How To Spring Clean Your Diet

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful weather if you’re in NC! It is a gorgeous day today, and Micah and I (and Erin) have already taken a relaxing Sunday afternoon walk.

With this amazing weather, everyone wants to look and feel their best, but it’s so easy to hang on to those old habits of junk food and unhealthy cravings…trust me, being pregnant, I would know a thing or two about cravings.The reality is, what better time to start eating a healthy diet? With the rise in popularity of farmer’s markets and gardening, healthy choices are more accessible  and affordable than ever. If you’re still not sure where to start, don’t worry, I’ve got some tips for you on how to spring clean your diet. These tips are so simple, that even if you’ve never tried to eat healthier foods, you’ll still be able to get on the right track to a balanced diet.

(Disclaimer: the following information is intended as suggestions for healthy eating. Before you begin any diet or exercise regimen, consult your physician or healthcare provider.)


Are you ready to spring clean your diet?

How To (1)

1.  Look for local on the label. Local produce is based on what’s in season and readily available in your area. This makes it cheaper, and usually, local farms are very careful about the quality of their produce. I find great deals at a local flea market in my area, where I can find pretty much any kind of produce that’s in season for a great price.

2. The fewer (ingredients), the better. This is a great general rule of thumb when grocery shopping. I mean, look at the back of a doritos bag….Think about how long that list of ingredients is….a much healthier alternative would be those sweet potato chips that only have about 5 ingredients, or better yet, and cheaper, just roast a can of chickpeas in the oven until they’re crunchy…I love to sprinkle chili powder and garlic powder on them…Delicious!

3. Buy foods with ingredients you can pronounce. Okay, with the exception of that exotic fruit or veggie whose name we have no idea how to spell, this is one of the best rules for cleaning up your diet. This is especially true of pre-packaged foods. Don’t buy it unless you understand what’s in it…if in doubt… make a healthy freezer meal instead of buying the ready-made alternative. (That’s what a slow cooker is for.)

4. Drink more water. Micah and I do not keep 2 liter sodas in our house. Ever. We drink water, tea and coffee, and I’m sure not too long after little Erin arrives, we’ll be adding quality fruit juice to that mix. It’s actually saved us a lot of money on our grocery bill over the years…I’m not sure how much, but if you were to add up what you spend on soft drinks each month, I’m sure you’d see how that money is better spent on fruits and veggies….it’s all about your priorities.

5. Pack your lunch for work. A homemade lasagna with chopped up veggies added in is way better for you than ordering out pizza or Chinese. Once again, I add, remember to use your slow cooker. You will also save a lot of money. Your body and your wallet will thank you.

6. Say “no” to fried and breaded foods. I’m from the south, where we love our breaded chicken tenders, but they’re just not that good for us. A healthier alternative is to roll chicken tenders in egg and oat flour and then bake them in the oven.

7. Be accountable. Keep a food journal. When you see what exactly what you’re putting in your body, it’s far easier to realize how much good or harm you’re doing to your body. Part of health journaling is about how that healthy meal made you feel versus how that fast food meal made you feel. I’ve coached a lot of clients through the years, and those that keep a food and exercise journal have more lasting results and reach their goals much sooner than those that don’t.

Cleaning up your food intake is easy, and can really be done without a lot of expense or a lot of extra effort. What is your favorite tip for staying on track with eating healthy? Comment below!

–  Julie

5 Simple Ways Pregnant Women Can Take Care of Their Health

Hi There!

It’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me and with good reason….The past 6 months have been busy to say the least since Micah and I found out that WE’RE HAVING A BABY! Little Erin is expected to make her entrance into the world in July of this year! We couldn’t be more excited! She’s growing more and more every day.

With this exciting new adventure on the horizon, I’ve had to take a step back and look at my health. Sure, I still try to eat a healthy diet. (“Try” is the operative word.) I do exercise, but in spurts throughout the day. My workouts have changed a little bit, but now I focus on being active to increase my endurance and to feel good, as opposed to only getting faster or stronger.

So without further ado, Here’s some simple, yet effective ways that I’ve been able to stay healthy through the past 2 trimesters.

(Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner, and this post is not in any way intended to replace the recommendations of your practitioner. Please consult with your doctor prior to beginning any diet, exercise, or wellness regiment.)

Stay Hydrated
I’m not going to lie to you…I’m not the best about drinking plain old water. But this is something I’ve had to change as an expectant mother.Let me tell you why…If I don’t get enough water, then I feel completely drained and icky. I attribute maintaining a healthy body composition during pregnancy to water. You are over 70% water, so I would venture to say that it’s important for your little one’s growth and development too. I track how much water I drink by how many times I have to refill my water during the day. I also keep a glass by my bedside because having to take allergy medicine this time of year dries out my mouth and throat.It’s such a simple thing to do and pretty much anyone can do this…and it takes minimal effort…ok, so it is getting a little tougher to get up and down, but you get the idea. Add some ice cubes and a slice of lemon or orange and you’re ready to go!

Eat a Rainbow
Fill your plate with as many colors as possible. I know, craving fried foods is the temptation of every pregnant woman alive, but just think about the good you’re doing your baby and yourself by making a healthier choice. Recently, I’ve gotten addicted to Greek yogurt parfaits with berries and granola. This is such a great way to sneak in those antioxidants! I do still love salads too, I haven’t been much on cooked veggies, but I still love any veggies I can eat raw, so I monopolize on that when I can. Be sure to get sufficient protein too. Invest in a great-tasting protein powder and mix in a blender bottle with coconut or almond milk and the nut butter of your choice.

Get Moving
This might be a tough one, and please, check with your doctor to see what guidelines apply to your specific pregnancy. Remember, no two pregnant women are the same. My doctor recommended that I work up to 100 consecutive squats, but remember, I was in great shape when I got pregnant. Side-lying floor exercises might be a great option too, and don’t forget kegels…Walking is great exercise and dancing to music is fun too. Talk to a prenatal exercise specialist. You can break up 30 minutes of daily exercise into 3-10 minute segments. Make it happen once your doctor gives you the green light.

Rest
Get enough sleep. Take the day off work if you can. Never allow yourself to get so busy that you can’t unwind and relax. Don’t feel guilty about taking a nap. There is a little human being growing inside of you, so your body is working overtime.

Breathe
Take 5 minutes a day to focus on your breathing and nothing else. You will feel calmer and more relaxed, and you’ll be glad you had a moment of sanity. There are lots of studies out there that show the positive benefits of breathing on the immune system, the heart, and the brain, and stress levels.

I know the months fly by when you’re waiting for your little one to arrive. Frankly, I can’t believe it’s been 25 weeks already! This is a great time to take care of your health and prepare for setting an example for your child. I know for me personally, Erin is a great motivator for staying healthy, because I want to be a good example, as well as feel physically capable of taking good care of her.

Moms and expectant moms, what do/did you do to stay healthy during your pregnancy(s). Comment below!

Julie