Monday, July 21, 2014

Love Your Coffee? Read this... "Top Things To Know Before You Drink Your Cup Of Joe"

Love your morning cup of coffee? I totally get it! The smell, the taste, the ritual... it's like a romantic love affair so many of us have and look forward to each day. As a Certified Health Coach focusing on balance and holistic nutrition, I am not about taking what people LOVE away from them. In my program there is no deprivation or "bad" foods, I simply crowd out these things by adding nutrient dense whole foods. The rest takes care of itself.

So in this blog post today, I am not going to tell you that coffee is bad for you or that you should stop drinking it. I am going to give you some tips to better enjoy it and make your body handle it better.
Here are my top 5 tips for drinking coffee:


1. QUALITY IS EVERYTHING! Try to buy organic and fair trade (or even better direct trade) coffee that is free of chemicals and other harmful sprays, but also treats the hard working coffee farmers fairly.

2. Grind your own coffee beans each morning for maximum freshness, better taste, and enhanced alkalinity. Coffee beans when pre-ground and exposed to the air can easily go rancid which causes a bitter taste and an acidic environment in your body.

3. Before you drink your coffee, drink a tall glass of water upon waking to flush out excess toxins from your body that have leeched out over night (adding freshly squeezed lemon juice will help to further alkalize your body). It's important to eat something nutritious for breakfast such as steel cut oats, a protein smoothie or eggs to coat your stomach, rev up the metabolism and stabilize blood sugar levels. Once you have done this, then the coffee will not be as harsh on your gut, and you will not have such a big spike in the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol that can wreck havoc on your adrenals, causing you to burn out.

4. Stick to one cup a day before noon. Really savor and enjoy it. Black coffee is best to avoid adding further acidic dairy in the diet. If you must have coffee with milk, try coconut or almond milk instead of dairy, and if you really don't like these alternatives, drink black coffee with a little splash of organic full cream milk.

5. Add healthy fats to your coffee to make it more nutritious and create a gentler effect on the body. I love this coffee recipe from Wellness Mama:

Ingredients: 
1 cup organic coffee
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 tsp. grass fed butter or ghee
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Put all ingredients in a blender and mix on high speed for 20 seconds until frothy. Drink immediately and enjoy all the energy!

For personalized coaching with me, email sarah@mybalanceandwellness.com to set up a free call where we will discuss your health goals and develop a plan that will support you in achieving them. Give your health the attention it deserves, discover how to make healthier food and lifestyle choices like these! It's all about ENJOYMENT, moderation and sustainability.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Top 5 Instant Mood Boosters

Feeling overwhelmed, down in the dumps, like a "Negative Nelly" or lacking energy?

Try one of these Top 5 Instant Mood Boosters to turn things around in life and put a smile on your face...

1. Music: it is amazing what music can do to lift your spirits! You be the DJ and choose a genre that will create the type of mood you want to feel. For example, Jack Johnson will make you feel care free, Enya will make you feel relaxed, Beyonce will make you feel empowered, and songs like "Happy" by Pharrell will make you feel "Happy" of course haha! Play what you like and makes you feel good!

2. Go get a massage... seriously when you do you will ask yourself, "Why don't I do this more often." I don't know anyone who has left a soothing massage session in a bad mood. Massages calm your nervous system, ease tension in the body, and any worries you previously had seem to magically fade away.

3. Walk it off! In a stubbornly bad mood? Simply throw on your trainers and get moving baby. Shake your booty, play some tunes, get outside in the sunshine and breathe in lots of fresh air. You will come back on a high and feeling invigorated.

4. Eat 1-2 pieces of high quality dark chocolate (things to look for: at least 70% raw cacao and organic). I feel like a healthy dose of this super food is like a sweet kiss on the lips. Mmm... savor every little bite and experience an instant flood of feel good sensations in your body.

5. Catch up with a spiritual / wise friend for a therapeutic cup of tea or a nourishing green juice. I know in the past when I have felt emotionally deflated this has really helped. I believe we feed off other people's energy, so spending some one-on-one time with someone else who is in a feel good balanced state will naturally fuel your life force and re-charge your spirits.


For personalized nutrition and health coaching with me, simply email sarah@mybalanceandwellness.com or visit www.mybalanceandwelless.com for more information. Allow me to guide and support you in losing weight naturally, prioritizing your health, eating for energy and balancing your life. 

   

Saturday, July 12, 2014

TIME OUT!

I just got back from a 3 day camping trip immersed in nature and boy did I need it. I realized I had been living each day prior on auto pilot, going through the motions of my routine: sleep, work out, work, eat etc. etc. While these things are important aspects of my life, if you don't do them whole heartedly, relishing each precious moment and paying attention to the special little details, then they simply become things to do rather than things that feed your soul. I packed for my camping trip feeling a little depleted spiritually, emotionally and physically, and realized very quickly that I have the choice to turn things up a notch and live a life full of magic. I want to love myself unconditionally and give my health, balance and wellness the attention it deserves... always.



My camping trip with my husband was extremely therapeutic for me in a way that nothing else could be. Recently I have been doing my yoga, going for walks, and relaxing with a good book etc., and while they are helpful tools in lifting my spirits, they didn't quite get to the deeper level that needed some serious TLC.  I needed to get away from it all, switch off from everything, and become one with the simple things in life; surrounded by nature. It didn't take long to feel revived and alive again.

My trip started with a beautiful hike to camp, surrounded by trees, lakes and mountains. We set up our little tent which was home for the next 3 days, ate simple yet delicious camp food, slept under the stars in the fresh lake-side air, soaked up the warmth of the sun in the day time and cooled down with a swim in the lake. I didn't have a care in the world, and I realized I had been in a habitual cycle of sweating the small stuff.  Nature doesn't care how much money you make, about your commitments and busy schedule, for your perceived issues, what happened in your past, what you look like (wow it was so liberating not to have a mirror for 3 days haha), or what time it is... nature just cares that you are one and at peace with yourself and all living things.  



It was so nice to live each day in sync with nature, keeping my Metabolic Clock revved. We woke early with the sunrise to the sound of the birds signing, ate a nourishing breakfast in the gentle morning sunshine to energize the body naturally (without the need for caffeine), went for a morning walk to move the body, and allowed periods of rest by lying lake-side in the sun, listening to the soothing sounds of the water and the cooling breeze. We ate when hungry (3 nourishing meals spaced throughout the day with healthy snacks when needed) and were in bed by sun down, reading our books, ready for a sound nights sleep. We lived with the bare basics: a tent for shelter, a water pump and drink bottles, a mini gas stove to make tea and cook food, essential items of clothing, sun protection and a good book. It was nice to ditch all our creature comforts including a toilet, get a little dirty and rinse off in the lake.



When you are one with nature everything flows naturally: your stress diminishes, your cravings disappear, your body realigns, you sleep well, you get active, you take time to rest, you become more present in the moment, you enjoy the company of others rather than relying on the stimulation of technology, you feel free and you appreciate living simply. Nature put my racing mind to ease, allowed my soul to heal, my spirits to rise and my body to relax. This week back home and at work, I am feeling as light as a feather, focused on nourishing my mind and body, as well as expressing gratitude for every beautiful moment that is life.



Do yourself a favor and get in touch with nature more often. You can also try 1 Week FREE of the life transforming Healthy Life Plan Course which will set you up with the tools you need to live a healthier life. Learn how to eat for your body, empty out emotional weight, feel energized, rev up your metabolism, lose weight naturally and embrace a balanced lifestyle. Contact me for more information or check out The Metabolic Clock website. Remember to select me as your supportive coach when you sign up for the FREE Trail.     

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Natural Sleep Aids

Getting good sleep is like flexing a muscle that you need to strengthen with constant practice and time. Our bodies LOVE routine, so once you establish this during the evenings in a way that allows your mind and body to slow down, sleep should come naturally and effortlessly.


Here are my top ways to get sound sleep every night:

1. Limit technology use after dinner, and instead spend time with the family or do something relaxing for yourself like reading a book or taking a hot bath.

2. Give yourself a gentle massage with some soothing oil or wash away the tension of the day with a hot shower.

3. Do 20 minutes of meditation where you dim the lights, maybe even light some candles, sit in a comfortable position and focus on the breath with your eyes closed. This is a great way to calm the mind, relax the body and get rid of any residual stress from the busy work day.

4. Try to minimize drinking anything before bed. This is a common trigger for waking up with a full bladder during the night and needing to get up for use of the bathroom, stopping some people from getting back to sleep. You also don't want to eat a big meal before bed. If you go to bed at 10pm, 7pm is a good time for a light dinner. If you are genuinely hungry before bed, have a small handful of walnuts or cashews to help stabilize your blood sugar levels and aid sound sleep through the night.

5. Write down thoughts, feelings, ideas or tomorrows "to do list" on a piece of paper so you can refer to it in the morning rather than keeping it on your mind and sabotaging your ability to fall asleep.

6. No caffeine after 12pm... if you must have a cup of coffee, do so in the morning after breakfast and remember to hydrate! Also try to minimize your alcohol consumption in the evenings as this can cause people to snap wide awake during the middle of the night and wake up in the morning feeling drowsy. Sugar is another one to minimize for good sleep.

7. Rather than thinking "I don't sleep well", "I can't sleep", or "It's so hard to sleep", change your thoughts and talk yourself into being a good sleeper by saying "I look forward to sleep, I fall asleep with ease, I sleep well throughout the night and wake up feeling refreshed". Eventually your body will believe you.

8. Numb your senses: make your room really dark by using an eye patch and eliminate any noise by using earplugs. This way you are more likely to fall asleep without distraction or interruption.

9. Schedule time for rest as soon as the sun goes down, this will allow you to embrace a natural cycle of going to sleep with the night sky and waking up to the day light. Ideally 9pm-11pm is the best time to fall asleep. It becomes harder and harder to sleep after midnight and it is important to ensure you get 7-8 hours for optimum functioning throughout the day.

10. Make sure your body knows that the bedroom is for 2 things only: sleep and making love. That way it is trained to fall asleep when you go to bed, rather than thinking about stimulants like your phone, computer, internet, emails or TV. It's also important to keep your bedroom free of clutter, and make it an environment that is peaceful and promotes rest.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's All About Balance & Wellness

This week I was absolutely honored to be featured on two of my favorite blogs: Mind Body Green and Wildsoul. My article on Mind Body Green, "6 Tricks To Boost Your Metabolism" is what I live and breathe on a daily basis to keep my body energized, functioning optimally and balanced. By having a revved metabolism, you are in an efficient energy burring mode, and maintaining your ideal body weight becomes natural and effortless. You really have to treat your body like a temple, as we have all heard many times before, otherwise our busy modern lives can get in the way and push our self care to the sidelines.


My article on Wildsoul called "Delicious Ways To Eat More Greens" came about because there was a time in my life that I didn't eat greens, vegetables or nutrient dense whole foods at all. I grew up on the Standard American Diet but in Australia. This created a ton of health problems in my life from leaky gut, food sensitivities, acne, symptomatic depression, and perioral dermatitis. For years I went to conventional doctors and dermatologists with little if any success. I was given antibiotics, chemical creams, medication, birth control and other "unnatural" bandaids that only temporarily acted on the physical symptoms, not healing the deeper root cause.

Since then I have been on my own personal journey to Balance & Wellness and it is my greatest passion to support others in doing the same. We are all different and this needs to be taken into consideration when deciding what foods are best for our unique body type and what lifestyle factors suit our personal preferences. This is how I tailor my sessions and program to my clients. You can't go from the Standard American Diet to being a Green Juicing Goddess overnight, but you can be shown how to implement healthier alternatives into your daily routine, as well as learning why they are beneficial to your wellness.

With awareness, consistency and time, you will naturally fall into your own groove of doing what makes you feel good! This is where life starts to feel that much easier, you feel that much more radiant and the world seems that much more beautiful. In short, start with one small food, lifestyle or behavioral change and stick to it for one week to see how it impacts you. Once you have this one down, add another empowering change. Rebuilding a healthier, energized and more vibrant you in this way is realistic and sustainable. This week I am going to try to meditate each morning to clear my mind, reduce stress, and set myself up for a balanced day of doing things with ease and flow.

What will you do for you??? Contact me for a FREE Support Session to set yourself up for a feel good journey to your own unique Balance & Wellness.            

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Too busy for exercise during the busy work week? Try these effortless ways to squeeze it in each day!

My husband has a start up software company and being one of 3 founders means he has a massive work load and hectic schedule, sometimes traveling interstate or even internationally during the busy work week. He tries hard to squeeze in a workout but literally there are days when there simply is no extra time. Occasionally when he can spare some time, he has to choose between finally relaxing and catching up on sleep, or heading out for a workout. Tough choice right!

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area I realize that many people are in the same situation: "there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything!" is what I constantly hear my clients say.  They work and then come home to spend quality time with their kids, which often takes priority instead making time for themselves. To resolve this issue I came up with effortless ways to incorporate functional physical activity into their busy work day, try them for yourself:


- Stretch as soon as you get up or do a 15 minute yoga flow at home

- Get a jump rope and hit it hard for as little as 5 to 15 minutes to get your heart rate up and break a slight sweat

- Get your trainers on and jog around the block for 15 minutes

- Strength: work on your core with some sit ups or planks, work on your arms with some push ups and work the legs with some squats

- Play with your kids before and after work in the yard

- Walk the dog in your neighborhood

- Ride your bike to work or if you drive, park a few blocks away and enjoy a brisk walk in

- Always opt for the stairs... every time you do this it adds up and instantly gets your heart rate up

- If you have stairs at home go up and down them a few times while your morning tea or coffee is brewing

- Set up a basic gym at home: jump rope, light weights, a yoga mat... you don't need much and you certainly don't require expensive equipment, just make sure you put what you do have to use in any spare moments that you can utilize

- Always keep your swim suit or runners in the car so if you have time on the way home from work to hit the pool, go to the gym or run in the park, you can!

- Shut off technology and go to bed earlier so you can wake up early to fit in a workout. Set the alarm 1 hour - 15 minutes earlier than you usually would (this will feel easier with consistency and time) to allow time for a morning workout to invigorate you for the busy work day ahead. Hot tip: lay out your workout clothes next to your bed ready to throw them on and go for it.

I help my clients with making healthy lifestyle choices like this all the time. Good health isn't just about nutrition, although it plays a very big role, it is also about heaving a healthy outlook and embracing positive relationships with yourself and others. The key is to find what works for you and embrace that beautiful balance. Contact me for a personalized wellness plan to vibrant living and health. I look forward to working with you!  
 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Taking A Cleanse Even Deeper

Cleansing from the inside is extremely therapeutic for the body, this we all know! Yes it is important to drink lots of water, get your daily green juice in, eat lots of organic vegetables and balance all other high quality whole foods. But why stop here? Lets cleanse from the inside OUT! Think of your space and environment like your gut. And then think of the things in your space and environment like the bacteria in your gut. You want to clean out the bad bacteria so that the good bacteria can thrive. We have all heard of "Spring Cleaning", where once a year we do a major clean up of our homes and throw away the stuff we no longer need! But how about doing a little bit of this "external cleansing" every day of the year so we maintain a happy, healthy and feel good space around us that nourishes our soul.



Here are some tips for you to consider and take action on:

- Kitchen and get rid off all the excess tools, appliances and other crazy gadgets that you never use and are only taking up precious space. Stick to the basics and use the essentials. A high quality chefs knife goes a long way and is the best investment you can make for your kitchen. Other things I can't live without include a good wok for making veggie dense stir-fries, a high quality cast iron pan, a baking dish, a blender, a juicer, a wooden chopping board, a nut milk bag and a few mason jars for storing food for maximum freshness. Did you know I come into peoples homes and help them set up a healthy kitchen full of healthy food choices?

- Food: Get rid of ALL of the packaged and processed foods that no longer serve the healthier you! All you need is real, organic, nutrient dense whole foods such as vegetables, dark leafy greens, fresh herbs, spices, pastured animal proteins, raw nuts, seeds, legumes and gluten free whole grains. Avoid things that coming in toxic plastic and cans. Opt for foods that come in their own natural wrapper such as fresh produce like bananas and avocados. Glass and paper bags are your best choice for eco and health conscious food storage. Let me show you how to plan, shop, prepare and cook nutritious food that tastes delicious!

- Bathroom: what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. No more chemical laden beauty products ladies. It's just not worth it! Try to make your own natural soaps, body scrubs, cleansers, deodorant, toners and moisturizers. If you have a special occasion or an important work meeting, then put on a little mineral makeup for some color. You want to show the world who you are, not constantly cover yourself up under layers of disguise. You will feel so much lighter and your skin will thank you.

- Open up your windows daily and let in some fresh air. If you live in a big city then you can get air filters and purifiers for the home to keep things clean and clear.

- Bedroom: let's be honest, the bedroom is only good for 2 things... sleep and making LOVE! No TV, no laptops, no phones and no clutter. Keep it simple. Candles, massage oil and a speaker for playing mood setting tunes are acceptable ;-)

- Wardrobe: lets be honest, no matter how many clothes you have you only really like a few pieces and tend to favor wearing a few key staples. The rest is excess and will likely never be worn again. Get rid of it and stop buying clothes you don't really need or like! There are plenty of charities that you can donate these goods to.

- Office: this is a really important place NOT to have clutter. Try not to keep any paperwork (save the trees). Take photos of receipts on your phone and store them in an online folder. You can file things safely in programs like Evernote, or organize an online folder system in Dropbox. For any important paper work you may need to keep, have one efficient folder or filing system only. Use an online calendar to stay on track and maintain a balanced schedule of work, home, play, rest and you time. If things are looking super busy, to the point of overwhelm, politely decline some invitations or reschedule for a later date when things aren't so hectic. People will understand and respect that you are taking responsibility for your wellbeing!

- Junk: don't be a hoarder! Get rid of your storage unit (unless you are super active and have a ton of sports gear that you genuinely use on a regular basis). Things that are easy to recycle include: old magazines (get an online subscription) and old books collecting dust. Donate novelty pieces from your childhood or past to museums or special collectors groups. Give your kids used toys to other families in need. By the way, your dvd collection is so 5 years ago, legally download or stream movies online.

Less is best. It's time to let go of the past and be right here in the now. All you need is your health and love.  Collect experiences, not things. Spend your money on organic whole foods that nourish your body and fuel your life force. Not clothes or other flashy items that only feed the ego temporarily and are quickly forgotten about. These things are empty and lifeless. Let yourself shine through acts of love and kindness. People will remember your radiant smile much more than the shoes you were wearing that day.

I can help you get over procrastination, chunk down intimidating tasks and overcome the overwhelm! Contact me for a personalized coaching session to cleanse your body, cleanse your life and boost your vitality!