our body is able to occur because of amino acids, essential fatty acids, glucose, vitamins, and minerals. And where do we get all those things from? Why, from food of course!

We are very lucky in that we are able to choose what we want to eat. Every time we put food or drink in our mouths we are making a choice. This choice, however, has led many of us down a long and winding road in the wrong direction.  Take a look at your diet, if 80% or more of the food you eat comes from real food – great. If not, this is where you need to start. Check out my lightened up Caesar Salad recipe to help you along!

  1. Hydration

Our bodies are made up of more than 70% water. We can only go a few days without water for survival but most of us don’t drink enough fresh water on a daily basis. We’re basically going about our days dehydrated to some degree.

You should be drinking 50% of your body weight in ounces every day, are you? If not, get that reusable water bottle out and start drinking!

  1. Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important health habits, yet one of the most overlooked.

Are you waking up feeling refreshed or do you struggle to pull yourself out of bed and can’t function without your morning coffee?

Are you depending on coffee to get you through the day?

Are you getting 7-9 hours of good quality sleep every night?

If not, maybe you should be switching off the TV or putting down your phone and going to bed earlier!

  1. Movement/Exercise

Movement is fundamental for our bodies, minds, and spirit, and yet we often avoid it and put it off. We don’t have enough time, it’s too tiring, boring, or hard. Exercise shouldn’t be any of these things and if it is, you may be doing it wrong.

Moderate exercise should be something enjoyable, an activity you look forward to. This may mean going to yoga (my favourite), riding a bike, hiking/walking, or taking a dance class.

Plan for exercise, just like you would plan for anything else. It must become a habit. If you enjoy doing something, you are more likely to stick with it, which is most important.

Our bodies were meant to move, let’s get moving!

  1. Stress/Mental Health

The word ‘stress’ gets thrown around a lot in our culture. But how many of us actually know what stress really does to our bodies?

Stress affects more than just your emotional state. It has wide reaching effects on digestion, cardiovascular function, muscles, metabolism and more. Unfortunately, the physical effects of stress can last long after you’ve met that work deadline or resolved that conflict with your partner.

Working on stress reduction is critical on the path to optimal health, do you have any stress management techniques in place?

If after reading these over, you feel overwhelmed but are ready to commit to improving your health then click this link to find out more about my 6 week and 3 month coaching programs.

My coaching programs are designed to provide a personalized approach to each and every client and their goals whether you are starting from the ground up or just need a kick-start.

 

My Handy Tip to Balance Hormones & Reduce Cravings

I’m going to share ONE tip with you that will help keep your hormones balanced and reduce cravings in just 48 – 72 hours.

This ONE tip was a game changer for me in the early days and still keeps me on the straight and narrow. Here it is…

Eat breakfast!

If you can handle a huge protein packed breakfast at that time then awesome go for it but if you struggle to get anything down you at that time of day then try starting with a power packed drink such as an elixir. Elixirs have become a staple in my life, they allow me to fuel myself to get through the crazy mornings of kids & backpacks and school drop offs.

Here’s what a typical elixir looks like for me:

1 cup each of water & unsweetened coconut milk (heated)
1 tsp Matcha Green tea powder
1 tsp coconut manna (aka coconut butter or you can use coconut oil)
1 tsp almond butter (or any other nut butter)
2 Tbsp Organika Enhanced Collagen
1 tsp raw honey
Dash of cinnamon & pure vanilla extract

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend on low for 45 – 60 seconds. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

Check out these recipes from fellow nutritionist Meghan Telpner for other delicious elixir recipes.

I often get asked about my daily eating routine so this is what a typical day looks like for me:

  • 6am get up & ready, head downstairs and drink 500ml of lemon water
  • 7am drink elixir
  • 9.30-10 drink smoothie
  • 1pm lunch
  • 5.30 dinner

Having breakfast is a simple tip is something we can all easily do. Eating a breakfast packed with proteins and/or healthy fats or drinking an elixir is like an insurance policy against raging blood sugar levels and surging amounts of insulin (fat storage hormone).

Eating a protein & healthy fat filled breakfast has been proven to:

  • Help balanced leptin levels (hormones that shut off hunger)
  • Keep blood sugar levels stable
  • Dramatically reduce cravings throughout the rest of the day
  • Reduce feelings of hunger causing you to consume less calories
  • And help to speed up metabolism through its thermogenic effects

Try incorporating the above tip and let me know if you notice a difference, I would love to hear from you.

If you are ready to learn more, there’s still time to sign up for my Healthier You 10 week program but registration CLOSES IN 5 DAYS!

Mel

4 Dieting Mistakes That Stop Fat Loss

I have been fortunate enough to coach many women through their weight loss journey and through working with my clients I’ve been able to pinpoint 4 mistakes that 90% of dieters make. I believe that these mistakes are mostly to blame for your inability to lose the weight or keep it off long-term.

It’s not your fault that the diet books, cookie cutter programs or even doctor supervised programs don’t provide nutrition education. How are you supposed to know which bread you should be buying, how to choose a yogurt or how to modify your meal at your favorite restaurant so you can continue to eat the foods you love?

Here are the 4 mistakes i see my clients making all the time that hinders their health and weight loss goals.

  1. Not enough fiber

So many people are busy avoiding carbs and going gluten-free that they forget the most important component: FIBER. Most gluten-free products are very low in fiber and when you cut carbs out of your diet you are getting rid of the food group that provides fiber.

Success long-term greatly depends on your digestive system health, ability to have daily bowel movements and stable blood sugar levels. Without low glycemic load carbohydrates it’s likely you will feel hungry, have cravings and binge. Fiber is also essential to transport toxic estrogen out of the body and a key component in keeping cholesterol levels low.

Check out this high fiber make ahead Chopped Rainbow Salad recipe which is ideal for lunches on those busy days. This is just one of 46 delicious recipes available in my Healthier You program.

  1. Lack of adequate water intake

Water is the liquid gold that keeps the body running smoothly. Adequate water will help to keep you regular, nourish your cells, avoid cravings (thirst shows up as hunger) and make you feel leaner.

The more water you consume the less you retain. Aim to drink 50 to 60% of your total body weight in ounces daily.

  1. Too much dairy

This one is really too bad because who doesn’t love cheese! There are some exceptions to this rule like raw cheese, plain Greek yogurt, kefir and of course the array of milk alternatives.

Most trendy yogurts and over the counter dairy sources, have hidden milk sugars, artificial sugars, artificial binders, preservatives and unhealthy fats. Don’t be fooled because most dairy isn’t a good source of protein.

Yes, you can still have a couple of servings of dairy daily (if you can tolerate them) but stick to plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or unsweetened dairy alternatives.

  1. Not eating enough

It’s typical of most diets to cut calories to dangerously low levels. Eating less does not produce faster fat loss results. Studies have shown that it only takes 7 to 10 days of reducing calories to throw your body into ‘starvation mode’ where your metabolic processes slow to a screeching halt.

I understand that it’s psychologically challenging to consume more food since the commonly held belief is that more food will contribute to weight gain. Take a look around you… its’ not about less food, more food or even organic food.

It’s about eating the strategic foods that are right for your body to promote fat loss and improve your health. Most traditional diets have these typical flaws that can potentially damage your metabolism, lower your thyroid and intensify cravings causing you to binge.

This is the type of information you will learn throughout my Healthier You program and remember the saying “knowledge is power’ that is what I am going to give you, the power to take back control of your life.

Are you with me? Registration closes in 10 days! Click here to learn more. 

Mel

Want a Personalized Plan to Lose Weight?

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Happy New Year!!!

I am so excited as today is the day that my Healthier You 10 Week Program officially opens for enrollment!

If you’re ready to get off the diet train, get rid of those stubborn 15 pounds, gain energy and feel lighter all while eating delicious food, then this is for you.

You can get all of the details about my Healthier You Program here.

Have you ever thought to yourself… how come I’ve been dieting for years, exercising yet you’re still not able to lose weight and keep it off? I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is another way, a realistic, healthy & sustainable way to lose weight and nourish your body using real food and I will teach you everything you need to know and give you all the support you need in my Healthier You Program.

It’s not a matter of following a meal plan for 6 weeks or taking this magic shake or pill. It’s about understanding what your body is trying to tell you and giving it what it needs.

It all kicks off January 21st and EARLY BIRD pricing is available for 7 DAYS ONLY.

This is NOT a diet because we know diets don’t work. My clients experience more energy, vitality, confidence and joy by following my program and I am SO proud of this and the results my clients are getting. This is what one of my clients has to say about the program:

“This hasn’t felt like a diet, it just feels like I’m living a better life, making better choices. I haven’t ever felt deprived the way I felt on the diets I’ve tried in the past and my energy and mood have really improved.”
My program is right for you if:

  • You have tried so many diet plans you have lost count and still not got the results you so desperately want
  • You want to lose weight but don’t want to feel hungry, deprived or hangry!
  • You feel it’s time to learn which real, nutrient dense foods fuel you, promote fat loss and balance your hormones
  • You experience bloating, gas, constipation, heartburn, diarrhea or any other type of digestive system issues… even if you believe them to be ‘normal’ because you’ve always had the problem (these symptoms are NOT normal)
  • You don’t exercise but still want to lose weight
  • You don’t think you have the time to eat healthy or don’t know what to cook.
  • You are stressed out, aren’t sleeping and wake up feeling tired and unenergetic
  • You look in the mirror and don’t know who you are anymore
  • You feel like you’re going crazy and it doesn’t matter what you do, you can’t lose the weight or feel better

The key to losing weight is about finding what works for YOU plus accountability and professional support. This is why I created my Healthier You Program so you can focus on losing weight while still eating delicious food because believe me, it is totally possible to do this without feeling overwhelmed OR deprived.

Enrollment is now open but space is very limited as I keep my groups small and intimate so I can give each participant the attention they deserve. Remember, EARLY BIRD PRICING is only available until 10pm January 8th.

Click here to find out more about the program and what’s included in my signature 10 week program.

Hope you’ll join me
Mel

Ways to Stay Healthy When You Travel

Whether holiday travel plans, vacations, or work has you on the road, it can certainly disrupt your usual routine and throw you off track. So how do you still get in a workout and eat right even when you’re miles away from home?

It’s absolutely possible with some intention setting and pre-planning.  You may have to be traveling, but taking the time to take care of you is critical no matter where you are.  Here’s how to do it without it feeling like a chore.

  1. Check out your hotel’s fitness options

Most hotels have fitness centers or swimming pools. Find out what they contain before you book. If your company is footing the bill, you may not even have a say in where you stay, however knowing what exercise options you have available will allow you to keep a fitness plan while you’re traveling. Should there be no fitness room of any kind, you can stream videos in your room to exercise to or get in some walking as you explore the area you’re visiting.

  1. Learn about the food in your destination

Most places will have healthy eating options, though they might not be as robust a selection as you’re used to. Find out what kind of food is available in your hotel and nearby. Some hotels have kitchenettes where you can cook your own food, which is an excellent option for keeping your own healthy foods on hand for your meals.

  1. Don’t just sit there

Long flights mean lots of sitting, which affects your circulation. Get up and move about the cabin and do some exercises while in your seat to battle it. Trapped in the airport from a delay? Get up and walk around a bit before returning to the gate. Incidentally, if you’re traveling internationally, moving about more will help you beat jet lag faster.  There’s plenty to do and see in an airport, so have fun exploring and getting some extra steps in.

  1. Stay hydrated

Water is essential when you’re flying. It might mean more trips to the lavatory, but without enough hydration, you may become dehydrated.  It’s easy to slack off of water intake as you travel, but be extra mindful this year of staying hydrated along the way.

  1. Adapt to the time zone

Even if you fly from one end of the country to the other, the time zones will play tricks on you. Eat all of your meals at the correct times in the time zone you’re in. If you’re not entirely hungry, eat a fiber-rich snack to help power you through.

  1. Keep the right attitude

No matter where you are, even when your normal routine gets shaken up, always remember that a healthy and fit lifestyle isn’t just some short-term goal. It’s a way of life, and sometimes life has bumps in the road. Keeping that on your mind will help you make healthy choices.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself while away, but rather, make smart decisions. Small tweaks to your travel plans can show significant results, and I invite you to keep that in mind as you travel this season.  We often subscribe to the “all or nothing” mindset, but the sweet spot is right in the middle of all or nothing.

Healthy Holiday Treats

This time of year you can be surrounded by lots of temptations that maybe aren’t made with the best ingredients.

To help you resist these, I wanted to share some of my favourite healthy holiday treats that are made with real food deliciousness to satisfy that sweet tooth but also nourish your body.

Click here to download my Healthy Holiday Treat Ebook filled with 7 amazing recipes that are all gluten, dairy and refined sugar free.

Enjoy!

Mel

5 Ways To Make This Season Stress Free & Enjoyable

Holiday Season Stress FreeThe holiday season brings a great deal of joy and warmth along with it.  There’s something extra special about this time of year — but it often doesn’t come without stress.  A great deal of added stress is seemingly dumped on our plates, and it can be hard to catch our breath.  The pressure of finding gifts, rushing around in the hustle and bustle to visit everyone, having people visit you, getting to see relatives you miss and even having to deal with those that aren’t always a joy to be around.

This season really can be enjoyable and heart-warming, even with the stress involved.  Walking into this time of year with a great mindset and some helpful reminders gets me through every year… and I’d love to share my tips on how I do this with you.

For a stress-free holiday season, I try to…

1.Remember perfect doesn’t really exist

Your cookies turned out like blobs. Your lights aren’t lighting up. Your kids just made a mess of your clean house moments before the guests are arriving. Surrender your vision of what perfect is and just let it go. The only thing the people in your life care about is being with you.

2. Don’t feel bad about saying “no.”

You can’t do it all. There’s no reason you need to go to every party and event from now through New Year’s. Decide which ones are most important to attend and politely decline the others. Spreading yourself too thin isn’t good for anyone, and it makes the time fly by faster, also. You’ll enjoy the holiday months better if they don’t whiz by in a blink.

3. Stay away from crash diets

Please don’t decide to starve yourself to compensate for the extra calories you had or are going to have at that holiday party. If you do slip up, forgive yourself and make a point to be more mindful. Don’t punish yourself for any mistakes. Just move forward with better decisions, no punishment involved.

4. Know that asking for help is okay

Let me repeat: you can’t do it all. Let family and friends help out when they offer. They can bring a dish, grab something from the store on their way, or help with the dishes. If you have to go to someone’s party and don’t have the time to make something, grab something pre-made from the store. There comes a time when we all need help and learning how to accept it will be incredibly beneficial for your sanity.

5. Fit in time for yourself

Women, in particular, spend less than 30 minutes a day on themselves. Go for a run, get a limited-edition special-roasted coffee at the corner café and sit there in peace, read a book, take a bath, or make time with your best friend to just have one-on-one time without your kids tagging along. You’ll feel full again, which renews your mind and spirit like nothing else. We can’t give from an empty cup, as the saying goes.

Remember, the holidays are about joy. Find yours within, and you’ll be able to spread more of it around.  What makes you feel most joyful?

To help you get into the holiday spirit, check out my Gingerbread Protein Cookies, the kids and I had a great time decorating them this weekend.