Let’s talk about Willpower - a widely misunderstood topic.
It’s such a large concept surrounding diet and fitness. People believe they either have it or they don’t. And if they don’t have it, then their lack of willpower is often their reason for not sticking with their plan for healthy eating and exercise.
As a holistic nutritionist, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people tell me they don’t have enough willpower to say no to that mid-afternoon muffin, the treats being passed around at the office or the bowl of chips while watching TV in the evening with the family.
I totally get it. I used to have a really hard time with those things as well and I blamed it on my lack of willpower, because that was what I ‘thought’ was the issue.
Nowadays, I know that if I’m craving something I can take a look at what I ate for breakfast and lunch and often I’ll see that I’ve been eating in a way that set me up for a blood sugar imbalance, and I will then eat something healthy to get me back to where I should be (and yes, there are times that I choose to have something sweet or not-as-healthy, but it’s not because I’m ‘craving it.’ It’s simply because I feel like having it. And yes, there is a difference.)
There is a strong link between your blood sugar and your willpower.
I never used to make the connection and a lot of other people don’t often make the connection either, until I explain it to them. It’s common to think that willpower is something that we’re either born with or not.
There’s so much more to it than that. If you’ve listened to any of my videos or read any of my posts, you’ll know that I talk about blood sugar a lot, and I’ve shared a lot of information about it.
The reason for this is because unstable blood sugar is lurking behind a lot of our health issues, including our ability to make better choices for our health and for weight loss.
Research has now proven that willpower is related to our blood sugar levels and stresses the importance of keeping blood sugar levels stable in order to boost our willpower.
Despite what you have been told, cravings for carbs like sweets, bread and pasta are NOT normal and they could be a symptom of blood sugar imbalances. When you crave carbs it means that your blood sugar levels have dropped.
The truth is, if you team willpower up against blood sugar issues, the willpower loses every time because your will is no match for your hormones and physiology. The only way to stop a craving is to prevent it from happening, something that is easier to do than you might think.
I've got a few helpful tips for you that have really helped me:
Tip #1 - Micronutrients
Sometimes we crave certain foods because we’re lacking micronutrients.
The easiest and most effective way that I’ve found to ensure I’m getting the micronutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidants my body needs (without actually sitting down and eating or juicing 30 different fruits and vegetables every day!) is by taking Juice Plus+ capsules.
These whole-food capsules help me to bridge the gap between what I do eat and what I should be eating every day (and as part of the Children’s Health Study, kids eat free!) If you would like an easy way to get whole-food nutrition in a capsule, so you can bridge the gap in your diet as well, message me HERE.
Tip #2 Blood Sugar Balance
As I mentioned earlier, eating in a way that keeps your blood sugar balanced is of upmost importance when trying to up your willpower. Eating this way has worked so well for me for many years, and I know it can help you too.
If you want to give your willpower a helping hand and get a jump-start on balancing your blood sugar, sign up for my free 5-DAY SUGAR-FREE CHALLENGE.
In the challenge, are easy and practical steps that will help balance your blood sugar, which will boost your willpower and give you back the power over your food and exercise choices, helping you to lose weight and feel better about yourself.
Ready to get started? Just click on the link HERE.
Until next time,
Let me start by saying to everyone of you who feel controlled by food cravings of one type or another - I get it.
I used to feel like my food cravings controlled me, and although I liked sweets, it wasn’t always sugary foods that I craved. It was things like muffins, bagels and pizza. I didn’t realize at the time that those foods actually turn into sugar in the body, so even though they didn’t always necessarily have sugar on the label, they were having the same effect on my body because they were turning into sugar.
My Typical Day
I would usually start my day with what I felt was a pretty healthy cereal (because it said so right on the box - that would definitely mean it was healthy, right?) or maybe some whole wheat toast or a bagel with honey or jam. I would feel pretty good for a bit but then by mid-morning, I was starving and would need a mid morning pick me up a short while later (maybe a muffin from the coffee shop.)
I would then have a sandwich (whole wheat bread with a cheese slice was a favourite for years) or a simple salad for lunch with a lite dressing.
By mid-afternoon, I would crash. Like, wanting to crawl under my desk for a nap type of crash. I had trouble concentrating, felt tired and even moody and needed something to eat to help me feel better. If anyone was passing treats around the office, you bet I would grab one (or two!) and would temporarily feel better again.
This would continue day after day and by the time I picked my son up from daycare it took everything in me to make dinner and clean up so we could spend time together before he went to bed. Usually, by the time I tucked him in to bed I was so tired that I fell asleep with him.
Can anyone else relate to this?
I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong because I thought I was eating healthy enough. I was buying foods that said “light,” “low fat,” “low calorie” or “healthy” on the package because that’s what I had grown up believing. I really was trying to make healthy choices.
Little did I realize, the way I was eating was creating the perfect storm for a blood sugar imbalance.
I was cutting out the very foods that would keep me fuller, longer and instead, focusing on foods that would spike my blood sugar and then crash again shortly afterwards.
The foods that I started my day with at breakfast were setting me up for a blood sugar imbalance all day long - and lunch was no better. No wonder I was exhausted and had out of control cravings by evening!
Since becoming a nutritionist, I’ve learned that almost always, cravings for carbs indicate a blood sugar imbalance. I hadn’t realized that when I was buying foods that were marketed as “diet foods” or “healthy foods” I was missing out on some much-needed nutrients and my body was letting me know by signalling cravings.
Many times when we experience that afternoon energy crash, it’s because of what we ate at breakfast and lunch. When simple carbohydrates are eaten on their own it can quickly satisfy your hunger and give you an energy boost, but both are only temporary, and it leaves you craving more simple carbs when energy drops a few hours later.
And then you’re on a blood-sugar rollercoaster, and the cycle continues over and over. This cycle will ultimately lead to weight gain, as well as a lot of other health issues, because many diseases actually begin with blood sugar issues.
Willpower vs. Blood Sugar
And, if you team willpower up against blood sugar issues, the willpower will lose every time. As I learned firsthand, and is true for you as well, your lack of willpower is not your fault.
Once you eat in a way that balances your blood sugar, you stay fuller, longer and the cravings subside. Your mood is better balanced and you have energy that lasts throughout the day (with energy to spare for a family walk in the evening.)
When I finally started having energy to go for a walk in the evening again, it’s like life started opening back up for me. When I purposefully started eating in a way that would balance my blood sugar, it made all the difference. And, it wasn’t even that hard to do - I just needed to know where the problem lay, so I could do something about it.
The solution is to balance your blood sugar, which as I’ve learned for myself, will go a long way towards getting rid of those cravings and increasing your willpower.
5 Tips To Balance Your Blood Sugar And Overcome Cravings
Let's Do This Together!
Want to tackle your cravings together? Join me for a FREE 5-DAY SUGAR-FREE CHALLENGE! We’re going to run through it together in my private Facebook group “Nutrition And Lifestyle Strategies For Women” starting November 12th (it’s always more fun when we do it together and accountability and support never hurt, right?)
Simply sign up HERE ahead of time, so you’ll have everything you need when we get started on Nov 12th!
Until next time,
It’s Halloween, and you know what that means: sugar, sugar, sugar! Beginning in late summer, stores begin taunting and tantalizing us with prominently displayed festive treats conveniently packaged in small, easy to eat servings. By the time the actual holiday rolls around, we’ve been wading through candy corn and “fun sized” candy bars for months.
All holidays have their peculiar food traditions, but Halloween perhaps wins the prize for being the most focused on candy and other sweet treats as the center of attraction. And no matter how hard you try to avoid it, you will undoubtedly find yourself staring down a confection before all is said and done.
Will you give in?
While one piece of candy won’t make or break your health, few of us stop at just one (I’m guilty of this myself on occasion.) In fact, most of us see Halloween as we see every other festive occasion from Thanksgiving to our neighbor’s cookout: as a perfectly good time to indulge in whichever kind of sweet temptations are presented to us.
But that indulgence takes its toll when it’s done for every holiday and festivity, and is manifesting itself more and more in the current epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes. It is called an epidemic because of the shocking increase in new cases of diabetes. Less than 5% of the population had diabetes in 1990. That figure is now up to 7%: a 40% increase.
Every 21 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Much of the food that you eat is turned into glucose for your body to use as energy. After a meal, your pancreas produces the hormone insulin which helps the glucose, or sugar, move from your bloodstream into the cells in your body where it can be used for energy.
When you have diabetes, your body either does not make enough insulin or it cannot use the insulin that it produces. The result is a buildup of glucose or sugar in the bloodstream.
High levels of blood sugar cause extensive damage in the body such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and even amputations. Adults with diabetes are twice as likely to die early as those without diabetes.
What’s the connection?
The connection between Halloween and Type 2 diabetes is simple: the more sugar you eat, the harder your pancreas has to work to produce insulin and keep your blood sugar within a safe range.
But the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin are the only cells in your body that actually wear out from use. If you overwork them, they will eventually cease to perform in a way that can keep up with the demand.
Your body can also become resistant to the insulin that your pancreas produces. The more resistant your cells become to insulin, the more your pancreas has to make in order to have an effect. When these situations develop, you have Type 2 diabetes.
Also, sugar creates cravings for more sugar! Have you ever noticed that once you have some sugar (even in the form of a cookie or muffin) that you find yourself wanting more later on? This is why sugar is huge when it comes to weight loss as well!
The good news is that Type 2 diabetes is completely preventable. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, you will never have to experience this disease. And if you already have Type 2 diabetes, you can do much to control it naturally.
The best strategy is to keep your weight within normal range, eat a healthy diet full of whole foods and very little sugar, and exercise at least 30 minutes, 5 days per week.
These simple lifestyle changes are the enemies of Type 2 diabetes.
This Halloween, choose future health over present pleasure. Enjoy one or two treats, and then stop. It’s not worth the price you will pay later.
And if you’re like me, your body will tell you the next day that it didn’t like the sugar-overindulgence (along with effects of the artificial colours and flavours!) and you’ll wonder why you did it in the first place.
Wondering how to take back control of your cravings, so sugar is no longer at the steering wheel of your food and snack choices? Join my FREE 5-DAY SUGAR-FREE CHALLENGE and then make sure you're in my NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLE STRATEGIES private Facebook group for women. We'll run through the challenge together there shortly after Halloween!
If you're in, write I'M IN in the comments below!
We’ve been hearing for years that sugar is bad for us and causes weight gain, and that information led to the onset of artificial sweeteners, especially in the diabetes and weight loss industries.
Artificial sweeteners have actually been around for decades (and one in particular since the late 1800’s), with several being banned and then re-introduced again later on.
Before we begin, let’s back up a bit to find out more about how artificial sweeteners even came to be.
Let’s start with sugar.
Why is this toxin so prevalent in our society? Most people aren’t even aware of what they are eating. One third of dietary sugar comes from soft drinks, making soda the #1 dietary source of sugar.
(Please note that when I talk about sugar here, I am referring to refined sugar and the over-abundance of it that is added to our packaged and processed foods, and not naturally occuring sugars in whole foods that actually contain beneficial nutrients.)
The statistics in this blog are based on American data, however for my fellow Canadians, we can anticipate numbers close to these.
Americans average about 55 gallons of soda per year and it takes 30 cups of water to neutralize 1 can of soda.
High fructose corn syrup increased from 0% of American diets in 1966 to 63lbs a year in 2001.
The average American drinks 55 Gallons of Soda per year!
Sugar is in everything and these are just a few examples of things you might not expect it to be in:
Pasta sauces, Lunch meats, Canned foods, Condiments like ketchup & Mayonnaise, Sauces, Salad Dressings, Crackers, Fruit Drinks, Yogurt, Snacks, Breads.
Balancing blood sugar is a primary component of the work I do with my clients and also in my 5-DAY SUGAR-FREE CHALLENGE because blood sugar balance is that important.
For those wanting to lose weight, long-term weight loss will NOT happen if blood sugar is not balanced.
A few facts about sugar:
If sugar is so bad, is there anything worse than sugar?
Why yes, there is.
Introducing Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners have long been positioned as “guilt free” and safe alternatives, causing many people to turn to them. We know now that “safe” and artificial sweeteners do not belong in the same sentence.
The slogan for Splenda is that it is made from sugar so it tastes like sugar. Strictly speaking this statement is true. However, by the time a single sugar molecule is transformed into Splenda it becomes something completely different.
Some serious side effects: gastrointestinal problems, seizures, dizziness, migraines, blurred vision, allergic reactions, blood sugar increases, weight gain, carcinogenic potential when cooking, and Splenda could kill as much as 50 percent of your microbiome.
Here are a few reasons artificial sweeteners negatively impact both your waistline and your health:
1. Artificial sweeteners mess with your brain chemistry and metabolism.
We’re led to believe that because diet soft drinks are calorie free or low-calorie that they’re a good option for our waist size, but the opposite is actually true. Drinking diet soft drinks can make you gain weight because the stimulate your taste buds and trick them to think you’re eating real sugar. Your body becomes confused and revs up the production of insulin, your fat-storage hormone. This causes your metabolism to slow down, which causes you to burn less calories every day. You then become even hungrier and more prone to eating carbs (like pasta and bread). Increased belly fat is the result.
(Fact: Artificial sweeteners can be 1000 times sweeter than sugar!)
2. Artificial sweeteners increase your risk for diabetes.
Studies are showing that sugar substitutes can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and weight gain, among other things.
3. Artificial sweeteners are highly addictive (even more than sugar!)
Artificial sweeteners can become addictive quickly and diet sodas can be really hard to give up. We’ve been midled to thinking they’re guilt-free alternatives to regular soda. The truth is losing weight in NOT all about the calories. Blood sugar imbalance, hormone balance and metabolism have everything to do with weight loss, and artificial sweeteners mess with all three of these.
These sweeteners also alter your food preferences. They’re so incredibly sweet that your palate shifts from being able to enjoy fruits, veggies and whole foods to liking only the super sweet stuff. This is why I help people avoid sugar entirely for the full 5-days in my 5-DAY SUGAR-FREE CHALLENGE, so they can reset their taste buds, so to speak, making it much easier to be satisfied with the taste of real, whole foods again.
So what can we use as a sweetener?
Stevia and xylitol can be used without raising blood sugar. Other natural sweeteners, but that do spike blood sugar and should be used in moderation are honey, dates and maple syrup. These contain beneficial nutrients as well.
In my 5-DAY SUGAR-FREE CHALLENGE, I guide you through the best and worst sweeteners, and show you which sweeteners can be used in moderation after the challenge is over, so you can take back control of your cravings, without giving up all sweets.
Most of us have been on a diet at some point in our lives, hoping to lose the extra weight, so we can feel better about ourselves and like what we see in the mirror.
It’s so tempting to want a quick fix with weight loss because let’s face it, diets are NOT fun! Who would actually WANT to deprive themselves of everything they love?
Fads are everywhere, from magic diet pills to juice detox diets to cutting out whole food groups. People are desperate for that quick fix that will make them feel better quickly.
But are these quick-fix, often-extreme diets effective, and more importantly, what are they doing to our health?
One thing that most nutrition experts agree on, is that the biggest problem with fad diets is that they’re not sustainable. You may be able to survive on way less calories than your body really needs, but the motivation level with all-or-nothing dieting hardly ever lasts for long. And rightfully so.
Also, fad diets can be dangerous. A common result of dieting is slowing down your metabolism because of not eating enough.
And then what happens after you lose your goal weight? Are you going to stay on that fad diet? Of course not! So, guess what happens? That’s right, the weight will creep right back on again and then the whole cycle repeats itself over and over again.
Statistics show that over 90% of people who lose weight gain the weight back again within 5 years, and 95% of those people gain back EVEN MORE.
Also, every time you diet you risk damaging your metabolism, making it even harder to lose weight the next time.
I remember starving myself as a teenager wanting to be as skinny as possible and I ended up looking and feeling pretty unhealthy. My body wasn’t getting the nutrients it needed to run well and I sure felt it!
Your body needs the proper balance of nutrients to function and it needs a steady supply of fuel to run well, and without it, it’ll do whatever it needs to survive.
So in the case of under-nourishing your body, your body is smart and it will hold on to whatever you do eat to protect you, so even when you do exercise or exert energy, your body won’t release the weight that it normally would if you were eating more.
So bottom line, you don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.
Another negative effect of dieting is the increase in anxiety or stress over your food choices. This often comes with all-or-nothing mentality.
Thinking that you’re either on the wagon or off the wagon. The truth is, life happens and you’re not always going to eat perfectly. Christmas parties and family dinners happen, and you’ll choose to indulge a little more on certain occasions. That’s life, and it’s ok.
I personally live by the 90/10 rule, where 90% of the time I’m intentional about eating whole, live foods as close to nature as possible and making sure I eat balanced meals, and I don’t get stressed out about the other 10% of the time or if I’m in a situation where my choices are limited.
A better way, that I’ve seen work time and time again (and which is what I teach!) is to practice patience and putting your effort toward making a lifestyle change, where you develop healthy, sustainable eating habits that are life-long and enjoy life without restrictions or starving yourself.
If you want my help ending the destructive cycle of dieting and discovering how to make a lifestyle change that involves eating in a way that works for everyday life, (without giving up everything you love!), send me an email HERE.
Share this with anyone else who would like to ditch the diets and discover a sustainable way of eating that leads to a slimmer (and healthier!) body.
May Anne xo
Fall is here, and that means that cold and flu season has arrived. Have you ever noticed that some people seldom get sick? Or maybe you have wondered why after being exposed to the same virus, one person gets ill while the other remains well.
I actually haven’t been sick in a few years, but this past weekend, it got me.
If you’ve listened to me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m all about taking care of yourself first because you’re no good to anyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself first. Right? Right. Except that I haven’t really been listening to my own advice lately.
I think it’s that Wonder woman complex - I can do it all and do it well. Not.
Anyways, this past week was crammed full of big events for my business. A Wellness Fair, a Grand Celebration at Peterborough Maximized Living, a local Festival and the launches of both my Online Slim Down Program and the In-Person Slim Down Program - all in one week. Not to mention, hockey season starting up with four days of hockey in a row for my son.
It all makes sense now why I would get hit hard with the flu this past Sunday - right in the middle of the Purple Onion Festival. I’m talking fever, chills, aches & pains. Nasty. I left my booth half an hour early and came home and crashed in my bed.
Thankfully, the worst of it was over within 24 hours and now it’s just working it’s way out of my body.
The awesome thing though, is that years ago this same flu would have wiped me out for at least a week and has even turned into both pneumonia and bronchitis at the same time in the past, with a lingering cough and feeling lousy for a good 3 weeks.
Now, two days later I feel a lot better (I sound like I have a not-so-sexy telephone voice, but I feel tons better.)
So, what does make the difference between someone getting sick and someone not getting sick, or how badly the sickness affects them when they do get sick?
I’m going to share my two cents worth and get a little bit science-y here for a minute….
The reason lies in the strength of the immune system. And the strength of your immune system is largely dependent upon the condition of your digestive system (ongoing STRESS is one way of letting your guard down with your immune system.)
When you are exposed to bad bacteria or viruses, it is up to your immune system to protect you from being infected. If your immune system is strong, your body will fight off the threat. If your immune system is weak or compromised, you may end up sick.
Microbes: the good, the bad, and the ugly
Inside your digestive system are many microbes. Microbes are live organisms that affect your overall health.
Some of these organisms are beneficial and protect you from disease. These good bacteria recognize when illness-producing intruders enter your body; they promptly attack the intruders so you do not get sick.
If you do not have enough good bacteria in your gut, you will be more susceptible not only to infections such as colds and stomach flu, but you will also be at risk for autoimmune diseases such as colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and Chron’s disease.
Ideally you have a large supply of these good microbes living in your gut. But they can easily become depleted. If you have recently taken antibiotics, you have had not only the bad bacteria wiped out, but also the good bacteria. Antibiotics are not selective in their destruction.
Antibiotics are not the only way that good bacteria become depleted in your digestive system. The chlorine in your drinking water can destroy them, as can the pesticide residue on the food that you eat.
Once the supply of beneficial microbes in your intestines dwindles, bad microbes such as yeast, fungi and disease-causing bacteria begin to take up residence. When the scale tips in favor of the bad, your immune system becomes compromised.
If you think you might be deficient in good microbes, it is not difficult to remedy the problem. The solution is to take probiotics. Probiotics are good microbes that you can consume in your diet.
They then settle in your digestive system and get to work protecting you from illness and destroying the bad bacteria that may be living there.
Probiotics are available in capsule form, but you can also replenish the good microbes by eating the right kind of yogourt and other foods that contain good microbes (like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir.) Check the label on the yogurt that you buy to make sure it says that it contains active cultures—those are the good bacteria that you need to eat. You also want to make sure it has a low sugar content, otherwise you’re defeating the purpose. Sugar feeds the BAD bacteria.
Take action now and get a head start on this year’s cold and flu season. You can get ahead of the game by improving your gut function and fighting illness.
As I’ve talked about before, you want to be very choosy when buying your supplements because they are NOT all created equal and if you’re not careful, you’ll basically be flushing your money down the toilet because you’re body won’t be able to absorb the benefits due to binders and fillers from poorly made products.
(As part of my healthy community, you have access to practitioner-grade, safe supplements delivered straight to your door, at special pricing through FULLSCRIPT. Simply click on the image below, create an account and search for products or click on "My Dispensary" on the left for my personal favourites.)
MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE BRAND OF PROBIOTICS:
Genestra HMF (you can find them HERE under “My Dispensary”)
MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE SUPPLEMENTS FOR BOOSTING MY OVERALL IMMUNE SYSTEM ARE:
Vitamin D3 by Pure Encapsulations
Oil of Oregano by CanPrev
Juice Plus 3-blend capsules (kids eat FREE! Let me know if you're interested and I'll set you up.)
Now, as I mentioned above, sugar feeds the bad bacteria. I also know how hard it is to reduce the amount of processed sugar in your diet, because sugar is added to almost EVERYTHING. Even things we wouldn't think it's been added to (read your labels!)
Remember, anything made with white flour TURNS INTO sugar in the body (breads, bagels, muffins, pasta, crackers, cookies, etc.)
Sugar addictions are at an all-time high and because of this and we can get stuck in a vicious cycle very easily of consuming sugar and feeling good, then the resulting energy crash which leads to reaching for more sugar.
I've been through this myself and am now helping others to take back control of their willpower by crushing their cravings for sugars, carbs, caffeine and alcohol (all of which feed the BAD bacteria.)
Grab my FREE 5-DAY SUGAR-FREE CHALLENGE HERE.
Let me know in the comments what you're doing to boost your immune system this Fall!
Until next time,
May Anne xo
As soon as people enter the diet world, they’re usually taught the simplistic notion that input versus output is the key to weight loss. That basically, you must burn off more than you eat.
Sounds reasonable enough, right?
I’ve met a lot of women like this, and in all honesty, I believed this myself for years and spent most of my grade 11 year nibbling on bits of lettuce and hardly anything else.
The problem with most diets out there is that they result in people being half-starved with metabolisms crawling along at a snail’s pace.
So now, this notion of eating less and doing more doesn’t apply. In fact, it’s this concept that has put so many people in this situation in the first place.
They’re denying their bodies the calories and nutrients they need in an effort to shed those pounds and not only does it not usually work, at least, not long-term, they’re often hungry, tired and irritable in the process.
You see, studies show that the vast majority of people (mostly women) who lose weight on a diet gain it all back within 5 years. This is why the diet industry alone is worth BILLIONS. If it actually worked, there would be no money in it.
So what does work? Learning how to actually eat, so you can tune out the massive dieting industry and stop buying into diets, pills and potions and start actually feeling good and enjoying food again!
I want to help you understand how this works.
Continued calorie-restricting causes your metabolic rate to slooooow down. The metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories for energy.
When you’re in an extended state of calorie-restriction, your body goes into survival mode and stores incoming calories (since it thinks it’s starving and wants to save every last calorie for survival, instead of using up your fuel for all your bodily functions.)
This is a lose-lose situation.
When we’re under prolonged calorie restriction, many basic biological functions also slow or shut down, and we end up with compromised immune function, and that can lead to not being able to fight off infections and viruses, or being able to filter toxins from the body, and low energy.
I get it. We believe this is the way to go because they’ve seen so many other people do it. But it never lasts and it’s not sustainable!
This concept is so widespread, yet it’s dangerous. If you continue with cutting calories, then you are causing more damage to your body.
In other words, the more you ‘diet’ the more damage you are doing to your body and it will get harder and harder to lose weight the more you do it.
Having the knowledge, or the tools as I like to call them, about the right way to eat means you can avoid “dieting” and all the negative aspects that go along with it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a happy person on a diet!
Once you understand the powerful effect food has on the body it can help you reach your goals without dangerously cutting calories.
You won't be able to lose weight long-term without these things:
So remember, cutting calories is not the answer to long-term weight loss.
Ready to ditch the dieting, restrictions and rabbit food and instead lose weight while becoming healthier AND feel amazing? Awesome. Send me a message here.
May Anne xo
Well it’s officially Back to School time, and with that brings the challenge of making lunches!
As moms, we want to provide our children with not only nourishing lunches, but lunches they will actually eat, and because we’re busy moms, lunches that also don’t take up a ton of time!!
As a mom and Nutritionist I know the struggles families face when it comes to packing healthy meals for school!
I know how hard it is when you pack healthy snacks for your child, only to see them come back home again in the lunch box - untouched. One year, my son likes cut up green peppers, the next year he suddenly doesn’t like them anymore - What??
A big concern of mine is the amount of processed foods that make their way into kids lunch boxes.
Now, my sons lunches are never perfect, and yes we do purchase certain granola bars and the occasional treats, BUT what I am talking about is when the majority of a child’s lunch comes from pre-packaged foods that are full of preservatives, colouring and flavourings.
These chemicals will not help your children focus, and are setting them up for cravings for these types of food, AND will also impede their choices for real, whole food.
To help them focus, they need stable blood sugar and real, whole foods to fuel their brain. This is where WHAT we pack for their lunches comes into play. Now, before you throw your hands up in despair, thinking that your picky eater would never eat what I’m suggesting, hold tight - I’ve got your back with this one!! Here’s the thing, picky eaters usually aren’t born that way - it has a lot to do with the flavour enhancers, sugars, and chemicals that our children’s processed foods are loaded with, not the whole foods!
Children’s foods are so loaded with chemicals and sugars, their body’s start to expect the chemical reaction and intense taste every time they eat something. If the food you are providing them does not offer that chemical/sugar reaction, then it often ends up on the NO list! But hang tight - there is a way to help re-wire them!
The challenge is to eliminate the processed options and work with your children on what they DO want in their lunches without offering the flavoured and food-colouring foods. This brings me to Tip #1!
TIP #1 Create a Lunch Box Plan, and let them choose!
This is the first step. The old is not an option anymore, so you will need a lunch box ideas chart to help them choose the items they want in their lunches. Either use this form (above), or if you are a Pinterest mom, sit down with your children and scroll through healthy lunch ideas and make a list! This list will be one of your most valuable healthy eating tools!
If you were to work with me one on one for your own personal health goals, I would help you choose foods that you like, in order to help you eat the right foods. The same thing needs to happen in your home around your children’s lunches. Having a plan makes you way more likely to stick to it. It also makes planning for your week way easier when you have the right foods available!! Gone will be the processed foods that can decrease their ability to focus, and offer ZERO nutritional value!
Not only do Zero Nutrition value foods NOT give your child the nutrients they need, but they actually ROB your child’s body of its stored nutrients in order for these processed foods to be broken down and eliminated. This sets your child up for catching every sickness going around the classroom!
TIP #2 Plan Your Shopping.
This is just as important as number one, and should be based on the healthy lunch choices each week. The trick is to create routine around what day you grocery shop. After you’ve planned your healthy menu, do your weekly shopping. It helps to do this on the same day each week. Don’t worry about getting it perfect! The moment you start planning for healthier and less processed meals and snacks, and shop for those particular foods, the sooner your entire family will start eating more of the right foods!
TIP #3 Do weekly Prep.
I know you feel that you don’t have time for this, but doing this will ultimately create more time for you! This is the step most families miss, and it’s really the one that determines if your child is getting a lunch full of pre-packaged food, or a healthy lunch!
I get it, the BIGGEST challenge I see in most families when it comes to healthy eating is a total lack of time. That's why so many families are eating WAAAAAY too much processed foods - because it’s easier.
But, in my opinion that is a huge contributor to why we have so many issues with attention deficit disorders, immune and gut health issues, and even diseases and illnesses that have become so prevalent since the onset of convenience foods.
FOOD IS THE FUEL FOR YOUR BODY, JUST LIKE GASOLINE IS THE FUEL FOR YOUR CAR. Everything you put into your body determines how it will function.
Once we’ve planned for the right foods and shopped for the right foods, the final step is to prep the right foods. I suggest a non-negotiable weekly time slot for prep time.
Create a routine around getting your children’s healthy lunch set up for the week, which WILL reduce stress and time in helping them eat the right foods!
Taking one hour per week will make the rest of your week run soooo much more smoothly! AND you’ll be instilling the importance of nutrition into your children, which I can’t even begin to describe the life-long benefit that will have for them!
I can’t tell you how many clients I see that are suffering from poor health and/or from being overweight, because they are eating the same way they learned to eat as children. Now, they’re forced to change the way they eat due to health concerns, and they’re finding it incredibly hard to change those habits. Make the changes now while you can!
So what will you be prepping?
Here are my favourite foods to prep for healthy lunches:
I know, this is a lot of information! Revisit the steps above as needed and make a commitment to get started right away. If you’re anything like me, you can’t put it off - otherwise it will just sit on the ‘good intentions’ shelf and never actually get done.
Make a list of healthy options your children want in their lunch, plan your lunch menu each week, shop for the items you need, and set aside 60 minutes a week to get your prep done. I promise you, you will be so proud of the healthy lunches you are sending your children to school with, and if they’re helping, they will be proud too!
Based on the responses of more than 150,000 families in the Juice Plus+ Children’s Health Study, taking Juice Plus+ has far-reaching effects on the health and well-being of children.
After only one year, parents reported:
Ask me how your children can be a part of the Children’s Health Study!
As a Nutritionist I highly recommend Juice Plus+ for families, as it is a whole food based supplement made entirely from juiced fruits and vegetables!
The Children’s capsules contain only concentrated whole food powders without the sugar! Juice Plus+ is not a replacement for healthy dietary choices but helps families bridge the gap between what they are eating and what they should be eating. https://mayjordens-laflamme.canada.juiceplus.com/
Need some support? Connect with me HERE and we'll set up a time for a phone call or Skype!
Until next time!
May Anne xo
September is National Fruits and Veggies—More Matters Month!
We all know we should eat our fruits and veggies - I’m mean, we’ve been told that since we were little, right?
How many of you weren’t allowed to leave the table until you had eaten the last of your peas and carrots? I know it wasn’t just me!
Surprisingly though, I’ve had many a client tell me that although they might eat some fruit once in awhile, they either don’t eat any veggies or they only have a few servings per week!
What they don’t realize is that they’re missing out on the amazing disease prevention benefits of these superfoods, which are responsible for warding off everything from cancer to heart disease, and so much more!
Aside from the long-term benefits, loading up on fruits and veggies can also have immediate benefits to your health and well-being!
That’s why you don’t want to forget about these superfoods!
Here are three ways fruits and vegetables can help you enjoy better health and well-being today (shared from Juice Plus):
Despite all the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, more than 90 percent of American kids and adults don’t eat the recommended amount.
An easy way to stay on track is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack. You’ll want to limit juice, because it lacks the fiber found in whole fruits and vegetables.
Now, even as a nutritionist, I know I don't getting the recommended 13 servings a day as hard as I try, nor do I get the wide variety, so my family and I take Juice Plus.
It makes sense for me because I can rest assured that we are getting 30 servings of whole food, chemical free fruits and vegetables in a wide variety every day in capsule form. It’s super easy and my son is free (all kids are!)
If you also struggle to get the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich, phytonutrient-rich fruits and veggies, click HERE (your child is free!!)
Now, as busy mom and wife, I know how hard it is to eat healthy on the go. We're busy all day at work and then have to rush home, grab a quick snack and rush off to soccer or hockey practice with our kids.
If this is you too, and you struggle to make healthy choices when you're strapped for time, grab a copy of my HEALTHY EATING ON THE GO Guide for FREE right HERE.
Until next time,
May Anne xo
Admittedly, I used to have a love/hate relationship with exercise, but I’ve actually come to enjoy it now and that is because I choose to do exercises that I enjoy, and I leave the rest.
(Don't feel like reading? No worries - just watch the video above!)
Really, a lot of my exercise comes from daily movement and isn’t just for the sole purpose of working out.
By that I mean, I take my son to the park and we play baseball or soccer, I go for family hikes, I take my dog out for walks, and I even make my house cleaning into a workout! (Can you picture me doing squats as I clean the shower walls?)
Some of my body movements are from actual intentional exercise but a lot of it is from just being intentional about getting my body moving with things I enjoy!
It’s important to understand WHY exercise is an essential component of healthy living or weight loss program, and HOW it will increase its effectiveness by helping you to tone up, strengthen your bones and speed up your metabolism, which will help you to lose weight more quickly.
While 80% of weight loss is what we eat, exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and plays a really important role in weight loss as well.
Benefits of Exercise:
You don’t have to join a gym or buy fancy equipment. Incorporating movement into your daily living is easier and less complicated than you might think.
Getting your body moving four to five days per week for at least 30 minutes will do wonders.
As I mentioned earlier, finding something you enjoy is key. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it. You can start small and gradually increase the time and intensity.
The picture below features one of my absolute favourite ways to get my body moving - hiking in nature with my family (this was during our summer vacation in Gaspe, Quebec last month.)
When I hike, I get it all - fresh air, sunshine, exercise, nature AND time with my family - Bonus!
Here are some other great ideas:
The main thing is to find something you enjoy – so you stick with it!
You also want to choose some weight-bearing exercises to strengthen your bones. A benefit to this is lean muscle mass speeds up your metabolism, which helps with weight loss.
Even after your workout is over, you’ll continue to burn calories because of the increase in muscle.
If you’re worried about looking bulky – don’t. Basically, if you can lift the weight you’re using 10 times in a row, you’re only going to tone your muscles and not bulk up.
Here’s your ACTION TASK: Choose an activity (or more than one) from the list above, or use your own ideas, and get your body moving 2 days this week. You’re going to gradually increase that to at least 4 days/week.
If you’re like me, you’ll need to schedule it in your agenda, and give it the same level of importance (or higher!) as paying the bills.
Whenever we do something for ourselves, for some reason, it’s the first thing that gets set aside when anything seemingly more important comes up. Do you see this happening in your life? If so, make sure you read this blog post about why it's essential to put yourself on your to-do list.
So, expect that to happen and when you see that happening, take note of it, and make sure you rearrange your schedule so that exercise and the time needed to prepare your foods is a priority.
You’re worth it and when you take the time to take care of yourself everyone around you benefits.
When you feel better about yourself and you’re giving your body and mind what they need physically, emotionally and nutritionally, others are going to notice a shift in your mood and your attitude and it’s going to affect your relationships for the better.
After you watch this video (or read this post), I want you to share in the comments below what exercises you’re choosing to get your body moving this week!
Until next time,
May Anne xo
May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.