It’s a Lifestyle!

One of my favorite places to go is Barnes and Noble. I love the creative state it puts my mind in and enjoy hearing the chit chat from others around me. Today, as I walked in, I was greeted at the door by a mountain of health and diet books. I had two thoughts: one, wow I’ve read quite a few books; two, people truly need this information.

With the new year here, many choose to get healthier. I am happy that people are becoming more conscious about what they eat and are taking the much needed responsibility of their own health. However, it never amazes me at how quickly this particular resolution comes to an end. The answer to why is pretty simple actually. Everyone is ‘going on a diet’. We all know that from the day you make the choice to restrict yourself from every tasty food you’ve ever known, you are counting the days until the dreadful challenge is over. You hold your head high and are proud to boast your “30 Day this” or your “so and so’s, lose 30 pounds diet plan”. And that’s okay. If it makes you feel good and changes your life, go for it. However, what happens after the 30 days? What happens when it is all over. You return to your normal crappy eating. Wouldn’t you rather live healthy and create eating habits that last? [Trust me, if you are the bragging type, saying that you are creating a healthier lifestyle sounds so much more permanent and fulfilling than, “I’m on a diet”. Doesn’t it?]
BUT HOW?!?!?! How do you sift through all of the knowledge stuffed in every book stacked in the front of Barnes and Noble? How do you know which way of eating if the best plan for you?
I am going to make this really simple for you.
First, tell yourself that you are not going on a diet. You are creating a healthier life for yourself and your family. [The people around you change when they see you doing this. It’s called the ripple effect].
Second, realize that you are not forced to do anything. This is a choice. And one for the better I might add. You are choosing to eat to live rather than live to eat. [I cannot tell you how long it took me to drop this thinking. I was proudly living to eat. Silly me.]
Third, take action. This is not a race. And to create lasting results you will have to be like the tortoise and run a steady pace. Once you have transitioned your thinking, steps 1 and 2, its time to stretch. You wouldn’t want to start a marathon without it right? Watch what you choose to eat for a day. Evaluate your choices. Why do you think you eat the way you do? Some will say finances others will say time. I disagree with both of those excuses. A bag of frozen veggies at the grocery store are usually no more than $2. Also, isn’t it easier to pull out a sandwich bag of carrots or apples with lemon juice from your purse or bag than it is to stop at the vending machine or gas station? You bet. All you need is proper planning.
Fourth, start simple. Try doing one thing on a consistent bases. Eat a veggie with every meal and a fruit for breakfast. If you want to push it, have more veggies on your plate than meat. Make vegetables your main dish. The easiest way to get started is to crowd healthy foods and habits into your life. Don’t worry about cutting out anything. As you start doing more and more of the good stuff, you’ll find less time for the bad. [Trust me, it works!]
Fifth, Play! Play! Play! Personally, I hate the word exercise! That may sound crazy coming from a Health Coach, I know. Aren’t you just exhausted saying the word? E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E. My mind visualizes the scene from Lion King when Scar says,  ‘Mufasa”, to the hyenas. It gives everyone the creeps. [Unless you are a personal trainer boasting on Instagram, of course. No judgements–do you]. How about we call it play instead. Go run. Walk. Jump. Skip, even. Jump a rope. Just move your body! Do you have children? Even better, have them join you. Make it a competitive game. Whatever you choose to do, be specific. I am going to walk for 20 minutes. I am going to do 15 pushups. Doesn’t that seem less stressful than having the dreadful thought of exercising hovering over your entire day. You have several twenty minutes in a day; it’s not going to kill you to devote 1 of them to play…is it?!? Quite honestly, you can expand and utilize the definition of play. Enjoy something fun for yourself each day. If it is not creating sweat, it will certainly be reducing stress and we all need less of that in our lives. [Stress is the number 1 killer these days!]
Well, I am sure that we have covered enough habits to get your healthy lifestyle started. To sum it up, I’ll list them for you:
1. Stop dieting
2. Eat to Live
3. Plan your meals
4. Eat more vegetables. [Try dark green leafy lettuces. Remember, frozen vegetables are good too!]
5. Play more!
6. Drink plenty of water!!!!!!! [Of course I had to add that one. I’d keep adding exclamation points, but I think you get my drift.]
Here’s a fact for you…
According to
Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution 8%
Don’t make a resolution…make it your mission to live a healthier life!
With joy and love,
Health Coach Alayna 🙂

Are you eating “food” not even my dog would eat??

The-Nasty-PattyYears ago, my mother took my siblings and I to McDonald’s. One of the items we ordered was a Happy Meal with Chicken McNuggets. Once we returned home, my brother opened his happy meal only to find that there was one large chicken patty inside the box, instead of 4 chicken nuggets. After we finished laughing hysterically, we decided to feed the mysterious chicken patty to our dog KC. We called KC over to us and put the patty into her bowel for her to eat; she would always eat the leftover food we put into her bowel. She walked up to it, smelled it and looked up at us as if to say “really?” and walked away. That should have been a wake up call to all of us, but sadly it wasn’t at the time. There had to be something wrong with this overly praised, processed food product our dog would not even eat. Today, you could not pay me to touch a Chicken McNugget, however, it got me thinking:

Are you poisoning yourself with highly processed, nutrient deficient foods?

Here are a few food rules and tips on how to avoid them from Michael Pollan:

  • Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature. Read the ingredients on a package of Twinkies or Pringles and imagine what those ingredients actually look like raw or in the places where they grow: You can’t do it. This rule will keep all sorts of chemicals and foodlike substances out of your diet.
  • Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry. Ethoxylated diglycerides? Cellulose? Xanthan gum? Calcium propionate? Ammonium sulfate? If you wouldn’t cook with them yourself, why let others use these ingredients to cook for you? The food scientists’ chemistry set is designed to extend shelf life, make old food look fresher and more appetizing than it really is, and get you to eat more. Whether or not any of these additives pose a proven hazard to your health, many of them haven’t been eaten by humans for very long, so they are best avoided.
  • If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
  • Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself. There is nothing wrong with eating sweets, fried foods, pastries, even drinking a soda every now and then, but food manufacturers have made eating these formerly expensive and hard-to-make treats so cheap and easy that we’re eating them every day. The french fry did not become America’s most popular vegetable until industry took over the jobs of washing, peeling, cutting, and frying the potatoes—and cleaning up the mess. If you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often, if only because they’re so much work. The same holds true for fried chicken, chips, cakes, pies, and ice cream. Enjoy these treats as often as you’re willing to prepare them—chances are good it won’t be every day.
  • Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored. For many of us, eating has surprisingly little to do with hunger. We eat out of boredom, for entertainment, to comfort or reward ourselves. Try to be aware of why you’re eating, and ask yourself if you’re really hungry—before you eat and then again along the way. (One old wives’ test: If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re not hungry.) Food is a costly antidepressant.

You can find more wonderful tips in the book,  Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan. 


~ Happy Eating 🙂

Note to Self: F O C U S!

Where does your strength measure up when it comes to identifying and declining your distractions? Are you a connoisseur of time management or do you welcome the disturbance? It could be certain men or women you know you are wasting time with, but do so anyway for the sake of doing something. Perfection and doing nothing while waiting for the optimal circumstances. A phone call you accept, knowing it will deter you from a goal you are in the midst of accomplishing. How about something fun that is entirely free? It may not be costing you money, but are you wasting your precious time?

This week focus on time management and distractions. I whole heartedly believe in doing things that make you happy and satisfy your soul, if for no other reason than to reduce stress and cultivate your health. However, in order to grow you must be able to recognize which are nourishing your goals and which are depleting them. Reevaluate your lifestyle habits so that what you do from day to day not only feeds your happiness, but also feeds your growth. 

~~Be Well



Jump! Jump!

I love rebounding! My daughter and I usually do so together while making up our own songs. Rebounding is not only fun, it is also a great exercise for the entire body. Rebounding promotes circulation and the flow of the lymphatic system by eliminating waste. The lymphatic system maintains your body’s fluid balance, helps transport some fats and works with your immune system to fight infections. Rebounding is a great way to get your body flowing and keep healthy! 

*A special thanks to Ms. Jaida for being such a great model and photographer 🙂


So…I have been experimenting with my new gift lately, a VITAMIX Professional series 300! I have heard such great things about this wonderful machine. Today I pulverized 2 whole carrots, 1 stick of celery, 1 green apple, 1/4 slice cucumber, a handful of kale, a pinch or two of parsley and 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice. I must say this machine handled the job pretty well! Within seconds I had an amazingly healthy glass of energizing deliciousness. I am still putting the machine through my own vigorous tests to ensure it is worth the bang for its buck–to ME. I’d rather not get caught up on what it could possibly do and focus on the reality of what I will use it for. I will keep those interested updated on my final verdict!


Those Selfish Son of a $#%^#*@…

I consider myself to be a pretty ambitious superwomen and it takes quite a bit to make me lose my cool. I don’t dwell on negativity, nor, do I believe it’s a healthy practice to internalize your emotions because they will eat at your insides. I do stress from time to time or feel a little sad, just like anyone else, but you would never really know it. There are very few people who can see past my smile and recognize the uneasiness in my tone or my frustration by the words I choose to use. I gave this a little thought. Maybe they don’t ask because they would get the typical “I’m doing good” or “I’m blessed” response. Or maybe there was not enough time to have a mini therapy session, if needed. I pretended to be someone else and asked myself “How are you doing, Alayna?” And it was true, my initial response was “I’m wonderful”. So, I asked myself again, but this time I really thought about it. I thought back on my latest actions, responsibilities, free time (or the lack thereof), the weather, the challenges, and the joys. I reflected on how those things made me feel and how they did or did not bring value to my life. After giving it much thought, my true response became…”I’m exhausted”. I wasn’t sure if that was due to my latest experiences or to the amount of thinking I had just done, nevertheless it was a genuine response. So far, this week has been mighty demanding and certainly a measure of strength. After my acknowledgement moment, I decided that this weekend I would spend my time checking off a few things on my to-do list. With it being such a busy week and all, I had fallen behind on a few important things I wanted to have done. It always gives me much joy to be prepared for the following week. 

If you don’t have a caring soul around you, or a wonderful Health Coach and accountability partner like myself (wink, wink), simply ask yourself the question: How am I doing; am I ok? Take a moment now to reflect on your past week. How are you feeling today, right now. Acknowledge your situation and consider what actions you can take to get you to your next step. For me it’s catching up on some work. Perhaps you worked your a$$ off this week and choose to get out and grace this world with your presence. Whatever you do, don’t turn this into a complaining session, simply acknowledge your current situation/feelings and decide on what your next move will be 🙂
Have an amazing weekend!