Five Tips to Stay Motivated During Weight-Loss

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Staying motivated and encouraged during weight-loss, or on your journey to a healthier you– whatever that may mean for you, can be so difficult. Here are a few ideas to keep things in perspective, and keep you moving forward! Thanks to Melissa Murphy for this list of tips!

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Let’s face it. Losing weight is hard! Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle. Just remember that it is a battle that is won by thousands annually. It may be difficult at times but it is possible to reach your weight loss goals. Follow these tips to keep yourself encouraged and motivated.

1. Remember that every ounce counts. Ounces add up to pounds. Remind yourself of that the next time you are disappointed when your scales reflects your weight loss in ounces instead of the pounds you were hoping for.

2. Avoid comparing yourself with other people. You may be sharing your weight loss journey with a friend or a buddy at the gym. It is important to remember that every human body is unique and you will not always reach your goals at the same time that your friend does. You may be faster or slower. The important thing to remember is that you are getting there.

3. Maintaining your weight is considered a success. There may be times in your weight loss journey when you plateau for a week or two and you do not experience weight loss at all. Choose to view this as a success. After all, when you reach your final weight loss goal your next challenge will be that of maintenance. If you can maintain it now, you can maintain it in the future.

4. Get out more. Many people are tempted to stay at home when they are trying to lose weight because they feel that they cannot eat what other people eat and they won’t have as much fun. One of the skills that health conscious people learn is to enjoy themselves when going out with friends and still manage their dining out experiences. Practice making healthy choices when you are out at a restaurant. You will need these skills later when you are maintaining your weight.

5. Avoid the temptation to starve yourself or skip meals. The weight loss that comes from starving yourself is short lived. The key to effective long-term weight loss is keeping blood sugar levels from spiking and dipping. Eating every few hours will help you feel less deprived and help you lose more weight faster.

Although weight loss endeavors can be frustrating and even stressful at times, the most important thing to remember is not to give up. Set realistic weight loss goals and press forward one day at a time. Visualize yourself reaching those milestones one by one. Pretty soon you will experience the major accomplishment of having lost ten or twenty pounds and you will find that your motivation is renewed and your journey will become easier.

A great addition to your weight loss plan is to pepper in movement and exercise when you can. You don’t need to make a commitment to a gym! Check out our 7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

5 Natural Ways to Fight the Flu!

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Hello Flu Fighters! I ran across this list of ways to avoid illness this winter: the natural way! Thanks to Meghan Telpner!

Vaccinations are a hot, hot, and very heated topic. We all want to be healthy and we all want to do our best for ourselves and our family to maintain great health throughout the winter season.

Many people believe that vaccines are the way to go, while many others are adamantly opposed.

I wish I could tell you what to do and then your inquiring mind would be settled and you could just carry on your merry way. The challenge is that it is our personal responsibility to do the research and make the decision that we are most comfortable with. No one else can or should do that for you.

My best approach is to do all I can to keep the terrain, my body strong and healthy, and focus on prevention strategies.

5 Ways To Fight Flu Season:

1— Sleep: Optimal sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system.
2— Keep it clean: Wash hands regularly, and use a netty pot to clean out the sinuses.
3— Take the right supplements: Immune modulators like Reishi mushroom is super for ensuring a strong and healthy terrain. Lactoferrin is another powerful immune modulator. It is advisable to take both in supplement form throughout cold and flu season as well as during periods of intense stress.
4— Avoid Sugar and Eat Well: Glucose and vitamin C compete for uptake. The more sugar we eat, the less we are able to absorb vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the activity of our white blood cells including antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities. High dose on immune enhancing foods like red peppers and cucumber- both rich in vitamin C, and culinary mushrooms like shiitakes.
5— Manage Stress: There is no greater hinderance to our health than stress. That’s where stress reduction activities come in. Watch a comedy, go for a walk, sit in a sauna, stretch and breathe deeply and boost your immune function. Mindfulness meditation has been shown in studies to increase circulating antibodies. (reference)
Whether you choose to get vaccinated or not, the above strategies will only work in your favour.

And if you do opt to get a vaccine, be sure to do your research and know exactly what is in that cocktail that is being injected into your blood stream. The recipe changes all the time and it is our right to know what we are being given.

Save Kids from Post-Halloween Sugar Overload!

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It’s the day after Halloween, and parents across the country are faced with a problem: How to keep my kids from eating too much candy! while we, of course, encourage an honest discussion with your children about why eating too much candy is bad, sometimes other tactics must be employed…

Here are some ideas to help with the post-Halloween candy stupor!

—Leave It for the Candy Fairy
When my daughter was younger, the Candy Fairy struck a deal. She could leave as much or as little of her Halloween candy as she wanted on the dining room table before bed, and the Candy Fairy would come take it away. If she left a lot, she’d get a “big” toy (nothing extravagant, maybe $5-7). If she left a little, she’d get a “little” toy (maybe something from the dollar store?). She loved this and it was an easy way to cut down on the amount of leftover candy after Halloween, without getting into a power struggle over it.
—bodhimama on familyfitness.about.com

—Donate It To Soldiers Or Another Group of People In Need
This is a great way to teach your kids about sacrifice, and about sharing our bounty and blessings with those who need a pick-me-up. Making others feel happy makes us happy, when we focus on the warm and happy feelings we can bring to others.Here’s more info!

—Keep Candy Out Of Sight
There is no need to display Halloween candy in a dish on the dining room table. This will encourage kids to constantly graze from it. Instead keep fruits and veggies in sight.
—Jenni Grover

—Ration It
After we went trick or treating my mom always made us dump all of our candy on the floor and went through it. She was looking for any candy that might have broken wrappers or look suspicious. Then she gave us a reasonable amount and stashed the rest in her room. We got a decent ration every day until it was all gone. There were no stipulations on whether we got it or not (I mean where’s the fun in that?), but it did ensure that we weren’t engorging ourselves on nothing but sugar all day.
—khayesrn on familyfitness.about.com

—Eat, then treat.
Establish a rule that if they want to eat a piece of candy, kids must have a nutritious snack first. This encourages them to eat more healthy foods and leave less room in their bellies for the junk.
—Catherine Holecko

—Offset with exercise.
Encourage, or require, kids to add extra physical activity when they eat candy–anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on their age, size, and fitness level.
—Catherine Holecko

—Save only the most special Halloween candy.
Set a limit ahead of time and have kids choose a select number of pieces of candy–say, two to three pieces for each year of their age–to keep. Donate or trash the rest, and make healthier items (popcorn, dehydrated fruit) freebies.
—Catherine Holecko

—Share with Adults
A co-worker brought in her daughter’s Halloween stash and left in our break room. She simply asked her daughter if she would be willing to share some of her candy with her adult friends at work who didn’t have kids of their own to share any candy with them. She gave her daughter a snack bowl to fill, allowing her to pick what candy to keep and what to share. I must say this little girl was very generous.
—Guest lila on familyfitness.about.com

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Real Life Fuel Efficiency

True Confessions: Life is hard.

The Universe does this cute little thing sometimes where it just throws a million things at you to see what you can catch and juggle.  One of the things that I was dealt lately was moving all of my belongings from the garage of one of my dear friends to my new apartment.  The best thing that came out of this was two days with my two favorite souls in the world. Then came the hard part: Driving eight hours in a U-Haul when I’ve never driven anything bigger than a hatchback ford focus. Ha!

When I got in the truck and started driving, I noticed that one of the gauges on the car was measuring fuel efficiency. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had something like that for our lives: Something to measure not only the quality of what we’re putting in, but also how we were expending the energy that our nourishment gave us?

Personally, I know that I would be living in the red zone lately.  Firstly, because of my crazy schedule it’s been so hard to make the time be eating well.  I’m living in the 20% (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this!), and let me tell you this: MY BODY FEELS THE DIFFERENCE.  It knows, and it’s not happy.  I have no energy, I feel puffy and bloated, and just completely drained and sad.

So, then, when I’m not putting good fuel into my body to begin with, how can I manage how efficiently I’m using the “energy” that it is giving me? Working a number of jobs with about 6 hours of sleep a night and a smaller than desirable amount of veggies: RED ZONE. An endless cycle of puffy, tired, sad red-zone-ness.

The moral of this story, my friends, is that our bodies know the difference between eating good, live, nutritious food and fast, easy, sugar and chemical filled “food.” Here’s a post about why eating live food is so great! And it knows when we’re treating it well or not. When we’re buying regular unleaded or premium.  And while you might not see a big difference in how your car run, you WILL in your body.  Or are you treating your car better than you treat your body?  QUIT IT!  Get enough sleep.  Do things that make you happy! Remember how short life is and really think about how much the things you’re stressing about will matter in a month.  In a year? In 10 years? Be FUEL EFFICIENT!

Hope that everyone is eating lots of veggies and keeping up with all the things they have to juggle! Life is hard, but falling into the trap of easy, crappy eating will NOT make it easier!

Are you struggling with poor eating? Or are you trying to eat well, but still having digestive or weight loss issues? Shoot us an email at support@hhfusion.com to snag one of Monica’s FREE strategy sessions to finally solve your problems!

Best source of nutrition?

Just so I don’t keep you hanging: It’s fruits and vegetables. Gotcha. : )

If I haven’t made you mad enough to keep you from reading the rest, I’ll continue…

So, I was walking by a Walgreens/CVS/Duane Reade type of store this weekend and saw an end cap labeled “Nutrition” through the window. I was scurrying along, so I slowed my average NY speed walking to catch what they had displayed in such an important category, and it turned out to just be a bunch of diet bars.

Wouldn’t it be brilliant if, instead of bars and supplements and shakes miracle pills, on a shelf labeled “Nutrition” is where stores kept things like fruits and vegetables and quinoa?

Now I don’t mean to be a debbie downer about all bars. In fact, in times of crazy schedules and general life madness, they can be helpful in a crunch! What concerns me are silly diets that have people only eating bars and drinking shakes to be “healthy.” Huh?

My favorite bar right now is the Good Greens bar. They are made by a Cleveland based company, so when I was attending school in Cleveland, they were readily available and so great to keep me going during my ridiculous college schedule! They are vegan, gluten free and boast to provide 100% of your daily fruits and vegetables.

Also, they’re freakin delicious.

BUT! I’m afraid that some people who eat things like this think that they are an alternative to eating REAL food.

They’re not.

So, in a PINCH, feel free to reach for your bar of choice (after researching the real nutritional value and what they will really be doing for you), but don’t let the convenience keep you from planning ahead to prepare/cook real, whole foods with a actual fruits and vegetables. These are still processed foods, and are not to replace the real, whole, good ole natural FOOD.

Live food is the best food. Check back for more on this later in the week!

And, while you’re waiting for our next enthralling, informative blog, why not shoot us an email for a shot at a FREE strategy session with Monica to figure out what is the best plan of action to help you reach your health goals and FINALLY overcome your struggles with wellness and/or weight loss. It will be totally worth it, I promise!
support@hhfusion.com

Are you lacking Vitamin L?

You know how sometimes you stumble across something that at JUST the right moment?  This is something real that’s going on with me right now, and I love that Kris’ (check out crazy sexy life) blogs always remind me of what’s good about life and where to focus my energy!

Even as life is overwhelming and you don’t even feel like there’s time to breathe, remember to be totally head over heels in love with yourself.  And if you aren’t, why not? And why not do something to change it? These are things I ask myself every single day!

So, I wanted to share this newsletter with you.  I hope it hits home for someone as much as it did for me!!!

Liberation Lovers,
Today I was reminded that not only do I write for you, I write to remind myself. Like you, I am busy. And sometimes busy gets the best of me! Why do you think I’ve been focusing on love so much recently? Because stress truly sucks (the beat from my heart). And I just hate that feeling. You know the one — depletion. Well, since we last connected I let myself slip-slide. My “I love you” mirror still sits on my desk, but this week she’s draped in dust. As a result, I’ve experienced a depletion in vitamin L. Love. I don’t know if your doctor has mentioned this to you, but a depletion of vitamin L is very dangerous. It makes you snappy and unstable.

But as I said last week, you/I have the power to choose our attitudes. Enter my zippy assistant Lauren who proceeded to send me a pile of the kindest, brightest, most attitude-shifting and caring love vitamins from my readers. It’s funny how the simplest gesture can have such a profound effect.

Check out this love vitamin from Susan: I am a 2-year breast cancer survivor … yay!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kris! I took your advice, and told myself “I am totally in love with my life,” then I told myself, “I’m going to start looking for 5 things of beauty every day.” Well, this morning, on my beautiful early morning run, in the course of an hour, I had already found all 5 of them! Now, my whole outlook has changed … there is beauty everywhere! I thank God for you and your books! I love life!

Susan, you reminded me of one of the greatest teachings my grandmother ever shared with me: “See the details, find the beauty, notice the majesty, awaken to the brightness … it’s everywhere.”

This week, make a mental note of the lovely in the rocks, flowers, wind, birds, dappled light and so on. Now THAT’S a vitamin!

Peace + vitamin L,

P.S. Last night I went on a great adventure. At 9 pm, I cracked. No AC and, aye chihuahua, were we hot! Rather than moaning + cursing the July flames, we hopped in the truck and zoomed to Walmart to purchase a tent. Lola stood guard all night, we star + moon gazed, and this morning I awoke to a sweet, breezy sunrise with my beautiful family.

Get Some SLEEP to Help Lose Weight!

Americans are so silly.  We cram our schedules, and our kids’ schedules, full of activities, and scurry around from place to place all day exhausting ourselves.  Then once we’re home, we take time to unwind, and next thing we know it’s midnight and we’re still awake, and we have to be up at 6:00 tomorrow morning to get everything going for the nest day! That makes MAYBE 5 hours of sleep.  Maybe.

So, ok, why is sleep so important?  Well, we all know that while were sleeping our body is working to repair and heal and recover for the next day.  It’s a time when your body doesn’t have to think about digesting or anything else to keep it busy (unless you had a giant snack/meal before bed and your body is trying to figure out what to do with it, so it just sits around (like when you turn off the dishwasher in the middle of the cycle)).  Your body NEEEDS this time to recuperate.

Sleep debt is like any other kind of debt, it builds up.  Your body will continue to “pay” with high interest rates until you catch up! And if you don’t, your account, your body, YOU, will shut down!  Who wants that?  And if your body’s playing catch up just to be able to function normally, how can if be thinking about good, healthy weight loss? Plus, we all know that when we’re sleepy we’re so much more tempted to reach for those caffeinated drinks and bad, fatty, snacks foods that make us “feel better.”

But here’s something I didn’t really know about how sleep effects weight loss: Hormones!  The body restores hormones at night, and the two that have to do with weight loss are ghrelin and leptin. Grehlin is the hormone that tells you when to eat. When you’re sleep deprived you have more Grehlin– so more eating! Leptin does the opposite: tells you when to stop eating, and you have less of that when you’re not getting enough sleep.  So, more of the hormone telling you TO eat, and less of the hormone telling you to STOP eating… Could be a weight-gain culprit that you didn’t even suspect! Plus, your metabolism is slower when you’re sleep deprived.  Just badness all around.

So, the good news is that, in theory, this should be a pretty easy one to fix!  People usually need about 7.5 hours of sleep to strike a healthy balance.  That’s 10:00 pm-5:30 am, 11:00 pm-6:30 am… You get the picture.

Make sleep a priority! And while you’re making some good, healthy changes, why don’t you shoot us an email for a chance at a free strategy session with Monica?  support@hhfusion.com  Talk to you soon!