Don’t be fooled

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It’s crazy how much different the angle of a picture can make you appear, isn’t it?
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I took both of these pictures seconds after one another after my workout this afternoon.
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Both at 30 weeks pregnant with our daughter. The first completely normal posture. The second flexing my core in.
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There’s such a difference, so in honor of keeping it real this pregnancy journey, I wanted to show the two.
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I’m so grateful to have had so many moments of activity in the midst of crazy pregnancy sickness with our daughter. It’s been an up and down journey for sure, but one absolutely worth it to bring our sweet second child into this world!
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A picture only shows so much of a person’s story. We can hide behind any angle, filter, or hundredth photo taken, but at the end of the day it’s OUR story that counts. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or any other perfection you see in a photo on your feed. You are beautiful and YOUR story is worth celebrating. 💗
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Be real. Be you. Be bold. 😘

Affirmations

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You are strong.
You are bold.
You are confident.
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* Let me get real transparent here *
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Those are the verbal affirmations I shared in my morning post for my accountability group today. As I challenged them to share a #FlexFriday picture and speak those verbal affirmations over their day, remembering why THEY feel proud and strong, I find myself feeling every bit of the opposite.
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You are STRONG. I have been sick almost all week, and the last three days I haven’t been able to eat a thing. Today everything I ate sent me running to the bathroom. I feel weak as a result and doctor’s orders to not workout much is throwing me off too. I don’t really feel strong today; emotionally or physically.
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You are BOLD. I feel like an emotional mess with all this new sickness. I want to cry and sleep all at the same time, so that boldness I normally have is not feeling all that apparent. 🙈
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You are CONFIDENT. I received a message from someone today attempting to take a negative stab at my confidence for showing my pregnant belly in any of my workouts. All I can say is I have worked a lot on self love and my own confidence over the years. It’s never been a strong suit of mine, so to have come so far so as to even share MY journey transparently and connect with other women on theirs — I refuse to let negative messages like that get me down for too long. I deserve better than that, and so do all the women I’ve worked with that have worked so hard for their OWN self confidence too.
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It’s not always perfect peaches and roses. Just because I share my story with you doesn’t mean I’m not human and have my off days too. 🙈😊
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So today, I’m humbling myself a little as I read through all of the amazing transformation that is happening with my March group ladies as they share their pictures today. They are so strong, bold, and confident and today, THEY are pulling me through. 💗
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Love your body and be proud of what it’s been through and where it’s going. Nothing and no ONE can cut you down unless you let them. 😘

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Anyone else have an insane sweet tooth? 🙋🏽
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This entire pregnancy, baby girl has me craving everything sweet, so while dinner was in the oven, hubs helped me whip up some blueberry blender muffins and a batch of healthy chocolate chip almond flour cookies. 👍🏽
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Here’s to starting the week off with yummy, healthy treats for baby girl and I. Oh, and the guys too. 😜
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RECIPE inspired by my Fixate cookbook. Seriously, I have been following this portion control container system for over two years now and THESE are the kinds of recipes I get to enjoy and my challengers too! 😍
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• Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Combine 3 cups almond flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 Himalayan salt in a small bowl and mix well.
• In a separate, large bowl, beat 1/4 cup coconut oil melted and 1/4 cup pure maple syrup until creamy. Appx. 4 minutes or so! Then, into that same bowl, add in 1 large egg, 2 large egg whites, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Beat for another 2 minutes with your electric handheld mixer.
• Into that bowl, add in your almond flour mixture and stir together until blended.
• Then, add in your 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips until just blended.
• Using a small cookie scoop or tbsp, scoop rounded into the baking sheet. Flatten if you want them MORE of a cookie shape.
• Bake for about 14-16 mins. 14 mins is perfection in my oven! You want them golden brown.
• Store in an airtight container and even freeze! They’re delicious that way!
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ENJOY!! 😘😘

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9 Mindfulness Tips to Eat Smart and Lose Weight

What Is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating, which is sometimes called intuitive eating, is the practice of being present as you eat, says Krista Haynes, R.D. and Beachbody Nutrition Manager. It’s about giving your full attention and focus to noticing the way your food tastes, smells, looks, and how it makes you feel.

Josh Klapow, PhD, a clinical psychologist and co-host of “The Web” radio show, adds that mindful eating is about “appreciating that the process of eating is complex and highly fulfilling.”

Klapow compares mindful eating to mindful existence: “It’s not unlike taking a minute to look at a flower or experience being in nature,” he says. “We can either rush through it with a passing appreciation, or we can spend several minutes and take the entire environment into our senses. Mindful eating is the exact same thing.”

Can Mindful Eating Help You Lose Weight?

“By itself, mindful eating is not a weight-loss cure, but as part of an approach or tool it can catapult healthy eating and weight loss,” says Klapow.

That’s because being conscious of what you’re putting in your body is key to choosing healthier, more nourishing foods. Haynes says mindful eating shifts the focus from calories and numbers to how certain foods make you feel. “You begin to understand how food is energy and nourishment versus a passive event void of pleasure,” she adds.

Limiting distractions also plays a big role in what and how much you consume. When you eat while distracted, you’re more likely to overeat, make poor food choices, and ignore signs of physical discomfort or fullness.

Mindful eating helps you eliminate these distractions so you can become more in tune with your body, says Paige Bente, M.S., R.D. and Beachbody Nutrition Manager. “This can help you establish a healthy relationship with food, lose weight, and avoid the deprivation-binge cycle,” she says.

9 Mindfulness Tips to Eat Smart and Lose Weight

1. Pause before you eat to ask yourself why you’re eating

A big component of mindful eating is the quest to understand why you’re eating. Before you reach for the chips and salsa or dive into your lunch at 10 a.m., take a moment to notice how your body feels.

Is your stomach gurgling? Do you feel lightheaded or tired? Are you thirsty? Consider your environment as well. Are you bored? Do you feel the urge to procrastinate on work?

“Because so much of eating happens without awareness, the pause itself allows us to make eating [more] purposeful,” says Klapow.

2. Chew each bite thoroughly and savor it

Before you roll your eyes at this one, consider the fact that there are times when you inadvertently slurp, scarf, or completely inhale your food, either out of extreme hunger or bad habit.

Not only can this hinder proper digestion (and potentially scare your dinner guests), it also means you miss out on the complex textures and flavors of your food, Haynes says.

When you chew well, on the other hand, you register each salty, sour, or sweet flavor as it hits your mouth, which helps you savor your food more thoroughly.

“[Chewing] allows you to get more out of each bite while also slowing down the eating process,” says Klapow.

Resist the urge to wolf down your food; instead, focus on eating one small bite at a time and chewing it completely before you swallow it.

3. Drink water before meals

Preliminary research has shown that drinking water before a meal may prevent you from overeating (not to mention help you stay hydrated), but the simple ritual also has the power to shake you out of autopilot mode and bring you into the present.

“It can prevent the automatic eating cycle by slowing down your mind prior to eating, allowing for concentration and focus on the process of eating to come,” says Klapow.

4. Eat vibrant, flavorful foods

Whenever possible, choose colorful, fresh, unprocessed foods for your meals and snacks in the proper portions. Since mindful eating teaches you to notice the subtle flavors in foods by slowing down and taking small bites, you’ll develop a better taste and appreciation for naturally healthy, whole foods.

“This could ultimately entice you to choose carrots with a natural sweetness over a sugary treat, or whip up some vegetables because you love the flavor instead of drowning them in dressing or cheese,” says Haynes.

5. Eat without distractions

Close your laptop, switch off the TV, and step away from your desk. Mindful eating is about focusing solely on the food in front of you, not your emails, a magazine, or the latest episode of New Girl.

Even listening to music or podcasts can be too distracting — research shows that the noise your food makes when you eat can significantly influence how much food you consume. This “Crunch Effect” suggests you’re likely to eat less if you’re aware of the sounds you make as you eat. When you drown out that noise with earphones, though, you can end up consuming more.

“Think of it like meditation,” Klapow says. “It’s hard to meditate when people are talking to you, standing in front of you, or when your thoughts are drawn away.”

In the same vein, it’s challenging to eat mindfully — to savor your food and notice your body’s satiety signals — if your attention is scattered. The research agrees: Eating while distracted can lead to overeating, while attentive eating can help you lose weight.

6. Wait before getting seconds

It takes your brain about 20 minutes to receive the signal from your gut that you’re full. It’s easy to overeat in that small window of time, which is why it’s a good idea to take a break before loading up your plate for round two.

This waiting period gives you time to process the food you’ve eaten, Klapow says, and allows you to make a conscious choice about whether or not to get a second helping, rather than heading back to the kitchen out of habit.

7. When you feel the urge to snack, make a cup of tea first

According to Klapow, “urges to eat are often [just] urges for oral sensation fulfillment.” In other words, oftentimes you aren’t actually hungry, you’re just craving the ritual of indulging in something.

When this is the case, make yourself a cup of tea. Try black or green tea for a boost of caffeine, peppermint or unsweetened hibiscus for a strong flavor, or rooibos tea with fresh lemon, ginger, and apple cider.

The process of boiling the water, steeping the tea, and sipping it usually cancels out the snacking urge, Klapow says.

8. Take note of your cravings

If you’re practicing mindful eating for the first time, Bente recommends using a journal to record how you’re feeling, identify your cravings, and make note of when and where you’re eating.

Recognizing your cravings when they happen, Klapow says, allows you to make a conscious decision whether to indulge or not. Not just that, but taking note of your eating habits and environment can help you figure out what you need to adjust to eat more mindfully.

If you always eat lunch in front of your computer, for example, then wind up feeling uncomfortably stuffed, you can try trading your screen time for 20 minutes of eating in peaceful silence.

9. Eat with joy, not judgment

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to become so concerned with what and how much you eat that you forget to actually enjoy your food.

Of course, it’s important to understand the nutritional value of the things you’re putting in your body, but if you’re overly preoccupied with counting calories, you’re likely to experience a lot of self-imposed guilt and judgment.

Instead of approaching meals with dread or fear that you might overeat, approach them with a sense of joy and excitement. Savor each delicious, healthy bite and revel in the process of nourishing yourself and taking care of your body.

When you’re kind to yourself and take genuine pleasure in eating, Bente says you’re more likely to honor your body and eat only to the point of fullness.

*article courtesy of Beachbody Blog