Are you feeling fatigued?

Do you wake up feeling tired, does the afternoon slump hit you hard around 2 or do you overall feel drained? If you can identify with any of the above statements don’t feel bad you are not alone out there. Did you know that the CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) have found that around 15.3% of women and 10.1% of men regularly feel tired in the United States. The first step is being honest with yourself and tuning into these feelings. The next step is the FUN part, TRUST ME!

There are many reasons we feel tired or fatigued throughout the day. We are going to tackle some of the most common culprits:

  • Lack of Sleep
  • Nutritional Gaps
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Stress Management

Lack of Sleep: It is recommended that adults get 7-8 hours of restful sleep per night. Let’s be honest right here, right now. If that number feels like a long shot I want you to evaluate what season you are in your life right now. Do you have a new baby, have you started a new job. If so, give your self some patience and grace and realize this is short lived even if it feels like an eternity…Trust me being a mom of 3 kids currently 10, 8, & 5 1/2 years old, I think I have been sleep deprived for at least 6 of the last 10 years but I have been too tired to keep track.

Here are some tips to help you achieve the most restful sleep:

  • Limit your caffeine to morning hours so it has worn off by the time you are going to bed.
  • Limit the blue screens (computers, phones) 2 hours before you go to bed – Harvard studies has linked that exposure to blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms therefore disrupting our sleep patterns.
  • Create and maintain a sleep routine – try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.

Nutritional Gaps

The easiest and the most effective way to increase your energy is to make adjustments to your diet. It is essential to have a balanced diet that includes essential vitamins and minerals to keep your blood sugar stable, which helps to promote even energy. To ensure this balance you need to be incorporating a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.

Here are some tips in eliminating nutritional gaps in your diet:

  • Incorporate more whole vegetables and fruits: Try to have half of your plate made up from veggies and fruits.
  • Vary your protein: Try a variety of lean poultry and proteins. Quinoa is an excellent protein, along with unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Cut down on sugar: Limit your sugar to natural sugar found in whole fruits. Sugar can give you a quick rush of energy but then you enviable crash.
  • Increase your water: Lack of water increases dehydration, which not only effects your energy but also leads to constipation. Let’s be honest being constipated is a sure fire way to feel less energetic.

3 Essential vitamins and minerals that also lead to fatigue if they are missing are:

  • Iron: Make sure you are incorporating chicken, turkey, ham, cooked beans, canned lima beans, canned kidney beans or chickpeas (all canned beans should be rinsed prior to eating), dark leafy greens (such as broccoli or spinach), dried apricots, raisins peaches or prunes.
  • B-12: Make sure you are incorporating fish and shellfish, chicken, eggs, and low fat diary products.
  • Magnesium: The old saying “eat an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Is still true! Apples are great a source of magnesium, along with beans, avocado, raisins and spinach.

Sedentary Lifestyle

We have all heard that exercise improves our mood and increases our energy levels…but I am here to tell you it IS ALL TRUE. Any type of exercise that increases your heart rate and gets your blood pumping, releases endorphins. With the release of endorphins your energy level increases. My advise for exercise is don’t overcomplicate it. Don’t compare yourself to others. Find what you enjoy and as Nike says JUST DO IT!

You truly want to aim to being active 30 minutes a day. I know you can do it!

Stress Management

Wow let’s talk about stress. We all have it and have to learn how to manage it or it will control us. Here we are going to identify the Four A’s, once you have seen them try to identify your stress per category . Are there ones you can avoid by saying no too, are there situations that you can adapt or alter by some organizational changes (see below) and which ones do you need to accept. I find once I have categorized my stress and have written it out, it is very freeing. Try it today!

Four A’s of Stress

  • Avoid
  • Alter
  • Adapt
  • Accept

Change the Situation

  • Can you avoid the stressor?
  • Can you alter the stressor?

Change your reaction

  • Adapt to the stressor.
  • Accept the stressor.

I hope you have found these tips to be helpful and that you try to incorporate them into your daily living. If you would like more personalized coaching please reach out to me at 4pillarscoaching@gmail.com for a complimentary coaching session.

In Good Health~

Dana

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Slow Down, Breath, Self-Care

As Dec 1st nears it is easy to get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle or just the shear craziness of it all.  Our normal “to do list” can easily double overnight with: preparing for holiday parties, gift giving, school parties, work parties, holiday baking…(you name it and insert it here) not to mention our day jobs. Life can easily get full and overwhelming this time of year. 

Trust me I get it, having a family of 5 with 3 kids 10 and under, I also want to create magical moments for everyone but I have started to realize my limitations so I can remain a sane mom/wife/friend this time of year and not turn into this crazy head spinning person that has made special appearances over the years. I am not saying let everything go but I am saying it is very important to be thoughtful and mindful of what we are committing to. If you treasure baking with your family this time of year make that a priority, if it is exploring the crip outdoors plan an afternoon but remember you don’t have to do it all! I know we look and feel like Superwoman or Superman everyday but we don’t have to take on every little thing that comes our way.

One thing I do feel that we ALL need to DO is Slow Down, Breath and remember to Care For Yourself! Here are some quick and easy tips you can do to reconnect, recenter and refocus your energy wherever you are.

  • Breath- simply close your eyes and focus on the natural rhythm of your breath. This simple act will get you more in tune with you and for the bonus you have to slow down to do this simple act. Even if it is for 15 secs you will feel a sense of calm and clarity.
  • Focused Breath – simply close your eyes and take deep slow breaths, with each inhale and exhale count 1, count up to 5 and then restart at 1. This is a simple quick meditation I love to do when life gets full and hectic or when I can’t sleep. It is very calming and soothing, with each exhale I always feel my shoulders relax more and more.
  • Go for a walk on your own. There is something special about having a moment of solitude. With intentional solitude we usually have grounding moments of thoughts, it is usually within these grounding moments of thought that the Truly Important things come to mind and clarity around the frivolous.  Quietly walking is in itself a form of meditation, where you can allow thoughts to come and go quietly through your mind.
  • 4-7-8 Breathing: If you have followed my blog you know I am a fan of this breathing technique. It helps calm anxiety, center your thoughts, even helps with crying kids and allows you the space to fully connect to your breath and your heart. It is truly centering and forces you to slow do. Inhale for 4 counts, hold for 7 and exhale for 8. You can do this seated, standing, eyes open or closed; it is truly up to you.

I invite you to look at this picture and bring your mind to this place. Even if at first you find it challenging just allow yourself to be present. Take peace in your breath, the natural rhythm of each inhale and each exhale. As thoughts come forth allow them space but them let them pass through your mind. Imagine each thought gently going out to sea and with that calmness release any tension you may have. Be here right now, with a present mind, heart and breath.

I hope these tips and techniques will help you ride the waves of the coming months and brings you clarity and calmness when it is needed the most.

If you would like additional help in finding mindful practices that suit your life please contact me at 4pillarscoaching@gmail.com for your complimentary session.

In Good Health!

Dana

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Southwest Turkey Soup

We are almost at the week mark from Thanksgiving Day where most of us gorged on food throughout the day.  You might be feeling like you ate enough turkey for the rest of the year and you don’t want to see another turkey for 365 days.  If that you you, I have the recipe you need for these chilly autumn days weather you are experiencing rain in the Northwest or snow in the Midwest. This soup will be the perfect combination of simple staples you have in your fridge and pantry and trust me your family will Gobble up this delicious nutritious soup! 

Here is what you will need:

  • Stock – fresh stock from the turkey or any store bought stock will work
  • Turkey – dark or white meat again what you have left over
  • 1 bag frozen corn ( I prefer organic)
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 whole bell pepper chopped ( I prefer red, or orange for the pop of color)
  • 1 zucchini shredded
  • 1 jalapeno peper diced
  • shredded cheese, plain greek yogurt, avocado and tortilla chips to add to as garnish

Throw everything except the garnish ingredients into a large pot, left it simmer about 20 minutes all together and poof you have a delicious and nutritious soup. Trust me you won’t feel like you are having ANOTHER turkey dinner, and even my 5 year old who is very skeptical about most soups dove in and ate his entire bowl.

I hope this nutritous soup fills your belly and keeps you warm on these chilly days November.

 


If you need extra help or personalized support to help you achieve your nutrition and fitness goals please reach out to me at 4pillarscoaching@gmail.com to receive your complimentary consultation.

In Good Health!

Dana

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Summertime Health

So many of us start out summer with the best intentions of getting our summer fitness level up. We are anticipating warm summer days where we want to feel comfortable in our bathing suits or other fun summer clothes.

Even with the best intentions, we all sometimes fall off the wagon of health. Have you found yourself over indulging in summer time fun- too many summer snacks, extra drinking or sweets? If this rings true for you, accept where you have been, forgive yourself but decide TODAY what your health priorities are.

I recently was talking with an old client and a new client and had very similar conversations with them both. They were both feeling like they didn’t have the time for their health priorities and where talking about the fall or even wondering if there is a good time to start a new health routine. I assured them both there is never a wrong time to start but you have to be emotionally ready to create the space that is necessary to achieve your goals. Now that can seem overwhelming—- BUT trust me it doesn’t have to be.

Don’t create a bigger story in your head just to talk yourself out of YOUR overall goals. For example have you missed your regular workouts but don’t feel you have the time to commit to what YOUR OLD routine had been—- GET that story out of your head. Start small – 2 days a week to establish movement in your life would be a wonderful start!

Start talking about your health goals and priorities with your support group. It is amazing how we all need a little extra support and accountability to really keep us on track. It has been proven time and time again if you have support, whether it is through your friends, trainers or coaches you are more likely to stick with your health goals and priorities long-term.

Set sustainable milestones to help keep you on track. Determine your current habits that you want to adjust, for example:  have you been having to many sweet treat – instill  healthier versions of your existing treats or allow twice a week treats, have you been indulging in alcohol – instill no drinking during the week, have you been missing your workout- start out with 3 workouts that you schedule in your calendar per week. These are sustainable changes to start getting you on the right start. It is always the TIME TO PUT YOUR HEALTH FIRST! I challenge you all today to write out 2 sustainable changes you will start tomorrow. Stop making excuses and start tomorrow with a better version of yourself! I know you can do it and if you need extra help or personalized support to help you achieve your fitness and nutrition goals please reach out to me at 4pillarscoaching@gmail.com to receive your complimentary consultation.

In Good Health!!!

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Internal Up Hill Challenge…I Know You Can Conquer

Starting on a new plan or a new challenge is never easy. The first step is always the hardest but we mere humans already knew that. I have been thinking about this topic for a while now. We all know the hardest step to take is the first one—- getting our finances in order, sticking to a budget, starting a new exercise routine, giving up bad habits and replacing them with better healthier ones. But why is it SO hard???

I truly believe we don’t want to bury our heads in the sand and ignore our challenges but WHY is it so hard to START.

I believe the first step is just thinking about our current challenges or the context of our lives and what we desire for ourselves and our families. That first step of identifying areas for improvement is a wonderful first step, but it isn’t complete until you take the first step in changing the behavior. But KEEP IN MIND the fact that you have identified them, MEANS you want to become a BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF and that is HUGE!!!!!

Recently my husband and I started a 30 day challenge where we each have to complete 30 minutes of heart pumping, sweat inducing exercise every day for 30 days. If we miss a day the next day we have to add that 30 minutes onto our current day’s goal. We both felt we needed to work on different areas of our bodies and coming up with a challenge helps to keep us accountable to ourselves and each other!

We all have the self-doubt voice in our heads particularly around sports or our fitness levels where we compare ourselves to others or talk negatively to ourselves  —-I am not strong enough to push through the strength training, I am not fast enough to win the race, I don’t have enough endurance to complete a (…fill in the blank…) Why do we feel it is ok to talk to ourselves this way, when we would never speak to our friends in this manner. If a friend came to me concerned about competing in a race I would encourage and support them…SO why don’t we give ourselves the same SELF LOVE that we give to others. I believe it is easy for the “self talk” to be allowed which discourages us because we feel it will SAVE us from OUR IDEA of potential failure, if we never begin we can’t fail. BUT GUESS WHATthe fact is when we decide to show up in any portion of our life for self-improvement it means we CAN ONLY GO UP THE HILL AND IMPROVE!!!

Any day where you change even one thing, you get out of bed and meditate for 10 minutes, you make a conscious decision not to purchase the “want” and only  the “need”, you go for a jog and end up walking YOU HAVE BECOME A BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF!

Just by changing one thing you are making yourself a better person than you were before. We mere humans are meant to continue to learn, push, strive and improve ourselves. We all benefit from encouragement, support and accountability. If you are currently struggling with starting and would like more one on one guidance please reach out to me at 4pillarscoaching@gmail.com for your complimentary session where together we can come up with a plan so you can continue through this journey of health and fitness.

 

Life is full of challenges, make them lessons not obstacles !!!!

 

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Stress WE ALL have IT!

STRESS WE ALL have IT. How do you handle it?

Do you Stress Eat, healthy or unhealthy snacks or treats. Stress worry, do you then obsess about the stress and continue the loop of conversation over and over in your head? Do you Stress fight or yell, because you are just so damned stressed that everything puts you over the edge…. If you can relate to any or all of these you are not alone. I can admit that I have experienced all of the above at one time or another.

This year I am trying to turn over a new leaf or new chapter in my life. I am truly trying to create a space of balance in my life and my family’s life. Now trust me things get unbalanced throughout any day and stress sneaks in but what I have found is how we come back to the feeling of “balance” that makes a difference.

Here are some ideas of creating balance or calmness on the go:

  • Breathing Exercises
    • 4-7-8
      • Inhale for 4 counts, Hold your breath for 7 and Exhale your breath for 8 counts
    • Simply focus on your breath – inhale, exhale, repeat
  • Visualization
    • Visual a calm place that is near and dear to your hearth
      • The ocean waves rolling in and out
      • Seeing the Sunrise or Sunset
  • Body Scan
    • Provide a mental body scan on yourself
      • Your heart is beating, You can control your breath, You feel rooted to the ground through your feet or through your chair if you are seated.
  • Realize you are not alone
    • Humans are not meant to be alone and when we can humanize what we are going through (moments of sadness, stress or even happiness), it is helpful to realize other people are going through similar situations. You are not alone, even if in the moment you are physically alone. This feeling of others can help bring a sense of balance back to your day.

I also truly encourage everyone reading this to try Meditation. Start out slow even 5 minutes a day, where you crave out time for you and your mind. Trust me, you will see a difference and in moments of stress you can remember that feeling of “Calmness, Balance or Clarity” that you experienced during meditation and draw on that to calm your current situation.

Not every day is peaches and roses, trust me I know that first hand with 3 young children and a husband who travels for work. But WE decide how we react. Remember our “Body Innately wants to be Balanced“, how we achieve that balance in difficult and challenging moments is up to us. Stress is part of life for adults and even our children. If we can be role models to our families and friends, show and teach them how to handle stress and regain balance.  Perhaps they will start to implore the same techniques and we could all achieve a greater sense of balance in our lives.

I challenge everyone reading this to give the above mentioned techniques the next time you are feeling stressed or unbalanced. I would love to hear how they are working for you.  If you need any additional guidance or personalized help so you can regain balance  in your life, either in nutrition, stress management or fitness please feel free to contact me at 4pillarscoaching@gmail.com for your complimentary consultation.

In Good Health!!!!

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Peak or Slump

So many of us start out the New Year with many goals in mind but for many people the excitement of the New Years resolution starts to fade near the end of one month.

Did you start with a new exercise routine but have started to lose steam. Did you start a nutritional cleanse program but don’t know what is left to eat that will still entice your taste buds? Did you want to create a more mindful and peaceful space within your life but got sucked back into the daily hectic pace?

If you can relate to any of the above, I want to let you you are not alone and that this is a non-judgmental space. Trust me even those of us with the best plan and most thoughtful intention can still lose steam or lose sight of the overall goal and benefit to oneself in the hustle and bustle of life.

I truly believe we are all so much more successful in achieving our goals when we have a support system or a champion in our corner. I would love to help coach you towards your goals, while challenging and inspiring you to continue with your health and nutrition journey.

Please contact me at 4pillarscoaching@gmail.com to set up your complimentary session where we can discuss your current challenges and come up with a plan together to bring you the results you desire in 2018!

In Good Health!

Be Fit…Be Healthy…Be Mindful…Be Inspired

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Daily Habits

I know so many of us start out the New Year or a new month with the best intentions; either to start or increase an exercise regime or to eat healthier but then it fizzles out mid month… How do we start these healthy habits and make them stick?

Recently I have been reading many books and articles on habits good or bad and what makes them become a habit. So many times I think we as humans overcomplicate our own intentions…we create these elaborate plans or strategies.

  • I will meditate 3 times a week
  • I will eat vegetarian 2+ times a week for dinner
  • I will run 4 days a week

The list can go on and on…even though these items seem intentional I have found that the daily habit is easier to maintain for most people. Think of it as brushing your teeth, you don’t say on Monday, Wednesday and Friday are teeth brushing days, you simply brush your teeth multiple times every day. If you set an intention of exercising every day I believe it is easier to maintain than setting a 3 or 4 day a week workout plan. Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying it needs to be a major, kill yourself workout every day but if you do something small (sit-ups, pushups, jumping jacks and squats) every day you will form that healthy habit that will most likely lead to more strenuous work outs on other days. Then when you want to incorporate a bigger program; running, yoga, biking or strength training into your routine you already have the baseline of feeling good and knowing how the release of endorphins make you feel. Another best practice is to have a buddy or share your workouts with friends, knowing that you are accountable to other people make it easier to show up to your daily workout on those days that you are feeling less motivated. When you believe and sign up for daily exercise, set one day for your Rest Day, but make sure you get right back the next day to your routine. Everyone I talk to, admits it is always harder to start an exercise routine again when they have taken a lot of time off. I believe that is because it has fallen out of habit and you have forgotten the rush of endorphins you get after a workout. Remember again, if you do something small every day for your health you will not only see the benefits but your body will remember the feeling you receive after.

When you are starting a healthier diet start with small sustainable changes that can also become daily habits. If you typically skip breakfast start there, or if you eat out for lunch start with packing your lunch from home. When you make the meals you know exactly what is going into it and you can control the the fat, protein, fiber and salt content. I know it can feel overwhelming at first but mindful planning can go a long way. If you need help with mindful meal planning or establishing an exercise routine or need someone to check in with to help hold you accountable I am here to help. Please reach out for your complimentary consultation with me at 4pillarscoaching@gmail.com

REMEMBER AMAZING PEOPLE DO NOT 

JUST HAPPEN…

BE THE DIFFERENCE YOU WANT TO BE

 

In Good Health!!!

Be Fit…Be Healthy…Be Mindful…Be Inspired

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Feeling Sluggish In The AM?

Do you wake up and crave coffee right away…If so you are not alone. So many times these morning cravings are formed out of habit and are more a psychological trigger than a need. Many people FEEL they need coffee to wake up in the morning, to feel refreshed or charged to face the day.

Well today on the last day of 2017 I am challenging you to replace that habit with a new one. Now don’t get crazy on me and think I am telling you to eliminate all caffeine from your life, all I am simply saying is don’t let coffee or tea be your first drink of the day. Instead start with a refreshing glass of warm water with lemon, mint and ginger in it. Trust me this drink will create the ZING you are looking for first thing in the morning.

Not only is this drink refreshing, it is healthy for you and a great way to start your day off.

  • Lemon’s provide more Vitamin C than oranges and it helps to cleanse your body first thing in the morning.
  • Mint adds a little bit of sweetness to the water without any added sugars. It also helps settle your stomach and helps with digestion.
  • Ginger adds the zip to this drink. I finely chop 1″ of a fresh ginger root to add to my water, as a little goes a long way with this root. Ginger also helps to settle stomachs and aids in digestion.

 

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So today on the last day of 2017 let’s start our day out by replenishing water we lost overnight while we slept and add in the extra benefits of fresh vitamins and minerals. Trust me if you make this small sustainable change for 7 days,  I know you will feel a difference in the morning. Tomorrow is a new day and a new year, this can be the start of a new morning routine that will battle off the sluggish morning feeling and provide the zip you need. I would love to hear how you feel once you make this small sustainable change, please reach out here or at 4pillarscoaching@gmail.com, In Good Health!!!

 

If you are looking for more personalized coaching around your fitness or health goals please contact me at 4pillarscoaching@gmail.com for your complimentary coaching session.

 

Be Fit…Be Healthy…Be Mindful…Be Inspired

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Health or Illness

So many of us pray for health or cheers to good health but how many of us decide to take a “Truly Active Role” in achieving and maintaining our health???

Recently I was reading many different theories and methodologies of nutrition and fitness and what defines optimum health. One quote that really stood out to me was…

” If you don’t take the time for exercise now, you will have to find the time for illness later.”

This really hit home for me. We all live full and at times, or most times hectic lives, and let’s be honest, exercise is an easy thing to skip and to make excuses for skipping it. We can list off many other obligations that need to be taken care of before we put ourselves and our exercise routine first. Let’s stop that today!!! Re-read the above quote….basically it says ——- Exercise Now or Find the Time Later for ILLNESS….

I don’t know about you but I definitely want to be active in my golden years and don’t want to be constrained by illness or mobility issues.

A couple months back a group of friends of mine set out an exercise challenge. It was a 30 day challenge where you had to be active for 30 minutes every day – this could be a brisk walk, yoga, strength training, running…etc– whatever you like to do that would get your blood pumping and your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes. If you didn’t complete your 30 minutes that day you had to put $1 in the pot – at the end of the 30 days we all went out to dinner. This type of community building, accountability model helps to keep you on track and motivated. Now like anyone, there were days that I missed because life simply took priority that day, but I will say knowing that we were all in this together kept it at the top of my list.

Here are some simple routines you can start tomorrow so you are choosing to EXERCISE NOW TO AVOID ILLNESS LATER!!!

Quick Morning Routine

  • 1 min jumping jacks
  • 20 squats
  • 12 pushups
  • 20 chair dips
  • 2 min of bicycle sit ups

Repeat this set 4 times once a day…

Rise and Shine Yoga Salutations

  • Mountain Pose
  • Forward Fold
  • Half-way Rise
  • Step back to Warrior I right leg forward
  • Turn to Warrior II
  • Step Back to Forward Fold
  • Jump or Step Back to Plank
  • Down to Chaturanga
  • Push up to Up Dog
  • Finish in Down Dog
  • Repeat above but step back to Warrior I with your Left Leg forward

Hold each position for 30 seconds to 1 min, repeat this sequence 4 times

Here are 2 different quick exercise routines you can start your day with or incorporate into your current exercise regime to gain additional flexibility and muscle strength.

I challenge all of you out there to begin a 30 day exercise challenge with your friends and family. Let’s face it we could all use a little extra motivation, especially this time of the year where we get so consumed with the business of the holidays. Let’s give ourselves an early holiday present of “TAKING AN ACTIVE ROLE IN ACHIEVING AND MAINTAINING OUR HEALTH!!!”

 

If you would like a more personalized exercise regime please contact me at 4pillarcoaching@gmail.com for a complimentary session where we can discuss your health and fitness goals. In Good Health!!!

Be Fit…Be Healthy…Be Mindful…Be Inspired 

 

 

 

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