Thursday, January 22, 2015

3 Simple Ways To Ditch Your Sugar Cravings

A very high percentage of my clients come to me with nagging sugar cravings that drive them mad including chocolate, baked goods and alcohol! Can you relate to this relentless desire?




Here are 3 simple ways to finally tame those wild sugar urges:

- Add more clean protein and healthy fats to each meal. This will keep you feeling satisfied until the next meal without the desire to snack or indulge in a "sweet treat". When we give our bodies all the nutrition it needs, it says "Thanks, I've had enough". Try having quinoa porridge (quinoa is a complete protein as well as a complex carbohydrate) with a dollop of cashew butter (full of healthy fats and a little protein too) for breakfast. Enjoy a chicken (protein) salad with avocado (healthy fat), olive oil (healthy fat) and baby kale for lunch. Quickly pan sear a piece of wild salmon (clean protein and healthy omega 3 fats) with lightly sautéed veggies for dinner.  

*BONUS TIP: the longer and more thoroughly you chew your home cooked whole grains such as steel cut oats, quinoa and brown rice, the sweeter they become. Go on, try it for yourself!!! 

- Add in more baked sweet root veggies such as carrots, beets, yams, sweet potatoes, winter squash, turnips and parsnips etc. When we add in the good stuff, we naturally crowd out the bad. I swear after you have some baked sweet potato with your meal, you won't crave desert after as it is already naturally super sweet with the bonus of lots of beneficial nutrients you body will use wisely.




- Sip on some mint, hibiscus, licorice or other naturally sweet herbal teas through the day. Lemon water cuts the desire for sugar too. Remember the vitamin C in lemons is sensitive to heat so opt for room temp water rather than hot!




CONTACT me for Personalized Nutrition Support.  I will guide and encourage you to achieve optimum wellness through making balanced food and lifestyle choices. Best part is I make it FUN! Life is too short for deprivation and dodgy diets, lets enjoy being healthy and vibrant every day.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

5 Easy Tips For Better Sleep

I am a sleeping goddess. My husband laughs at me and says, "When the sun goes down, Sarah goes down with it!" I am actually quite proud of this because it means my body is in a natural daily rhythm with the cycle of the sun, and that my sleep promoting hormone "melatonin" is doing its job effectively.

In Western culture, we are almost constantly wired and connected to the world via technology and social media. We have lost our natural ability to get around 8 hours of solid rejuvenating sleep. When we stay up late, past 11pm for example, our body needs to produce the stress hormone cortisol rather than relaxing melatonin in order to stay awake after the sun goes down. If we make this a regular habit, our body becomes confused, hormones go out of sync and our metabolism gets thrown off. The result: mood swings, lack of focus during the day, crashes in energy and weight gain! Has waking up intermittently through the night become your norm? Do you only manage to fall into a light sleep? Do you wake up feeling sluggish and rely on stimulants such as coffee to function? Read on...

Here are my secret ways to fall asleep and stay asleep withers for total mind and body repair. They will leave you feeling so good that you actually look forward to a good nights rest and naturally prioritize it as a vital component of your daily self care regime.




*Don't drink too many liquids before bed. This can cause you to wake up and disturb your important sleep cycles in need of using the toilet. Sip water or herbal tea if you are a little thirsty to wet the palate instead of guzzling down large glass fulls. Get into the habit of hydrating earlier in the evening, for example at least 30 minutes before dinner or at least an hour afterwards (you don't want to dilute your stomach acid and therefore impede proper digestion).

*Don't eat within 3 hours of bedtime. If you do you will store the energy from this food as fat and you will cause your body to focus on digestion rather than repair during sleep time.  Focus on a light dinner of salad or cooked veggies with clean protein, or a satisfying homemade soup.

*Skip the desert and alcohol in the evening (save these for special occasions rather than daily rituals) - the sugar in these 2 indulgences causes a major insulin spike which drops just as quickly, leaving you with imbalanced blood sugar levels and an impaired ability to sleep soundly. A healthy dinner ritual should satisfy you enough if you mindfully slow down, set up a lovely eating environment and enjoy your nourishing meal in good company.

*Create an environment that promotes sleep. The bedroom should be used for sleep and sex only. No tacky TV, computers, mobile phones, kids, pets, or any other distractions allowed. Ok maybe a good book and some relaxing tunes are acceptable to help you wind down, but nothing else! I like to dim the lights really low in order to promote an effortless transition into deep sleep.

*Don't sleep with the room too hot. Keep your bedroom nice and cool because our bodies naturally warm up during sleep. If you have the temperate too high or pile on too many layers, you can overheat and disturb good sleep.

Join me for your very own Personalized Health Coaching Program to ditch the frustrating diet confusion and nourish your body through delicious food choices, loving self care and a balanced lifestyle. 

We are well into January 2015 and it's time to finally look after yourself the way you deserve and feel vibrant on a daily basis!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Secret To Setting Attainable New Years Resolutions

Happy and healthy 2015!

Have you already been asked countless times what your new years resolution is? Is it just another year of painfully trying to lose weight, aiming to workout more, saying a final goodbye to your favorite indulgences such as sugar, coffee and alcohol, or wanting to be more "successful"??? I say we need to turn this around and opt for a more realistic and sustainable way to go into the New Year with grace! Read on...

First of all I don't like the words "New Year Resolution" it seems to have an association to rigid rules and the possibility of disappointing outcomes. I think we could use more positive, loving and supportive words like New Years "Goals", "Intentions", "Progress", "Improvements", "Chapter" or "Themes".

For example:

- My New Years GOAL is to prioritize more time for myself...

- My New Years INTENTION is to go to bed earlier so that I can wake up naturally with the sun and feel energized...

- My New Years PROGRESS is to continue working on my mindfulness and meditation practice...

- My New Years IMPROVEMENT is to cook at home more often to ensure I am nourishing my body and connecting with my food...

- My New Years CHAPTER is to embrace life to the fullest, turn my dreams into my reality and not to sweat the small stuff...

- My New Years THEME is self love so that I can train my mind not to put myself down and instead believe in my ability to do anything I want with my life...




Make sense? These things are totally encouraging and achievable. When I focus on meaningful ideas like these, I am able to be my true self, be flexible, enjoy and grow! I don't feel restricted and I can have a clear intention without being attached to outcome. I will not be upset if life takes me in a different direction and I need to change these goals.

I personally am going into 2015 with an open mind and the ability to adapt to different environments and situations. I want to continue learning and evolving as an individual. I believe in myself and trust that I will make the best choice possible with mindfulness every moment of the day. By taking things one step at a time, I am confident I can tackle anything life throws at me. Embracing the ups and the downs whole heartedly. Feeling everything on the human emotional spectrum and engaging all of my senses to really soak up the moment. I will continue to live and experience life to the fullest.

Know that I am here to support you on your own personal journey in 2015 to heightened happiness and wellbeing. Contact me for a free phone call to discuss how we can work together to achieve your unique nutrition and health goals! As always you can find more information about my personalized services on my website

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last blog post of the year - lets wrap it up on a feel good note!

Wow it's holiday time and things are wrapping up for the year. Thanks to all my loyal followers who support my passion of inspiring others to live a beautiful life full of vibrant health and divine balance.

Know that your time to start fresh and follow your dreams is always NOW. You have the power each  moment to make a mindful choice that supports your wellbeing. Everything you eat, think and do creates your body and has an significant impact on your happiness. 

Treasure yourself first and foremost, then you can better give pure love and attention to others. Being healthy is not a destination to achieve in the future, it needs to be a lifestyle that you implement every single day of your existence.


You need to look at your schedule carefully and create each day so that it works for your personal needs and desires, for example: 

*Start the day early by rising with the sun 

*Nourish your body with a balanced breakfast and tall glass of lemon water (continue to hydrate through the day)

*Make time to move your body every day in some form or another, whether that's stretching, playing with the kids, gardening or walking the dog

*Practice mindfulness such as meditation, deep breathing or setting intentions for stress and emotional management

*Eat set meals like a glowing goddess:
- breakfast within an hour of waking (ensure there are healthy fats and clean protein in there)
- lunch in the middle of the day (make this your most substantial meal of the day instead of dinner) 
- an early evening dinner (keep it light: salad, soup, stir fry, clean protein and veggies etc.)
This helps to keep your metabolism revved, your mind sharp and focused, and your body feeling energized!


*Slow down, relax and take your time while eating, chewing your food thoroughly to assist digestion and nutrient absorption

*Add more of what you love into your daily ritual, for example, read a good book, catch up with supportive friends for a cup of tea, spend quality time with the family in the evening, go to an uplifting fitness class, treat yourself to a bunch of flowers to brighten up the home or take a soothing salt bath    

*Always be grateful for the blessings in your life, pay attention to the smallest details and enjoy the simple things (there is magic all around you, open your eyes and see it, even in dark times there is always light)  

*Delegate responsibilities when you feel overwhelmed, ask for help when you feel stuck, chunk big tasks into smaller tasks, remember to be kind on yourself and take things one step at a time

*Connect with nature in some way on a daily basis by sitting in the sun, gardening, walking in the park, putting your bare feet on the soft green grass or by visiting the local farmers market

*Switch off from technology during your early morning, night time + weekend rituals (creating professional and social boundaries to enjoy some relaxing quiet time for other important things is essential in this modern fast paced world)

*Keep life interesting, try something new, explore foreign lands, adopt a different hobby, get creative, live passionately, get excited and allow yourself to dream (better yet turn these dreams into a reality)!

*Make the most of what you have and attract what you don't (food for thought: think about this one)

*Just do the best you can!


Happy holidays and I wish you all a spectacular end to the year that opens all doors for a radiant new year, filled with wonderful opportunities to learn, grow and continue this special journey that is your life!

NOW is the time to join me for personalized health coaching sessions to create the feel good life you deserve to live. Email sarah@mybalanceandwellness.com for more information about how I can support you in achieving your nutrition and wellness goals. 

Sarah


Thursday, December 11, 2014

3 More Of My Super Health Enhancing December essentials

- All things green:
I ditched the cooling salads, smoothies and juices a month or so ago. WHY? I really believe in eating seasonally and therefore during the colder months I feel it is important to eat warming foods for the body instead. Here's how I still manage to get enough greens into my fall / winter diet: sauté spinach, collards, swiss chard and kale (any of your favorite dark leafy greens) and serve as a side dish to compliment any nutritious meal. Finely chop kale leaves and add them to soup such as vegetable minestrone or better yet make a super green veggie soup. A thanksgiving favorite for us this year was brussel sprouts with bacon. YUM! I love quickly steaming broccoli, adding a little ghee for a nice buttery flavor, seasoning with sea salt and garnishing with chopped almonds. EASY! Get creative and make your greens taste ridiculously delicious.



- Comforting soups and healing bone broth:
As mentioned above, you can cram your soups with lots of green power but really any veggies can be thrown in a soup to make a satisfying and nourishing meal. A good soup should be made with high quality broth. You can easily whip up your own homemade veggie broth, but I usually make my own healing bone broth instead. Simply save bones from "grass fed" dinner meat, store them in the freezer and when you have collected enough, throw them in a pot on the stove top, cover with filtered water, add a splash of apple cider vinegar, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for at least 8 hours. Larger bones need more time to extract all the healing nutrients such as minerals, collagen and gelatin. Once done, strain the broth and discard the bones. Store in an airtight mason jar in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freeze for later use (be sure to leave enough room at the top of the jar for liquid expansion). I use bone broth to make soup, cook whole grains and legumes, or to drink like a warm cup of tea.  



- Dry body brushing, warm showers and jojoba oil massages:
Guys, I love my nutrition info but I equally love my self care regime. Not only does how you eat affect your appearance, but so does how you look after your body. These days we are extra prone to toxins from the environment, our food and water supply, as well as our beloved skin care products. The skin is a massive organ that lives and breathes in your surroundings - it soaks up anything you put on it like a sponge. It is important to look after it as best we can. A few ways I like to do this is by regularly dry body brushing. I start with my feet, brushing in circular upwards motions towards the heart. You can do your entire body (avoid the face) but go gentle on your chest as the skin is thiner and more delicate in this area. Focus on cellulite prone areas as this can reduce the appearance. It's a super way to detox your body and stimulate / flush the lymphatic system. It promotes skin cell rejuvenation and evens out skin tone.



After dry body brushing, jump in a warm shower to wash the stresses of the day away, clean the body and make you feel fresh! Try not to lather your body with commercial shower gel or soap, instead wash with water only or if you have to, use a little organic / natural shower product on your smelly parts such as underarms and feet. Just like we want to protect the good bacteria in our gut, we also want to protect the delicate bacterial, moisture and pH balance on our skin. Using less products in the shower also reduces your toxic load.

After your luxuriously warm shower, it's time for a self loving jojoba oil massage. Rub your entire body from the shoulders to the toes with a light lather of this wonderful oil. This relaxes your muscles, improves circulation and nourishes the skin without dumping a chemical shit storm all over your precious bod! As I have mentioned, your skin absorbs what you put on it so ensure that it is organic, clean, pure and natural. The reason I recommend jojoba oil is because I have been an acne sufferer all my life and this is one of the few oils that does not clog your pores. I don't put it on my face though (I use a special moisturizer for that), just on my body.

Your time to shine and get in shape for the new year (both mentally and physically) is NOW! Join me for a free phone call about your health and wellness desires. I will support you with my personalized coaching sessions to eat for your unique body type and live the life you have always dreamed of. Email me for more information! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My 3 Autumn Food Crushes For Vibrant Health (Part 1)

I love this time of year. Things are finishing up in time for the New Year, we have Christmas with loved ones to look forward to and we get to rug up as the weather continues to transition from fall to winter. In this blog post I want to share with you some of my FAVORITE December goodies that keep me feeling healthy, light and vibrant even on the greyest of days!


Masala chai tea with homemade nut milk

Masalad chai is traditionally made using black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and black peppercorn.  Chai has been enjoyed for centuries in India to preserve health and increase peace of mind. It is known to improve digestion, enhance the immune system, fight inflammation and contains antioxidant properties for combatting excess free radicals in the body. I love to use Rishi Organic Loose Leaf Masala Chai Tea with 1/2 teaspoon of local raw honey and my very own signature homemade nut milk. YUM! Hot tip: drink or eat anything caffeinated before 12 noon to enable sound sleep at night.    




Loaded steel cut oats

Organic steel cut oats are my favorite fall / winter breakfast choice due to their comforting, warming goodness. You may think "BORING" but when you load your oatmeal like I do, you will change your mind. Try adding any combination of the following ingredients to super charge the nutrition in your morning oats: fresh berries, chopped apple, sliced banana, raw cacao nibs, raw nuts and seeds or their butters, goji berries, mulberries, coconut butter, coconut flakes, pomegranate, persimmon, pure vanilla extract and / or cinnamon. WOW! Hot tip: the longer you chew your oats the sweeter they become so no need to add extra natural sweeteners like honey. Another bonus tip: add enough protein and healthy fats such as nuts and seeds to your oatmeal to keep you satisfied longer and balance out your stress hormones. One last tip: adding pure vanilla extract and cinnamon reduces the need for added sugar and helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Once again, use my signature homemade nut milk on your steel cut oats.




Baked sweet root vegetables

When my clients experience sugar cravings, this is one of my favorite suggestions to incorporate into their diet. When you bake sweet root vegetables in coconut oil (for extra sweetness) or ghee (for a buttery flavor), they make a great addition to any meal and will satisfy your sweet tooth, so there is no need for desert. Some of my seasonal favorites include turnips, carrots, yams, winter squash and sweet potato varieties. Chop them into little cubes / pieces, spread them evenly across a parchment paper lined baking tray, drizzle with oil / cooking fat of choice, salt and pepper to taste and bake for approx. 30 minutes / until soft on 400F (toss half way). When eaten during this busy time of year, sweet root vegetables are very grounding energetically, and can help us to remain centered and balanced mentally. When eaten fresh out the oven they have a lovely warming affect on the body.




Not sure what to get your loved ones for Christmas? Give them the gift of vibrant health by purchasing personalized nutrition and health coaching session with me! Email me for information or visit www.mybalanceandwellness.com for more about my customized services. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

5 Simple Ways To Enjoy A Healthier Thanksgiving

Hooray it’s holiday time and all the fun festivities are about to begin. This mean spending time with loved ones, eating our favorite comfort foods, enjoying the occasional celebratory drink and going to lots of end of year parties! For some people all this can be a little daunting… we all do our best to look after our health and eat right during the year, but then Thanksgiving, Christmas, work parties and New Years comes along all within a couple of months and our good habits seem to get kicked to the curb.  The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. We can enjoy all of these things and maintain optimum vitality with a few simple tips and tricks, here’s what you need to know:  

Tips for enjoying your favorite holiday treats without expanding your waistline or sabotaging your health…

*Be smart while enjoying a festive drink. November and December is a time of celebration as we get together with special friends and loving family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. There may even be a work party on your calendar too. As your personal Health Coach, I am all for you enjoying a few drinks here and there, but I also want you to be mindful of hydrating with lots of water and making sure you eat something protein rich, such as some turkey, beforehand to help stabilize your blood sugar levels from the alcohol / sugar intake. This is a super trick to prevent you from unconsciously overindulging on holiday foods!          

*Go in to mealtime with a game plan. Tell yourself before you sit down that you only need one plate of your favorite holiday foods and optionally a small piece of desert. If you eat your food slowly and mindfully, thoroughly chewing every bite, then you will feel more satisfied and be able to recognize when you are almost full. Stopping when you are around 2/3 full is a great guide for feeling comfortable and not expanding your waistline. HOT TIP: load up on nutrient dense veggies: pumpkin, sweet potato, brussel sprouts, kale, green beans, carrots, onion, garlic, cabbage and mushrooms! YUM.  

*Engage your senses. You will enjoy and get more satisfaction from your favorite festive foods if you take your time and engage your senses by smelling the food, looking at the beautiful colors on your plate and focus on the delicious flavors each bite brings to your taste buds. This is mindful eating and in practicing it you are less likely to stuff your face and battle the bulge. It also dramatically improves digestive function!

*Move your body. I'm not talking about "exercise"... The holidays are a great time to play games with the family especially if you have kids, nieces, nephews or grandkids. By doing physical activities that are fun such as kicking a ball around the backyard, playing twister, or dancing to your favorite holiday tunes... you will never know you are burning off your last meal!

*DON'T TAKE LIFE TOO SERIOUSLY. Life is about enjoying! You know intuitively what your body needs more than anyone else. Embrace the relaxed nature of the holidays and treat yourself a little to some of your festive food favorites. Listening to your body is key! It will tell you when you have had enough to eat if you use the tips I mention in this blog post. Slow down and savor every bite. Eating mindfully means there is no need to feel guilty or battle the bulge after the holidays are over. Decide what you want, own that choice and enjoy! My philosophy is everything in moderation.

Join me for a free 30 phone call to discuss your health, nutrition and wellness goals for 2015! I can guide and support you one step at a time to achieving your wildest dreams! 
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!