Intermittent fasting is becoming a regular term heard in every health circle these days. So what exactly is it? IF basically can be described as various different approaches that use short term fasting with the ultimate goal of increasing one's health. The key word here being "short" term, time restricted eating.
The benefits listed to this kind of eating are numerous, ranging from promoting cellular maintenance, protecting against aging, improving metabolic markers, helping with weight loss, decreasing risk of chronic disease, improving insulin resistance, detox benefits, all the way to boosting your brain power.
Digestion uses up a lot of energy.
When our body is in a constant state of being fed, all the energy goes towards that... instead of being allowed to use energy for repair and detox, that is so vital. When we give ourselves an extended time without food, the liver is allowed to get to work. Let it do its job! The body also needs time and energy to "clean" itself (a term known as autophagy). During this process, the body gets rid of any old or malfunctioning cells, and also gets rid of bacteria and viruses. Autophagy is not possible when we are busy digesting food, and it's ability peaks after a 16 hour window of fasting.
As mentioned above, there are many different approaches to this kind of eating. One of the most popular trends is eating all your food within an 8 hour window, and fasting for the other 16 hours. This can be on any schedule you prefer. Some tend to skip breakfast and start eating at noon, then making their last meal before 8 pm. Others may choose eating in a window from 7 am until 3 pm. Or maybe you want to consume your food between 10 am - 6 pm. Of course you may also decide to have a 10 hour eating window with a 14 hour fast. The beauty of this, is that you tailor it to your lifestyle and what works for you.
But haven't we always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
Popular wisdom says that skipping breakfast is bad. But why is that? Studies that have been done in the past have shown that breakfast eaters tend to be leaner... but this may not necessarily be because they eat breakfast. Eating breakfast has long been popular health advice. So these people probably tend to exercise more, choose not to smoke, and eat a healthier diet in general.
When we eat food, our body takes the carbohydrates and breaks them down to use for fuel. Whatever does not get used up at that time, ends up getting stored as fat. When our body doesn't have food to break down for fuel, it then goes to those fat stores and uses those instead. Burning those fat stores (mainly triglycerides), is what helps us with weight loss and also can improve one's cardiovascular disease risk profile. On top of that, when we burn fat, ketones are released into the blood stream. Ketones have been shown to preserve brain function and help ward off memory loss. Another great bonus.
However, as good as this all sounds, IF may not be for everyone. Those who suffer from chronic fatigue, hormone imbalances, adrenal fatigue, hypoglycemia, extreme chronic stress at home or at work, those who are pregnant, breast feeding, or trying to maximize fertility, or anyone with any kind of eating disorder should not be doing intermittent fasting. It could actually make those conditions worse, so please always consult your physician before trying IF to make sure it is safe for you.
The beauty of this is you can tailor this to your lifestyle. Do what makes the most sense for you, and play around with it. You can make this as formal or as informal as you like. There is no calorie counting, or even restricting calories here. It is simply eating within a certain window of time. And this does not have to be every day. Like I said, do what works for you. Maybe you have an 8 hour eating window 2 days per week. Maybe you do it 5 days per week, and eat regular on the other 2 days. Maybe you do a 24 hour fast once or twice per month. Make it your own plan.
I like to do my intermittent fasting based on how I feel on any given day. If I slept poorly, or maybe I am stressed about something, then I will not choose to do IF that day. Food will probably do me better. But if I feel pretty good, got a good sleep, and I am up for it... then yes. Maybe my first meal will be at 1 pm, and I'm okay with that. It also gives you the benefit and convenience of not always being slave to making food! It's a time saver, and gets something off your to-do list! :-) Who doesn't need that?
Bottom line, this is all about balance. Don't let IF be a downfall to other ares of your life. Say you get invited to a great dinner party, and your contemplating not going because it will mess up your IF planned for that day. Go to the party! Don't let IF isolate you and ruin your social life. A healthy lifestyle is about BALANCE above all else. Don't put all your energy into one area of your health... you need to look at the big picture and put it all into perspective.
We say we want something, and then we do everything in our power to make sure it doesn't happen. Does this sound familiar? It is a reoccurring problem for many people, in many different circumstances in life. Have you ever had someone tell you to just get out of your own way? You are your own worst enemy? Or stop shooting yourself in the foot? Then chances are, you have been a victim of your own self-sabotage at some point in your own life.
But how does this make sense? Why would we purposely derail ourselves from our wanted goals and dreams? It seems to go against everything that we want, so why do we do it? Why do we knowingly destroy progress that could be helpful and beneficial for our own future happiness and well-being?
First off, let's recognize that there are many different ways to self-sabotage. It may be comfort eating while trying to lose weight; procrastinating with things we know need to get done; going on a shopping spree when trying to reel in the budget; going back again and again to unhealthy relationships we know we need to end... and the list goes on.
So why do we do it? There could be many reasons why:
-Feeling unworthy: If we don't feel like we "deserve" the good things we are trying to gain for ourselves, then it's easy to tell yourself that you shouldn't have it. In thinking that way, our mind will affect our actions, and we will ultimately do something to destroy and progress we have made.
-The need to be in control: Sometimes it may feel better to some to be in control our own failure, rather than take a risk to see what happens if we truly try. If we can cause the failure on our own, at least we were the ones in control of making that happen.
-Familiarity: For some, it may provide a strange sense of comfort to be in that familiar rut of self-sabotage. If we are not used to things changing for the better, then it actually can feel somewhat "comforting" to stay exactly where we are.
-Perfectionism: If it isn't perfect, then what's the point?
-Protection: Self-sabotage can be used as a safety mechanism to protect yourself from disappointment.
-Punishment: Some may use self-sabotage as a means of punishing one's self when they feel out of control. Ever have one cookie and then say "See? I'm such an idiot. I can't do anything right. So now I might as well just eat the whole box of cookies because I ruined the entire day".
Self-sabotage is coping mechanism that, unfortunately, does more harm than good. It's the "feel good now, worry about consequences later" method. Basically, short term gain = long term pain. It's not helpful in the long run.
But there is hope! Self-sabotage does not have to be your destiny. You actually CAN change that, and I will give you some tips on how.
First, identify the behavior for what it is. Recognize it and take responsibility for it. Pin point what triggers this behavior for you. Is it certain people? Objects? Specific times? Specific feelings that come up in your mind about yourself? Notice what triggers the behavior, and notice what behavior you are acting out. Be AWARE. That is number one. I am writing this entire post to make people more aware of their own behavior, because so much of it is automatic. We tend to have knee-jerk reactions to our emotions in life rather than stopping to think first and pay attention to what is actually happening.
Second, recreate the pattern with a healthy replacement strategy. Once you realize what is happening and how you are responding, it's time to pick a new response. Recreate a pattern that will promote a healthier result for yourself. When you notice yourself getting burning mad for eating just one cookie, stop. Before eating the entire box to punish yourself, instead try thinking of how much you enjoyed the cookie as a treat for the day. Then move along with an activity that will continue to make you feel good about yourself. Go for a walk! Call a friend! Be OKAY with the fact that you had a cookie and move on! No punishment necessary. And you can still go to bed happy with yourself! Stop the ugly pattern, and create a new one.
For people who procrastinate - sometimes we are overwhelmed by a large task that needs to be done, so we would rather do nothing. Try breaking up that giant task into smaller ones with dead lines for yourself to get each one done. That way it is not so overwhelming to think you need to do it all at once. And if exercise is one of those things you procrastinate with because it seems like too big of a task, again, break it up into small segments. Small workouts count too! And that little start could be the beginning of a whole new you.
And if you are someone who struggles with self-worth, feeling like you are not worthy of having life actually go well for you with positive changes, it is time to change this thought pattern. Where are you finding your worth? What makes you worthy of anything? Facebook likes? No. Followers on Instagram? No. Lies that people have told you over and over again that you believe? No. There is a blood stained cross where Jesus Christ gave His LIFE for you. If that doesn't show your worth, then I don't know what else does. And that's all the worth you need. Stop listening to lies and falling into traps of feeling unworthy from sources that don't matter. The cross says different. Believe it.
Once you have created new patterns for yourself, practice these until new habits are formed. Have patience with the process. When you start seeing small changes, be inspired!
Another way to help yourself out of the rut is to start being more grateful. Realize and appreciate the good things in your life. Start doing more for others instead of being immersed in the "me-me-me" way of thinking. This can help you to stop focusing on your own problems.
What else can you do? Be active! The state of your body has a direct effect the state of your mind. How you perceive things and react to things may change if you are more active than you are now. It gives a mental boost that just might spin you right out of your self-sabotage tail spin.
Now go after what you want, take charge of your plans and dreams, and don't ruin it for yourself!!! Become your own hero rather than your own worst enemy. Realize it is possible, you are worth it, and don't FEAR. Just DO. :-)
This recipe is a great alternative for those who love bread, but don't eat regular bread. If you avoid gluten for any reason but love a soft piece of bread once in a while, this is for you! And if you hate recipes with a million ingredients, this is also for you! And if you are following a keto diet, again, this is for you!
Ingredients for this recipe:
-6 eggs (separated)
-1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill whey protein powder
2 ingredients. That's it! Can't get much easier than that. I love using eggs from my backyard chickens for recipes... healthiest and freshest eggs you can get! And Bob's Red Mill whey protein powder is my favorite for homemade recipes. You can find that here.
Start by separating the egg yolks from egg whites. Set egg yolks aside, and whip egg whites with a mixer for several minutes. Keep mixing until stiff peeks form.
Next, add the egg yolks and gently mix until blended in fully with egg whites. Then add whey protein and gently mix until fully blended.
Add mixture to a greased baking pan (I like to grease pan with ghee for added taste). Bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Batter will puff up very high while baking, and will drop after cooling for a while.
I love lightly toasting this bread and putting almond butter or peanut butter on it with some sliced banana. Soooooo yummy! Fluffy, soft and tastes great. Enjoy!
This has been a favorite of mine for years. Crunchy, a little bit sweet, and very satisfying. Makes a great topper for yogurt, cottage cheese, or just as a small snack on it's own!
Ingredients for this recipe:
-3.5 cups of nuts (I use 1.5 cups slivered almonds, 1 cup cashews and 1 cup walnut pieces)
-1 cup coconut flakes
-1/3 cup almond butter
-1/3 cup coconut oil
-1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup almond meal or coconut flour (if using coconut flour, use slightly less than 1/4 cup)
Start by breaking up any nuts that are large into small pieces (if using whole nuts, place in a storage bag and break up nuts using a large spoon). Place nuts in a large mixing bowl.
Add one cup of coconut flakes to the nuts. Next, mix together almond butter, coconut oil (melted) and raw honey. Add to nut mixture and stir well.
Place mixture on a cookie sheet lightly greased with a little coconut oil. Place in the oven at 325 for about 30 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like it. Baking it at higher temps for shorter time, I find just burns the edges too quick before the entire sheet is done, but you can play around with that.
You can find many ways to use this, just don't eat it all at once! ENJOY!
Mayonnaise. It's one of those condiments that most people either love or hate. I happen to like mayo for certain things, but I don't like my food swimming in it by any means. We tend to think of it as something that's really not considered a "healthy" option, but does it have to be all that bad? Not really. One tablespoon of mayo generally contains about 90 calories and around 10 grams of fat. Just keep this in mind when thinking of what a serving is. The "mayo lovers" out there can easily triple this amount or more without batting an eye.
So what's so bad about mayo? Let me tell you. If you're buying it off the grocery store shelf, you can be ingesting hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and/or added sugars. And so many are made with soybean oil which is not a great choice for health, and is also found in almost every package of processed food out there. These are all things we should be trying to avoid if eating for good health. So let me show you a way to make your own mayonnaise at home that you can feel better about... and it will taste better and so much fresher!
Ingredients for this recipe:
-1 large egg
-1 cup avocado oil
-1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
This recipe certainly does not call for all the eggs shown in that photo, but I just think it's fun to show how pretty the different colored eggs are from my backyard chickens (that's a whole other blog post on it's own)! :-) Anyway, you want to combine all these ingredients into a mason jar that you will use to store the mayo. Blend everything together with an immersion blender... and that's it!!! Creamy, fresh tasting mayonnaise.
But let me give you a few tips that I find help this recipe come out best. I have made this before and had it come out a bit runny. Things I find helpful to prevent that are, first, use a larger egg rather than a small one. Next, I find it better when I refrigerate the avocado oil before making this. Avocado oil can turn very thick and difficult to pour out if it is in the fridge for a long time, so just leave it in there for a day or so for it to become a bit more viscous. Follow these steps, and you should end up with a great texture and a great taste.
This should last in your fridge for about 5-7 days. This works great if you're making any large amount of chicken salad, tuna salad, some kind of coleslaw, or any salad that uses mayo as a base dressing.
Happy New Year! So here we go... new goals, new dreams, new plans. A clean slate for the next 365 days. Sounds great, right? Sure. Unless you're lacking the one necessary ingredient for that fine recipe. People have all kinds of calculations, complicated diagrams, expensive programs and plans of how they are going to execute their goals for this beautiful year ahead, but if they are missing that one vital piece to the puzzle... it's all a waste. You can forget all of it. A joke. Waste of time. A fancy looking package with a bow on top of an empty box. A big ZERO.
So what is this one fundamental element that we all need if we are ever going to be successful at reaching our goals? DISCIPLINE. Plain and simple. Sorry if this disappoints you, but it is truth. Everyone wants the quick fix, the magic pill, or that amazing life hack that will eliminate the need for you to actually work for something. That does not exist. You actually have to do the work. You have to put in the time. You have to make it happen.
Many people try to rely on motivation to reach their goals. Don't get me wrong, motivation can be great sometimes, but it's not what gets you into the end zone. It's a great start, push forward or a kick in the pants when we need it, but it's not the end of the story. Motivation doesn't last. It is fleeting, fickle, and temporary. If this is all you are counting on to accomplish your goals, you will be let down. You cannot count on motivation, but you CAN count on discipline.
You may think of discipline as your worst enemy. You couldn't be more far from the truth. In all reality, discipline is your greatest friend. It is the core principle that overcomes your excuses, talks back to your laziness, and makes you actually do the things you need to do even when you don't feel like doing them. That's powerful. And that is what we ALL need. People come up with all kinds of ridiculous reasons for why they cannot accomplish their goals. Every single one of them can most likely be answered with discipline. Some people want a long fancy sounding solution for how they can stop eating junk food every night. I'll tell you the answer right now. STOP EATING JUNK FOOD EVERY NIGHT. That is done with discipline. How do you get yourself to exercise 3-4 days per week? EXERCISE 3-4 DAYS PER WEEK. Simple, isn't it? I didn't say easy, but it is simple. Discipline is hard. It takes work, and it can be frustrating at times... but NEVER regretted. Even when you're just not "feeling" it... do it anyway. Going through the motions even when you don't feel like it, is what discipline is all about. And when you continue this, you create habits. Habits are life changing. DO IT.
You may try to have discipline imposed on you by an outside force... a trainer, a teacher, a coach, etc. That's great and all, but it will only last as long as that person is in your face. SELF-discipline is where it's at. Until we understand that our life is OUR responsibility, then we will never get it. It's up to you. You get it when you decide you want to be better, faster, stronger, smarter, or whatever your end goal is. Don't fear discipline.... fear being stagnant. That's scary. No more just thinking, dreaming, wishing, contemplating, or debating. Just DO. Happy New Year... now get after it!!!
Hey there! So It was brought to my attention recently that a few people were requesting a list of pantry items to always have in stock in your home. This is a GREAT question to ask. We all want to eat right and be able to make things on the fly that are good for us, so we must start with a well stocked pantry or we'll be out of luck every time and always needing a grocery store run! We don't want that.
Having a well stocked pantry is key. You need certain essentials on hand to be able to make your favorite healthy recipes at anytime. Obviously, you may need to run out for the fresh items if you don't have them at the moment, but things that will keep well in a cabinet or pantry are so key in being prepared for healthy meal planning. I will share with you a list of a few of my favorite go-to's (in no particular order) when it comes to absolute necessity for me to have on hand in my own house. Most of these are listed on my Amazon Store, and I will share links for where to buy the brands I like so you know.
Item #1: Ground flax seed or flax seed meal. This is such a great thing to keep on hand because you can add it to so many different recipes and add amazing health benefits without even really noticing it's there. Flax seed is loaded with fiber and also a good source of Omega 3's. I add this to many recipes, including my protein bars, breakfast-to-go muffins, peanut butter protein cookies, and better-for-you banana bread. I also add this to my smoothies sometimes, or on old fashioned or steel cut oatmeal if I choose. Basically, it's an easy way to make almost anything a little bit healthier. :-) You can store it in a cabinet or pantry, but you may get a longer shelf life out of it if stored in the refrigerator (although some of us go through it too fast to matter... haha!). You can purchase them by clicking HERE.
Item #2: Chia Seeds. These are another super easy healthy item to have on hand. These are also a great source of Omega 3's. Not only that, but they are also full of antioxidants, fiber and protein. These are one of the ingredients in my breakfast-to-go muffins, and they are also great to have on hand to add to smoothies (warning: they can get stuck in your teeth, so keep a look out!). You can also make chia pudding with these that can be very yummy (recipe for that coming soon!). They will last quite a while in your pantry. You can find them HERE.
Item #3: Bob's Red Mill Whey Protein. I just love this stuff. Whey protein is considered a complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is one of the two proteins in milk (casein and whey). Whey can be separated from the casein in milk, or formed as a by product of cheese. It is relatively low in lactose, but still some people with milk allergies may have issues with this. Whey protein helps rebuild muscle, may help reduce inflammation, may help lower blood pressure, and it is highly satiating, meaning it can help you stay fuller longer. Check out this article by Authority Nutrition for more. I specifically love using Bob's Red Mill Whey Protein simply because it only has one ingredient - whey! Many whey proteins in health food stores can contain a lot of added ingredients that are not always great to be consuming, so for me... less is more. :-) I use this for TONS of recipes on my blog, and more. And if you want a chocolate protein powder for something, try using this and adding some cacao powder (but be careful.. sometimes adding too much cacao powder can give a bitter taste!). You can buy Bob's Red Mill Whey Protein right HERE.
Item #4: Raw Organic Cacao Powder. This is a must especially if you are a chocolate lover (like me!). Raw cacao is a great source of antioxidants, magnesium and iron. This is why a bit of dark chocolate is actually considered a good thing in your life. But how great is it to be able to make your own recipes at home adding cacao powder for a yummy chocolate taste with the added benefits! I add this to my Homemade Protein Bars and many other recipes. The possibilities are endless!
Item #5: Shredded Coconut. Shredded coconut is useful in so many ways. Not only is it great for baking, but also adding to many cooking recipes for your everyday eating. It's a healthy addition providing healthy fats and good energy. I always have some on hand!!! This kind is my favorite, but any shredded coconut you like will do just fine.
Item #6: Healthy Cooking Fats. You need to make sure you always have some good healthy fats available to do your cooking and baking. My favorite go-to's for this are Unrefined Coconut Oil , Ghee, and Coconut Ghee (my favorite... a blend of the two!). Butter from grass-fed cows is also a good choice (please no margarine!!!). I absolutely love Extra Virgin Olive Oil as well, but I try not to do much cooking with it since it has a relatively low smoke point. I use it for some low to medium heat cooking, but mostly for dressings and marinades. Please stay away from using vegetable oil. It is linked to too many health problems that you don't want or need. I would also avoid canola oil since about 80-90% of it is produced from genetically modified plants. I don't want that, and neither should you. And if you are scared to use these suggested items because of saturated fats, you need to look at current research. Saturated fats are not the enemy
Item #7: Coconut Flour. Coconut flour is a great alternative for healthy cooking when you're trying to avoid regular flour or if you are gluten free. I use it for many of my baking recipes and even when cooking some meals. It is high in fiber and helps maintain a healthy blood sugar level. But be aware! Coconut flour is extremely absorbent, and you will need much less than regular flour in any given recipe. You will only use roughly 1/4 - 1/3 cup of coconut flour for every cup of regular all purpose flour. You can find coconut flour HERE. I use it in my Better-For-You Banana Bread and many other recipes.
So I hope this is a start. Of course, I could go on for pages here, and maybe I will do a second installment of this blog post at a later date. But for now, I hope you find this helpful. Now go make some healthy food with all this stuff!!! :-)
This is such a yummy little mix that I came up with about a month ago. I have always wanted to try Goji berries because I have heard of the supposed health benefits. SO this is my creation that came out of that desire. I am calling it "Autumn Energy Mix" just because of the colors! They look so much like fall... at least that's what I think of when I look at this. :-)
So let's start with Goji berries. What are they? These berries have a history of being used for medicinal purposes in ancient China. They are also known as Wolfberries, or by their nickname "The Happy Berry". Ancient Monks gave this nickname after feeling jolly when drinking tea made from Goji berries. They have a beautiful deep red color to them and they come in a dried form like raisins. They are somewhat sweet with a slightly sour taste. Why are these so good for you? These berries are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, fiber (will help you feel fuller for longer), zinc and antioxidants. They contain hypoglycemic properties which may help control blood sugar levels safely, and also contain anti-cancer benefits. These berries contain all 8 essential amino acids... and this is quite rare to find in a fruit! We don't usually think of fruit as a protein source. And last but not least, Goji berries may help increase men's testosterone levels. I'll just leave that right there. :-)
Who should avoid Goji berries?
1. Anyone with known low blood sugar (these could worsen the condition)
2. Those with low blood pressure
3. If you are taking Warfarin (Coumadin), it is best to stay away from Goji berries since there are a few reported cases of these causing interactions with this medicine.
4. If you are pregnant or breast feeding - check with your doctor first (could increase uterine contractions).
So now that we know a little bit about Goji berries, back to my recipe! Here is what this mix is made of:
-Goji Berries (If your local store doesn't have these, you can get them HERE!)
-Coconut flakes (find them here for the best kind!)
-Diced dried apricots
-Carob chips (Carob chips are a great alternative when you want something different than chocolate chips! Find them HERE)
Mix a bunch together, and there you have my little snack. Filling, satisfying, yummy and nutritious. A different spin on your regular trail mix. And it looks like fall. :-)
These little sweet treats are super tasty, and of course, all good stuff! Perfect for a quick snack on the go, and kid friendly too! They are no bake and quick to make. These are 30 Day Reset approved as well, so no guilt here. :-)
Ingredients for this recipe:
-1 cup pitted dates
-2 cups dried apple rings (the chewy ones)
-1/4 cup cashews
-1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas!)
-2 Tablespoons coconut oil
-1 and a half teaspoons cinnamon
-1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
-pinch of sea salt
Start with adding the dates and apple rings to a food processor.
Blend for a minute or so to break the fruit down. Then add all other ingredients. Pumpkin seeds are sometimes called "pepitas", so if you see that on a label, those are pumpkin seeds! They look like this (below - although this package is just labeled pumpkin seeds). Pumpkin seeds are loaded with fiber and also a decent amount of protien, so they are a great choice to add to recipes or sprinkle on a salad.
Blend all ingredients together in food processor until well blended. Next, form small balls out of mixture and place on a clean surface. Once done, you can eat them right away, or let them sit in the fridge for an hour or so first. They store well in an airtight container in fridge for at least one week.
Life isn't easy... at all. In fact, some parts of it are a very serious struggle. All the way back to being a kid, there were difficult things to overcome. Friendship drama, figuring out what path to take with our lives, relationship difficulties, career choices, marriage, kids, jobs... and the list goes on the older we get. None of that is easy! But have you ever noticed that the things you have worked the hardest at are usually the things that have been the most fulfilling parts of your life?
Many of you are nurses like myself. Nursing school certainly was not a breeze, am I right? It was hard work. But we did it. Just think of the accomplishment you felt when you graduated and got that degree! All that hard work suddenly felt so worth it now that you were done. No matter what you studied in school... that hard work was a struggle at times... but it WAS worth it after all.
How about marriage? Wow, now that's tough. Ask any married couple who has survived married life for 50 plus years. I guarantee you that every single one of them would agree that it was HARD work to make it where they are. It's not all roses and candle light dinners. It's tough, exhausting, frustrating, and even painful at times! But is it worth it? Absolutely. The relationships we work the hardest at and invest our whole being into are the most rewarding relationships we can have. If there is no effort, it will not last. It takes WORK. It takes COMMITMENT. It takes DISCIPLINE.
Any parents out there? Need I say more. Parenting is the toughest job on earth. But is it worth it to see your child grow into an amazing human being right before you eyes? No doubt. There is no greater feeling than being part of that kind of miracle. It changes us so deeply from within. The love a parent has for their child is so unique and beautiful. But it's HARD work, for sure.
Putting in the effort to take the very best care of ourselves is hard too. Yet so many of us don't want to bother with that. Getting to the gym? That takes effort and discipline to get there. Making healthy meals rather than takeout, meal planning and thinking about what I put in my mouth? That takes too much time and a lot of effort! Taking the necessary steps to take care of your emotional health and decrease your stress level? That takes commitment to do what is necessary and get it done. Self care is hard. It takes effort, discipline, commitment and a whole lot of work. But guess what? Yes, just like all those amazing rewarding life situations listed above, it is so WORTH IT! :-)
So I'm seeing a pattern here. If it's hard, it's probably really worth it in life. Look back on your own life. What have been the most rewarding parts? Certainly not the things that came easy to you. Where is the reward in that? I can bet it was all those times that caused the blood sweat and tears that gave you the greatest satisfaction.... the times that really showed you what you are made of.... the times that helped you become more of who you were meant to be in this life.
We put aside exercise because it's hard. We don't want to make homemade food because that takes too much time. Yes, it is work. It is hard to commit to doing something that takes effort on our part. But that is where the gold is!!! Don't back down and lose out on what was meant for you because it's hard. Hard work paves the road to beautiful satisfaction and great reward. And the benefits that come from taking the best care of ourselves are amazing! There is no easy way out for success. Your marriage, your kids, your career, self-care.... all hard work. And all great rewards. Put in the work... commit... be disciplined.... it will be worth it!
Terri Wentzell is a registered nurse with more than 20 years of experience. She is also a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, fitness nutrition coach, and sport yoga instructor.