How about a food cleanse ?

Detoxing, cleansing, measuring and meal timing, Paleo, Keto, plant based ahhhhhhhh, so many choices, so many theories, so many bio individual needs that one size DOES NOT fit all.

So what about just a simple Food Cleanse and what does that mean exactly. To me and my clients, a food Cleanse is just a simple way to get back into clean eating habits without the stress of having to measure out every bite you eat or following some strict caloric and macros tracking plans which become really unrealistic in the long term. It's a way to remove all of the processed and harmful foods in your life, without over planning or over thinking. What else does this cleanse involve? Happy you asked. It also involves removing any other toxic habits and making time for self care. Habits such as lack of sleep, lack of or too much exercise (yes the is a such thing as too much exercise), high stress levels, too much screentime, harboring unhealthy relationships, over working etc. It is a full analysis of your day to day habits and how they are effecting your mood, your focus, your energy and possible weight gain. Below are my 7 steps to a successful food cleanse and how you can get started:

  1. Remove Processed sugar : this means your morning muffin or the extra teaspoon of sugar in your morning coffee. Sugar can “weigh you down” in more ways than one. It can cause brain fog and make you sluggish after the initial “sugar high” passes. Wondering why you might be falling asleep at your mid morning meeting ? Your sugar crash may be the culprit.

  2. Sleep more: Sleep is crucial in keeping your mind functioning at its optimal capacity . It also helps to balance your hormone levels so that your body knows when to eat and knows when it is full. Less than 5 hours of sleep per night disrupts the natural balance of the hormones ghrelin (hunger hormone) and Leptin (the hormone that suppresses appetite), which can cause you to crave sugary and carb filled foods in abundance, causing weight gain (specifically around the abdomen)

  3. Remove Alcohol : by removing alcohol from your diet you are automatically reducing the amount of sugar and empty calories that you are in taking.

  4. Make time for Self Care: whether it be an extra long relaxing bath, 5 minutes of daily meditation, or taking that nice long walk during your lunch break, making time for self care is essential to your mental health and wellbeing. It's no mistake that you automatically feel relaxed and more focused after returning from vacation. So why is it that so many of us choose to skip this important step on a daily basis. Here's a quick tip: set aside 10 minutes a day for just you. Disconnect from social media, put your phone face down on your desk, and just take this time for you. I promise, after these 10 minutes of “you time”, your stress level will begin to drop and you will feel more refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

  5. Stress Less: I know life is stressful, I know we all have multiple responsibilities, our careers, our family, our finances etc… but stressing about these things will not make them go away and it certainly will not help resolve them. Find ways to reduce stress and in turn I promise that the weight will drop, and you will be more productive since you will have a clearer more focused mind. My tip : I do 15 minutes of yoga by myself daily. I can't always get to a class so I watch a video on Gaia.com. this has helped my stress level go down tremendously.

  6. Eat from Nature: the easiest way to ensure that you are eating foods that are good for you, all you have to do is eat from nature. Fresh vegetable, fresh seasonable fruit, lean protein sources, healthy grains. Remove anything packaged or processed or anything your ancestors from the 1800’s would not recognize as food.

  7. Move more : whether it be a gym workout, a pilates class or just a long walk mid day, just commiting to moving your body around more will make you feel more energized, help your brain function better, and you guessed it, promote heart health. And weight loss. Take care of your body and I promise that your body will take care of you.

Ready to tackle your first Food Cleanse ? These simple steps are just the tip of the iceberg. I promise that you will see changes if you commit to yourself and your well being. Want a little guidance and a more in depth customized approach, reach out to me and let's set up your complimentary 60 minute HealthHistory Consultation so that we can discuss your specific needs and goals. Click on the link below to schedule your time with me!!

https://calendly.com/crystalrf8

In Health and Wellness,

Crystal

Copy of Spring Allergies and How to Combat them

I don’t know about you guys, but I suffer from seasonal allergies. Mine are both indoor and outdoor, so as much as I love the beautiful spring weather, I hate the allergies that come with it. If you are like me, and allergies ruin your time outside in the spring, I want you to think about what lifestyle triggers may be making your allergies worse.
Inflammation can worsen your allergy symptoms, so it is super important that you pay attention to the type of food that you are eating during allergy season. You want to be sure to stay away from any food groups that will cause inflammation in your gut such as sugar, dairy, gluten and as always anything processed and chemically altered(which you should avoid on a regular basis anyway)
One thing I love to do with my clients during this time of year In order to uncover any hidden allergy triggers, is put my clients on a very simple elimination diet. My husband and both did this last spring and we both learned so much about what was causing our allergies to worsen. For me, sugar was a major trigger as was dairy. By eliminating these 2 very simple things from my diet, I was able to eliminate my daily allergy pill during allergy season. This was huge for me. 
Another helpful habit that I recommend is supporting your gut health even further by adding a clean probiotic daily supplement to your regimen . I will include my favorite products below for you to check out. Exercise is also a great tool as it will help to strengthen your immune system , helping to create a stronger barrier against allergens.
Try these tips, and I promise you will have a much more pleasant allergy season this year. If you need some help getting started on an elimination diet, submit the form through my website and I can help you get started. Good luck and Happy Spring !!!


Recommended Probiotics:

https://www.bewell.com/probiotics.html

https://www.isotonix.com/product/isotonix-digestive-enzymes-with-probiotics/?id=5664714&idType=product

 

Spring Allergies and How to Combat them

I don’t know about you guys, but I suffer from seasonal allergies. Mine are both indoor and outdoor, so as much as I love the beautiful spring weather, I hate the allergies that come with it. If you are like me, and allergies ruin your time outside in the spring, I want you to think about what lifestyle triggers may be making your allergies worse.
Inflammation can worsen your allergy symptoms, so it is super important that you pay attention to the type of food that you are eating during allergy season. You want to be sure to stay away from any food groups that will cause inflammation in your gut such as sugar, dairy, gluten and as always anything processed and chemically altered(which you should avoid on a regular basis anyway)
One thing I love to do with my clients during this time of year In order to uncover any hidden allergy triggers, is put my clients on a very simple elimination diet. My husband and both did this last spring and we both learned so much about what was causing our allergies to worsen. For me, sugar was a major trigger as was dairy. By eliminating these 2 very simple things from my diet, I was able to eliminate my daily allergy pill during allergy season. This was huge for me. 
Another helpful habit that I recommend is supporting your gut health even further by adding a clean probiotic daily supplement to your regimen . I will include my favorite products below for you to check out. Exercise is also a great tool as it will help to strengthen your immune system , helping to create a stronger barrier against allergens.
Try these tips, and I promise you will have a much more pleasant allergy season this year. If you need some help getting started on an elimination diet, submit the form through my website and I can help you get started. Good luck and Happy Spring !!!
 

Why do a Sugar detox

Detoxing can be a scary concept. I know this word is floating around the fitness and health industry like crazy. When we think of the word detox, we often think of juicing and fasting, but a detox can be approached in a more sustainable way as well. 

Another word that is all over these days, is sugar. Yes, sugar. We drink it, we eat it, and just when we think we have cut sugar out of our diet, it creeps up on us in our protein powders, granola bars, etc....

So why do a sugar detox? For several reasons. One: Sugar is highly addictive. Research states that sugar is 8x as addictive as cocaine. Crazy right!!!! With the average american consuming about 152lbs of sugar per year, about 22 teaspoons per person, per day, I think it is safe to say we have a huge problem. Not only is sugar contributing to the rise in type 2 diabetes in adults and children as well as the rising obesity epidemic in both adults and children, it is also an underlying contributor of many other diseases and health conditions. 

I started a 7 day sugar detox along with a group of my friends and clients on FB today (with a 7 day reintroduction phase after the initial detox). I think the initial reaction I received when I sent out the protocol to my participants was, "wow that looks really strict". However, the goal, is to fuel my clients and friends with plenty of protein, fresh veggies and healthy fats in order to curb the need for sugar and carbohydrate(the bad carbs of course, not all carbs are created equal). So if you want in with us, if you are ready to reset your body and learn a little bit about the effects sugar has been having on your body, shoot me a message on my "About me" page, and I will add you to our exclusive Facebook group. 

Have a great week everyone! 

Goal setting and SMART goals

We all have goals. Whether it be fitness, health, weight loss, financial, career, or relationship goals, we all have something that we long to accomplish. Goals keep us driven, motivated and give us something to work towards. But how many times have you set a goal, started off strong and then slowly forgot about your goal or just stopped working towards it all together. The thing about goals, is that you cannot go in blindly. Just like with anything of importance in your life, it is crucial to go into it with a plan of action. 

So how do you ensure that the next time you set a goal you actually stick to it? One of the best ways to do this, is to set S.M.A.R.T goals. What does that mean ?? Let me break it down below

S - The S stands for specific. Don't be vague about your goals. If you are trying to grow your business, don't just set the goal "I want to grow my business". Instead, say something like, I would like to grow my business by 30% this year which means I need to gain 20 new clients in the next 6 months. See the difference? By being specific, you can now set a plan in action to figure out how to market yourself, in order to gain those 20 clients. Once you reach your specific #, you can move on from here.

M - Measurable - Another thing we often do when setting goals, is we are too vague with our timelines, When I was a bikini competitor, I was always on a specific timeline, I would pick a show so that I knew how many weeks I had to prepare. So for example, I would say, "ok I have 12 weeks to prepare for my show, and the final week of that is peak week which means all of the hard work needs to get done in the next 11 weeks.." This is a measurable goal. I had a timeline with which to stick to. I knew if I was going on stage in 12 weeks, I didn't have any time to mess around. Its the same thing with your goals. Say you went to the doctor and your cholesterol was a little high so the doctor mentioned that he would like you to lose 15lbs and eat more fruits and vegetables before he puts you on cholesterol medication. You have a follow  up in 6 months. So now you have a timeline 6 months. You can say "since I have 6 months to lose the weight, I will eat vegetables with every meal, 2 servings of fruit a day, and do cardio for 20 minutes 3x per week in order to try to lose 2.5lbs per month." This plan of action is clear and concise and now its easier to navigate your week, since you now know that you will plan to set aside 20 minutes 3x a week for your cardio, and now you will make sure to add vegetables to your grocery cart weekly. 

A - Attainable/ Achievable. Now this is a big one. Is the goal you set achievable in the time and context in which you set it? Or are you setting yourself up for disappointment because you are setting a very ambitious goal, but only giving yourself a short amount of time to accomplish it? Make sure that your goals are realistic and achievable in the time frame that you have set. Make sure you always set yourself up for success. Maybe you just need to split your goal into 2 parts. Do one portion in 6 months and once you have gotten that far, you move on to the next portion until the full goal is accomplished.

R - Relevant. How relevant is your goal to your long term future goals. If you are trying to pay off debt, but set a goal to save $10,000 that year towards a new car, wouldn't it make more sense, if you said " I plan to save $10,000 in the next 12 months in order to pay off my debt. After my debt is paid, I will save $1000 a month towards my new car since I won't have the burden of debt to worry about. Of course saving is important, but these 2 goals conflict each other, so its best to tackle them one at a time since one will not help the other if done simultaneously. 

T - Set a time limit. Write it on your calendar. I will save $2500 by March, 2, 2018 so that I can book that vacation to Aruba in May with my wife. Here you have set the exact date that you would like to have the money by, so that when the time comes, you can book the dream vacation without having to worry about missing a good flight deal, or without having to worry about dipping into your savings or cards in order to book the trip. 

Simple steps, but steps that we often forget about. I get it, setting goals is exciting and fun and sometimes we just jump right in. But just as easily, we often jump right out as fast as we started. So set yourself up for success. Go into your goals with a plan of action and with a positive mindset. With these tools, you will set yourself up for success.

As always, 

In Health and Wellness, 

Crystal :)

Found this photo on Pinterest so I am not taking any credit for the photo :)

Found this photo on Pinterest so I am not taking any credit for the photo :)

Finding Balance on Vacation

For those of you who follow me on IG, you know that my husband and I recently traveled to Austin Texas for a mini vacation to celebrate both of our birthdays. Now, he and I have been following the Whole 30 for the past 2+ months with great success.  So of course, I was a little concerned with how we were both going to enjoy the delicious food that Texas has to offer while we were away, without completely destroying our whole 30. Just a quick side note, both of us have seen such amazing things from Whole 30 which I will talk about on a future blog post, but just to name a few things, Franks skin cleared up and he lost 9lbs. My allergies have been almost non existent  (huge for me and anyone who knows me knows that I took allergy pills everyday, all year round for both my indoor and outdoor allergies for my entire life), and the joint pain and cramping I have been felling in my hands for the past year is now gone. Anyway, I’ll talk more about this in next post. Back to our Vaca 
Austin had some amazing food (ex : delicious BBQ, an abundance of meat, tacos, and of course, my weakness- Voodoo Donuts which had the best donuts I have ever tried). Anyway, back in the day when I was a competitor, I  either would have not taken a vacation, or I would have packed all of my food for the 4 days, forcing my husband to dine alone at restaurants or via room service. My priority, was my diet, and I didn’t care who or what I neglected, I only knew one extreme way of living and I did not think that it was possible to find balance. I missed out on a lot of things during that time, and it makes me sad to realize that now. (To any competitors out there, please note that this was my experience and I know that many of you have found that balance while competing, but I wasn’t able to). Of course I am not a competitor anymore, but there is still that part of me that fears falling completely off track, just because this has always been a slippery slope for me. But at this point in my life, thanks to my education and Integrative Nutrition, I realized, that there is a way to stay on track, stay healthy, but to also live my life and enjoy experiences with loved ones without depriving myself, neglecting my loved ones, or stressing over food and macros. Finding that balance between indulging in things that I wanted to try since I was traveling, and making choices that kept me as close to whole 30 as I possibly could while away, was exactly what I needed.
So here is what I did, and what worked for me. I woke up every morning to a 25 minute intense HIIT session at the hotel gym. In the past I would have spend an hour and a half as my husband waited for me to get some breakfast. But I realized how out of balance that was. Vacation is about relaxation and breaking from your normal routine. I’ve always stayed on my routine on vacation which never made me truly feel like I was taking time off to reset and relax. So this shorter gym routine actually energized me , and got me ready for the day. After that,  we started our days walking all over Austin visiting galleries and the Capital building and of course listening to some great music at various bars and rooftops. At every restaurant, I made the choice to either indulge or make a smarter choice. Thus balance enabled me to enjoy the amazing southern food with my husband,  while finding balance with green juice and avocado smoothies later in the day to get in my greens and nutrients. The hardest part for me, was trying a donut(ok 2 donuts) at the famous Voodoo Donuts on 6th street , which was amazing and worth it. I was afraid that my sugar demon would return, but luckily, because of my balanced mindset, it did not. And the indulgence was just that, an indulgence. 

I can honestly say, that we thoroughly enjoyed our trip and the delicious food with my husband and I do not feel badly about any of it. Food shouldn’t be an obsession ( as it was for me in the past ), it should be something we enjoy for nourishment, but also something we enjoy with family and friends. I know for some of you, like me, it’s hard to not count calories, it’s hard to not feel guilt when we eat a treat, and its hard to not workout everyday for 2 hours, but we need to stop beating ourselves up over these things. We need to stop bringing negativity to our relationship with food, and exercise.  The freedom I have found with food and exercise since becoming a Health Coach, has been life changing, and I am truly grateful for that.
If any of your guys struggle with what I have in the past, please comment below and let’s chat it out. I am also offering complimentary Health and Nutrition Consultations, where I can help you find that food freedom and build a healthier and easier relationship with food. As always, I love to hear from you all so, please leave some comments below and let me know how you have found balance on your vacations. 
Thank you as always for reading
In Health and  Wellness
Crystal
 

Diets VS Healthy Eating

Diet and healthy eating go hand in hand. But as we all know, diets aren't always healthy. There was the 90's low fat craze, which was a compete disaster. People lost weight, but as far as health was concerned, people were loading up on low fat snacks and products that were loaded with chemicals and sugar alcohols. So it was acceptable to eat your days worth of calories in low fat snack cakes, but don't you dare touch that hard boiled egg or avocado. Why did we not question this earlier ? 

Thankfully, things have evolved, and we have become much more educated on food, diets and nutrients. The millennial generation is practicing good healthy eating habits and spending most of their income on Matcha and Organic Fresh produce, which is amazing.  But some people still swear by the old school mentality of calories in versus calories out, and low fat being the way to go instead of embracing healthy fats (which our brain needs to function). Some still seek a reason to justify eating low fat junk food instead of a serving of veggies or a package of almonds. The problem is, these artificially created snack foods and low fat products are exactly that, artificial. The body has to work very hard to break down these food products, as our digestive system was not built to bread down chemicals. It was built to break down real food. Avocados, eggs, nuts, veggies, fruit and lean animal proteins are whole foods and what our digestive system was built to break down and use for fuel. When we neglect these foods, and start to over eat the artifical junk food what happens? The body has to work very hard to try to break down these artificial food items. As a result of the excess stress on the digestive system, we experience inflammation in the body. You probably hear this word on every food blog these days, but it is a real thing. For some people, (again we have to keep in mind the concept of bio individuality which I discussed in an earlier blog post) certain grains, sugar, alcohol, legumes and dairy have a very inflammatory effect on their bodies, especially when consumed in excess. This can lead to weight gain, a tired sluggish feeling from the body working so hard and for some, bloating and excess gas which let's be real, is never convenient. 

So what's the solution. Do we eliminate dairy and brown rice forever? No, not necessarily. This is where we practice moderation. All of these food categories that cause inflammation, are completely fine to eat in moderation. As individuals, we need to learn how much of a certain food group we are able to tolerate. It will be different for everyone. So what might work for you might not work for your best friend or sister. It's important to pay attention to how your body feels after each meal and really start to tune in more. 

The easiest way to avoid this inflammatory effect, is to introduce mostly whole foods to your diet and try your best to avoid anything artificial or any low fat packaged products that have ingredient lists full of chemical that you do not recognize. As far as grains and beans which are whole natural foods, please eat and enjoy, but pay attention to how your body responds to them. Listen to your body so that you can learn on an individual level, what is agreeing with your body and what isn't. 

In conclusion of this very long blog post, the main takeaway I am offering is to eat from nature as often as you can, and indulge on occassion. If a certain food group does not agree with your body, then avoid it as as often as possible so that you can feel your best. Veggies, leafy greens, lean protein, fruit, nuts and beans, whole grain and legumes (eat as frequently as your body can tolerate-for some that can be every day for some that  may only mean a few days a week). Avoid processed and artificial foods as they will reek havoc on your digestive system. And of course, indulge on occassion. Enjoy that glass of wine when you are on a date, and enjoy the piece of cake that your mom baked at a holiday gathering. Do not neglect family and friends because of your diet, instead, make healthy choices around them in these situations. Don't create restrictions that are so tight that you neglect your family and friends. I have done this and I promise you, it isn't worth it. Take care of your body, feed it whole real food and live your life with the people you love.

If you need help Kickstarting a healthy eating plan or if you are looking for a new way to balance healthy eating, please shoot me an email on my "Contact me" link. I have a great online health coaching program that is personalized to each individual. I would love to help you on your journey :)

In Health and Wellness
❤Crystal❤

I found this on Pinterest and absolutely love this message!!! 

I found this on Pinterest and absolutely love this message!!!