Yesterday we recapped our very favorite MPMK ideas for living and parenting better in 2013, today I’m bringing back another favorite – my two favorite nutritionists, Megan and Katie, from Prescribe Nutrition – to give us all a crash course on how to quickly get in the habit of eating to look and feel better this spring.
You may remember that around this time last year, I had the opportunity to participate in Prescribe Nutrition’s phenomenal online nutrition course (psst – get 20% off with code: MPMK20). Here’s what I had to say about it back then:
After having S I struggled with exhaustion, head aches, and mood swings. At first I tried to figure it out on my own, then I sought help through my general physician, OBGYN, and even a naturopath. But I never found the solid answers I was looking for.
Of course, I assumed that at least some of it had to be due to diet. But until completing this program I had no idea how much. And here’s the part where I “keep it real”. It wasn’t a cake walk (either literally or figuratively). It was hard - especially the first week when my body was craving all the processed foods and sugar I usually fed it.
But I did it – what’s more I got my husband to do it too and we both felt SO MUCH better at the end of two weeks. When telling people about it I would say that I didn’t necessarily feel like I was ready to run a marathon but I did generally feel happier and less tired.
I also realized once I began the program that previously I’d been experiencing chronic stomach pains and bloating at night. They’d become so commonplace that I didn’t even notice them, or think about doing anything to avoid them. Then I started my 15 days, those symptoms disappeared, and I felt amazing.
Finally, the most profound outcome of this experiment has been how it’s affected me as a mother. Without the headaches and exhaustion, I’m so much more fun! And I’m connecting with my kiddos in new ways – which is a huge gift and exactly what I was hoping to gain from the experience.
Prescribe Nutrition is once again offering the course this year on March 3rd (which, full disclosure, I’m once again an eager affiliate for) and I’ll give you all the goods at the end of this post.
But for those that saw “nutrition” and immediately thought “sign me up!”, let me throw out the registration link now.
Go here and be sure to enter the code MPMK20 for your 20% discount!
Now here’s Katie with her…
5-step plan to jump starting a better eating routine for spring…
So, how are you feeling these days?
A little tired? Maybe cranky? Some (or many) sugar highs that have lead to some deep lows? We know, we feel your grumbles. Today is all about some tips and tools that can have you feeling a whole lot better in no time at all.
Ready? Here’s the plan…
Step 1 – Eat Your Water
Think of hydration out of the box. Upping water is of course the best way to hydrate a dehydrated body but try mixing in some other hydrating foods (and their fun facts) like:
- Cucumber (96.7%). You can make a wonderful and easy detoxing cucumber soup – see recipe at the end of this post!
- Iceberg lettuce (95.6%). Sure it gets written off in the nutrition world but in actuality it can be a wonderful blend to a mixed (dark) greens salad OR in a rice, quinoa or bean salad. It packs a hydrating crunch.
- Celery (95.4%). This humble veggie contains folate and vitamins A, C, and K. Thanks in part to its high water content, celery neutralizes stomach acid and is often recommended as a natural remedy for heartburn and acid reflux.
- Radishes (95.3%). Get a little wild with these guys. The are crunchy, spicy and sweet all at once and contain the valuable antioxidant – catechin (also found in green tea). One of our favorite moves? Dice it up and mix it into your tuna salad.
Step 2 – Wake Up Your Body
The more alive your foods are, the more alive you’ll feel. Set a two-day (we are all about making it accessible) goal of whole food based meals. Here’s a sample that’s completely doable:
- Breakfast B- A warm bowl of gluten-free oats, fresh or frozen berries, half a sliced banana, a spoonful of almond butter and a sprinkle of flax or chia seeds. Cozy, yep. Filling, yep.
- Lunch – Check out the Kale Caesar recipe at the end of this post. SOOO good and so balanced. You can add a hardboiled egg and/or grilled or sautéed chicken.
- Dinner – Here’s a Chicken Mole that will have your neighbors (if you choose to share) thinking you are a top chef. Serious.
- Snacks – Well of course there will be snacks. Raw nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies. Or jam them all together and make a Quinoa Fruit Salad. A complete protein, with a kick. Add a little sliced avocado and your bases are covered!
Step 3 – Don’t Underestimate What Even the Tiniest Bit of Exercise Can Do
If you’re like most, the last thing we want to do is put on spandex or any sort of exercise gear and go to the gym when feeling “full”. Ahhhhh. But, as you surely know, as soon as you start feeling better those workouts will become more enticing by the day, so in the meantime start small.
If you’re going back to the office, make a pact that every 90 mins you’ll get up and walk for 10. Park away from your car and walk. Hit up the stairs – even a flight or two. I guess our point - you don’t have to go big or go home. Leave that to the NBA players or something.
Step 4 – Fight the Bloat
Here are some things about bloating that you might not know:
- Artificial sweeteners – You know those guys that are in all “diet” type foods? They contain chemical compounds called sucralose, aspartame and cyclamate that the digestive tract cannot break down easily. Digestive distress = bloat. More than that, sweeteners can be 300 times sweeter than natural sugar, and are known to increase appetite and cravings, resulting in overeating and wait for it…bloat.
- Dandelion tea. A mild and gentle diuretic that stimulates bile to help break down fatty meals that also make you bloated. Try drinking one cup per day. One of our favorites is a warm cup of Dandy Blend tea.
- Have a little mag. Try 200 milligrams of magnesium daily to fight fluid retention and to expel gas. This essential mineral eases constipation by relaxing the muscles in the intestinal walls. You can also find magnesium in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds, whole grains and seafood.
Step 5 – Stress Less
Adding additional stress to your life directly affects the gut, and we really mean that. Digestions stops, bloating increases, and frankly it’s just an overall bummer, so be kind to yourself and remember that life is a journey, not a destination.
Thanks so much to Katie for stopping by and sharing with us! And don’t forget, if you’re looking for a little more, the ladies have it. 14 days more.
Starting March 3rd, 2014, Reset:14 is all about getting you to feel your very best, bringing back energy, clearing out the clutter and – of course – ditching the holiday inches, intelligently.
Think three new recipe packets, meal planning guides, tons of education that will help you carry it all forward (real life stuff), AND 24/7 support on our members only discussion boards where all your questions get answered. All of ‘em. Here’s everything else you need to know:
A 14 day nutritional program put together by two top-notch functional nutritionists (Katie and Megan) and designed to start you down the path of feeling like a brand new you.
Something I really appreciated about the program is there are no specific time-of-day requirements. You’re free to watch the videos and read the materials when you have the time. Then check in with the group to have questions answered and get support.
In Katie and Megan’s words:
Why? Because life is busy, stress exists and healthy eating is challenging. Maybe you’ve tried a million diets. Maybe you can’t shake constant bloat or fatigue. Perhaps you’re dealing with some more deep-rooted concerns and don’t know where to begin. Yeah, been there. Well, don’t worry. You found the spot.
We work with people with concerns from weight loss to chronic health conditions. Guess what we realized? Across the board, no matter what, this protocol is where we start. 14 days to a cleaner life. And lucky you…we decided everyone should be in on this. Time to invest in yourself. Time to show 2014 who’s boss.
In the meantime, here are the recipes Katie mentioned above to help out with your 5-step jump start plan:
Cucumber soup 4 servings
- 2 cups chopped cucumber
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- 1 cup peeled and chopped avocado
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- Juice of a ½ large lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Blend cucumber, zucchini, avocado, and garlic in a food processor or blender until very finely chopped, about 30 seconds.
- Whisk together water, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a bowl.
- Turn on the food processor and pour water mixture slowly through food processor’s feed tube while processing cucumber mixture. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.
Kale Caesar with Roasted Chickpeas 2 main servings or 4 side servings
- 1 bunch of dino kale, washed, center ribbed removed and sliced into 1” ribbons
- 1 bunch of romaine lettuce, washed, de-stemmed and sliced into 1” ribbons
- ¼ cup roasted chickpeas
- Sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- ½ cup raw walnuts, soaked in water for 10 minutes, then drained
- 2 teaspoons garlic (roughly 2-3 large cloves)
- Blend all the dressing ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.
- Toss washed and dried lettuce and kale in a bowl with ½ cup of the dressing (or more to taste). Be sure to toss it until all leaves are coated evenly. Serve with roasted chickpeas instead of croutons. Finish with an extra sprinkle of ground flax seeds, freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of sea salt.
Recipe and photo contributed by Eat Life Whole.
P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?