Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness articles for busy women who want to lead a healthy, fulfilled life they love.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Jennifer Ginty, a personal wardrobe stylist who works with women and men to help them find style that makes them feel comfortable, confident, and empowered. She offers wardrobe reorganization and personal shopping through her business, Defining Style, and she’s devoted to body positivity and radical self-love. Jennifer is also one of our very own coaches for our VIP Membership group, so she gave us the inside scoop on what we can expect to hear from her next year!
Because we’re in a year full of yoga pants and Zoom calls, the first thing I had to know from Jen was why she wants her clients to not put style on the backburner these days? Jennifer says that to her, style is really just a form of self-care! Paying attention to what you’re wearing and how you’re presenting yourself to the outside world, even through a Zoom meeting, is so important when it comes to how you carry yourself and letting your confidence shine through.
Personally, I’ve been working from home for many years, but I always follow Jennifer’s advice to get myself ready for the day. This helps me to transition from my lounge time to my work routine, and I feel better for doing it! On camera or off, meeting people or not, style is self-care!
Jennifer then pointed out to me that even on a busy day, those few minutes you spend deciding what you’ll wear are really minutes spent on YOU - which is so important! Your ‘me time’ can get pushed aside when life gets busy, but taking just a few minutes a day to focus on yourself will help you feel your best. I know that I feel my most confident when I’m dressed in a way that makes me feel comfortable and stylish.
As for our VIP group, Jennifer has great things on the way! She’s excited to lead us through the year in style. In her work, she isn’t a fairy godmother; she’s a guide! She’s all about guiding her clients to better understand what they feel good in and are most confident wearing. Personally, I’ve always kind of been a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, so in my professional life, I like to find comfortable alternatives to my everyday favorite pieces so that I can be authentically myself, but look a little more polished, and feel great.
When you start to see fashion as a form of self-care and buy yourself pieces you love, you’ll have a quick pick-me-up whenever you need it. Jennifer counsels her clients to spend time thinking about themselves in addition to focusing on others. Fashion is a great way to do that!
Interested in learning about our VIP group and hearing Jennifer talk about fashion a little more? Click here for more information!
Posted - 12/29/20 (Tue) Read more...
The shops are bustling, ovens are cooking, and there’s a chill in the air! This time of year has us jumping from holiday to holiday, and that lets us decide how we spend that time. Should we turn the dial to vacation mode and indulge a little, or should we stick to our plan?
What is your holiday philosophy going to be this year? It is going to be a shoulder shrug with the plan to ‘be healthy later’? Or is it going to be a strict ‘on plan’ philosophy? Or something in between?
I like to follow an 80/20 philosophy. About 80% of the time, I’m really conscious of eating mindfully. And the other 20% of the time, I enjoy all the goodies. With all the yummy food around, I want to be able to enjoy them to their fullest extent! And at the same time, I know that when January 1st comes around, I want to feel great and not regret any of my holiday food choices.
If you want to start 2021 on your best foot and feel great waking up on New Year’s Day, here are a couple tips to help you get there.
I'm sure you’ve heard me say it before, but it never hurts to say it again: there are no good or bad foods, just the choices you make. If you’re not happy with your results, you need to make different choices. You can definitely enjoy your favorite holiday snack this time of year. Approaching that choice mindfully and with intention will help you enjoy indulging and not over-indulging.
When the weather is chilly, it is easy to get settled on the couch with a holiday movie, and that means you have to be really intentional about getting in movement. Rather than snuggling in with a holiday movie or meeting up with friends via Zoom, get together for a walk and talk! This lets you be outside and stay safe, but also get in much-needed social interaction and some exercise. You’ll feel so much better, and you get to enjoy the pretty holiday sights along the way.
With holiday shopping, baking, and wrapping, it’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of this wonderful season! That means it’s more important than ever to take time to recharge. Choose to make time for yourself to practice self-care, even when things get busy. You’ll feel your very best after some time to focus on the things that really make you light up!
This time of year can bring so much joy, and with a few great choices, you can bring that feeling into 2021!
Posted - 12/22/20 (Tue) Read more...
During this time of year, holiday joy is in the air! Whether you’re shopping, baking, or working on planning a holiday that looks a little different this year, the holiday season can mean a lot of time doing prep work! This holiday season may not mean a house full of guests or a dozen different parties, but that doesn’t mean recharging isn’t necessary.
Personally, I love to recharge by being active. One way I do this is by taking time to play pickleball with my family. This way, I get to be active, spend time with my husband and son, and recharge while doing it. Recharging can be anything you want it to be, so long as it’s something that gives you back your energy instead of being a drain and another task on your list.
If you’re an introvert (or, like me, an ambivert) and are finding a little too much quality time with others, consider recharging with a solo walk around your neighbourhood or favorite park. This will give you the opportunity to get moving, take in some fresh air, and give your mind a little bit of space.
When you have just been going too hard for too long, you might feel the need to just turn off your mind for a little while. Watching that movie that you can already quote every line of is a great way to do that! There’s no guilt in taking a break on the couch when you need to recharge your batteries, and a well-loved movie is the perfect solution.
There are so many ways to recharge your mind and get back to feeling 100%. However, the very best way to do that is always going to be by thinking about what it is that makes you happy, and then doing that thing. Whether it’s time spent with a book you love, or quality time with the people you love, self-care can look however you want it to. The most important thing is that you come out of your recharge time feeling energized and ready to take on the world again.
Posted - 12/15/20 (Tue) Read more...
I love getting to talk to women about their health journeys, and I’ve heard a lot this year about struggles with eating mindfully. Whether it’s stress eating or snacking while stuck in the house, 2020 has posed challenges for those trying to reach health goals.
This concern looms even larger when paired with the holidays. Between huge feasts and traditional recipes that aren’t exactly healthy, it can be really difficult to stay on track during the holiday season.
Don’t let food be a source of stress during the holiday season! We have enough stress in our lives these days. I have two tips for getting through the holidays with your sanity and waistline still intact—and even have some fun while doing it.
To eat mindfully means to be aware of what you are putting into your mouth and not just snacking here and there. It’s important to note that that doesn’t mean being restrictive with your eating, but rather just thinking through whether you really want the snack in front of you, or if you’re eating it just because it’s there.
While you’re considering whether you really want the dish in front of you, also think about how much you want. Personally, I love chocolate, but I really just need a few bites of some great quality chocolate. Being aware that a little bit of great chocolate is more satisfying to me than a lot of lesser quality chocolate helps me to indulge less, but have the same level of satisfaction.
I could go on and on about this subject, but I really feel that these two simple tips can be revolutionary to a lot of us. Previous holidays may have looked like... having seconds with every meal or constantly having a treat on hand, but the truth is that mindful eating will help you to enjoy those dishes you really love without feeling like you’re sacrificing all that hard work you put in during the rest of the year.
My challenge to you is to not restrict yourself, but to be intentional and aware of what you’re eating. If you do, you’ll wake up on New Year’s Day feeling fabulous and even happier for not having overindulged this holiday season.
Posted - 12/08/20 (Tue) Read more...
With the holidays coming up, grocery stores are full of yummy seasonal treats, and the season of baking is in full swing. Thanksgiving may be behind us, but for most of us, the entire month of December is a kind of celebration, and that involves a lot of food. Chilly winter days, which we have plenty of here in the Northeast, also lend themselves to lots of snacking when we’re stuck indoors.
Baking sweet treats and feasting with family are great ways to celebrate the season, so it’s important that we can do so mindfully! That’s why I want to talk about my three biggest tips for preventing holiday overeating and derailing your progress.
The holidays often mean indulging in treats, like steaming cups of hot chocolate and warm cookies. That doesn’t mean that every activity has to involve food, though! Make an effort this season to plan festivities that aren’t food-centered. It can be easy to use food to keep you occupied, but instead try other activities, like family walks or crossword puzzles.
Just like we shouldn’t indulge every day, we also shouldn’t be starving ourselves when great food is around. If you avoid eating before a big dinner, you’re much more likely to overdo it. Eat healthy snacks throughout the day so that you can save some room for dinner, but won’t be ravenous once it comes. However, if your approach for your holiday feast is recognizing that it’s just one dinner and won’t ruin your progress, I encourage you to indulge, and then get back to regular eating with the very next meal.
Relaxation can be hard to come by during the holidays, but it’s so important that we find time for it. For extroverts, this might mean spending time with our loved ones, and for introverts, it may mean the opposite. If you are an introvert, allow yourself that necessary alone time so that you can unwind with a solo walk or time with a book. If you’re an ambivert like me, this will mean finding a balance of both. I love to spend time with people, and I also need some down time to just chill by myself. No matter how you prefer to unwind, it’s important to make time for relaxation during the holidays.
The holidays are a great time to celebrate and enjoy time with our loved ones, so soak up every moment! While you’re out showing love and gratitude to everyone else, make sure you show a little to yourself, as well.
Posted - 12/01/20 (Tue) Read more...
Between COVID concerns, election madness, and the typical curveballs that life throws at us, it’s no secret that this has been a really stressful year. It’s a wonder that any of us can even take a breath with all that’s going on.
I talk a lot about the Triangle of Health - with the legs being my Eat, Move & Recharge System. The stress of this year has me thinking a lot about that last “recharge” leg. The upcoming holidays put a lot of focus on food, so we’ve probably all been thinking about the “Eat” part of that triangle. However, I really think that everyone could use a break to Recharge and release some of the 2020 stress.
So what does recharging really look like? There are different ways that we can recharge, and it’s great to have a balance of all of them. For example, minimizing stress wherever possible and getting plenty of sleep both help us to get recharged. One of the most important and most overlooked ways to recharge is to take time to be thankful and find joy in your everyday life.
Being outside for a walk, some fresh air, and some deep breaths might seem like a small thing, but it makes a huge difference in your mindset. Being outside gives you a chance to step away from the screens and change your perspective. I’ve been making a point to go for two walks a day, and it has been such a great way for me to take a break from my work and spend time with my family.
Being outdoors is great for setting boundaries between your work and home life, and it’s also important to set boundaries for your other stressors. There are always things we have to do, especially during the holidays, but you can minimize that by designating a time for work and a time to be away from work. This is especially difficult when we work from home and can feel like we always have to be on call, but it’s really more important than ever in a work-from-home situation.
For some reason, there’s really nothing like just lying on the floor, allowing your body to sink in and relax, and just breathing deeply. This is another chance to take a break from the screens and the stressors. Just five deep breaths can make a miraculous difference in your day.
It might seem unrelated to stress and mental health, but drinking enough water is super important for our bodies. Drinking enough water will help you to stay hydrated and feel better overall.
There are lots of ways that you can take a break to recharge and reduce the stress that seems to be all around us. These are just a few of my many favorite tips! I recently took a break from the stress of work and had a great time at our Perfect Pairings event! We have another coming up on December 4th, and I’m so excited to have another chance to gather virtually and enjoy fine wine, delicious food, and great company. Tickets for this event are closed now, but there will be more! Mark January 29th on your calendar for our first Perfect Pairings of 2021.
Posted - 11/24/20 (Tue) Read more...
Halloween may be behind us now, but one of the scariest parts of the year might still be to come. We spend months working towards a healthier lifestyle, and things are going great all year long—that is, until the holidays hit. When we’re surrounded by food for an entire season, you might feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde trying to hold back on overindulging.
Halloween is classic for bringing out our darker, munchy side. Those fun sized candies make it easy to justify just one, and then just two, and then just one more after that until you’ve eaten half the bag without even realizing it. This pattern makes it easy to feel icky and guilty about taking a detour from all the progress you’ve worked towards all these months.
Here are a few of my best tips for enjoying the holidays with a little bit of balance between the two.
You might feel like it’s important to have Christmas cookies or hot cocoa on call at all times during the winter months, but having these in your home all the time can make for a lot of unnecessary temptation. You know better than anyone else what you can and can’t handle, so if you know that having them around will make resisting unbearable, don’t do it. Be intentional about deciding when you’ll splurge on a holiday treat, how much you’ll be having, how much you want your kids to have, and then make a conscious decision about how much of that treat you’ll keep in the house so that you don’t have too many leftovers tempting you.
Think about what your favorite treats are and what it is you love about them, and then find a healthier alternative that you can keep around. For example, I love peanut butter cups, so around Halloween, I tried alternative peanut butter snacks to curb my cravings. I snacked on delicious apples with peanut butter, toast with peanut butter and banana, and even a powdered peanut butter and chocolate shake, and these were all tasty treats that satisfied my peanut butter craving.
If your Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without a slice of pumpkin pie, or you can’t enjoy decorating your tree without a Christmas cookie in hand, that’s okay, too. The important thing to remember is that life is all about moderation. You can absolutely indulge in treats, but the trick is to plan ahead, have really high quality treats, and decide how much you’re going to have so that you don’t end up going overboard.
Posted - 11/17/20 (Tue) Read more...
Are you the type to put up your Christmas decorations the second Halloween ends, or do you wait until the turkey has its time to shine before a single light comes up? Either way, ready or not, the holidays are approaching fast.
Our holiday season might look a lot different in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but even if you’re doing a lot less socializing than usual, I would be willing to bet that your holiday season is still going to be filled with food. Between huge dinners and endless amounts of Christmas cookies, food is always a constant in the holiday season, and this year will be no different.
While every bite of your food should be enjoyed, the yummy treats that come with the holiday season can lead many women to begin to stress. If you’ve been working hard to reach your goals, it’s understandable that the idea of so much food surrounding you can make you worry about losing your progress. This can make it easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you need to diet in preparation for or during the holidays.
Recently, I’ve really been focusing on my macro balance (your macros are protein, fat, and carbs). I’ve been working on rebalancing how much of each I’m consuming, and I am so excited about the results I’ve seen. While I don’t love the idea of tracking what I’m eating, I’ve found that tracking my meals in this season has helped to keep me within the balance of where I want to be.
I'm being really intentional right now about incorporating new foods into my diet to keep things fun. One snack that I’ve been loving is natural roasted garlic hummus with mini rice cakes. It’s a great snack to have before going to bed, and it satisfies my craving for something savory in the evenings. I’ve also reverted back to one of my childhood favorites: apples or bananas with peanut butter. This snack almost feels like a comfort food because I loved it as a kid! Keeping track of my meals gives me the freedom to introduce more variety and have more fun with my food.
Introducing more variety into your food choices helps to keep things fun and prevents your food from feeling boring.
As a key component of introducing some of that fun and variety to the world, we recently had our first Perfect Pairings event, and it was *so* much fun! We cooked up a delicious meal, enjoyed perfectly paired wine, and had a great night of community. If you’re looking for more variety in your own meals, I would love for you to join us for our next Perfect Pairings event happening December 4th at 6:30pm eastern time! Grab your spot now for a night of delicious food, drink, and company here!
Have questions about reducing stress or introducing more fun foods to your diet? Hit reply and let me know what’s on your mind!
Posted - 11/10/20 (Tue) Read more...
Think back for a moment: what were your aspirations for 2020 back in January? The beginning of the year is a time when people across the world traditionally kick off new goals, but very often, those goals are forgotten by the time February rolls around.
I was in Newport, RI recently, and while I was there, I kept being pulled back to the idea of goals. So many people had goals planned for 2020, and one of two things happened. For some, COVID hit, and that sent all goals out the window, and for others, the long break from their regular routine meant being able to double down and work extra hard to achieve those goals.
How do you achieve your goals? There’s an old saying - “Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time.” Personally, I like to approach goal achievement just like I’d approach eating an elephant: one bite at a time.
I mentioned being in Newport, and you might be wondering why. I was there to take pictures for my website and social media so that I have some fun moments to share. But honestly, when it comes to being in the spotlight or being behind the scenes, I would much prefer to stay behind the camera and help someone else be the star.
However, one of my biggest goals is to help other people get healthy, and that means being visible on social media so that I can meet and help more people. My big goal is always to help others lead a healthy lifestyle, so that means that one of my bite-sized goals has to be creating content that allows me to be visible.
My experience in Newport reminded me that achieving those big goals and dreams is going to mean stepping outside of our comfort zones. For me, that meant being in front of the camera. For your health goals, that can look like a lot of different things. It may mean you branch out and try a new food that you can’t be sure you’ll like, or it might mean trying out a form of exercise that you haven’t done before to see how your body responds. It may mean looking for new ways to recharge so that you can keep going until you meet your goals.
My challenge for you today is to consider how you will be stepping out of your comfort zone so that you can reach your goals. What small steps can you take to achieve the big dream?
For now, let me know in the comments: what’s that big goal you’re trying to reach, and what bite-size goals are you working on to achieve it?
Posted - 11/03/20 (Tue) Read more...
It happens to us all: we go out or serve up a delicious meal, complete with fun flavors, yummy drinks, and the perfect company to tie it all together. You laugh and talk all evening, but once you get home, that sinking feeling hits you. You’ve just gone off your meal plan for the week, and you’re now starting to have some food regret.
When that feeling of, “I really shouldn’t have done that” hits, the best thing to do is to remind yourself that it happens. All of us are prone to going a little overboard sometimes when we’re in the moment, and that can lead to feeling guilty for our choices.
While this is completely normal, the truth is that this food guilt is really just self sabotaging. You’ve just had a great meal, delicious wine, and new memories of the enjoyment you felt during it all, and then we allow ourselves to take it all away by tainting the memory with a thick layer of guilt.
My suggestion when you’re feeling food guilt is to admit it to yourself that you maybe didn’t make the best of choices this time, but instead of dwelling on it, give yourself some grace. The best thing you can do is to pick back up where you left off and jump right back into healthy habits.
The truth of the matter is that while making healthy choices is essential for a long and happy life, life just isn’t about eating grilled chicken salads for every meal of every day. It’s about enjoying amazing foods and drinks when they make their way to the table, and making memories of the fun and the company that comes with it.
Everyone should be able to enjoy dinner with their loved ones without dealing with a guilty conscience. Life is all about moderation, and you should absolutely allow yourself to indulge every now and then.
Of course, everything in life must be done in a balance… You can occasionally enjoy that night out with your friends and family without feeling like you’re setting yourself back, but it shouldn’t be an everyday thing. With balance and moderation, we can enjoy those nights out with great food and a drink or two without sacrificing our health goals.
So the next time a friend invites you for dinner or someone shows up to work with a yummy treat that you hadn’t planned on, let yourself enjoy that experience without guilting yourself about it later. Life is too short. Make healthy decisions, but don’t deprive yourself of delicious moments.
Interested in learning more about food guilt and how to create more healthy meals that feel like cheating? Join me over in my Never Diet Again group, where you’ll find even more helpful info and a whole community of like-minded women who want to make healthy choices for a lifetime, not just a moment in time.
Posted - 10/27/20 (Tue) Read more...