When you think of what it means to be healthy, what is the first thing to come to mind? Is it getting more exercise? Eating fruits and vegetables? Maybe it's eliminating all the junk food in our diet. Or maybe it's about how you feel. There is no right or wrong answer here, but there are easier ways to meet our goals than others. No matter what the first thought you had is, the first step we have to take is planning. Without any plan it is hard to take action, and then it becomes hard to follow through on your goals. This will usually leave you feeling pretty defeated.
If you need any meal suggestions we have an awesome meal prep guidebook with fun easy recipes that can be super useful when getting started!
Once you have your grocery list and your meals planned, I always recommend eating something before going to the grocery store. A small, healthy snack with a good balance of carbs, fats and proteins could be a good way to ward off any cravings that walking around the store might induce. This can be a huge life-saver when staying away from foods not on our list. STICK TO THE LIST. Once you have all of your food it is so much easier to meal prep by cooking all your meals for the week at once, or having the food on hand to cook throughout the week when you are ready. It is easier to stay away from take-out when you know you have all kinds of delicious nutritious food waiting for you in your fridge.
I've been talking a lot lately about the importance of our core, and how a strong core has such an incredible impact on all aspects of our life. When in training sessions my clients will often hear me say "a strong core = a strong body". When we engage our core during exercise we will be stronger in all of the movements that we are using, allowing us to maximize each movement and make progress building strength throughout the entire body.
I have noticed so many benefits of focusing on my core. I recently wrote about how my new found core strength has had an incredible influence on my snow boarding (you can read it HERE), and I know that I'll continue to feel the benefits in my kayaking this summer. I notice how my core works for me when I'm shoveling snow, lugging heavy groceries into the house, or simply sitting on the floor comfortably.
Did you know that having a strong core will make you a better runner? I'm always thrilled to hear from our clients who are runners. When they first start their training program they will talk about focusing on building strength in their legs as well as cardiovascular conditioning, but before long they'll start to notice how their stronger core is allowing them to hit PRs and enjoy their running more.
Your core also influences how you breathe. When your core is strong, the muscles in your torso are more balanced – and that leads to having a stronger diaphragm and better posture.
Both of those factors can help you take deeper breaths. According to the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, deeper breaths help you relax and reduce stress. (win-win!)
And if you haven’t tried belly breathing (taking a few minutes to breathe slowly and deeply in and out of your belly and up through your lungs), try it! You’ll be amazed at how quickly it helps you to relax.
Your core will also help you with balance. So many people will comment on how they have terrible balance. Balance is something that we have to work on, and working on a strong core will help your balance improve. A strong core helps you stand up straight with better posture, and in doing so you will improve your proprioceptors, which improves your body's awareness of where it is in space.
And if this isn't enough, a strong core will also allow you to live an active and agile life, allowing you to move with less aches and pains. When our core is strong we avoid slouching, keeping all of our joints aligned. Think about how a slouched posture impacts an elderly person's ability to move. This is something that you can avoid if you are aware of your posture NOW and support it through a strong core.
This topic is SO important we created a resource guide for you that will help you build that core strength and improve your posture with some simple exercises that you can do at home!
Click HERE or the image below to download your copy of our Restore Your Core Guide.
Core exercises are especially important if you’ve had an injury; sit or stand all day at work; spend much time in front of a steering wheel, computer, or phone; or if you’re a new mom.
All of those factors can lead to muscular imbalances that, after a while, can contribute to pain and even injury.
Training your core properly can help counteract all that, plus have you standing taller and feeling more confident!
Feel free to share this guide with your friends, family or coworkers who might benefit from it! I hope you find this information helpful and enjoy this resource guide!
To your health!
Bone broth supports gut health and is known to help alleviate digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation or gas, and can even help improve more serious digestion issues like leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
When our digestive system is healthy our immune system is more robust. Poor gut health can lead to small perforations in the intestines, which allows bacteria and viruses to move from our digestive system into the blood stream, and this is one path towards getting sick.
bodies with collagen through our diet is even more effective at reducing wrinkles and cellulite from the inside out!
Bone broth can also help improve sleep, memory and learning, and even reduce symptoms of anxiety through an amino acid call glycine.
And, if that's not enough, bone broth also contains potassium and magnesium, which are electrolytes, often found in sugary sports drinks, and help with recovery after exercise. Even major league sports teams are moving to the natural benefits of bone broth over sugary recovery drinks to support their overall health and recovery after practice and games!
So of course my next natural question was how to make bone broth without it being a huge chore. I was pretty excited to find a very simple slow cooker recipe that is not only super fast (well, at least prep is fast) and easy, but also a great way to use food scraps that have previously gone into my compost pile or trashcan.
I have made two batches so far. It's incredibly easy, and since you can simmer it for as little as 18 hours and as long as 72 hours it's easy to find a good time to strain it without worrying too much about timing.
I have been enjoying a warm mug of bone broth at the end of the day when I get home from work and before dinner. It helps to wind me down for a chill evening with my husband, and serves as a good addition to my afternoon snack so that I'm not likely to snack while cooking dinner.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Here's to your health!
Looking for More Awesome Stuff to Cook in your Slow Cooker?
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Are you sleeping well at night? If you aren't, you are not alone! Did you know that 30-40% of people struggle to get a quality night sleep on a regular basis?
There are many factors that can lead to sleepless nights including stress, work demands, and big life events like a wedding, buying a house, or having a baby. Sometimes underlying health issues can also impact one's ability to get a good night sleep.
Sleep is critically important to our health, so identifying ways that you can improve your sleep is worth while.
Not getting enough sleep can effect your mood and weight. It can also have a powerful impact on your hormone levels and blood pressure, and can even impact the way that your body feels and moves.
The need for sleep varies from person to person, but studies show that people who regularly sleep more than 7 hours per night are generally healthier. On the flip slide, people who get less than 7 hours of sleep tend to experience health problems including an impaired immune system, and an increased risk of heart disease, depression, obesity, and even certain types of cancer. Researchers are still investigating the links between sleep and disease, but if you're anything like me I'd rather work on improving the quality of my shut eye than risk disease.
My ability to get a good night sleep ebbs and flows depending upon all kinds of things that might be going on in my life. For me I find that creating a nighttime ritual that helps me wind down will help me fall asleep and stay asleep.
I like to listen to some music, which also helps to reduce evening screen time. I'll curl up with a nice, warm, soothing beverage, (read on for one of my favorite night time beverages) a book and the dog and start to get into the mindset of getting a good night sleep. For me this works, but it's important that you find what works best for you.
There are a few factors that can have a big influence on how well you're sleeping including the position you're sleeping in, use of drugs or alcohol, timing of meals & water before bed, level of activity during the day, your nighttime screen time, the temperature and darkness of your bedroom, and more.
Getting a good night's sleep can help you wake up feeling rested and energized with less aches and pains, improve your immune system, decrease your risks of disease, improve your complexion, decrease cravings by controlling hunger hormones, improve your memory, and make you happier! Who doesn't want that?
The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to help improve the odds of getting a great night of sleep EVERY night, and that's why we created this "Supercharge your Sleep" resource guide.
The guide contains simple lifestyle changes you can make to get more sleep – and improve the quality of the sleep you do get.
Get your copy of this incredible resource by clicking below.
Take some time to experiment with different approaches to find what works best for you. Give this delicious recipe a try too. I hope you LOVE it as much as I do!
I hope you enjoy these resources and find them helpful in improving your quality of sleep! Feel free to share this information with anyone you know who could benefit from a better night's sleep. We always appreciate it when you share our resources and posts with the people who you care about.
During a recent bout of warm, springtime weather, I got out for a long overdue walk with my dog, Moe. The cold winter days disrupted my routine of walking on a regular basis and it was time to get back to it!
I have always found walking to be my place of solitude. It gives me the space to think....sort through problems, put certain matters into perspective, and simply appreciate the beautiful world around me.
During this most recent walk it occurred to me that, despite my efforts, I struggle to sit quietly to reflect on life....or plan....or solve problems. I'm one of those people who need to be in motion when thinking deeply about something. I tend to get distracted by unfinished tasks, or projects that are calling my name. When I'm walking all I can do is think. Anything else will simply have to wait, and that's okay. I suppose I hadn't completely recognized my struggle to sit still and think, but something about this walk brought it into focus for me.
For me it's all about making that time to take in the view. To ponder and create new ideas. To nurture my soul. What do you do to nurture your soul? Do you have a favorite place where you go to slow things down and take that special time that's just for you? I'd love to hear about it! Send me a note at email@example.com.
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Positive self-talk is one of the most powerful tools in the world, and we're constantly ‘talking’ in our subconscious mind. The words that we use can either be positive and build us up or negative and tear us down.
It is critical to understand the words that we are using and work to reframe those words and thoughts into a more positive story. Because… what we focus on expands; we become the product of our thoughts; and life is too short for any story that is short of positive.
Download this Glory boarding Worksheet to celebrate everything that makes you special!
I've been talking a lot about Morning Mojo lately as I share the Healthful Living Guidebook with new clients of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, which has made me think about a guest blog that I wrote with Paige a little over a year ago.
Around the same time that I started drinking the morning mojo each day I was also reading a few books that had some consistent thoughts around a few key areas of nutrition
Hydration, Gut Biome Health, and Alkalization
I was noticing a trend in what I was reading, the morning mojo components, and the overall health benefits that I was experiencing. This was the inspiration behind my 3-part guest blog.
Hydration is perhaps the single most important attention you can provide to your body. Our bodies are made up of 2/3 water, and 3/4 of that water is contained within our cells.
Our body relies heavily on being properly hydrated, and starting your day with a big glass of water is an excellent habit to get into. Adding the Morning Mojo to your water provides an extra special benefit.
#2 The Gut Biome:
The microbiome of our gut is incredibly interesting. I was particularly surprised by how the population of bacteria in our gut can influence the kinds of cravings that we have.
When we eat a lot of sugary foods the population of bacteria in our guts is modified to include bacteria that thrive on sugar. Those bacteria will actually send signals to your brain telling it to crave sugar in order to ensure its own survival!
When you eliminate refined sugars from your diet you starve out those bacteria and soon enough you'll experience a reduction in those cravings.
Furthermore, the Morning Mojo feeds the bacteria that craves healthy, whole foods. So starting your day off with a glass of Morning Mojo is a great way to jump start or maintain your efforts in developing healthy, whole food eating habits.
Alkalization refers to the pH of our body. Alkaline is the opposite side of the pH scale from acidic.
When our bodies are at their healthiest it is slightly alkaline. You might be thinking how is that drinking something like lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, both of which are acidic, going to help my body be more alkaline? And it's a good question! Interestingly enough, when we consume acidic foods it actually has the opposite effect INSIDE of our bodies.
Having a slightly alkaline body has interesting benefits on our health including reduction of joint pain, reduction of acid reflux, improved sleep, increased energy, and weight loss!
Download the complete article to read more. I also included a list of some books and articles that you may be interested in reading that provides even more information about this interesting topic.
If you don't care for the ginger you can let it settle to the bottom and infuse into the concentrate. If you prefer you can strain it out a couple of days later and still get most of the benefits of the ginger. Personally, I like to stir it up and make sure that I get some of the ginger in my water, but it's personal preference.
Add the amount of concentrate and ginger that satisfies your taste buds. You can't go wrong if you're incorporating a big glass of water into your morning routine, and I think you'll agree that the addition of Morning Mojo to your morning routine is a great way to give your body an extra dose of mojo that will last throughout the day.
Being hydrated is one of the most important thing you can do for your body.
This short PDF talks about the benefits of drinking water and strategies to drink enough water to hydrate your body
Developing a Healthy Life Style is all about Developing
This tracker helps you keep track of daily healthy activities.
You will also receive an email with our Five Habits for Massive Impact to help you work towards developing healthy habits that you can sustain for a lifetime.
Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.