7 days to a brighter, happier you

This post is for YOU.

It's for you if you're feeling down today. It's for you if you've ben in a funk for the last week. It's for you if you're riding a negative thought train down, down, down, and having trouble figuring out how to get off.

It's for you if you're ready for some self-love. It's for you if you want to challenge yourself in a way that doesn't involve overexercising and under-eating. It's for you if you want to feel better in your skin right NOW.

I'm sharing an action-oriented, 7 day plan to improve your mood and feelings of self-worth, and start a positive flow that will carry you beyond the next 7 days. Each day you have a new feel good task to carry you higher and higher towards happiness and a brighter soul. So grab a friend (or don't, no worries) and let's get started!

Day 1 Adios Alcohol

Be honest with yourself. When do you typically drink alcohol? How much do you typically drink? If you're anything like me you drink after a long day or week, when you're stressed, when you have a lot on your plate, or when you want to relax. Using alcohol as an avoidance tactic or relying on it to relax you is not best practice. It is one thing to enjoy the taste of a glass of wine, perhaps in good company, but another to go to bottomless brunch so you can drink too many mimosas, have an excuse to waste the day, and avoid whatever tasks should have been addressed. Using alcohol in these ways leads to negative self-talk. We don't need it, not this week.

Day 2 Yoga

Do some yoga, whether it's the norm for you or not. Consider trying a local class, but if you don't feel comfortable doing that then your living room works just as well! [I highly recommend Yoga with Adriene]. I know it can be hard to relax, move slow, focus on your breath, and chill your mind, but I promise it gets easier. Since adding yoga into my life again I literally crave it and the place it takes my mind and body. I strongly encourage you to add yoga to at least 1 other day during this feel good week. The more you do it, the better it gets!

Day 3 Walk with a friend

Try a new coffee place, go shopping, walk around the park, just grab some good company, lace up those sneaks and get moving. Relationships are so important and connecting with others can improve our mood. If you don't feel like you have a friend to call try a coworker you've been wanting to get to know better and walk on your lunch break. SO's and pets work here as well!

Day 4 Pay it forward

Do something nice for someone. Some ideas: buying lunch or coffee , anonymously or not, for someone; compliment someone's outfit or new hair cut; compliment someone as a person. I love the last one! Tell someone how much they mean to you. You will make their day. I got message like that from a friend last week and it was the best feeling!

day 5 cook a new recipe

Pull that dusty cookbook off the shelf or search through your Pinterest folders and pick a fun or 'must try' recipe. The more involved the better! It will be fun to shop for the ingredients and get focused in the kitchen. Put on some relaxing music and get cooking. Extra positivity boost if you cook for someone else. Sharing food with others is a great way to show love.

day 6 read

Set aside one hour to read. Unplug and get absorbed! Set a timer on your phone for one hour and place it across the room. This will help prevent you from compulsively checking to see how much time has passed.

day 7 Try something new

Grab a friend, family member, or go solo. Trying something new can be scary but invigorating. You don't need to go too crazy either! Here are some ideas: hiking, SUP, bike ride through your city, solo dinner date, try a new restaurant, go on an expensive shopping trip, get your hair styled, massage, take a bath, DIY face mask, sleepover with a friend.


How'd you do?

You've done it! How do you feel? I want to hear about your adventures this week! What new habit did you find that you might like to keep around? How did this week lift your mood and how will you keep the positive energy flowing? Please share! 

 

17 snacks to honor your hunger

Is snacking good or bad for you?

We tend to get two opposing sides. One being that snacks and smaller meals can improve health and prevent overeating. The other, that cutting out snacks is beneficial because it decreases energy intake.

As with most all or nothing nutrition claims, it depends on you! Snacking is not inherently bad, but it should come from a place of listening to your hunger and fullness cues and being mindful in your actions. We run into trouble when we mindlessly munch and make food choices based on situation and mood rather than body cues. Listening to your body should always come first, as with all things. 

Often times when we try to stop snacking we turn to non-food strategies (water, seltzer, gum) to curb hunger and cravings. Been there, done that and I can tell you it doesn't last for very long. When you are hungry, shakey, or headachey your body is usually asking for food. The longer and more frequently you try shut down your hunger cues, the harder it will be to keep the cues around. Trust me, you want your hunger around, it is a sign that your metabolism is functioning the way it should be. There is no shame in being hungry.

trust me, you want your hunger around

I whole-heartedly believe in snacks. Snacks help me stay focused, prevent hanger, headaches, shakiness from low blood sugar, keep my mood up, fuel me through activity, and prevent the fridge binge after work (read this post for more on that). Stop listening to what google tells you, or what your friends tell you, or what that meal plan you're following tells you (truthfully that can go in the trash) and instead listen to your body for the answers.

I am keeping it simple today and sharing my personal snack favorites. Yes, you can go to Pinterest and find any number of creative, cute snacks, but lets be real - most of us don't have time for that. If you're anything like me you need snacks that can travel, that can be purchased in quantities to last all week, and that require next to no prep. Adding snacks is a great way to get in more nutrition like extra fruits, veggies, and healthy fats, too.  Snacking doesn't need to mean a trip to the vending machine. Pick one simple snack below to try out this week and let me know how it goes!


 

1. Chicken or tuna salad.

2. Hard boiled eggs.

3. Carrots + peanut butter.

4. Hummus + chips.

5. Jerky + dried fruit.

6. Half PB&J sandwich. Bonus points for adding banana slices.

7. Trail mix. Make it yourself using dry cereal, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips.

8. Homemade muffin or loaf. I prefer zucchini bread!

9. Squash or sweet potato + nut butter.

10. Cold oatmeal + raisins.

11. Chia seed pudding + strawberries.

12. Yogurt + granola. You know siggi's is my jam.

13. Granola bars. My favs include KIND, Larabar, or DIY.

14. Banana + sunflower seed butter tortilla roll ups.

15. Cold cut roll ups.

16. Crackers or rice cakes + cheese stick.

17. COPs. This is a great idea shared with me by a former client: cheddar cheese, olive, pineapple on a toothpick - I swear it's delicious.

 

Ready to give snacking another try? I promise - your mind and tummy will be happier!