Beat the Holiday Bloat! 3 TOTALLY FREE ways to improve your digestion.  

Beating the bloat this time of year isn’t easy – with the holidays fast approaching we begin eating stuff that isn’t normally in our day-to-day diet.

Cakes, cookies, and other Christmas treats. I would never tell you to skip out on those! But I do want to pass on to you 3 totally free ways to improve your digestion, so you can maintain better gut health no matter what time of year it is. 

Before I get going I just want to say that these three strategies have made such a difference for me personally, and I practice what I preach. I’ve been working on my gut health for at least the last year so you guys know I wouldn’t lead you astray!

What is surprising about these three tips is their simplicity. If I can do it, you can do it. Best of all they cost: nothing 😊

  1. Chew your food – thoroughly! Did you guys know that carbohydrates begin their breakdown process in your mouth? There is an enzyme in your saliva that works to break them down. So the more you get that food mixed around in your mouth, the better! Plus, the more you mechanically break down your food with your teeth, the less work your stomach has to do.
  2.  Chill while you fill.So many of us are used to eating “on the go” in a hurried state. When you eat under stress, all of the blood in your body is sent to your extremities (arms and legs). So of course, the blood isn’t circulating at that time where it should be, which is to your gut! So stop the working, or the running, or the 9 thousand other things you are trying to accomplish during your meal and take the time to simply eat. Relaxing while eating can also help you be mindful about what you are putting in your body, and how much.
  3. Drink more water. I know I know, you’ve heard this a thousand times before! But have you ever actually done anything about it? So many of us are walking around chronically dehydrated with either no idea, or no will to try. But as a heavy duty coffee consumer I have to say that this change has been paramount for me.Your body needs water to properly eliminate AKA poop. If you aren’t going number two, then food isn’t moving through your intestines and eventually your stomach efficiently. I have been chronically dehydrated for years (YES YEARS) and drinking more water has completely changed the game for me.

*Side note: don’t be drinking water with your meals! I know it is a common thing in this society, but this actually dilutes the hydrochloric acid produced by your stomach, and this acid works so much better concentrated.

 

 

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Fitness is a Journey, not a Destination

When I first started my fitness journey, my main motivation was this idea that I was going to get me some washboard abs.

I mean, lets get real – no newbie walks into the gym without an ideal in mind. Habits don’t change just because – habits change because a fire has been lit under your bum and you are working towards something clear in your mind.

So I worked my butt off (literally) and a few months later, this is what I looked like:

I see abs! I mean, they weren’t totally visible – but for hardly having worked that muscle group in my life, I was proud of what I was able to accomplish.

So…. I did it. Now what?

I was proud of how defined I looked but at the same time I began to realize, there wasn’t much to define. I never played sports as a youngin’, and I was new to the fitness game, so there wasn’t much muscle there to show.

It was time to set off on a new mission: gains.

I left my low-carb ways behind and set my sights on a new prize.

Gains central. Actually, I went a bit overboard in my opinion. But just to be clear I’m not saying that because I hated myself or the way I look in this photo – I’m saying that because I developed food sensitivities during this time which caused a lot of inflammation and bloating.

Serious road bump.


A wrench in my plans when it came to dieting again, as it made it damn near impossible to lose a single lb. I may have had abs, and shoulders, and quads, but it was difficult to see them underneath the full body bloat and inflammation.

But, if you’ve been following my blog for a while then you know that I figured that mystery out. The picture above illustrates the transition pretty well, as once I quit all dairy products I slowly deflated, and continued on my journey until the mission was accomplished.

I realize that there are a ton of pictures of me in this post which may seem self-indulgent but I truly am trying to make a point so STAY WITH ME here.

 

This is a pretty good summary of that span of time. On the left: ab central. Middle: gains central. Right: me over the summer, somewhere in between. In each photo I am proud of the girl I see because I know she worked her butt off to get whatever she was working towards.

To my point: when I post a comparison photo like the one below, it can be a little misleading. It makes me look like I accomplished one thing. It makes it look like start to finish. It makes it seem like “beginning” and “end”. But the truth is that my journey has been anything but linear.

It’s been more like a wild loop-de-loop roller coaster, with a few upside-down turns.

A photo like this just doesn’t do my journey justice. It’s an effort to simplify a time in my life that has been anything but simple. It’s been hard work. It’s been dedication. It’s been seeing the scale go up and down, and up and down.

And that is the way it will continue to be.

Many of us start out on our fitness journeys looking to simply get from point A to point B. Those of us who fall in love with the lifestyle have met point C, D, E, and F until they just stopped obsessing about the destination and realized that it’s the process that they love so much.

Current photo.

I’m back to being a bigger, stronger version of myself.

I love me at any shape, at any size, and at any weight. I’m awesome big, and I’m awesome small. Weight gain means nothing, weight loss means nothing, I simply enjoy the working hard towards something, whatever that something may be.

My hope is that you will embrace yourself – no matter where you are at in your journey today.

I heart you all! Thank you for reading this.

 

 

 

 

 

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March Check-in

Even as I write the title to this post, I can’t believe it’s MARCH.

These last two and a half months have gone by so quickly. I think it’s because I’ve been working so much. I barely have time to catch my breath, let alone realize what day it is!

I have taken an interesting turn in the journey towards my best self over the past couple of months. You know, I never realized that self-acceptance required a certain amount of continual maintenance. A year ago I was at a place of radical self-love and self-acceptance. I felt untouchable, simply because I knew who I was and loved that person, flaws, mishaps and all. I acknowledged myself as a human moving forward.

But over time people do change. As I changed, I think I began to lose that acceptance in some ways, because the person I accepted myself as was gone. And not to say in any way I have changed for the worse. I’m just not a student anymore. My work is different. I’m not the single student out there exhausting herself trying to prove something anymore, or make her way. My whole life has essentially changed, and I need to accept who I am now in this space.

So that’s what I’ve been working on. Anything good that will ever come from me will come from a place of love. When you accept yourself and love yourself, you strive to be healthy in all ways. Without that motivation we are just lost. We might be moving but we have no direction. I needed to find that again.

Improvements: My improvements over the last month have been less physical and more spiritual. I have absolutely no sense of shame in saying this. A lot of people fall and feel like a failure. You are only a failure if you don’t get back up! And I always get back up. I’ve just been focusing on a different aspect of my wellness lately. Not to worry, I’m still on track with my fitness in working towards that summer bod!

Current Focus: My current focus is to continue on my physical fitness journey without compromising how far I have come emotionally and spiritually. I want to continue to accept myself at this time and in this body while also working towards bettering myself.

Eating: My eating has been so much better since I removed dairy from my diet. I don’t experience the same mood swings or physical symptoms that I was before I knew I had an allergy! I’ve been eating about 80/20 these days and I am happy with that. My issue most recently has been not eating frequently enough. So although my meals are quality, nourishing, and healthy, I feel like I undo that to a certain point when I’m too busy to eat or I’m unprepared! I would like to start eating 5 meals a day again. Grocery shopping is today so I will definitely be doing some prep work tonight!

Feeling: I feel like change is on the horizon. As a person with anxiety, sometimes I spend more time thinking about doing something than actually doing it. Now, I am at the stage where I am ready to stop thinking and just get my feet moving, you know… move forward.

I am told so often that I am the “healthiest person” that somebody knows. I am met with shock and disbelief sometimes when I share my own struggles. Yes, I go to the gym. Yes, I prefer healthy, homemade cooking. Yes, I continually embark in a spiritual journey towards the betterment of myself! That doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle. Struggling is simply a part of the human experience.

I cannot sit here and be an example as somebody who is perfect, because as we all know, perfect is a myth. What I can do is be open about my knowledge, experiences, and my healing in the hopes that you will connect with something that I’ve said somewhere along the way and that it will resonate with something in you.

Today I am human and I am humbled.