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Join the health and fitness evolution 2017!

I had a friend ask me the other day “what are your resolutions?” and my response was this: I make resolutions every day, week, month, and quarter.

Does that mean that I make them and fail at them and make others? Not necessarily.

It means that I am constantly evolving.

Are you a resolutionist? Do you make annual promises of health, fitness, and financial goals, only to drop them or lose interest within a couple of months?

If so… it’s ok! It’s a common set-up and is precisely what human beings do when setting lofty unattainable personal goals. As usual, no judgement from me here, just an observation of human behavior…

How do you get healthier in 2017? You don’t just do everything at once. You GRADUALLY incorporate healthier habits into your life:

Perhaps you begin by eating more vegetables. Which will result in your being more creative in the kitchen and bringing lunches to work.

When you’ve been doing that for a couple of weeks, maybe you increase your water intake by a couple of glasses a day.

When you’ve got that down, perhaps you try setting an alarm to remind you to go to bed a little earlier, which will help you get up a little earlier.

Maybe you decide to set aside 10 minutes a few times in your daily schedule to get up, step outside, and go for a brisk walk (a very brisk if it’s below zero!) to clear your head and increase your focus.

Here’s the thing; fit, healthy people didn’t get there overnight. It was an evolution in training; training their minds, bodies and ultimately creating habits to being health-centered. They’ve had coaches, trainers and mentors assist them in learning the skills to creating a healthy lifestyle.

So this year, don’t just resolve; evolve. Evolution takes time. It takes consistent change.

What I want for all humans is the ability to live a healthy, able-bodied life that they enjoy. I want people to feel good in their bodies and to love themselves fully and completely. To be able to be pain-free and mobile for a lifetime. Not just look good in the moment. Not just to lose weight this year.

If that’s what you want, you’ve got this and I’m here to help! This is the stuff I LOVE to do as a fitness coach! Want more information? Reach out: We can chat and I can give you the tools to assist you in your wholistic healthy lifestyle evolution.

Get sweaty!

Jessica

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on January 4, 2017 by Jessica.

Fitness is Freedom

Hello A New Leafers!
I hope the holiday season has been one of fun, warmth, and a festive time for you and your loved ones.

I’ve been doing some thinking in the recent months (ok, let’s be honest…years…) about what it means to be living a healthy, happy life. And now is the perfect time to reflect over the past year, “what do I want the next year to look and feel like?”

I’ve been considering what the values are which play a part of creating a life I love, and how can I use this thought process to assist in coaching others to finding their success in these same realms. To help find their “why” in making lifestyle changes. As we know, change is not the easiest thing to manage.

What I’ve come up with is this: fitness is freedom.

We hear much about the benefits to financial freedom- the ability to be debt-free and thus worry free- to live in abundance. Along those same lines, being physically fit can free you up to live a happier, more productive and fulfilling life.

When I say “fit” what comes to mind? Is it an overwhelming ideal of physical perfection? Or you, only half the size? It’s important to make the distinction that, yes, weight loss can help to improve your health, but it’s not the end-all-be-all to health.

All too often we get focused on the aesthetic motivation surrounding fitness; weight loss, body image, etc. This can be a powerful motivator. But… what keeps you going beyond the goal of fitting into that “little black dress”? What happens when things get stagnant and you plateau? Bored? You can do a LOT of things to meet weight loss goals that have NOTHING to do with health or fitness; surgery or restrictive dieting, are great examples. You WILL lose weight, you WILL get in that little dress or skinny jeans. But…will you be able to climb stairs carrying groceries without losing your breath? NO. What’s happening with your metabolism and hormones, are they improving? NO.Will you be skinny on the inside? NO.

You’ve probably guessed where I’m going here…

Fitness allows you to say “YES” more, which is freeing in and of itself. YES, I’ll try that new Pilates studio class, it sounds fun. YES, I’ll join you for that hike and not feel like I’m going to die. YES, I’ll try sea kayaking in the Alps. YES, I’ll join you on a hike to some remote hotsprings. YES, I’ll try on that dress and enjoy shopping. Choosing your own adventure is liberating! Limitless possibilities!

Fitness opens the door for you to try new adventures. Fitness enables you to feel more comfortable and good in your body. Fitness creates more confidence and self esteem. When you’re fit it’s not a Herculean effort to get to the gym and stay motivated because you’re not doing it just to be thin, you’re doing it for the quality of life you want to have; it’s because you want to be able to dress yourself and go for walks in in your 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Maybe in small European towns? Maybe just around your block. Or maybe, you just want to be able to pick up your grandkids someday.

The choice is yours. The options are endless when you’re taking care of your body and the focus is on achieving and maintaining YOUR optimal health.

BE FREE. FITNESS IS THE WAY. Start now! Get moving! Start small and work your way up. Begin today!

Also, let me know how I may help?! I’m here for you!!! Seriously. What are you waiting for? I’m not scary, I’m knowledgeable, dependable, fun and friendly and I LOVE helping people improve their lives. It’s my passion…

Get sweaty!

XO,
Jessica

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2016 by Jessica.

The Elimination Diet and eating clean

Hey folks!

So, it’s been a bit since I’ve written a blog. It’s interesting because I LOVE WRITING, almost as much as I love to work with my peeps! Anyhoo, here I am writing on one of my other most favorite things…FOOD!

Back in March or April I did a 21-day eating clean challenge with some wonderful clients (I also participated to a degree) and we all had great results! During this challenge the following foods were eliminated:

Wheat (gluten)
Soy
Corn
Dairy
Caffeine
Eggs
Refined Sugar
Alcohol
Shellfish
Peanuts
White potatoes
White flour
any processed food sold in a package ( chips, food mixes, snacks, snack bars, popcorn, pizza, etc, with the exception of some gf bread)

Why did I extend this challenge? These foods are known sources of inflammation in the body. Inflammation can lead to joint pain, digestive issues, sleep disturbances and weight gain just to name a few issues. By eliminating these foods for 21 days most all clients reported feeling less irritable, a marked weight loss of 5-7 pounds, more bowel regularity, and increased energy (despite the no caffeine). Some clients added things back in that they missed, and they were encouraged to take note on how they felt with each addition, helping them to pinpoint specific symptoms to everyday food/drink consumption. It was a really fun session to lead and very telling for the participants. I enjoyed finding recipes to fit their lifestyle and tried to find family-friendly ones to get everyone involved.

Are you wondering what foods there are left to eat? Did they just eat lettuce the entire time?! The short answer is no; they ate food as it’s intended to be eaten! Fruits and vegetables, cooked and raw. We learned how to sprout beans- making them more nutritious and easier to digest. Some oats and brown rice. Minimal animal protein. We enjoyed lots of tasty homemade snacks and bars with raw nuts, dates, coconut and raw honey. It was an adventure in discovery and creativity in the kitchen.

I will host another challenge in August, so stay tuned…

So…I like this philosophy of eating clean and detoxifying. When my naturopath, Dr. Charlotte Massey here in Bozeman, MT suggested the book The Elimination Diet (and you can find more information here) for some symptoms I’ve been struggling with, I was very excited to try! (I also like to follow rules, so this made me a little happy!)

The Elimination Diet has 3 phases: detox for the first 2-4 days, phase 2 adding in some nutrients (meats, grains, seeds) that have been missed, and phase 3 the experimental phase. I’m on day 8 and I feel awesome so far! I spent 3 days in the detox phase which consists of smoothies, juice and cleansing soups.

When I started, I was worried: life without a little bourbon?! I love coffee! Will I have energy to workout?! Once I figured out nutrient timing, I was energized and feeling great! I also ended up ordering a Nutri Ninja because making smoothies is a love affair I’ve started now and making them in my food processor was a MESS!

Here’s my favorite smoothie recipe (from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook (creators of The Elimination Diet):

Avocado-banana green smoothie

2 to 4 servings

1 medium banana
1 small avocado
2 cups packed fresh spinach
one 1″ piece fresh ginger
one 1″ piece fresh turmeric
2 to 2.5 cups coconut water
Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately, or pour into glass jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze Popsicle molds.*

* I haven’t made popsicles yet, but I will!

I highly recommend giving this way of feeding you (and your loved ones) a whirl ESPECIALLY if you’ve been experiencing: brain fog, anxiety/depression, joint pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, weight gain (or stagnant weight loss) or any host of other physiological symptoms. The best part? YOU GET TO EAT FOOD! Food you can create in your home with your own hands (and appliances)!

I will keep you all posted on my journey, but so far it’s been dreamy; I’ve not missed my bourbon-or any other cocktails- or coffee (too much!). I did crave bread.

However, I’ve been sleeping solidly, have experienced more clarity of thought, abundant energy and less digestive issues. Which, for me outweigh the cravings.

This may be the change you’ve been looking for…nourish your body with nutrient dense foods; it’s incredible we have the power to do this.

Oh, and get sweaty!

Jessica

This entry was posted in HealthStyle, Recipes on July 11, 2016 by Jessica.

CARBS

Did you just cringe a little reading this title??? I’m not surprised. It’s a dirty little word that makes people feel fat. Well, I’m a big fan of carbs, and perhaps after this little ditty you’ll feel the same way! I found this when I was searching around in my email for other things…I forgot that I had written it for a co-worker’s daughter was heading off to college. Give it a read and see if you can let go of that nasty feeling about these little buggers…

Carbohydrates are your body’s first choice for energy; they also aid in recovery, and preserve muscle mass. Carbs get a bad rap, because our consumption of carbohydrates should be largely based on the amount of energy we expend. We also need to be mindful of our physiological response to them. When we eat a meal, the hormone insulin steps in to regulate glucose or the sugar floating around in the bloodstream after we eat. Insulin is a hormone that comes from the pancreas which helps to promote the uptake of glucose into cells; especially muscle and fat cells. If excess glucose is in the blood stream, it is stored away as fat; in other words, but not utilizing the carbohydrates we eat, or by consuming foods that are easily converted to glucose in abundance, there will be a lot more glucose present: and will be stored as fat.

All that being said, not all carbs are created equal. The foods that quickly increase glucose are generally in the form of “empty carbs”, or simple sugars. Sticking with the less packaged, “complex carbs”, in the form of whole foods is always a better choice. Complex carbohydrates can be found in fruits and vegetables, pastas, whole grain breads, and rice. These foods are a better choice for overall health; as it takes your body longer to break these foods down to be utilized or stored. Anything that is close to sugar, aka baked goods like muffins, bagels, cookies, etc. should be eaten sparingly, as it takes little time to convert them to glucose, and then to fat cells for storage.If you are a long distance runner or cyclist, the foods that you eat will be mostly starchy carbohydrates, especially during the activity; because these foods in particular take your body little time to convert to the sugar that you need for energy (glucose). If you are moderately active; aka. gym a few times a week, etc. your energy needs will look much different than an elite endurance athlete mentioned above. Good sources grains, legumes, seeds, pastas, fruits, and vegetables.

Something else to consider is that your brain runs solely on glucose, and in extreme cases, keytones. Keytones are mobilized proteins from broken down musculature. This is associated with starvation, and what we’re trying to avoid by consuming enough carbohydrate in your caloric needs. When carbohydrates are deficient, a key component to fat oxidization (burning) is incomplete. “Fats burn in the flame of carbohydrates”. The general recommendation is small frequent meals every 3hrs incorporating the minimum of 200-400 calories per day of carbohydrate. For every gram of carbohydrate, there’s 4 calories. So, if you have an english muffin with 26 grams of carbohydrate, there’s 104 calories of calories just from carbohydrate.

For recovery after exercise, to help replace glycogen stored in the muscle, and to utilized amino acids to build more muscle, it’s recommended that you consume a mix of carbohydrate and protein within 1 hour of the activity; this is called “the golden hour”, and is when your body’s maximum uptake of nutrients is taking place. Suggestions for a meal would be an egg breakfast sandwich (1 english muffin, 1 egg), or a turkey sandwich, with whole wheat bread. Use condiments sparingly; I like to use avocado (good fat), and vegetables (relishes) for my condiments. Fuel your body with nutrient dense foods, not empty calories post-exercise, it matters!

The glycemic index is a measure of how different carbohydrate foods consumed affect the body’s blood sugar level. Foods that are high on the list, are foods which increase your blood sugar (glucose) to high levels for longer, and cause an increase in insulin levels. Better choices for health are low-glycemic carbohydrates.
Here are the benefits to sticking with a low-glycemic diet (copied from: http://www.gisymbol.com.au/aboutGI.php):

• Help to fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied for longer, avoiding over eating or too much snacking.
• Lower your insulin levels which makes fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored.
• Help you to lose body fat and maintain lean muscle tissue.
• Reduce your triglycerides, total and ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol.
• Increase your levels of ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol.
• Reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
• Help to manage your blood glucose levels and reduce your risk of developing diabetes complications.
• Reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
• Reduce your risk of developing some cancers
• Reduce your risk of developing certain eye diseases.
• Improve your skin
• Sustain your energy levels longer, improving both mental and physical performance.

These are some foods Low and Medium glycemic index foods, and good foods to lean toward for your carbohydrate consumption:

Low:
apple
cherries
kidney beans
chickpeas
lentils
peaches
plums
milk
yogurt

Medium
all-bran cereal
banana
grapes
oatmeal
pasta
rice (basmati vs. jasmine)
whole grain bread
yams
corn
Another correlated topic is a low energy dense diet. Similar to the glycemic index, when sticking to foods that are lower in energy density (i.e. lower kcal), can help to contribute to weight loss by keeping the feeling of satiety, and thus less deprivation. More on that topic at a later date!

Take care of yourselves, others, and get sweaty today!

Jess

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on August 21, 2015 by Jessica.

Up your NEAT!

One of my favorite take home messages from the ACSM (my certifying body: American College of Sports Medicine) was about Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT. NEAT is the energy utilized (calories burned) to do all activities during our waking hours except eating or deliberate exercise. It includes the calories burned in yard work, house cleaning, gardening, even fidgeting. Studies show that over the past 50 years caloric intake has actually DECREASED, yet somehow we find ourselves in a trend of increasing rates of overweight and obesity (and it’s subsequent health complications) in this country.

What the heck is happening?

In a nutshell, there’s been a massive decrease in our NEAT. Due to the industrial revolution and advances in technology we have less physically demanding occupations we are burning far less calories at rest than we have in the past. We drive to work (sit), get into our offices (sit), go to meetings (sit), drive home (sit), and watch tv or read to relax (sit). We have also gotten more efficient; a good number of occupations are off-site or remote-based and we’re sitting perhaps more than we would in a regular office setting. Or, even more basic, most of us are no longer hand scrubbing laundry and hanging it out to dry on the line. So, what can we do to get our NEAT back?

How Jessica got her NEAT back…

So, a few years ago, I went from being a very busy weight loss consultant seeing clients every 15 minutes for 8 hours with little time to sit, to a less busy small business owner working on my computer A LOT. Client meetings, marketing, writing, exercise programming, meal planning, research, continuing education, etc. definitely took up a fair amount of my day. I quickly realized 2 things: 1) the scale was changing in a direction I didn’t care for, and 2) I was eating and exercising the EXACT same way I had been. Actually, I was working out MORE because at that time I was working out with each of my clients. What happened? Sitting happened! I had completely taken for granted the calories that I burned being on my feet and seeing people all day long! (Side note: my previous employer did say she was going to bring this up at the staff meeting as an added benefit for working there; particularly during the CRAZY times when morale was low. I’m not sure what happened with that or how it was received by the staff at the time…)

This chick got her NEAT back by making client meetings short and sweet or mobile- I would go for walks while on the phone with an initial client, or in person. I made an effort to get up and move when I could: standing when doing computer work (as I am now!) climbing stairs, taking 20 minute walks, getting out for a hike in the middle of the day with a friend versus lunch. I continued to avoid close parking spots at businesses. Or better yet, I’d avoid driving at all, choosing to bike or walk everywhere I could safely go. I also increased my weight lifting; increased muscle mass is another way to up your NEAT factor.

So, to up your NEAT-ness what will you do? The key is being CONSISTENT! Here are some great ideas to put into action TODAY to up your game:

Park farther away from the doors to public places.
Stand up and take several brisk walks around your home and/or office multiple times a day.
Vow to ALWAYS take the stairs. Also, instead of asking a loved one to grab something for you from upstairs, get it yourself; multiple trips=more NEAT
Schedule walking meetings- they’ve been proven to be more productive-plus, you get these added benefits: increased oxygen to the brain, more clarity of thought, and you get vitamin D…everyone wins!
Get a standing desk! Better yet…a treadmill desk!
Do some jumping jacks, lunges, squats and push ups while waiting for the coffee maker, copier/printer, or that email to send.
Bike or walk to wherever you’re going versus drive.
Start a new routine of going for a walk after meals, especially dinner! The days are getting longer and the weather has been beautiful…enjoy it with your loved ones.
Take care of yourselves and others and get a little (or a lot) sweaty today! See you soon…

Jess

This entry was posted in HealthStyle on April 22, 2015 by Jessica.

No dieting!!!

Don’t diet! A diet is “for now”. There are a lot of things in your life that you can do “for now”; sometimes a job or a pain-in-the-butt task, some relationships, school, etc. but, eating should be consistent, enjoyable and healthy for ALWAYS, not just in the short term. Looking for longterm goals and success in health and weight? Avoid dieting-especially restrictive dieting-and nourish your body with whole foods ( whole foods meaning they’re as close to as nature intended them) vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, etc.

Lose the white flour, extra sugar, and hydrogenated oils; yes, they taste good. But, how do you feel after? Maybe blissful initially, I admit, but then I’m guessing you feel kinda or mostly crappy after. Get rid of the crappy. Eat food. Food full of vitamins and minerals meant to be absorbed by your body’s natural enzymes. Food that will feed your body, not make it sick and depleted due to a lack of nutrients.

Let’s do this! Let’s get healthy and stay that way!

Oh, and get sweaty, too!!! Take care and I’ll see you soon!

Jess

This entry was posted in HealthStyle on April 14, 2015 by Jessica.