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Blog posts of '2016' 'August'

Turn Over a New Leaf

It’s one of the latest health trends everyone’s raving about. I’m talking about a detox or cleanse. It usually consists of a three to seven day juice plan or the removal of all things processed.  The idea is to flush the toxins and junk from your beautiful temple. It’s out with the bad and in with the good. I’ve done a few cleanses myself and have supported clients through them as well. I think most would agree that it isn't ever easy, but certainly worth it in the end. It's the end result that keeps you going.  Your eyes look brighter, your skin is glowing and some of those extra pesky pounds are flushed down the toilet, literally. While this type of cleanse can be great for the body, there’s another type of detox I want to introduce to you. It probably won’t change the number on your scale, but it may help you feel lighter, and happier in other ways. The time to turn over a new leaf, and detox your life is now. That’s right; it’s time to cleanse everything that is weighing you down. It requires you to remove or distance yourself from negativity, drama and any "toxic" things that may be holding you back. Like a juice cleanse, it’s usually not easy but totally worth it.  Let me help you see the big picture. You have one life to live in this amazing and beautiful world, so ask yourself this, “Why am I allowing myself to get bogged down with nonsense that leaves me feeling bad about myself?” It’s not just with people; it’s also about how you think and treat your space. As a health coach, I believe this is a major part of living a happy and healthy life. If this part of your life is out of balance, it’s going to be difficult to be at your best every day. Health doesn’t necessarily mean eating clean alone; it requires a balance to all areas of your life. Here are a few steps I’m encouraging you to remove the toxins and unhealthy “junk" from your life.

Remove or distance yourself from negative people. You want to surround yourself with people who lift you up, help you to thrive and treat you with respect. They should be honest with you yet gentle towards your heart. Distance yourself from people who constantly talk down to you or make you feel as though you don’t have any worth. This should include networks, family, friends and personal relationships. This doesn’t mean you can’t be kind, but distance yourself until your relationship can return to a healthy state.

Turn off your cell phone. Scary, right? I mean what are we to do when we can’t answer emails at 11pm? SLEEP! Go to sleep, you lovely people! The amount of time and energy spent on your phone can add up to hours in your day. Five minutes here, and there, can REALLY make a difference. So, when I hear people complain that they don't have any time, I wonder how much time they would have if they put down their cell phone. Disconnect from the internet, from technology, and spend time the good ol' fashioned way. Being present is SO important. There is nothing worse than being with a group of people who are all on their phones, instead of connecting with one another. 

Connect with your body, trust it, and most importantly listen to it. Am I beginning to sound like a broken record? GOOD! I hope that you're beginning to catch onto this. Our bodies will tell us what it needs, if we just take the time to listen to it. Be mindful of bloating, gas, energy and mood. Also, pay attention to when these moments come on. If you notice yourself running to the bathroom after eating a block of cheese, you may want to refrain from making that choice. It's hurting your body, which means it's hurting you. 

Go to bed early, or at least at a decent time. This is one of those areas that you HAVE to change in order to be healthy. There is no getting around it. Get yourself into a routine that allows your body to rest properly. If you have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, try adding a bedtime routine to get yourself into relaxation mode. You can try disconnecting from your electronics, take a warm bath or shower, read a book, write your thoughts onto a piece of paper and save it for tomorrow, or try some bedtime yoga!

Complain less. Your words can be weapons to not only yourself but to others. Do your best to speak with encouragement and love. It doesn’t mean you can’t express your feelings, but choose to do so only when necessary and be sure to think before you speak. Challenge yourself one day at a time. Try going one whole day without complaining and only speaking positive words towards yourself and others. You may not even know you are doing it.

Upon rising each day, let all of your thoughts and feelings fall onto a piece of paper. Early morning thoughts are often the feelings you are struggling with from yesterday or what you have to face within the day ahead. Take a few minutes to write in a journal about how you are feeling. Releasing your thoughts, good or bad, helps you to take on each day without anything filling your mind or taking over your thoughts. It’s like starting fresh before you walk out of the door.

Find your joy every day. This is something I preach to my clients. If you are just going through the motions and living for the weekends, are you really enjoying life? It’s all about joy! It doesn’t have to be something big, just something that brings a smile to your face with each new day. Take a luscious bath, light a candle, enjoy a piece of dark chocolate or go for a walk in the great outdoors. Find your joy and bring it to life.

Remove the clutter from your space. Your home, car and office are a reflection of you and can affect your productivity. As we get ready to welcome a new season, take some time to fit in some cleaning. Remove the items you don’t need or use and donate them to someone in need. Give everything a good deep clean and top it off with a fresh fall scent like pumpkin spice, apples or cinnamon. Organize files, papers and drawers. It’s such a therapeutic exercise that can give your life a fresh look and energized feel.

Doing these things can be just as important as eating a whole foods diet and exercising. As we enter a new season, it's the perfect time to incorporate some or all of these suggestions into your life. It's a great way to balance your plate, work towards better health and find true happiness.

The Secret is Planning & Prepping

I think there are a few secret ingredients to making a healthy lifestyle work. Sure, you need to stay active and eat a healthy whole foods diet. That’s the obvious. Then, you can't ignore healthy relationships, fulfilling career, and faith. It’s what we often refer to as balance. We each need to find a good balance in life. While these are all crucial and important to being healthy, there’s one component that should be revisited weekly. It’s what we refer to as planning and prepping, or food prepping. Yes, it takes a little time, discipline and work, but once it’s done, there’s nothing more rewarding. It’s the KEY to staying on track with this lifestyle. Whether you’re a busy stay at home mama, successful business woman, or all of the above, it will keep you on track with your healthy journey. When I discuss this with clients, I always use the quote, “If you fail to prepare then you can prepare to fail.” In the end it saves on time, energy, money, and last minute poor choices. 

PLAN

This is where it starts. First, you have to budget and designate the time you’re going to accomplish the task at hand. Each week, schedule a time for this and put it in your planner. It’s good to set a time, blocking out at least two hours to get everything accomplished. Make a list of the recipes you plan to make for the next five to seven days, write out the items needed, and keep it on a piece of paper or in the notes section in your phone. Remember, the meals you make can be quick and healthy. Look for simple recipes on www.JennaLento.com, consider a few crock pot meals, and don’t be afraid to cook once and eat twice. I also encourage clients to rotate their meals, so their bodies absorb different nutrients, and also to keep them from getting bored. Keep in mind that you should be sticking to whole food options, very few if any processed options and organic when possible. Once you’ve planned out your meals, put your list together, you’re on your way to a successful week ahead! 

SHOP

Once you’ve mapped out the meals for the week, created your list, and set aside some time, it’s time to hit the grocery store. Before we get into the nitty gritty of shopping, let me say this doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If you’re a busy mom, maybe this is a moment for you to grab a skinny latte, put your earbuds in, and dance through the aisles. Okay, maybe not dance but you get what I’m saying. If you do have kids, this might be a good time to include them. Make a fun game out of shopping, or even use this as a time to encourage their little helping hands to take part in the shopping process. Whether you choose to make grocery shopping enjoyable or not, there are a few guidelines to keep you on track with your choices and budget. More often than not, I’ll have people tell me eating healthy is way too expensive. There is some truth to that. Often, organic and healthier food options can be costly, that is, if you aren’t careful. It's why you need to stick to your list. Think about it. If you aren’t purchasing the extras that you TRULY don't need, you may notice your grocery budget stays the same. I often have clients cut out the processed food choices or pop, switch to whole food options, and notice their grocery bill didn’t really change. The extras add up, so stay away from them. Stick to your list and refrain from wandering down the unnecessary aisles. The general rule of thumb I use includes hitting the outside of the store first. This is where you can stock up on fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meat choices, eggs, and nut milk options. It isn’t that you won’t ever find me down the middle aisles, but I usually stick to the outskirts of the store. Also, when it comes to organic choices, if it’s not in the budget, just stick to what you can afford. You can always utilize the Dirty Dozen Clean 15 list from the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) to guide you on options that can go without being organic. Now that you’ve purchased your whole food options, it’s time to head home and prep right away. Don’t forget your eco-friendly reusable grocery bags!

PREPARE

By now, I know you’re tired and truly just want to stop there. The grocery store was busy, traffic was out of control and you truly just want to enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Let me reassure you that completing this last step will make the week ahead MUCH smoother. It will save you on so much time, energy and work! Unpack those groceries and let’s finish planning and prepping, so you can kick back and relax. Remove the groceries from the bag and sort everything out. If there is anything that needs to be frozen, put it away immediately. From there, preheat the oven, so you can bake your chicken or lean meat of choice. While the oven is preheating, remove all produce from the bags, and wash thoroughly. Pull out the containers or baggies you will store your produce in. Make sure the containers have lids in order to keep the fruits and vegetables fresh for a bit longer. Once you’ve washed everything, begin cutting and chopping. Doing this, will allow you to grab and go throughout the busy week. In the photo above, you can see there are sandwich bags filled with fruits and vegetables. I often prep my smoothie combinations for the week ahead. This way I can dump the bag of health into my Vitamix, add a nut milk of choice or coconut water, blend and enjoy. It takes little to no time at all! So, now that you’ve prepped your produce and neatly organized it in the refrigerator, it’s time to accomplish the protein. I love hardboiled eggs for a breakfast or for a snack on the go. It’s packed with protein, healthy fat and it fills me up! Once the eggs are cooked, remove the shells, rinse, and store in a container in the refrigerator. I like to remove the shells, so I can once again grab and go. The final step is to prep the meat you plan to eat. I usually only prep my meat for the next two-ish days ahead, for obvious reasons. I clean, season, and bake my chicken. If I plan to make chicken salads, I will cut my chicken into cubes. All of this leads to convenience and healthy choices. 

As you can see planning and prepping the food you plan to eat for the week does take some time and work. However, once you’ve completed the task at hand, you will begin to reap the benefits all throughout the week. You will allow yourself to have more time to spend on the things you enjoy, so you don’t have to rush home from work and spend time and energy deciding what to eat and then even more time cooking. It will also prevent you from running through the drive through during those on-the-go days. In the end this leads to better food choices, more time, and success in reaching your health and wellness goals! 

Should you have any questions regarding this post, please feel free to email me at JennaLento1@gmail.com