We’ve made it to the end of the month! Which means, many of us are on our final days of our New Year’s detoxes, cleanses, dry January, etc.
How exciting is that?
I am very much an advocate for doing diet based resets throughout the year. They allow you to give your body a break, as well as yourself! Because technically, when you limit your diet, you also want to focus on slowing down a bit and giving yourself some love.
I just finished a 15 day liver detox myself that included 2 shakes per day. The focus over the course of this detox was lifting the burden off of my liver so that it can rest and re-energize. (If you want to learn more about my particular program, you can click here to shoot me an email).
The shakes, which were used as meal replacements, were packed full of nutrients! This allowed me to eat minimally while still getting in the appropriate nutrients to support my body’s natural detoxifying capabilities.
Now here’s the truth: by day 15, I was completely sick of the flavor of these shakes and so glad to be moving on to more dynamic real food meals!
But what I found was that it didn't take long before I was missing the ease of a so-called “meal in a bottle”!
I know I'm not the only one who is busy and needs a quick meal in liquid form from time to time, so I wanted to talk a little bit about making meal replacement shakes/smoothies that you can use in the long term. Not just during a detox or reset!
Meal replacement shakes certainly have their place, but in certain circumstances, they shouldn't be used. I want to make sure we’re clear on when that is!
On the flip side, they are incredibly convenient and can be a great way to get a ton of nutrients into a small, easy to drink meal.
REAL FOOD SHAKES OVER STORE BOUGHT SHAKES
I’m sure most of you are thinking “oh, I just buy X brand!”. Yes, there are so many brands of pre-packaged meal replacement shakes available on the market. But have you looked at the ingredients?
If I am going to be relying on these more often, I want to know that the ingredients in the shake are just as high quality as the food I put on my plate.
So since I have yet to find the perfect pre-packaged meal replacement drink (maybe it exists? If you found it, please let me know!) I am going to continue buying clean ingredients and making my own.
Yes, I hear you over there shouting “but you can just buy a smoothie at a smoothie shop!”
Of course I can, but again...have you ever looked at the nutrition facts of a fruit smoothie from somewhere like Jamba Juice (or really any place similar to it)?
I agree, they're super tasty! You know why? Because they are overloaded with SUGAR!
For example let's look at their Whirl'd Famous Mango-a-go-go Smoothie: a small (16oz) has 73g of carbohydrate, which includes 63g of sugar!!!!
OMG! That one small drink has over 3x more sugar than the FDA recommends a woman get in an entire day!!!!
And in liquid form which means it's going to hit the bloodstream FAST!
Talk about cutting the entire line and jumping on the blood sugar roller coaster! And just as fast as your blood sugar goes up, it will come shooting down leading you to experience excessive hunger and reaching for MORE SUGAR!
That's not the type of meal replacement smoothie I'm talking about here.
MAKING YOUR OWN NUTRIENT DENSE
Let's explore how to make a balanced smoothie that can act as a meal replacement that is low sugar and perfectly suitable during a REAL FOOD RESET… and beyond!
TIME SAVING TIP
Use small mason jars to pre-measure all of your dry ingredients at the start of the week. If that sounds annoying to you or like it isn’t going to save THAT much time, just try it!
You will be glad you did that prep when throwing your smoothie together at the last minute! Every minute counts when we are trying to get out the door.
THE PROS AND CONS
As with anything in the nutrition world, meal replacement shakes are NOT for everyone!
So let’s go through a few scenarios where meal replacements could be a great idea and then talk about when they might be a bad idea!
If you aren’t sure and want more guidance, let’s get on the phone!
WHEN MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKES MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA
When you have poor digestion. Blending real food into liquid form is a little bit like thoroughly chewing your food, which is always great for digestion!
Especially since so many of us shovel food into our mouths! Smoothies can act like a shortcut for you!
When you are in a hurry. Consuming your meal in 5 minutes is awesome when you don't have time to chew an entire meal like a salad.
That being said, try not to guzzle your smoothie! Drink it slowly so that you don’t overburden your system.
Sure it’s pre-chewed due to blending but can you imagine what your body would feel like if you just ate an avocado, spinach and a banana all at the same time? Yeah, not great!
So don’t slurp it down all in one shot. Take your time with it as much as you can!
When you need to get a lot of nutrients into a small meal. If made properly, you can pack a serious nutrient punch into a smoothie.
Even more exciting, for those of you who aren’t fans of leafy greens, smoothies can be the perfect place to hide them and reap their benefits without having to actually “eat” them!
When you need to get a lot of calories in. This is great for people who need to gain weight.
By adding full fat nut milks, MCT and other healthy fats, along with raw nut butters, you can make a seriously caloric dense meal replacement!
WHEN MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKES AREN'T SUCH
A GOOD IDEA
When you have poor digestion. I know, I just said it was great for that. But the problem with DRINKING your meal is that you aren't chewing your food!
Chewing is a signal to our brain and digestive organs to release digestive enzymes and juices like hydrochloric acid into our stomach to help break the food down.
Without chewing, we get less enzyme release which is problematic for digestion. If you have poor digestion and want to use meal replacement smoothies, consider taking a digestive enzyme complete with your smoothie.
When you are in a hurry. Your body can only properly digest food when your parasympathetic nervous system (aka - rest and digest system) is active!
So just as I mentioned above, while shakes are quick and easy to put together, you still want to drag out the time it takes to drink them so that you don’t hit your system with too much too quickly!
This will allow your digestive system to actually work through the contents of your smoothie.
When you forget that a complete meal includes fiber and fat. Fiber and fat are the 2 most commonly forgotten nutrients in a meal replacement shake.
A complete meal is NOT just carbs and protein (that’s more of a post workout shake, which I will get to below).
If you are going to be making meal replacement shakes, you absolutely have to replace the nutrients you’d normally get in a real food meal so that you do not end up malnourished!
When you are trying to be mindful about eating too much. You can pack A LOT of calories into a smoothie if you aren't careful, so if you are trying to be mindful about caloric intake, pay attention to your ingredients and their quantities.
This is especially important with things like nut butters, avocados, bananas, and even seeds!
When the bulk of your meal replacement shake is mostly processed foods. The idea behind a meal replacement shake is to, well, replace your ACTUAL meal.
This means REAL foods need to make up the bulk of your ingredients. If you do choose to use powdered mixes, pay attention to the ingredients.
My suggestion is to only use those powders that are made from real foods that have been processed into powders.
While this is still technically a “processed food”, it is still okay! If you think of it on a “good-better-best scale”, drinking quality nutrients, even if it includes some not ideal ingredients is GOOD; clean (chemical free) powdered real food is BETTER; and REAL food is BEST!
MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKES VS POST WORKOUT
There is a difference between a meal replacement smoothie and post workout shake to get necessary recovery nutrients in.
Again, if we are truly going to be replacing a meal, we must consider all of the nutrients we would be getting from food and translate those into our smoothie!
However, a post workout refuel shake is different. This is when we typically focus on replenishing lost glycogen and utilizing protein to help build and recover our muscles.
From time to time, I will mix together a post workout shake that is very basic:
30g whole food carbs
I hardly call that a meal replacement because it's lacking a lot of healthy meal necessities like vegetables, fiber and fat.
And that is okay because post workout recovery shakes are considered “snacks” that can be used to provide the appropriate recovery nutrients while knowing you are a few hours away from a real food meal!
MY FAVORITE SMOOTHIE RECIPE (of the moment!)
I wouldn't dare leave you with at least one recipe for inspiration so I am sharing with you my current favorite recipe for meal replacement shakes:
1/2 cup Native Forest Coconut Milk Simple (or another whole fat coconut milk free of guar gum)
1 scoop Designs for Health PurePaleo Protein Unflavored (or another clean protein powder)
1 handful organic greens (spinach, or chard)
2 tbsp raw cocoa powder
1/2 green tipped banana
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp organic Dr. Formulated Brain Health MCT oil (or other organic MCT oil that is mostly C8)
1 tsp beet root powder (or 1/2 cup roasted beets)
Water and ice to desired consistency
Still unsure about this whole approach?
Let’s chat - we can get on a free discovery call to discuss what your goals are and if meal replacement drinks are appropriate for you!
If you follow me, it is likely that you also follow a number of professionals in the health and fitness industry.
You see them on social media and maybe you want what they have: a lean, fast, strong body with low body fat and powerful lean tissue.
The problem I see is that if you have body fat you want to lose and lean tissue you want to gain (aka- lose fat and gain muscle), it’s not effective to go after both at the same time.
I know for a fact that many of those fitness superstars you follow had to cycle their training and nutrition protocols to target specific goals at specific times.
Now I know all of us want everything and want it now but if you want to actually see changes and have them be long lasting you will require a strategy!
And a strategy can only be made if you choose one goal and focus solely on that goal right now. Stop trying to do everything at once because that will put you on the fast track to burnout and failure.
Are you eating and working out to lose body fat?
Or are you eating and working out to gain muscle?
Rather than getting into the weeds about the types of exercise regimens you will be partaking in, we are going to focus strictly on the nutritional side of things (while making some general assumptions that a workout protocol to support your goal is being followed). This is because the eating style is different depending on whether you are aiming for fat loss or muscle gain.
And I am not just saying this for the sake of it but rather this information is coming from experience I’ve had working with athletes in both the strength and endurance worlds!
If you need help with programming the right exercise protocol for you, you can reach out to me for a free :15 minute coaching consultation HERE!
GOAL #1 - LOSE BODY FAT
Assuming your exercise regimen includes more low intensity cardio in the 'fat burning zone' with some HIIT sprinkled in, here is what I recommend: eating a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet.
The reason for this is to get yourself into ketosis!
In case you aren’t familiar with what ketosis is, here’s a short review:
Our body’s primary source of fuel is carbohydrates (ie., glucose). When our body does not receive enough carbohydrates from our diet to turn into glucose, it turns to an alternative source of fuel which is FAT.
The body breaks down fat in order to get glucose from triglycerides. This is a completely normal bodily function.
When the triglycerides are turned into glucose, their by-product is something called ketones, which are built up in the body and can be used by various body tissues as energy.
Since ketosis is a state of burning fat, then following a diet that puts your body in ketosis is a great strategy for burning more fat!
You can make sure you are actually in ketosis by measuring with a ketone meter, like the Keto Mojo.
It’s important to understand that the state of ketosis isn’t guaranteed just because you are following a “low carb, high fat (LCHF) diet”!
You can eat a lower carb, higher fat diet and still be utilizing carbohydrates as your main source of fuel. If this happens, the likelihood of you continuing to store dietary fat as body fat and continuing to burn sugar is likely.
To get into a state of ketosis, there is a strict limit on carbohydrate intake. But this limit can be slightly different from person to person depending on their bioindividual needs and activity levels!
According to Dr Jockers, you need to have three things lined up for yourself in order to get into ketosis:
Eating moderate protein ensures that you aren't losing lean tissue (because NO ONE wants that). It also ensures that protein does not interrupt the process of turning fat into fuel since protein can also be tapped into when glucose stores are low! This is why having something like a DEXA scan can help you know exactly how much protein you should be consuming so you aren’t eating too much or too little .
To start, aim to consume the weight of your lean tissue (in pounds) in grams of protein each day. For example, if you are made up of 100 pounds of lean tissue, you should eat 100g of protein daily.
If you are counting macros, the general guideline to get started with a ketogenic diet is 65-70% good quality fats (from things like avocados, olives, lard from wild or pastured animals, butter from grass fed animals, fish oil, and coconut oil) + 5-10% carbs (from non-starchy vegetables) + 20-25% protein (from organic, pasture raised animals).
Again, these ranges are here because you are different from the next person and you have to find what works for you!
If weighing and measuring food isn't your thing (for most of us it isn't!), then use the 3-2-1 rule for your meals:
3 servings of low starch vegetables + 2 servings of good fat + 1 serving of protein.
(1 serving of veggies = 1 cup or the size of your fist/1 serving of fat = 1 tbsp or size of your thumb/1 serving of protein= the size of the palm of your hand)
It can be incredibly helpful to know your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and basic caloric needs in a day and consume SLIGHTLY lower than that amount.
By slightly, I mean 5-10% less of your caloric needs.
For example, if your RMR is 1,200 calories, and your Garmin or Fitbit show that you burn an additional 1,000 calories per day from movement, your total caloric need to maintain your mass is 2,200 calories.
If you want to lose body fat, consider consuming 2,000 calories per day so you are in a slight deficit. That may equate to just one less snack per day!
If you reduce your caloric intake too much, your body will see this as a stress and lower your metabolic rate to meet the low caloric intake. No one wants to lower their metabolism!
A DEXA scan can be used to calculate your RMR and basic caloric needs but in case you are unable to obtain one there are some formulas out there that you can use (although their accuracy can be questionable).
Check out this article for formulas: Resting Metabolic Rate: Best Ways to Measure IT - and Increase It.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GOING INTO KETOSIS:
This is a tool. Sure, there is nothing wrong with eating this way forever (assuming you are eating clean keto that is mostly plant based), but once you have lost your desired body fat, switching your diet to support others goals is a great idea. This is particularly true for athletes who have different requirements depending on where they are in training.
You need to be all in if you are going to do this. You can't eat a few keto meals, then eat a meal rich in carbs, then go back to eating keto. It won't work. Your body takes a few days to transition to burning fat and if you eat a carb rich meal every few days, you'll never get into ketosis.
The first few days will be hard! You will likely feel fatigued, sluggish and unmotivated. Know that this won't last long and the most important thing you can do during this time is be kind to yourself! Allow yourself a nap if you can. Schedule yourself a massage. Take more gentle walks outside. And by all means, drink enough water with a pinch of sea salt. The dreaded 'keto flu' that so many people talk about/experience during the transition from sugar burning to fat burning is usually a combo of dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
Eating higher fat is helpful at the beginning (sometimes more than 70% of your caloric intake). At the beginning, your body will be using the exogenous fat from your diet to make those ketone bodies that make you feel better. Eventually, if you want to actually burn your own body fat, you need to be mindful of your fat intake from your diet. If you've gotten yourself into ketosis (measurable on a ketone meter) but aren't seeing body fat loss as a result, you might be eating too much fat. Try lowering your fat consumption from your diet closer to 65% and see if that helps (whether you increase carbs or protein depends on different factors so be sure to speak to your coach to make sure you adjust accordingly!)
GOAL #2 - GAINING LEAN TISSUE
Before I jump into the nutritional focus, there are two things you must consider that have been proven to help athletes gain lean tissue:
Once you know these two are in place, then prioritizing protein consumption and eating enough calories will be key to reaching your goal!
First you’ll want to start off by learning what your lean tissue amount currently is. You can do that by getting a DEXA scan done (as you can see, a DEXA scan can give you a lot of helpful information!).
If you want to maintain your lean tissue, you need to consume AT LEAST your body weight of lean tissue in grams each day.
For example, if you have 100 lbs of lean tissue, you need to consume at least 100g of protein per day.
If you want to GAIN lean tissue, you should consider eating 5-10% more protein per day (105-110g in this sample example).
The protein needs to come from complete sources. What I mean by complete is that the source of protein you eat includes each of the essential amino acids your body needs to function at its best.
Animal proteins are ideal, but plant proteins in the right combinations can also create a complete protein profile. You don’t always have to eat plant based protein sources together. Instead focus on consuming a variety throughout your day to ensure you consume each of the essential amino acids.
Here are some of the best sources of food that can help you gain lean muscle mass due to their protein profiles:
Besides protein consumption, if you want to gain lean muscle, you need to make sure you are in a slight caloric surplus. Again, to calculate this you should know what your RMR is! This will provide you with a baseline to work off of.
Why do we need more energy?
Simply put, if you want to GROW lean tissue, you need to have the energy (aka. calories) to do that. If you are in a caloric deficit, your body will choose to burn tissue to obtain the extra calories it requires to meet its needs. Ultimately resulting in a loss of lean tissue!
However, we also want to be careful that we do not overdo it. Our body can only work so fast and if we over consume calories, we can end up storing excess energy as fat without noticing any difference in changes in lean tissue.
WHAT SHOULD I BE EATING?
Now that we have covered HOW you should eat to reach each of your goals, I want to briefly discuss the WHAT!
At the end of the end of the day, the food you fill your calories with MATTERS. Sure, if you stay in caloric deficit eating junk you may still lose weight HOWEVER you will not be getting the appropriate nutrients your body needs to function optimally which means you may not see the gains and experience more fatigue.
Which, as I understand it, is not something you want when you’re aiming to improve your performance!
I also do understand that eating chicken, broccoli, and rice all of the time isn’t exciting so I like to suggest to clients that they follow an 80/20 approach when it comes to their diet.
Keeping in mind that they will still need to hit their required numbers, 80% of intake should focus on consuming whole, nutrient dense, real foods!
These are the foods you find on the perimeter of your supermarket such as veggies, fruits, meats, poultry, nuts, seeds, dairy, and eggs!
The other 20%? That’s leftover to allow you to loosen up a bit and not feel so restricted! It can also help you feel better about some of the “not-so-perfect” fitness supplements out there.
To make your life a little easier, I have decided to provide you with a FREE download that includes my list of FOODS TO EAT and FOODS TO AVOID.
Click here to get yours today and make sure you print it out and hang it on your fridge.
SUMMING IT ALL UP
I get it, most of us want to lose body fat and gain lean tissue at the same time like….yesterday.
But if it is ideal to be in a slight caloric deficit to burn fat and a slight caloric surplus to build lean tissue, you can see how these things don't really work together.
My advice: Pick one, then the other.
Besides, it’s sometimes easier to just focus on one thing at a time.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop lifting if you are trying to lose body fat or stop conditioning if you want to gain muscle. Instead, you are just shifting priorities until you reach one goal and then shifting once more to reach your next goal.
Helping people like you is what I love most so if you are interested in learning more about setting yourself up for success, then do not hesitate to reach out! We can setup a free discovery call to talk about your ambitions and how I can help you achieve them!
There’s an old business adage that says “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”.
Meaning, you can’t expect to know how to improve something unless you track it’s progress (or lack thereof).
It’s sort of like trying to win a game without keeping score.
Now while business managers everywhere use this quote to motivate their employees, it can also be applied to the health and fitness world!
Just think about it. We look at things like blood pressure and cholesterol levels to monitor our heart health as well as reps, time splits, and weight on the bar to measure our performance.
Without these numbers, how would we truly know if we are progressing or regressing?
I plan to spend the first few weeks of this new year sharing some of my favorite tips to making your health and wellness goals a reality in 2020!
And since we are officially 1/2 way through the first month of the new year, most of us are back to our regular routine or trying to form new habits that lead to self-improvement.
I am going to be kicking off talking about why measuring different variables related to your health and body are important to crushing your goals.
First we will discuss why measuring can be helpful! Then I will take you through some of my favorite measuring techniques which include things like food sensitivities, hormone levels, weight, lean tissue, and bone density.
I also am going to touch on when measuring might not be so helpful and providing you with creative alternatives so that you can still be successful in your health and fitness endeavors.
WHY MEASURING CAN BE HELPFUL
I hear a lot of my clients say they aren't going to get any testing done because they know it's going to be bad.
I get it.
Seeing numbers makes your status a reality and sometimes that reality is a harsh one.
But listen up, I see this OVER and OVER and OVER again...when you see the results, even if you are disappointed in them, you will be motivated to change them! Don't avoid testing until you think the results are going to look good.
Getting over the fear of measuring our health and/or body status can be helpful because it is a proactive vs reactive approach to your goals whether they are health, body, or performance oriented!
And at the end of the day, you won’t be able to improve when you don’t know where you are starting from!
Measuring can also be helpful because it goes beyond weight, and our health status is definitely more than our mass! Sure, stepping on the scale is easy and FREE (after purchase of said scale) but the number we see does not give us the full picture!
Using various testing we are able to get deeper and understand more about our actual health status in the moment which will allow us to formulate a plan to move forward with!
Testing or measuring can also be used to make sure we are not over doing it!
This is particularly important for the athletes out there. As an athlete you already have the drive to push your body beyond its comfort zone.
Yes that can make you stronger and faster, if done right.
But it can also lead to burn out and loss of progress!
Regular testing or measuring can help you utilize your rest and recovery periods so that you can train smarter and not necessarily harder than your body is equipped to do so!
SOME OF MY FAVORITE MEASURING AND TESTING OPTIONS
Now that you have an idea of why measuring and testing can be a great idea, let’s talk about a few of my favorite options!
First up is the DEXA Scan.
For everyone, but especially athletes, I am a HUGE fan of DEXA scans. DEXA stands for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The most common reason a DEXA is used is to scan bone density but it is also used to measure other markers such as lean tissue, body fat, visceral fat, resting metabolic rate (RMR), and muscle imbalances.
In fact, it is considered to be a more accurate measurement of body fat percentage than any other option available coming in at an incredibly low 1-2% margin of error.
When you utilize the DEXA, you are better able to understand whether changes in weight are attributed to fat, muscle, or bone!
This can allow you to formulate the best nutrition plan for before, during, or after workouts and competitions/meets/races, etc. It also gives you information to create a workout plan that is tailored to your specific goals whether they are to lose fat, gain muscle, or both .
Many large cities have mobile DEXA trucks that will offer a scan for around $55.
Another of my favorites is at-home blood glucose testing. And yes, again this can be incredible information for athletes!
Blood glucose (aka - blood sugar) imbalances don’t only affect the unfit or obese. It is a problem that many of us so-called “healthy” athletes deal with.
Exercise and training does increase insulin sensitivity, which is a good thing because this means our cells are responding to insulin and allowing glucose in for conversion to energy.
However, it has been shown that despite this fact, athletes actually suffer from hyperglycemia (aka - high blood glucose levels) due to their high energy expenditure which leads to the release of cortisol, which floods our blood with more glucose and puts them at higher risk of metabolic issues like diabetes.
Couple that with the recommendation to eat more carbs in the post workout period and you are setting yourself up for chronic high blood sugar and the issues that come with it!
It is important to note that carbohydrates tolerance differs across individuals so some athletes may be better equipped to handle more carbohydrates than others!
But this just leads me back to my point that using an at-home blood glucose monitor can allow you to see how your blood sugar levels are fluctuating so that you can respond with an appropriate training and nutrition plan!
The last form of testing I want to highlight is salivary hormone testing.
This is one I feel strongly about, especially for women between 30-50 years old.
As all females are aware, we go through a cycle each month where our hormones fluctuate.
These hormones have a direct effect on our energy, hunger, and mood, just to name a few.
Utilizing hormone testing can allow us to check in on whether or not our hormone cycle is normal and the more we know about how our hormones are working, the more we can use that to our athletic performance advantage.
Also, training can negatively impact our hormones if we over do it. Unless you are a professional athlete who relies on high performance to make an income, most of us are training to be healthier!
The last thing you want is to wreck your hormones in the name of fitness. And, unfortunately, too many of us are unknowingly doing this.
If you wanted to, you could get your hormones checked via blood test but those results aren’t able to tell you what portion of your hormones produced are actually being used by your body (aka - unbound or free hormones).
Salivary hormone testing is more comprehensive in that it looks at “free” hormone levels which allows you to better understand what is happening in your body.
The better you understand what your hormones are doing, especially in response to your training frequency and intensity, the better equipped you will be to design the appropriate diet, supplement, and lifestyle plan for yourself!
WHEN MEASURING OR TESTING IS OUT OF REACH
Hopefully at this point you are starting to understand why I feel strongly about using various measuring and testing techniques to help you hit your health and fitness goals and monitor your progress.
But I would be naive to expect everyone out there to have the resources necessary to get the testing done.
While the DEXA scan is relatively affordable, many other options can easily cost you several hundreds of dollars. So even if you are able to get it done once, you may not be able to use it as a monitoring tool over time.
Also, it is important to point out that for some people, measuring body composition may backfire. Instead of empowering you to use the information to change your diet and exercise routine, you may become overly obsessed or tie the numbers to your self-worth!
Although the numbers may be important, they are by no means a measure of your self-worth and so there are other ways to monitor your progress that I am going to share next.
For those of you who want to continuously do self check-ins to monitor your symptoms but do not have the resources necessary to run a blood or saliva test every three months, a Medical Symptom Questionnaire (MSQ) may be your best option.
An MSQ is an objective form that you can complete every 30 days to three months and allows you to get an idea of what your underlying issues may be as well as track improvements you are experiencing.
Despite many of us being aware of how we feel, we often don’t take time to connect the dots and a form like this can do just that for you allowing you to forgo constant blood testing.
(Want your own MSQ? Click here to download! Use this form whenever you want to do a self check-in!)
Keeping a food journal is an enlightening habit, even for those of us who believe we eat healthy!
You don’t know how many clients I have who have said “I have a great diet” and then, after keeping a 3-5 day journal, realize they have more bad habits than they were aware of!
Besides gaining awareness of your own behaviors, you can also learn so much about how your body responds to your diet (both physically and mentally) with a food journal if you make notes of mood, energy, brain fog, etc.
Utilizing a food journal in this way can be a wonderful alternative to frequent food sensitivities testing.
For my female readers, tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) is another inexpensive tool that can help you get more in-sync with your cycle if you are unable to obtain a salivary hormone test.
A fabulous resource to learn more about your cycle is the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. In it you can learn how to track your BBT as well as other signs and symptoms that allow you to learn what your body is doing through each phase of your cycle!
One last option to leave you with is purchasing a fitness tracker such as a fitbit that can monitor your steps, heart rate, and sleep habits! Although this does require an investment, it is a one time cost vs the recurring cost of testing over time to monitor your health and fitness status.
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?
If you’ve gotten to this point and testing is something that interests you, I offer a variety of testing options in my nutrition practice including comprehensive hormone testing, comprehensive blood testing (to look at markers like iron, Vitamin D, and metabolic panels), food sensitivity testing, and organic acid testing (OAT).
I am happy to hop on a FREE discovery call to help you figure out which test would be the best option for you as well as discuss how I can best help you utilize the results so that you can achieve all of your health and fitness goals this year!
Click here to schedule your FREE call today!
Also, stay tuned for other tips on staying committed to your 2020 goals past the first quarter in upcoming blogs!
To get you excited, here are some topics I will be diving into:
If you have other ways of measuring your progress that you want to share with me, leave me a post in the comments. I'd love to hear about them!
Thanks for reading!
Tiana Rockwell is a certified nutritional therapist, avid endurance athlete and dark chocolate lover. She believes that by eating REAL food, we can balance our body and reach optimal health and wellness!