3 Habits of Highly Successful Clients

A brand new year!  😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love that.  Just go back and do what it says if you glossed over it.                                     Now, how do you feel?  Ahh, that’s better, right!?                                                                Imagine if you could remember to pause and just be for a few seconds here and there throughout your day?    

Happy New Year!  January is that special month when a lot of us decide now is the time to get serious and make those healthy changes we’ve been putting off.  If the fresh new year means another start to a diet that’s bound to fail (as diets tend to do), maybe you need to dig a little deeper and look at what is really keeping you from reaching your goals.       Hint:  It’s not that you haven’t found the perfect diet, it’s got a lot more to do with your daily habits and thought/belief patterns.

Understanding specifically what it is that is getting in your way is the key to change.           If you don’t really think about what exactly is holding you back, then you tend to stay stuck, frustrated and powerless.

I’ve spent some time contemplating what sets apart my clients who reach (or are on the path to reaching) their goals from my clients who have a harder time.                               What I’ve found are 3 areas that come up again and again:

1.  Food Planning and Preparation

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a huge one that stifles all those good intentions of eating a healthier diet.  Unless you are wealthy enough to hire a personal chef, there is no way around it.  Meal planning and preparation is ongoing and yes, it takes some time and effort.  Considering that we have to eat several times a day, every day, this means we have to be meal planning fairly often.  Embrace it rather than fight it and know that it does not have to be a major time-consumer or the difficult task that you might envision.

There are so many convenient food options and shortcuts available that I think we often take for granted how truly lucky we are.  Nearly everyone has a grocery store within a couple of miles with everything necessary to make a decent meal.  Be thankful you don’t have to gut and clean your fish and meats like our ancestors did– do you ever consider how incredible it is that they come neatly packaged and ready to cook?  Fruits and veggies are available pre-cut, spiralized and even riced to eliminate the time it takes to prepare them.  And can you believe people once had to wash and chop up a head of lettuce?  😉

That being said, I will add that even with all these prepared foods, I still think it’s comforting and good for the soul to get into the kitchen as much as possible to chop, slice, dice, bake, experiment, taste and connect to our food more.  Food preparation doesn’t have to be a stressful, hectic event.  It can be meditative if you let it.  Doing the dishes and cleaning up is a perfect time to focus on your breath, slow down and reconnect with yourself.

I understand some schedules make it almost impossible to dedicate much time for cooking at home– but if you decide you want to make it a priority it can certainly be accomplished.

2.  Mindset/Knowing Your “Why”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mindset has practically everything to do with success.  I am a firm believer of:  ‘You can have anything you want if you put your mind to it.’  But you have to want it more than you want to stay where you are now, as comfortable as your current zone may be.   You also have to clearly understand WHY you want to make changes– you need to see the benefit. 

Because changes ARE going to take effort!  You have to see and believe that the result is worth the work and energy.  And oddly enough, once you put the “work” and “energy” into action you realize that they actually aren’t the horrible work and energy you imagined and feared.  Find the meaning behind what you’re doing and everything flows more naturally.

You also need to keep that “why” flame burning consistently.  Sure, it’ll go out periodically where you’ll say what the hell and indulge in a night of pizza and ice cream.  No biggie. What will make you successful is you’ll know that it’s OK,  you won’t worry about it and you’ll move on.  The next day you’ll be back to your healthy habits, reminding yourself of the person you want to be and how that type of person eats and lives.  Remember, perfection is not the goal.  A balanced diet can most definitely include sweets and splurges!

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A Chocolate Mint Holiday Dessert and A Shopping Idea

Hello!

Even though I’m not vegan anymore, I still find myself popping in on the Oh She Glows blog to see her latest recipes.

I can’t post her actual recipe here but I can do the next best thing… provide the link to her Vegan Peppermint Patty Slice where you can go and check it out for yourself.

 

And please do because her photos are much yummier than mine.

In my opinion, chocolate and mint are one of the best combos ever.

 

 

 

 

 

Luckily I had all the ingredients at home because when I saw this recipe I knew exactly what was going to happen in my kitchen as soon as work ended for the day.

It came out so good.  LOL, sometimes I amaze myself with my creative, descriptive words.  Hmmm… it’s cool, creamy, minty and chocolatey with crunchy chocolaties on top.  🙂  That’s a bit better.

 

And because these are made with spinach (for the greenness), guess what? They qualify as a vegetable.  Kidding! But I am serious about them being full of healthy ingredients like cashews, cocoa and coconut with maple syrup as a sweetener.

I will surely be making these again!

 

 

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Winter Nighttime Rituals

Happy Monday everyone!  It’s definitely feeling like winter around here now, right? Saturday’s first snow of the season has made if official for me.   As if I am not enough of a homebody the rest of the year, this is precisely when the instinct to stay inside my cozy house kicks into high gear.

Views out my front and back windows on Saturday:

 

 

 

 

But I’m not going to complain about the cold, the snow or the fact that I can’t bike and it’s not as much fun to run when there is slush and ice.  And for a change of pace I’m not going to talk about food.  While we all know that food is a fascinating topic, life is also about many other things that make us feel happy and good.  Like the little behaviors we practice at home for comfort and that contribute to our health and well-being.  Particularly now and in the upcoming months when we’re most likely to feel like hibernating in our woolly socks and hoodies with this 4:30pm darkness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just for fun, I’m going to share my winter nighttime rituals.  These are some of the things I do at home before sleep during these cold, dark months that help bring me comfort, coziness, joy, gratitude and peace.  I’d love to hear yours too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here I go, starting with after the pets and we have eaten dinner, after the cleaning up of the kitchen (can’t bear to go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, can you?), after lunches are prepared for the next day and after Bonnie the dog gets a quick walk.  But even she has been preferring to stay in lately when it’s so dark and chilly out there.

 

 

 

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Products I’m Thankful For

I’m truly thankful for all food.                                                                                                      .

Even though I strive to base my diet around simple, unprocessed foods, I also like to buy some things that I couldn’t make in my own kitchen.  Cheese?  Yogurt?  Chocolate?  Technically, yes I could make these, but– I don’t.  When I’m buying a product that’s not a one-ingredient, whole food item (like an apple, a sweet potato or a piece of fish), I always check the list of ingredients.  Most packaged foods don’t provide many nutrients the way whole foods naturally do.  This is because of additions like: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, flours and highly processed oils like soybean, canola and cottonseed.

Perfection does not and should not exist, but we all want to make the best decisions we can… because we want to be healthy.  Most of us have choices when it comes to what we eat– this is something to be extremely grateful for.   Looking at the ingredient list will help you determine if you want to eat it, how much of it you want to eat and how often you want to eat it.  Not much will harm you in the short-term, but remember that your food choices add up over the days, months and years.  So, be choosy.

Let’s get down to some of the products I’ve been loving lately and why.                            Maybe you’ll find something new to try!

Siggi’s Yogurt

 

In my opinion, the Triple Cream is the best.  It’s got the most fat, it’s the creamiest and it’s the most delicious.  They also offer lower-fat flavors, many of which I’ve tried for variety and they are all great choices.

Why?  Two big things to look for with yogurts are the quality of the dairy and the amount of added sugar.      One more thing:  watch out for artificial sweeteners many companies sneak in.

Siggi’s uses milk from grass-fed cows.  Sugars are only 8g in most of the flavors (some have 11g).                                No artificial sweeteners.  No artificial colorings.            (Note that these are thick yogurts.)

 

 

 

Seasonal flavors are always fun.                                Especially when there is pumpkin involved!

 

 

 

Other yogurts I  love: Stonyfield, Narragansett Creamery and Maple Hill Creamery.

For a treat (sugar is on the high side), I really like Noosa:

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin was amazing.                             Apple was equally delicious.                     You’ll feel like you are eating a decadent dessert.  Treat it like a treat.

 

 

 

 

 

Wise cow.

 

 

 

Spindrift Sparkling Water

 

Water without corn syrup and without chemical sweeteners is the way to go.  Your basic flavored carbonated waters by Poland Springs, Polar and La Croix do this just fine with the addition of “natural flavors.”

But sometimes, don’t you want something just a little bit… different…?

 

 

Spindrift has managed to create a product that is mainly just carbonated water but with a squeeze of fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re willing to spare about 13 calories per can (that’s nothing, you’re burning that off reading this!) in exchange for a little variety and added flavor to your water, then you’re going to love these.

 

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes and Walnuts

Just made this yesterday and wanted to share.  With Thanksgiving coming up fast you might be in need of a fresh and unique idea.  These are delicious and easy– a healthy side dish for your holiday meal that you and your guests will love!

The recipe can be found here:  Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes and Walnuts on the Whole Foods Market website where you’ll also find plenty of other Thanksgiving recipes and tips.   Check it out!

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In Memory of Halloweens Past

I would get so excited about trick-or-treating.  Yes, I was that kid, the impatient one nagging my sister and our friends to “Come on!  Hurry up!” as I ran ahead of all of them to quickly get to the next house.  After all, wasn’t the object of this night to accumulate as much candy as possible?

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Can a Dog Impact Your Health?

While food is a biggie, it’s only one piece in the complex puzzle of enjoying a healthy life!

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the mindset that a perfect diet is the most important element to health and wellness.  But something crucial to remember is… it’s not all about the food!  You could be eating the most “perfect” diet in the world (whatever that is) but still not feeling the way you want to feel– which likely could mean that it’s not what you’re eating or not eating but something else in your life that needs attention.

We’re missing a lot if we focus too intently on exactly what and how much to eat and not on the other areas of life– like ensuring quality sleep and relaxation time, pursing friendships and social connections, lightening up with laughter, treating ourselves to sunlight and time in nature, exploring our favorite creative outlets, moving our bodies, doing kind things for others….just to name a few.

Oh, and loving a DOG!!

 

 

 

 

 

Bonnie is my gorgeous almost-2-year old half-Chihuahua mutt:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She makes me laugh,

 

Waiting for trick-or-treaters.

What a stinker.

 

 

 

 

gets me walking, running and playing outside,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

teaches me to relax,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and no, having a dog is not without its challenging moments:

 

It was evident early on that she was not a fan of crates and much preferred destroying doggie beds to sleeping on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And yoga in the living room at home is also happening a lot more infrequently.

 

 

 

 

 

The love outweighs the frustrations and I am quite certain that having Bonnie in my life has only enriched it.

 

 

 

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Yay! The End of Summer…. Squash

No, I’m not happy it’s the end of summer.  🙁

But I am not sad to see the summer squash go.  🙂

I gave it my best but I was far too outnumbered to keep up with them.  Every week, with every new CSA bag, there would be more.  Zucchini, pattypans, crooknecks and mystery varieties of all shapes and sizes were building up in my fridge, on top of my fridge and on the counter.  The thought of grilling summer squash with dinner one more night became absolute torture. There is nothing wrong with zucchini on the grill but it can grow tiresome.  I knew I had to get creative with some additional ingredients to liven things up.

If you’re finding yourself here at the end of summer stuck with too many summer squash and not enough motivation to eat them, I have a few tasty ideas you might want to try:

1.  Grilled Pattypan Squash Pizzas

This is what a pattypan squash looks like:

 

They come in white, yellow and green.

 

 

 

 

Slice thinly to make your pizza “crusts” and grill on one side for about 5 minutes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then flip over, add your sauce, cheese and pepperoni and cook for about another 5 minutes (grill closed):

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used Applegate for pepperoni and Organic Valley for cheese:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Lifestyle Cafe

 

I had a really nice lunch with a couple of my Dietitian friends Friday.   🙂   It’s always so good to catch up.  Topics of conversation ranged from an upcoming wedding, a soon-to-be new baby, an office move and a website revamp… to orthorexia and the FODMAP diet.    Fascinating stuff!

We met at the Lifestyle Cafe.  I had been several times and absolutely LOVE that they have my kind of food.  You can definitely get a nutritious and satisfying meal here which can be pretty hard to find if you go to many of the typical lunch spots.

You may have driven by it on Route 2 in East Greenwich and seen the sign…

The Lifestyle Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch and they are a gluten-free cafe.  This doesn’t mean you have to be on a gluten-free diet to love it though.  They have a prepared food case where you can order items like crab cakes, calamari salad or veggie medleys.   There always seem to be new foods in there.  On the menu you’ll find gluten-free sandwiches like BLT & Avocado, Vermont Grilled Chicken and a Tuna Melt.

You can also “build your own” salad or gluten-free wrap.  Salads are my favorite– and what I really appreciate is how you can have a different salad every time you go by varying your greens, protein, toppings, cheese and dressing.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Local Food This Summer

Hello and Happy August– and at the risk of sounding like everyone else….                         How is it August already??  I don’t want the end of summer in my sight just yet!

I hope you’ve all been eating well this summer.  True, there may be ice cream shops and Del’s stands everywhere you turn, but I’m also seeing tons of signs for “Fresh Eggs” and “Fresh Produce” all over the place.  I’ve really been making the effort to add more locally grown and raised foods into my life and I wanted to share some of my favorite go-to spots.  Click on the links to see each Facebook page for more info:

Healey Farm

1100 Lafayette Rd, North Kingstown RI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is our second season joining their CSA.  (FYI: CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.)  You pay a fee to the farm upfront and each week you pick up a bag of whatever goodies were harvested.  This one began 3 weeks ago and so far we’ve gotten green beans, kale, basil, beets, onions, potatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and summer squash.  I am almost certain I forgot at least one or two things too.  I’m so excited this goes through the end of October when it’s time for all my favorite winter squash.  It’s only August and I’m already thinking about pumpkin pie!

What we got last week:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I pick up our loot every Wednesday.  This farm is only a few miles from our house so it’s super convenient. It’s definitely a challenge to eat up all of this food before the week is through and we get our next fully loaded bag.  Bring on the challenge I say.  We honestly DO eat more vegetables because of this CSA!  If you’re trying to eat more veggies (who isn’t?) then a CSA like this is a perfect way to make that goal happen.  No worries if you missed this year’s CSA– Healey’s farm stand is open now so head over and fill a bag with whatever looks good to you.  And don’t forget to say hello to the adorable farm animals that live there.  Healey can also be found at the Wickford Village Farmers Market on Thursdays from 1-5pm.

Del Vecchio Farm:  For Blueberry Picking

302 Potter Rd, North Kingstown RI

We went a few weeks ago in July– the blueberries were abundant and we picked a huge bagful.  It was our first and only time and I highly recommend it.  I never even knew this place existed so now I know and now YOU know…so go check it out while they are still in season.  I only wish I had thought to snap a picture before we ate all the berries.  I also made a Blueberry-Cheezecake with these– delicious!

 

 

Stoney Hill Cattle Company

460 Shumankanuc Hill Rd, Charlestown RI

 

They are at the Rocky Hill Farmers Market in East Greenwich on Saturdays.  Naturally and humanely raised beef, pork and chicken.  Awesome eggs.  Yes, they even have bacon. ♥  Lucky Foot Ranch is also there with yummy veggies!

 

 

 

Windmist Farm and Watson Farm

71 Weeden Ln and 455 North Rd, Jamestown RI

 

These two farms are practically right across the street from one another in Jamestown.  Grass-fed and pastured meats.  Free-range eggs.  Fresh cider in the fall!  I hear there are even donuts.  I’m not far from the Jamestown Bridge and I love going for runs or taking my dog for walks there so it’s a place I visit frequently.  Take the scenic ride over the bridge to these farms to pick up their delicious meats and eggs.

 

 

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