Meal Planning as Self-Care

Self care is about taking good care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others. Self-care is about making our own well-being a priority.

So why do so many of us put our needs at the bottom of the list, allowing ourselves to be in a constant state of stress in order to get through an endless list of tasks.

How can practicing some self-care help us protect our time, our energy and our health?

When we talk about self-care often we think of manicures, hot stone massages, and other luxuries. We don’t often think about planning, organizing, or scheduling as examples of self-care because they sound kinda like …well… work.
But here’s why we should consider these as self-care activities – they actually play a big role in protecting your health. Think about how you feel when you’re rushing around, running late, or looking for things that are never where you can find them.

Stressed, right?

And that’s a problem because if you spend enough time stressed out, your body will have a chronically elevated level of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can really be problematic for your health, in both the long and short term.

Self-care is important because by doing things that protect our time and energy, we minimize the low grade chronic stress that we bring upon ourselves by not being proactive.

Listen, if you’re about to say you’re too busy to sit down and take time to plan out meals for the week because it feels like one more chore to add to your already long list of things to do – trust me when I say taking time to plan for meals each week, and writing out a grocery list, ultimately benefits you in a lot of ways!

It will save you money because dining out is so much more expensive than preparing meals at home. It also means less food waste because you’ve only bought the items you need to prepare your meals.

It means you’ll eat healthier. Even when you make healthy menu choices, portions are generally twice what you’d normally eat, and restaurant food usually contains higher sodium levels than what we make at home. And it’s usually prepared using lower quality oils like soybean. With meals planned and prepped ahead of time, you’re less tempted to get greasy takeout or hit up the drive-thru.

Choosing ingredients from the grocery store gives you more control over the quality of your food. When you select and prepare your own food knowing exactly what is included in the dishes you make, you’re able to better control the quality of your meals.

And most of all, it means less STRESS. Planning meals reduces your stress level because you have a solid plan for your week and you won’t have to rack your brain at the last minute to figure out what’s for dinner, trying to pull something together with whatever you happen to have on hand.

How to Create A Weekly Meal Plan:

  • Print out the blank Weekly Meal Planner printable guide here.

  • Take a look at your schedule for the upcoming week and note what days of the week will you be home to cook and which nights will be a little more rushed. For those nights, schedule a crockpot meal or pre-cooked dinner the night before.

  • Schedule one day near the end of the week as Leftover Day, making sure not to let food and money go to waste

  • Decide what you’ll eat on each day. Need menu ideas? Sites like emeals.com, TheFresh20.com and TheSixOclockScramble.com include healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare along with the grocery shopping list for you. Pricing starts at around $5 per month.  

Create your Grocery List:

  • Compile the list of ingredients from all your recipes

  • Figure out what you have on hand and what you’ll need to pick up at the store

Prep Your Meals:

  • Spend a few hours on the weekend doing some batch prep for your meals

    • Chop all of your vegetables together

    • Cook all grains and beans ahead of time

    • Make your needed sauces, dressings, and marinades

  • Pack your prepped food in clear containers and make them easily accessible in the fridge.

Tips:

  • Think ahead and cook up an extra batch. Plan to make double what you would normally make for dinner so you have leftovers for lunches or freeze it for another dinner.

  • Be sure to have food defrosted if you’re using any frozen items like meat, chicken, or fish.

If you haven’t meal planned because it seems too time consuming, know that by creating a system, it will be so much faster and easier each time you do it. Once you start implementing a weekly meal plan, you’ll notice you feel less stressed over the dinner-time rush.

You’ll feel so much less stressed when you know you’re ready for the week and you have what you need to make healthy meals for your family. Taking an hour to sit and plan your meals for the week will save you much more than that in time and energy in the long run.

Need a detailed Meal Plan and Prep Guide?

Get mine here:

 

 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.

100+ Ways to Manage Your Time and Money and Stress Less

You know the saying, ‘Time is Money’?

I know, I know – this is a health and fitness blog – why am I talking about money and time?

Because saving time and money means less stress for you.

Also, even though the two areas (money and/or time management and health) appear somewhat unrelated, they have a LOT in common. Mostly that you’ve developed habits around both and you have autopilot behaviors that may ..or may not …take you where you want to go with either.

However, what I’ve seen is that once you get a handle on one, it’s easier to apply the same principles to the other one.

For example, you probably manage your money and your time the same way you manage your health. You’re either Type A – have a good idea of what you have saved, how much you will earn this week/month/year, know what you’re spending it on, are pretty disciplined about spending, and you’re mindful with your purchasing habits. You’re proactive, putting money away for the future, knowing that sure it would be tons of fun to splurge more often, but you’re thinking long term and know you’ll want to have something to fall back on in the future.

Same with your health. You’re either super aware of what’s going on with your health, you’re pretty diligent about eating vegetables, not loading up on processed food or added sugar. You have the occasional treat but it’s done mindfully, not emotionally. OR you’re more of a ‘live for today’ type, enjoying every delicious opportunity that appears in front of you and giving in to every inclination to comfort eat that comes along.

Also, the fact that you might not be great with money or have a solid knowledge about what’s going on with yours might lead to some low grade, chronic stress, which isn’t great for your health. You might not have full on panic attacks but the constant worry going on in the back of your mind about it is going to have some eventual side effects on your health.

Take a look and see if there are a few things here that might help you save money and stress!

  • Prep and pack Mason jar lunches

  • Batch cook – double the recipe and cook extra to freeze for later

  • Use a Bullet Journal instead of a planner to get more done in less time

  • Organize your refrigerator to prevent spoiling food and wasted money

  • Use an Instant Pot to make your own yogurt

  • Make your own salad dressing instead of buying prepared

  • Use a Vitamix to make your own nut butter

  • Make your own flour

  • Make your own yogurt pouches

  • Use grocery rebate apps like Ibotta and Checkout51 to get cash back on groceries

  • Bulk shop for pantry staples

  • Make your own baking mix for pancakes or quick breads

  • Go Meatless on Mondays (go to www.meatlessmonday.com for ideas!)

  • Try the Grocery Budget Makeover and slash your grocery bill

  • Get a SodaStream and stop buying expensive soda or seltzer

  • Use an Instant Pot to maximize your time cooking dinner

  • Make your own water flavoring

  • Meal plan to save money on last-minute takeout meals

  • Get a filtration system, like a Brita and reusable water bottle and stop buying overpriced bottled water

  • Make your own bread

  • Learn to can vegetables

  • Shop your pantry. Use up the items that have been sitting in there that you may have forgotten about

  • Buy dried beans instead of canned

  • Make your own oatmeal packets

  • Stop paying late fees on credit cards (set a reminder on your phone or sign up for autopay!)

  • Cancel your gym membership and workout at home

  • Refinance your home if your mortgage interest rate is high

  • Use credit cards with membership rewards programs like American Express

  • Organize linen closet with bins for medicines, first aid, baby items, sheets, pillowcases

  • Use vertical storage to get clutter off the floor

  • Create appt reminders so you don’t forget appointments and incur no-show fees

  • Evaluate your car insurance to avoid overpaying

  • Stack your errands to save money on gas and wear and tear on your car

  • Set up a home organization station like this one (from atcharlotteshouse.com) to keep family members organized

  • Outsource time-consuming tasks like lawn care

  • Use a home cleaning schedule to keep your home neat and clean, stop wasting time cleaning rooms that are hardly used or seen

  • Pack your lunch night before and streamline your morning routine (Psst… lunch bags don’t have to be fug! THIS ONE is adorable!)

  • Set up Help Yourself snack bins for your kids

  • Get into the habit of going to bed earlier and get more sleep (want to know how your sleep impacts productivity?)

  • Maximize your gym time by doing more circuit or HIIT-style workouts

  • Use a purse insert to save time and stay organized

  • Pack emergency items, paper towels, trash bags, extra clothes, back up snacks, and water in a Car Box

  • Make your own ice packs (here are five different ways to do it)

  • Purchase refurbished electronics.  Amazon now offers certified refurb items on their Amazon Renewed site. You can get refurbished smartphones, computers, laptops, tablets, home and kitchen appliances, game consoles, office products, and more!)

  • Make your own jewelry cleaner (Here’s how!)

  • Use washable microfiber cloths for cleaning

  • Wake up earlier and be more productive before the day starts (Click here for tips on better sleep)

  • Make your own 2nd day hair spray (xoJane.com has a great recipe here!) cut your shower time in half

  • Make your own disinfectant wipes

  • Shop with the season, buy things during the time of year they usually go on sale

  • Use Amazon Subscribe and Save to save you the time and hassle of shopping for items you use regularly

  • Use flickering LED lights instead of candles. Romance AND safety!

  • Make your own spice mixes instead of buying expensive premade ones (Wellnessmama.com has 14 recipes right here!)

  • Use Rent the Runway for formal dressing occasions – don’t buy outfits you’ll only wear once!

  • Create a capsule wardrobe and stop buying clothes you won’t wear (Don’t know what a capsule wardrobe is or how to create one? Click HERE)

  • Buy brand name preloved clothes on poshmark and thredup

  • Buy higher quality items in classic styles and wear them for several seasons instead of buying cheaper, trendier, disposable clothing every few months

  • Shop around for travel deals using websites like Expedia or Trivago

  • Use the Gas Buddy app to find the cheapest gas in your area

  • Order car parts online (Did you know you can buy replacement side mirrors on Amazon??)

  • Maintain your car to keep it running longer! Make sure to regularly check your air pressure, change your oil, and change your air filters! (Get your air filters on amazon and change them yourself instead of paying the dealership an arm and a leg to do it!)

  • Shop at stores (like Kroger and Costco) that offer points to use as discounts on gas 

  • Subscribe to Kindle Unlimited or  Book Bub for deals on ebooks

  • Buy an Entertainment book and find coupons for local attractions

  • Find deals for local events on Groupon

  • Use Redbox to rent movies and video games

  • Cancel cable and stream your entertainment with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon using a Firestick, Apple TV, or a Playstation console

  • Get active and find a local ‘Get Started in Sports’ program near you

  • Use your local library to check out books instead of buying them at a bookstore or ordering from Amazon

  • While you’re at the library check out movies instead of seeing them in the theater

  • Host a Moms’ Night In instead of going out. Play Bunco, host a book club, or a craft night! Need more ideas? Check here.

  • Buy pre-owned games and game systems at GameStop

  • Take a Staycation – explore your own town or county and find some hidden gems

  • Use reusable snack bags Bumkins Reusable Snack Bag Small 2 Pack, Crocs & Turtle (B2)

  • Make your own play-doh

  • Organize a mom swap

  • Buy a Cricut or Silhouette cutter and make your own party decorations

  • Shop consignment sales for deals on gently used toys and clothes

  • Buy discounted gift cards on Raise.com ahead of time if you know you are shopping at certain stores

  • Buy themed items for next year the day after it happens this year – Halloween costumes, Valentine’s Day cards, Christmas decorations, Thanksgiving place settings

  • Use ebates.com or mrrebates.com and get money back on your online purchases

  • Stop spending too much! Use the Krazy Koupon Lady’s stock up price list!

  • Go on a cash diet – take your credit and debit cards out of your wallet and replace it with cash – you’ll be less tempted to spend money

  • Use Earny to get cash back (it scans your email to find receipts and gets your cash back if it finds a cheaper price elsewhere)

  • Use Snipsnap app to find coupons for in-store and online shopping

  • Look at Groupon Goods

  • Watch Amazon’s Lightning Deals feed to snap up big discounts that are only available for a limited time

  • Schedule “leftover night’ on your weekly meal plan to make sure you use up anything that didn’t get eaten during the week. (Want more help creating a family menu plan? Click here!)

    Pssst… Want my healthy recipes and printable workouts? 

They’re all yours! Get access here:

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.

4 Steps to Create a Life-Changing Meditation Practice

 

 PHOTO CREDIT:  ASHLEY MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO CREDIT: ASHLEY MARKS PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Meditation can be a life-changing practice if you struggle with stress or anxiety. Meditation has been shown to rewire the brain to return to a calm state and teaches you how to manage your racing thoughts or excessive worries.

You may not know this but 20 years ago I struggled with crippling anxiety and panic attacks. I went to the dr for anti-anxiety pills but instead got a lesson in meditation. Learning how to quiet my mind has been an invaluable tool in managing my anxiety since then.

If you’re struggling with constant worry or a brain that doesn’t relax, you may want to create your own meditation practice. It doesn’t have to be complicated, you can start right now!

Here are 4 steps to getting started:

1. Create space

Literally and figuratively. Find a place where you’ll be able to sit in peace for a few minutes at a time (to start). Free of noise, distraction, traffic, or anything that will disrupt your meditation. Put a comfortable pillow, chair, blanket in the place where you’ll meditate to designate it your meditation space to help your mind and body transition into your practice.

If you can’t designated one space for meditation, don’t sweat it. The great thing about meditation is it literally can be done ANYWHERE, but most people find that having a designated spot for it helps get into the right mindset for the practice.

Also, carve out a time in the day when it will be convenient for you to meditate. Most people prefer to do it early in the day, that way it doesn’t get postponed or eventually left undone by a busy day or being too tired later on.

2. Pick a style

Figure out what kind of meditation you want to do. I’ve listed some beginner-friendly ones here:

  • Breathing meditation – focus only on the breath. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

  • Counting meditation – the same number sequence is repeated over and over.

  • Mantra meditation – focus on a word or phrase for the duration of the session.

  • Sensation awareness meditation – scan through your body one part at a time and just tune in to the sensations of your body at that time. No judgement, just awareness.

  • Walking meditation – Sitting meditation usually provides the greatest benefits, but you may need to start with small steps. Walking meditation is useful for beginners or as an alternative on days when a regular session isn’t feasible. Walk around your own living room or backyard. Walking automatically puts you in touch with your body. Observe your posture from foot to head.  Align your breath with your steps. Pause frequently to create a slow and restful state of mind. Take a moment to stand up straight. Lift each foot gently, and roll from heel to toe as you place it down in front of you.

    To start, just pick one type and see if it resonates with you. if not, you can move on to another type. Most beginners start with a guided mediation.

3. Start Small

For most people, one of the most difficult things about meditation can be finding the time to squeeze a session into your busy schedule. You can start by meditating for five minutes or less!

  • Stop on red. You may start looking forward to red lights if you use them for a refreshing break. Focus on your breath and appreciate the world around you.

  • Take advantage of routine tasks. Empty your mind and your dishwasher at the same time. As you remove forks and plates, clear out nagging resentments and doubts.

  • Ease stressful moments. Meditate on whatever disturbs you.Being annoyed with a salesclerk who rang up your purchase without putting down their phone could remind you to listen more attentively to family and friends. Let it be a teachable moment that creates more harmony.

  • Express gratitude. Happy events are also worth pondering. Stop to give thanks for hot chocolate or spring flowers

4. Join a Guided Meditation Group

Guided meditation sessions with a group leader take care of the agenda for you.

  • Find a community. Yoga studios, public libraries, and local hospitals may offer programs. Browse online or check bulletin boards in grocery stores and coffee shops. Start your own group through Meetup.

  • Locate a meditation instructor. Effective instructors come in many shapes and sizes. Ask about why they teach meditation and how they lead a session. As long as you feel comfortable with them it may be a good fit.

  • Work with distractions. Meditating in a crowded room may feel different than sitting down alone in your bedroom. If trying to screen out distractions makes it difficult to concentrate, try accepting them instead. Remain aware of your surroundings. If a door slams or a phone rings, gently bring your focus back when you’re ready to resume.

  • Go at your own pace. Meditation comes more easily for some practitioners, and your powers of concentration will probably rise and fall from day to day. Listen to the instructor when you need more guidance. If you already feel clear and connected, you may want to follow your own thoughts instead.

You can start a meditation practice today even if you’re short on time and juggling many responsibilities. Practical meditation techniques can put you on the path to managing stress and enjoying greater peace of mind.

Pssst… Want my healthy recipes and printable workouts?

They’re all yours! Get access here:

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.

 

 

Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

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You guys know I’m all about self-care and doing things that make my life easier. Sadly, one of my biggest challenges in life is pulling myself together, clothes-wise. I cannot, to save my life, go clothes shopping and come home with an outfit that fits, is flattering, stylish, or looks nice. I just don’t have this gift.

Unfortunately, because I just can’t even with clothes, my closet is a hot mess. I barely wear 80 percent of the clothes I own because they either don’t fit, need to be hemmed, or just don’t go with anything else I own.

WHY did I buy them in the first place?

They were either on sale (hi, I’m cheap!…errr… frugal!) or it was cute but in a size I wanted to be, not a size that I actually was. so now it hangs in the closet, patiently waiting for me to fit into it. Or I really liked it but it turns out I didn’t already own something to go with it.

Maybe I needed something fast and I hate shopping so much that I grabbed the first thing that resembled what I needed and headed to the register. Or worse, I didn’t even bother going into an actual store and I bought it online. When it arrived at my house, it was not exactly what I wanted and I didn’t hate it enough to return but I didn’t love it enough to wear it, either.

This led to me standing in my closet in my underwear for 20 minutes every day.

When I went back to work full time, I did some quick shopping (the best kind, as far as I’m concerned) and I bought what I thought I needed to build a starter work wardrobe. And you guessed it… I bought stuff that didn’t fit, didn’t look good, or didn’t match anything else I owned. Getting dressed every day was an uber-chore. I started wearing the same handful of outfits over and over out of sheer frustration but I knew pretty soon my coworkers were going to start to notice and maybe get a little worried about me, you know…mentally.

So what I did about it.

I’m delegated. I recognized that this wasn’t something I was good at or had the time and/or energy to learn to do. I did a quick Google search (It may or may not have contained the phrase Find someone to pick out all my clothes) and I was greeted with a few options:

  1. Hire a personal shopper – a lot of department stores have this option. You give a member of their staff an idea of what you’re looking for (clothes for work, a night out, a special occasion, etc) and they pull together a few looks for you to try on. I’ve never done this but I’ll tell you that right off the bat, it involves going to the store so I don’t like it. If you get there and the stuff they’ve pulled just isn’t ‘you’ then you need to wait for them to pull a few more outfits. This defeats the purpose for me because I want to get in and out of the store (if I have to go in at all!) as quickly as possible.

  2. Sign up for StitchFix– This is a monthly service that pairs you with a stylist and they send you a monthly shipment of 5 items based on your Style Profile. Buy what you like, return what you don’t, and the shipping is free both ways. You’re only charged for what you keep.  Know that you have to be very specific in your questionnaire about what you want them to send and what you do not.

    Being that I’m petite with a short torso and a large chest, there are certain items that I just will not wear. As it turns out, I have quite a list of DON’TS, such as, I don’t do horizontal stripes, high neck tops, or fruit-patterned clothing. Wouldn’t you know that I got all of these in one shipment? I realize I’m picky for someone who can’t shop for themselves. It wasn’t a complete bust, they did send me a couple of cute pieces that I kept but sadly, I needed more help than StitchFix could offer.

  3. Cue the Capsule Wardrobe – DING DING DING!
    Susie Faux coined the phrase ‘capsule wardrobe’ in the 70’s. Donna Karan popularized it in the 80’s. Now you can search Pinterest and find a capsule wardrobe for every shape, season, and color scheme. The meaning of the phrase has changed over time, though. Originally it referred a few high quality staple pieces worn season after season, but it now refers to a collection of about 40 clothing items (this number varies) that can be interchanged to create a season’s worth of outfits.

This concept speaks to me. 

When I first heard about this concept I thought “Yes! It’s genius! It’s like Garanimals for grown ups!” (ICYMI- Garanimals is a brand of children’s clothes containing pieces that were made to coordinate with each other based on the picture on the tag. Match the picture on the tag and you’ve got an outfit that goes together. I’ve said for years I wanted Garanimals to expand to adult clothes for people, like me, who just don’t have an eye for what goes with what.)

This was the solution I needed.

Thankfully, I found Alison at Get Your Pretty On and she does all the heavy lifting. She designs the capsule wardrobe, provides the shopping list (and there are items at all price points!) and she shows you how to mix and match all the pieces so you always look put together.

She even has different capsules depending on your style (casual vs dressy) and she updates them every season!

You can find out more about this here in the GET YOUR PRETTY ON CAPSULE WARDROBE CHALLENGE page.

Before you start…

Before you create your capsule wardrobe, inventory of what you’ve already got. Go through your closet. Make 3 piles and name them Keep, Donate, and Trash.

·      The Keep pile is for everything that fits and is in good condition, or has some kind of sentimental value.

·      The Donate/Sell pile is for items that are still in good condition but do not fit properly or can’t be paired with anything you own or think you may own in the future. If they’ve got a decent resale value consider selling them on ThredUp. You can use this money to purchase items for your new capsule!

·      The Trash pile is for everything that is not in good condition. You’ve worn the life out of it, literally, and it’s got nothing left to give.

Remember to use Ebates or MrRebates if you plan to do your capsule shopping online! If you aren’t familiar with these two sites, they are online shopping rebate programs. It’s like a built in online discount!

Once you’ve made physical space for your new, awesome wardrobe, get shopping! You can find her staple wardrobe here plus she does seasonal capsules so you always have the option to switch things up!

Pssst… Want my healthy recipes and printable workouts? 

They’re all yours! Get access here:

 Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.

5 Natural Ways to Deal with Bloating

Do you ever feel a bit …over- extended in the belly after a meal? A little gassy?

Have you ever patted your stomach and rubbed your “food baby?”

It can be uncomfortable but bloating is pretty common. Up to 25-30% of people experience it regularly. It happens when you have trouble digesting. The symptoms come from excess gas, reactions to foods, or food not moving through you as well as it could. 

There are many reasons you might experience these symptoms. Maybe because of a serious condition, or a food allergy or intolerance. It can also result from how you eat.

If you have a serious digestive issue like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), then make sure you eat accordingly. Same goes if you know certain foods give you gas. Simply avoid them. 

If you’re already doing those things, and still experience bloating, here are some great tips for dealing with it naturally.

Debloating Tips

  1. Don’t overeat – If you overeat at a meal, then you’ll definitely feel it around the mid-section. There will be a lot of pressure in your gut. Plus, you’re giving your digestive system a hard time. It’s better to eat until satisfaction. Which means you feel like you’re getting full but not to the point you’re stuffed. If you start feeling like you need to take deep breaths while you eat, you’ve gone too far. This often happens when we wait too long to eat and we sit down starving. Make sure to grab an extra snack or a mini-meal throughout the day if you find you’re showing up at mealtime famished.

  2. Avoid sugar alcoholsSugar alcohols are low-calorie sweeteners made from sugars. In an ingredients list, they end in “-ol,” and have names like sorbitol, xylitol, and erythritol. They’re found in some chewing gums and sugar-free foods. Some people experience bloating after eating foods with these so, try avoiding them and see if that helps you.

  3. Avoid swallowing airSometimes the gas that causes pressure in your digestive system is from swallowing air. Things like carbonated drinks are the biggest culprit here. You can also swallow air when you chew gum or drink through a straw, so try ditching these. You can also swallow air when eating too quickly or while talking. Which leads me to…

  4. Eat slower, more mindfullyEating too fast isn’t doing your digestive system any favors. You can help the food move along by chewing it thoroughly and slowing down your eating habits. Be mindful and enjoy the time you are spending eating your meals. Savor them. The feeling of stress can also cause increased bloating. Stress-reducing techniques can help improve your digestion. Try meditating or deep breathing (but not while you’re eating).
    Related – Need help de-stressing? Click here.

  5. Try peppermintPeppermint oil has been shown to improve bloating. It’s thought to increase food transit time by relaxing the stomach muscles and increasing the flow of bile. Try steeping fresh peppermint leaves, or a peppermint teabag, and drinking it slowly. See if that helps reduce your symptoms.

TL;DR

There are a bunch of natural ways to deal with bloating.  First, avoid it by not eating things that give you gas or aggravate a digestive issue. Try not to overeat, consume sugar alcohols, or swallow air. Also, eating more mindfully and reducing stress can help too.Finally, if you are experiencing bloating, enjoy a cup of peppermint tea.

If you do all of these, and still experience bloating, then you may have a food intolerance; this could be from an allergy or intolerance. Want to learn more about food intolerance? Click here.

**If you have a major concern, then please see your doctor. Your doctor can help to rule out a serious and/or chronic condition.**

Pssst… Want my printable healthy recipe book?

It’s all yours. You’ll find it in my free resource library… get access here:

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site. 

 

 

Breakfast for Busy Women – Why It’s Important Not to Skip

The alarm goes off and you are rushing around preparing for a busy day ahead, whether you have children to get ready for school, or papers to read for a morning meeting. By the time you’ve watched the news, brushed your teeth and slapped on some make-up, you are already exhausted – sound familiar? 


It’s no wonder so many busy women end up skipping breakfast and just grabbing a fancy latte coffee on the way to work. But there are many reasons why the habit of skipping breakfast isn’t great for your health. 


Breakfast Provides Many Benefits

If you think about it, when you wake up in the morning, your body has had no fuel since your evening meal the night before – potentially 12 hours beforehand – so your body is in starvation. Think about the words – “break” “fast” – literally the meal which breaks the fast you have been on while sleeping. You need the energy to kick-start your system and get your body ready for the day ahead.

According to nutritionists, a healthy breakfast should give you around 30% of your daily calorie requirements. It provides us with energy, protein, calcium, iron, fiber and B vitamins which are all needed to get you through the day. If your body doesn’t receive thesefirst thing, studies have shown your body is less effective at taking them on during the rest of the day. 


How Eating Breakfast Can Impact Your Weight

If you skip breakfast you are not providing your body with what it needs for energy and you will soon get hungry. When you’re too hungry, you’re more likely to then reach for high sugar, high fat snacks, to compensate. People who skip breakfast tend to end up reaching for the snacks around 10am.

In terms of time, breakfast really needs to be eaten between 45 minutes and two hours of waking up. This timing gives you the chance to put the needed fuel into your body to make sure your metabolism is balanced throughout the day. It is also the premium time for your body to absorb any of the carbohydrates you consume, which helps balance out your insulin levels. All of these aspects mean breakfast really sets your body up for the day and can help curb those mid-morning sugar cravings. 


In a study it was revealed that people who not only ate breakfast, but made it their largest meal, lost almost 18 pounds over a three- month period. The other people, who took part in the study, eating the same calories during the day but most of these for their evening meal, lost only around seven pounds.

Other Health Benefits Beyond Weight Loss

Breakfast brings a large number of health benefits, besides weight loss – providing more reasons why it really is important not to skip this particular meal. 


Brain Function

Studies have proven that children who eat breakfast do better at school as they are better able to concentrate and behave well. If it has this benefit for our children, then it will do the same for us. Breakfast helps to restore the levels of glucose which help with our brain function. This helps to improve memory, concentration and mood and also lowers stress levels. We all know that feeling of anger that rises up through being hungry. Breakfast can help us avoid this. 


Energy Supply

Breakfast is the first supply of energy your body receives when you wake up, making it part of your daily required calorie intake. A good nutritious breakfast will give you all the energy you need to take you through to lunchtime, and should be around 300 calories as a general rule. If you think about the energy you burn, you need the most in the morning and you need the least in the evening, when you are more likely to be sat on the sofa relaxing. Make breakfast your energy priority. 


Diabetes

In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a published study revealed that not eating breakfast could actually increase the risk of diabetes for women. The study showed that women who did eat breakfast between no, and six times a week, were at far higher risk of developing the disease than those who ate it daily. 


Quick and Nutritious Breakfasts for Busy Women

So it’s all very well telling you as a busy woman, why you should eat breakfast, and why it’s good for you, but realistically you probably knew most of those things already and yet, you were still skipping?

Knowing you need to eat breakfast, doesn’t mean you suddenly gain time in the morning to start preparing and making amazing morning meals does it? That’s why we have come up with some tips for tasty breakfasts that are super quick to make. 


  • A Naturally Sweetened Energy Bar or a Piece of Fruit – The combination of a piece of fruit and energy bar creates a balanced breakfast, providing fiber and vitamins. What can be quicker than just peeling a wrapper and a piece of fruit? Just doing this could make a big difference to your health. 


  • Instant Oatmeal – There are lots of quick-cooking oatmeal options now – all you need to do is add water and microwave for a few minutes and then you have a healthy breakfast. Avoid the ones with added sugar and flavors. A plain version provides an easy breakfast virtually instantly. 


  • Greek-Style Yogurt – Go for natural plain Greek-style yogurt and add in fresh fruit, for a nutritious, quick and healthy breakfast on the run. Again, this only takes a minute or so to prepare and can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing. 


  • High-Fiber Cereal or Oats – Fiber can bring health benefits and help you feel full so opting for a high fiber cereal will provide your body with a good start to the day. Make sure you avoid the traditional sugar-filled cereals as these will increase your calorie intake while not necessarily helping provide what your body needs. Go instead for the more natural cereals and oats that have no processing for optimal nutrition.

TL;DR – For many women, a busy lifestyle means rushing in the morning and skipping breakfast is a common but bad habit to get into. Breakfast can make a big difference in your health, reaping the benefits for us and there are many options which are quick and easy to make, from smoothies, to energy bars, from cereal to scrambled eggs, so no more excuses!

References:

  • http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/most-important-meal#1

  • http://www.livescience.com/39598-reasons-never-skip-breakfast.html

  • http://www.shakeupyourwakeup.com/why-is-breakfast-important

  • Healthy On the Go: Four Breakfast Ideas for Busy Women

  • http://sexyfit.com/nutrition/quick-and-easy-breakfast/

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.