I sit down to chat with Co-Active Life Coach, Hannah Massarella about simple stress management techniques you can implement on a daily basis.
Yes. I’m serious. If you would have told me when I was 5 that my career would involve so much talking about poop, I’d of called ya crazy. But it’s true. I talk about it A LOT. And my 5-year old self is pretty excited about it.
Why? Because by paying attention to whats coming out of our bodies can actually tell us a lot about what to put in our bodies to begin the healing process and regulate your metabolism.
So to start let me say this: You should be pooping about every single day.
Now let’s face it - if you’re not pooping everyday you’re probably feeling bloated, tired, and blah. So if this is you - it's time to click play and watch this week's #MeetUpMonday where I share 5 things you need to start incorporating MORE of into your life to get your daily doo.
Below is chart that is used frequently in hospitals to record people’s bowel movements… their poops. Dr. Mercola calls Type 4 The “holy grail” of poop. It should be smooth and soft and pass easily!
You may have found that your poop patterns will change if you’re experiencing stress, lack of sleep, or traveling. You have to do a bit of trial and error to figure out what works best for you. As always you know I’m here for you! I love talking about poop so if you feel you need a little more one-one guidance, let's work together!
Thanks for meeting up. See you next week!
When it comes to creating your own food routine... It’s important to remember, all of us work a little differently, and YOUR ideal meal timing is going to depend on a number of factors such when you wake up, your work schedule, when you workout, when you go to sleep, and of course, when you feel hungry. Here are 6 6 tips that I find work well for myself, and most of my clients.
*Before subscribing to any of the tips below, make sure to try my food journaling exercise. This will give you a window into when your body is feeling hungry and why.*
1. You tell your body when it’s hungry.
We might think it’s a coincidence that we want to eat at the same time everyday, but it’s not. We tell our body when to be hungry. So if we eat six small meals per day, we’re going to be hungry six times per day and so on. This is important to keep in mind when you begin creating (this changing) your food routine. It will take between 4-7 days (but as long as 14 days) for your body to adjust to your new pattern.
2. Space your meals about 4-6 hours apart.
Again, this might be contrary to what you normally hear, but here’s why: every time you eat you raise your blood sugar levels, and then the hormone insulin is released from the pancreas to bring your blood sugar back to normal. So, if you’re eating every 2-3 hours, you’re raising those blood sugar levels constantly throughout the day and insulin never has a chance to come back down. When insulin levels are high, it makes it impossible for your body to use fat as fuel, which in turn will keep you hungry throughout the day. When you space your meals out, you give your body a chance to digest, and bring blood sugar levels back to normal.
The number of meals will really depend on how early you start your day. If you see below - I usually have 4 meals on my longer days, and maybe 3 meals on less intense days.
3. Avoid eating at least 2 hours before bed.
When we go to sleep, our metabolic processes slow way down, and anything we eat at night pretty much just sits there and will likely interfere with our sleep patterns. Try to avoid eating 2-4 hours before sleeping.
4. Make lunch your largest meal of the day.
The middle of the day is usually when our metabolism is running at it’s peak, so eating the bulk of our food intake in the middle of the day, and eating a lighter dinner is helpful in keeping up with our bodies natural rhythm, and helps burn calories efficiently.
5. Leave at least 2 hours between your last meal and your workout.
When you workout on a full stomach, the blood circulating in your body has to make a choice between assisting the digestive process and sending blood to your muscles. Making both your metabolic processes and your workout, less effective. Try leaving at least 2 hours between your last meal and your workout, but no more than 4 hours. It’s also smart to re-fuel within an hour post-workout, so take that into consideration when planning your sweat session.
6. Schedule your meals at (roughly) the same time everyday.
When you create a food routine, your body figures out what’s up. So if you eat breakfast at 8AM everyday, your metabolism will fire up at 8AM everyday. In terms of timing, there are no ideal meal times, but following the tips above, and looking at your schedule, try to create some consistent times for your meals. I admit, this is hard for me, since my schedule usually bounces around all over the place, but this is what I try to stick to:
6 AM: Breakfast
8 AM: Workout
10 AM: Light Lunch
2 PM: Light Lunch
Now, take a little pause, look at your schedule, and write down the best times for you to eat.
Taking this first step is such an awesome place to start, because it doesn’t require you changing anything about what you’re eating, and simply shifts your focus to when you’re eating. Try our your new schedule this week and let me know how it goes!
With the rise of apps such as Lose It! and My Fitness Pal, food journaling has become a way for people to track their food intake and exercise as a method to track calories in and calories out for weight loss. Thats GREAT - but its not the only thing that’s happening when you write down what you eat… Journaling brings a whole other level of awareness and accountability to your habits, and if you do it correctly, it can be a powerful agent for creating permanent change.
Check out this week's video for my 4 tips for effective food journaling. Everything is included in text below as well.
1. Write in the Moment.
Many times keeping a journal (or using an app), can feel like a chore, so we wait until the end of the day, or the next day and write down everything we’ve eaten retrospectively. We’re busy, it happens - but writing down what you’re doing in the moment, or shortly thereafter, will bring the most awareness to your habits, and give you the opportunity to change something then and there.
2. Don’t Just Write Down What You Eat.
Tell me, does this sound like you when it comes to healthy eating?
“I know what to do, I’m just not doing it.”
If yes, listen up. Of course, with a food journal writing down what you’re eating is important, but it’s worthless if you don’t include a couple of other key factors. HOW you eat, and WHY you eat are just as important (if not more) as what you’re eating.
HOW: In front of the television, in front of the computer, in the car, during a meeting, at the dinner table etc.
WHY: Hunger, sadness, depression, stress, anxious bored etc.
When you tap into the how and the why, you have the power to change lifelong eating patterns that are keeping you stuck.
3. Keep in Touch
One of the powers of food journaling is the ability to get in touch with your hunger and fullness cues. Before you eat, write down your hunger scale (or take a conscious mental note). On a scale from 1-10 how hungry are you? 1 = FULL, 10 = STARVING. Rate yourself again after you eat.
There is no right or wrong answer, but you will likely notice some patterns; AKA opportunities to change.
At the end of each day or week, reflect on the food journal and notice patterns and opportunities. Sure you might see that your diet is lacking in vegetables, but you also might see that your food choices are mainly driven by stress, and not hunger. In that case, maybe you would benefit more from stress reduction techniques than an overhaul in your diet.
Beyond the Journal
If you’re like me, the thought of doing this for the rest of your life sounds like torture. Ultimately, a food journal is just a tool to keep you aware and honest. And if you can keep awareness and honestly present at every meal or snack - you can throw away the journal. Check out my post about mindful eating for some tips on how to do that.
Now, I'm going to challenge you: Keep a Food Journal using this 4 tips for 1 week. Then let me know - what did you notice? Did it help clarify your goals? I'd love to hear from you!
Over the last couple of years my fabulous mother has lost over 50 lbs by simply eating healthier and walking. No other fancy workout routines, just by adding more steps to her daily life. This is something I'm always trying to convince people of trying, but have always found hard to do myself. See, I like walking, but I always think it would be way more fun if I had a dog to make the walk more purposeful. Unfortunately, my living situation (a tiny 350 sq/ft apt and long hours outside of the house) wouldn't serve a pup very well. But after losing our sweet, beloved family dog, Sammi this year - I've been exploring any way to make city living with a dog a reality. So when my friends Crissy and Charlie Saunders announced they were creating walkzee, an online platform connect people to shelter dogs - for walks - I knew I had to do whatever I could to make the vision a reality. More people walking, more dogs get fresh air, and more dogs being adopted! It's truly a win-win-win.
Watch my interview with Crissy and Charlie to see how they came up with the idea, and scroll down to see how you can make walkzee a reality.
There's about 2 weeks left of their Kickstarter Campaign, and they have about $8,000 to go - If they reach their goal, walkzee will be a reality by this summer (ahhh, summer)! Now if I had $8,000 I'd pledge it myself, but I don't. So here's how I'm going to sweeten the deal: aside from all of the attention and swag you'll get, I'm going to offer a free Your Health 101 session to anybody who pledges over $100 after watching this video. Just e-mail me at Jessi@JessiHaggerty.com after you donate to schedule your appointment.
If you want to donate, but aren't able to - please share this message with your friends. Help us make Walkzee a reality!
Another Meet-Up Monday, although today doesn't include a video! This weekend I very serendipitously met with Ayurvedic Specialist, Jill Talve. For those of you who are not familiar, Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old system of natural healing that originated in the Vedic culture of India. I've had an interest in the tradition for a long time (for myself and my practice), and while I was home in New York over the weekend, my sister's Urban Outfitters order was accidentally delivered to Jill's doorstep. When we went to pick it up, I was so excited to learn more that I booked a session with Jill immediately. I'll keep you posted on some of the lifestyle recommendations she provides me with, but for now she has graciously provided us with a guide to finding balance in extreme weather - yes. please.
Finding Balance in Extreme Weather By Jill Talve C.A.S.
I hate winter. (I'm with you, Jill).
On the other hand, the snow is beautiful, and I am cozy. Kitcheree on the stove….
As we get ourselves closer to the rhythms of nature, wherever we are, how does one maintain balance during extreme weather? How do we stop the bouncing back and forth of moods, thoughts and actions if nature herself seems over the top?
Not easy. But there are few lessons we can learn from Nature , that may help us stay centered during these times.
1. Dig Deep. When the ground and everything above it seems frozen, do what the plants do and dig deep. Root systems are often two thirds of the entire plant (just imagine what lives beneath a giant oak)!
Those roots are alive and vibrant, harnessing energy for the upcoming spring. But for now they are hidden, and take some getting to. When there’s not much to see on the surface, the only place to go is IN.
Try this daily simple breathing practice (courtesy of Dr. Andrew Weil):
Body comfortable, spine straight.
- Inhale through the nose, for a count of 4.
- Hold the breath for a count of 7.
- Exhale through the mouth for a count of 8.
- Repeat 4 times.
Do it 2x/day preferably at sunrise and sunset, but this practice can be anytime.
2. Lighten Up. In Ayurveda, cold, frozen temperatures and dry fluffy snow bring out the Vata dosha, which governs movement of all kinds. In balance, Vata fosters creativity, inspiration and enthusiasm.
In excess, vata pushes these characteristics farther along the continuum towards anxiety, worry, and restlessness. Being overrun with thought can be debilitating. It is often about what you can’t do or don’t want to do, leaving one with a feeling of helplessness and discontent.
Traditionally, grounding activities such as sticking to a daily routine and warm, heavy foods will help to calm the mind but in extreme weather this can be tricky. If we overdo these practices we will give rise to the Kapha dosha, which in excess can foster a heaviness and lethargy.
The balancing act between these two doshas is a challenge in this environment and requires some work. Keep food choices cooked and warm to pacify Vata but stay light by choosing vegetable soups and stews. Take a day off meats and refined sugars. A 20 minute walk, preferably outside, is the key to keeping kapha in check.
Exposure to sunlight for 15 minutes (when possible) is enough to gather some of the sun’s energy to ignite the pitta dosha, which leads to productivity.
3. Go with the Flow. Everything in nature survives by adapting to its surroundings, and we are no different. Consider how in those first days of winter we are chilled by falling temperatures. Here in the northeast when the thermometer falls below 40 F for the first time we feel frozen, and by February we feel as if 40 F is practically a beach day!
Try not to hang on to the feelings you are experiencing in extreme weather, because you will miss the fact that it is already changing. Sunrise during this time of year is around the time most of us are waking up. Most weather apps that come with smart phones will tell you exactly when sunrise is in your area. Make a point to get up a few minutes before and deliberately watch the sky. Combine it with the simple breathing exercise described above. You will immediately feel the positive effects.
With each passing day, the ice is melting and the water is flowing underneath, the roots are spreading and foraging for moisture within the frozen ground. Each day has a beginning and points us towards our own spring. Sometimes the pace is not in sync with what we would like it to be - too slow or too fas t- but the more we can align ourselves with the pace of nature, the better we will feel!
Jill is a graduate of CCA as a Clinical Ayurveda Specialist and Pancha Karma specialist. She is the owner/operator of EverVeda, an Ayurveda wellness Center in Long Island, NY. EverVeda offers Ayurvedic Consultations, healing therapies, custom herbal medicines, Pancha Karma, cooking classes and a Meals that Heal© program, prepared meals specifically designed for the individual wishing to optimize their health.
Jill is determined to give the best Ayurvedic care possible to those she is given the privilege to see, combining the past, present and future of healing in all its forms.
Vist Jill at www.EverVeda.com.
There are a lot of new terms in here - if you have a question for Jill, post it below and we'll make sure you get a straight answer!
See you next week!
Today is a VERY happy Monday! It's the FIRST installment of Meet Up Monday (#meetupmonday)! This particular project has been floating around in my brain for a while, so as we kick off a new month, I'm psyched to kick off this new project.
Tune in weekly to meet up with me (and some other awesome experts) to get some inspiration. I think todays topic is a perfect fit to inspire you to come back and spend time with me every week. It's a simple and effective tool to stay accountable with your goals, and it might just be the missing link when it comes to reaching them.
P.S. if you're still unclear on your goals - check out my method for setting them straight.