One random day in December 2017, I got sick. It started as what I’d describe as a migraine. My head hurt really bad. It hurt to lift my head or move it in any direction. The light was killing my eyes, making my headache even worse, and I had to put my sunglasses on inside. (I don’t wear my sunglasses at night (okay, sometimes, I do) but I totally wear them indoors.) Shortly after getting out of bed in the morning, I was immobile on the couch, fearful I was going to be sick all over the disgusting carpet in our condo that several other people had probably been sick on before me.
Meal planning can be a real bitch.
Yeah, it all looks like fun and games when people post their perfectly curated prepped and planned meals on social media.
But when it comes down to it?
You’re way too busy for that. You get freaked out just thinking about planning. You do way too much of that at work. It’s just another task. You have no idea how to make a week’s worth of meals without spending a shit ton of money or wasting a shit ton of food. You wander aimlessly up and down the aisles with an empty grocery cart wondering what the hell to buy.
We like to think the people we look up to are perfect. Whether it’s a celebrity, an athlete, an activist, a role model, an influencer, we look at them and decide that they’ve got it all figured out. That they couldn’t possibly struggle with ANYTHING.
But deep down we know that everyone is human, with their own behind the scenes drama and issues and *shit* that don’t make the highlight reel.
And I’ve got news for you: I’m not perfect. I don’t always practice what I preach. And today I’ve got one of those what-the-hell-was-I-thinking stories for you to illustrate EXACTLY how tricky it can be to get caught up in doing #allthethings.
You’ve got a life. And it’s going to happen.
If you don’t give yourself time to ease in to habits, they won’t become habits.
Life will get in the way, as it has a way of doing. And those habits will be more like a fad.
Like, remember that week and half three years ago when I went to the gym at lunchtime? I wonder when that’ll make a style comeback. Like scrunchies.
Okay, so you’ve been scrolling through Instagram, double tapping to your heart’s content. And it dawns on you after you’ve liked your fifteenth smoothie bowl chock full of collagen, ashwaganda, bee pollen, riced cauliflower, and adorable little cut-out fruits with the drool-inducing drizzle that your feed is like deja vu. Like, Twilight Zone.
And you wonder out loud, in your best Seinfeld voice, “What’s the deal with the superfood-stuffed smoothie bowl?!”
Have you ever wanted to eat breakfast – like really really wanted to – but just couldn’t bring yourself to slurp down a superfood smoothie? Like the thought of all that cold-ass liquid first thing in the morning is quite possibly the most disgusting proposition EVER?
Don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you that you HAVE TO drink a smoothie every morning or else you’ll burn in hell.
But I am going to tell you that you really should be eating breakfast every day. But my definition of breakfast might surprise you.
Being healthy is easy, right?
All you’ve gotta do is eat the right foods (a little more fruits and veggies, a little less fruit-ish juice and pseudo-veggie chips) and work out on a regular basis.
If it’s so simple, why the hell are we all struggling so much???
Everyone and their sister’s aunt’s accountant is talking about coconut oil. It’s a miracle superfood that does just about everything -- except maybe make a grocery list for you. It’s also a tree nut, and some of us can’t have those.
It’s easy to think, “Welp, I’m allergic to coconut and, since I have to eat coconut to live a healthy, kick-ass life, I’m just gonna go ahead and throw in the towel now. I’ll be over here with my cheesy poufs and hard cider.”
They said they’d tried it before, but it never came out good. It tasted awful. The texture was off. It looked disgusting.
Care to venture a guess what I’m talking about?
Nope, not tofu. Good guess though.
Sometimes, it can be hard to step away from your desk, I get it. It can be even harder to do something healthy when we do. We’re in work mode. We’re there to work, work, work and do all the things and get paid, right?
Doesn’t it make sense that, the healthier you are and the better you feel, the better you’ll work and the more likely to work you actually are? Sounds logical to me.
So instead of only getting up from your desk to pee or get more coffee, why not create a healthy break? A little mid-day rejuvenation that makes you feel like you can conquer the rest of your to-do list with a smile on your face. Even if it’s just a shit-eating grin because you totally just did yoga in the empty conference room down the hall.
I remember feeling super awkward.
To be honest, feeling super awkward at restaurants, at working lunches, at happy hours, and at holiday parties was kind of my MO. Like, if I wasn’t feeling awkward, I felt extra awkward. It was just what I did.
And a big part of that was because I wasn’t eating, and I didn’t know how to not be awkward while not eating.
I was that coworker sitting in the afternoon meeting with wet hair because I went to the gym on my lunch break. (My hair was wet because I showered, not because I was a sweaty beast. Although…I am a sweater…so…yeah.) I sat on a yoga ball instead of a chair. I recruited coworkers for bootcamp and crossfit classes. I ran half marathons in my spare time.
I was a healthy badass.
And all of this was great. It was awesome.
But I had this feeling like it still wasn’t enough.
It’s no secret that I’m a snacker. It works for me, and I like knowing that I don’t have to wait six hours to eat again. Six hours is a long time. It’s like almost as long as you have to be at work, which is sort of ridiculous. Both that you have to be at work that long and that you don’t eat for that long.
So, when you don’t want to wait six hours to eat but you also have to be at work longer than six hours, packing snacks is kind of a must.
You know when you find something you like you just keep going back to it?
Maybe it’s a favorite song that always pumps you up for that dreaded Monday morning staff meeting. Maybe it’s an oversized sweater that wards off the office AC and your snarky coworker’s unsolicited criticism. Maybe it’s a go-to lunch that keeps you feeling freakin’ boss till you sprint out the door at 5 p.m.
While I’ve totally got all of these things, I get super excited about smoothies.
This week, I’m sharing a simple six-step process to help you spring clean your cubicle — Eat Clean in Your Cubicle style.
I know you know I’m a firm believer that having healthy food around you (and at work that usually means in your desk drawers or on your shelves and in the fridge and freezer) is huge for helping you eat cleaner in your cubicle.
So this week we’re going to look at what you’re actually stocking and create a plan to restock so you feel like a clean-eating badass with options aplenty next time you pull open that drawer looking for something to eat.
I’m not perfect.
There are days when absolutely nothing — not even chocolate or a smoothie — sounds good. There are days when all I want to do is eat junk food and binge on This Is Us (again). There are days where I wear my sunglasses inside the house. And there are days when even the thought of getting out of bed is exhausting.
I’ve got good news for you.
You can manage your stress, and food can help.
There are plenty of foods that can slash your stress hormone levels. And eating cleaner in your cubicle can help you respond to stressful situations better over time because those healthy foods strengthen your immune system and even lower your blood pressure.
Have you ever noticed how, after you’ve been sitting for a while, your whole body just feels tense? Like, your shoulders feel like they’re above your ears, there’s a burning sensation in your shoulder blades, and your hips are so tight you’re afraid you might fall over if you try to stand?
Of course you have, you sit at a desk all day long.
Protein powder is expensive.
Sometimes I wince when shelling out the big bucks for a tub of powder.
I’m totally the tortoise.
Even though this tortoise never wins the race and is decidedly a middle-of-the-pack tortoise, this tortoise definitely starts and finishes the race.
And, no, to answer your totally unasked question that you might not even be asking. I am not obsessed with running. I’m not a born runner.
If you believe that staying healthy at work is hard — like harder than unjamming the printer or finding a space in the parking lot when you come back from a late lunch — I’ve got news for you: Wellness doesn’t have to be work.
Wellness isn’t about all these new things you have to do or buy. It’s about doing what you already do or know how to do better and more often.
I totally wasn’t going to share this with you this way. This article was originally going to be a guest post, but my gut was all, “Oh, hell no.”
So I humbly send it to you, my friend, because I think you might need to hear this message. Also, we’re friends, and, as much as I want you to know I totally get you, I want you to get me, too.
How do you keep on keeping on when the going gets tough? When it seems like the universe and every single force within it is against you? When life hands you a double shit sandwich with a side of shit slaw?
Here are five ways to stay motivated when eating clean, working out, or doing anything remotely resembling work is the last thing you wanna do.
We’ve talked before about why you might want to work with a health coach (cough, cough, me), but maybe you’re still not sure what we might work on together.
Today, I present to you seven things a health coach can help you do this year.
Because it’s only February and now is just a good a time as any to make 2018 a kick-ass year.
Packing your own food for a road trip doesn’t have to be time consuming, painful, daunting, or any other word with negative connotations.
Really, all it has to be is a few minutes to think to yourself, “What would I like to eat today that I can have in the car without making a giant mess?” And then a few more minutes actually putting those foods into a travel-friendly container (think Mason jar, Bento box, reusable baggie, or — the old standby — the package it came in).
Putting too much emphasis on other people’s opinions is stopping you from doing things that you want to do or should be doing.
You’re probably thinking, “I mean, how can I not care what other people think? It’s all well and good to pretend like I don’t care, but it’s pretty much impossible to not actually care. Right? I have to see people every single day…”
I think there’s a big difference between caring what people think and choosing to let what people think affect you.
At this point, I was about halfway on my health journey. I still hadn’t managed to completely ditch my diet pop habit, and I was still eating more frozen “diet” dinners than I care to remember.
But I had begun the journey.
I was packing my lunch every day. I was packing my snacks. I was bringing a cute water bottle to work. I was working out.
So, while this isn’t weight loss advice by any means (which, by the way, I think is so hard to give across the board because every body is totally unique and works in its own mysterious ways…) it’s some insight into a few reasons why you might not be losing weight.
Even if you’re doing all the things we love to do to lose weight. You know, eat less, work out more. Sigh.
I’m going to offer you practical advice, of course. The kind of advice that you can actually implement that might make fitting in a workout a little easier, especially if you’re trying to fit in a workout while you’re at work.
So here are some tips on how to do a quick change to fit in a workout on your lunch break.
I hate words like cheat, treat, or indulge. It’s like making excuses for eating food, for eating the food that you want to eat in any given moment, for ascribing meaning and value to a certain way of eating, of equating your self-worth with your self-control (or lack thereof).
And what the hell is the wagon? And why do we all need to be on it?
I’m excited to announce The Healthy Snacking Challenge. Starting January 1, I’m kicking off a free, 14-day challenge that’s all about them healthy snacks, and I, of course, want you to join in.
It’s going to be an action-packed couple of weeks filled with healthy snacks, recipes, a meal plan, and more!
I’ve found 16 scrumptious cookie recipes for you, just in time for all your holiday potlucks, cookie exchanges, family gatherings, Santa cookie plates, and parties.
I love a good cookie, and I had way too much fun sorting through all the amazing vegan cookies recipes out there. These are just a few of the ones that caught my eye that I would definitely want to make for myself.
All for myself.
The holidays aren’t really known for packing in the nutritious stuff. I mean, why, when you’ve got Christmas cookies, French toast casserole, and pies galore everywhere?
Veggies sort of become an afterthought this time of year. Only once the calendar creeps closer to the New Year do most people start thinking about upping their vegetable intake.
Want some easy ways to be ahead of the crowd? Like a veggie trendsetter? Here are 17 ways to squeeze some more veggies in to your holidays.
Hiring a health coach is a little different because we can’t eat drink that smoothie, run those miles, or go to bed at 10 p.m. for you.
What we can do is work with you to develop a plan to achieve your goals — whether it’s losing a couple pounds, clearing up your skin, de-bloating, or just feeling better — and watch you like a hawk to make sure you’re doing the things that will get you closer to, not further from, your goals.
I decided these were going to be like everything-but-the-kitchen-sink snack balls. Must-gos snack balls. Let’s-see-how-many-weird-things-I-can-hide-in-here-and-still-get-the-boyfriend-to-eat snack balls.
Let’s clean out your cupboards and pretty up that overstuffed pantry - time to make some Surprisingly Veggie-licious Snack Balls.
I humbly offer you this roundup of classic (and not-so-classic) Thanksgiving recipes.
Whatever you’re up to this Thanksgiving, I hope you are taking some time to be grateful - whatever that means to you.
Happy Thanksgiving, friend!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever combined the words “too busy” and “cook” in one sentence.
I think we’re all guilty of this one from time to time.
But the truth is cooking a healthy meal doesn’t have to take hours. And it certainly doesn’t have to be fancy.
Especially when you’ve got some time-saving tools of the trade up your sleeve.
You need to accept that you’re going to have to step outside of your comfort zone. Maybe pretty far outside it. You might even have to move into a different zip code than your comfort zone.
And that’s scary.
Embrace the scariness. Embrace the uncertainty.
But do it anyway.
Would you believe me if I told you hummus was super easy to make?
I wouldn’t have believed me a couple years ago because my first attempts were pretty lackluster.
With the passing of my 33rd birthday even though I still look like I might have just celebrated my 21st birthday, I decided to write down a few thoughts. Some are deep, some not so deep.
But they are all things I’ve learned about health, wellness, and taking care of me.
A sort of manifesto, if you will.
I hope you can take away some lessons, too.
Friend, if you take nothing else away from this post, please remember this: It’s not you. No matter how polite you are or no matter what you say, someone will find a way to be offended or upset or take it personally that you aren’t partaking in the party.
It’s totally a reflection on them. And you have to learn to be okay with that.
If you’re looking for an easy, healthy snack that takes all of five minutes to whip up and is perfect for sports fans (because, you know, balls), I present to you the Seedy (in a good way) Snack Balls.
Cheese is like that job you hate because it makes you feel shitty about yourself but you can’t stop yourself from going back every single day.
Or that toxic coworker who makes you feel terrible about yourself and your work but who you also kind of secretly admire and can’t stop trying to impress.
Let’s face it: Cheese, much like weird relationships, can be addictive.
Today, my friend, I present to you a very timely (or just-missed-the-perfect-time, depending on your perspective) roundup of some of my favorite supplies that don’t require a microwave, blender, an oven, or any power to prepare whatsoever. Except maybe willpower to stop after just one serving of chips…
Today, I’m going to share with you three practical, totally actionable tips for dealing with snacking and snacking setbacks in the office.
If you’re doing it right, a smoothie is a perfectly portable, perfectly plant-packed, perfectly protein-rich, perfectly perfect not to mention epic way to get in a whack ton of nutrition.
Today’s smoothie, the Monkey With a Mean Right Punch, is no exception.
Introducing the Powered Up Protein Chocolate Mylk!
It’s nutty, it’s creamy, it’s plant-y.
It’s made of clean, good-for-you stuff that tastes pretty damn good when you blend it all together.
And it’s got about 6.5 grams of protein.
But even the best laid plans get a little wonky when you’re working in an office, am I right?
There’s catered lunches, leftover chips and salsa in the break room, birthday celebrations like every day, and gift baskets galore.
Here are five ways you might be sabotaging all that healthiness while you’re working your life away in that dimly lit four-wall hellhole you call the office - without even knowing it.
Have you ever eaten a meal at a so-called fancy restaurant and been disappointed because you’re pretty sure you could have made it yourself instead of paying $35 for it?
Have you ever turned a package over, read through the ingredients, and scoffed because you could totally make it at home?
And have you ever noticed that you actually feel better when you actually make something yourself?
And one of the easiest ways to make sure that you’re eating and that you’re eating good-for-you food that doesn’t make you feel dizzy, bitchy, or sleepy when you’re at work is to keep emergency supplies stocked at all times.
It’s not hitting up the vending machine. It’s not relying on lunch meeting leftovers. It’s not stealing your coworker’s yogurt from the fridge.
What I am here to do is comment on something of far greater importance: the belief that, just because you’re buying something at Whole Foods, it’s good for you or healthy.
Yeah, that health halo we’ve talked about.
Whether you’re a little short on PTO or even shorter on cash, I’ve got good news: You can bring paradise to work with you.
Sort of. I mean, it won’t be the same as lounging on the beach sipping something refreshing.
But some of the best tropical fruit is in season during the summer. I mean, who hasn’t bitten into a juicy slice of watermelon and been transported somewhere else?
Did you know there’s a huge connection between the health of your gut and the health of your mind?
Turns out, about 95% of your serotonin is produced in the gut. And serotonin is the neurochemical that makes you feel happy.
So we need to nourish our gut to nourish our mind.
Is it important to you to stay lean, reduce your risk of some nasty diseases, keep your bones strong, feel happy, have more energy, and up your odds of living longer?
Then, let’s talk about some easy ways you can move more throughout the day. I’m not even talking about a full-on, sweat-your-ass-off sweat session. I’m talking about small things that add up to make a huge difference.
Your pancake ass will thank me.
Despite what the interwebs will have you believe, dinner does not need to be a five-course gourmet meal.
It doesn’t need to be plated just so or presented on a beautiful, perfectly lit platter complete with flat lay-worthy props.
It doesn’t need to be served on a fancy table complete with placemats, candle sticks, and proper silverware.
You can DIY and make your own snacks, or you can throw together some store bought and/or pre-packaged ingredients to make a yummy snack. Your snack doesn’t have to be perfect, and it definitely doesn’t have to be Instagrammable.
Man, I used to dread lunchtime.
If you’re anything like me, you might have a little lunchtime anxiety as well.
What do I eat? When do I eat? How do I sneak away from my desk undetected?
Hand check: Who’s guilty of skipping breakfast?
Mom was right. Breakfast is kind of a big deal.
Let’s talk about soy, baby. Let’s talk about GMOs. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things soy may be.
Please read that last paragraph to the tune of Let’s Talk About Sex by Salt-N-Pepa. (Oh 90s, I miss your musical stylings.)