Wow, we are already knee deep into February! It seems as if just yesterday we were celebrating New Year’s Day! I wanted to check in with you to see how your New Year’s resolutions are going? Did you make any? If so, what was the promise you made?
“I’ll give up sugar this year.”
“I’ll do yoga every day.”
“I want to start making more time for me.”
They all sound great, right? Now that we are seven weeks into 2014, do you find yourself saying…
“I haven’t been eating sugar but I did have some cake this week.”
“IF I worked out more, I would feel even better.”
“I CAN’T find enough time for myself since I started this promotion.”
Notice something important? Is it the resolution that isn’t working for you or is it simply how you are looking at it?
It’s amazing how easy it is to tell ourselves what we did wrong, what we failed to do. Yet, how many of us remember what we DID do. You started a new goal, right? Instead of throwing in the towel after your first slip-up, why not tell yourself: “Wow! Two whole weeks without sugar! That felt great! Let’s see how long I can go this time and see if I can avoid that birthday cake next time.” Now having told yourself that, I think the odds of you continuing with that goal rather than just giving up are pretty good, don’t you?
It’s as simple as acknowledging what we DID do rather than just what we didn’t do. These are what I call our WINS. Your wins are all the positive things you are doing to change your habits and lifestyle. And it all starts with the way you are thinking and feeling about them.
So often we end up phrasing things with: “I did accomplish X,Y,Z, BUT I didn’t…” It’s so important in those moments for us to, instead, just make the statement and leave out all the could have, would have, should have’s.
“I exercised yesterday, BUT I didn’t today.” can become:
“I exercised yesterday and I WILL exercise again this week.”
Do you hear the difference? Which one of those sentences actually makes you most likely to work out again? Which one is more empowering?
So…no buts. Period!
Be encouraged by the accomplishments you are making. And most importantly, pay attention to the words you are using when talking about them. The words themselves, even when you are trying to use them positively, can have negative energy. Think about the way you’re saying things from an energetic standpoint. Stick with the positive statement and be aware of the If and But statements – just leave them out of it!
When we beat ourselves up, we drain our energy, lower our immune system and deplete the feel good hormones. That’s when resolutions can be detrimental to your health.
Focus on what you’re actually accomplishing without bringing in the words that will trip you up and prevent you from feeling good about it. So just rate how your self-talk sounds on a scale of 1-10. Say each phrase, first the way you would normally say it and then from a more empowered standpoint. How does it feel? Does it pull your energy down or up? Is it healing or hurting you?
Here’s the other thing, I don’t believe in waiting until January to make “resolutions” or changes. Just decide and set the ball in motion. Decide on one step and do it consistently. If you dropped off from your commitment, recommit. It’s that simple.
Believe me, just as important as acting on that new year’s goal is the way you think about it. So why not make today the first day of the rest of your life?
So what are you doing to accomplish your goals? What language will you use to support yourself? Oh and we’d love to hear from you so don’t forget to share your comments below!
So you’re on vacation and eating out at restaurants every night. Or your family is in town for the holidays and you have to cook for them. Or maybe you were asked to a dinner party. These scenarios can seem like bigger obstacles than they really are. Do you resign yourself to giving up your healthy eating habits to eat “normal people’s” food or do you force those normal people to eat like you?
You want to be healthy, but you can’t stop living your life, right? It’s all about making the best choices for you in that situation. So if it means saying “No” to certain foods when those are the only choices available, then say “No” and see what happens. See how good you feel about yourself the next day. I’m all about making good choices and not beating yourself up. If you do eat something that you know is not a good choice for you, then be in gratitude for that experience and forget about it. DO NOT beat yourself up about it.
So what if you are the odd one out and choose to say “No”? If the majority is eating “normal food”, it can seem like a hard choice to decide what to eat. Below are some tips to help you get past all that.
My first main tip for entertaining is to always make sure that you’re taken care of first and that you have everything that’s healthy and a good choice for you to eat. Please do not make the mistake of eating something that’s going to harm you because you feel badly about telling someone. You can explain that you have a health issue that you are working to resolve and you need to avoid it. If you’re just beginning on this journey, you might want to opt-out of having the actual holiday at your home to take some of the pressure off.
Some examples of things you can try are appetizers like guacamole or hummus with vegetables, maybe even some gluten-free/grain-free crab cakes as a real treat. Then for dinner make a huge beautiful salad and tons of veggies as the main part and center of the meal. You can add a piece of fish or quinoa to go with them. You could even make gluten free pasta if you ‘re not in the health crisis phase.
Second, you can take care of what everybody else will eat. You can order their dishes from a restaurant or deli, someplace that’s not tempting for you. Also don’t order things you love! That will help to make your temptations less tempting. Or you can make more of what you’ll be eating – maybe your company will be open to eating it. I’ve discovered that our families are more and more open to our way of eating. Some are even dealing with different diets as well, including gluten free.
In time, you can get back to creating dishes for others. A perfect example of this was this past Easter when some of Kevin’s family and my family came and stayed for the weekend—16 people! Kevin and I made a whole meal that was gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar free. It included crab cakes, sweat potato burgers, fish, organic Turkey, quinoa, tons of veggies and salads. Once again I made sure to have things that we eat. They all raved about the meal. We announced at the end of the meal that it was gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar free. They never missed it and were amazed. Most people can’t tell the difference!
Third is to eat a lot before the company arrives or before you leave to visit someone else. Having a huge veggie based, vegan, protein smoothie before the doorbell rings is a great way to fill yourself and squash those cravings before they happen.
Fourth, if you’re really tempted, ask yourself, “Is it really worth it?” Is it something that you can have at another time? Another tip is to ask someone else, who is fully supportive of you eating healthy to help you out. Ask them if it’s so fantastic and amazing, a “once in a lifetime”, just can’t miss it treat that you absolutely have to try. It’s very rare that I get a resounding yes. This way you won’t feel like you’re missing out on something, you could always have it at another time. I think you’ll find quickly that there’s not much that you’ll miss. It’s harder in the beginning but I assure you that it gets easier and easier over time. Now, it doesn’t even phase me and I don’t feel the cravings to eat what others are eating!
Fifth, if I’m bringing food to someone else’s house, I still make what I can eat. For example, I’ll always ask if I can bring a salad. Sometimes we make gluten free/grain-free crab cakes or a fish dish (see delicious recipe below).
Sixth, for a quick and even unexpected visitor, you can make gluten free/grain free pasta with homemade sauce that you keep in the freezer with a large salad. Always have lots of salad staples on hand. If you are able to eat meat, you can keep organic, grass fed turkey meatballs in the freezer too. And you know what? Coconut flour and almond flour are great replacements for flour, just adjust quantities as necessary. Coconut sugar can be used sparingly instead of most sugars, providing you are not in a health crisis.
So you see, I no longer have any concerns about entertaining or eating differently from everyone else and I hope these tips help you to do the same.
Remember, we need to make our care the highest priority if we’re going to be healthy enough to take good care of everyone else! Once we do, we can concentrate our energy on entertaining others or being a good guest without feeling lousy or deprived and instead feeling great and fulfilled in the process. Then you can party on and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!
We’d love to hear from you and connect, so please leave your comments below
Can you remember the last time you had a day all to yourself? Between our kids, families, work obligations and now with the holidays, this may be harder than it seems. But think about it. What would you do if you had a day to treat yourself in the best possible way? That’s right, a ME day.
I bet if you gave yourself a ME day, you would make more of an effort to take care of yourself. You would have the time and focus to just concentrate on what you need and treat yourself in the best possible way. When you look at it that way, ME days are more essential than you think! Our bodies, brains and souls need time to rejuvenate and recharge.
What’s stopping you from having one? Is it because you put everyone else first and neglect yourself? Think about how little time it would take if you could catch up on some sleep, cook a good healthy meal for yourself, go for a massage and just relax. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?!
Okay, but there’s no one to watch the kids or you have that deadline at work or your in-laws are visiting. We can get real cranky and even sick if we don’t take that time for ourselves, and that serves no one. One thing I hear again and again from people with health issues and especially cancer is that they are exhausted and most often have been taking care of everyone else and putting themselves last. A million BUTS can come up when instead of saying “I Can’t”, we can simply say “HOW can I”? How can I make time for myself with all these things going on? How much do I deserve a ME day or even a few ME hours? Think of how much more energy and love you will have to give if your tank is full instead of running on empty. Try answering those questions and see how amazed you are with what you CAN come up with!
YOU are just as important as all those other things going on in your life. In fact, you’re health is more important because if you’re sick, NOTHING will get done. One of the most important things I tell my clients is to think about the emergency instructions we receive when we are flying on a commercial airline. “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first”. If you don’t, you may pass out before you have a chance to put it on your child. We have so much more to give, when we have a full tank.
So how would you spend a ME day or even a few ME hours? And how soon can you create that for yourself? Let these questions take priority, because the results are just as essential for everyone’s well-being as taking care of everyone else first.
Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m grateful for…”? There’s so much about that phrase that can be so powerful. What’s interesting is that you can’t be in gratitude and have other emotions at the same time. So for example, if you’re in gratitude, then it pushes away fear. Or if you’re grateful, you can’t be angry at the same time. Amazing how that works, isn’t it?
By being in that place of gratitude, it also raises your energetic vibration and improves your health. And by now, if you know me, I’m always talking about how it’s all about those ‘good vibrations’! Now remember, the important thing to know about gratitude is that it’s not just about saying it, you want to feel the positive feelings of it. So focus on the things you really are grateful for. You don’t want it to be something that brings you a negative feeling.
Often before going to sleep, I write down every ridiculous thing I’m grateful for. I’ve been grateful for toenails because it’s really painful to have someone step on your toe when you don’t have a toenail. Ouch! I’m grateful for emory boards, soap, towels, spoons — you get the picture. It’s important to remember all those little things that we can be grateful for, no matter how silly they may seem at the time. At least it’s raising your vibrations and helping you stay away from negative emotions. Here’s an extra added benefit. When you write down all you’re grateful for before you go to sleep, you’ll have better dreams and wake up feeling better! Worth a try, right?
Since we can all get too busy or tired at the end of a long day to write down all that we’re grateful for, it’s important to have other ways to bring gratefulness into your day. When you do, you’ll start to see really cool things coming into your life. You can do it while driving, when you get frustrated, while grocery shopping, etc. Just paying attention to all the things that we are blessed enough to have at our convenience, things we’re able to experience and the people we have in our lives is a great place start.
In my house, we’ll go around the dinner table and ask each other five questions. First, “What was your favorite part of the day?” Next is, “What are you most grateful for today?” Sometimes just answering these two can go on for 10 minutes with each of us, especially with my girls, my chatterboxes, because they had interesting days. Then we ask, “What is something you love about yourself?” And also, “What is something that you love about someone else?” We then move on to “What’s a good deed or something nice you did for someone else today?” We even do it if my daughters’ friends are eating with us. It always makes for interesting conversations and opens up communication about how we’re feeling.
It’s pretty awesome when you’re the recipient of hearing what someone else loves about you — a gift worth giving and receiving. It will feel good both in your own heart and also make someone else feel good.
That’s just one aspect of gratitude that winds up having a big impact when you do it consistently. The more and more you focus on gratitude, the more wonderful things you attract into your life. So now it’s your turn:
What are you grateful for today?
Are you eating to satisfy more than just your appetite? God knows it’s hard to resist those cravings! But what about when you start letting your emotions take charge over what and how you eat? Like when you grab for chocolate every time you are stressed at work. Or when you are feeling blue and turn to a pint of ice cream to feel better. It’s very easy to do. But is it really comfortable? Maybe it’s time to start rethinking your relationship with food. Here’s the funny thing about comforting yourself with food: It quickly becomes uncomfortable. And it’s not only physical discomforts like weight gain or low energy, but that emotion that triggered the craving will hardly be any more satisfied.
Okay, so what do we do if most, if not all, of our days are so busy that we barely have time to eat, let alone think about how to eat better?! Then add on the emotions we are likely to encounter—anxiety, sadness, anger. It’s no wonder food becomes our escape and a way to feel better about ourselves! It’s easy to think that the real challenge is in changing those habits. But guess what? The real challenge is staying in that all too familiar comfortable relationship with food. Soon you realize what that sense of “comfort” is costing you.
So how can we let go of that emotional need for food? It’s as simple as a choice. We choose to stay where we are. Do you really feel more comfortable once you’ve satisfied that craving? If you have ever done a cleanse, then you already know how incredible it feels to get out of your comfort zone with food. Your physical and emotional energy become completely different once you become unstuck from your food cravings. When we stay in a challenging relationship with food, like with other things, we make it so much bigger and harder than it needs to be. But by simply changing your eating habits, you could benefit from feeding yourself with the foods you really need and find that those emotions that triggered your cravings in the first place are not as demanding as you thought.
It sounds simple, but, believe me, I know how hard it can really seem at times. So let’s take it one step at a time. What about finding a good healthy substitute, like a smoothie when all you want to do is eat a pint of ice cream or maybe kale chips when you’re craving something salty and crunchy instead of a whole bag of potato chips to unwind from work? Maybe find a physical activity to do in order to avoid the craving all together. Once you stop emotionally needing that food in that situation every time, you’ll be surprised how far you can go after that. When you choose those healthy alternatives, you’re going to feel better about yourself and you’ve just taken one more step towards a healthier, more vibrant you. The key is to make that change and see how comfortable it really can be! Like Nike says…Just do it!
Today is the one year anniversary of Steve Jobs’ passing. His death effected me in so many ways. It brought up a lot of emotions about my own mortality, my survival, how I wish I could have helped him with his illness, about living each moment to the fullest and how much time I’ve spent in my life on so many things that, in reality, are not that important. It also had me reflecting on the gifts Steve had to share, his blessing and the impact he’s had on this world. I believe he may be looked upon as the equivalent to Einstein and Mozart because of his genius and the way his gifts impact each and every one of our lives on a daily basis, even after his passing. Apple had a wonderful tribute to Steve on their site today which you can see here.
Because of his passion, Steve never quit even when he was stripped of his most precious creation, Apple. One of the things Steve Jobs exemplified the most is how important it is to focus on our blessings and our passion and in doing so we can change the world.
It reminds me of what I saw yesterday on TV. The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin’s, daughter, Bindi, was being interviewed. She is carrying on his legacy with such grace and beauty. She said that her dad had such passion that he made a difference in the lives of millions. She went on to say that if one man could do that, you can too.
When we discover our life’s purpose and use our passion to fulfill it, our lives are fulfilled and the unimaginable can be achieved. Today, as I think of Steve Jobs, I see the impact that one person can have when they follow their passion and live their life’s purpose. My wish for you today and every day is that you live your life to the fullest and fulfill your purpose and passion. Imagine if we all did.
Top 10 Success Tips to Getting and Staying Healthy
Sometimes we just need a little nudge, the reminder that it’s all about taking that first step. Then it’s about consistency and forgiveness. Here are a few of the things that I’ve found to be so important in starting on any life-changing path. I’ll use the example here for getting healthy, but as you will see, it works for lots of different goals. I can write about each tip forever, but I’m going to keep it short and sweet for now!
1) Decide. First and foremost, you need to choose to do it and then commit rather than saying “someday” I’ll do it. Kind of like my book title Choose to Live. A couple of years ago, when I was challenged by coming up with the title for my book, my new friend, Jill Albani, asked me “What’s the first thing you tell someone when they want to work with you?” I answered, “I tell them they have to Choose to Live”! Simple as that! You have to choose to do it! It was two years ago this week that I pressed “send” and the final version of my book went off to the publisher. Then I jumped in the pool with my clothes on to celebrate!
2) It’s all about taking that first step. Here’s the thing…nothing can change if we don’t do something differently. If something is keeping us from being healthy or happy and we don’t change the way we do things, nothing will change. So just take that first step!
3) Make it manageable. Don’t make it bigger than it is. Set yourself up to win. Break it down into little steps and little wins. If you’re not currently faced with a serious health challenge and you have the luxury of taking little steps, that’s a great way to start. You can look at each aspect of your goal and break it into projects and then steps within the project. Lay it out so that it’s not overwhelming and then choose one thing to start with. The little victories are how you build momentum towards your goal.
4) Set a date and get started – no excuses. I believe in adding new things in before taking things out whenever possible. Nature abhors a vacuum so you are so much more successful when you start adding things in which will ultimately push other things out. Whether it’s adding in a salad, a green juice, more veggies, a smoothie or meditation, it’s all about getting started. After that consistency is the key.
5) Every little bit counts. You may remember this quote from Choose to Live that sums it all up: If you start cleaning yourself out and building your immune system, each thing you do and every time you do it will add time to your life. The first instance will add one minute to your life. The second thing you do might add 5 minutes. Add a different way of helping yourself, and you might add an hour. Be consistent, and before you know it, you’ve added a day, a week, and then a year. Keep going, and you’ve added five years. Next thing you know, you could have a complete shift in your entire biological structure! Every little bit counts and that pretty much sums it up.
6) Support Increases Success. Ask for help and support: a mentor, coach or accountability buddy. You increase your success drastically when you have someone else to support you in being successful. For example, a mentor who can shortcut your learning curve, lessen your “mis”-takes, sidetracks or wrong turns and get you there so much faster. I’ve had mentors for years and I’m a mentor to others on their healing journeys, and I can tell you, the ability to reach goals drastically increases. Another great way to increase your success rate is to have an accountability buddy – you’ll check in on each other daily to make sure you have done what you said you would do to get you closer to your goals. That’s why people have exercise buddies. They have someone else who encourages them, which increases their success. I know I’m much more successful when I’m receiving encouragement and time saving shortcuts. How about you?
7) Celebrate Your Success. It’s soooo important to celebrate your wins. A great way to do this is with a Success Journal. At the end of each day, write down all your successes for the day, and I mean all of them…big and small. A great time to do it is just before you go to sleep. That way, you’re going off to sleep feeling good about what you did get done, rather than thinking about what you didn’t get done. I also celebrate and say “nice job” to myself when I do something as simple as drinking my wheatgrass every morning. Oh, and keep celebrating — every win, every time, everyday!
8) Trust your Intuition. Intuition is way underestimated. We all have it, yes we do, some stronger than others, but nevertheless we all have it. It can be our best friend and strongest guide. If something feels really right, pay attention and keep doing it, if something doesn’t, change it. If you get that little feeling, that little voice in your head saying “this doesn’t feel right”, check in to see if it’s fear, resistance or something else saying, “this isn’t right”!
9) Don’t get it perfect, just get going. Perfectionism can be one of the biggest blocks to hold you back and keep you from reaching your goals. It’s a lifelong lesson for me. You don’t have to worry about getting it “perfect”, after all, there is no “perfect”, especially in the beginning. Just get it going.
10) Forgive. Last but not least…and the second most important, (after Decide) is to forgive yourself. If you mess up, forgive yourself and just pick up where you left off. We can be our own worst enemy or our own best friend. We get to choose!
If you would like to find out more about getting to the root causes of what may be keeping you from having a vibrant healthy life, click below to receive our free download “7 ‘Must Knows’ To Create Your Vibrant Healthy Life” along with your complimentary chapter of Joyce’s #1 bestselling book Choose to Live click here
OMG I’m so embarrassed…my Christmas Tree is still up! Can you believe it?!?! Well, before we get to that, first I wanted to wish you a Happy 2012. Bringing in the New Year is a great time to refocus your energy on ways to heal your body. One of the ways is by providing the body with key beneficial nutrients so that the healing process can occur. Doing this can help add vibrant years to your life. Check out what happened to my Christmas Tree when it received its key nutrients. So check out my latest video with me and my 8 year old to see why I’m talking about a Christmas Tree a month past Christmas!
In love and friendship,
Joyce and Kevin
Nutrients for Healing the Body
Since we’re talking about how important nutrients are in healing the body, I thought I would lay out just a few great food sources for vitamins and minerals and a bunch of other benefits. I ate tons of each of these items when I began my journey to heal myself from cancer as well as chronic fatigue, sinus issues, migraines, daily headaches, IBS and more. I ate most of this raw, whenever possible, in juices and smoothies or lightly steamed to maintain the most nutrients and minerals.
- Asparagus is vegetable which is high in glutathione, one of the most potent anti-carcinogen and anti-oxidants found in the body. It has more glutathione than any other fruit or vegetable. It also contains rutin, which protects small blood vessels from rupturing and may protect against radiation. It’s also a great source of vitamin A, C, E and B complex, potassium and zinc. These are great lightly steamed, seasoned and served with chopped tomatoes and avocado. Soooo filling and soooo delicious.
- Another great vegetable is broccoli*, which contains twice the amount of vitamin C of an orange. It also has almost as much calcium as whole milk. Broccoli contains selenium, which is a mineral that has anti-cancer and anti-viral properties. Broccoli has such important anti-cancer properties that anti-cancer nutraceuticals are made from broccoli seeds. If you don’t like them raw, just lightly steam and toss with garlic or onion powder and some olive oil, takes just a couple of minutes. You can keep the steamed broccoli in the fridge for a couple of days and throw them in your salad!
- Dandelion greens are one of the things I really recommend. If you can get them into your juice, it’s a great way to tolerate them since they can be bitter and are more tolerable in the juice. They are beneficial for digestion and are an anti-viral. They are also used to treat and prevent breast and lung tumors and premenstrual bloating. They’re high in vitamin A and Vitamin C and contain calcium and potassium as well.
- Another great leafy green to try to juice or build into your diet is kale*, which eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system. It’s an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A, C and chlorophyll.
- Then there are onions, which are an excellent antioxidant and contain anti-allergy, antiviral and antihistamine properties. They actually aid in cellular repair.
- Avocados are also awesome in so many ways. They contain 20 vitamins and minerals including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-Vitamins and folic acid. They can be used in place of other fats like mayonnaise and butter. They are also great for making a smoothie creamy. Just put the avocado in first with either a little unsweetened coconut milk or water and then add the avocado. Blend that up first and then add the rest of the ingredients like cucumbers, spinach, a little berries. I throw a half to a whole avocado in all the smoothies I make for my kids, even the fruit smoothies. The kids don’t notice the avocado and it’s providing them with lots of added benefits and making the smoothie creamy. Many people avoid avocados because they have the reputation of being fattening but they are high in mono-saturated fat, which is easily burned for energy, but even with that benefit, pay attention to how many you are eating because they can add on weight if you’re not careful. One a day is usually good.
*A note about cruciferous veggies (like kale, bok choy, collards, broccoli etc): they can suppress your thyroid when eaten raw, so if you have a thyroid issue, you should eat them cooked instead. You’ll lose some of the nutrients but you’ll still get a lot of benefit from them. If you do suspect a thyroid issue, it’s important to work with a holistic professional specializing in the thyroid.
So these are just a few key foods to get you started. Of course, there’s so much more but I thought it would be helpful to see why some of these foods are so beneficial and how easily you can incorporate them into your diet. Mangia!
Wow, where did the time go? I’ve been wondering that a lot lately especially since I you may not have heard from me in a little while. Do you ever ask yourself that? I’m asking myself that all the time. Doesn’t it seem like the time just keeps going by faster and faster as we get older. I’m certainly wondering the same thing when I look at my children. It’s still hard to believe that my baby is growing up. Those of you who have read my book Choose to Live will remember the funny tales about her, my little undercooked purdue chicken. She was just 8 months old when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33 and 3 years old when I was told that there was nothing that could be done to save me. That was 11 years ago this month. In fact it was 11 years ago exactly this week. I still think back to that day and think about how it could have all been so different if I hadn’t said No, you will not tell me my outcome and decided that I was going to find a way to live. So as most of you know, Kevin and I have been cancer free for 11 years and have done all kinds of really cool things since then. It’s also pretty cool that it happens to be breast cancer awareness month. So my beautiful little baby is now 14 and this week in the same week as I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 11 years ago, she had her Confirmation. Wow, there was so much emotion as I sat next to my 87 year old mother in law and I realized just how blessed we both were to be there. It could have all turned out so differently if I had made a different choice back then.
As a family, we place a huge emphasis on “experiences” more so than material things. So when I asked her what she wanted for her confirmation, she said she wanted to go to the hibachi grill with some friends and family to celebrate. We had a great time as they chef chopped and diced and flipped knives and pieces of zucchini through the air and we had to catch them in our mouth. It was a lot of fun, a great experience in so many ways. A question that I get asked a lot is what are your tips for going out to eat? So read on for the article on “must knows” for eating out!
One of the questions I am asked most frequently is “What do you do when you go out to eat?”
Well, first and foremost — I eat!! I know…it’s a little more complicated than that when you want to eat healthy, but it’s a start. I know that it can be challenging when you are out to dinner with friends and family or maybe at a party. You might even dread it or say I’d rather stay home. Trust me I really know, I’ve been there. If you know anything about me or my story you know that prior to being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, my diet was pasta, pizza, candy, ice cream and any other carb I could get my hands on. Oh, and by the way, veggies and salad, I didn’t even know how to make them or order them, so I didn’t! Truth is, I didn’t like them and didn’t want them. Now I LOVE them! I even crave them, and even more importantly I love the way I feel when I eat them. No one is going to say that making changes like this is easy—certainly not me anyway. It was one of the hardest things that I had to do in my life – keeping in mind that I had to go completely 100% cold turkey overnight; I literally did it in a day. Once I did make the changes though, I realized how incredible I felt and that I was making progress in improving my health. When that happened, it gave me more incentive to continue.
So I thought I would throw together a few tips that might help with that little dilemma of what to do when you go out to eat.
1) MINDSET – This is always the most important thing that I focus on when I work with people who are ready, or nudged, to take the plunge to a healthier lifestyle. If you are doing this because you just want to look and feel healthier or because you have a health issue and you feel now is the time to take control of your health. There’s a whole lot more to it, but I figured I would just give you one possibility to help you stay strong. That is…when you are with family and friends, make it about the experience, not the food. Treasure the fact that you have friends and family who want to be with you and hopefully who you want to be with. Next would be…don’t think about this as a forever thing, just look at it as one step at a time, one day at a time. Lastly if you can avoid it, you don’t want to go cold turkey and completely transition your diet and lifestyle in one day and then go out to eat the next day. If you have the flexibility, plan out your success as best you can.
2) TAKE CARE OF YOU! So often we are worried about what people will think, we feel like we are an inconvenience or we are too embarrassed to feel or look different so we don’t do something that is important for us and we don’t ask for what we need. So…ask your friends if they would be willing to try a new healthy restaurant or avoid the ones that you know have your absolute favorite dessert in the whole wide world so that you won’t be tempted. Also, if you know certain things are a real temptation for you ask them if they don’t mind supporting you in not having them brought to the table which leads me to the next tip.
3) EAT FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER – Very often I eat before I go out to eat and I definitely eat a lot before I go to a party. If you are full, you are much less likely to be tempted.
4) REMOVING TEMPTATION – Your willpower is strongest before something is put in front of you, so don’t have it put in front of you! When you call ahead to make a reservation at a restaurant let them know that you have a very special “health related” diet and really need help sticking to it so could they make a note not to bring bread or dessert to the table. Your willpower is strongest here. Next when you arrive at the restaurant before sitting, remind them that you don’t want any bread or dessert brought to the table and don’t sit until they have told the waiter. Your willpower is so much stronger at this point. When you sit, before they bring anything over remind them again. And of course when they are clearing the plates from dinner remind them not to bring over the dessert menu or cart . I understand that if other people are with you, they might want bread but why not ask ahead of time if they can support you in this. Trust me, it really does get easier and easier to have the willpower, especially when you start feeling great!
5) A LITTLE ON THE SIDE – When ordering dinner, confirm what comes with a meal and make sure that they aren’t adding anything extra to the plate like that cream sauce that would put you over the edge.
6) KEEP IT SIMPLE – This was one of the best words of advice I got when I first started on this path. Keep it simple, slow and steady wins the race. Ask the chef to prepare a huge salad as an appetizer with lots of fresh or grilled veggies on it, maybe some olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and even some herbs. Then you can have grilled chicken or fish with no sauces, just lemon and garlic and lightly steamed or grilled veggies on the side. If you are just transitioning, you can even bring your own gluten free wrap if you want to fill yourself up a little more. I always manage to find something on the menu that I can tweak a little and still enjoy.
7) THINK AHEAD – See if they have a menu online, call ahead or pop in a day before and pick out what you know you can eat. If you have to make substitutes then think of those ahead of time, write it down. That way when you get to the restaurant, you don’t even have to continue to be reminded of other options and to be tempted by opening the menu.
8) OH NO! NOT MY FAVORITE! If you are going to a friend’s house, ask them not to make your most favorite highest temptation foods and bring an alternative. There are lots of health food places that make things you can bring.
9) PARTY ON! If you are going to a party, bring something that’s healthy for you and that you love to eat so that you make sure you are taken care of. It helps if it can be something that others will love as well, don’t try something too radical. Something that I always bring to parties is a huge salad with lots of good stuff in it like cut up red, yellow and orange peppers, roasted peppers, some nuts and maybe some sunflower seeds or pepitas. I don’t mix it up ahead of time, I put it all on top of the salad because it looks prettier that way. Then for an additional splash of color you can put some fruit juice sweetened dried cranberries in the center or on the side. You probably don’t want to eat them because of the high sugar content and you don’t have to, but others will be enticed to dig in if they are there. Quinoa is another great side dish that is filling and you can put in your salad to fill you up. Quinoa is great because it is a great replacement for rice and pasta and has many amazing benefits. It is basically tasteless and is great at absorbing the flavors easily of seasonings and sauces.
10) BE EASY ON YOURSELF! If you do slip up, and have something that you know you shouldn’t have, don’t beat yourself up over it. Savor the experience and know that you are making progress and doing better than you ever had before!
Obviously, I’m a big proponent of eating healthy, right? There is so much to share about the topic of “Avoiding Temptations” that I dedicate an entire class to cover this in my Vibrant Life Virtual Intensive.
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I really hope to see you in Dallas and give you a big Texas hug!
Lots of Love,