Book Review: Your Holistically Hot Transformation

I LOVE reading. If I had a beach nearby I would grab a book and hang out by the beach daily. How is that for dreaming?!

As for books, I tend to alternate between reading a fiction and non-fiction. For my non-fiction books I love to read about health since I am in the career field of health and wellness. Recently, I got to read a book titled, “Your Holistically Hot Transformation: Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle Free of Dieting, Confusion, and Self-Judgment.

MWAH_BookCover_6x9_Front

As a dietitian and nutritionist, I see some books with fad diets and information I shake my head at. This book is NOT like that! In fact, I nodded my head quite frequently in agreement with the author. She spreads a positive body message and is quite inspirational.

I have to admit that I have been in a cooking funk for the past year, if not longer than that. After reading this book I have added the Pinterest app to my phone and plan to pin recipes soon. My husband literally just told me tonight, “You used to cook a lot more,” and it made me sad. Don’t worry my feminist friends, he didn’t mean it in a “you need to cook more now” way. He has simply taken notice of the no cooking funk.

The book has several different sections. It not only touches on nutrition, but also on movement/exercise, meditation, cooking, and other healthy habits. Each chapter has a simple take-away listed at the end in a box. I love that!

The last few pages of the book are my absolute favorite because I can TOTALLY relate! Without giving too much away, she talks about how obsessing over being at a certain weight or being a certain size can be counterproductive. It causes stress, which as we all know halts any get healthy efforts we can attain. I know this to be true. I used to be strict and rigid with my eating and exercising that if I told you what I was doing you would think I had to be a size 2. But, I was a size bigger than I am now! Proof that most diets don’t work for the long haul.

Are you interested yet?! You can read a free chapter by clicking here. I would highly suggest checking it out and seeing if this book is right for you and where you are now. I enjoyed it and even as a health expert learned a few things. I feel inspired to touch up my nutrition a bit.

And since we are on the topic of health, what is one think you are doing for YOU this week?

What is your favorite whole grain?

What is YOUR favorite whole grain-

Let’s talk about whole grains for a minute. So many people jump on the next diet bandwagon and totally rid themselves of all things grain. But, I don’t understand it. As a dietitian and nutritionist, I strongly believe that you do NOT need to rid yourself of ANY food group… unless you absolutely, positively just want to for your own reasons. Never do something someone else said just because they said it. That should be one of the definitions of “crazy”.

But people do it all the time. People blindly believe diet books, videos, and guru’s WITHOUT listening to themselves first.

HELLO! YOU are the CEO of your body. You get to make those decisions. Don’t ever let anyone else dictate what YOU do to your body. Yes, you can read what is out there but experiment for yourself and keep an open mind. Seek what works the best for you and don’t be afraid to be flexible.

Okay, off my soap box. Wow, I really did get on one didn’t I?! Can you tell I am passionate about nutrition and paving your own nutrition path??

So back to whole grains. I was recently gifted a bag of Freekeh. This was a new brand to me. I had never heard of artisanal hand roasted green wheat before. I LOVE the ingredients list. In fact, its one of the things I love most about whole grains… the ingredients list is never very long if you really are truthfully getting whole grains.

Take a look at this… (food labels from Freekeh’s website).

Original Rosemary Sage Tamari
Original Rosemary Tamari

Do you see those ingredient lists??? The original only has organic cracked roasted green wheat. Heck yes!! And the Rosemary Sage only has a few additional ingredients (and ones we can pronounce). A dietitian’s dream when it comes to a packaged food item. Most of us look for food items with the least amount of ingredients.

What I like about the Freekeh website is that they also have recipes listed. I am not a spontaneous cook where I can come up with things on the fly so I often need help. I will be turning to this website regularly as I dish up some Freekeh.

Have you tried freekeh yet? If not and you want to, send me an email at britexas(at)gmail(dot)com. I have some 50 cent off coupons I can send your way!

And to wrap it all up… what is YOUR favorite whole grain?

I was gifted an Original and Rosemary Sage freekeh but all opinions above are my own.

Simple Ways to Healthify your Vacation!

5 Healthy Travel Tips!

Who is going on a summer vacation? Or who has already been on one? Whether you are going somewhere this summer or not, you are bound to go on a trip at some point. And today’s Fit Dish link up is all about healthifying your vacation. Thanks to Jill and Jessica for hosting!

Now, let me be honest here…. I am not a strict exerciser on vacation. Why? Well, because 1) exercise is NOT what my vacations are about and 2) I would rather be taking in the sights and sounds around me with the people I love. Not everyone I love and travel with exercise. Ya know?

But, I do have some simple ways to stay relatively active and not overly indulge. That is more important to me than working out in the hotel gym or sticking with salads during my whole trip. Bah hum-bug!

So what are these two simple tips you speak of, Bri? Glad you asked dear friend.

  1. I get at least 10,000 steps and don’t sweat the rest. One of my favorite things to do in a new city or town is walk around. Walking is staying active and you can be amazed at how many steps you’ll get staying curious, exploring the beautiful place you are in. Actually, I think the most steps I have gotten in a day was when my husband and I went to Nashville, Tennessee. We walked around the downtown area for quite some time so even if he didn’t realize how active he was being, he got over 20,000 steps. Haha.. how is that for being active AND hanging out with ones you love AND seeing the sights? Just call me the step wizard!
  2. I try foods that really look delicious and don’t sweat the rest. On vacations, food is a secondary focus and not really a primary. Well, I guess it can be reversed for some (like chefs and foodies), but I 100% love seeing new places over focusing on food. And this helps to healthify a trip a bit. When you don’t focus too much on food, you eat 2 or 3 meals a day and only snack when hunger strikes. You still taste delicious food, but you aren’t participating in a gluttonous affair. Eat what you really want. Drink what you really want. And when your done, be done. No need to clean your plate unless you really are that hungry.

Did you pick up on the fact that I used “don’t sweat the rest” twice up there? Yeah, that’s because a vacation is supposed to be stress-relieving! If anything you are doing is adding stress, stay away. And that includes trying to be a stickler with your marathon training plan or 6 week cleanse while on vacation. No sir. Stress keeps that waistline thick too, ya know.

So what would be your top tip to healthify a vacation if even just a little bit?

I actually wrote a blog post for Nature’s Bakery not too long ago about vacations and ways to stay healthy. You can read that here if it interests you. It’s geared towards keeping you from getting sick on your trip so you have more time to smile and frolick to and fro!

Happy Tuesday, friends!

The rules are… There are NO rules!

The

I was doing yoga today. Not in the morning like I usually prefer to do yoga because I was in a bad mood whenever I woke up and DID NOT want to do any movement, I also did not want to eat a healthy, wholesome breakfast.

And you know what? That’s okay. Because the rules are… there are no rules! And that was my mantra today while doing yoga. Living a healthy life is never about perfection or following strict rules.

Not everyone wants you to believe that. Some want you to buy his or her book or follow his or her diet and fitness plan so that you help them become famous or put money into their pocket. A book full of rules that you enjoy at first and then feel ashamed about whenever you “fall of the wagon.” You blame yourself because the rulebook says you have to do it and if other people can do it, why the heck can’t you?

I am not saying everyone is like that. In fact, I think more and more people are truly becoming the CEO’s of their own body. I think more people are relishing in the idea of mindfulness, not only when it comes to various life things but also nutrition and fitness.

This. Is. Awesome.

I am really happy that more professionals in the health industry are pushing mindfulness, making your own “rules” (and being okay when you break them… consider them guidelines instead of rules), and being happy in the body you have NOW.

This mindset is so empowering. Yes, it takes away the excitement or thrill of the next fad diet or fitness plan. But, it also puts YOU in the driver seat instead of in the back of the truck. It’s a bumpier ride back there!

You are the CEO of your body. I love saying that. I totally 100% agree with it. So much so that it should be the tagline of this blog. I promise to never be the dietitian/nutritionist that pushes a diet, pill, or specific fitness plan. I promise to always help others see their potential and help guide them to making decisions that are best for them at that specific time. I promise to educate others on the power of changing simple habits and not following strict rules.

And just for the fun of it… what is one rule you have heard that you are going to break in terms of nutrition or fitness? One of mine is “Not eating carbs past 3pm.” So freakin’ ridiculous and is so not my cup of tea! How the heck am I going to know ahead of time if I want some type of carb after 3pm or not? That changes by the day!

Your turn! Happy Friday, dear friends.

My Favorite Crockpot Recipe

I have been asked twice now for a favorite crockpot recipe so I feel like I should blog about it too. I love the crockpot. Is it not the best?!? So easy to put stuff in there, forget about it, take in the pleasant smells (if it isn’t pleasant, you are cooking the WRONG thing), and wham! it’s done by dinner time.

Today is the Fit Dish link up with The Fit Switch and Jill Conyers. Perfect timing for a recipe share. This is my all-time favorite recipe and really, it is not just a Fall/Winter one. I have it all year round!

So, enjoy my Harvest Vegetable Chowder. And gotta give credit where credit is due… my mom has been making this for years and years. It was my favorite dish when away at college. She would have it ready for me when I drove on in and it was the perfect post-travel dish. Yum times three!

Harvest Vegetable Chowder

 

The recipe above is the way to make it without a crockpot, but trust me… you can do this in the crockpot too! If making this in the crockpot, the only change is to heat on low for 8 hours. The last hour is when you put in the frozen veggies, milk, and dill.

Enjoy! What is your FAVORITE crockpot recipe?

Excellent food-related book

Excellent Food-Related Book

I don’t always post on Sundays, but when I do… it’s because I really have something to share. 🙂

I checked out an excellent food-related book from my library a week or so agao after hearing about this author, Geneen Roth, from a fellow dietitian AND again on the Fearless Rebelle radio podcast. I like to read wellness-related books in between my fiction reads. This one did not disappoint. In fact, I highly recommend it if you have EVER felt weird around food, been overly obsessing about eating healthy lately, or are simply just interested in this line of thinking.

The book is Women Food and God. The first few sentences of the front flap of the book sum it up…

“If you suffer about your relationship with food- you eat too much or  too little, think about what you will eat constantly or try not to think about it at all- you can be free. Just look down at your plate. The answers are there. Don’t run. Look. Because when you welcome what we most want to avoid, we contact the part of ourselves that is fresh and alive. We touch the life we truly want and evoke divinity itself.”

So many women tie self worth to the way their body looks, how “good” they can be on a diet, or the number on the scale. Those things do not define us. It is my hope that more and more women value themselves highly and end the body-hate war. Dieting is not the answer.. it is NEVER the answer. Tuning into oneself is. Mindful living is. Showing up is. Listening is. Oh how I could go on and on.

Before I go, I have to share two other parts of this book that resonated with me. The first is this…

“When I told myself that this time I could eat what I wanted with no strings attached- no threat of a diet on any Monday morning the rest of my life- I headed straight for the foods of my childhood I was never allowed to eat… And as I’ve written before, I was so elated with my resolve to never diet again that I didn’t notice I was bumping around in a sugar haze from eating only raw and cooked chocolate-chip cookies. I needed to prove to myself that what I wanted most was not forbidden, but what I didn’t understand was that I didn’t want the cookies; I wanted the way being allowed to have them made me feel: welcomed, deserving, adored.”

Many of us have been there in some form or fashion. Eating habits can often be a symptom. If we can look inward, we can find out what it is we really need. She figured out that she needed to feel welcomed, deserving, and adored. Once she realized that, she didn’t need the cookies to make her feel this way. Another great point on the same page she says.. “We don’t want to eat hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to be hot fudge sundaes.” SO stinkin’ true!!!!!!

The second part was close to the end. It goes a little something like this…

“The more you pay attention, the more you fall in love with that which is not obsessed: that which is blazing itself through you. The life force that animates your body. Food becomes a way to sustain that blaze, and any way of eating that keeps you depressed or spaced out or uncomfortable loses its appeal.”

Just so good, right? Geneen Roth knows what she is talking about. I love finding other like-minded professionals in the wellness world. The world is full of strict do’s and don’ts but life is not about that and we don’t have to follow. Light your own spark.. carve your own path. Even in regards to health and wellness.

Happy Sunday, friends!

MealEnders Review & Giveaway

MealEnders

Disclosure: I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided MealEnders for review through Fit Approach. All opinions are my own.

I have to admit, I was a bit hestitant to try the MealEnders at first. I kept thinking that I do not NEED a product to help me stop eating when I am full or to replace dessert. However, when I read more about the product, I realized that it could be a useful tool to help individuals SAVOR food.  For the peeps that scarf down food so fast the body cannot even recognize when full, MealEnders could be a ticket to slow down.

How MealEnders Work: 

  1. Identify when you want to take a MealEnders. For example, instead of a second helping, in place of dessert, or when a craving strikes.
  2. Savor the MealEnder and allow it to completely dissolve. You don’t want to bite into it. The beauty of this product is that it has a sweet coating around the hard candy piece. The hard candy piece provides a tingling sensation. It will take awhile to finish- up to 20 minutes- which teaches you the art of savoring.
  3. According to the brochure, MealEnders work with the body’s natural hunger and fullness signaling process to clear the desire to overeat from your mind and mouth.

I tried them right after a meal. Every once in awhile I like a little something sweet after my meal so I decided to try a MealEnder this past week to give them an honest go. MealEnders come in four flavors currently: Chocolate Mint, Cinnamon, Mocha, and Citrus. I have to say, my favorite is the Citrus and I LOVE the tingling sensation. It really was satisfying for my taste buds!

MealEnders are food-based so are regulated by the FDA as a food product. This is not a stimulant or supplement by any means. Each lozenge is 15 calories, contains 2 grams of sugar, and is low-fat, stimulant-free, gluten-free, kosher, and contains no high fructose corn syrup or MSG.

I know many peeps that like to know ingredients too. The citrus product contains: Key Lime Confectionary coating {sugar, palm kernal oil, nonfat dry milok solids, natural flavor, whole milk solids, soy lecithin, artificial color and salt}, Corn syrup, Sugar, Citric acid, and Natural & Artificial flavors.

Could MealEnders replace the office candy bowl? I love the message on the wrapper!

SavorDontChew

And now time for a giveaway! One of you will receive all 4 flavors to try. Comment below to enter the giveaway. I will pick a random winner by next Friday the 13th. Bonus entry for each day you tweet the giveaway!

Move, Nourish, Believe

I am IN LOVE with the Lorna Jane philosophy of “Move, Nourish, Believe.” I was VERY excited when the hosts of The Fit Dish link up felt compelled to have us share how we will move, nourish, believe through photo’s. They dig the philosophy too. And how can they not?! It is so inspiring and I think you will love it too, if you don’t already. So thank you to Jill Conyers and Jessica Joy for kicking the link up off this week.

Before I get to my photo’s of how I will Move, Nourish, and Believe this week I have to share some NEWS….. I got to meet Lorna Jane!!!!!!!!!!!! I was like a kid in a candy store, so stinkin’ excited. She came to Dallas for an event so I took my bootay to NorthPark mall to meet her, do yoga with her, and have her sign my cookbook. Aghhhh!!!!!! Fitness role model alert times ten. 🙂

excited

 

So now back to the meat of the post. How will I Move, Nourish, and Believe this week?! Let’s do this…

{MOVE}

I am inspired to move through yoga almost daily. It sets the tone for a happy, healthy, and well-balanced day. In addition to yoga, I try to get in my 10,000 daily steps either through jogging, walking outdoors, or Insanity Max 30 when I feel the need for an intense burn! I have been adding in a bit of PIYO this past week as well so will continue that. I love how my muscles FEEL after it.

yoga

{NOURISH}

I believe in intuitive eating. I believe in nourishing my body with fuel that is mostly healthy, but also tasty. I do not believe in restriction. I do not believe in dieting. I believe in finding out what works best for MY body. I check in before meals to see what it is that I REALLY want. I know my likes and dislikes. I TRUST myself! One of my all-time favorite meals whenever it is cold (and yes, it is even cold here in Dallas, TX) is Harvest Vegetable Chowder. So many yummy delicious vegetables in this dish! And I always eat soup with crackers or toasted bread FO SHO!

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{BELIEVE}

I used the word believe a lot in my “Nourish” post, but believing is a GOOD thing in so many different areas. I will believe in myself and in my goals. I will fall, but when I fall I will get back up again. Too keep this attitude up, I want to spend a few minutes daily in some form of meditation, whether journaling, moving meditation, prayer, or stillness. I believe in loving yourself, imperfections and all. Here is a picture I took from last week’s National Eating Disorders Awareness week.

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How will you move, nourish, believe this week?

Wedding Series: 10 weeks to go!

Wedding Series 5

 

I have 10 weeks left to go until my wedding. I am back to the video blogging for all you visual lovers (like me!). I played around with a “makeshift studio” this time, trying to get a white backdrop. Hey, it ain’t perfect but it works. Appreciating the imperfect, that’s what life is about!

Cue the video…


For those that like words better, here is a summary of what I covered:

Wedding planning deets

  1. Decor: Purchased beautiful lanterns from Pier One. They are having a huge sale on lanterns and candles right now. Check this baby out!
  2. The dress is in! I got a call on Saturday that my dress is in and to schedule a fitting. I hope it fits!! I’ll find out on Friday. Wish I could show you the dress, but my fiance sometimes reads the blog so if you are interested in seeing it just shoot me a facebook message or email.

Health-related deets

  1. I am all about more mindful living… and if I have never mentioned it before, intuitive eating changed my life! I love following other professionals who believe in sharing a mindful lifestyle. They don’t prescribe diets because they know diets do not work. EVER. Period. I recently found a podcast that I am seriously digging on! Lauren Fowler recommended it on her blog (Mindful meals). The podcast is called Fearless Rebelle Radio by Summer Innanen. Greatness! And side note, I have REALLY been getting into podcasts lately so if you need any recommendations let me know.
  2. My fellow dietitian friend, Cindy, and I are kicking off the National Nutrition Month Challenge this week. Did you see her guest post yesterday and are you joining in? If not, you SHOULD be! We are giving away a $25 gift card to Whole Foods this week. Plus, photo challenges on Instagram are so much fun. Our goal is to promote a healthy, positive lifestyle with no restriction necessary! No don’ts… just do’s. Just the way we like it. Use the #NNMChallenge on Instagram if you are participating. It’s all in good fun and you won’t want to miss. Holla!

That’s it for the wedding catch up. How was your week? Name one of your favorite things you did this past week?

Happy National Nutrition Month

Happy National Nutrition Month

Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle

Hello everyone! I’m excited to be coordinating National Nutrition Month blogging activities with Bri. I have been blogging over at Newlywed Nutrition for about 5 years! Bri and I found each other somewhere in the sea of nutrition bloggers. When Bri reached out to me about coordinating I was thrilled and then our minds got to working! We are very excited to bring you a month filled of nutrition knowledge, tips, freebies, giveaways, and a Q&A series with me and Bri! As register dietitian nutritionists we are the food and nutrition experts who provide evidence-based information and recommendations. Don’t let that science talk throw you off…we promise to make it fun and more importantly informative so that you and your family can Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle!

 

What is National Nutrition Month?

National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

Let’s Get Social!!

   

Recap of what to look forward to!!

1. Nutrition knowledge and tips, of course!

2. GIVEAWAYS!!!

3. 31 Day Monthly Challenge Calendar with tips on how to Bite Into A Healthier Lifestyle!

4. Did I mention GIVEAWAYS? That means free stuff! Like books, giftcards, nutrition swag, nutritional products, and more!! See this weeks giveaway at the bottom of this post: $25 Whole Foods Gift Card!

5. “Ask the RD” video series! That’s right, YOU ask the questions and we answer them with evidence-based information and recommendations.

6. And Freebies!!

Today’s Freebie: NNM Calendar by Bri!
 
We are also teaming up to bring you a Photo-A-Day Instagram Challenge!
#NNMChallenge and Tag @DietitianCindy and @SimpleDlights

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