Summer is officially here! If you are like most overly stressed out moms, you’re probably experiencing a mix of glee and dread all at the same time. The longer, less structured days allow for a bit more freedom without the craziness of running from one activity to the next. Yet at the same time, all of that lounging out by the pool means that you better have your bikini body ready.
Did you know you already have a bikini body? Yes you do!
I swear whether you put on the TV, the radio, or flip open a magazine, everyone is asking you the same question – are you ready for swimsuit season? Well I have news for you. If you have a body and you own a swimsuit, squeeze that body no matter what size it is into your swimsuit and BAM! just like that you’re ready for swimsuit season. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 2, or a size 22. Own your body, love your body, and go enjoy that pool.
I don’t think there’s a single woman (or man for that matter) in the world who can’t find something about their body in a swimsuit that they’d like to change. Maybe they feel too skinny, too big, have stretch marks they’d like to hide, wish they had more muscle…. the list can go on and on. The point is, we all have insecurities, but letting those insecurities hold you back from doing something you enjoy isn’t healthy. Focusing on body insecurities can also send the wrong message to our children.
If you want your children to love their bodies, you have to start by loving yours
Your son or daughter thinks of you, their mother, as the most wonderful and beautiful woman in the world. They want to grow up to be just like you. If you call yourself ‘fat’ or constantly focus on what you dislike about yourself, they may also start to become body focused and worry about their own physical appearance. Over time, this can even lead to lower self-esteem or disordered eating patterns. As hard as it may be, you owe it to yourself and to your children to love your body no matter what your size so that they too will love theirs.
Need help getting away from the ‘diet’ mentality? Check out a few of my recent posts that can help:
I can’t believe it’s already May! As excited as I am about the warmer weather, there is something happening this month that I am even more EGG-cited about. Can you guess what it is? It’s National Egg Month! Egg-cellent right?! Okay, I will stop with the corny egg jokes, but the truth is I can’t get enough of eggs. I love them so much that I have partnered with the American Egg Board to share with you my top 5 reasons why eggs need to be an essential part of your diet. Get ready to get cracking!
Eggs may reduce the risk of stroke
At least twice a week I have clients tell me that they love eggs, but they avoid them because they are concerned about the cholesterol content. Guess what? The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans remove the daily limit on dietary cholesterol and include eggs in all three recommended healthy eating patterns. In fact a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that up to one egg per day is associated with a 12 percent reduction in the risk of stroke, the 5th leading cause of death in the United States.
Eggs are an affordable source of high quality protein
Did you know the average egg costs less than $0.20? As one of the least expensive sources of high-quality protein, eggs may help to boost the nutrition of your whole family while reducing your grocery bill. One large egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and nine essential amino acids, all for 70 calories per egg. That means you could serve two eggs a day to each member of a four-person family all week long for around $11!
Eggs are a natural source of vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that most of us fall short on. It plays a large role in bone health, and deficiencies of vitamin D may be linked to many chronic disorders such as depression and even certain cancers. Few foods contain vitamin D, which makes it a challenge to take in the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) from diet alone. Eggs, however, are one of the few foods that contain a natural source of vitamin D with one large egg providing 41 IU of vitamin D (or about 10% of the DV).
Eggs may help to shrink your waistline
Have you ever noticed that when you have eggs for breakfast, you feel much more satisfied after your meal than when you have a high carb option like a bagel? You aren’t alone. Research published in the International Journal of Obesity suggests eating eggs for breakfast may help promote weight loss, lower body mass index and shrink the waistline more effectively than compared to eating a bagel breakfast of equal calories. If you are struggling to lose or maintain a healthy body weight, try swapping your high carbohydrate breakfast, such as a bagel, for eggs instead. This small change may just be one of your most powerful tools in the struggle to slim your waistline.
Eggs are an incredibly versatile food
Fun egg fact: The average American eats 276 eggs per year! That is a lot of eggs, but because eggs are so versatile, you can have them every day and never get bored. Think of all the ways you can incorporate eggs into your diet: hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, as an omelet, as a quiche, in a recipe, and the list goes on and on. For my family, we love eggs in any form, but we especially love these On-the-Go Veggie Egg Muffins and my Breadless Breakfast Quiche. If you are looking for more ways to incorporate eggs into your diet, check out the IncredibleEgg.org for more great recipe ideas.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy eggs? Show me your favorite photo or video of your delicious egg dishes on Twitter or Instagram using #EggChallenge and #Contest and you could win a kitchen prize pack from the American Egg Board. Winners will be announced weekly throughout the month of May. Visit http://www.incredibleegg.org/eggchallenge for more details. I am so EGG-cited to see what you come up with!
This post is sponsored by the American Egg Board. All opinions are my own.
I admit it, I love pizza! And I know I am not alone. Depending on the pizza you choose, it can be a healthy option. But let’s be realistic, even if you pile your pie with veggies, it’s still not going to be as healthy as a pizza made entirely from vegetables. I have been wanting to make an easy cauliflower pizza recipe for a while, but all of the recipes I have found were very labor intensive and time consuming. Sure they looked good, but I don’t have time for recipes that require hours of prep and I know you don’t either. That’s why I worked hard to create this easy cauliflower pizza recipe that is delicious and so simple even your kids can do it.
One of the biggest issues I find when it’s ‘pizza night’ is typically the lack of vegetables. So making a pizza out of vegetables certainly solves that. I will tell you, this recipe very similar to a crispy, flatbread pizza. I wasn’t able to replicate a softer crust, but I’ll keep working on it. However, I measure success by it’s appeal to my family. Last night, Joey gobbled this up with no hesitation, which to me indicates it tastes pretty similar to the real thing. My husband, a self-proclaimed expert in all things pizza, gave it his seal of approval as well- so you know this cauliflower pizza recipe is good! With only 68 calories and 2 grams of carbs per slice, what’s a momma not to love?!
So give it a try and let me know what you think:
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Minced garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it looks like small grains of rice. Microwave in a large bowl for about five minutes to steam. Allow to cool and add in seasonings, eggs, and one half cheese.
- Divide mixture into two servings and spread out evenly onto lightly greased baking sheets (or parchment paper).
- Bake at 450 F for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and firm.
- Top with remaining cheese (add sauce if desired) and bake for 3-5 minutes until sauce melts. Serve warm and enjoy!
MAKES 16 SERVINGS
NUTRITION FACTS (per serving)
Calories: 68 Carbs: 2gm Fiber 1gm Protein 6gm Fat 4gm
After you try it, come back and tell me if you are an easy cauliflower pizza recipe convert now too!
When it comes to weight loss, a lifestyle change that is customized to you and your dietary habits is the key to success. Just as we all have different personalities, we also each have a unique weight loss personality. This is why a ‘one size fits all’ approach to weight loss just doesn’t work. Tailoring a plan to your lifestyle is necessary for both weight loss, and most importantly- weight maintenance following weight loss. Let’s discuss different weight loss personalities and identify strategies for each one to promote long term weight loss success.
The Personality: ‘Perfectionist’
Do you find yourself always trying to do everything right, all of the time? Are you hard on yourself when things do not go exactly as planned? If so, you likely have a ‘perfectionist’ personality. When it comes to eating, it is nearly impossible be perfect 100% of the time. Life is going to throw curveballs that require a bit of leniency in your diet; and while you may not be able to make the perfect food choice every single time, you can still lose weight and maintain a perfectly healthy lifestyle! Often with this personality we see over restriction and emphasis on ‘forbidden’ foods. Even one diet ‘slip up’ can cause feelings of failure or hopelessness and lead to a cycle of overeating followed by over restriction.
The Strategy: Stop the cycle! Work on learning to forgive yourself when you do have a diet ‘slip up’, and try incorporating a small weekly indulgence to your diet. Adding flexibility to your diet will not hinder your health or your weight loss efforts, and you will likely feel more relaxed and at peace with your new lifestyle changes.
The Personality: Impulsive
Do you get halfway through the bag of Doritos before you even realize you grabbed them from the kitchen? Do you take seconds at dinner just because the leftovers were sitting there? These are habits seen often with ‘impulsive’ personalities. Changing your lifestyle usually requires a bit of planning and thoughtfulness, especially in the beginning while getting used to new foods and eating habits. Those with impulsive personalities are more likely make a poor dietary choice in the moment and less likely to consider the feelings of guilt that usually follow. Impulsive eating often leads to poor dietary decisions, disregard of hunger cues, and overeating.
The Strategy: Get rid of temptation! Think about the food temptations you give into throughout the day and find a way to eliminate these temptations altogether. Stock your fridge and cabinets with healthy snacks and avoid buying sugary and salty treats. Contribute a healthy dish at the next BBQ so you know there will be something nutritious there for you to eat. Keep dinner leftovers on the kitchen counter or somewhere they will be out of reach. Making your food choices more planned and deliberate throughout the day will help you stay on track!
The Personality: Night Owl
Do you find yourself staying awake late into the night even when you don’t need to? The ‘night owl’ personality is a common one, and it can have a substantial impact on your weight loss efforts. Studies have shown that people who stay up later often engage in night time snacking and consume significantly more calories than those who hit the sack earlier. Additionally, sleep deprivation can lead to clouded judgment when choosing foods the following day, and can also mess with your hunger and satiety hormones.
The Strategy: Commit to a bedtime! Choose a bedtime that is realistic for your lifestyle, preferably early enough to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and commit to it. To promote a more restful sleep, turn off electronics 30 minutes to an hour before getting into bed. Try practicing nighttime yoga or meditation to relax your mind and body. It will take consistency and patience while your body adjusts to the new sleep schedule, but I bet you will find the new rested you makes healthier choices throughout the day!
The Personality: All or Nothing
Have you started a nutrition or exercise program, strayed a bit off course, and then abandoned the program all together? This ‘all or nothing’ personality can sabotage weight loss efforts; any deviation from the plan will lead to feelings of failure and subsequent giving up. This personality often relies on a very structured plan for weight loss success. While structure can be helpful while losing weight, flexibility is essential for long term weight loss and weight maintenance.
The Strategy: Add flexibility! When you begin your weight loss journey, follow a structured plan while you are getting used to the changes. After a couple weeks, allow yourself to stray a bit from the plan. This may mean experimenting with one or two different meals a week, adding in a night at your favorite restaurant or enjoying a small treat at the Sunday barbeque. Adding flexibility to your plan will allow for continued weight loss while preventing diet burn out that can occur from too much structure.
The Personality: Short Attention Span
Have you ever given up on trying to lose weight after feeling bored with eating the same foods over and over again? Structure is important for weight loss, but that doesn’t mean the foods you eat have to lack variety! Someone with the ‘short attention span’ personality may find they get into a rut of eating the same foods every day that is not only boring, but is also unsustainable. Eating should be an enjoyable experience, and the greater variety of healthy foods you have in your diet, the more likely you are to feel satisfied and find success on your journey to weight loss.
The Strategy: Mix it up! There is no way to get around the fact that structure and planning are necessary components for weight loss. To add variety but keep structure, plan out a week of meals, Sunday-Saturday. Make sure these meals differ from day to day. Now, you have seven days of different meals that will help you stay on track without becoming bored. You can repeat these meals each week, or find new healthy recipes online or in a cookbook to swap with. Getting creative in the kitchen is a great way to stave off boredom while discovering new nutritious snacks and meals.
No matter what your weight loss personality is, the important thing to remember is that the changes you are making are lifestyle changes; they have to be sustainable if you hope to reach long term success. Once you identify your weight loss personality, work with the strategies that are tailored to you and your lifestyle (a registered dietitian can help you do this!).
Which personality do you identify with? Do you have a different weight loss personality that was not mentioned?