Sleep What Does All This Sleep Mean? Sleep plays a role in many of our bodies functions, such as our long-term memory, cognitive function, alertness and reaction time, hormone regulation and tissue regeneration to name a few. It also accounts for roughly a third of […]
Tag: performance nutrition
Self-Talk : What you Tell Yourself Directly Impacts your Health
We read it all of the time, the person you spend the most time with is yourself. We obviously know this to be true, but if we get deep for a moment, you actually realize you are with yourself EVERY moment of your life. That is a lot of time together. In that time you spend with yourself you are likely “talking” to yourself, consciously and sub-consciously. What you say can have a profound impact your health.
In the past year I have a worked a lot on negative self-talk. I often found (and still find) myself telling myself something seemingly innocuous as “gosh Amy you sucked at that workout today, you are the slowest runner on the planet” to something more obvious like “wow, you probably do not need a desert today you are looking hefty.” This kind of nonsense seeps into our brains and takes up unnecessary space. What we tell ourselves continuously, we unintentionally start to become. If I tell myself I am the worst runner then I likely begin to avoid running. If I restrict myself from desert based on some self-imposed critique I begin to deem yummy food as “bad” and will probably propel myself right into a binge in the future. It is a slippery slope but we have the power to change.
I challenge you to change the narrative. The next time you want to put yourself down apply the “stop, drop and roll” theory – yes it is that drastic!
- STOP – ask yourself, would I tell my best friend this? Would I say this to my child, my parent and would I say it OUT LOUD? Would I tell ANYONE this, other myself this? Likely, if you are at this step, the answer is a hard NO. We can be our own worst enemies and it is time to be more kind to ourselves. So if you would not say this to someone else, do not say it to yourself.
- DROP – change the narrative. Drop the negative for a positive…right then and there. Find something kind to tell yourself. Instead of harping on how slow you are, give yourself a high-five for making to the gym, getting out of bed that morning or heck, congratulate yourself for brushing your teeth. Just change the narrative. Instead of calling yourself hefty focus on a characteristic you do like that day. Wow my hair looks great or I love this outfit or I smiled at that person on my walk. ANYTHING kind is better.
- ROLL – roll the things that may not be where we want into real change. If I am slower than I would like to be how can I improve on that? If I want to feel better in my skin what steps can I take to get there? Recognition of want to change can be the catalyst to start the process.
Yes, we all have bad days. We have days we do not feel on our game for one reason to another but we are doing our best. We can recognize these “bad days” and give ourselves a nudge towards change. Happiness is not a constant. It is a moving target. If you acknowledge that it is ok to accept things as they are on this day AND remind yourself that you are working towards a better tomorrow, your health goals and lifestyle improvement really are in reach. Decide where you want to go and pat yourself on the back along the way. Change takes time and a lifetime of reinforcement, giving yourself the strongest foundation is a great start!
-Amy Moser, Nutrition Coach
How to stay on track during the busy summer
We hear it all the time. Balance. Everything in moderation. Too much of something is usually never a good thing. But how? How do we balance work, fun, stress, nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc? Some people are great multi-taskers and doers, others not so much and need to focus on one thing at a time. In my opinion, simplicity and happiness is the answer. Keep it simple, don’t overthink it, and make sure it brings you happiness.
I don’t know about you, but my summer brings a lot more social activities, weddings, BBQs, patio meet-ups, and sporting events. These typically involve eating out or meals that I do not prepare, alcohol, more sitting that moving, and great conversations. If this is happening at least a couple times a week it can get overwhelming and cause some anxiety in a lot of people. I love going to these fun events because they bring me happiness, but sometimes the guilt sets in the day after indulging.
The way I have dismissed the guilt and tackle the busy nature of summer is to make sure I am balancing the things in my life. I eat nutrient-dense foods every day, drinking plenty of water, getting in daily movement or exercise (variety), prioritize sleep, and take time for me FIRST. If my life is way too busy or if I am feeling much too overwhelmed or stressed, I have learned to say no. Setting yourself up for the summer chaos by taking care of yourself and your health first is going to make you feel much better about indulging at social outings. It’s about the balance. Here is an example:
There is a potluck BBQ/bonfire on a Saturday afternoon. I know I am going to eat there and try a lot of rich foods and also have a few alcoholic beverages. Here are some tips on how to stay balanced and on track:
- Eat a nutrient-dense, healthy breakfast. My go-to, well-rounded breakfast: egg/egg white/turkey sausage veggie scramble with a side of fresh fruit or a side of oatmeal topped with berries and some peanut butter.
- Get in a workout, a hike, bike ride, or a long walk (No, NOT extra exercise because you are indulging later. Just get some movement in!)
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day (and bring a full water bottle with to the BBQ)
- Have a lighter lunch with plenty of vegetables, a good protein source, and some healthy fats (Bed of greens topped with fresh veggies, grilled chicken, and avocado with homemade vinaigrette)
- Make a healthy side dish to bring to the BBQ so you know you will be eating a side of something you prepared at home
- Have a snack before you go to the BBQ. NEVER go on an empty stomach. That often leads to binging and getting uncomfortably full. Favorite snacks: greek yogurt with chopped nuts or granola, cottage cheese, an apple with cheese, veggies dipped in hummus, a rice cake topped with deli meat and cheese, or a couple hard boiled eggs
- At the BBQ focus on the social aspect and time with your friends and family
- Decide how many alcoholic beverages you are going to have at the BBQ (a reasonable amount) and stick to it. Going overboard with the alcohol can easily lead to going overboard with food as well
- When you are hungry, dish up a balanced plate with a good protein source, some veggies if available, and try a couple small servings of other sides. Do not overload your plate because you can always have more if you are hungry
- Do not immediately go up for seconds or to try other foods. Give your body some time to digest and feel how satisfied you really are
- Enjoy the party. Socialize, play games, relax
- Be home at a reasonable time to get in your zzz’s
Now it is the day after the BBQ. Maybe I feel tired or I drank and ate a little bit more that I had planned. That is OK. Now here is what I DO NOT do the day after some indulging:
- Lay around and feel guilty for indulging the night before
- Go exercise for longer than normal to try and burn off the food and alcohol I consumed last night
- Restrict calories and food because I ate way too much yesterday
- Eat zero carbs because “carbs are bad and can make you fat”
- Go get a really greasy, delicious breakfast, order pizza for dinner, and then eat a pint of ice cream because I already ate a ton and indulged yesterday, so my weekend is already ruined. What’s another day.
- Lay and sit around all day binge-watching netflix (Hey, sometimes you need that, though)
The next day, carry on like any other day. It is a new day. Yesterday is behind you. Eat nutrient-dense foods, drink plenty of water, get in a quick workout or go on a walk, read a book, watch some netflix, etc. Do you see what the difference is between your average day and the day after indulging? Absolutely nothing. It is balance. It may take some time to be compassionate with yourself and kick the guilt out, but it can and will happen. You can train yourself to have balance with everything in life, not just your nutrition. Stay tuned for future posts on how to balance other things in life.
My challenge to you this summer is to try and find that balance that brings you both happiness and health. Do the things you enjoy doing and leave the guilt behind. You only have one life to live. If you need some help, our nutrition coaches at Core Health Chiropractic are here for you. Please contact us at email@example.com
Carbohydrates: Good or Bad? “Oh I can’t eat that, it has carbs in it.” Really? Is that how people view carbs? The evil macronutrient you are to avoid at all costs? Don’t vegetables have a carbohydrate content!? Sure, excess carbohydrates, which require water for storage, […]
Coming off one of the busiest “busy” seasons of my career, I have been thinking a lot about stress. Stress IS a normal part of life. We all have it in some form and it comes from a variety of sources, external and internal. Typically, our bodies respond to stress by activating our nervous system and outputting hormones. However, there are times when stress is increased or we operate in a stressful environment for a prolonged period. This heightened period of stress can impact our health in an extremely negative way. A prolonged period of high stress can alter our mental state, impair our sleep, cause cravings for certain foods and ultimately directly influence unwanted body changes.
In the midst of my tax busy season I found as I continued to push harder and say yes to more and more my mental state deteriorated. I became more irritable and at times abnormally emotional. My sleep was profoundly impacted. I would often feel pure exhaustion but have a complete inability to either fall or remain asleep. My weight crept uncomfortably up, my muscles were not recovering and I continued to become more stressed and overwhelmed. I knew I had to make a change but I also felt a desperate need to keep the wheels of the bus in motion. I feared if I took my foot off the gas pedal everything would fall apart.
It may not be the exact same story for everyone but I can imagine we have all experienced a period of heightened stress. Chances are there was little we could do to avoid the stress. We have jobs and responsibilities and commitments to many people and situations. It is likely that at times our lives are busier than normal. While we cannot just shut down and decide we no longer want to show up to work or keep our other commitments, it is important to manage our lives so we do not reach the point of burnout.
Once I came out of my busy season fog I made a promise to myself that I was not going to allow the overwhelming feelings to happen again by prescribing to the following:
- Sleep before everything else. If I cannot fit in something without sacrificing sleep then I need to re-examine my commitments. I am no good to others OR myself and my body without 7-8 of rest each night.
- I can say no and it is ok. Less really is more.
- Walking and low impact moving is sometimes more important for our body than a high impact workout.
- Meal planning and feeding my body whole, well-rounded meals is good for my brain. Relying on sugar-laden foods makes me feel sluggish.
- Caffeine can be a bandage if we begin to rely on it to get us through the day. Limiting my intake allows me to function on a more balanced plane.
- Recognizing the impact stress was having on my body allowed me to begin to undo the negative impact. I had to be kind to myself to start the recovery process.
The weight has started to come back off, I am sleeping through the nights and my emotional and mental well-being are operating at my normal levels. I am much happier which really the ultimate goal is. We all will have stress on a daily basis, how we manage it will impact our nutrition and wellness infinitely.
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