How to STOP Cravings

Being fearLESS rocks!

I’m into my 4th week of training to become a health coach and loving every second of it.  With each week that passes I feel more and more authentically myself.  It’s kinda crazy!

My training is all online, but there is a TON of community and it’s so amazing to talk to people who think like me and get me.  Refreshing!  In fact one of them inspired me to start sharing what I’m learning now instead of waiting.

Why wait!?

On my Instagram (@mind.body.sparkle), I started posting tips of what I’m learning.  One of the tips I wanted to expand on here.  Because this one is kinda a game changer!

When I started working with a nutritionist she taught me this tip and it was HUGE in my way of eating.  In my first learning lesson, it was also discussed but this time I had the science behind it and it blew my mind.

What is it?

All day our blood sugar is going up and down based on stress, sleep, what we eat, etc.  Those ups and downs cause our crashes, our cravings and poor health all around.

The solution is balancing what you eat at each meal.

The example I used in my Instagram post was my green smoothie.  You know I love them so I’m going to use the same example here going into WHY I put these ingredients in my smoothie and what’s it’s doing to my body to help stop cravings, feel fuller and healthier.

Ingredients:

  • My base of any smoothie is always 1 c of water for hydration.  In the morning we are already dehydrated from the nights sleep, so it’s important to reach for water first thing.  For me, I also need the hydration since I work out in the AM.
  • Then I add 1/2 a lemon squeezed to help detox my body from the workout and the night before.
  • Next up is a huge handful of leafy greens, which are full of nutrients and vitamins.  I tend to use kale or spinach, but you can use whatever you like.
  • 4-5 slices of cucumber for more hydration and more veggies.  Best part is you really can’t taste it once it’s all blended.
  • 2-3 slices of green apple for fiber.
  • 1/4 c frozen mango chunks because they are yummy.
  • 1-2 scoops of collagen protein to fuel my muscles, skin and bones.  This stuff is the bomb!  It’s flavorless, packed with collagen and protein.  So good for you!  Protein helps fill you up.
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric to help with inflammation.
  • 1 tbsp chai seeds to provide fiber and omega 3, which are essential to our bodies in fueling it right and helping keep the blood sugar stable.
  • 1- 1 1/2 tbsp nut butter for healthy fats.
  •  Ice to make it cold and a good consistency.
  • Mix all together and enjoy all the health benefits + stable blood sugar + feeling fuller longer + less cravings!

This smoothie has a balance of leafy greens, protein, healthy fats and fiber.  All ingredients to help keep your blood sugar stable  so you are fuller longer, resist crashes and limit cravings.

Lesson is at each meal your plate should consist of healthy fats, protein, leafy greens and nutrient dense starchy vegetable (or fiber).  Once you conquer this, you’ll be on your way to a healthy way of eating.

So next time you sit down to eat, ask yourself, “does this contain protein, health fats, leafy greens, and starchy veggies/fiber?”  If not, think of how you can make it more balanced.

Till next time….Sparkle on!

 

The Day I became FearLESS

If you have been here from the beginning you know the struggle has been real for me.  You know for the past 2 years, I have dealt with postpartum depression, weight gain, closing my Beachbody business, starting my own thing, and recently putting a big HOLD on everything around coaching.

In March, I finally gave myself the break I should have done months prior.  I stepped away from my passion of helping others and started focusing on me, a concept that was foreign to me.  I started working with a nutritionist, changing my workouts, and really doing what I wanted when I wanted without jamming everything into my already tight schedule.  I also started to look at what I do outside my family life…A.K.A:  work!

My corporate job is exactly what I need at this point in my life; flexibility and opportunities to grow.  I am truly grateful for my company.  That is not what I was questioning.  What I questioning was “Why do I feel like something is missing?” What I found were 2 things were off in my life:

  1. I was living an introverted life when I’m an extrovert. I LOVE people, yet I was keeping to myself and feeling really lonely…um duh!
  2. I wasn’t living my authentic self by stopping my true passion of helping others with health and fitness.

For the first one, that was easy…start doing things with girl friends, network, meet people, etc  Okay, check!

For the second one, it was a little more complicated.  I started talking to people about what I could do to help others be the best version of themselves.  The first thing people would say was go back to Beachbody.  That was an option but I wanted a new challenge.  Then someone mentioned health coaching.

And so my research began….

What was health coaching?  How does it work?  What is the schooling like?

How would it work with my life? Would I be overwhelmed?  Could I do it with my full-time job?  My 2 kids?

I kept researching, asking questions,and finally, four months later, I decided to pull the trigger and sign up to become a certified health coaching.

After months of talking to health coaches, looking at different programs, talking it through with my husband, coming to the realization, I didn’t need to have it all planned out on what I’d do after I received my certificate….it was okay to be in the unknown.  In my heart I knew this was something I was born to do and it was time to stop wondering what if and take action!

BUT….

The sign up deadline was a few days before a super busy week for me.  I had to wait!

As the final week deadline approached for July sign up, I kept thinking about the program, kept researching it, kept looking in my inbox for more info about it.

THEN…

I asked myself one question that changed it all.

How would my life look in 5 years if I had the health coaching certificate?

And in that moment, I knew I had to register and figure the rest out later. It was the first time, I finally let go and knew somehow this would work out.

On the night before the last day to sign up, I shut the light out to go to bed and told myself I was signing up after my spin class the next day.  The next day came, I went to spin, showered and was ready to call to sign up …

AND….

I couldn’t do it!

I just looked at the last email the school rep sent me ready to hit reply.  What I was about to do was so HUGE that my fear came at me full speed.

It’s a huge investment…what if I fail?

It’s a huge time commitment of 8 months…what if I can’t keep up?

What if I’m overwhelmed?  What if I fail?

Then I asked myself, what if I DON’T fail?  What will my life look like?

I typed a message to the school rep and hit send.  We got on the phone to set everything up and when I put the phone down, that weight of fear had been lifted and I was fearLESS!

That night, I was in shock. I couldn’t wrap my brain around what I had done. It was surreal.

The next morning, I woke up happier, lighter and so excited for the journey ahead.  I know it will be a road of ups and downs.  Life will happen, my corporate job will get stressful, the kids will be my crazy kids.  That’s okay, because what I see on the other side is me living my authentic self helping others be the best version of themselves.

Welcome to my journey because I’m taking you on this crazy ride with me!

Till next time….Sparkle on!

 

How I Stopped Drinking Coffee Daily

I sent a newsletter out to my list last week telling them about the changes I’ve been making to get to my ultimate 2017 goal- fueling my body with the right foods to heal myself and finally lose this baby weight.  In my newsletter, I mentioned how I kicked the habit of drinking coffee daily and someone asked how.

A bell went off in my head to share what worked for me here on this blog!  So let’s talk coffee!

First, I love coffee.

Second, I had given it up in the past cold turkey and the withdraw symptoms (massive headaches and more) that came were so painful I vowed never again.

So, why the sudden change?

My health was suffering.  My adrenals and other areas of my body were really weak and causing me to hold onto the weight.  Something had to give.

I have been working with a nutritionist and I told her at the very beginning of our sessions, I was willing to eliminate anything she thought I needed except coffee (unless it was an absolute must).  I explained the withdrawal I had before and how I couldn’t do that to myself again.  I did say, however, there was one thing I’d like to change about my coffee, which was to eliminate adding sugar.  Her suggestion was to make bullet proof coffee, so I did and it worked.  No more sugar in my coffee (when I drink it).

When she suggested I stop drinking coffee to see if that helped my health, she knew I was not happy about it.  She told me it was only temporary till my body got back on track and she’d help me through it.

My want to lose this baby weight, be less injury prone and just feel good again outweighed my love of coffee. It was time to lessen my intake.

We agreed to work on reducing the amount of coffee I have daily.  Here are the tips she recommended and what worked for me:

  1. Change the size of the coffee.   I went from a tall to a short cup of coffee.
  2. Have coffee every other day.  This didn’t work for me at first, so I just focused on having the short coffee daily and then a week after I started doing every other day.  Then I did every 2 days until I got to just having coffee on the weekend.
  3. Replace coffee with Matcha Tea.  I added Matcha tea powder to my smoothies and learned how to make Matcha tea lattes.

It’s been a month and I have to say I don’t miss coffee.  I feel less wound up and it’s helped my adrenals get stronger.   Now I have it when I want, mostly on the weekends or whenever the moment strikes (like the other day on my way into the office).

When I do order coffee, it’s always a small black coffee or I make it bullet proof.

If you are trying to eliminate something from your diet you can use these tips to help you.   Here are 4 easy steps to start eliminating foods that are not working for you:

Step 1:  Reduce the amount you are consuming.

Step 2:  Go every other day without it and then every 2 days, then only on the weekends until you can go without all together.

Step 3:  Find a healthier alternative.

Step 4:  When you do add it back in, enjoy it!

Till next time…Sparkle on!

 

 

 

 

 

The 1 Thing I’ve Learned By Slowing Down My Workouts

For the past 6 weeks, I have been doing a workout routine that was only intended for 1 week!

1 week!  1 week of active recovery and then I was supposed to be back at my awesome HIIT workouts that I’d been doing for 3 months.  I modified them and I loved how quick, fun and efficient they were for this busy mom of 2.  And the sweat was amazing…I knew it was working and my body felt good.

BUT…

After 3 months, I needed a change so I decided to give myself a one week rest.  I thought of doing nothing for a week but that isn’t me.  I needed to move my body in some way.  I decided to do 5 days that included yoga, Pilates, barre and walking if the weather was nice.

I was excited for my new plan.  I knew it would be good to really nourish my body with stretching and getting out in the fresh air.  And I was right!

The week felt so good, I decided to do another week of the same workouts.  And another…and another and so on.

As each week came to an end, I’d think so what should I do next week.  And the answer was always the same with little tweaks to spice things up.  I added another leg day, would do yoga at a studio instead of at home, do different workouts on different days than the week before, change-up my walking route, and recently just added a cycle class to the routine.

With each day, I loved my workout more and more.  They were challenging.  My strength was improving and the sweat was just as intense.  Instead of feeling my body being beat up (in a good way), I felt energized and refreshed and sore.

I really thought after 5 weeks I’d be done.  I mean how boring to keep doing the same workouts, right (even with the tweaks)?

But guess what?

I’m not bored!  I really look forward to my workouts each day and I’m amazed at how much better I am week after week with my form and with doing different exercises I couldn’t do the past week.

My biggest a-ha moment yet was when I took a cycle class and the next day I wasn’t as sore as I thought I’d be.  I felt it but I was fine.

My husband said, “you are in better shape than you thought.”  And that made me realize, yep I am!  Holy crap I really am!  AMAZING!

My biggest a-ha moment is the biggest lesson I learned from slowing my workouts down.

I don’t have to KILL myself for results.  Being KIND to my body is getting me the results I have been wanting.

Your body knows what it needs.  You just need to stop, listen and trust it!

Till next time…Sparkle on!

 

 

 

Post-partum: Almost 2 Years Later

This past weekend, I was sitting outside enjoying the amazing sun and warm weather we are finally getting in New England.  I love the seasons changing but warmth and sun after a cold, dreary winter, is everything!

As I sat on the porch, taking in the sun, smelling the freshly cut grass and looking at the trees full of green leaves, I realized I was happy.  Really truly happy.

The feeling hit me.  I laughed and recognized it was the first time since having my second child that I was really happy.  And then I realized, just like that, my suffering was ending.  My postpartum depression has been lifted….it’s over!

Almost 2 years later, I was still suffering through postpartum.  I suffered and struggled  mostly on my own.  I mentioned it here and there on this blog and to some of my close family members but it was always a brush over.  Never getting into the details, to my real feelings and emotions as I, like so many other women, was ashamed to have these sad feelings.

I mean, how could I possibly be depressed?

I was so happy to find out I was pregnant with my second child.  I was so happy to give Holden a brother.  My pregnancy, although very different from my first and not in a good way, was uneventful.  My labor was uneventful.  I had been blessed to have 2 beautiful healthy baby boys, an amazing husband and a life that I had always envisioned.

But it didn’t matter…I had postpartum depression that was slightly diagnosed (I think it was mentioned in one of my therapy appoints that I could have it).  Like everyone needing a different workout plan or nutrition plan, postpartum isn’t one size fits all.  I wasn’t wanting to cause harm to myself or my baby.  Instead, I just didn’t want to participate in life (if you know me, you know I live for social events, time with friends, etc).

I’d force myself at times to do social things.  But instead of being in the heart of the fun,  I’d stand in the background, keep quiet, and/or distract myself.  More often than not though I’d decline social events.   I didn’t want anyone around me or me around anyone.  I felt worthless, like a failure and honestly, I really didn’t like myself.  So, why would I put anyone else through that?

I tried to distract myself as much as possible to not deal with what was going on with me, especially earlier this year.  I felt like this year, I should be over it…he’s almost 2.  But I wasn’t.  I was doing better but I definitely still wasn’t myself.

It wasn’t until my health started to suffer that I knew I had to do something to feel better.  At the time I didn’t know it would help me emotionally too.  I finally made an appointment to deal with my health issues and resistance to weight loss.

Once I physically started feeling better, it was like a haze had been lifted.  I could start dealing with the emotional part of it, realizing I did in fact have postpartum.  In pushing my feelings away, I truly believe is why these other health/weight loss resistant aliments occurred.

So back to sitting on the porch and feeling the postpartum depression was over.  What I also felt was although it’s over, there is a lot to rebuild.  I withdrew from everyone in my life.  Maybe it was for the best, maybe those friendships/relationships will be stronger now.  Or maybe they were meant to be looked at from afar to figure out if they were working for me.

I have changed…that’s what happens when you become a mom.  For me, all I want is to be surrounded by strong, positive people who love me, accept me, do not judge me, and love every flaw I have.

My postpartum was mild but it existed.  It was a struggle, I did suffer and I’m not ashamed anymore…it’s part of the journey.  It may have sucked going through it, but I can truly say, it was worth it to see the woman who has come out of it on the other side.

If you are suffering from postpartum, you are not alone.  Just know there is NOTHING wrong with you.  You ARE amazing and will pull through it.  Reach out for help, do what feels right for you.

Till next time…..sparkle on!

4 Health Benefits of Green Smoothies

Hello!  How are you guys?  I know it’s been awhile since my last post.  I needed some time to focus on my health.  As you know I have had injury after injury and have not been able to lose the baby weight (after almost 2 years).  I had enough so it was time to focus.

I started seeing a holistic nutritionist as a birthday gift to myself.   We’ve meet 5 or 6 times so far and it has been what I’ve needed.  To learn how to heal my body through food.

The first few weeks of my visits were working out what  Carb, Protein, Fat ratios would work for me.  I wasn’t restricted on what foods I could and couldn’t eat, just to focus on whole foods and my allotted ratios.  Easy enough till we got to the carbs, which I thought I was doing great at.  You’d be shocked at how much carbs are in your favorite foods!

This week has been a pivotal week.  The week that something clicked, that things started changing, that I’m feeling the differences.  I just couldn’t keep my findings to myself, so I knew it was time to blog again!

This week , I finally got a meal plan.  This had been what I was waiting for every session I met with my nutritionist.

I wanted structure.

I wanted consistency. I wanted a guide.

My nutritionist put together a basic meal plan of eating the same thing daily for 1 week.

  • Breakfast:  Green smoothie
  • Lunch:  Salad with protein
  • Snack 1: Fruit and nuts
  • Snack 2: Carrots and avocado
  • Dinner: Whatever I want as long as I stay within my carb/protein/fat ratio and eat from the four squares (carbs, veggies, starch, and protein)

If you know me at all, you know I was pumped about this.

Easy, simple and everything I like.

One week I got this….and I killed it!

I feel leaner, which could also do with adding weights back into my life.

I feel cleaner inside, not as much bloating or discomfort, like I’m doing something good for my body.

The only negative effect I have felt is like I’m detoxing, feeling blah and down. To spin that to a positive, it means what I’m doing is working because I am naturally detoxing!

What I really noticed had the biggest impact is having a green smoothie in the morning.  I feel this super healthy change could benefit your health and fitness goals like it has to me.

I’m not saying you need to do this everyday for the rest of your life but maybe do it for 7 days when you feel bloated or have fallen off the healthy eating wagon.

I have the same recipe every morning because I love it:

  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 squeezed lemon
  • 1 tbsp chai seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • 3 slices of cucumber
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 c frozen mangos
  • 1 scoop collagen protein
  • 3 ice cubes

The foods in this recipe are anti-inflammatory.  I have realized my body has been inflamed, which caused my injuries and holding onto this unwanted weight.  Besides helping with my inflammation, here are the other benefits I’ve noticed since drinking a green smoothie daily:

  1. Feel healthier. I feel like my insides are clean, that I’m doing something good for my body, that it’s enjoying what I’m fueling it with.  There is less bloat and feeling like I over ate.  Does that make sense?
  2. Craving healthier foods.  I really want the foods that are on my meal plan.  If I do stray (which has happened one day), it’s due to boredom or this feeling of detox going on.  Recognizing that’s why I want non-healthy foods is HUGE for me.  And also being okay with eating a small portion to curb the craving and knowing it will not derail my progress is even better!
  3. It’s a balanced meal.  I get my protein, my carbs (fruit), and my fat (peanut butter and chia seeds) all in one cup.  Bonus:  It travels well!  So for my on the go life it’s perfect!
  4. I am fuller longer.  I usually like to eat my lunch at 11am since I’m an early bird, but I’ve actually been going longer. And when I am ready to eat, I’m not famished, just slightly hungry for more fuel.

I’ll probably stick to this for another week or so, especially since I’ll be traveling next week.  Travel and getting my body on track do NOT agree….the water weight, the flying, the going out to eat…it’s too much.  So having my green smoothie before I travel and when I come home will help me set the stage for eating health away and getting back on track when I come home.

Speaking of travel, should I write another post on how I’m changing things up when I travel to keep me on track with eating right and getting the workouts in?  Let me know if that would help you guys out by posting YES in the comments below.

Till next time….Sparkle on!

 

 

To Just Be…

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote.  Things weren’t feeling right and I needed to hit the pause button.

Did you ever feel like you were doing all the right things to get you were you need to be but something felt off?

That’s what happened to me.

Around this time of year, I self-reflect.  This year all I kept hearing was stop, slow down, really think about what you want and what is going to be best for you.  You do NOT have to say yes to everything.

And that is exactly what I have been doing.

It started with my career in corporate America.  As with most big companies there is change.  This year more than ever and it caused me to stop and take a step back and ask a lot of questions.  I’m typically a yes girl, but I found myself saying I need to think about it more and more.

It’s funny how you think people are going to be upset or not respect you when you say no but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  By me saying no, it opened up doors I didn’t even think were possible and gained me more respect than I thought I could gain.

Next my physical health has suffered for over a year and 1/2.  I finally  took action and listened to my intuiition.  I scheduled an appointment with a holistic nutritionist and guess what?

I’m not crazy.  There is a reason why I’m not losing the weight and why I’m getting injured.  We are working out how to fix that by eating the right foods and working on the areas that are the weakest.

Through that process, I realized I need to focus on me.  My health.  My family.  My career.  Nothing else matters at this moment.  I can’t help others if I can’t fix my own health issues.  I can’t be the best version of myself to my family and my co-workers if I can’t fix my own health.

I love coaching and as my pause button was going on, I knew I had to pause coaching as well.  My passion was turning into I “have to do this” instead of I “love doing this or want to do this.”

I will always be a coach because it’s part of me and I love everything about it. Which made it that much harder to hit the pause button on this part of my life.  So my coaching will be in the form of sharing my journey on my terms.

What does that mean?

It means I blog when I want to blog not when an expert tells me I should be (every day on the same day at the same time).

It means not using Facebook because to be honest I’m not that big of a fan of it anymore.

It means continuing my journey on Instagram because that is my favorite social media platform.  When I do it depends on my mood and if I have thinigs to share.  So, if I want to do stories, I do stories.  If I want to post, I post.  If I want the weekend off, I don’t post

It’s time to just be.

To be able to go through the trial and errors  of my health and figure out how to heal my body.

To be able to advance in my career in ways I didn’t know were possible.

To be able to be with my family and not have anything that needs to be done after the kids go down.

To be with my husband on date night or on the couch watching TV and scrolling through Instagram.

To be healthy and fit to buy a new goal outfit.

To be injury free to run with my son.

To just be me, a better version of me.

Till next time…Sparkle on!

 

A (Free) Gift from me to You

This month is coming to an end quickly and I’m at my final tip for implementing a healthy lifestyle permanently! Hope these tips have been helping you and I’d love to hear from you so make sure to comment below with your feedback!

The last tip to make living a healthy life permanent is to WRITE IT DOWN!  I totally resisted this one for a long time and the minute I gave into it was when the results started coming.  Funny how that happens!

I previously wrote how I used MyFitnessPal and stopped using it since it was making me a little crazy with the calorie counting.  So, I switched to Instagram to track my food and workouts and I started writing on this blog about my journey.

And yes, you can accomplish your goals without writing it down but you might not see results as quickly as you’d like.  And don’t we want results NOW?!

For me, whenever I decide to start a new workout or eating plan, I make sure to track it for at least 30 days.  After 30 days, I evaluate if it’s working or not and then make minor tweaks and try it for another 30 days until I see results or it becomes a habit that I don’t even need to think about.

I use a notebook to track it all down…BORING!

As I was planning out my tips for you guys, I thought wouldn’t it be great to have a tracker that is simple to use, fun and available with a click of a button.

So I did just that!  All you need to do is print it out and go.

It will be available in my next weekly email (Tuesday, 2/28).  If you want your tracker and how to use it for FREE, just sign up here and you’ll be added to the list to get it delivered right to your inbox on Tuesday!

Till next time…Sparkle on!

Quickie workout…Yes you do have time!

January was a month of making “resolutions” or setting goals.  February is a month for implementing  changes to get to those goals!    So, let’s get into it.

If you’ve been following me on social you know this is where my head is at.  My email show you an action plan, my FB Lives give you steps to take today and this blog is for everything in-between!

Last week, I provided a sweet treat for your sweetheart and this week, I’m helping you with a workout you can do anytime, anywhere, no equipment required and will be done before you know it!  Seriously, this is all about NO MORE EXCUSES!

It’s the Alphabet Workout and here is how it works:

Spell out your first name and follow the workout beside each letter.

So for my name, Stacy, I’d do 20 triceps dips, 45 sec plank hold, 50 jumping jacks, 20 squats, and 25 sit ups.  That would be round 1.  If I want to do more, I could do it again for the second round and again for a 3rd round.

You can do this workout 3-5x a week (whatever feels good for you).  I like having a rest in-between doing the same workout.  You can change it up and do your last name, your kids name, your husband’s name, etc.  You’ll never be bored and it’s quick so you’ll definitely be able to implement working out as part of your healthy life.  Try it for 30 days and let me know what you think!

Till next time….Sparkle on!

mind-body-sparklealphabet-workout

 

 

Recipe: Something sweet for your sweet

Valentine’s day is coming!

Where chocolate hearts are given and we indulge maybe a little more than normal.

So, it is only fitting that I have a recipe for you to make for your loved one…and it’s chocolate!

I love this mug cake…perfect size, warm and chocolatey.

Here is what you need:

  • 4 tbsp of flour (I used 2 tbsp of oat flour and 2 of all purpose- you can use whatever you have)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
Here’s how you make it:
  1. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips into a microwave safe mug.  Whisk all ingredients until smooth and no lumps remain.
  2. Stir in half the chocolate chips.  Sprinkle the remaining on the top.
  3. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Let cool for a few minutes before eating.
  5. To make it even more special for your sweetie, top with whipped cream and drizzle hot fudge on it…yummy!

Till next time….Sparkle on!

P.S.  My revamped meal plan checklist is NOW available!  For your FREE copy, just click here to download and get the bonuses.