As we evolve as women, there are big transitions in life that can be very intense and challenging. It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed by the circumstances, but what I have learned are these big moments are designed to show us who we really are. We are unbreakable spirits capable of doing whatever we put our hearts and minds to. Sometimes we forget this eternal fact about ourselves and let the darkness turn our circumstances into struggles verses opportunities for growth.
When I became a mother, I found a whole new purpose in life: to raise a strong, kind, compassionate, healthy child in a crazy world. I knew I had to be better and stronger than before. It’s my job to be his role model.
Who in your life requires your A game?
It’s time to let your confidence shine and find a deeper strength and knowledge of yourself that no one can ever take away from you. I hope you take the time to implement all my best strategies and insights below to help you reach new goals and heights.
Tip 1: The Age-Old Secret of Belly Binding
This was one of my best strategies for helping my body bounce back after having my son. I wore compression pants every day for the first two months postpartum.
A belly band, wrap or abdominal binder is a compression garment that resembles a tube top worn over the abdomen. Belly wraps are also very commonly worn postpartum. Belly wraps are typically prescribed for abdominal support, making it easier for people with back pain to perform day-to-day tasks, as well as to help mothers with their posture and potential back problems post-delivery.
My favorite high-waisted leggings, workout pants and belly bands are Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise Pant, Spanx Leggings and Baboosh Belly Wrap by Brooke Burke to wear during a workout, especially during cardio.
I take two to four drops of oregano essential oil in 8 ounces of water twice daily for up to 10 days to reduce crazy food cravings and sugar addiction, and I also use it to kill any Candida overgrowth when I feel the need to detox.
Carvacrol found in oregano essential oil is so potent that it has been in more than 800 studies referenced in PubMed, the world’s largest database for biomedical literature. To give you a sense of how multifunctional and impressive carvacrol is, it has been shown in studies to help reverse or reduce some of these common health problems:
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
Tip 3: Cook Everything in Olive Oil
I recommend cooking all your food in olive oil and using it as salad dressing. Olive oil is one of the healthiest fats on earth. Olive oil has been shown to stimulate the release of GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), one of the hormones that helps keep you full. Some studies have shown that olive oil may boost metabolic rate and promote fat loss.
To incorporate olive oil into your daily diet, drizzle a couple of tablespoons on your salad, use when sauteing or add it to cooked food. Olive oil appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, promote feelings of fullness and boost metabolic rate.
For late-night sweet cravings, I eat one square of dark chocolate cacao, 70 percent or greater, or—even better—try my chamomile cappuccino recipe.
This is a delightful nighttime treat to relax you and satisfy a sweet craving! Double win!
- 4 ounces chamomile tea, freshly brewed
- 4 ounces unsweetened almond milk, frothed
- 4 drops liquid stevia
- ground cinnamon
Pour 4 ounces freshly boiled water over 1 chamomile tea bag and let steep 10 to 15 minutes. Froth your milk. Top your tea with foam, then add stevia drops and sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!
Something that worked for me was doing my workouts in the morning during my fasting period for maximum fat burning. I follow the 16/8 fasting protocol, which I have laid out in my previous blog “A 7-Day Mind and Body Detox.” Then, I follow my workout with a protein shake for my first meal of the day.
Protein shakes are great pre-workout and post-workout meal option. It’s best practice to drink a shake at least one hour before a workout for energy or within 30 minutes after your workout for muscle recovery.
I prefer to use undenatured whey protein, which is the highest quality of protein on the market essential for lean muscle building. Undenatured whey means it is produced at a low temperature to preserve its natural state for optimal benefits. Most proteins on the market fall short of this gold standard, giving you less than optimal health benefits.
The Paleo Foundation states the following:
“A grain-free diet may benefit those with autoimmune conditions. A grain-free diet is a significant step beyond a gluten-free diet. Individuals with gluten intolerance, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, food sensitivities, celiac disease and other autoimmune conditions often report seeing benefits of a grain-free diet.
“A grain-free diet may benefit mental health. Recent research suggests that various mental health conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, depression, ADD and autism spectrum disorders may benefit from a grain-free diet.
A grain-free diet may also benefit the gut microbiome. Recent developments in gut microbiome research suggest that our microbiome has a significant effect on the development of modern diseases. However, some research indicates that the balance of the gut microbiome may benefit from the adherence to a grain-free diet.
“A grain-free diet may aid in weight-loss efforts. A study conducted to determine whether or not a gluten-free diet was a suitable intervention for diseases other than celiac disease found that a gluten-free diet reduced inflammation, insulin resistance and adiposity. Researchers also discovered that gluten particulates translocating into other tissues influenced fat metabolism. While this research does not definitively connect weight gain to gluten in humans, a grain-free diet may potentially aid in weight loss for individuals with increased intestinal permeability.”
My trick to crush hunger cravings is to have 1 teaspoon of organic almond butter along with a glass of filtered water. Healthy fats send signals to your brain to stop eating because you’re not hungry.
When I was working on my fit-body comeback after having my baby, I pinched a nerve in my back from months of carrying and lifting the baby carrier and stroller. I was in extreme pain and could barely walk. I was depressed because I could no longer push hard in my workouts. However, I shifted my mindset to what I could control. I could still take long walks and dial in my nutrition 100 percent.
I took action with my recovery regimen and was back to my workouts after one week of rest. It’s very important that we take the time to recover after pushing and challenging ourselves.
So how can we prevent and manage injuries so that they don’t stop us from living active lives? My best staying-injury-free tip for an active lifestyle is: Yoga every damn day keeps the pain away!
Practicing yoga regularly not only can keep you limber to help prevent injuries but also can provide more body awareness so that you become more attuned to what is working, what is tight, what is out of balance, and so on. Incorporate yoga poses into your workout warm-ups, incorporate them throughout the workout to release tension, and use them during the cool-down to keep you going strong.
Tip 9: Dial in Your Nutrition
It’s time to start flexing your discipline muscles. To get results you have never reached before, you have to be more disciplined than ever before. We all know that a lack of willpower is a problem. Research shows that Americans believe that a lack of willpower is the biggest barrier to adopting a healthier lifestyle and that willpower is something they can learn or improve—if only they had more money, energy or confidence in their ability to change.
The truth is willpower is not an inner-strength or emotional issue but a metabolic and environmental problem. The key is to structure your environment to increase the likelihood of making healthy choices at any given time. Don’t have any unhealthy foods accessible and in the house, and surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable. Clean out your kitchen, find your accountability buddy and say goodbye to your cheat meal(s) per week. It’s all about discipline so you stay on track with your goals.
Tip 10: Do a 14-Day Fitness Challenge
To increase your strength and confidence, you must push yourself beyond your current state. This means you must increase the consistency and intensity of your fitness. To increase motivation and take your fitness to the next level, now is the time to do a 14-day fitness challenge.
This means doing physical movement every day for the next 14 days, including cardio, yoga and strength-training workouts. Pick whatever workouts or classes you like! The point is to move your body every day for 14 days straight!
When you make a commitment and show up for yourself, then health and happiness happen. You are beautiful inside and out. Feel the deep confidence within that you can do anything you put your mind to! No one can ever take that away from you.
Photo credit: Todd Cribari, inspirostudio.com