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Wellness

1+1=3 // A Lesson on Healthy Relationships

Lisa Eberly

healthy-relationship

So if you've been keeping up with Nourish's Instagram or Twitter, you probably think this article is about getting a puppy. Because, well, we got a puppy. And she is adorable. 

Anyway, this article is about making relationships work and one of the many things I deem necessary in having and maintaining a healthy romantic relationship. Even without a puppy. 

I call it 1+1=3. 

In a relationship, particularly a happy one, couples often 'melt' into each other. This is super easy to do, and feels pretty friggin' awesome. You go from being an individual to being a 'we' and an 'us' and suddenly 'you' don't love pizza, 'we' love pizza. Catch my drift? 

Melting into one being and going from a 'me' to a 'we' is, in my opinion, a recipe for longer term problems. It's what I call 1+1=1. One person, plus another person, equals one relationship. 

However, that sounds pretty nice, huh? 

Maybe, you keep the one relationship, but add the two separate people back in. You have the 'we' but you keep the 'me' too. One person, plus one person, equals one relationship, plus one person, plus one person. 1+1=3. 

It's essential in a relationship to melt together into a 'we,' but it's equally essential in a relationship to maintain yourself and your individuality. Melting together isn't fair to either or you, as you each have beautiful and unique qualities. Melting together sounds, well, a little boring.

It's actually kind of beautiful. You and another person are creating and cultivating a whole thing out of your feelings for each other. A relationship is like a living, breathing being that is constantly growing, changing, and evolving; it needs to be nurtured. (Nope, not talking about babies here.) However, that 'thing' shouldn't take anything away from you or the other person, but rather you two should grow and improve upon your individual selves because of it. 

So, for example, I became a 'we': 'we' have a puppy, 'we' live together, 'we' love pizza, 'we' do the NYT crossword, 'we' make crepes in the morning, 'we' go camping. But, I kept my 'me': 'I' go out with my friends solo, 'I' do yoga, 'I' love making, writing about, and photographing healthy food. He kept his 'he': 'he' goes on long bicycle rides, 'he' listens to podcasts, 'he' loves fixing up motorcycles. 

There's me, him, and our relationship. Each of which needs to be nurtured and kept separate.

What do you guys think? To melt into one being or not to melt?

PS - Since I know you all really just want a puppy picture.... 

Prevention & how to get everyone in on it

Lisa Eberly

prevention-cliff

If you’re reading a health blog, you totally get it. You already know that prevention is key and that good nutrition and fitness are essential to a long and healthy life. But, I’m sure you’re getting realllllly frustrated trying to explain that to, well, pretty much everyone you know.

I certainly am.

So how do you get Uncle Bob or boyfriend or grandma to get on board with a healthy lifestyle? You tell ‘em this.

Sure, you can try to cure a disease. You can try to fix a problem after its already happened. But that’s really, if you think about it, pretty dumb. Especially considering how easy it is to stop the problem in the first place.

Think of disease as a cliff. There’s this big scary cliff with a hmm…let’s say a 10 million foot drop. As soon as we are born we are slowly walking toward the edge of the cliff. Until we fall off. At the bottom of the drop, there’s treatment. There’s an ambulance that can take you to a hospital. There’s pills and surgeries and all that jazz to try to help your body, but let’s be real, you’ve already fallen 10 million feet. Oh, and you never know how close you are to the edge of the cliff. Until you fall.

I bet you’re thinking: what kind of idiot population has such a dangerous cliff in their neighborhood?! Better yet, what kind of idiot population hasn’t done anything to stop people from falling off the cliff?!?! Prevention is simple. Prevention is a fence around the edge of the cliff that says ‘BEWARE: 10 MILLION FOOT DROP.’ Prevention is a net ready to catch you 2 feet off the edge of the cliff, so you can just prop yourself back up. Prevention is a brick wall closing off the cliff. A healthy diet and regular exercise are that net or that brick wall.

Prevention isn’t something that just happens. You can’t prevent chronic diseases and death just by saying you prevent them, or by waiting for prevention to happen. Sitting on your butt waiting for something to happen is the opposite of prevention, and trust me, you’re going to pay for that in the long run. You know, when you’re lying at the bottom of the drop thinking ‘ugh…someone should really put a fence up there.’ You know, that is, if you survive to the bottom of the drop.

Prevention is being proactive. It is making a healthy life happen for yourself, not waiting for it. It is not making excuses or saying you’ll start when you’re older. Prevention is BUILDING that brick wall. It’s PAINTING that fence. It’s SECURING that safety net.

So, I know you’re all doing those things because you’re all smart and proactive. Share this with someone you know who could use this kick in the tush to get up and make the healthy, long life everyone wants happen today. 

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How to Hustle & love every minute of it.

Lisa Eberly

hustle

I haven’t always been the type of person I am today. I have gone through different phases and had different lifestyles, but am constantly working to improve myself. I used to be sort of lazy. I used to cram all night before an exam. Used to hang out in bed all day and eat pizza with my roommate. Used to skip class. Used to struggle to manage different parts of my life. For instance, if I had a boyfriend, I’d give up time with friends. If I had a difficult class, I’d be a grumpy mess.

Now, I’m a very different person. I could not possibly love my life more. I have my hands in a lot of different stuff. I mean, I'm a 24-year-old with a masters and her own business, writing a book. Plus, I still manage to find time to work out daily, cook healthy homemade meals, and have amazing times with all my friends and boyfriend.

I constantly get asked ‘How the heck do you do all that?!’ I really, really love what I do, so to me, it’s easy. However, getting asked that made me think about how I do what I do every day. So, here goes.

It is all. about. that. HUSTLE.

HOW TO HUSTLE & LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT

1. Realize that it’s not about having time to do things, it’s about making the time to do them. Most people don’t ‘have time’ to go to the gym in their routine. You can’t rely on having free time lingering in your day to make things happen. You have to make the time for them. I use every inch of time in my day. Even if it’s only 20 minutes between meetings, or waiting in line for a sandwich. You have to change your mentality about time to see it in a new light. There are 24 hours in a day, 16 of which are healthy to use. USE THEM.

2. Take a breather. Take at least two hours a day to yourself & at least one day of the weekend. I know this sounds crazy – two hours?! That’s a long time! I know it is, and you need it, deserve it, will be much better off with it. I take one hour for yoga and one for reading, cooking, or watching tv. You need to take some time to relax and enjoy life every day, otherwise you’ll just be consumed with work and miserable. I also make sure that if I have to work the weekend (which I do, every single weekend), I only work one day, not both. Make sure to do something really fun at least one day of your weekend! Oh, and smile. A lot.

3. Stress is pointless. This one is hard to control, but should be easy. I have trouble listening to people freak out about how much work they have to do. I’m a venter – sometimes I’m sure I annoy my friends by telling them how much work I have to finish, but I never fully stress about it. Venting is one thing, but we waste so much energy and time being anxious and stressed about stuff. Think about how exhausting it is to be stressed out! All that ATP our body is making to feel that could be put toward being productive instead. Try to channel your stress toward healthy behaviors, like organization.

4. On that note, be organized! You need a planner…and a calendar…and a to do list. I have it all. I have a list for each list. A list for all the lists I have to make. I color coordinate my lists. My to do list is organized by type of work (writing, my clients, managing my team, business collaborations, miscellaneous, calls/emails) and color coded. I’m a organization monster. The feeling of checking things off at the end of the day feels like a high. It may or may not be a problem.

5. Be pleasant. I know this sounds really off topic, but hear me out for a sec. This falls in line with the whole don’t stress out thing. I make it a point to be super friendly and nice to strangers, no matter how late or busy I am. A lot of busy people tend to run around with their heads down focused on what they’re running off to next. But, by taking the time to smile at people and appreciate small interactions like that, you are boosting your mood and energy, de-stressing. You’re literally multitasking by being nice. Plus, you’re being nice! So when you get your morning coffee, order it with a smile and ask the barista how his morning is going. Trust me, it’ll not only make his day, but it’ll give you an extra boost. This also applies to anyone you meet at school or work. You want to be the employee or student that everyone loves, because trust me, when your mentor is getting emails about how much everyone wants to work with you, that extra mile will be soooo worth it.

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6. Eat healthy. Especially breakfast! Whoever said ‘you are what you eat’ was not messing around. I can feel it when I don’t eat well. When I eat my usual weekday breakfast (a big green smoothie with whole grain granola on top & cup of green tea), I feel amazing. I feel energized and ready for the day. If I skip it for a bagel and cream cheese I feel awful, and usually tired by 10 am. Making sure you’re getting your fruits and veggies and healthy protein and fats is SO essential to feeling good, and feeling good is SO essential to productivity. Unhealthy foods make you tired, overeating makes you lethargic, and not getting enough essential nutrients makes you fuzzy. All those totally stink, it’s so not worth it.

7. Workout. Exercise is a serious, serious natural mood enhancer and stress reducer. I get so stressed out when I miss a workout. I feel all crazy and off balance. Making sure you get at least some exercise in daily will boost your mood and keep you pleasant, while distressing you AND keeping your body healthy and fit. Triple win? Yup. It is a great way to take a little break from work and get some clarity and time for yourself.

8. Sleep! No matter how busy you are or how crazy your schedule is, losing sleep is never, ever worth it. Even if I have a massive assignment due, I always prioritize getting at least 7 hours of sleep minimum. If you think about it, staying up all night actually makes you lose productivity time. You’ll stay up really late, get a couple hours of work done in a tired, caffeine induced work-coma, and then pretty much lose the whole next day to being a zombie with their shoes on the wrong feet. A lack of sleep also increases stress and promotes weight gain, both total bummers. Make sure you don’t procrastinate so much you’re pulling all nighters, that is for amateurs. You’re a go-getting hustler.

9. Put yourself together. Looking good is much more important than most people think. This may sound silly, but I’m sure you can relate – when I put myself together in the morning (you know, a little chapstick, brush my hair, nice outfit), I have a little extra spring in my step and actually feel like being more productive. Not only do my colleagues and superiors notice it, they subconsciously notice the spring. Who would rely on/hire/trust/etc the girl who looks disheveled and showed up in yoga pants with wet hair when you’re standing next to her looking flawless and well-rested? As much as people love to deny this, appearance is important. You don’t have to show up for class looking like a supermodel, but a little touch of poise goes a long, long way. There’s actually been research that proves people naturally trust women wearing a little bit of make up more so than those with nothing on. Jusss sayin’. My motto: If you don’t look like you’re totally drowning in work and on the brink of your mental stress breakdown, you won’t be.

10. Don’t settle. We are only here for the tiniest blip on the universe’s radar. You’re itty bitty when it comes to the grand scheme of things. That sort of blows, doesn’t it? The most we can do while were here is make some noise. Make your parents proud. Make yourself proud. Make. Some. Noise. Being ordinary or falling in line with the pack is BORING. You are special enough to stand out, to push yourself farther, to be the one that’s going to shake things up and make a real difference. Growing up, I didn’t just say ‘I want to be a doctor,’ I said ‘I’m going to cure cancer.’ Even if that’s obviously a stretch, I still think in that light. I don’t want to be a run-of-the-mill dietitian who helps a couple hundred people, I’m going to be the dietitian that changes millions of lives and (more realistically, helps to) prevent and cure cancer. Don’t ever, ever, EVER settle for being ordinary. Be f-ing extraordinary (excuse my French).

To Cleanse or not to Cleanse...

Lisa Eberly

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Let me preface this by saying that juice cleanses are NOT recommended by dietitians and that they will NOT help you lose real weight or make you “skinny”. You might lose a couple pounds of water weight, but as soon as you eat again, that’ll change. In fact, fasting & restricting food actually decreases your metabolism. That being said, I am an advocate for cleanses (well, obviously, I make my own and sell it). Here’s one of the few reasons why.

No matter how healthy you are, your body takes in a lot of junk. Everyone has their moments and eats junk now and then, healthy packaged foods are still packaged foods, and even if you are 100% clean eating whole, natural foods, you’re still breathing. As long as you’re breathing, you’re building up yucky free radicals in the body.

Oxygen causes the buildup of free radicals. This is a wholeee long process that takes place in the mitochondria (oh yea, remember high school bio?) that I cannot wait to have the time to write about in an easy-to-understand way (stay tuned for Nourish the book!). In the meantime, basically, oxygen → free radicals → aging, cancer and other diseases…the list goes on. If the human body were a bicycle, oxygen is rust.

So, before I get too off-track, let’s answer this: what does this have to do with cleanses?

Well, antioxidants are pretty much free radical killers. You all know berries and other foods have antioxidants, but I bet you didn’t know that your body naturally makes really powerful antioxidants without food, called superoxide dismutase-2 (let's call this SOD2 for short!). But, the process of eating and metabolizing food turns off these little guys, which further adds to the free radicals running wild.

When you are on a cleanse, a juice one or a calorie restricted one, you give your body the chance to not only give the liver and other organs a quick break (which they don't really need, but hey, might as well!), but more importantly, your body has the time to build up its natural antioxidants (primarily SOD2) to alleviate the buildup of free radicals. These natural antioxidants have been suggested to prevent aging, cancer, alzheimer’s, diabetes, and so many other diseases.

I personally don’t like the idea of starvation and strict juice cleanses. That’s one thing I (and my clients) love about my cleanse: they are never hungry and you don’t have to give up eating food. 

If you don’t calorie restrict, I highly recommend a cleanse every month or few months. Not to lose weight, not to look thin, not to avoid dieting, but rather to build up the body’s natural defenses to fight disease and encourage healthy aging. You’ll thank me when you’re a healthy, active old man or lady!

The Books Every Girl Needs

Lisa Eberly

books-coffee

It's October. Which in Seattle translates to: time to stay in every night and curl up on the couch with a good book and hot chocolate. Or, if it's morning (which can be confusing here, as in the fall/winter there's no sunrise or set, just gray rise and gray set), a good book and coffee.

So I am a big reader. I love reading. There's something so romantic and special about growing or learning from looking at an amalgamation of someone else's thoughts and stories. I mean, yea, you can get that from reading a textbook or a blog or reading anything, really, but there's just something about reading a book that gets me. I seriously still can look at a book, just look at it, and my mind is blown by how much life/adventure/truth/depth is inside that small space comprised of just paper and ink.

Now that I've creeped you out with the extent of how dorky I am, moving on.

I read really different books. Novels, biographies, lifestyle/nutrition, funny, serious, the list goes on. I've recently read a lot of great books and decided to put together a list of the books I think every successful, driven, and downright awesome woman should read. They are either about success, anthropology, love, or life in general. Many are even fictional stories. These books will drive your passions, inspire you, and lead you toward success in all aspects, whether directly or indirectly, many of them accidentally. Well, at least they have for me.

Enjoy!

(PS - you can click the photo of any book to see more about it!)

What books are you reading? Share!

Weight Loss: Pick your angle

Lisa Eberly

dessert-weight-loss

I read SUCH an interesting article about weight loss in women recently.

The research tested several different “techniques” for weight loss in women, including: eating fewer desserts, dining out less, limiting sugar-sweetened beverages, eating fewer fried foods, and eating more fish.

They basically wanted to see which was the most effective at causing weight loss over 6 months.

You know what they found?

Each of the factors lead to weight loss over 6 months — independent of all the others.

So, that means that choosing to do only one of those things (eating fewer desserts, dining out less, limiting SSBs, etc etc) would lead to weight loss over 6 months — even if you don’t do all of them.

I find it frustrating to see women struggle with weight loss and restrict themselves so harshly. Plus, very restrictive weight loss patterns almost never work, and usually lead to long-term weight gain. (Talk about a bummer…) So, choosing a technique in which you pick 1-3 angles to approach weight loss seems like a much more promising approach (and spares your sanity a bit!).

When coming at weight loss, rather than say “I am never eating a single dessert and am living off vegetable smoothies until I’m a size 4!” (which is almost guaranteed to NOT work and definitely guaranteed to TOTALLY suck), pick a few small changes to make in your lifestyle and see results over a few months. Those results are not only backed by research to happen, but are also proven to be more likely to stay in the long term.

Side note: this study also found that in the longer term of 48 months down the line, eating more fruits and vegetables was the most effective angle at leading to weight loss in women.

So, rather than dive into the deep end of a miserable, restrictive diet, start with one angle. Then, once you’ve got that down, maybe add a second or third. That way, you’ll have more freedom, more happiness, and you’ll actually lose more weight for a longer period of time!

The 5 Absolutely Necessary Steps to Start a "Diet"

Lisa Eberly

I really dislike the word 'diet,' but in my profession, it seems to be the thing people want to do. 

Can we call it a 'lifestyle change'? Really, a 'diet' sounds so...negative...and temporary...and painful! 

In the hopes of making the goal of weight loss a little less 'diet'-y, I'm going to give you all a few tips to turn a 'diet' into an organized 'lifestyle change' -- which will ultimately make your changes more successful and lasting. 

In my opinion, the most important part of a lifestyle change starts before you even change your lifestyle (say that ten times fast!). It’s the planning. The precursor to the real change. I’ve changed my habits frequently throughout my life, and the most successful changes have always been after careful planning and consideration. If you think back on the times you’ve improved your lifestyle habits (or attempted to), what really made you change them?

The 5 Absolutely Necessary Steps to Start your Lifestyle Change

1. Make a plan! I cannot stress this enough! You can’t just say, “I’m going to eat healthy,” and be done with it. What are you going to change about your diet? What are you going to do to change it? Are you going to work out at nights? Are you going to buy fresh produce weekly? Know what you are getting yourself into and exactly what it is going to take to change your healthy habits! These are what we call your clear and measurable goals and objectives. 

2. Have specific start date and check points. Start your diet on November 1st! Don’t just dive into the change, allow yourself to plan it out and ease into it. Don’t totally disregard eating healthy and staying active until the 1st, but don’t totally jump in before then. Use this time to make yourself more successful. Also, check in with yourself throughout your diet. Instead of saying you’ll be 15 pounds lighter in 2 months, say you want to be 1.5 pounds lighter each week -- make your check points hold you accountable today, not a month from now.

3. Start with a reset button. The hardest part of a diet is the beginning. It is almost impossible to go from eating cookies and a zillion calories a day to eating veggies and what feels like zero calories a day. Detoxing your body with a filling cleanse (such as The Nourish Cleanse!) allows you to feel like you’ve hit a reset button. You don’t need to do a juice cleanse, but eating pure smoothies and veggies for a couple days can make you crave those foods again. You don’t just have to detox your body when you start a diet, you have to detox your house! Rid your house of leftover cookies, candy, and any other unhealthy junk that you don’t want around. Make your home conducive to good habits in any way you can. In the past, if I felt like I wasn't being active enough, I used to take the batteries out of my tv. It seems silly, but when I sat on my couch, I was much less likely to go get the batteries from the oh-so-high shelf that I needed a step stool for just to watch tv out of boredom. I haven't turned on my TV in over a year, and even got rid of cable.

4. Find support and motivation. I don’t know about you, but I hate to fail. For me, one of the worst parts of failing is everyone knowing I did. If you allow yourself to find support and motivation in your friends and family, or even online sources (I’m here for ya!!), you are more likely to stick to your goals. If you give up or it seems too hard, you have a whole group of people who want you to succeed and who believe in you enough to talk you out of quitting. Other than my support group, what motivates me are pictures. Old pictures of me at a thinner weight or pictures from Pinterest or fitness magazines. These inspire me and remind me that it’s possible to eat healthier and be more active. (Note: I do NOT use magazine covers or celebrities to inspire me because they are much more heavily airbrushed and unrealistically/unhealthfully skinny, something I have no interest in being and neither should you!)

5. Organize and write down the plan! Write. Everything. Down. When I start a serious diet, I buy a new notebook specifically for it. The first page of the notebook is my goals. I write down my current numbers and my goal numbers (whether that be weight, inches, BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure, resting heart rate, or all of the above!). The next page is always my plan (I also call this my objectives). The goal is the grand scheme. It’s the marathon you want to run next year. Its 20 pounds of weight loss. The objectives are the little goals that will help you reach the big goal. For instance, if the goal is to eliminate processed foods, and objective would be to shop at your local farmer’s market weekly. If the goal is to run a marathon in 6 months, the objective would be to run 3 miles 5x per week. Writing these things down helps you keep track of them and quantify your progress. If you can’t measure your progress, you’re less likely to stay motivated. After my objectives, I write about my motivations. I collect all of the things that inspire me to reach my goal and write them down in one place. This may be to have energy to run around with your kids, to wear that old pair of size 25 jeans, or what have you. Next, a schedule. Then, your exercise and food log to keep track. To summarize, this is what your notebook should look like:

-The Goal(s) [ie. Lose 10 pounds; run a marathon]
-The Objectives [ie. Eat 1400 calories per day; run 5x per week]
-The Motivation [ie. My health; that old picture of me in college]
-The Schedule [ie. Day 1-3: Detox; Day 4-10: run 10 mi/week; Day 11-20: run 20 mi/week]
-The Log [ie. what you ate and what physical activity you did that day]

What do you do before starting a big lifestyle change, or what have you found to be successful? Are there any tips I missed?

How to Mend a Broken Heart: the healthy way

Lisa Eberly

breakup-couple

The heart is a funny muscle. It's incredibly powerful, most definitely the strongest muscle in your body, yet can be easily broken, with some really sucky side effects. Did you know you can not only feel physical pain from a broken heart, but even have a real heart attack from one? Yikes. I'll skip that ride, thanks.

I'll admit, I'm a bit of a romantic. So, in my life I've been in love, been out of love, been crazy in love, and been hurt by love. Everything is about perspective, and if you are unlucky enough to have been hurt by love it really just means that you were lucky enough to be in love in the first place.

That's not really enough to make you feel better about it though. I've received a lot of emails about love and how to stay healthy when going through a break up, not letting it get the best of you and staying on your game through the process. So, I'm going to share how to handle a break up the right way -- by learning from not only my mistakes, but the ones society deems 'norm.'

Break ups seriously stink. They confuse you in all sorts of ways and make you feel a disconnect with not only your best friend (since your significant other really should be your best friend), but more importantly, yourself. Luckily, they happen in stages, and each stage can really make you better off -- if handled healthfully, that is. I've been through one heartbreaking break up, and this is what I learned. 

The 'OMG WTF JUST HAPPENED' Stage

What I wanted to do: Bawl like a baby in yoga pants eating all the carbs and chocolate I can get my hands on, curled up in a ball watching anything and everything with Ryan Gosling telling a girl he loves her.

What I actually did: Bawled like a baby in yoga pants eating bread dipped in chocolate pudding (yep, you heard me), curled up in a ball watching The Bachelor.

Right after a breakup, at least in my opinion, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with letting it hit you in a horribly cliche, chocolate-filled manner. As long as this phase doesn't last more than 24 hours, there's nothing unhealthy about it. You need to cry. You need to carbo load. You need to get it all out there. Hit the bottom of how sad you're going to let yourself be, even if it's at the bottom of a tissue box.

The Pushing Forward Phase

What I wanted to do: Pull the covers over my head. Not eat anything. Whine/vent/cry about him to every one of my friends and family members until they start ignoring my calls. Not study or write, but just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling thinking 'OMG what if that was it and I'm never going to be okay again?!' Spend all day on their Facebook/Twitter/Insta/etc. Basically, dwell.

What I actually did: I chose two people (my sister and best friend Meagan) to share my feelings with. I didn't whine, I shared. I know they have my back no matter what and would be there for me to push me forward, not keep me dwelling in the past. I forced myself to go to every class (even the one less than 12 hours after!), and keep up with writing daily. I hustled and tried to focus on working and new projects to get excited about. I just put my head down and made moves. I also filled up on healthy fats and protein so that even if food wasn't on my mind, I was getting all the important nutrients I needed (that can't be found in chocolate pudding). I cut out all social media relationships (to the best of my abilities...man SM can really make modern break ups a bummer!). I let myself be sad, but limited it. I told myself, 'You can only be sad in the shower, but once it's over, you're done being sad for today.' I know the shower is weird, but it's a solid 10-15 minutes which is a good time to limit yourself to.

The 'Oh wait, I'm actually totally better off' Phase

What I wanted to do: Think about all the good times and sort of shield out all the negatives/reasons I broke up with him in the first place.

What I actually did: Any time I thought of a good thing about him or our relationship, I thought of a bad one. I focused on the reasons I broke up with him and realized that it really was for the best. By doing this, you can focus on yourself, your future, and what you want out of a relationship, not what has just become comfortable to you. You'll realize that they really weren't the best fit for you, and that you're going to not only be okay without them, but you're going to be fucking amazing.

The Actually Being Okay Phase

What I wanted to do: I'm sure some of you can relate to the feeling of wanting that closure. That nail in the coffin. Maybe an email? A phone call? Coffee? Something -- anything -- to share with them that you're okay. In my case I had two emails written: one saying a general 'hey thanks for all the good times, we're really better off, best of luck...' and the other beginning with a nice 'F you. I can't believe I wasted my time...'

What I actually did: Deleted the emails. Some things are better left unsaid. And you know what? If you really are great (which I am sure all you healthy, amazing babes will be), you have no need or reason to share it with them. It's your life now, and only yours. I'm a firm believer in unconditional love, so even if I'm not in love anymore, I'll always care deeply about and appreciate that person, as they were an integral part of making me who I am today (and actually a very big motivator for this brand and my writing!). However, they have no place in my life anymore, so there's nothing to do but close the book and start a new one.

Now, years later, I am incredibly happy and healthy. As are they, and we are healthy and happily friends. 

I truly hope this helps you get through a tough time, and I can assure you that no matter what phase you're in, or no matter how hard it is, you will be 100% okay sooner than you think. It totally, totally sucks to be there, but it doesn't last forever. You're not going to be fine, you're going to be friggin' fantastic. Better than ever.

The 5 Pieces of a Successful Lifestyle Change

Lisa Eberly

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Changing your lifestyle is not easy, but it's necessary to reach many goals, like increasing your energy, losing weight, building strength, or practicing and improving upon a skill. The most common lifestyle change failures I've seen are when it comes to weight loss and/or building strength, and it's usually because the approach lacks on of the following 5 things...

1. A person. You need external support from your family, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend, or whoever. But, you also need THE person. The one person who not only believes in you, but guides you and teaches you. You need someone to rely on you to follow through, and uses that partnership to push you forward toward success. That person can be a dietitian (hey I know a great one!), a personal trainer ( though I would not use their nutrition advice, only fitness ), or a best friend or significant other doing a lifestyle change with you (probably the least effective, but still helpful person). You need to know that if you fail, you’ve not only let yourself down, but you’ve let them down too. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s easy to forgive ourselves when we’re finally diving into the ice cream we’ve forbidden ourselves from having, or skipping a workout for Netflix. It’s a lot more difficult to explain to a dietitian that you had a really rough day cause you missed the bus and your boyfriend was a pain in the ass so you decided to gain 5 pounds in french fries last night. Accountability is key.

2. A thing. This thing is something to always have on hand. Something the you have to subscribe to and contribute to when you make good choices. A food log. An activity log. A goal tracker. An app on your iPhone. Something to clue you in and keep you on track. I always carry around a cute little journal to jot down my habits in! 

3. An investment. This investment can be time or money. Although it kinda sucks, money is more effective. A gym membership, a standing dietitian appointment, or a simple, less expensive meal plan are all positive investments. When you spend money on your diet, you have invested. That way, when you come home from work and think “blehhh I will literally fall over trying to do an at-home workout right now…” you’ll remember that you spent your hard earned cash on that workout video and darnit, you’re doing it.  If you don’t have the money to spend on even the cheaper option of a meal plan, investing your time is also effective. Spend Sunday afternoons planning your meals for the week and prepping them. That way, when Thursday comes along and you want to order a pizza, you know you spent hours planning recipes and cutting up veggies for the delicious dinner you picked out from that awesome site, Nourish (oh you shouldn’t have!). Time, money, what have you, invest something anything in your health.

4. A trigger. There’s an effective method to quit smoking in which you put a picture of why you’re quitting where ever you typically smoke. So, if you always smoke in the car, you put a picture of your beautiful kids who hate your smoking on the dash. The same method can be used for changing other parts of your lifestyle. First, you make your environment conducive to a healthy diet. That’s not always enough. When I get home from a long day, if I sit on the couch to read or watch tv before making dinner, I always face the brutal dilemma: well, I guess I can miss my workout today if I definitely go tomorrow…. I always decide to go. Why? My night time workout is hot power yoga. Where is my yoga mat? Right in front of the couch. I literally stare at my yoga mat when I ask myself this. I love yoga, I know I’ll love being on the mat once I’m there, so seeing the mat triggers those feelings. I also tape gorgeous food pictures from healthy recipe blogs to the inside of my pantry and on my fridge. Healthy food is delicious, you just need to remind yourself that sometimes, especially when unhealthy food is much more “accessibly delicious,” as I like to call it. A similar method is post-it notes. If I’ve been having a rough few days, I put inspiring motivational post-its on my bathroom mirror. (I am such a sucker for lame motivational quotes!) Remember How Do You Know, where Reese Witherspoon plays an athlete named Lisa (I can’t make this stuff up)? She literally covers her apartment in motivational post its and I am totally on board. So, post-its, pictures, yoga mats, whatever they may be, set up some triggers that will keep you motivated and moving through your new changes with ease.

5. A positive environment. It's important to detox your body and home before starting a big lifestyle change. You also need to be sure your environment is consistently supportive, and won’t destroy all your hard work. I have two types of friends (who I love equally): bad influences and good influences. Some of my friends just bring it out of me. I totally adapt to a “screw it” attitude about being healthy. Unluckily for me, this sometimes includes my family. When I’m with certain friends, they remind me of unhealthier times (like eating pizza hungover in bed in college, or growing up and eating terribly). Other friends have the opposite effect. I crave healthy foods that I enjoy by myself when I’m with them. Make sure that you know which friends are which, and that you know how to control your habits when you’re with the bad influences. Though I’m sure they’re great friends (and obviously not doing it on purpose!), make sure you know how to handle eating with them. Maybe eat a big healthy meal before seeing them, or find a way to suppress your lack of willpower with them. Or, hang out with your positive influence friends more often to motivate your healthy habits! If it’s your boyfriend or girlfriend that’s a negative influence (trust me, I’ve been there and it seriously stinks), try to do this diet together or cook your healthy food for them too!

What are some of your triggers when it comes to lifestyle changes? Do any of you have any ideas of a person that can motivate you or deter you from your diet? 

If you are thinking about changing or improving something in your life, I believe in you and I know you will totally crush it! Plus, you ALWAYS have me for motivation, guidance, and support

How to Stay Healthy in a Crazy, Busy Life

Lisa Eberly

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Life gets, well, pretty friggin' crazy sometimes. I think creating this website and brand really put my 'crazy' levels to the test. And let's be real: it's really tough to keep that energy going when life is moving so quickly. You want to be that super productive, high-energy, glowing, calm, collected, healthy person...but when you're juggling a zillion things and are wiped out, it's not easy.

Sure, when life is calmer I have my go-to daily routines. But what about when life gets hectic? 

How do I keep my engines running on that productive-high energy-healthy setting when life gets a little crazy?

1. I drink tons of water. How much water should you be drinking? Take your weight in kilograms (divide it in pounds by 2.2) – that’s around how many oz of water you need daily. So, if you’re 150 pounds, that’s 68 kg, amounting to 68 oz of water per day (about 8-9 glasses).

2. I take my vitamins every day. Sometimes when we're running around like crazy it's tough to make sure we're getting enough of all our vitamins. Taking a gummy, or even an Emergen-C packet, makes sure you've got enough to keep you going all day! When it comes to energy metabolism, sometimes vitamins can be the 'limiting reagent' to a reaction in your body, meaning that the body cannot complete the reaction it needs to only because it doesn't have enough of the vitamin. An example of this are your B complex vitamins and energy metabolism: if there are not enough B vitamins in your diet, your body cannot burn energy as well.  

3. I am active every day! Even if you are too busy to get a long gym session in, there is always walking. 10,000 daily steps or bust! So, even if I’m not at the gym or on a run, I’m standing at my desk, walking through the halls, and biking or walking to work! Seriously, any chance you have to walk around, whether it's a phone call or brainstorming an idea, WALK! The other day I walked up and down the stairs to my apartment while thinking of ideas for blog posts!

4. I get lots of sleep. Sleep is totally key for healthy living and keeps you running on high energy all the time without wearing you down. There's really no 'making up' missed sleep. If you have to choose between gym and sleep or work and sleep, the answer is always sleep. 7-9 hours, nightly, no matter how early you have to get up!

5. I also eat Greek or Icelandic yogurt every day. Yogurt has probiotics in it which help improve the health of the bacteria in your gut, promoting positive, healthy bacterial growth. The bacteria in your gut play a huge role in the way your body functions, including your weight, disease risk, immunity, and food cravings, and current research is working hard to determine how this works. If I don’t get yogurt in, I’ll take a probiotic. My absolute favorite yogurt is Siggi's -- really low in sugar, really high in protein. Plus, really friggin' delicious. It's a little ridiculous how many of these are always in my fridge. 

6. I listen to happy music in the morning. Music stimulates dopamine, which enhances your mood and makes you feel all gooooood and ready to start the day. My go-tos in the morning are The Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones.

What are your necessities when life is running on high? Do you swear by a special food that always keeps you healthy? Zinc? Vitamins? Water? Mom’s chicken soup? A particular morning stretch or workout? Share!

5 Surefire Ways to Mess up your Lifestyle Change

Lisa Eberly

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Changing your lifestyle isn't easy, especially when it's intentional and you have a goal in mind. I have shared some tips on what you need to be successful and the steps you need to take before starting, so here's a list of what you should definitely not do...

1. Dive into a fad. Fad diets totally stink. Don’t buy into false promises of “quick” weight loss, because let me tell you, being a changing your weight is not all that easy. It requires commitment to a real change, and diving head first into whatever the latest celebrity tells you is not how to get it.

2. Wing it. Even if you know you’re not going to follow strict rules and restrictions, you’re going to need something to keep your goals measurable. Otherwise, you have no way of knowing if you’re even doing anything worth while. By saying you’re going to just wing it and start eating healthy and working out without any structure, you’re likely to revert back to an unhealthy lifestyle before you even notice.

3. Play the Hunger Games. Our bodies are typically hungrier around the holidays (like right now!), we quickly grow accustomed to eating our body weight in cookies and delicious foods, and take in more calories than usual. By following this with starvation and calorie restriction, you’re likely going to drive your willpower crazy and find yourself elbow deep in a pint of ice cream or tin of leftover Halloween candy or pumpkin pie.

4. Wait till the 1st to work out. I feel like this strange time in between pumpkin spice lattes and New Years Day is considered a free pass when it comes to all responsibility. It is super relaxed, everyone is prepping for and enjoying the holidays, and no one really has anything super important to do till January hits and we all go back to our PSL-empty normal. Many people use this time to curl up indoors, as well as a precious time to not work out. The 1st of January is the ultimate “Monday.” You know, “my diet starts on Monday..” Well, starting the official 2014 New You can start on the 1st, but you shouldn’t totally neglect your body until then. Cause, really, what are you waiting for? 

5. Eat for Family and Friends. Eating is an extremely social thing, especially this time of year. I am a total culprit of this as well. If my whole family is stoked for dinner and I’m not hungry, guess what? I’m eating dinner. If my friends are all going out for brunch but I’m still full from a post workout snack, guess what? I’m going to that brunch and eating with them. If you’re not hungry, you shouldn’t eat! There’s nothing wrong with ordering a small broth-y soup or simple salad, or even saying you’ll pick off your brother and sister’s meals when you’re not hungry. What’s even better than this is to plan for your meals ahead of time so as not to get yourself in this situation. If you know your family discussed dinner, don’t eat a late lunch. If you know you don’t have a big appetite in the morning, suggest a late lunch instead of brunch.

As always, I'm here to help you avoid these mistakes and be successful in your lifestyle changes! Do any of you have ideas for other 'dieting' mistakes to avoid?