Minneapolis health coach

The struggle is real. And necessary.

You know what, you guys?  Creating a healthy lifestyle can be hard.  Our culture asks a lot of us.  Chill out, have a beer, and show off your 6-pack.  Don’t take life too seriously, live in the moment, and make sure you’re up to speed on whether or not coconut oil is healthy, because if you’re cooking with the wrong oil, off with your head!


It’s a never ending predicament out there, folks.  But that’s not even the point.  The point is that it’s hard; finding time to workout, going grocery shopping, meal planning, chopping vegetables, and doing the dishes, on repeat.  And if you’re not already doing it, the whole thing seems overwhelming and unattainable.  And don’t worry... I’m not about to ramble on about the top 10 ways to start being healthier.  I’m here to acknowledge your strife.  To say that the struggle is real.  And necessary. 


Struggle is required to propel us forward.  If we didn’t feel inadequate in some way or another, we’d all still be living in our parents house, watching full house in our PJs, and eating cereal for dinner without batting an eye.  Wanting, striving for, and working hard are just a part of life.  And it applies to your health endeavors too.  Saying no to the next round of drinks is going to suck sometimes.  Waking up at 5 AM to hit the gym isn’t going to be easy.  


But guess what.  We do it all for a reason.  To keep up with our kids.  To look good in our swimsuits (yes, vanity is real too).  And most importantly, to feel good.  So when you’re about to throw in the towel because it’s hard, just know that it’s supposed to be sometimes.  Also know, that it will get easier.  With every day that you put in the work, the easier it will be to eat the veggies, go to the gym, and chug the water.  And at some point, you’ll actually look forward to these things, not because of the number on the scale, but because you genuinely like the way that you feel.



Labeled healthy

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Growing up, I was considered one of the athletic kids .  I spent 20+ hours at gymnastics each week, I was always picked to be Sporty Spice (even though I desperately wanted to be Posh), and while I outwardly complained about running the pacer test in gym, I secretly loved it.  And like most kids, I really didn’t care what I put into my body when it came to nutrition.  I would have happily traded my Lisa Frank trapper keeper had it meant that I could get five extra servings of those glorious cafeteria french toast sticks.  

Fast forward to college where I started to understand the value in nutrition.  Did I follow a nutrition plan?  No.  But I knew that going to bed earlier, skipping the shot at the bar, and eating a somewhat regular dinner could only help my athletic performance.  This is when I started to notice that while being an athlete was still cool, being healthy was not.  I was given a hard time for leaving the bar early or for skipping out on the trip to Dairy Queen.  Rather than defending my choices, I gave excuses.  “You guys go without me, I’m too tired” or “I really wish I could but I have to study” or “I am totally broke.  Go without me.”  I mean, all of those excuses were valid, but they weren’t the main reasons why I was opting out. 

The “health nut” comments and my excuses continued once I entered the working world. When I was given a hard time for ordering salad, I would brush it off by saying that I was still full from breakfast, even though a salad would probably have filled me up more than any other option on the menu.   When I got made fun of for carrying around my obnoxiously large water bottle, I justified it by saying that I was getting over a cold and needed to stay hydrated.  But at some point, I asked myself why I was going through all this trouble to “cover up” the fact that I was consciously making these choices simply because they made me feel good.  The simple answer?  Because to most people, being healthy is synonymous with being boring, rigid, and uptight.  And even if those are untrue stereotypes, nobody wants to be mistakenly categorized as “the health nut”.  At least I didn’t want to be.

It’s taken a long time, but I can finally say that I’ve learned to embrace the “healthy girl” label. And it hasn’t hurt that health is an “in thing” right now. Rather than giving excuses, I try to explain my choices, while totally recognizing that there is a fine line between being informative and being preachy or arrogant.  And if people are still taking digs, I have to remind myself that they are probably coming from a place of insecurity and probably some displaced curiosity.  

  

So what’s the point in sharing all of this, Liz?  Simply put, be proud of the decisions that you make regarding your health.  Your body is truly the only thing that is one-hundred percent yours in this life, so care for it.  Nourish it.  Be kind to it.  And who knows!  Maybe once you embrace your healthy quirks, whatever they may be, you’ll inspire someone close to you to make a healthy change in their own life.  Here’s to the health nerds.

Sugar addiction

Most of us all have a complicated relationship with sugar.  So many happy emotions are wrapped up in this simple ingredient – nostalgia, joy, warmth, safety and the list goes on.  Sugar is lovely, but eating too much of it damages our most valuable asset.  Our health.

 I’m going to share the following information with you in order to help you make informed decisions when it comes to what you put in your body.  Naivety is bliss until that bliss becomes one of many health issues that can keep you from doing the things that you love.

 I’m writing this under the assumption that you know a few things about sugar.  If not, let me get you up to speed.

  1. Sugar is a toxin when consumed in large quantities.  Toxins create inflammation in our bodies, which leads to a whole host of health issues including weight gain, aging, metabolism, liver problems, and poor immunity to name a few.

  2. Fat isn’t to blame for the obesity epidemic.  Sugar is.

 Sugar is a business, and just like all successful businesses, the sugar business uses marketing techniques to convince the general public to consume more and more of their product.  How much more?  

 Two-hundred years ago, Americans ate about two pounds of sugar per year.  By the early 80s, it was 75 pounds.  By the year 2000, 90 pounds.  And today we’re eating roughly 152 pounds of sugar each year.  Astounding, isn’t it?  In turn, the global sugar industry is expected to hit $100 billion in revenue by 2018, an increase of more than 25% over the last decade.  The sugar business is comparable to Big Tobacco in the way that it uses marketing to help push more of its product on consumers.

 Sugar is comparable to any addictive drug.  The more you eat it, the more of it that you require to experience the same amount of pleasure.  Have you ever found that you unknowingly ate an entire bag of insert sweet snack here without even realizing it?  This is your body requiring you to eat more in order to get the same amount of pleasure that you experienced the first time that you tasted it.  This leads people to seek out sweeter and sweeter foods, which leads to sugar addiction.

 Sugar is a tough drug to quit.  And it’s hard to avoid since it’s disguised behind more than 50 different names on food labels.  The obvious ones being sugar (duh), cane sugar, corn syrup, syrup, and fructose.  But there’s also a whole plethora of not so common names like Barley malt, dextrane, ethyl maltol, lactose, sorbitol, treacle, and fruit juice.

Like most people, I like being in control.  In control of my relationships, career, family, and my health.  So hopefully the information above can help give you back some power and motivation when it comes to decreasing the amount of sugar that you consume on a daily basis.  If you want a customized plan to help you decrease your sugar intake, let’s talk.