Spoiler alert: They gain it all back.   Now a confession: I don’t watch much TV, but I stumbled across a show on TLC (which used to be The Learning Channel, but now I’m pretty sure stands for Totally Ludicrous Crap) that really bothered me.  Not because I think the diet advice isn’t QUITE right. And most certainly not because I enjoy watching the slicing and dicing.  But because most of the people fail. The show even tells you that the chances of long-term success are less than 5 percent.  I’m not professing to know how to up those odds, but I’ve got a pretty good idea how YOU can up your chances of sticking to a healthier lifestyle. Without a total health makeover, an extreme diet, or surgery.  The participants on this show go from eating whatever they want, never exercising  (or even getting out of bed sometimes) , and being waited on to a seriously restricted 1,200-calorie-a-day-high-protein-low-carb- low-fat  diet (don’t even get me started…) with major nudging to start standing or walking and going to the gym and taking care of themselves.  Some of them are terrified even thinking about this complete turnaround. But some of them think a  massive lifestyle change  is going to be a piece of cake.   Maybe that’s what you think, too.   While you’re probably not in a completely similar sitch, I’m willing to bet you’ve entertained a health makeover at some point. Like some of the patients on the show, you think it’s going to be easy.   After all, how hard can changing your diet and exercise habits really be?   You’re super enthusiastic at the beginning. It’s fun to try something new, and all the meal planning and prepping and cooking and  smoothies  and juicing and HIIT workouts and long runs and barre classes are exciting. There’s so much stuff to do, and you wanna do it all.  But the first time you fall a little bit behind or have to work late and skip a workout your whole plan stalls, you fall into a guilt trap because you couldn’t keep up, and you’re pretty sure giving up is the easiest thing to do now.  So that’s exactly what you do.    What if, instead of making these  grand changes  that always have to happen in a day and right now, dammit, you started with one thing?  No more cold turkey on every single thing you’ve been doing.   There are certainly peeps who would benefit from no longer smoking five packs a day, drinking two six-packs at happy hour, surviving on takeout for every single meal, and counting channel surfing as exercise.   (Just as there are peeps who would benefit from switching their pancakes-and-bacon breakfast to overnight oats and a green juice, from cutting back on the intense workouts, and unwinding with a glass of wine. Everyone’s different, yo.)   But most peeps aren’t gonna be successful if they’re making changes whole hog. And if those changes they’re making aren’t sustainable.   Because, let’s be honest: How long do you really think you’ll be able to keep up eating only organic whole foods you make in your own kitchen, working out for an hour every day, meditating first thing in the morning, keeping a gratitude journal, fitting in a morning yoga sesh (which totally doesn’t count toward your hour workout quota, by the way), and drinking a gallon of water a day while trying to stay sane, text everyone back, and hold down a job your parents deem respectable all at the same time when the week before you were perfectly happy grabbing some fast food on your way home from work at 8 p.m. and crashing on the sofa for three hours before dozing off only to oversleep and hurry to shower and grab a granola bar because you’re already late for your morning meeting?   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 a 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 what might this look like?  Maybe you start  eating a little breakfast  first thing in the morning instead of waiting until noon and then not having the energy to make a decent lunch (hell, to even pick up the phone to order a freaky-fast sandwich).  You might try eating one meal a day that’s a little more plant-y and a little less takeout-y. Or getting interested in new veggies at the store and experimenting with one new-to-you food once a week. Because you’ve probably always wondered what the hell to do with  yucca.    Or maybe you’ve really been wanting to try a  yoga  class. Instead of signing up for yoga teacher training straight away, you hit up the local studio and sign up for three Yin classes.    You start small. You ease on in. You grease that wheel.   Because those small things will create momentum. Those little choices every day, the ones you don’t expect to make a difference, the ones you don’t plan for, have the biggest, most lasting effects.  After you’ve got getting in some pre-lunch food, getting fresh with some veggies, and getting your zen on down, then you can make another small change. And then another. Until you feel good about where you’re at with your healthy lifestyle.  I have a feeling that this approach has a greater than 5 percent success rate. Just sayin’.  Here’s what I want you to do right now. Yes, right now. Make a list of ALL the things you think you want to change. You don’t even have to limit it to healthy stuff. It could be things you’re not thrilled about with work, your relationships, your car, your clothes, whatever is bugging you right now. Write ‘em all down.  Then? Take a look at the long-ass list and ask yourself, “If I could only do one of these things, what would it be?”  And once you’ve got your ONE THING, come up with one more thing – one step or action you can take to move you just a little bit closer to that one thing. And then do it!  If you could use some help narrowing in on one thing that will really make a difference, I’ve got you! Claim your spot in  Health.Simplified.  so I can help you cherry pick a health goal that will have you feeling all kinds of juicy.

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.

     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Have you been on social media lately? If you’re like 99.9% of peeps with a computer, a smartphone, a solid WiFi connection, and a bad case of Sudden Scrolling Syndrome, you totes have.  And while that’s not bad in and of itself, it’s not really doing you any favors when it comes to getting a handle on YOUR health and wellness. (Or your self-esteem for that matter.)   Curious why everyone on social media is talking about the same thing and how you can politely excuse yourself from the convo? Read on, my friend.   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, ashwagandha, 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?!”  (For the record, I have nothing against a superfood-stuffed  smoothie  bowl. Nor the folks who have the time, money, energy, and presentation skills to share these glorious creations with us mere mortals day in and day out.)  You notice that everyone who’s posting this yumminess is supremely happy. They’re glowing. They’re confident. They’re throwing down a  yogi  master arm stand in the middle of the park.  That’s admirable, right? So you spend the next 37 minutes stalking these accounts to find out their secrets.  And you come to this conclusion: All you have to do is eat clean – all day,  errrrryday  – with lots of organic whole foods, supplements, and $18 juices and take a crap ton of supplements and sprinkle chia seeds, flaxseeds, cacao nibs, and perfectly crumbled protein bars on everything and work out – sometimes multiple times a day because, you know, nothing starts your day off on the right foot than an hour-long vinyasa flow and it’s always a good idea to fit in an afternoon jog – and get in the Miracle Morning swing of things and end the day with a relaxing two-hour soak in your jacuzzi tub filled with magnesium flakes and lavender essential oil and surrounded by clean-burning candles that smell like choirs of angels are bestowing an entire forest of fairy dust and rainbows and sun showers on you. Oh, and don’t forget to journal, listen to uplifting podcasts, make time for yourself (because all of these other things are just everyday essentials), have positive relationships, talk to your mom twice a day, study for a nutrition-y type degree, and get a solid 8.25 hours of sleep on your performance-enhancing sheets every night.  So starting tomorrow you vow to follow this plan to the letter of the law.   And you last for about two-thirds of the day. What the freakin’ hell?    If so many people are espousing the benefits of this lifestyle and doing it and making it work,  why doesn’t it work for you?    You assume there’s something wrong with you and that you’re doomed to a life of crashing on the couch with your microwaveable mac ’n cheese while you live vicariously through the Real Housewives and dream about a world in which you don’t have a 45-minute commute to work each way, where you don’t have four meetings a day, where you’re not exhausted from plastering a fake smile on your face all day and not doing everything for everyone.    And here’s the crux of the problem: It’s not bad advice. But it’s not the most sustainable solution in the real world.   Especially when you’re working full-time and starting from subzero  (i.e., you haven’t worked out since that one time your coworker dragged you to her sister’s barre class, you missed the memo about kale and beets and walnut butter, and you thought the only people who meditated were dharma-y, woo-woo types….and the last time you even heard the word dharma was when Dharma and Greg was still must-see TV.)   So, yes, everyone on social media might be saying the same thing and it’s not really the wrong thing. But it might not be THE THING you need right now.   Here are three questions to ask yourself when you start going down the social media rabbit hole and believing everything you read.    Is this something I need to do now?   I get it. We all get it.   It’s tempting to want something but not think through all the steps to get that something.   Like, you might want to move your desk over to that newly freed space by the window. But you forget that you’re in the middle of a giant project that absolutely CANNOT be a minute late or a cent over budget and you’ve been working on it for months. And you also realize you have to get approval from your boss and the office manager and you have to get IT to tear down your workstation and set it back up and you have to take everything off your walls and move all the stuff you’ve accumulated on your shelves to this new, better locale. And you think, “Maybe now isn’t the right time to move.”  To put this in a health and wellness perspective: Do you need to start making all of your meals from scratch when you can barely boil water right now? Do you need to sign up for a marathon and commit to a six-month personal training program before you even buy a pair of running shoes? Do you need to stock your cabinet with the entire line of that influencer-fave supplement brand before you kick your 4 p.m. coffee habit?  My guess is there are  A BUNCH of steps  you can take before you get to that thing you’re eyeing.    Do I have time for this?   Let’s address that two-ton pink elephant with the heart-shaped sunglasses in the room.  There’s a certain amount of time it takes to be  so  invested in your health and wellness.  There. I said it.    People will have you believe that making every bite of food takes no less time than picking up pre-made meals at the grocery store or ordering in some healthy takeout.   But when you’re working 40+ hours a week, some things take priority over others.  (Yes, of course, your health is ALWAYS a priority. Stick with me here.)   Which means…take a good, hard, honest look at your life. Before you commit to four training runs a week and three strength training sessions, ask yourself where that fits in to your schedule.  If you’re struggling to get to the gym once a week right now, either you’ve got to scale back somewhere else (not just your TV watching habits…there are plenty of other time sucks you can borrow precious minutes from) or reconsider that  training plan.    Do you honestly have time to take on one more thing right now? I don’t know about you, but there have been plenty of times I had to say no to things, even the healthy things, when my schedule was jam-packed.   Always be honest and realistic about your time commitments. You aren’t doing yourself any favors biting off more than you can chew and beating yourself up for falling behind.    Does this fit with my goals?   Before you start popping DHA, 5-HTP, rhodiola rosea, magnesium, a B complex, a multivitamin, fish oil, and turmeric on the reg, ask yourself if you really need to be taking all those supplements.  Sure, there’s benefits to each of them. But you might not need to be swallowing fish oil if you’re a pescatarian who also adds flaxseed to your morning smoothie.  You might not need to be supplementing with rhodiola rosea and magnesium if you’re already pretty mellow and you’re actually trying to up your energy.  And – gasp! – you might not need a multivitamin if you’re eating a varied, whole-foods-centric diet.  Think about your goals and whether the supplements you’re scouting will help you get there or if they’re nice-to-haves. Like, that window seat with a view of the pond out front is nice to have but not entirely necessary when you realize you can walk down the hall or outside to get the same view.   There’s nothing wrong with  personalizing advice  and suggestions to fit you. In fact, it’s actually kind of necessary!   Right now, whip out that phone. Check out your favorite wellness pro’s latest post. See what they’re talking about. And run that recommendation through these three questions. Answer honestly and decide whether it’s a good fit for you.   Easy peasy lemon squeezy.    And, if you don’t really know where to start or how to make that habit that really is something you want to do right now, that you have time for, and that fits your goals but aren’t sure how to make it sustainable in the real world, hit me up. That’s exactly why I created Health.Simplified. So I can give you the 1:1, totally personalized, non-B.S. guidance you need to hit your goals and make a healthy habit stick. Check it out  riiiiiiight   here.

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.  You’ve undoubtedly heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That it starts your day off on the right foot. That it literally breaks the fast. That you better eat within 90 minutes of waking or else you might as well not get out of bed.  The problem is…you DON’T WANT to get out of bed. Every second in that precious cocoon of darkness and blankets is pure bliss. Who in their right mind wants to crawl out from under the covers and spend time cooking when you could just as easily hit the snooze button?  And you don’t even LIKE breakfast food. You never understood the allure of all that flour-y fluff, all that sugar-y stuff, all that sweet meat in the morning. You’d really rather not suck down a subzero smoothie and send your body into hypothermia. And you always thought cold oats looked like mush and couldn’t even get past their looks to taste them.   But this hasn’t been working for you.   By 10 a.m., you are SO hungry you might very well faint. You have visions of passing out during your morning meeting, hitting your head on that ridiculously solid wood conference room table, and bleeding out right there on that old, dingy carpet that hasn’t been replaced since the 60s.  Maybe you survive your meeting, but you’re so ravenous by lunchtime that you inhale every crumb in sight – no man left behind! – and somehow are still hungry five minutes later. So you binge on leftover pastries and M&Ms (the peanut butter kind because those are the only kind even worth considering) and spend the rest of the afternoon mainlining coffee and taping your eyes open with shipping tape.   But you totally don’t need to eat breakfast,  right???   Friend, I hate to break it to you, but I kinda think you’re wrong on this one.  Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. We should be eating like freakin’ royalty in the morning. Because:   You’ll be in a better mood.  You’ll make better choices.  You’ll feel less stressed.  You’ll keep your metabolism firing.  You’ll feel more focused.   (You can read more about WHY you should be eating breakfast  here. )  So HOW do you eat breakfast every day? Here are my top tips for getting in to the Brekkie Habit.  Prep breakfast ahead of time.  Oh, I know,  I know.   Meal prep  is one of those love-it-or-hate-it things. But if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and THAT’s your excuse for not eating breakfast, it’s kind of hard to make that excuse when your breakfast is prepped and waiting for you.  Prepping breakfast doesn’t have to be hard or labor intensive. You can make some smoothie packs. Some overnight oats. Some breakfast bowls. Some  granola bars  or muffins. Anything that you can grab without having to make it when you’re groggy at 6 a.m.  Don’t eat if you’re not hungry.  Wait,  what?   You heard me: Don’t force yourself to eat as soon as you roll out of bed if you’re really not hungry. Drink some water. Take a shower. Get dressed. Do whatever it is you like to do in the morning but don’t eat breakfast until you’re ready to.   Breakfast doesn’t have to be at a certain time, just like  lunch doesn’t have to be at a set time.  You don’t have to robotically eat at exactly 7:15 every morning.  The reason you might HATE breakfast is because you’re forcing yourself to eat when you’re not hungry. And that doesn’t make sense, now does it?   But I’m willing to bet you start getting hungry naturally about an hour or two after you wake up, when you’re easing in to your day, when your body and your mind start to shake off the fog, when you really, finally, wake up.   Eat then.    Have a breakfast trigger.  This one sort of piggybacks on the last one. If you’re not eating first thing in the morning, it’s easy to let time get away from you. You might conveniently “forget” to eat. Especially when you’re at work and your inbox is exploding, your phone is ringing off the hook, you’ve got a huge deadline at 2 p.m., your boss doesn’t know how to comment in a PDF and you need those comments by noon, and your coworker won’t stop asking you if he can borrow things that never seem to make it back to your desk.  Maybe you eat before you turn on your computer for the day. Maybe you eat while you brew the first pot of coffee because no one else in the office seems to know how to operate the Nespresso machine. Maybe you eat while you make your day’s to-do list.  Having a trigger –  something that you do every day that you can tack your breakfast habit on to  – makes it easier to remember to eat. Even when eating breakfast seems as hard as getting a promotion when you’ve already been passed over twice.  Before you know it, you won’t be able to check your email without tucking in to a breakfast sammie and you won’t be starving by 10:30.  Magic.   Don’t eat “breakfast” food if you don’t want to.  Smoothies not your thing? Can’t stand the sight of breakfast sausages? Terrified of toast?  Who the hell said breakfast has to be only certain types of food? I’m pretty sure  the definition  of breakfast isn’t: “A certain category of foods, including but not limited to, sugary cereals with milk, toast with butter and eggs, oatmeal with fruit, pancakes with bacon, or waffles with syrup, eaten between the hours of 5 and 7 a.m.”  Break out those leftovers and make THAT your breakfast. Have a breakfast salad. Make yourself some warming breakfast soup.   Eat something that actually sounds good and that you WANT to eat.  Because it’s kind of hard to stick to something when it’s as unappetizing as the smell emanating from the back of the break room fridge where things go to die.  Don’t get stuck in a breakfast rut.  We all get stuck in ruts – whether it’s taking the same route to work everyday, wearing the same pair of pants every Thursday, or eating the same thing for breakfast every.single.day.  Eating breakfast might be hard for you if you’re eating the same tired protein bar every morning.  Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. I usually plan two different breakfasts a week – that way, there’s some variety  (admittedly, some variety in smoothies because that’s my go-to)  without being overwhelming.  Maybe three days you have toast with nut butter and a banana, and the other days you have leftovers because you know that pasta recipe makes about a trillion servings. (Recipe probably not to scale…)  But definitely don’t try to have a different breakfast every day. Because you know what happens when you have TOO MANY options. You won’t make a decision, you’ll get tired of coming up with said options every week, and then suddenly breakfast isn’t happening any more.   Okay, right now, let’s make a decision: Pick two breakfasts you want to eat next week. You don’t need to decide the EXACT one – I mean, there’s countless smoothie and overnight oats recipes on the interwebs, right? – but pick two categories. Say, omelet and waffles.   And just like that you’ve got the start of your breakfast plans.  Awesomeness.    If you’re not sure what categories you wanna go with, I’ve got something for you. The What to Eat When… checklist can help you narrow in on what you want to eat and offers up some ideas when you’re not sure where to start. Or if you’re too busy to even think where to start.   DOWNLOAD WHAT TO EAT WHEN CHECKLIST (REVISE COVER, INCLUDE PITCH AND BIO)       
 
	 Tell Me What to Eat

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.