‘I Don’t Want To Think About Food. Just Tell Me What To Eat.’

This phrase is something that I hear more than anything as a nutritionist.

Now, there is a BIG difference between ‘I don’t want to obsess, stress and worry about food’. 
But I don’t think that’s what people are referring to when they say… “I don’t want to think about food.” I think there’s a deeper block going on. I think that it’s really about people want to avoid figuring out how they got to where they are and the work that needs to be done to change it.

Everyone wants meal plans. They want 30-day programs. They want to eliminate entire food groups…. but they don’t want to figure out how to have a healthy, balanced, sustainable diet.

But the truth is, when it comes to weight loss and long-term results, I am telling you, giving someone a meal plan is one of the worst things you can do. Why? Because they’re not sustainable, they’re not realistic, and they’re not going to TEACH them anything about HOW to eat healthy. They’re simply going to teach them how to follow a meal plan… which, let’s be honest isn’t hard to do.

What is hard, is thinking for yourself. Doing the work. Tapping into your intuition and your body and knowing what works and what doesn’t. That’s hard. That’s the REAL work that’s required if you want long-term, sustainable results. Sorry, Susan you’re going to have to put some effort in. #realtalk

But here’s the thing you need to know: YOU AND YOUR GOALS ARE WORTH IT.

Trust me, if we could just take a magic pill and eat whatever we wanted and be the perfect size, I can only imagine how many people would sell everything they have to get a lifetime supply. But here’s the thing (aside from the fact that it’s likely never going to happen because it would completely annihilate the weight loss industry – which currently is worth $50B dollars) You have to ask yourself, is being the perfect size your only goal? Where does your health and the longevity of your life come into play?

The sad truth is, is that with some many of us, it doesn’t. We want the million dollar dream on the minimum wage budget. We don’t think about maintaining our weight for years with a healthy lifestyle, we ask ourselves how quickly we can lose those 15lbs for a vacation.

And that $50B Weight Loss Industry keeps fuelling that fire with fad diets and magic potions instead of focusing on what health and wellness truly should be about – a lifestyle, not a diet.

So I hate to say it, but if you want that weight to come off and stay off, you’re going to have to change your mindset. Change your routine. Stop the fad dieting. Take control of your health. And make the investment in yourself.

Because #letsbehonest there are 365 days in a year, 3 meals (typically) in a day… that means in one year alone, you’ve got over 1095 meals that you’ve gotta eat… so there is simply no way to avoid thinking about that. Not to mention, that’s one year… you’ve got a lifetime ahead of you! ⁣ ⁣

So if you’re curious about where to start, send me an email or book a call and let’s chat! We can figure out where you’re at and what would be realistic for you. I promise you it’s not as hard as it sounds, and once you get going, you’re not only going to love thinking about food, you’re going to love the results that you get.

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey Xx

Stop The Monkey Mind: Three Ways to Stop Giving In To Your Instant Gratification

Food from your favourite restaurant can arrive at your door in under 30 minutes. A new wardrobe or favourite book can be shipped and received in the same day. A last-minute vacation or weekend getaway can be booked in seconds.

Let’s face it – in today’s day and age we want it all – and we want it delivered.

These modern-day advancements in our society have made our lives so much easier, and let’s face it happier. But the question is – is this ‘instant gratification’ world that we’re living in, with these ‘at-your-fingertips’ solutions setting us up to fail in other areas of our lives as well? My belief – yes.

In fact, in the 1960’s and 70’s Stanford University researcher Walter Mischel was also interested with the effects of instant gratification and conducted a well-known study with 4-year-olds using marshmallows.

The children were left alone in a room with one marshmallow and told that they could eat it, but if they didn’t, they would be rewarded with a second marshmallow. Mischel tracked the results of his marshmallow test across the decades, and made some startling discoveries. The children who were persuaded to be patient, using various “cooling” strategies to keep them from grabbing the marshmallow, were said to have the resources and skills to plan ahead, to conceive of the greater (doubled) reward, and to offset the brain’s greedy demands for instant gratification. These children also exhibited positive traits later in life, showing higher self-esteem and self-worth and had lower rates of obesity, drug use, divorce, and depression.

Ultimately, this study shows us that our ability to delay gratification and demonstrate patience when faced with a choice can impact our life in a variety of ways including our diet, mental health, and careers. I have found this to be especially apparent when it comes to weight loss.

Those who lack the ability to delay gratification tend to operate based on pleasure-oriented habits, or impulsiveness. These impulsive behaviours can lead to overeating, excessive drinking  and self-sabotaging habits that move them further and further away from their healthy desires.

Sadly, because so many of these people don’t realize that this is the root cause of the issue, they don’t invest the time in developing their ‘delayed gratification’ muscle, and instead preferring to seize upon these rewards immediately in a habituated, almost automatic response, which ultimately stops them from reaching their goals.

HOW TO HOLD OFF ON GOING FOR THE MARSHMALLOW

So what can you do if you’re trying to lose weight, but struggle with delaying your instant gratification?

Understanding your habits, observing your moments of impulsivity and learning how your brain operates is a good first step. A great exercise to do this is to spend a week observing whenever you have an impulse related to unhealthy eating habits, alcohol or lifestyle behaviours that aren’t serving you and noting them down in a notebook or on your phone. At the end of the week review your results and see where, when and the frequency in which these habits happen. This valuable exercise will be able to give you some valuable insight into your habits and help you make some important life decisions in terms of how to break them.

A good next steps is to teach you how to delay those ‘monkey mind’ reactions. You can reach for that second helping of ice cream, or you can check in with your desires, breathe in and out five times, and see if, after checking in with yourself, you truly want it.

1. Be Mindful of the Monkey Mind

Mindfulness (especially in response to stress) has been found to be incredibly helpful and yield wonderful results when it comes to eating and making better choices for your health. A great and simple strategy is to put your knife and fork down between bites and take a longer time to chew your food than normal, all the while, paying attention to the act of chewing and swallowing. This will also help you to check in and be more present when eating with others.

Another great tactic is to avoid eating in front of a screen. Research has found that eating meals while watching tv or on your phone can result in a greater caloric intake, as well as make it more likely for you to reach for a second helping. Not paying attention to your meal results in an unsatisfying, eating experience which is typically what causes you to continue to go back for more.

2. When You Know Better, Do Better

Oprah’s favourite quote is, ‘when you know better, do better’ and it’s in this instance that it rings so true. When faced with a situation that has come up for you before, remember to check in with yourself and examine what happened the last time you faced this kind of choice. Remember the guilt after that late night bingeing session? Recall the bloated, disappointed feeling after you ate that entire package of cookies? Bring yourself back to those moments and relive the sensations and emotions. Then ask yourself if you want to feel that way again?

3. Set Yourself Up For Success

If you’re a late-night snacker, have a healthy alternative on hand like a bowl of kale chips or berries. Be sure to enjoy them in the moment and away from the television. Each time you feel the urge, grab a small handful, and eat them with slow, focused intention and enjoyment. These small, personal acts strengthen our resolve against giving into our instant desires and making bad decisions that don’t serve us.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you can, in fact, have your marshmallows and eat them too — you just need to be patient. And lucky for you, the anticipation will only make them twice as sweet.

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey Xo

Make Back To School Easy With These Nutrition and Healthy Habits for Your Kids!

As the summer comes to an end and fall schedules and routines start up again, it can be an overwhelming time for both kids and parents. Extensive allergy-free and zero-waste requirements for foods and packaging can leave parents heads spinning, while earlier bedtimes can do a number on kids.

So I’m dishing out my top tips to help give your little ones the best nutrition, supplements and routine possible so that they can put their best foot forward when it comes to going back to school.

Packed Lunches that Keep Your Kids Fueled

Packing lunches and snacks can be overwhelming for parents. You want to give your kids the best nutrition possible to keep them performing throughout the day. Most schools have a no-nut policy, and many have even extended their allergy policies to include things wheat, dairy, and eggs. This make things extremely difficult for parents who want to prepare quick meals for their kids without overthinking it.

To keep things simple, I always opt for nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruit and protein. It’s also great to add a healthy treat for your kids. My rule of thumb is to always include:

  1. Lean protein
  2. Healthy fat
  3. A complex carbohydrate
  4. Lots of veggies and fruits

A great example of this would be a gluten-free wrap with organic slice chicken, vegan cheese or avocado, and lots of lettuce and tomato and a side of strawberries and carrots.

With nut allergies, shopping for allergen-free snacks can be a challenge, so to make things easier, I visit my local health food store, Healthy Planet as these types of stores offer tones of allergen-free snack options for kids. For example, some of my favourite snacks include Freeyum Cookies which are delicious and are completely allergen free as well as Enjoy Life chips which are  amazing because they’re made with lentils for extra protein, but taste like chips, so you’re sneaking even more healthy nutrients into your kid’s diets.

Packing food for freshness and sustainability

Another thing that parents should be mindful of is whether to not their kid’s schools have a zero-waste policy and how to pack lunches and snacks that abide by it. Being mindful of the packaging and plastics that accompany your child’s food is also important for their health and well-being as it reduces their exposure to toxins. Buying BPA free reusable storage containers like the Eco Lunch Box line of products is a great way to not only a great way to keep chemicals away from your child’s food, but helps you play an important part in environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Supportive Supplements

Another question I get a lot from parents is “do kids need to take a vitamins and supplements?” I believe that the answer is yes, especially when you have picky eaters. Including a multivitamin is a great way to ensure that your kids are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need. Another supplement that I recommend is Omega-3. Studies show that kids who take an Omega-3 supplement show signs of improved cognition, memory and better mood than those that don’t. Lastly, I would recommend a vitamin D supplement otherwise known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, especially if you live in a place like Canada, where you’re naturally deficient in it, due to our lack of sun exposure. Vitamin D is important for bone growth and development, which is essential right now as they’re in the growing phase of their life.

Routine Reset

Lastly, when it comes to back to school, parents aren’t the only ones who are stressed out this can also be an extremely stressful time for kids too. Which is why it’s essential to help them get into their back to school routine early (I recommend two weeks prior to starting school) to help them manage their stress. They are so sensitive and can get
as frantic as we do with all the extracurricular activities, but doing things like setting a
bedtime 1-2 weeks before school starts so it will be easier to get up and get everyone out the door will go a long way.

Making bedtime a relaxing experience with lavender bath soap and lotions is also a great way to help them calm down at the end of the day and get into a restful state. If your kids are feeling anxious the first week, another great option is to give them a fizzy magnesium drink before bed to help them relax. Sleep is crucial for kids to restore and revitalize their bodies, and will help with better performance, so the more you can prioritize it, the better overall experience your kids will have.

For all these products mentioned and more, visit Healthy Planet or go online to Healthyplanetcanada.com

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey Xx

How Following My Weight Loss Journey Is Making You Quit Yours

#dontfollowme

I bet that’s the last thing you would expect from a health and wellness expert who has an online business to say to you. But the truth is, if you’re on a weight loss journey – the LAST thing you should be doing is following accounts that are associated with weight loss or transformations in any way. Which is why after having my second child, I’ve vowed not to post a single thing about my weight loss journey. Why? Because all those ‘Motivation Monday’ weight loss stories, photos and before and afters can actually deter you from hitting your goals. And that my friend, is the LAST thing I want for you! Don’t believe me? Here’s why:

What Works For Me Isn’t Going To Work For You

We’re all different and what works for me isn’t going to necessarily work for you. We’re likely not the same age, have different lifestyles, different stressors, different food preferences or sensitivities, different body compositions, etc. Just in the same way that someone else can do Paleo or Keto and see massive results and you don’t or if a 130 person followed a specific meal plan that a 180 person followed. Different people have different needs and therefore require different approaches.

Which means that it’s best to put your blinders on and focus on finding out what your body needs and what works for you. It doesn’t mean that you can’t practice the same methods that I use and see results. What it means is that those methods should be catered specifically to you in order for them to be effective and for you to see results. Which is a bonus because when you do find a solution that fits with you perfectly, you’re 100 times more likely to stick with it and see the results that you desire.

Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

We’ve all heard the saying before but it’s popular because it’s true. Comparison is rampant in our society these days thanks to the introduction of social media. Facebook and Instagram have created a whole new way to compare yourself to others – whether it’s your body, looks, or lifestyle – with every scroll or swipe, you’re shown perfectly curated, filtered and edited photos of other people’s best lives and ways that yours just isn’t measuring up.

Instead of once encountering small instances of comparison with our friends, family members, coworkers and neighbours after interacting with them now, we no longer have to leave the house to feel bad about ourselves!

The worst part of all is that we ourselves engage in this behaviour fully aware of the impact it has on us, yet we still continue to post photos we know are not a true picture of what is going on behind the screen. We’ll post the ‘before and after’ but not the binge after a fight with our partner. We’ll post our green smoothie, but not the bottle of wine we drank after a long hard day at work.

Whether or not you are conscious of it, exposing yourself to this for hours each day is going to impact how you feel about yourself, even on a subconscious level. This is even more amplified if you’re striving for something in your own life, like weight loss goals as you’re always going to compare your results to someone else’s and get discouraged if your efforts are matching theirs.

Self-doubt Susan

Social media is smart, my friend. So smart that Facebook and Instagram operate on algorithms that use the tags you’re searching, the posts you’re liking and what you’re commenting on. That means that if you’re trying to lose weight and are following weight loss accounts, you’re going to be bombarded by even more weight loss accounts! This will lead to one thing and one thing only – complete overwhelm – causing you to question everything that you’re doing and doubting yourself constantly.

You’ll see one post that says carbs are the devil and the next one telling you that they’re the key to burning fat. All it will take is one day where you’re feeling low-confidence or one week of no weight loss and you’ll jump ship from your current program to a shinny new promising diet.

Overtime, this constant questioning and jumping from program to program will wreak havoc on your confidence and your metabolism. Consistency is KING when it comes to dieting and with all the conflicting information out there, it’s no wonder no one can lose weight when they’re jumping from fad diet to fad diet in the pursuit of results.

Key Factors To Finding Your Own Weight Loss Success

So what can you do to ensure that you stay focused on your own goals and success and not get derailed by someone else’s? Here are my key tips to staying rock solid on your own journey and seeing your diet through to the very end.

Stop Being a Squirrel

If your health goals are important to you (and I assume that they are) then you need to take the time to really figure out what will and won’t work for you. When you find a program that supports you in the areas of your life that you need most and fits with your lifestyle, losing weight will never feel like an uphill battle again.

If you have kids and a husband that you’re cooking for, don’t sign up for a program that’s based in meal plans – making two meals for you and your family is not realistic and trust me – your kids are not going to eat your ‘diet food’. If you don’t have time, you’re not going to want to sign up for something that requires hours in the kitchen preparing extensive, lengthy recipes.

Once you find something that works for you, you won’t be deterred by other weight loss offerings on your feed because you’ll feel confident in what you’re doing, see the results that you’re getting and finally feel in control of your diet and your health.

Have a Plan

When it really comes down to it, the real reason why so many people focus on other people’s weight loss journey’s is that don’t have an actual plan to lose their weight. They’re desperate to find a solution and hey – if cutting out sugar worked for you’re old highschool friend Susan who just posted her before and after on her Facebook page, then it’ll work for you! Just because Susan put an end to her sweet tooth, doesn’t mean you can just ditch your post-dinner ice cream and expect the pounds to fall off! You need a plan!

‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ is true for a reason – you don’t just ‘cut out carbs’ or start eating Paleo – you need timeframes (which is determined by how much weight you have to lose); solutions for obstacles like your cousins wedding, that two-week vacation with your in-laws, or your monthly boozy brunch date with the girls; strategies to overcome plateaus (because you will have them); and what the plan is to maintain your weight once you hit your goal.

If you neglect to consider these things before you start your diet and map them out accordingly you are DESTINED TO FAIL. Believe me, no one wants to give up 6 weeks of no ice cream only to see 1 or 2 pounds come off. Which is why there’s no point in even starting a diet and investing your time and energy into something if you’re going to get derailed the moment life throws you a curveball. So have a plan and work out the problems before they occur so that you can maximize your time and get the results you deserve.

Find Your Tribe

This is by far the most important component to a successful weight loss program. Have you ever started watching a show because your best friend couldn’t stop raving about it and then suddenly found yourself addicted to it? Have you ever not been able to make it through a magazine but then suddenly joined a book club at work and bam! You’re reading a novel every other week! THIS is the power of community.

When it comes to weight loss, we are more successful when we have a group of like-minded people around us. When you’re surrounded and supported by people who are following the same program, going at the same pace and dealing with the same challenges it can make all the difference in the world! You’ll have people to not only support you in your wins, but raise you up during your loses and help you through the darkest of times because they’re going through them as well. Community keeps you rock solid, accountable and will help you stay the course so that you can finally achieve your results. Finding your tribe is the true differentiating factor between starting a diet and finishing one. So once you find yours, hold on tight and don’t let go!

More than anything, if you’re feeling lost when it comes to your weight loss journey my best advice is to ask for help. Weight loss has many moving parts and the more time you waste trying to do things on your own the more discouraging and overwhelming things can feel. As always, if you need any help, email me at lindsey@thenourishcompany.ca and I’d be happy to help you find your perfect solution.

Two Kids Under 3, Full-time Career, Budding Entrepreneurial Business and 15lbs Lost: How This Busy Mom Does It All

If you are reading this you are probably wondering “Am I crazy to try to lose weight with everything I’ve got going on?” Believe me, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I’ve been there. But let me just say this first: Do it. Buy in. Own it. You won’t regret it!

Before I get too far into my journey with the Nourish Company, let me tell you something about myself. I am a mid-30s mother of two beautiful amazing daughters, a professional with an entrepreneurial side, and have dabbled in many different ways to shed the extra poundage that comes with birthing the aforementioned girls.

I’m not one to shout from the rooftops when I am doing something new. As a matter of fact, I am still trying to work up the courage to do a 40-second Facebook Live for my side business (don’t worry Linds, I am getting there), so to say THIS is out my comfort zone isn’t too far of a stretch.

When I first started the conversation with my husband about using the Nourish Company, I can tell you I was hesitant. To say my husband was hesitant would be a hell of an understatement. We were both seriously debating whether or not we could follow through with the requirements of Nourish’s premium program: measuring and tracking food and really changing our current lifestyle and how we eat – especially with two young kids (3 years and 5 months old). Not to mention the cost. I was on maternity leave and we really needed to figure out how we were going to manage the investment in order to make this happen. I had already convinced myself that we, straight up, couldn’t afford it, and that was my out. I used that excuse to distance myself from it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I even told Lindsey that I’d check in with her when I got off mat leave and we had more money available. I planted that seed and even provided it as an excuse for my husband to use as another reason why this wouldn’t work for us. Fortunate for me, he is super supportive, and consistently goes above and beyond to try to make sure I am happy and feel good (sorry ladies, he is taken). He saw how badly I wanted to do this and told me that we’d figure it out and that he just wanted me to be happy.

Sh*t got real.  I got on the horn with Lindsey and things took off from there.

At first I was incredibly overwhelmed with macro dieting. I wasn’t familiar with how to track my food, what macros were, or how to determine calories and all I really wanted was for her to give me a meal plan and I would just eat whatever was on that. Lindsey is so supportive though and instead helped me to learn and understand nutrition so that I was self-sufficient and could do it on my own.

“Figure it out,” she told me.

I told her I had two non-negotiable things in my life: pizza and two coffees a day (one per kiddo).

“Honey, you can eat whatever you want.” was her reply. And she’s wasn’t kidding.

Lindsey was so patient with me. Remember how your teacher always said There’s no stupid questions? Well there are. And I think I asked every single one of them to her.

She took the time on calls, answering all of my emails, and really helped me break it all down and taught me exactly how to take what I want to eat and transform it into portions and meals that help support my goals.

Yeah, you read that right. What I want to eat: Burgers, pizza, tacos, BBQ, a giant chunk of salmon, a McDonalds breakfast, and the sweet nectar of life we all know as Dark Roast Coffee. Oh baby.

Within a few days of her program I was inching closer to nailing my new lifestyle and now, I’ve totally mastered it. I plan what we are going to have for supper for the week, decide if there is anything we need to cook a little extra of (bbq chicken to make a lunch later in the week kinda stuff) and that way I know what I am eating for the day and then won’t feel the need to hit a drive thru if I’m out. It keeps me accountable. If I know we are going somewhere around meal time I simply pack a lunch for the whole family.

I can’t begin to thank Lindsey enough for all of the mentoring she has done for me since I started with her at the beginning of April. I’ve lost 15 pounds in a healthy and sustainable way, and I’ve definitely felt like I eat more than ever before I have never felt like I am starving myself. I feel great. I feel sexy. I feel confident.

Truth be told, my husband told me the other day that I didn’t need to lose the weight, but the confidence I have gained is beyond sexy. Smooth talker.

Working with Lindsey has really helped me by teaching me so much about the foods that I thought were good, and the foods that I thought were bad, and how I can eat nutritionally and balance both, with sustainable weight management as a focus.

When it all comes down to it, I’m so glad we figured out a way to make this happen, because it really has been a life changing experience. As moms, we spend so much time and effort looking after others and making sure our family is taken care of, but from one mom to another, how often do we spend it on ourselves? It’s time we put that time and effort back on us and take care of ourselves!

Invest in yourself. You are worth it!

Christina is not only an inspiration for Moms – she’s an inspiration for women everywhere! She wasn’t entirely sure how she was going to make her dreams happen but knew that she was worth it and has given everything in her to make it a reality. Her two beautiful little girls are so blessed to have a mom that is a living breathing example of someone who not only values herself, but goes after what she wants and doesn’t stop until she gets it!