This recipe is simple and low in carbs and SO GOOD and filling for what it is. If you like creaminess and artichokes then this is for you. This is originally by the Paleo Running Momma and you can find the original recipe here. Please note this is NOT my recipe and...
Who doesn't love Chicken Parm?? Who doesn't want all the calories and fat that normally come with it?? This girl lol This is something I make frequently that I find to be SUPER easy. Please note I may receive a small commission from some affiliate links in this...
This continues to be a go to for me. I love it because it fills me up and is filled with nutrient rich food and lots of fiber. You can essentially use any dressing or marinade you like but I love Primal Kitchens Honey Mustard for this one personally, you could also...
I love this recipe because it is simple and tasty. Literally anyone can make it. I prefer to use cauliflower rice vs. normal and I use Trader Joes frozen cauliflower rice on that note. Then I always use Primal Kitchen Marinade/Dressing and Oils. So for this one...
Super Easy - Super Yummy - Super Healthy As you may or not know I am NOT a cook. I pride myself on finding things that are easy, taste good and are healthy. This meal is exactly that. It is packed with omega 3's, higher in protein, and easy to prepare. I use cod...
Stressed by what is best to get at the store?
Feel like you do not have enough hours in the day to finish working, take care of the kids, prep dinner, eat, take care of you, workout and know what to get at the grocery store?
Ever find yourself just throwing whatever seems appealing into your cart?
Well no more!
I have helped so many women achieve the balance they want and need by taking the guess work out of workouts and meal prep. Get a FREE grocery shopping list to help decrease inflammation and try it this weekend!
Oh the Grocery Store- there are SO many options. It can be overwhelming. I mean which brands are the best, which things do we really need, and why does it take so much time when you are trying to make smart choices??
Well this article is going to break it down a little bit for you. We are going to discover the best route to take when grocery shopping, which items to look for and which to avoid and why, and how to quickly understand nutrition labels.
First things first, not all grocery stores are created equal. However most are set up in a similar fashion. It is literally all for a purpose, if you do not believe me just look it up for yourself. Merchandising is a business and companies pay for where they are placed. Here is what I mean:
Grocery stores typically have the meat and produce and dairy going around the perimeter and the packaged stuff in the middle. However staples like meat, and dairy tend to be in the back…. why is that? Because it gives the consumer more exposure to other items first (i.e. when we go to the store for some chicken breasts but end up with a cart full of other stuff too).
Produce– typically near flowers to seem fresher. It typically is fresh however, go for produce in the back of shelf or display because the older stuff typically gets put in front to get purchased quicker.
Baking goods, ingredients, and canned goods are typically in the aisles to again give consumers exposure to more stuff they do not necessarily need.
Another tid bit of info you may not realize is the shelves are also set up a certain way. Eye level is typically by the big brands that can shell out the money to be seen more. Smaller more local brands will typically be at the top, and kid appealing foods at the bottom.
Knowing this though, what is the best route to take when grocery shopping?
First off come in prepared- have a list- get actual recipes one day a week that you plant to cook prior and get only what you need, stay focused.
Try to go on the outside aisles only, you will be less tempted this way (just try to avoid the bakery lol)
Grab things toward the back of produce and meat etc, they tend to be fresher and newer.
Eat before going to the store.You know they have all those free samples for a reason right? If they get you to eat something…. and you like it…. more money for them because it is going in your cart.
If you are really dreading the idea of grocery shopping then use a service like instacart to get them delivered, if you always end up spending $10-$20 more just by buying things you see when you are there, then it is worth the delivery
What should you avoid/go for?
Go for Organic when possible
If anything else avoid the dirty dozen (the worst fruits and veggies to buy due to typical contamination levels from pesticides, antibiotics, etc.
These guys consist of – Strawberries, Spinach, Apples, Pears, Nectarines, Cherries, Grapes, Celery, Tomatoes, Potatoes (if eating skin), Sweet Bell Peppers, Peaches
Avoid overly processed foods (have a ton of ingredients you cannot pronounce, more on this in the next section)
Hit the parameter of the store
What about those nutrition labels- if you have to buy something packaged then how do you know whether it is good for you??
Here are my main tips:
Opt for things labeled organic or Non GMO to start then look at the actual ingredient list…. NOT THE CALORIES
What is in the actual ingredients?
If there are more than 5-7 ingredients and you cannot pronounce some of them, then put that back and opt for another brand.
You typically will see sugar then added sugar. You want the sugar content overall to be low, but chances are if there are added sugars it is going to be even higher. **The daily recommendation for women the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25grams a day for women**** (some granola bars and yogurts contain that)
Look at the Macros (protein/fat/carbs)
Ideally you want a balanced ratio of all of this stuff.
This may go for more before you are consuming the product if you buy it but pay attention here. You may think you are getting 1 serving in a can for example and eat or drink it all….. but in reality there are 4 so you just consumed FOUR of everything listed on that label.
Try these tips out and see if you can’t master the grocery store like a boss. I got a FREE grocery list for ya too to be prepared with the best foods to keep inflammation down and feel better :).
You may know or you may not, I feel like a hypocrite alot. That is not an easy thing to say but I am saying that first and foremost….
Why do I feel this way? For starters because I work with people all day to get healthy to make better choices in relation to fitness and health and their overall wellbeing. Yet I am ALWAYS sick! (or so it seems).
I try to lead by example, I eat healthy, I do research, I try to get enough sleep, I try to listen to my body, I try to take all the right supplements….. yet here I am. Living with off and on RA flares, stomach issues that come and go, thyroid conditions, anxiety, and other hormonal stuff.
I was diagnosed with RA when I was in college and since that day I feel like my health has been an up and down roller coaster. My immune system doesn’t like a lot of stuff, my joints are ok then they are not which makes it hard to workout. After years of harsh meds to treat it and make my immune system calm down I think it has wrecked havoc on other things (like my gut and hormones and adrenals- which btw can all be affected by the gut being off).
I have done tests, I even had a gosh awful colonoscopy and was told I was, “ok”.
The more I learn about functional medicine and natural medicine and finding the underlying root cause verses just “covering up the symptoms” the more it intrigues me. The more I learn about the gut and how conventional medicines like antibiotics, steroids, birth control, and immuno suppressants affect it the more intrigued I am.
So here I am, taking that step and getting functional testing done. Working with a functional doctor here in Atlanta to look at it ALL. To see if my gut is really affected and part of the cause of my RA, my hormones, my anxiety, etc. It is fascinating to me and I am excited to find out. Not only because once we do we can start a treatment affecting the root causes of this stuff instead of what I have been doing for years.
Does this mean I am going to cold turkey stop all my other treatments? Absolutely not, I will work with all my doctors to figure out the best plan of action for me. Hopefully slowly weaning off all of this junk.
I want to take you guys on this journey. I want to share that I am human just like you and if you have anything similar going on I hope you can learn from it.
So stay tuned and be sure to sign up to follow along if you haven’t already with my youtube channel and email list to get latest updates on it all.
This is going to get personal, I want to say it right up front and center because it is. I believe vulnerability is a beautiful thing and this is only the beginning.
First let’s take it back, I was diagnosed with RA when I was in college. For those of you who may not know what RA is it stands for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Basically it is a disease where you immune system thinks its super cool and defensive and starts attacking your joints thinking they are the enemy…. when they are not.
The struggle can be real stemming from things like
pain and achy joints
warm and swollen joints
extreme intolerance to cold or heat
it can also lead into things like anxiety and depression
It is crazy to me because you can start to think…. how does something that causes joint pain cause all these other things?? I have since learned it is due to the immune system in general being overactive, its working overtime to fight these fake issues so it takes energy we should have for other things (like daily activities) away.
When I was diagnosed in college, my biggest issue what pain and stiffness. Waking up and trying to walk down the stairs of my sorority house and feeling like I was 90. Exactly what ever college girl dreams of lol. I am on the lucky side that I was diagnosed and started treatment quick due to my father having the disease and him taking me right to his doctor as soon as I told him.
After that though it was an uphill battle, graduating college, starting a new life back in Atlanta yet I felt so alone. Not knowing how or who would ever want to be with a girl who was going to be crippled one day (or so I thought). This led to depression which led me to my doctor (who practices tough love, which I love) insisting that I get off my butt and start working out to see if it makes me feel better. He really just wanted me to get outside and do more to get moving. Smart guy he is, he knew that moving also helped create energy and got me to not be alone with my thoughts so much.
Around that same time I reunited with old friends and was taken into a new church that is when my perspective started to shift. I began to see the improvements in my pain and my mind. This led me to want to workout more, I actually went on to compete in some body building competitions (bikini division and please don’t google search those :0). It also led me to realize that I didn’t want to be in the corporate world the rest of my life, that I wanted to do something that served a true purpose. I wanted to share how great I felt with others in hopes they would feel the same.
So I took the leap and started personal training. The first few years were awful I can’t say it any other way, I met some great people but working and stressing and trying to figure out what I ultimately wanted to do with it and how to make money was hard. Not to mention lack of sleep, over training and working was taking a toll on my body that had at one point gone into actual remission of the disease. I was determined to not let it take me off my focus.
I landed my next and so far longest studio gig and moved into where I truly started to discover the type of training I wanted to do. I also have done work with the Arthritis Foundation over the years and realized I wanted to help more with corrective exercise and primarily work with women. Which kept pushing me in the direction to where I am today.
My day to day now-
I recently moved to a new studio which encompasses even more what I am about – Stat Wellness. (little side note it is my functional doctors practice). I am working 1 on 1 with clients there as well as still doing virtual training that you can find out about here.
As far as my health goes – Some days are great, some days are hard. The worst part is when I am literally fatigued and feel like after training 4 or 5 clients I have to sit down to I train them…. talk about feeling hypocritical…. “don’t mind me I will just coach you from the floor why you feel like you are dying”… it sucks! Granted that is not every day but it does happen. This is probably the biggest issue for me. Understanding and accepting that as a trainer sometimes my energy is not where I think it should be. I can’t do all the early mornings like I used to or my clients will pay the price for me being not on top of things. This can really mess with my head, especially when some people make comments and just don’t get it. Asking why I am tired all the time, or when I can’t workout 100% like I feel like I should. On the flip side of that though it has taught me so much on slowing down and learning to listen to my body. It is something we all should do. Not just if you have a disease but if you are stressed, or recovering from something you may need extra time off. The last thing our bodies want is to be put into an intensified stressed state when they are already stressed. Be it physical or mental from work, relationships, finances, lack of sleep, disease…. anything!
It has also made me learn how to gauge and progress workouts for clients. You need a strong foundation before you progress to full strength or injuries happen…. right? Same goes for someone with an autoimmune disease and even post partum women. You have to build the right things first to stay strong in the long run. Starting slow, increasing as you go, that is how you build long term success. No one starts out all in at something and experiences all positive returns, chances are setbacks happen due to lack of education or just unfortunate circumstances (not ruling that out here).
Being critical of myself is something I have to deal with though and my own insecurities and comparison issues are just as bad as the next persons. I do find myself constantly reminding myself that I am me for a reason. I am successful for a reason, I have great clients for a reason (which I do). So I must be doing something right. It does get hard at times, but thats where vulnerability and honesty come to play. My clients know me and know what I am about, they know that I don’t want to sit down but sometimes I have to.
As far as pain goes I am lucky on that end . My hands and fingers and shoulders will ache at times and fingers will get stiff. Sometimes gripping weights is hard…. another insecurity. But again I have come to realize and really work at reminding myself that this is me. I am alive and despite my insecurities and some inabilities I am still helping others. That right there is rewarding.
I try to eat the best I can, but I also believe in balance. If I want chocolate or wine I have it. I just walk away after and know I may have a few consequences the next day. Anti Inflammatory foods are my go to which you can find more about here. I drink alot of water and I try to be in bed by 10pm every night (my husband loves that….. that is sarcasm by the way ;)).
I have come to discover that it is all about priority and self care and love. I have to put myself first in a sense to make sure that I can take care of those I want to be there for. If I am not great, they won’t get what they want from me and when it comes to my work that is a major priority. So cutting back some hours and working from the couch when doing plans and social stuff is part of what I have to do. And ya know what? I am ok with that.
Overall the bottom line is- I try to treat my body how I want others to treat theirs. I try to fuel it the best I can, and support it with rest too. If you are someone who is struggling with ANYTHING I pray that you find a tiny bit of inspiration in something you read in this. Remember each day is a gift, we all have choices daily, and we have to do what is ultimately best for us in every area of life. We all go through hard stuff, but don’t judge someone if you don’t know the whole story. Ya with me?? I hope so.
I know my journey is just getting started, and I hope to share so much more with you along the way.