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Health & Productivity: My Favorite Tips

Do you put off healthy habits because you want to get more done? No time to exercise because you work so many hours? Skip lunch because you have a looming deadline? Stay up late catching up on email? What if I told you focusing on healthy habits is good for your productivity? It’s true. Here’s a list of my favorite ways to boost productivity…in a healthy way.

1. Incorporate healthy habits into your day.

The best way to do this is to set reminders for the healthy habits you want to include. Great options include getting up to walk around every hour (my Apple Watch is a great reminder for this one), packing a healthy lunch (and eating it before 3pm!), and taking deep breaths throughout the day. If you set a reminder to go off when you need to do these things, you’ll be much less likely to keep plowing through work without them.

2. Pad your schedule to allow for social time.

Did you know that many countries have more than one word for “time?” For example, in Greece, they have the word “chronos” which is more in line with how we think of time here in the US. It’s measure in seconds, minutes, and hours.

They also have the word “kairos” which is more qualitative and measured in moments, opportunities, and possibilities. It is more permanent and less fleeting than chronos.

When working with clients to maximize their time and energy, I encourage them to include both chronos and kairos in their day. For example, you can pad your schedule a bit to allow extra time for those lingering, life-changing conversations.

3. Slow down and change your mindset.

Have you ever noticed that things take longer when you’re rushing? That you get less done when you have more on your to-do list? It’s true. Your mind is not able to work effectively or efficiently when you are rushing around or have too much on your list.

So, next time you catch yourself rushing around or feeling like there’s not enough time in the day, stop. Take three deep breaths. Then tell yourself “There’s plenty of time for all that’s important.” Notice how it changes how you approach your day.

4. Practice gratitude.

Stress zaps your energy, and your brain is not capable of experiencing stress and gratitude at the same time. There are so many benefits to practicing gratitude with intention and on a regular basis. So, when you’re in need of a quick productivity and energy boost, stop what you’re doing, and write down five-to-ten things you’re grateful for. Or – send someone a thank you note. The healthiest and happiest people practice gratitude on a regular basis!

5. Create a work-time ritual.

Ever sit down to work and have thoughts like this pop into your head:
”I don’t feel like doing this.”
“Do I REALLY have to work today?”

Yep. It happens to me, too, and I love what I do. Good news! There are productivity tricks for days like this. One of my favorites is to create a work-time ritual.

For me, this means:

This helps prepare my mind for work and allows me to enjoy the process more. Try creating your own work-time ritual that you can look forward to. Notice how it helps your productivity!

I’d Love To Help!

As a Health and Productivity Coach, I love coming to groups or worksites to help individuals and teams maximize their time and energy. Could your workgroup use some tips in this area? Check out my workshop topics (I’m available for in-person workshops or virtual ones), and let’s get one scheduled!

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Getting Back on Track with Health & Productivity

back on track

There are times of the year that make you naturally more prone to “getting off track,” especially when it comes to your health and productivity. The two that come to mind for me immediately are the summer and the holidays. There’s no need to beat yourself up, though. I’ll share the most common goals I hear related to “getting back on track” with health & productivity…and how you can make it happen.

1. Get back into a purposeful routine.

Have you thought this before? While it can be tempting to try to force yourself to get up early, journal, do your workout, make spinach and eggs, start the workday with meditation, and…see where I’m headed? This all seems like a lot if you try to start it all at one time. So, in this case, your best bet is to break your “purposeful routine” into smaller steps and integrate them at different time intervals. I’d even recommend starting with the one that seems the easiest for a quick win.

2. Keep up healthy habits even when things get busy.

I hear this one a lot. The New Year, August when the kids go back to school…these are both times when we refocus and get back on track. However, then things at work and with our kids’ activities ramp up…and the wheels fall off. In this case, I recommend establishing some non-negotiables and scheduling those in your calendar like you would your work or kids’ activities. For example, if you know you must exercise to be your healthy, productive best, make it a non-negotiable in your calendar. If other commitments have to give (aka Bachelor in Paradise, sorry!) in order for you to make time for the non-negotiable, so be it!

3. Clean up my diet.

Meal planning and prepping is a game-changer when it comes to healthy eating. The majority of people don’t even claim to be able to resist temptations on a menu! So, by meal planning and prepping, you’re setting yourself up for success by removing the temptation. If you’re new to this, a subscription service like Green Chef or Sun Basket can be helpful. Alternatively, set a goal to plan and prep at least two of each meal for the week. Once you’re successful with that, increase the number of meals you plan and prep (don’t forget snacks).

4. Start exercising again.

For me, this goal is all about building momentum. Plan to do some type of exercise for at least ten minutes every day one week. Schedule it in your calendar so you know you have time allotted for it. If you can do just ten minutes every day, you’ll gain momentum and know you can keep going. It doesn’t matter what you do…the goal is just to get re-started. Once you’re in the habit again, you can lengthen your exercise time and become more specific around the type of exercise you do.

5. Better manage time.

When it comes to productivity and using your time wisely, I think it’s important to plan for your distractions. For example, if you get de-railed by social media, schedule time to browse it and get caught up. BUT…make sure you designate a certain amount of time to browse AND set a timer!!! When the timer goes off, so does the phone. The same can be said for office conversations…plan certain times of the day to be social in the office, but keep to your designated timeframe so you don’t get off track. The important thing here is to acknowledge your natural tendencies and distractions but plan for them so they don’t eat up your time.

Some of these goals can be easier said than done. I’ve helped tons of clients get back on track after they’ve strayed from the path a bit. In fact, when it comes to using time more wisely…enlisting the support of a coach to help you with your goals fast tracks your progress (it’s kind of like hiring a professional painter to get the job done quickly and with less spills and paint splatters).

I offer a free thirty-minute planning call to get you started. Schedule yours today so you can get back on track in a flash!

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Five Signs You’re In Need of Some Time-Away

This scene from Bad Moms is hilarious.  However, you’d be surprised how many moms I’ve talked to who actually agree with it!  Being mom is a full-time job – and one that comes with limited PTO.  Taking time away from family and kids is sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself.

Here are five signs this could be the case for you.

1. You often hear yourself saying (outloud or to yourself) “I just need a break.” 

Girlfriend – Listen to what you are telling yourself.  If you think you need a break: you do!  Things don’t have to be at catastrophic levels to warrant a retreat or mom-cation. Even low amounts of stress on a regular basis can keep you from being your best. 

2. You’ve started to resent certain things (or people). 

Are there some days where you feel that if you have to answer one more question, respond to one more email, fix one more meal, or fold one more load of laundry you will absolutely lose it?  You’re not alone.  Adulting is hard work! Psychologists have proved that time outside of your normal routine to connect with other women helps wonders!

3. You’ve stopped doing things you love.  

Have you found yourself bowing out of chances to hang with friends?  Ditching the morning workout you normally can’t live without? Hitting the snooze button instead of getting up for your beloved morning “me time?”  When you’re in need of some time away, even the things you love doing can lose their luster.    

4. You have lost motivation for pursuing your goals.  

You were on-fire a few months ago: Reading self-improvement books.  Listening to podcasts.  Checking goals off left and right.  But now, you seem to have forgotten why you started them in the first place.  You can get your motivation back with some intentionally planned time away.

5. You just want some time away. 

Have you heard friends talk about time they’ve taken away and want this for yourself?  Are you craving the opportunity to take care of “just yourself and yourself alone?”  You deserve it!  You don’t need to have any other reasons to need time away other than wanting more for yourself.

Did you find yourself in any of the scenarios above?  If you’re a driven, dynamic, hard-working mom, chances are you’re up there somewhere.

That’s okay.  Many of us feel this way from time-to-time.  Regular time away from your regular routine to take care of yourself, relieve tension, and return home ready to take on the world again is so beneficial.  So, give yourself the permission to take some time away…and then schedule it!

And…Here’s What You Can Do About It!

I’ve decided to start offering retreats because I’ve heard loud and clear the need for busy moms to take time away.  A girls’ weekend of drinking wine, sleeping ’til 10, and laying by the pool for hours is great, but in order to come back home ready to take on the world, you need something more.

This is exactly the reason I’ve put together a weekend retreat to provide you with the time, space, tools, and inspiration to do less and be more in your everyday life.
With the backdrop of the beautiful town of Crested Butte and fresh mountain air along with peaceful, luxurious accommodations, I’ll lead you through an intentionally planned weekend where you will:

↠Hit the pause button on life’s demands and commitments with time carved out especially for you

↠Nourish your body with healthy food and learn tips for optimizing your nutrition even amidst the busiest of schedules

↠Feel invigorated through fitness adventures – hiking, stand-up paddle boarding (no experience required), yoga, and plenty of time outdoors

↠Connect with other women for laughter and support in making these new commitments to ourselves

↠Enjoy an opportunity to give back to others through a special art-inspired project 

Save $500…sign up by July 30!

This retreat is a girls’ weekend you don’t have to plan and doesn’t leave you needing a vacation from your vacation!  You’ll be able to reset and recharge to return home an even better version of yourself. Plus, you’ll have new tools, new friends, and new experiences to supercharge your ability to make your intentions come to life.

Valued at over $3,000 per person, you can join me for just $997 if you sign up by July 30 (the price increases to $1,499 on August 1).  Plus – then you’ll have your much-needed time away in the books!

Ready to sign up?  Contact me with any questions or go ahead and reserve your spot now!

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Spend Less Time Stressing & More Time Enjoying Yourself This Summer

Less Stress

Did you have goals to slow things down this summer?  To spend more time enjoying yourself and your family?  To let go a little and take things easy? Summer is a great time to lighten your load and to experience more fun. However, sometimes taking things easy or enjoying yourself all weekend leads to more stress during the week. What will we eat?  When will we get groceries? What do we have planned? I’ve got a simple structure to spend less time stressing and more time enjoying yourself this summer.

It just takes a little planning

I’ve learned over time that with a little structure, I’m able to be more present and less stressed throughout the week.  For me, too much structure takes the fun out of things, but “structure” is pretty subjective depending on your personality type.  Whether you like a lot of structure or a little, some planning before the week starts allows you time to devise a game plan and not get overwhelmed with the basics.  It can also help you stay focused on healthy nutrition and activities that bring you energy vs. drain you. Finally, even a little planning allows you to be more present so you feel less like a “chicken with your head cut off.”

Find a time to do your planning

The first step is to find about 30 minutes each week to do your you planning.  I like to end my week this way, so I reserve 30 minutes on Friday afternoon (or Thursday afternoon if I’m taking Friday off).  I used to do this on Sunday morning, but I found I was missing time to enjoy my weekend this way. Also – when we had something planned on Sunday morning, I missed my planning time and then had a hectic week.  Either way, try out some different days and times during the week that you can commit to planning and see what works for you.

Have a centralized calendar or schedule

It’s hard to do your planning if you don’t have everything on one calendar. This also leads to more chaos when it comes to your week as it’s hard to know what is going on.  So, if you don’t have a place where you keep all of your and your family’s activities and commitments, now is a great time to start.  You can use a paper calendar, the calendar function on your phone, or a calendar-sharing app like cozi. Just find something that appeals to you.

Start with an overview of the week

When you sit down to do your planning, the first step is to take a big picture look at what’s going on each day.  Here are some questions to consider:

  • What do you have going on personally?  
  • Your spouse/partner?  
  • Your kids?
  • Which activities are already planned for the week?  
  • What would you like to get accomplished?  
  • How would you like to feel each day?

You have to eat

What you eat during the week has a big impact on how you feel, so it is important to have a plan for it.  Also, scrambling around to find something for dinner when everyone at your house (including you) is already hangry is the worst.  So, now that you have an idea of what’s going on for the week, decide what you’ll need to eat. If you aren’t currently doing any meal planning, I recommend starting small with a goal of 2-3 dinners at home. And – don’t forget to plan for the other meals, too. Here are some things to consider when planning your meals:

  • What nights will we be home?
  • How long will we have to cook before events/activities?
  • Would it be helpful to have a crockpot meal on busier evenings?
  • What will we eat for breakfast?
  • How many days will I need to pack lunches?
  • What nutrition goals do I want to strive for this week?

Don’t forget the groceries

Now that you have a plan for the week’s meals (I recommend writing down the plan on your calendar, too), pick a time to buy your groceries.  I absolutely LOVE grocery pick-up because it saves me time, and I’m less likely to buy items that are not on my list. You can create your grocery list based on the number of meals you need.  Try to keep your meals as simple as possible – especially if this is new for you. Think in terms of a protein, starch, and green vegetable for dinner. For breakfast and lunch, consider staples that are easily put together or that can be assembled on one day and then eaten all week.  If you have time, go ahead and place your grocery order during your planning time!

Schedule your workouts

You’ve got a plan for your meals, and now it’s time to make sure you will get your workouts in, as well.  If you’re not currently exercising regularly, schedule in 2-3 days of workouts the first few weeks. Although tempting, getting up early to workout is not always the best option.  It takes tons of willpower! Find some ways you can incorporate activity into your normal routine. Take a walk at lunch, go for a stroll around the block with your kids after work, take a quick exercise class on your way home from work, find a free yoga class to try online before bed…these are all ways you can do some exercise without having to get up super early.  Make sure to put them in your calendar like any other appointment.

Find some time to prep

Even the smallest amount of food prep goes a long way.  When it comes to productivity, it is a much more efficient use of your time to group similar activities together.  For example – if you are going to be make something for lunch anyway, go ahead and make a week’s worth of lunches at one time.    

If you are making some crockpot meals, go ahead and get everything ready at least the night before so all you have to do is dump it in to your slowcooker in the morning.  The more you have prepped, the more likely you will be to eat what you have planned and not make emotional (hangry) food choices throughout the week.

Schedule time for yourself

Part of the reason you feel stressed or frazzled is because you need some more time for yourself!  Most women I talk to take little – if any – time for themself. This can be as little as 15 minutes per day, but it will allow you time to decompress and re-energize.  This might be a better option for getting up early so you can enjoy your cup of coffee in peace. Or – maybe you take a relaxing bath 1-2 times per week. Whatever it is, make sure you have a plan for it, as well, or your time will get gobbled up!

Stay persistent

If you’re not someone who currently does weekly planning, the first few times you do this might feel a little rough.  And – even though it will help you feel less stressed – planning time might not ever be something you enjoy. However, you WILL enjoy the ability to be more present, to feel energized instead of frazzled, to meet your nutrition and exercise goals, and to have more fun.  The key is to stay persistent and dedicated to this process until it gets easier for you!

I’m more than happy to help you get started and stick with it, so please reach out for support. Heck – we can even accomplish your planning time together to make sure it gets done.  I’ve got lot’s of tricks up my sleeve!

I’d love to hear how this goes for you.  Now, go spend less time stressing and more time enjoying yourself this summer!

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How to “Kill it”…Without “It” Killing You!

BJB Coaching Contact

I get the pleasure of being friends with and meeting women who are super ambitious. I am inspired daily by the accomplishments of those around me. And…I hear a lot about “the hustle” and “being too busy.” It’s a fine balance between “killing it” and letting “it” kill you! Here are five tips to help you find that balance for yourself.

1. Schedule regular connection.

According to research, “our social interactions and meaningful connection with others are more important to our health than not smoking, not drinking alcohol excessively, or being a healthy weight.” Other research has shown that each hour spent being social decreases stress by at least 10%!

But, when you already feel strapped for time, it’s hard to make the time. The best way to handle this is to schedule regularly occurring social connections with those who matter. Even if you have to cancel some, it’s likely you’ll prioritize social connection more often than if you left it to chance.

2. Spend time in nature.

A zen saying states “Spend 20 minutes in nature every day…unless you’re busy. Then you should spend an hour.” In addition to getting Vitamin D, stepping outside for some fresh air allows you to step back and get a new perspective. It allows you to reset, and it does wonders for your stress-level. So, make sure to take a break and step outside.

3. Put on something you love.

This might seem silly, but you’re more confident and productive when you like the way you look. There’s even evidence that you’re more likely to go exercise if you like your workout clothes!

I’ve read in some books to minimize your wardrobe to make it easy to get dressed in the morning and ease overwhelm. In this case, just make sure you love the items you keep! Plus, if you’re starting to feel worn-down or insignificant amidst all that’s in your busy schedule, taking a few extra minutes to like the way you look is sure to give you some extra pep in your step!

4. Show your body some love.

I recently took a class called the “Fascianation Method.” It was an hour spent rolling out my muscles (aka fascia). I felt AMAZING afterwards! When you’re working hard every day – whether in an office, at home, or in the gym – it’s important to show your body some love. Stress and tension build up in our muscles causing aches, pains, and the build-up of toxins. In order to stay happy and healthy, take some time at least weekly (it’s better if it’s daily!) to stretch, roll-out your muscles, or even get a massage. Thanks to what’s known as “the mind-body connection,” you’ll feel great from head-to-toe!

5. Do something different.

Most of us are creatures of habit and routine for the most part – especially if kiddos are in the picture. While it’s true that we thrive in routines, it’s also true that stepping outside of your norm is good for you. Challenge yourself to try something different on a regular basis. Whether a retreat or adventure, new workout class, or finding different ways to be creative, look for ways to mix it up now and then!

Take Action Today!

So, there you have it…five tips to “kill it” without “it” killing you! Before moving on to something else, take action on at least one thing from this list. And – if you’re looking for an idea – check out my upcoming Fitness and Empowerment Retreat for Women on May 11. It’s sure to check off most (if not all) of these boxes!

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Three Quick Tips to Spring Clean Your Life!

With spring in the air, do you start spring cleaning projects? What if you did the same thing with your habits? Time to clean out that pantry and fridge to make room for clean eating! Dust off the old exercise equipment and bicycle to start getting after it! Here are three quick tips to help you spring clean your habits for a fresh start and healthier, happier months ahead.

1. Take an inventory.

It’s not uncommon for less desirable habits to creep in over the winter months. After all, we spend a lot of time inside, it’s cold, and there’s less daylight. This can lead to more sedentary time, more screen time, more comfort food, and more…wine! Become more aware of your habits for a few days and make a list of those routines you might like to kick to the curb.

When you’re done with your list, prioritize based on what’s most important to you. Then, set goals to tackle one at a time. You don’t have to do it all at once!

2. Save the wine for the weekend.

Ever since the holidays, I found myself enjoying a glass of wine every evening. When thinking of habits I wanted to “spring clean,” this one came up for me. For most of us, the one glass of wine turns to two…or more. And then we need some extra snacks to go with the wine. Then our sleep isn’t as good as it could be…and then we wake up feeling tired (and maybe even with a headache).

Now, imagine if you just have wine on the weekend, and you are able to stick with your healthy eating habits most evenings, can get a good night’s sleep, and therefore wake up refreshed and ready to start the day. Feels better, doesn’t it?

To make this one easier, try having some sparkling water or other beverage you enjoy on-hand when you would normally reach for the wine. You can even pour it into a wine glass to drink it!

3. Clean out your pantry and re-stock with healthy staples.

While you’re cleaning out your pantry as part of your spring cleaning schedule, make sure to re-stock it with healthy staples. If you have only desirable foods on-hand, it makes it much easier to make the healthy choice.

Here’s another tip: put the foods you want to eat more often in the front and at eye level. If you have snacks for your kiddos that tempt you, put those behind the other items or above eye level (this also prevents mini pantry raiders)!

Keep it simple.

If you’ve got other habits you’d like to spring clean, make sure to keep it simple. Starting new habits or breaking old ones can be hard work! Pick one thing to focus on at a time, and think about how you can set up your environment to support you (aka pantry re-stocking idea above). Enjoy the fresh start you are creating for yourself in time for the sunnier weather.

Want more info on spring cleaning your life? Join me for a free workshop on Sunday, April 28 from 9:45-10:45am at Athleta in the Park Meadows Mall. In addition to more tips, you’ll receive a discount to use on some new workout clothes in the store. Contact me to sign up!

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Find Comfort Outside of Your Comfort Zone with Self Care Rituals

Find Comfort Outside of Your Comfort Zone

I hear a lot from women that they want to get outside of their comfort zone.  In fact, research has shown that if you are completely comfortable you aren’t growing.  I love to witness this ambition and drive to make a difference and succeed.

But, here’s the thing: staying at this level of performance all of the time leads to stress, overwhelm, and burnout.  Certainly not the intended consequence.

The key is learning to find and create comfort outside of your comfort zone…to sustain your glow-getter status with self care rituals incorporated on a regular basis.  

Mindful Living

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Hudson of Mindful Haus, an online shop created with the intention to inspire others to live and give with more light and presence through artisan beauty, sacred self-care rituals and mindful living.  

Julie shared that, for her, a self care ritual can be taking even five minutes every day to honor yourself, slow down, and be a little bit more present.

Establish Your Own Self Care Rituals

Not sure how or where to start?  Here are six easy ideas to try in order to inspire comfort and help you find more joy even in the simplest of things:

1. Savor your morning coffee.  

Pick out a favorite mug. Smell the aroma as it brews and enjoy the sounds that mean the warm cup is almost ready.  Enjoy the flavor slowly and while setting your intention for the day ahead.

2. Treat yourself to fresh flowers.  

Select flowers that elicit a warm and pleasant feeling or that bring up a fond memory.  Place them in a handcrafted vase that suits your style in an area you’ll see often.

3. Light a candle.  

This can be a great addition to other self care rituals or can be one on its own.  Choose an artisan-crafted candle with a look, fragrance, and even crackle that makes you feel warm inside.

4. Take a warm bath with natural bath products.  

Read a book and enjoy a glass of wine or cup of hot tea.  Enjoy the warmth of the water, the fragrance of the products, and the taste of the drink.

5. Take a mindful walk without your phone.  

Establish a regular path that allows you to connect with the outdoors and causes you to leave your thoughts and worries alone for awhile.  Feel your feet hitting the ground, the sound of your breath, and even the beating of your heart in your chest.

6. Sit in stillness and reflection for five minute, do some deep breathing, or meditate.  

Taking even a few minutes to tune into your body’s cues and letting your mind relax does wonders for your soul.

Increase Your Awareness

Take a moment right now and ask yourself, “Am I showing up the way I want for myself? My family? My friends? My life?”  If you’re answer is no, consider investing some time and energy in establishing self care rituals.

I often say, the real secret to feeling energized and thriving is to find that space where your comfort zone and the discomfort of growth intersect…and then learning how to live there.  

Based on my own experience, self care rituals are essential to the “learning how to live there” part.

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5 Tips to Eat for More Energy

eat for more energy

What to eat can be so overwhelming!  Should you focus on brain health, heart health, weight loss, low fat, low carb…see what I mean?  A good place to start is to eat for more energy and to feel good. When you’re feeling energized, you’re able to accomplish what you need and want.  Not to mention you’ll be fueled to focus on other healthy habits like exercise, weight maintenance or loss, getting good sleep, and reducing stress.  

One of the perks of being in the health and wellness field is that I’ve built a wonderful network of trusted, knowledgable professionals.  To get accurate, easy-to-follow nutrition information, I turn to Rima Kleiner, MS, RD-N of Smart Mouth Nutrition. Keep reading for five quick tips to eat for more energy.

1. Start with mindful eating.  

Just like in my coaching practice, Rima encourages clients in her nutrition practice to become more aware before making any changes.  The best way to start is with mindful eating: listening to your body before, during and after you eat. If you are having digestive issues or just not feeling great after you eat, really take inventory of what you ate when and how you feel afterwards. There are no set trigger foods… what triggers cramping or bloating for one person may not be a trigger for you.  

It’s helpful to keep a food diary that includes what you ate, how much of it you ate, what time you ate it, and how it made you feel (energized and satisfied or bloated and sluggish?).  This way, you can look for patterns and start to recognize the foods that work (and don’t work) for you. Use a simple notebook, or consider an app such as YouAte.

2. Drink more water!

Water is the main component of blood, helping to carry nutrients to our cells and carting waste products away. Feeling low in energy is typically one of the first signs that you need more fluid. Try putting a rubber band around your water bottle for every time you refill it so you can keep track. Aim to drink water with every meal. And, if you’re drinking alcohol or other non-water drinks, be sure to drink a glass of water between glasses of cocktails or other beverages to help keep you hydrated.

3. Begin the day with breakfast!  

The best way to break that night-time fast and replenish your fuel stores is to eat a breakfast that contains high-fiber carbohydrate and a little heart-healthy protein and fat. This helps us improve focus and manage blood sugar levels. Some easy ideas for a breakfast rich in fiber and heart-healthy fats and protein:

  • Overnight steel-cut oats w/ berries and nuts/seeds
  • Plain yogurt w/ fruit and homemade or low-sugar granola
  • Smoothie made w/ yogurt or nut butter, berries, and spinach
  • Breakfast tacos w/ corn tortilla, spinach, cheddar, and avocado

4. Eat more iron-rich foods, including plant-based sources.  

Iron is important for helping to make sure oxygen gets into cells, and iron levels that are too low can cause fatigue and slow us down. Meat contains iron, but–to increase vegetable and iron intake–try eating more plant-based iron.  This includes beans, lentils, spinach, and other dark leafy greens and seeds. And vitamin C helps us absorb iron, so add an orange, kiwi,or bell pepper along with your plant-based iron-rich meal.

5. Steer clear of detoxes, cleanses, or fad diets.  

Fad diets and cleanses are appealing to some because of the ease of a prescribed list of guidelines or rules to follow. And, these sometimes do lead to weight loss, sometimes rapid weight loss. But, unfortunately, the science shows us that these diets and cleanses do not hold up in the long term. Also, diets and cleanses often drastically reduce the number of calories you are eating as well as eliminate entire food groups leaving you feeling sluggish and zapped of energy.  Your best bet is a balanced diet including plenty of water, breakfast, and iron-rich veggies.

Now you can be on your way to eating for more energy, as well as feeling good!  

If you’re looking to work with someone on specific food issues or concerns, it’s important to find someone who is knowledgeable and appropriately credentialed to help you.  A Registered Dietitian, like Rima, has received the science-based education and experience necessary to best support you with your specific food-based concerns.

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5 Ways To Have More Fun at Work

January 28th is Have Fun at Work Day!

Most of us spend more of our time at work than anywhere else.  Why not have a little fun?

Incorporating fun into the workday can increase productivity, enhance innovation, reduce stress, and foster engagement – among other things.

Here’s a quick list of five easy ways to have more fun at work:

1. Get creative.

Whether an off-site team-building or a designated space to doodle in a common area, inviting creativity to the workplace also invites more fun.

2. Begin meetings with an icebreaker. 

If you were a drink, what would you be?  What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?  As silly as it may sound, taking some time to learn trivial information about coworkers builds camaraderie…and fun.

3. Get out of the office…together. 

Pick an activity to do together, even if it’s just lunch outside of the office.  A change of scenery brings with it a change of attitude.

4. Create a “wall of positivity” or “inspiration wall.” 

Encourage coworkers to post inspirational quotes, awards, pictures, or thank you notes.  Inspiration and positivity definitely encourage more fun.

5. Have challenges or events that allow different people to shine. 

Does Doug have a mean chili recipe?  Host a chili cook-off.  Is Ann an amazing crafter?  Have an afternoon crafting social.  Allowing people to use their non-work strengths brings out the fun in all of us.

You’re going to be at work anyway…you might as well have fun while you’re at it!

Fun Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful!

Does the thought of creating more fun at work stress you out (after all, you’re maxed out as it is!)?

Having more fun doesn’t have to be one more thing on your to-do list. As a Health & Productivity Coach and Consultant, creating opportunities for your employees to have more fun at work is fun in my book. Plus – having more fun at work is both healthy and enhances productivity.

I’m happy to help you create and implement a strategy for more fun at work. Reach out if you’d like to learn more!

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Start the Day Stress-Free with Smoothie Prep

Smoothies are a great way to start your morning. I love them because they are easy to eat on the run. Also, you can pack them full of nutritious ingredients that will keep Godzilla mom/wife/partner/sister (or even dad) at bay.

I’m also a big fan of prepping as much in advance as possible. Prepping in advance allows you to be more organized, productive, and present throughout the week. (No more chasing after the kiddos while you try to chop veggies). What’s more – most of us hate to waste food – so if it’s already prepped, your chances of following through your goals of eating healthy are much higher.

Here’s how to prep a work week’s worth of smoothies so you can start the day stress-free!

Step 1:

Get the necessary ingredients from the store.

This is where meal prepping typically begins. Want to be even more efficient? Order your groceries online and pick them up! Make sure to add these ingredients for 5 days of smoothies:

Shopping List

10 cups almond milk
3 bananas
5 cups baby spinach
1/3 cup chia seeds
5 teaspoons cacao nibs
1/2 cup almond butter
5 servings protein powder (chocolate works best)

If you don’t already have these storage containers, you’ll want to grab them too:
5 baggies (ziploc or reusable)
1 mason jar or any large container with a lid that holds liquid

Step 2:

Prep all of the ingredients.

Pick a day to set aside 15 minutes to pre-portion your ingredients into baggies.

1. Prepare 5 individual baggies consisting of:
1/2 banana (you’ll have 1/2 banana left…put him in a baggie in the freezer for a smoothie on another day)
1 teaspoon cacao nibs
1 cup spinach

2. Place the baggies in the freezer (where you can easily find them). 

3. Have the following readily available in your fridge (not behind the water filter):
Almond milk
Chia seeds
Almond butter

4. Keep these tools handy:
Blender
Measuring tools (tablespoon and a cup)

Step 3:

Make your smoothie in 3 minutes.

Every weekday, throw all of your ingredients into a blender, and hit the button. There you go!

Ingredients
2 cups almond milk
1/2 banana
1 cup spinach
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon cacao nibs
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 serving protein powder

Directions
1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 45-60 seconds.

2. Pour into a mason jar or any BPA-free container and enjoy!

Step 4:

Read these helpful tips for the most enjoyable smoothies.

  • Freezing your bananas helps your smoothie’s consistency. Plus, it will keep you from needing to add ice.
  • It’s helpful to start with the liquid so you can use the marks on the blender for measuring.
  • It’s best to enjoy your smoothie within 30 minutes of making it. It’s still safe to eat it after that…but let’s just say it might not be as desirable.
  • Clean your blender quickly by filling half-way with water and adding a drop of dish-soap. Pulse for thirty seconds, rinse, and turn upside on a dish cloth to dry.

While you’re at it, make sure you have ingredients on-hand to prep some healthy lunches, too!