Unplugged

7 Tips for When You Feel Like You’ve Hit a Plateau

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Very often when we work on losing weight or when we exercise or even when we begin a new daily good habit we start out well and we feel energized by our success. Too soon after we are in the groove of our newly adopted habits and feeling good, we notice less change happening. We have hit a plateau.
A plateau is the leveling out of our uphill climb, it’s a slow-down of our efforts and sometimes it’s our body “getting used to” the change of diet, exercise or mental efforts. This plateau can work for you or against you – just know how to use it for your benefit.
  1. When you began making changes, your body responded. When you change things up in your diet, exercise and emotional reactions, your body senses change and responds. When you feel like you’ve reached a place where positive changes are less significant, make another change and watch your body respond again.
  2. In relation to dietary changes, keep an eye on your portion sizes and servings. You don’t need to measure and weigh your food if you learn approximate serving sizes by simply eyeballing it. Basically ½ cup or palm-sized for whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, barley, bulgur, oats, etc.), 1 cup of vegetables or 2 handfuls and remember more veggies are healthy when you leave out sauces, dressings and butter – or at least go very light on them.
  3. Choose good quality foods. When you eat higher quality foods and eat slowly, you feel more satisfied. Also, don’t feel like you have to clean your plate. If you’re satisfied before you’re finished, save it! Use leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Eat lean, quality proteins.
  4. Drink more water! Many of us do not get even half the amount of daily water needs. Your body will hold onto water when you’re not drinking enough because it needs water to function properly. When you drink enough water, you flush toxins and waste out of your body which leads to less water weight, less stored sludge. Add lemon and help balance your body’s pH. It’s okay to drink herbal teas too. Drink up!
  5. Remember that when you lose weight and exercise more, your body doesn’t necessarily need the same amount of calories it needed before. Exercise energizes your metabolism so the need for food energy isn’t necessary. Also, the less weight you carry, the less energy you need to carry it. Consciously cut back and see if that helps renew your success.
  6. Get enough sleep and down time. Go to bed earlier, begin a bedtime habit of unwinding meditative breaths, find quiet time – at least 5-10 minutes once a day to just close your eyes, breathe and let thoughts go. Make a habit of time for emotional unwinding every day. Learn how to meditate to re-center yourself.
  7. Never give up. Just because you feel that you cannot lose any more weight, or make any more physical or mental changes, it doesn’t mean changes won’t continue to happen. As you get closer to your goal, things slow down, they don’t stop unless you stop. Don’t give up. Change it up instead!
Patience and self-love are important qualities to have. If you want something badly enough, you will find a way to make it happen. Be that change you want. Live as though your life depends on it because it does!
Questions? Send me an email here.
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Clean Space

Tidying your space will help you ease your chaotic mind. Clutter is a distraction to our minds, it’s more difficult to process clearly when there is too much in the way. Cleaning isn’t usually at the top of everyone’s list but the benefits post-cleaning brings is well worth your time and efforts.

Take a month to work on a few areas of your home.

Work on thinning out your closet by bagging and donating clothes you haven’t worn in a year or more. Go through your shoes and other accessories too.

Clean your kitchen cabinets out – eliminate outdated foods, unused storage containers, and rearrange your canned goods, condiments and dry goods so they are in view and easy to reach; this will also make you aware of what you need to buy and what you have plenty of.

Clean out your purse, wallet and pockets. Do this often.

Organize your bills – have files to store each month’s bills and payments. Keep your stuff together. Clean out your paperwork areas filing or tossing old mail, bills, and the like.

Organize your spending. Limit impulse buys and catch up on your credit card balances. Put on the mindset that you have all you need and believe it.

Happiness comes from within. A calm mind comes from calm surroundings and balanced living.

To your physical and emotional wellness

~Dawn
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Set Daily Intentions ~ Don’t Give Up!

set-daily-intentionsOne of my best tips is to set your intention daily. If you set your intention saying it out loud and/or writing it, first thing in the morning every day, you’re more likely to follow through.

You start out setting your intention, feeling positive about it and ready to end old bad habits and begin new good habits. An hour or two pass by and you find yourself heading for the snack table, the smoking area, playing around on social media or whatever thing fits your intention sabotage(r). You feel like you’ve failed early on and you give up until tomorrow. You feel like you can’t do it, you label yourself as a failure and you feel slightly self-loathing. Stop. All of that negativity is unnecessary.

When you set your intention and fail to follow through perfectly it only means that you’re human. Phew! No worries and no giving up. When you give in, you haven’t yet succeeded but you haven’t yet failed either. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, look yourself straight in the eye (in a mirror or other reflection of course) and say, “nice try, now let’s try again”!

Set an intention every morning, say it, write it, believe it and work on it all day long. If you trip, begin again. Forgive yourself for slipping up, remind yourself of your intention, and take a redo. As long as you keep working toward your goal – working on things you want to change and never give up, you can succeed.

Whatever your intentions might be, they are important enough to work on achieving success with them.

Never give up on yourself.

Unplugged

Hitting a Brick Wall

20170123_153907You look in the mirror and  you don’t see yourself anymore. You see a stranger who needs help. She/he is a mess, they’re overweight, underweight, they look tired, bloated, dulled complexion, sad, lost, and defeated.

Sometimes it takes hitting a brick wall in the hypothetical sense in order for us to make changes. We get to a point where we just can’t take it anymore, we get sad, mad, then determined and that determination can drive us back to the person we know and love.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of new fads, a different way of thinking every two weeks, or the latest train of thought in someone else’s opinion of what is good for the body such as gluten-free living, Paleo dieting, raw foods diet, vegan, vegetarian, supplemental dieting, etc. etc. etc. – the storm of latest-greatest just keeps flowing until POP! You feel like you hit a brick wall and you’re feeling overwhelmed. You might hit so hard that it throws you backward onto your butt leaving you staring at the blank wall, speechless. My suggestion is to thank that brick wall for stopping you in your tracks giving you time to re-assess your situation and intentions and to decide if you want to continue or to change course.

Each of us is different and that is a beautiful thing. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next and I know that it’s absolute truth. Step back, take a deep breath and reset your goal. When you are at a complete stop and want to make changes in your life is when you will be able to find what works for you best. Make a move to whole foods as often as possible. Let go of your past  since it no longer matters and it doesn’t serve you. Change your focus to those things and people that do spark your energy. Freedom is a clean start!

I would LOVE to help you reach your ultimate-self. It doesn’t matter how far away you are, we can work together from any distance.

  • Want to know what foods help you best?
  • Want to process and discard any past pain?
  • Want to find out what lifestyle improvements fit you?

Let me know why you’re fed up, what you would like to change, what is holding you back or anything else that;s on your mind; begin your change now…why wait? Email me, it’s always confidential.

Unplugged

Resistance – Breaking the Bond

I’ve heard it said, ‘what you resist persists’. I believe that to be true. I’ve seen it in others and I’ve experienced it myself. Like waves on the shoreline, they persist to reach you.20161016_111121

How often have you searched for an answer to something or direction in your life’s path and felt your subconscious knew the answer but you resisted or just didn’t see it? Sometimes we can search so hard for something that has been in front of us all along. We find excuses why it’s not the answer, we might think it’s too obvious or not a big enough task to undertake; how can something so small or so simple actually be the answer? Isn’t life supposed to be harder than that? If it seems too simple or too obvious, clearly it cannot be the right answer so we resist and keep searching, ultimately making our lives more stressful and difficult than is necessary.

If you’ve been searching for the answer to something and you can’t seem to get results that make sense, it’s time to step back and take inventory of what thing or things keep coming back at you. Maybe it’s a thought, an idea, an item or a person or business; whatever it is, find the one thing you have in common with that thought, idea, item, person or company. If you find something attractive with that thing that keeps presenting itself to you, no matter how silly or impossible it may seem to you, try it out. Go with it and see how it may work. That might be the key that opens a bigger door for you. Everything begins with small steps before it takes flight.

Resistance sometimes is your comfortable place and it’s often necessary to stop resisting and run with that thing that keeps showing itself to you in many different ways. When you keep searching instead of noticing it you miss out on enjoying your own success. Break your bond with resistance and see how far you can go when you open your mind and heart to even the tasks that seem feeble.

In the same notion of your resistance, choose to be more persistent in what you want. Persistence can work for you as well! Never give up despite how difficult your dreams, goals, work, plans or what-have-you may seem.

Unplugged

Emotional Eating

I’ve never been a stress eater, in fact, I’m more of a stress non-eater. I forget about food, I’m not even hungry during stressful situations. We all react differently to stress and we can react differently to each type of stress we encounter.

For some of us, frustration or feeling lack of control in a situation will cause us to eat, and often we will choose hard, crunchy items – things that make noise to get our non-verbal point across or to simply ‘vent’ in solitude.Maybe you’re bored, so you eat. Maybe you lose hope, care or interest in your best health and/or goals so you sabotage your ‘diet’; only to feel regret later. Other times we might feel lost, lonely, and out of touch and so food becomes our friend, our comfort.

Recently, I have noticed a pattern with my own behavior. Winter brings long and sometimes lonely nights, lonely days and some kind of sadness for me for several reasons that I’ll get to another time. Recently, having accepted the winter routine, I found myself at peace with it and with my mealtime habits. I wasn’t eating as much, I didn’t snack much at night and I was feeling pretty good, inside and out. I felt an energy inside and a positive I can do anything attitude; then came what many people feel is their own special day, my birthday; it came and went, barely noticed by the one person I’d expect to celebrate my day. It brought me down. I worked on letting it go but it wouldn’t let me go. The words “do unto others” keeps running through my mind. The week following, our schedule has gone back to normal due to no snow storms this week. The unsettling thing I have noticed is that all I want to do is eat at night I eat three meals a day plus healthy snacks throughout the day but when night comes and my S/O is home, I look for food. I feel my stomach turning, growling and my mind is filled with thoughts of food. I forage through the pantry only to find things I don’t want but eat anyways. I regret it later. I know that I have sabotaged myself.

Have you ever punished yourself for someone else’s actions or in-actions? Have you thought to yourself, “why should I try? why should I care? no one else does”? My guess is yes, you have. I have thought those same words and on the inside I know that statement isn’t true’ ‘no one’ else cares – no one is usually that one persona who is closest to you, that one persona you expect would care the most; ‘no one’ isn’t everyone, he/she is the only one in our eyes though. Don’t let this ‘no one’ allow you to treat yourself with less love and respect than you would give them.

When you’re eating from emotions rather than to simply fuel your body with healthy nutrients, step back and assess your situation. Write notes on your mood, your inner-most feelings, your actions, words, and self-thoughts. Make note of how your view yourself on the inside and on the outside. Do you see yourself as wholesome and worthy of self-respect? If you’re not respecting yourself, others won’t think you need or deserve it either.

Show yourself the kindness and nurturing that you wish for from others. Stop using food as your weapon of self-destruction. Don’t give others satisfaction of believing their actions/in-actions toward you are deserved.

Treat others as you wish to be treated; treat yourself as you expect to be treated.

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Citrus – A beneficial winter fruit

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Citrus fruits have many benefits including of course high vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a key role in the formation of collagen: a primary component of the connective tissue in the body strengthening ligaments, tendons, dentin, skin, blood vessels and bones. It aids in wound healing, tissue repair and helps against cell damage.

Citrus fruits are good sources of folate for new cell growth, helps the production of DNA, RNA and mature red blood cells helping prevent anemia.

Potassium, a mineral that helps maintain body water, acid and plays role in transmitting nerve impulses to muscles in muscle contraction. It also helps maintain normal blood pressure.

Phyto-chemicals (Phyto=plant in Gr.) in fruit and vegetables protect against various diseases including heart disease, cancers, stroke and Type 2 diabetes.

How much do we need to eat daily? 30-200mg./day. That equals roughly 5 servings of fruit per day.

Try This Recipe

Sweet & Tangy Citrus Salad

  • 4-6 cups greens, arugula, spinach, baby lettuces
  • 3 cups assorted favorite citrus fruits, Clementine, orange. Grapefruit, lime, lemon,
  • ½ cup Strawberries, sliced or blueberries or both
  • 2 Tbs. seeds, such as Chia, Flax, toasted sesame, pumpkin, toasted sunflower

Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lemon and ½ lime
  • ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Combine and mix with whisk or in a jar until well blended. Pour over salad.
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Changeable Habits

I always thought that if I had an addiction I’d be able to stop whenever I wanted. The truth is I can and you can too; what holds us back is not putting our willpower into play. Personally, I sometimes find myself coming up with excuses, just one more, well, I had a good day, I had a bad day, I deserve it, who cares anyways? the list can go on and on when you need to justify actions to yourself.

My self-proclaimed addiction might not be a terrible one, against the law or harmful to others but it’s not exactly great for my body. Through reading my past posts you might have figured out that I love bread, pasta, potatoes, brown rice, farro, quinoa and other whole grains and crackers. I love carbs. I’ve tried to quit them ‘cold turkey’ with some success but in the back of my mind it was just a test; I could go back to eating bread and pasta soon.

When I gave it up for 5 weeks I felt good; my stomach didn’t feel bloated and full all the time and I didn’t get that afternoon crash as often. I replaced those cravings with nuts, fruit and cheese. Then came winter. Cold and extremely snowy this year – no roadway to walk in safely (no sidewalks in my town [exaggeration] none on or around my neighborhood) I felt I deserved these comforting carbs. Fast forward to today I feel ‘carby’ and sluggish.

I started cutting back this week. I decided to cut back rather than stop ‘cold turkey’ because I believe there’s a happy medium. I’m a fan of the Mediterranean diet as well as the macrobiotic dietary theory, but I’m not bound to any one diet. I believe in mostly vegetables, some whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds, berries, and a small amount of lean meat and fish. Getting back to a happy medium; this is where I have my issue – I can happily eat 6 slices of bread a day, plus rice etc and pasta as well as vegetables. I’m not a huge fruit eater but this week I’ve been trying to have two pieces per day – a clementine and a pear. While I haven’t cut bread out completely, I have cut back hugely to two slices a day. I’m trying to focus on what I can have more than what I can’t have.

Addictions are merely habits that we are comfortable with and often lost without. Habits are changeable. Everyone has willpower but not everyone uses it. Slow steady steps and understanding your own habits and body are the tools that will bring you to your success.

We are all in this life together and that is a good thing!

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Working Toward Goals

Are you working toward your goals and succeeding? If not, what things are getting in your way? What stops you from reaching your destination? Are you eliminating the unnecessary things in your daily routine or are you doing the same thing over and over thinking that eventually you’ll get the results you’re looking for? And an even bigger question, do you know exactly what your goal is, or is your vision a little blurry?

In today’s world of great distractions it’s easy to lose focus, to fail to complete your thought or intentions; it’s easy to procrastinate. The thing is, and you know it without me telling you, procrastination doesn’t bring us to our goal. Procrastination and distractions will eventually carry us farther from our goals. Don’t let these things lead you to failing to reach your dream.

Grab a pen and paper and write down your answers to the questions I posed above. Be truthful with yourself; open and honest. Write it, see it, read it…read it aloud so you can hear yourself say what your goals are. Keep your answers handy so that you can remind yourself of what you truly want daily so that you can reach them.

Here are a few steps you can use and should put into practice on a regular basis:

1 – Make a date with yourself. Once a day would be ideal but if you don’t think you can ‘fit yourself in’ start with once or twice a week. For daily, take just 10 minutes each day to focus on your desired goals. Sit in silence with eyes closed and have a mental conversation with yourself, to just breathe and be, and take time writing about your goal and how you will attempt to reach it today or what you did do to reach it today. If making time once or twice weekly, take an hour for plan your week ahead, to find peace within yourself and to dust off the old.

2 – Eliminate one thing you do that doesn’t serve your destination. All of us do things that we claim is for our own greater good but in reality it has gotten us nowhere; what is your thing(s) that has you spinning your wheels while staying in one spot?

3 – One day at a time. One of my most common pieces of advice is to set your intention every day; have a big goal in mind but break it up into daily goals – by doing this, you will be less overwhelmed and less discouraged and more likely to reach the big picture.

Always have a goal and always revive and renew your goals. Breathe new life into your dreams and do whatever it takes to reach them!

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat · Unplugged

Weekend Eats

The air around us here in New England is finally feeling a bit warmer. On this overcast and slightly humid Friday, I decided to prepare a few healthy foods to make weekend meals quick and easy.

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I made my White Bean & Avocado Hummus, and put it in my beautiful new Polish Pottery bowl find the recipe here.

I made changes to it as I do many recipes depending on my preference that day and whatever is in season. The changes I made included switching out dill for cilantro and I added about 1/2 tsp. turmeric.

I also pulled together a Tangy Coleslaw with Greek Yogurt, Lime & Cilantro dressing; definitely something that will wake up your taste buds and cleanse your palette. The recipe is as follows…

Tangy Coleslaw with Greek Yogurt, Lime & Cilantro dressing

1.2 head of cabbage, shredded with a food processor or cut into thin slices 20160513_160835

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons lime juice

4 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/4-1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients well, cover and chill overnight. The longer it chills the better it tastes.

And finally, I made the quickest dessert ever; Clementine Chia Pudding. I found the recipe online; you can find it here.

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Enjoy!