12 Steps to a Healthier You

There is not one magic pill to make someone healthy. We live in a society where we expect everything to be instantaneous. Unfortunately, those instantaneous miracles don't last most of the time. For example, when it comes to weight, how long did it take you to put on that weight? For most people, it took years. Why do we expect to lose that weight in a week or even a month? And even if you do, do you think that is healthy? Do you think it will last? I don't want to sound like a Debby Downer, I am just being realistic. Diets don't work. They may for a brief moment, but diets aren't a lifestyle. In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to change your lifestyle and, unfortunately, it may take a few years. I know our society doesn't like to hear that but wouldn't you rather spend a couple years changing your life, losing weight and KEEPING IT OFF rather than losing a crazy amount of weight in a month and gaining it back (sometimes even gaining more weight) a few months later?

If you are ready to make a lifestyle change, here are a few tips to get you started:

Drink more water

Many people mistake hunger for thirst. Make sure that you are drinking water consistently throughout the day. The amount of water you drink depends on how active you are. I recommend AT LEAST 8 - 8oz glasses of water a day. This will depend on the person though. I typically drink about 75oz per day. 

Helpful tips: Set a timer every hour to drink one 8oz glass of water. Or buy a large water bottle (mine is 24oz) and make to fill about 3 times a day. 

Practice cooking

Eating out is a nice treat once in a while; however, cooking at home is a simple step to start a healthier lifestyle. Restaurant meals are typically very large portions and contain a lot of salt. You don't always know exactly what ingredients are in these meals. Home cooking can be very simple and you can get all of your nutrients in.

Helpful tip: Plan ahead. On Sunday I make a list of 2 different dishes I can cook for each meal during the week. I make a very specific grocery list and go shopping. The meals that I make are very simple (takes no longer than 30 mins) but very nutritious. Pack your lunch and prep a breakfast the night before. We all have busy lives. If you are tight on time in the morning, prep your breakfast and lunch the night before. A great breakfast to prep is overnight oats. 

Experiment with whole grains

How many people reading this have cut out carbs in their diet? The #1 diet and theory that is popular right now is that carbs are evil and are the culprit for all weight gain. That is all a bunch of garbage. ALL carbs do not contribute to weight gain. Look at the thin, delicate bodies of Japanese people, who consume high-carbohydrate diets composed of large amounts of rice and starchy vegetables. Whole grains have been a staple in the human diet for centuries. People gain weight because they eat artificial junk food and SUGAR.

I challenge you to experiment with healthy, whole grain carbohydrates. If you are having sugar cravings, eating whole grains may help. Some examples of whole grains are rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, oats.

Increase sweet vegetables

Instead of reaching for those cookies or candy, try incorporating more sweet vegetables into your diet. Some examples of these are corn, carrots, onions, betters, winter squash, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, cabbage. 

Increase leafy green vegetables

Some benefits of eating leafy greens are:

  • blood purification
  • cancer prevention
  • improved circulation
  • immune strengthening
  • subtle, light and flexible energy
  • lifted spirit, elimination of depression
  • promotion of healthy intestinal flora
  • improved liver, gallbladder and kidney function
  • clearing of congestion, especially in lungs, and reduction of mucus

Some examples of leafy greens are broccoli, boo chop, napa cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, and broccoli rabe.

Experiment with protein

Protein is the basic building block of the human structure, but because every body is different, protein requirements vary from person to person. For example, I was vegan for a few years and was living very well off of just plant protein. However, once I started strength training, my body needed more protein and I found myself craving animal protein. I do eat animal protein now, however, I cannot eat too much red meat. My body doesn't digest it as well as chicken, eggs or turkey.

My advice is to experiment with different types of protein, as well as, the amount. Our society tends to eat way more protein than most of our bodies need. A good way of keeping track of your food intake is to keep a food journal. I have been doing this for years and it has helped me understand what foods I can eat an abundance of, which foods I can indulge in once in a while and which foods I need to avoid. I just take note of what I eat for each meal and how I feel afterward and jot it down in my journal. You can use a notebook or purchase a food journal online. I bought mine off of amazon.

Eat less sugar and chemicalized, artificial junk foods; consume less coffee, alcohol and tobacco

I could go on and on about this topic but I will keep it short and sweet since I am sure that most people know these items are not good for your body. Everyone loves sugar. Why? Because it is addictive. Eating even a small amount of it creates a desire for more. Those that eat a ton of sugar may have tried to quit. Suddenly quitting causes withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, cravings and fatigue. Sugar is just as addictive as coffee, alcohol and tobacco. These all are forms of drugs.  Consuming too much (or even any at all) of these products could cause serious harm to your body in the future. 

Develop easy and reliable habits to nurture your body

A few examples of habits to nurture your body:

1. Meditation

2. Drink hot water with lemon first thing in the morning

3. Take a bath with lavender epsom salt

Have healthy relationships that support you

In order to find healthy relationships, you must find ways to love and nurture yourself first. If you don't know yourself and/or don't love yourself, you cannot maintain any healthy relationships, whether it be  friendship or love. Figure out who you are and what you need in a relationship. Once you do that, you will be able to have and maintain healthy friendships and love. 

Find physical activity you enjoy and do it regularly

Healthy exercise is just as important as eating healthy. Your body is made to move. Find something that YOU ENJOY doing. I can't tell you how many people I meet that say that they run because they feel like they need to but they don't enjoy it. Well than don't do it! There are plenty of different physical activities out there. I am sure you are bound to find one thing that you like.

Here are some examples

  • running/ walking
  • weight lifting
  • a sport (soccer, football, tennis, ultimate frisbee)
  • swim
  • rock climb

Find work you love or a way to love the work you have

This is the hardest topic to discuss with people because, unfortunately, the majority of people I speak to don't like their jobs. They feel trapped in a dead end, unhappy job but can't leave because they need the money for either their family, school or just life in general. 

The first question I ask is can you leave your job? If you are really unhappy with it, start applying to different companies. If you cannot leave your job for some reason, than make the most out of it. Instead of going to work every day unhappy, find love in the work that you have.

  • Identify people at work that could be allies and avoid those people that irritate you.
  • Spruce up your office.
  • Address the issues that may be bothering you at work with your manager.
  • Go to work with one thing in mind that you are excited to accomplish that day, instead of dreading the entire day ahead.

Develop a spiritual practice

This may mean different things to different people. For some, this may mean following their religion that they were brought up with. This could be a form of prayer or meditation. For those that do not believe in a god, this may mean going for a walk or looking up at the stars to appreciate the worlds beauty. 

 

 

I hope these 12 steps have helped in your journey to a healthier and happier you!

 

Lisa Catherine Kenny

Lisa@Lisacatherinecoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

 

 

Content from this blog was inspired by the book Integrative Nutrition written by Joshua Rosenthal, the founder and director of the Institute For Integrative Nutrition.

Wedding Bliss

I am back! As some of you may know, I took a little bit of a leave the past couple months because I just got married! Thank you for being patient with me while I took some time for myself. But now I am back and ready to dive in!

Throughout this past year since I began my Bridal Wellness program, I have received a lot of questions about it such as:

  • Why do you want to work with brides?
  • Is this just to help them look good or fit into their wedding dress?
  • How will brides benefit from your work?
Lisa-Paul-Kenny-Wedding-Lauren-Mudrock-Photography-210.jpg

I have always answered these questions with the same few answers but as I took some time off to prepare for our wedding, I really truly was able to think about these questions. Today I want to share my wedding experience with you and hopefully this will help you understand a little bit more about why I want to work with brides. And no it is not just to help them fit into their dress for one day. It is so much more.

As I have always said to my clients, and to any folks out there interested in what I do, I want to help brides to destress, feel confident and enjoy every moment of their wedding day and life afterwards. So what did this look like on our wedding day? Let me tell you.

Our wedding day was magical. I know many people say that about their wedding but it truly was. The planning phases of the wedding weren't always enjoyable. We didn't always see eye to eye on certain decisions that were being made but at some point you have to pick and choose your battles. Some things just aren't worth stressing over. During the last couple weeks before the wedding, I started to feel the stress. I hadn't before but now we were on crunch time and waited until the last minute to do a lot of things. We had some little hiccups along the way, but we either fixed them or just said "it is out of our hands" and brushed it off. During these last few weeks, I would spend 5-20 minutes a day breathing and meditating as well as exercising daily. Let me tell you, this was a game changer for me! It is so important to take some time for yourself!

So what did our wedding day look like? Absolutely perfect. Yes maybe the DJ didn't play every song we wanted to, my nephews (the ring bearers) were running around like crazy men, nobody really understood what to do with the guestbook, the best man almost broke the microphone, we almost forgot to cut the cake, we had that crazy uncle who guests think is a wedding crasher and I am sure I could probably go on. But the truth is, those "bad" things that I just listed weren't bad at all. They weren't in the timeline or schedule but they made the wedding what it was. When I look back on our wedding, I don't regret one single thing. I don't think anything wrong happened. It was a perfect night. I married the man of my dreams and had a night that I will never forget with my family and friends. Ladies, that is what a wedding is all about. It is not about perfection or competition, it is about LOVE. I received 3 pieces of advice on our wedding day that I share with everyone and those are:

1. "Any nerves you may feel prior to walking down the aisle, once that door is open and you see Paul, all those nerves will melt away." 

2. "Take a few minutes during the night to step outside away from all the people and be alone in each others love." 

3. "Step back and take a minute to look around the room at all of the people that came out to share in your love."

So why do I want to work with brides to be? As a holistic health coach I focus on the whole person and their needs as a bride. Maybe they want to lose a few pounds to feel confident on their wedding day. I will help them achieve this but not by crash dieting, by eating healthy and exercising. I help women with lifestyle changes. My goal is for them to take these healthy practices into their marriage. I, also, focus on stress relief practices. This differs for each person. These practices will help in the planning process of a wedding, the wedding day itself, but more importantly, life after the wedding day.

I hope that this little blog helped you understand why I work with brides. A wedding is such an exciting time but it is just one day. Marriage is the rest of your life. I want every woman to go into their marriage healthy, happy and full of love and joy.

Until next time.

XOXO

Lisa Catherine KENNY

Lisa@lisacatherinecoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

 

Photography by: Lauren Mudrock Photography

Snow Day Activities

Today we suffered the wrath of winter storm, Stella. When I was younger I used to LOVE snow days. I have fond memories of spending hours sledding down my neighbors front yard with friends. After we were sufficiently frozen, we would go inside and warm up by the wood burning stove while drinking hot chocolate. I lived for snow days. However, I remember my dad always dreading them and I never understood why.

Well, here I am 20 years later and I now know why my dad dreaded the snow. One word. SHOVELING. Stella has been teasing us all day. She will let out a glimpse of sunshine, we think its over so we go outside to shovel and than..BOOM she hits us with some more snow. 

Even though I am not a big fan of the shoveling part, I still do love snow days. I love the look of freshly fallen snow, I still love playing in the snow but most of all I love spending time cooped up inside with my family. I could count on one hand the number of full days we get to spend together, so it is a real treat to spend some quality time together. 

I hope that you feel the same way that I do. Time seems to be something that we all lack. So, today I have compiled a list of things that you can do on this snow day (or any lazy day of the weekend) with your family or by yourself. These activities do not include video games, watching tv or iPads/ipods/iphones/iwhatevers, or any electronic device. Enjoy this down time. Today, do something for yourself. Do not dread the snow. Enjoy every moment because those moments will fly by quicker than you can imagine. I feel like it was just yesterday I was sledding down the neighbors hill and drinking hot chocolate by the wood stove.

1. Play in the snow. Enjoy the snow. Bundle up and go play in it like you are a kid. Have a snow ball fight. Make a snow man or snow angel. Go sledding. Have Fun! 

2. Arts & Crafts. Bring back your inner child or (for me) old lady. I love to knit! There is something about it that is just so therapeutic. But it doesn't have to be knitting. Try coloring, drawing, painting, DIY project, anything! 

3. Cook. Today is the day to try some new, delicious, healthy recipes you have been longing to try but don't have the time for! 

4. Read. Crack open a new book and dive into it. You have the time, take advantage of it.

5. Take a bath. Let the husband take care of the kids and treat yourself to a relaxing bath. Light some candles, listen to some music and just relax. 

6. At home workout. Dust off those workout DVDs and put them to good use today. Or maybe do an at home yoga practice. Or maybe just shoveling is enough of a workout for the day!

7. Talk. Enjoy this time you get to spend with your family today. Just talk to each other. Instead of turning on the TV or any other screen, try having a conversation about what is going on in their lives and in yours. 

8. Play a game. Bust out your board games or cards! Everyone loves a fun game of Cards Against Humanity OR a family friendly game of Candyland.

9. Clean. I know, I know, everything up until now seemed really fun and than I mentioned the dreaded "cleaning" word. Let's be honest though. Who doesn't feel absolutely AMAZING when everything is clean?? This is the perfect time. Have the whole family chip in and lend a helping hand. Put on some awesome cleaning music and have fun!

 

Stay warm, stay safe and enjoy this time you have to spend with the ones you love.

XOXO

Lisa Catherine

Lisa@LisaCatherineCoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

4 Pre-Wedding Stressors

Paul and I just closed on our house today!! YAY!! I can honestly say that I have not been this excited since Paul proposed to me last December. It was a feeling unlike any other when we walked out holding the keys to OUR new house.

 

When Paul and I were looking to buy a house, plenty of people were telling me that we were crazy. Supposedly moving and planning a wedding are two of the biggest stressors in people's lives. Of course I told them that they were wrong and that I can handle it. I like to think of myself as a pretty low maintenance woman. I don't like to shop, I wear workout clothes 90% of the time, I very rarely wear makeup, I don't labor over tiny details, and I tend to just go with the flow. That's just me. So I thought that everyone was crazy when they told me that I was in over my head.

Boy was I wrong! Even with friends and family telling me that it was going to be stressful, I laughed and brushed it off, telling myself that Paul and I were different. Let me tell you folks out there that are just beginning the wedding planning process and the beginning phases of your marriage, it does get stressful. Let me explain some of the pre-marriage stressors I have witnessed so far AND ways that I have coped with it so that hopefully, if you do come across these stressors, you can handle them like a champ.

1. Moving / Buying a Home

Many couples decide to purchase a home before they get married. This makes a lot of sense, especially if you aren't living together before you are married. I am sure many of you have heard the horror stories of purchasing a home. There is a lot involved in the process. Some words of wisdom to relieve any buying/ moving stress is to:

1. Find a good realtor! This really makes or breaks the home buying process. Do your research! The best realtors will be found through recommendations from friends or family.

2. Don't fall in love and don't get attached to quick. Yes, this sounds like relationship advice but it is true when it comes to houses as well. A lot can fall through. I don't mean to sound pessimistic but I am being realistic.

3. Be frugal with your spending. You don't want to be in the hole when you purchase your home. 

4. After you have closed and are ready to move, don't let packing stress you out. Throw away or sell things you don't use or wear. Hire movers if you don't have the muscle power to move everything yourself.

2. Trying to Please Everyone

This is the hardest part to a wedding...by far! And let me start off by saying that you WILL NOT please everyone. Nope you won't. So get that straight right now because the sooner you accept that, the less stress you will have. Unfortunately (and fortunately), I am a people pleaser. I want everyone to be happy all the time. This is very difficult when you are planning a wedding. Most of the time (not always) the parents of the bride and groom pitch in and help pay for either the whole wedding or part of the wedding. This complicates things since you are no longer the only person contributing to the wedding. Compromise is the key here. Family must understand that it is your wedding; however, your wedding means the world to your family. Let them be a part of it. 

3. Your Budget

Yes, that dreaded word. Most people have a budget but it can sometimes feel nearly impossible to stick to it. It can be done, I promise. Do your research. Ask around to different vendors and make sure that you are choosing someone that will stay in your budget. It is tough to stay within your budget, but you will be much happier when you are not starting off your marriage in debt.

4. Decision Making

Weddings (and home buying) come with a lot of decisions. Again, do your research and don't let these decisions paralyze you. You will make the right decision just don't second guess it.

 

In the end all that matters is that you are marrying the man or woman of your dreams. Today, I walked out that door with the keys to our new house in one hand and Paul's hand in the other and all that stress that I had before meant nothing now. I imagine that is exactly how I will feel on May 26th when I am walking down that isle to marry the man of my dreams. Nothing else will matter. On the day of your wedding you wont remember if the flowers were a little wilted or the chicken was a little burnt or your hair didn't curl just the way you wanted. You will remember the feeling you had when you married the love of your life. That is what you should think about when planning your wedding. That is what I think about whenever I start to feel a little stressed. When I think about seeing the look on Paul's face as I walk down the isle, immediately I smile and a sense of calmness rushes through me. This is how I cope with my pre-wedding stress.

Try not to stress over the little things. Enjoy this pre-wedding bliss and soak up every moment of it. It will go by way too fast.

 

XOXO

Lisa Catherine

Lisa@LisaCatherineCoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

 

 

The True Meaning of Christmas

It's that time of year again! I can't believe that it is almost the end of December! Time flies!

This blog post is going to be a little personal but I wanted to share with everyone what the holidays mean to me and hopefully you can get a little something out of it because there is so much more to the holidays than just presents. I think we all get wrapped up in the season of giving and getting and while that is a very fun and exciting part of it, that is not the true meaning. I am not going to get into the whole Jesus thing because I know that may offend some people. Yes, I am Catholic and do believe that the TRUE meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus but I am going to talk a little about the other big picture that many people miss and that is LOVE

When you think of the holidays what comes to mind first? I picture the scene in The Grinch where everyone is running around franticly trying to get all of their presents in time for Christmas. Why are the holidays associated with stress and chaos? I am not going to lie, up until last year, I was that person. I have always loved the holiday season; the lights, the songs, the movies, but I would stress out HARDCORE about getting the right presents, if I spent enough money on the presents, what food I was going to make etc. What happened that made me realize what the true meaning of the Christmas is, you may ask?

Unfortunately, last year we lost the heart and soul of our family right before Christmas. My grandmother passed away suddenly 3 weeks before Christmas. When I tell you that was probably the hardest thing that I have been through so far in my life, I am not joking. She meant the world to me and my entire family. In the beginning of December I received a call from my mom while I was at work informing me that my grandmother had suffered a stroke while she was on her way to Hershey with my Aunt and Uncle. She was immediately rushed to the hospital. That night I drove to Hershey to see her in the hospital. We were informed by the doctors that she could have surgery but she would never be the same. My parents, aunts and uncles needed to make a huge decision, one that would be best for my grandmother. I went in to sit with her while she slept that night and held her hand. I will never forget the grip she had on my hand. She was not awake, but I knew she knew that I was there. To this day, I wish I could go back to that moment. For the next 3 days I drove back and forth from home to Hershey to see her. The hospital had to give our family our own waiting room because at any moment there were about 20 of us there. 

The night of December 4th, my family had decided to take shifts staying with my grandmother since nobody had gotten sleep. I, however, had a gut feeling that I had to stay there all night. Me, my brother, sister-in-law and boyfriend (now fiancé) all decided to stay there all night. We sat in the waiting room while all the members of my family came and went. We colored, talked, reminisced, laughed, cried and bonded. Around 4:00am we decided we were going to go back to the hotel and try to catch some sleep. As we were packing up to leave, we saw my dad walking down the hallway to come get us. I knew that look and that walk. My grandmother had passed away.

I tell you this story, not because it is sad but because this is the moment that I knew what mattered the most in life...love, family and happiness. My grandmother taught me so much about life. She was the most selfless, loving, caring, generous person I have ever known. I have an amazing guardian angel looking down on me every day. With all of this tragedy happening right before Christmas, I thought that it was going to be the worst Christmas ever, but it wasn't. I was surrounded by the love and comfort of my family. I have never felt as much love as I did last Christmas. For the first time I realized what Christmas is all about. It is not about gift giving or food. It is about love, family and happiness. 

This Christmas, try not to focus on the presents or the cooking. Those are all great but you will forget about those things next year. What do you want to remember for years to come? For me, it is the feeling that I had last year. Yes, I suffered a great loss but with that came a family bond that I will never forget. This year I am making sure to focus on family, love and happiness. I thank God every day that I am blessed with a truly amazing and loving fiancé, a family that would do anything for me, a crazy dog, a roof over my head, food to eat, and my health. What are you thankful for? Because these are the important things in life and the things to be grateful for over the holidays. 

Have a very special and memorable Christmas! 

XOXO

Lisa Catherine

 

This blog is dedicated to my grandmother, the best grandmother and guardian angel I could ever ask for! I love and miss you so much. Merry Christmas!