Find the Joy in Eating

 

Calorie counting is a bad habit, and like any habit, it takes time and effort to break. Don’t expect to ditch the numbers overnight, and don’t beat yourself up if things aren’t going as quickly or as smoothly as you’d like them to.

Once you start eating the proper foods that fuel your body, calories won’t matter to you. Counting calories is unnecessary when your meals consist mainly of fruits & veggies. Releasing yourself from counting calories goes deeper than just numbers. It’s about feeling better as a person and being the change you want to see in the world.download

 

FIND A HIGHER PURPOSE & MORE JOY. 

Find more meaning in your life outside of controlling your body. Find more joy in your life to help you see that controlling your weight really doesn’t bring you joy.  

CHANGE YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Unfollow those people who, when every time you look at their Instagram, you feel triggered. It’s just not worth it. 

Change the way you’re speaking OUT LOUD.

If we want to be more free from criticism, we need to stop criticizing. Start to be the example. Find JOY in being an example to other people, and in turn, giving them permission to let go of the weight/calorie obsession as well.

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” 

Stand up for your friends when they put themselves down. Stand up for people who are trying to honor their bodies. Do not stand up for dieting and calorie counting.

Start to have more FUN with food. Start to rebuild your relationship to it. 

Begin to appreciate food and its unique nature. Think about how sweet and wonderful an organic strawberry tastes. Buy the best cheese in the store, and make yourself the best panini you’ve ever tasted. ENJOY your food. Sit down with it. Give it your attention. Be excited about it. Have a relationship with it. 

And most of all, as you’re doing this, notice how when you have more satisfying experiences with food, you’re more able to MOVE ON after you eat and focus on other important things in life. 

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Find the joy in life! This is worth it. It’s apart of being human.   We all have to deal with the tough stuff. Get support! (If you’re curious to know if I would be the right support for you, please visit my services page and connect with me on there.)

The Essential Grocery Guide

I love shopping!  Shopping for clothes, for my home, for office supplies, for FOOD!

Basically, I just really love spending money (Sssh! Don’t let my husband read that – although he is probably already aware of my habits).  But when it comes to shopping for fresh food, it can get overwhelming. Well, it is about to get a lot simpler! Below is a short grocery list to get you started on healthy habits, perfect for a quick meal prep too. Use this as your guide next time you go shopping. Scroll down for a bonus:  a FREE DOWNLOAD of my complete grocery guide.

grocery guide

2 tips before you shop

You don’t have to  toss everything and start from scratch in one day.

Switching to 100 percent whole foods can be challenging and even costly at first, not to mention unrealistic in the long run. Give it time, and take it easy on yourself. Try replacing one food item at a time. Try brown rice pasta for plain white pasta, or coconut flour instead of white flour. As you continually add in the good, your taste buds will change, and you will naturally want good, clean, whole foods. (The “fake” foods will seem less appealing.)

Plan to create meals with just a few items.

Try mixing and matching from the list below. For example, boil quinoa and then toss it with roasted asparagus,  a sliced hard-boiled egg and 1/2 sliced avocado. Add a scoop of pico de gallo and you have a meal that is  fresh, clean, fast and delish!

Clean Eating Grocery List

GRAINS AND PROTEIN IN THE PANTRY

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa (also a protein source)
  • Millet
  • Brown rice noddles
  • Tahini
  • Tempeh
  • Black beans
  • Cannelini beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Raw almonds
  • Raw cashews
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Almond butter

VEGGIES/HERBS

  • Spinach
  • Lettuces (try all different kinds)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro (Best way to store fresh herbs)
  • Parsley
  • Tomatoes
  • Various other vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, whatever you like)

CONDIMENTS/FLAVORINGS

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Black pepper
  • Pink himalayan salt
  • Chipotle red pepper seasoning (I add this to everything!)
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Tamari (instead of soy sauce)
  • Stevia
  • Dijon mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar

FRUITS

  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Avocado
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Berries
  • Varied other fruits (melon, mango, grapes,pineapples)

SNACKS/OTHER

  • Hummus
  • Ezekiel bread
  • Veggie chips (TERRA brand is the best!)
  • Coconut ice cream (try the So Delicious brand)
  • Quinoa & black bean tortilla chips (Beanitos are tasty & can be found Jewel)
  • Popcorn (go for fresh – popped on the stove)

BEVERAGES

  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • For smoothies: gogi berries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao powder, maca powder
  • Also for smoothies: frozen fruit (buy it in bulk from Costco for the best deal)

Happy Shopping!

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For even more grocery goodness download my FREE grocery guide!  >> www.amandasabwellnes.com <<

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Looking to incorporate more whole foods into your diet? Below are a few links that will hep you on your journey:

Have your cake & eat it too

5 steps to planning healthy meals

7 steps to a whole foods diet

Healthy grocery tips

 

ACHIEVING SMART GOALS Pt. 2

goals pt 2

Let’s dig a little deeper into setting SMART goals. Here’s part 1 >>> A SMART Guide to Your Goals.

If you feel like you are doing everything possible to attain that SMART goal but are still coming up short, perhaps you need a reality check. Try keeping a diet and exercise journal for one week and check to see if you are actually maintaining a program that will get you where you want to be.

Need a little more assistance? My 6 month coaching program comes with a binder full of worksheets: meal planners, activity trackers, grocery guides, and MORE! 

People often start a program with the intention of making a change, but struggle to stick with it. Remember, it is only when you decide that you are ready to make a real commitment to this change and do it for yourself that you expect results. Without a real resolution to change, you will likely encounter many obstacles and barriers that will make sticking with the program difficult. Consider the following tips if you are thinking about starting a program:

  • Ask yourself why you want to make this change an who you are doing it for.
  • Write down a list of all the benefits you foresee with making this change and a list of costs (e.g., time, effort and money) that will be required to do so. If the balance swings in favor of the benefits, you are likely to stick with the program.
  • Identify a support system. Find individuals of significance in your life who will support your desire to change and perhaps even join you.
  • Select some rewards for achieving major steps in your program. Recognize your achievements with treats such as a purchase, attending a function or even taking a trip. Such rewards will help you stay motivated during the beginning of your program.
  • Visibly place prompts and cues that constantly remind you of the decision you made to change, and remove any stimuli that may trigger undesirable behaviors. For example, placing visible notes or keeping a workout bag accessible will prompt good behavior, while removing ice cream from the freezer may remove a negative stimulus.

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Make your goals count this year! Let’s chat about what works for you and eliminate what doesn’t. Schedule your FREE consultation today!

Come say hello on Facebook @ AmandaSabWellness !

Healthy Eating at Parties

Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend! Oh gosh, just thinking about all those wings and nachos makes me excited yet anxious at the same time. First read this post on enjoying food >>Have your Cake.  You can definitely enjoy yourself, but don’t go overboard…  No need to stress! Here are 10 tips to handle the party scene when you’re a “healthy eater”.

parties

1. Eat a snack before you go. Never show up to a party starving. This will lead you to binging on things you really shouldn’t eat. Have a simple snack before you go like an apple and almond butter or veggies and hummus.

2. Fill half your plate with veggies. Veggies are pretty awesome! As long as they aren’t covered with cheese or fattening dressings or sauces…

3. Avoid junk food. Pigs in a Blanket, potato chips, creamy dips, those triple chocolate brownies… Stop and think if you really want it or just your emotions talking. I did a small post on Facebook about emotional eating, read that here >> Emotional vs. Physical Hunger.

4. Take a look at the food table before starting to fill your plate up. You can “plan ahead” this way. You’ll know what’s there and what you want to put on your plate (what you should put on your plate), so you don’t fill it up with the junky stuff.

5. Focus on the event, not the food. Take your focus off of the food, mingle a bit and keep yourself distracted from cravings.

6. Don’t sit or stand near the food. If you do this you’ll find yourself mindlessly munching on those potato chips and dip I told you to avoid in #3.

7. Keep yourself hydrated. Fill yourself up with water. Drink water before you go, and between bites of food or alcoholic drinks.

8. Watch your alcohol intake. Or, just skip it altogether. You can still have fun without alcohol! Trust me! If you do choose to drink, limit yourself and avoid drinks mixed with soda or sugary juices.

9. When it’s time for dessert, have some fruit! Or a fruit-based dessert.

10. Don’t forget to have fun. Regardless of how much you eat or drink – don’t sweat it. It’s a party. You’re allowed to have fun sometimes! Never beat yourself up for stepping out of your eating plan and enjoying yourself. Just don’t make a habit of it.

Bonus tip: Offer to bring a dish! If you make a healthy dish at least you’ll know there will be something for you to eat.

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Do you have any party tips for healthy eaters? I’d love to hear them! Tell us in the comments below & find AmandaSabWellness on Facebook!

Have Your Cake & Eat It Too!

I’m always intrigued by people’s response and reaction to food. Some treat it like it is poison and needs to be avoided at all costs, others treat it like a drug and they are constantly looking for their next hit. I treat it like it’s my energy source as well as something to enjoy. There’s some great benefit in being able to have your cake and eat it too.

cupcake

There’s an obsession at the moment with healthy eating – which is fantastic! We are slowly moving away from the idea of ‘dieting’ and moving towards a more long lasting, sustainable approach.

What does healthy mean to you? When it comes to food healthy to me means whole, unprocessed, natural food. There are many fancy names for it; Clean Eating is one that gets tossed around a lot. At the end of the day – all it means is that you’re eating nutritious food, as close to it’s natural state as possible. More info on whole foods here >> 7 Steps to A Whole Foods Diet.

So how do you work out what is a good balance of healthy food and not so healthy food? What do you do when that craving for chocolate cake kicks in?

GIVE IN TO IT! 

I learned a long time ago that if I try to replace what I’m craving with any sort of substitute, 9 times out of 10 I’ll end up eating what I was craving in the first place and in the process of trying to avoid it, I would have consumed 3 times as many calories as the initial craving contained. That’s just far too complicated for me. I have a small serving of whatever it is I am craving, and then get on with it.

The world isn’t going to crumble if I eat a slice of cake. I am not going to put on 5lbs if I eat a piece of pizza. When that craving strikes and I indulge, I make sure I enjoy every little bit of what I am eating. I eat my food slowly and savor it. You’re craving it because you wanted something badly, why rush it? I do not make myself feel guilty for it and I make no apologies. I don’t negotiate with myself, no conversations of ‘if I eat this brownie now I’ll run 2 miles on the treadmill later’. Because I won’t.

I have noticed that since I have started to ‘allow’ myself to eat a little naughty every now and then, my cravings have become less and less. I actually want to eat healthier meals more often. It’s kind of like your own internal reverse psychology. If I tell myself I’m not allowed to eat something, then I’m going to want it even more.

Food is an energy source. If we eat highly nutritious, whole food often and we are fueling our bodies with good energy, then we will find we have good energy coming from it. If we ‘nourish’ it with heavy, processed, sluggish foods then we will find that we have heavy, sluggish energy coming from it.

More than anything though, food is to be enjoyed. There are so many recipes for amazingly delicious, nutrient dense meals that will be a winner every time. But when the mood strikes to indulge in something a little naughty, give in occasionally and enjoy it. Don’t beat yourself up about a little naughty every now and then. Sometimes it’s a piece of chocolate that makes me feel fantastic!

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What does healthy mean to you? Tell me in the comments below & tag Amanda Sabatino Wellness on Facebook!

Setting Goals That Stick!

No matter how big or small your goal, making changes requires planning and SMART goal setting. Follow these guidelines to setting SMART goals and you will be surprised at what you can do! 

smart goals

SPECIFIC: The goals must specifically state what is to be accomplished. They must be easily understood and should not be too broad or subject to interpretation.

  • A common goal, “get healthy,” is too general. There are so many ways to get healthy. How do you want to do it? Is it losing weight? Start exercising? Eating better? Break it down and it will be easier to manage.
  • Let’s pick weight loss and make a SMART goal out of it together. For example, “I will lose weight.”

MEASURABLE: The goals must be measurable so that there is no doubt about whether you achieved them. Measurable goals also allow you to evaluate your progress. Goals can be measured objectively or subjectively (i.e., how you feel and look), or both. For example, you could measure your percent body fat and body weight, but also monitor how your pants fit.

  • A goal to “lose weight” is not enough. How will you track your progress and how you will know when you have reached your goal? Making your goal measurable means adding a number.

ATTAINABLE: The goals must be attainable—not too difficult or too easy. Easy goals do not motivate, and overly difficult ones may frustrate you and lead to a feeling of failure.

  • Let’s take our goal above. What percentage is attainable for you? Research suggests that a 5-10% weight loss is attainable for most overweight people.
  • A measurable, attainable goal could be, “I will lose 7% of my body weight.”

RELEVANT: The goals must be relevant or specific to your particular interests, needs and abilities. For example, when preparing for a 5K walk, running quarter-mile sprints would not be the best approach.

  • Examine our goal so far. Does it seem relevant to you? If so, let’s keep going. If you are not concerned about weight loss or this is not a good time in your life to focus on that, choose something that IS motivating to you.

TIME-BOUND: The goals must be time-bound by specific deadlines for completion. Timelines can be both short-term and long-term and should help you stay focused and on track.

  • Since healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, set your deadline accordingly. For our example we can use 3 months. “I will lose 7% of my body weight in 3 months.”

Now we have a SMART goal! With a goal like this, it’s a good idea to set a few more action-oriented SMART goals so that you have a game plan. Here are a few examples:

  • I will walk 5 days every week for 30 minutes each.
  • I will drink water instead of soda every day this week.
  • I will bring my lunch to work instead of eating out 4 days this week.

Becoming a better version of you starts by being SMART!

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Have you decided that it’s time to make a change but aren’t sure how to get started? Or have you already set more goals for yourself than you care to admit-but keep failing to reach them?

It’s time for a new way of thinking. Click here >> Amanda Sab Wellness << to schedule a free 30 minute consultation. A full 30 minutes dedicated to talking about your goals and thinking in terms of success!! No more diets, gaining the weight back, or feeling unhappy. The best thing you can do for yourself is invest in your health!

 

 

5 Steps to Planning Healthy Meals

Need a little extra help planning meals for the week? This is what I do and work on with my clients. Sundays are typically the meal plan days before I go grocery shopping to make sure I have healthy meals prepped all week and stay on track with my health & fitness goals. It’s important to note that even if you’re planning just ONE day in advance that’s still better than not planning. Do what you can. 🙂

Meal plans are a great way to incorporate more healthy meals into your diet. I look at meal plans as a base, sometimes I add to it, take away from it, or just cook what I have. Either way, the key to healthy habits is preparation and this is the best thing you can do!

meal plan

1. START WITH A MAIN DISH AS A COURSE

Let’s start with dinner because dinner typically becomes lunch for the next day. To make it easy, I start with a meat for my main course. I typically plan meals Monday through Friday because the weekends there can be other events. Sundays, I like to mix whatever is left from the week and create some pretty interesting dishes.

I start by thinking about what would I want to have over the course of the week. For instance, I like to have fish once or twice and chicken once or twice and always include a big salad. We try to stay away from red meat, but I’ll put it into the meal plan if it’s a special occasion.

2. PLAN YOUR SIDES

If you have your main course (protein) picked out, think about what vegetables would go well with those items. Vegetables can go with anything! Some of my favorite combinations include: peppers, onions, and mushrooms / zucchini, onions, mushrooms / lemon, asparagus and broccoli.

3. MAKE YOUR LIST AND PREPARE

You’ve planned your meals.. now make your list and go shopping! When you start eating healthy consistently, you will find that you tend to eat some of the same foods each week.

Download my meal planner and grocery list worksheet for easy peasy meal planning in minutes!

After you shop, go home and cut everything up. I cut up all my veggies – peppers, zucchini, onions, etc. and put them in a container so I could easily throw them into the oven or on the stove when I’m cooking meals during the week.

I also prepare tons of fruits for snacks and smoothies. I’ll cut up strawberries, peaches, and pineapples – mix it together for a quick fruit salad or freeze it for smoothies. Berries also make a great snack! We buy nuts in bulk like almonds or cashews for snacks.

Cut up everything you could possibly cut up and have it ready. If there’s time I’ll make a batch of hard boiled eggs or breakfast muffins for the week.

4. WORK WITH YOUR SCHEDULE

Look at your calendar and identify the days where your time is limited to cook. Pick fast and easy meals you can prep in advance. Between yoga and boxing classes, my busy nights are Mondays and Tuesdays, I typically make a crockpot meal, quick pasta dish with brown rice pasta, or a large salad. So when are you busy? When do you not have a lot of time to prep? Pick those nights to do easy meals.

5. PUT IT IN THE CALENDAR

Put it on the calendar and stick to it! I write my meals out on my meal planning worksheet and hang it on the fridge, so I know what I need to do. I don’t have to think about it. I just come home and get it done. With a meal plan, I end up not eating unhealthy things and getting more out of my meals.

BONUS TIP:

Don’t forget about breakfast!! It really is the most important meal of the the day. Check out a previous blog post, The Breakfast List, for 30+ quick healthy meals.

This process has really helped me stick to a healthy eating routine! I hope it helps you, too!

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Looking for your very own meal planning packet? Download my Ultimate Health Planner Package today! Meal planner, activity planner, grocery guide & MORE!

Whole Foods Diet

Thinking about switching to a whole foods diet, but not entirely ready to jump in with both feet? Maybe you’ve realized that making a change from your current eating habits might not be a bad idea, but where do you start? Recognizing that what you’re doing now isn’t working is a great first step! The good news is eating whole foods isn’t a “diet.” It’s a lifestyle and a new way of eating. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you in no time!

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1. Drink more water: Drinking water is a vital part of any diet, but start small if you’re not normally a water type of person. If you tend to drink coffee or soda, start by replacing just one of those a day with water. Read more >> The Importance of Water.

2. Get rid of fake foods gradually: Don’t try to clean out your entire pantry all at once. Start by getting rid of just a few items at a time and replacing them with healthier alternatives, such as replacing refined breads and pastas made from white flour with ones made from whole grains or gluten free /  brown rice pasta.

3. Eat more fruits & veggies: If you know you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, start adding them in gradually to your daily diet. Eat a piece of fruit with breakfast and lunch. Add a portion of vegetables to your dinner or sneak them into your smoothies – a handful of spinach leaves always does the trick.

4. Focus on a few favorite foods: If you love your meat and protein, start simple by purchasing meat that comes from grass-fed cattle or eggs from pasture-raised chickens. If you’re a produce lover, start buying organic fruits & veggies.

5. Shop the perimeter: Most whole, natural foods are found on the outside aisles of the grocery store. Try to avoid buying too many items from the center of the store; that’s where you’ll encounter more processed and packaged foods. Better yet, shop your local farmer’s market for more natural, in season, whole food choices!

6. Read labels: A natural food (such as an apple) has no label, while a bag of chips has a label with a ton of ingredients that you probably can’t pronounce. If you’re not ready to completely give up processed foods, start by studying the labels and choosing foods that contain the fewest and simplest ingredients. Try to avoid hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors or colors, preservatives, high amounts of fat or sodium and added sugar.

7. Cook at home: This is an easy way to start eating more whole foods and save money in the process. When you cook your own food, you have control over the ingredients going in your dish. People who cook tend to eat more healthfully and weigh less than those who don’t. This doesn’t mean you have to become a master chef overnight.  Start by learning a few meals with simple ingredients.

** If you enjoyed this article, check out my other post on Whole Foods. Here’s the link >> Whole Foods.

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For more details on wholesome grocery shopping, download my Holistically Happy Grocery Guide HERE!

Best Way to Store Fresh Herbs

I love to grow my own herbs, but I find it harder to do / don’t have the space for it during the winter months. Every time I went to the grocery store (about once a week) I found myself buying new herbs. I hated throwing out the old ones after a few days. I knew there had to be an easier, more sustainable way to keep my herbs fresh. The options below kept my herbs fresh for 3+ weeks!

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Prep

  1. Wash them. Wash your herbs as soon as you bring them home. Rinsing them in the sink is perfect. Lay them on a layer of paper towels and pat gently with more paper towels to blot away any excess moisture.
  2. Trim the bases by snipping off the bases of the stems and removing any discolored or wilted leaves. Just like you would when bringing home a fresh batch of flowers.
  3. Change the water. Make sure your herbs have fresh water. Changing it every few days worked best for me.
  4. Basil Tip: I found basil prefers room temperature rather than the fridge. Be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight.

Store

  1. Mason Jar. Transfer herbs to a mason jar with an inch of water in the bottom. Cover the top of the jar with a ziploc sealed with a rubber band (if possible). Store in the refrigerator.
  2. Paper Towel. Wet & wring out a paper towel. Place the herbs in the damp paper towel. Wrap them in the towel, place in a ziploc bag and put in the fridge *This method works for lettuce & kale too!

That’s it! Super simple. A little extra time &  prep can get you far in the kitchen 🙂

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Looking for more tips and tricks with your groceries?  CLICK HERE to sign up for my newsletter and receive my Holistically Happy Grocery Guide!

Festive Christmas Punch

Are you hosting for the upcoming holidays? This is a great punch to serve! There’s no added sugar so you won’t be left with a sugar hangover the next day but I can’t say as much for the added wine… Cheers! cocktails

Christmas Punch

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 strawberry-flavored tea bags, &
  • mango-flavored tea bag
  • 1cup mint leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered lengthways
  • 1 cup  frozen mixed berries
  • 750ml sparkling apple cider, chilled
  • 750ml sparkling wine, chilled
  1. Pour boiling water into a heatproof jug. Add teabags and stand for 5 minutes Drain and discard tea bags.
  2. Place cooled tea, mint leaves, strawberries and mixed berries into a large punch bowl or 2 large jugs. Add apple cider. Slowly add sparking wine and serve.

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Have a wonderfully festive holiday, healthy friends!