How I Curbed My Sweet Tooth

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Recently I asked on Instagram what ya’ll wanted to hear more of and the people spoke….drumroll please… Health and Wellness! So today I really want to share with you my journey with sugar! Before we begin, can I just preface this post by saying, I need a sweet treat sometimes. I am not here to tell you to NEVER have a sweet treat ever again. I am here to say (because I know personally) that sugar can control your life, because it is addicting. I saved this article forever ago because I loved what it asks, are you high? High off of sugar that is, don’t worry most of us are buzzed off of sugar these days. We eat on average, as American’s nearly 66 pounds of added sugar every year, when I read this and my jaw dropped. I’m sure that a few years ago I was consuming 66 lbs of sugar a year too but not since curbed that sweet tooth. So moving right along & back to the point: How I Curbed My Sweet Tooth! Well I came up with game plan that’s fairly easy to manage, with this anyone can say PEACE OUT to sugar controlling their life.

+ I’m starting this off with a harsh dose of reality. Sugar is addicting. Truly to curb your sweet tooth I believe you have to cut it completely out before slowly reintroducing those little treats. When I say cut it completely out I mean cut out what I like to call ” THE BIG THREE” the soda, candy, desserts. There is sugar in everything but those three are where I started.

+ Clean out the fridge and pantry. I literally had a trash full of items that were loaded with sugar. Out of sight out of mind, right! Even the kids treats, if you don’t think you can control yourself until you are detoxed then get rid of those treats too!

+ Eat breakfast. 90% of the time I have eggs and avocado for breakfast. I keep it simple folks, protein with some healthy fats. I swear that when I eat breakfast I find myself not snacking later in the night, which is when most of us tend to grab the sweets.

+ Reduced Stress. Truth! So many people are stress sugar eaters and when we are stressed our bodies produce more cortisol. Cortisol increases our appetite and motivation to eat. By reducing stress through prayer, yoga, drinking decaff coffee and adrenal support supplements I have drastically reduced my stress and my night time sugar cravings.

+ Staying Hydrated. Towards the end of the night I often grab a La Croix or some hot tea. Just something to hold in my hands and sip, really helps. It’s about an hour before bed that those sugary cravings pop up. I encourage you to ask yourself , am I needing something sweet or would some water/ tea do the trick. I bet it will do the trick!!

Anyways– my friends. It took me completely cutting out sugar to beat that addiction. Now I feel like sugar doesn’t control me, and I can 100% have a healthier sweet treat when I want… I’m in control! I hope these tips help and encourage you to curb that sweet tooth too!

xo- Whitney

5 Things To Know If Diagnosed With Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto's disease

Hey Everyone! I was overwhelmed with the number of people who reached out to me when I started talking about Hashimoto’s disease and my journey. I noticed THREE reoccurring themes from most of you who contacted me. First, it was you were diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, given medication and told to come back to recheck my levels in a few months. Basically here take this pill to fix it…. end of story. I also heard, well my doctor tested my thyroid except not my antibody levels. And finally I heard many people were struggling with weight gain due Hashimotos. So like I said on Instagram, over the last year I’ve put my nursing skills to use and have been studying Hashimoto’s. Here are 5 Things To Know If You Have Hashimoto’s Disease. (* please remember I am NOT nurse practitioner yet this is just what I have learned through studying and working with my doctor. I suggest seeing a naturopathic doctor they tend to see the whole picture when it comes to Hashimotos)

PROPER LABS

1. Do you have the right labs being drawn? Your practitioner will be looking at your TSH, Free T3, and Free T4, Reverse T3, Antibodies. It is important to know that Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system is attacking your own thyroid, which causes it to underproduce thyroid hormones [iii.] . Like I said in the intro many people told me they know they struggle with hypothyroidism but don’t know if their condition is autoimmune-related or not. This is totally unfortunate but very common and here is why. Most conventional doctors don’t routinely check for thyroid antibodies when testing thyroid blood levels. Which is mind blowing to me because you are not getting the “FULL” picture of your health. It’s just so unfair to you as the patien not to know this piece of information. So please make sure to ask your doctor to include checking your antibody levels (* be your own advocate people)

STRESS

2.  Stress plays a huge role in how your thyroid functions [i]. I was going to try to break down the medical side of things but it is hard to quote on quote “break it down” because this whole thing is so complex. But what we know is stress has a major impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Cortisol is regulated via the HPA axis, cortisol is the primary hormone responsible for stress response [v.]. Cortisol’s weakening effects on the immune response have also been well documented.  When you are stressed this axis is impacted, therefore your thyroid gland and immune system suffer too[ii].  Guys, reducing your stress level will help in the healing process, over the last year I have done everything in my power to reduce my stress levels. Some of those ways have been getting more sleep, just making an effort to get to bed by 9:00pm. A big one for me is to NOT watch the news.  Seeing how crazy the world is really gives me anxiety, so I monitor what I watch. And probably the hardest has been reducing my coffee (caffeine) intake, I only have one cup in the morning and often it is decaf.

BYE BYE GLUTEN

3. Eliminating Gluten is key and here is why. Studies from several different countries show Hashimoto’s is linked to gluten sensitivity. The protein structure in the gluten protein shares an amino acid sequence that resembles that of the thyroid. Therefore, when a gluten sensitive person reacts to gluten, the immune system may begin erroneously reacting to thyroid tissue too [iii.]. By cutting out gluten you are reducing an immune reaction that leads to thyroid tissue destruction. This whole process is known as  molecular mimicry, which I learned all about from Dr. Amy Meyers. Dairy’s molecular makeup is also similar to gluten which is why a lot of people eliminate this as well  (me included) [iii.]. Over the last 10 years I’ve cut out gluten, dairy, soy which I believe helped keep my Hashimoto’s symptoms almost unnoticeable. Probably why it took me so long to figure out that I even had it.

GUT HEALTH

4. Gut support, sounds weird right but it’s SO important when dealing with Hashimotos. This thing called leaky gut and gluten go hand in hand people. If you consume gluten and have a sensitivity to it what happens is the gluten will make its way to the small intestine. Inflammation then happens in your small intestine and creates abnormally large spaces between the cells of the gut wall which allow the entry of toxic “crap” to enter your bloodstream[iii.]. Lovely right?!  So to support and heal the gut is key with Hashimotos. First I cut out gluten (gone bye bye) and second I’ve added in a few things to my daily/weekly routine to help heal and protect my gut. Digestives enzymes, probiotics, bone broth (swapping our chicken broth in cooking),  fermented foods like kombucha a couple days a week, and I buy only organic meat and veggies. Guys, I encourage you to research leaky gut and try adding in some of these things to help heal your gut.

PROPER SUPPLEMENTS

5. There are common nutrient depletions with Hashimotos, I also did a blood test to get an even bigger picture of my deficiencies. The most common nutrient depletions that I’ve found in my studies are selenium, vitamin D, B12, ferritin (the iron storage protein), thiamine and magnesium [iv.]. I don’t actually take all of these, but working with my naturopathic doctor I’m taking the exact supplements that my body needs due to the Hashimotos. Find a practitioner that will work with you on this, it is crucial!! And in my opinion I was shocked how with the just the proper supplements I started to feel better… quickly.

Alright, so there are my 5 Things To Know If  You Have Hashimoto’s Disease. It’s life changing finding a doctor/nurse practitioner who doesn’t do things the conventional way. Conventional medicine is great but what I’ve realized is sometimes you need a little more than that. You need to think outside the box and try to look at other factors impacting your health. I hope this helps you see the full picture of what you can do to help conquer Hashimotos.

If you have any questions find me on Instagram and DM me or write me a comment here!!

xo – Whitney

 

 

References

[i] Stress and Your Thyroid. Thyroid Advisor. https://thyroidadvisor.com/stress-and-your-thyroid/#_ednref1

[ii] Smith SM, Vale WW. The role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in neuroendocrine responses to stress. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 2006;8(4):383-395. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181830/

[iii.] Is Gluten to Blame for Your Hashimoto’s, AmyMyersmd.com https://www.amymyersmd.com/2017/12/gluten-blame-hashimotos/

[iv.] The 6 Most Important Nutrient Deficiencies in Hashimoto’s, Thyroidpharmacist.com., https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/6-important-nutrient-deficiencies-hashimotos/

[v.] Michael Randall ’12, The Physiology of Stress: Cortisol and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis, Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science, http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/2011/02/the-physiology-of-stress-cortisol-and-the-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis/#.WrUPktPwa8o

10 Tiny Changes To Make In 2018 For Better Health

Photos.pngIt’s time to jump onboard and make 2018 the year of HEALTH. Even the littlest changes can make a huge impact to your overall health. You guys my little trick is this,ready!

Just make slight adjustments to your daily routine, so small it doesn’t feel like your changing much. But over time those little changes add up to help me maintain better health, weight and sanity! Here are 10 tiny changes that I made in 2017 and a couple I’m trying out in 2018 to better my health!

 

Swap out the sweet sugary coffee drinks for plain black coffee. Weening myself off sugar was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Don’t get me wrong I still indulge but only occasionally. Cutting out sugary coffee is a great place to start reducing your sugar intake!

Do nice things for people. Don’t always make everything about yourself, as a nurse I wish people would look around and help one another out a little more. People don’t give solely for the joy of giving anymore. If you get something in return, awesome, if you don’t, great.

Take a hard look at what your grocery cart looks like, how much of your cart contains packaged food?  Finding a good balance of veggies, meats, fruits and a few boxed items  within your grocery cart is a great start to a healthier 2018.

Pop a multivitamin. Recently I did a huge blood panel to look at my overall health (best decision ever) and found out that I was very deficient in Vitamin D, CoQ10 and Omegas. As a nurse I know that being vitamin deficient can create so many problems. Like increased anxiety levels, poor gut health and issues with skin pretty UGGGH. Do your research and find a good multivitamin to take daily!

Have a mantra…Mantras are so powerful. They allow us to feel present and think, as well as connect with ourselves.

Don’t skip breakfast. I get it mornings are chaotic but feeding your body the proper fuel is so important. IT gives you major brain power, energy and helps maintain your metabolism. Here is my favorite protein powder I’ve been using for awhile now and freaking love it.

Change what time you eat dinner. Studies show that it’s beneficial to consume the majority of your calories over breakfast and lunch and have a lighter dinner.Just a little food for thought!

Laugh more, laughing is one of the best feelings in the world. It also lowers blood pressure, decreases stress hormones and can work those abs!

Drink More Water Not More Wine. My whole life I heard these two phrases, Everything in moderation and There is such a thing as… too much of a good thing. So in 2018 I’m making that good thing water! I’m drinking more water and drinking wine in moderation, okay I am going to try with the whole wine thing!

Find self acceptance. It’s not bad to want to improve our health but while improving remember to always give your self grace and acceptance because change takes time.

Well there you have it friends, I’m hoping these little changes can make a big impact on my health in 2018.

Leave me a comment and let me know the tiny changes you want to make in 2018 to better your overall health!

xo- Whitney

Super Quick and Easy, Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

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A super easy Butternut squash soup, is totally possible and so delicious!

My first time dealing with Butternut squash I wasn’t sure how it would peel or cut up. But this hard-skinned winter squash is sweet, with an orange shell that is thin and SO easy to peel and gut. Yes, de-gut is how I say it, basically get out those little seeds. So here it is, get ready to drool and be obsessed with this soup.

Ingredients

1 large Butternut squash

1 small onion

2 red peppers (or any color peppers)

2-3 cloves of garlic

2 cups chicken bone broth (better for the gut)

Salt and Pepper

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400° F

Peel, remove seeds and cube Squash. Then cut peppers and onions into chunks. add in garlic cloves

Drizzle about 1 TAB of olive oil over the veggies and toss and sprinkle with salt and pepper 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Roast veggies in oven for 25 mins, still once or twice

Once roasted let cool until slightly warm and then add half the veggies to your blender. Add 1 cup of chicken broth and blend until smooth. Then pour puree into a pot and repeat blending with the rest of the veggies and 1 cup broth.

Once in pot and warming add 1/4 pepper and a couple dashes of ginger.

Serve hot and garish with cilantro

**I love adding to each bowl one cut up cilantro chicken sausage from sprouts. It adds so much flavor and turns it into a hearty meal.

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Vivora Luno Ball For Luxury Active Sitting or Exercise

Happy New Years Weekend! Like many of you know I am a fan of using an exercise ball for at home workouts. It’s a great tool for toning from head-to-toe while engaging your core, so I was thrilled when I was introduced to the Vivora Luno ball. The Luno ball does everything an exercise ball does and more! Besides using it to workout I have been using it as a desk chair, which is so nice because it allows me to shift and wiggle while constantly engage my core! You can also find the Luno rolling around our living room at times because it makes the best footrest! What also makes the Vivora Luno different than other exercise/ stability balls is the fabric cover. It’s so appealing unlike the typical plastic exercise balls, it adds that extra bit of flair to your house.  Check out the variety of colors and styles that Vivora offers here. They now are offering a worn hazel suede leatherette cover, which is my personal favorite!

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Vivora also offers something for your kiddos, Niko buddies with cute animal faces are perfect for kids with problems such as ADHD or kids who have a hard time focusing and sitting still! The Niko ball allows your child to wiggle while they work, releasing that energy in a positive way. Check out the variety of animals faces they offer Brown Bear, Koala, Panda, or Polar Bear and Polar Bear cub buddies! Click below to order the Niko and my Luno favorites on Amazon right now!!

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Vivora Luno: Marble    Lululemon top: Similar OnSale  Figur Activ: Mesh Leggings

Use your Luno with these home workout videos

Ball At Home Workout Video

At-Home Workout video with a stability ball 

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*Sponsored post but all opinions and thoughts are my own! 

 

Dill Chicken Salad Recipe + 4 Kitchen Favorites

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I love a good salad.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I just need a salad. With the holidays, family gatherings, and my husband always working a good salad is my GO TO dinner! And this salad is by far my favorite one I make, we eat it probably twice a month- for reals.
So here is my adapted version of this Avocado Chicken salad, I consider this a good ole’ fashion COBB SALAD but the way I like it.
Super easy to toss all together and enjoy the crunch!!!

 

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  • 1 bag or head romaine lettuce chopped
  • 2 large chicken breasts* I put in a crockpot with spices 2-3 hrs then shredded
  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 cup corn
  • 3 pieces of Turkey Low Sodium Bacon (optional), cooked & chopped
  • 1 Yellow Pepper Diced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs cut up
  • 1 small tomato diced (optional my husband loves them)
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped Dill ( I love dill so I add 2)

Lemon Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

SHOP OUR FAVORITE KITCHEN ITEMS …

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Jumpstart Your Weight Loss, With One Simple Thing

Happy Friday Everyone!

Recently, I have been asked besides working out and eating SUPER  clean other things do to maintain my weight. I would love to tell you I use multiple detox and juice cleansing recipes. BUT my busy mom schedule doesn’t allow for any strict, regimented detox plans. I do however have TWO very easy drinks that I incorporate into my everyday lifestyle. These drinks help me maintain my weight, stay hydrated and detox my body at the same time!

WATER is one of the best things you can give you body to help boost your metabolism. When we are dehydrated our bodies can’t burn fat as efficiently, so it’s more likely that your body will hold on to the lbs. It is said to stay properly hydrated we must drink HALF of our body weight in oz. So at 145 lbs my daily water intake should be 72oz.

TOP WAYS TO JAZZ UP WATER

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LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL is beneficial to help detox our liver and lymphatic system!  ADD two drops of Lemon essential oil to every glass of water you drink. Remove that toxic waste from your body girl, Lemon will help!

HOT LEMON WATER  is the way to start your morning over coffee. BOOOO! Who wants to hear that, right! The proof is in the pudding, people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And good ole’ lemons will help make your body more alkaline!

MINT  is my new favorite way to spice up my daily water! I love to muddle mint up leave it in the bottle and poor ice and then water. I let it infuse for 10-15 minutes while I am making breakfast in the morning. Mint water is such a refreshing way to start the day and it aids in digestion. Or just add a drop of Peppermint oil to a large water bottle, it’s very refreshing and totally keeps your breath minty fresh!

LA CROIX  Hi, I’m Whitney and I am a LaCroix addict!!! This bubbly little beverage is everywhere lately. If you haven’t tried La Croix you are missing out and it’s another great way to get your daily water!unnamed-7.jpg

THE BFF DETOX  Check out one of my first posts EVER and one of my favorite detox drinks! It will help cut that bloat and lets just be honest it’s delicious and refreshing!bff detox.jpg

Super easy ways to detox your body while getting in your daily water intake! Share with me your favorite ways to detox?

xo- Whitney

Channel Your Inner Yogi, 5 At-Home Yoga Workout Videos

At Home Yoga Workouts

At home projects, the blog, my two year old have me running around like a mad women the last week. This weekend I had to step back and take a breather, just clear my mind with yoga.

Since having my daughter I only practice at home, but at home yoga workouts are the best! It’s important to mix up your daily fitness regime with gentler routines, like yoga! Whatever level your at in your fitness game, I swear yoga is great for all.

Okay guys so why do yoga? Well it will help you improve flexibility, core strength and posture. But for me it give me such mental clarity, a way to slow down my thoughts and connect to my body! I have my Check out my top five favorite yoga workouts.

I’m excited to share with you my love for yoga!! I hope you enjoy these routines and they revive your spirit!!

At Home Yoga Workouts

 

 

How I got my body back with FIT4Mom

 

So as most of you know I am huge fan of at home workouts.

Doing workout videos is how I lost the initial baby weight and it gave me some of my initial tone back. After awhile it was getting harder and harder to squeeze in a really good workout during Blakely’s morning nap, thats is when I found FIT4MOM Chula Vista.

It was through FIT4MOM  that I got my true body back, I am more toned and lighter than I have ever been! FIT4MOM is an incredible fitness group for moms who don’t want to leave their babe(s) behind at a gym daycare.

At FIT4MOM you will find a community of women who are all there to support one another, have some fun and get fit. I love that their workouts have a level for the novice and a level for workout veterans. You can alway count on instructors to give you different options to fit your fitness level. Here is what you can expect when you attend your first class. We always start in a circle and introduce ourselves while warming up. We then leave the park and go to 2-or 3 different stations. At those stations we might do strength training with bands or some cardio activities.

FIT4MOM is more than just fitness to me, I have found an amazing community of strong women and some incredible friendships. It has given me the support system I needed as a new mom, and it has helped me find strength in myself and in motherhood. If your interested in knowing more about FIT4MOM Chula Vista  or another FIT4MOM  around the country please contact ambercarroll@fit4mom.com , she will connect you with the correct franchisee for your area!

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Summer Is Around The Corner, 5 Things To Help Get You Bikini Ready

1. Protein World – The Vanilla Slender plan is a great and healthy way to start off your day.  I really like Protein World’s powder because it tastes so good, but it does contain whey protein. If you want some completely dairy free try the Tone It Up Protein Powder, it has a pretty good taste for being plant based and gluten free.

2. Booty Band– Who doesn’t want a Bootiful Booty. Once I had Miss B I realized that my back side needed some strengthening and toning. I spent ONE month really focusing on squats and using my booty band and let me tell you…. the difference was incredible and it was worth it! Check out my Pinterest page for some amazing booty workouts, you WON’T regret it!

3. Water Water Water- Your kidneys and liver can’t do their job in the body when your not properly hydrated. It is SO important to stay hydrated for your overall health and to help boost your metabolism.

4. Foam Rolling– Pain has never felt so good people. I try to foam roll everyday to help release and lengthen my muscles. If you find yourself going to bed or waking up sore, it’s time to invest in a foam roller.  Head over to my Pinterest page to find some helpful videos that will you through the foam rolling process.

5. Workout in clothes you L.O.V.E ❤ It’s a fact when you feel good and look good in your workout clothes it boost your overall workout performance ( society is crazy!!). But I agree when I am comfortable in my workout clothes and shoes it helps me push even harder than than usual. I won’t lie there is nothing better than working out in a pair of new Nikes!

Hope these tips help, be sure to check out my 5 favorite at home workout videos for your ARMS, CARDIO, ABS

xo- Whitney