3 Unconventional Tips to Building Habits that Actually Stick

3-Unconventional-Tips-to-building-habits-that-actually-stick-blog-banner.png
 
 

(Pssst: Before you get started, if you prefer to listen instead of read, click here for a link to the podcast episode: 3 Unconventional Tips to Building Habits that Actually Stick)

How many times have you told yourself that you were going to start working out, or eating healthy, or finally tackle that cleaning project you’ve been avoiding forever?


How many times have you actually followed through? I imagine the story goes a little something like this...you start to notice that your pants are getting a little tighter. You feel more and more uncomfortable in your body by the day...but you ignore it. You assume that if you ignore it, it will just go away. Until one day, you find yourself screaming at your spouse and kids...and you’re not exactly sure why you’re so upset.


Until you dig a little deeper and realize that you haven’t really been taking care of yourself. And it’s taking a toll on your relationships, and your self-esteem. You decide it’s time to make a change! You make the declaration to start working out 5 days a week, cut out gluten, sugar, carbs, oh and while you’re at it, you might as well start drinking a gallon of water a day.


3-unconvential-tips-to-building-habits-that-stick-blog-3.jpg

At first, you’re motivated and excited! You think to yourself, “this time will be different! I’m tired of living this way”. For the first week or two, you’re on it! You sweat your booty off in those hour long gym sessions. You declare on Instagram “I cut out gluten, sugar, and carbs and I’ve never felt more energized!”, you carry your gallon jug around as a badge of honor for your new healthy lifestyle.


But then...the inevitable happens.


Life kicks in. Your kid gets sick. Or you get in a fight with a spouse or friend and it totally throws you off. Suddenly, your new habits are the first thing to go out the window. And you’re back to square one. Not only are you back to square one, but you’re also pissed at yourself. How could you let this happen again? When will you actually follow through with what you say you’ll do? Why can’t you just get it together?


I hear you, my friend. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in this position. And how many times I felt like I was treading water, and never actually making progress. I thought it was my lack of willpower or motivation that was holding me back. WRONG. So wrong. It was actually the way I was approaching my goals and resolutions that was keeping me stuck. Thankfully, I’ve been through it and come out on the other side (more victoriously than I ever could have imagined, might I add!) and I’m here to help you beat habit building overwhelm so you can actually become the person you know you’re capable of being, and create the life of your dreams.


Wanna know how to make it happen for you?



Before get started, I wanna offer you a freebie I made just for you! It’s called the “Habit Transforming Worksheet”. This worksheet is designed to help you gain clarity on what goals you should focus on first, and how to implement those goals in a way that actually sticks. You can get a hold of this worksheet right now by clicking the link below!



Click the banner to get your copy!

Click the banner to get your copy!



Alright, now let’s dive into this truly transformational work!



3-unconvential-tips-to-building-habits-that-stick-blog-1.jpg

There are 3 secrets to building habits that actually stick. The first secret is to get picky, the second is to adopt the all or something approach, and the third is to revisit your goals on a daily basis.






Habit building Tip number 1: Get picky about your goals

Setting a goal isn’t something to be taken lightly. Building new habits isn’t something that’s simple. Even though research in the past has shown that it only takes 21 days or so to build a new habit, it actually takes much longer than that. As you adopt new habits, your brain is literally adjusting to the change. The way we’re designed is that if we become overwhelmed, we shut down. So the idea is to avoid overwhelm. How can we avoid overwhelm? But focusing on just 1-3 new habits at a time, which means you’ll want to be super picky on which goals you choose. My hack for this is to choose a goal which is the simplest, but will have the biggest impact. Let me take you through the selection process…

Let’s say I’m wanting to adopt a new self-care routine. I’ll want to start by adding 1-3 new habits into the mix. Until I get good at habit building, it’s best for me to first choose the habits that come with bigger consequences if I don’t do them. So even though I can add in tongue scraping later on, for now it won’t be an enticing enough goal for me to actually stick to.


So I’ll start with the thing that makes the biggest impact. For me, that would be sleep. If I’m only getting 6 hours of sleep a night, and it’s having a negative effect on a ton of other areas in my life, I’m going to want to focus on sleep first. The consequence of not getting enough sleep? Being grouchy, feeling like crap, skipping my workout because I’m too tired, not being able to focus on work, and the list goes on. So do you see how understanding the negative impact that a lack of sleep has on me makes all the difference? This means getting more sleep will be my number one goal to start with.

Now how can we apply this to your situation? Think about one area of your life you’d like to focus on. Is it joy, creativity, spirituality, your finances, your relationships, fitness, career, education, health, cooking, or something else? Now within that area, what ONE thing will have the biggest impact? For joy, it could be starting a gratitude practice. For spirituality, it could mean a daily meditation, for finances, it could mean saving $20 from every paycheck, fitness could be walking your dog every day, and so on...

The worksheet I designed will help guide you through all of this, so don’t worry about writing all of this down right now. Just start mentally brainstorming where you’d like to focus.

habit building Tip number 2: Take the “all or something” approach

Alright, so now that you’ve defined what goal you want to focus on, we’re gonna work on a simple mindset shift that is vital to your habit building success. Ready to hear it? It’s not “all or nothing”, it’s “all or something”. If you’re a regular follower of my work, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. But if you’re not, let me explain. When we have the attitude of “all or nothing” meaning...if I didn’t workout today, I might as well skip the rest of the week and start back up again on Monday...or worse...I skipped a day or two, so I failed, so I might as well give up...when we have that attitude, we’ll never actually create transformative habits that stick with us in the long term. Now here’s something you should know… most people aren’t doing something, without fail, every single day, for their entire lives.

Sure, you have habits like brushing your teeth, showering and all that, but those are habits that you built as a teeny weeny child. But the more difficult habits that require more brain power are things like exercise, eating healthy, etc. Those are habits that require a commitment, and a daily choice. You will have to choose over and over again to say “yes”, even if it’s a task you’re used to doing. So what does this mean? It means that if you’re human, you’ll have off days. Just like waves coming in and out of the shore, life ebbs and flows. We have ups and downs. It’s a part of the process. So it is NORMAL to have a day, a week, sometimes a few weeks when some of your habits fall to the wayside. That does NOT make you a failure. It means your priorities shifted for the time being.


So taking the all or something approach with your habits means allowing for off days, errors, seasons, etc. but still picking right back up where you left off. A great example of this in my own life is exercise. I’ve decided that working out is a really important habit that I want to practice for a lifetime. But it’s not always easy. Holiday and busy seasons usually means working out less for me. Sometimes I just have off weeks where I’m super emotional, tired, or whatever and I don’t workout. But because I understand the impact that exercise has on my life, it doesn’t take me long to remember how important this habit is to me.

So I pick right back up where I left off. I don’t waste time beating myself up for it, or feeling like it’s gonna suck because I worked so hard to get into shape and now I have to start back up at square one. If I need to, I’ll take it easy and work my way back up. It’s not a competition, what matters to me is that I show up. So how do you remember to show up in the first place? That leads us to step 3…


habit building Tip Number 3 :Revisit your goals daily


What does this mean? It means you create a system that requires you to check in with yourself on a daily basis. It doesn’t have to be complicated...just take 5 minutes to pop in and remind yourself of what’s important to you. It should be just 1-3 items at any given time. Anymore than that, and you’ll get overwhelmed and shut down. Take the goals you’ve chosen in step 1, and use them to design your daily check in. How you check in will have to be up to you. I find that physically writing things down really solidifies things for me. So I will literally take out a notebook, write the date, and list the things I’m focusing on for the day/week. For you...it might be a reminder you set on your phone. A planner you schedule it all into. A morning text with a friend that’s also wanting to be held accountable. There are so many ways to do this, so experiment to find what works for you! But remind yourself every single day, until that item becomes a habit. Once it feels like second nature, swap it out for the next habit you’re looking to implement, and so on.


3-unconvential-tips-to-building-habits-that-stick-blog-2.jpg

I imagine each year for you begins with a lot of motivation and thoughts of “this year will be different”. I’m sure you have this vision of how you want your life to look. So you create a bunch of resolutions. The first few weeks or so go smoothly...then it’s almost like you forget everything you wanted the year to become. That’s exactly why visiting your daily goals/visions will be a game changer for you! Imagine taking the steps to implement 1-3 new habits per week, or month. How would things shift for you? Where would you be at the end of 1 year? 5 years? Every tip I’ve given in this episode has completely transformed my life, and my level of productivity. If you implement this stuff and try it out for yourself, I guarantee it’ll change your life too.




Alright, friend! That’s all I have for you today. I’d love to hear your number one takeaway from this post. Comment below and tell me what you think!




Simple Kale Salad: The All-or-Something Way

kale-salad-the-all-or-something-way-blog-post.png
 
 

I used to judge my friend so hard when we’d get salads every day for lunch, and she’d get ranch on hers.

I would think “what’s the point of trying to be healthy if you’re just gonna add ranch??”

But my Judgy McJudgerson self has grown up, and learned otherwise. If you only like your veggies with ranch on it, then it’s better to have them that way than no way at all.

Don’t believe me? Maybe you’ll believe RD Rebecca Scritchfield, give her book on Body Kindness a read.

kale-salad-the-all-or-something-way.jpg

I occasionally enjoy my kale with a bit of ranch on it, and if that’s what gets me to eat my greens then so be it!

Here’s a simple salad I’ve been making this week:

The all:

  • Kale

  • Carrot

  • Grape tomatoes

  • Black sesame seeds

The something:

  • Boiled egg

  • Tortilla chips

  • Ranch dressing


What’s your favorite salad combo? Comment below and share!


Wanna learn more about the all-or-something way??? Click here!

5 Healthy Snacks to Satisfy your Sweet Tooth

5-healthy-snacks-to-satisfy-your-sweet-tooth-banner.png

 

 

Raise your hand if you love sweet foods!

 

I just raised mine!

 

If you didn’t raise yours, it’s probably best if you just make your way out of this blog post and check out any of my other intriguing posts. Here's a good one! 

 

Because today...we’re talking all about healthy, yummy, sweet snacks!!

 

First of all, let’s talk about your “sweet tooth”, because a lot of people come to me feeling hopeless and out of control with their sugar habits.

 

Does that sound like you, too? Do you feel like once you get started, you can’t stop? Or do you feel like you crave sugar often? Especially at night time, when you’re winding down from your long, stressful (but hopefully not stressful) day??

 

There are a few key reasons for sugar cravings. Sometimes it’s nutritionally related, and often it’s habitually and emotionally related. Whenever you crave something sweet, here’s an exercise you can try:

 

Pause and ask yourself what it is you’re wanting from the sweet food. Are you craving the taste? Are you feeling down and looking for a pick-me-up?? Are you bored, lonely, angry, ashamed? What feeling is often associated with your sweet cravings?

 

I want you to know that it’s completely normal to crave and love sweet foods. They’re some of the most pleasurable flavors we experience!

 

But I totally get it...our sweet cravings aren’t always conducive to our health goals. And sometimes we just want something delicious without causing a breakout, a sugar crash, or any other consequence that your frequent sugar binges are giving you.

 

Here are 5 healthy sweet snacks that are not only packed with nutrients, but they’re also super satisfying. The key is to eat them sitting down, distraction free, and totally in the moment. No guilt necessary! It is never a good idea to bring guilt to the table with you. After all...eating is one of the most pleasurable things we experience as human beings. Don’t be afraid to savor everything you eat...chances are, if you truly enjoy these sweet snacks, you’ll find yourself much more satisfied than you would be from a cheap candy bar that you shove down your throat during a rerun of Friends. 

 

Banana Chocolate Shake

5-healthy-snacks-to-satisfy-your-sweet-tooth-1.jpeg

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup milk alternative of your choice (I prefer coconut or pea)
  • 1 heaping tbsp peanut butter (or any nut butter of your choice)
  • 1 tsp raw cocoa

Instructions:

  • Blend all ingredients together. Add more milk if you prefer a thinner consistency, and add some ice if you prefer a thicker consistency.


 

Fried Banana with Cinnamon

Ingredients:

5-healthy-snacks-to-satisfy-your-sweet-tooth-2.jpeg
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp. Olive oil

Instructions:

  • Heat the olive oil in a pan, add banana and “fry” until the banana reaches your desired texture. Place into a bowl and add cinnamon. You can also add other fun ingredients like peanut butter, goji berries, nuts, etc! Have fun with it :)


 

Greek yogurt with frozen blueberries, nut butter, and granola

Ingredients:

5-healthy-snacks-to-satisfy-your-sweet-tooth-3.jpg
  • ½ cup full fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. Peanut butter or any nut butter of your choice
  • Handful of frozen blueberries
  • ¼ cup organic granola (or any type you prefer, I like to look for whole grain versions with less sugar)

 

Instructions:

  • Microwave the nut butter in a bowl for about 20 seconds. Add greek yogurt and stir until fully combined. Top with blueberries and granola. Enjoy your fro yo imitation snack!

 

Peanut butter and fruit

5-healthy-snacks-to-satisfy-your-sweet-tooth.jpg

Ingredients:

Fruit of your choice (apple, strawberries, etc)

  • Nut butter of your choice (as you’ve probably noticed by now, nut butter is one of my go-to snack foods. If you’re allergic to nuts, you can substitute with sunflower butter or tahini)

Instructions:

  • Combine or dip, and enjoy!

 

Dark Chocolate

 

Instructions:

5-healthy-snacks-to-satisfy-your-sweet-tooth-5.jpg
  • Visit your local grocery store (I like Sprouts or Trader Joes for chocolate--they have the widest variety) Select a chocolate bar that sounds most appealing to you. I prefer chocolate that is at least 90% cacao (any Portlandia fans out there??) since it has the most nutrients, and least amount of sugar. Keep in mind that it is somewhat of an acquired taste! High quality dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt is legitttt!


 

I hope this helped you realize that healthy snacking doesn’t have to be complicated, and I’ve given you some motivation to try some of these snacks, or even come up with some of your own!

 

If you enjoyed this post, I would love it if you’d share it with a friend! Or better yet, make one of these snacks for you and a friend and tell me all about it in the comments below!

Vegan Mac & Cheese with Broccoli Meal Prep Recipe

 
 

When it comes to food, I don't discriminate. 

I don't have to be a vegan to eat vegan food. 

I like to call myself a "foodatarian" who practices "nutrient-based eating". 

That means all foods are fair game! 

For this week's meal prep lunch, I made a super simple and delicious vegan mac & cheese with broccoli. 

Also, if you're hip to the trends of Trader Joe's everything but the bagel seasoning, and african smoke spice, you'll love this recipe! 

If you haven't already, I recommend grabbing yourself some. They're super affordable! 

Alright, onto the recipe. Just keep in mind that I'm not a food blogger, so this could get messy! 

For the broccoli

Ingredients: 

Instructions: 

vegan-mac-and-cheese-and-broccoli-recipe.jpg
  1. Preheat oven to 425º
  2. Chop the broccoli into your favorite size
  3. Toss said broccoli in olive oil
  4. Season! 
  5. Plop it in the oven for as long as you prefer! (I like mine extra crispy, so I cooked it for about 30 minutes) I recommend checking on it every 5-10 minutes, and sampling a piece to see if it's ready

For the mac

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite noodle of choice! (I chose chickpea pasta shells)
  • You can do noodles, zoodles, veggie noodles, whatever your little heart desires

Instructions: 

  1. Look at the box, follow cooking instructions!

For the cheese or "cheeze" (As I believe it's called in the vegan world)

Ingredients: 

  • 2 small potatoes, cubed
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (I found this in the bulk section of my local Smith's)
  • 1tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, to taste

 

 

 

 

Instructions: 

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil
  2. Add potatoes, carrot, and onion
  3. Boil for about 10 minutes
  4. Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of water then drain the veggies
  5. Add veggies, reserved water, and remaining ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until creamy

 

vegan-mac-and-cheese-and-broccoli-recipe-2.jpg

Once all is complete, combine your broccoli, mac, and cheeeeeze, top with some more EBT seasoning, and enjoy! 

Note: If you're using this for meal prep purposes, divide the noodles across 4-5 mason jars. Top with cheeze. Add broccoli. 

I hope you've enjoyed this first recipe I've posted on my blog! 

To keep in touch with me and receive weekly updates filled with inspiration, information, and special offers, you can sign up for my newsletter by visiting the homepage of my site and picking up your complimentary Habit Building Kickstarter Guide

Help! I Hate Dieting, but I also Want to Eat Healthy

Help! I hate Dieting, but I also want to Eat Healthy.png
 
 
 

If you're on the go, you can listen to the audio reading of this post by clicking below! 

 

Raise your hand if you hate diets! (I just raised my hand) If you’ve never tried one, don’t start now.

 

A diet is essentially the idea of cutting out any food group for an extended period of time (some people try to do it for life, but it doesn’t always turn out well), or trying to control what, when, or how much you eat.

 

When I say control, I don’t mean choose. I’m talking about ignoring what your body wants  or needs for the sake of what some outside source or “expert” says.

 

Now if you’re someone who has to follow a specific diet for health reasons, and you’re being directed by a nutritionist or dietitian, that’s a different story. At that point it is still your choice to decide what you’ll eat based on how you want to feel, and how you choose to care for your body.

 

But for the sake of this article, I’m referring to the type of diets we follow in order to lose weight. Which we’ve often been told looks like less calories, less fat, less carbs, less...less...less.

 

It also often means sacrificing the foods you love for the sake of being skinny. You know, like that one saying of “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. Uhhh...I’m calling BS on that one. I’ve been skinny, and it doesn’t feel any different. How is skinny a feeling anyway? You can feel good at any size. Also, I love food. I also love eating healthy.

 

So I’ve chosen to combine my love for food with my desire to eat healthy.

 

Wanna know how? Here’s a hint...it doesn’t include days and weeks of chicken with brown rice and steamed broccoli. I’m about to get even more edgy on you and tell you that I don’t eat foods if I don’t like them. If I don’t like the taste of a food, I will not eat it. Even if it’s considered “healthy”.

 

Now there are some exceptions to this...there are certain foods that I don’t like prepared certain ways, so I like to experiment and see if there’s a way I can make them taste yummy. For example...steamed broccoli? Heck no. Broccoli tossed in olive oil, seasoned with a garlic based seasoning and roasted in the oven until it’s crispy? That’s a yes for me! Also, broccoli in mac & cheese is pretty dang delicious. I love those Amy’s TV dinners, especially the mac & cheese and broccoli one. All that creamy goodness with a bit of crunch and I’m getting my veggies in??? I’ll take it!

 

There’s a difference between eating to be skinny and eating for your health. Eating to be skinny looks like counting calories and macros, and eating flavorless meals because God forbid you add too much fat in, like olive oil and avocados (theeee best!).

 

Eating for health looks like what I like to call “nutrient-based eating”. This means I just search for foods with the highest amount of nutrients. Not only do these foods tend to taste amaaazing (after you get used to eating more natural foods, of course), but they also satisfy me in a way that doesn’t leave me hunting through the cabinets for more, more, more!

 

I love superfoods for this reason. Sneaking in chia seeds and flax seeds, and loading up my smoothies with maca powder and various superfood powders from Organic Burst

 

I’ll bet that healthy eating is difficult for you because you haven’t found a sustainable and satisfying way. And satisfaction is the key here. If you don’t feel satisfied with what you’re eating, then you’re gonna go for something that does satisfy you.

 

So here’s a place where you can start...ditch the idea that you should count calories, or macros, or leave out any food group (keto much??), and start focusing on getting more nutrients into your daily life.

 

Help-I-Hate-Diets-but-I-Also-want-to-eat-healthy.JPG

Here’s a recipe you can start with:

 

  1. Go into the grocery store or your local farmers market, and pick out 3-5 veggies that sound appealing to you. I love potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and garlic.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425º
  3. Chop the veggies, toss them in olive oil or any oil of your choice (coconut oil is also great!), season them with salt and pepper, or turmeric, or cumin, or any seasoning combo that tickles your fancy--get creative on this!
  4. Roast them until they reach the texture of your liking...any range between soft and crispy!

 

Now take this mixture and sneak it into any meals you’re having this week, have it as a side or a snack, or a meal on its own (I love to add in a boiled egg or some hummus for protein).

 

Voila! You’ve just taken your first step toward ditching the diet mentality and eating food that will nourish your body.

 

Now before I let you go, I want to remind you that this doesn’t have to be 100% of the time. You don’t need to designate weekends or “cheat days”, just pay attention to how you’re feeling and what your body is asking for. Let your body lead the way!

 

If you want to learn more about letting your body lead the way into your health, make sure you’re signed up for my weekly newsletter! You can sign up by snatching any of the freebies available to you throughout my site, and then you’ll be added to my list.