Announcing….drum roll please…..my NEW blog at at NEW location!

Hi there –

I’m just giddy with excitement.  I have been working on a new website lately that INCLUDES my blog so you can find me in one pretty spot!  So, this will be my last post here.

Please hop on over and find me at

www.heatherjernigan.com

All my posts are still there, plus more great stuff to come.  I can’t wait.

Hugs, and see ya there,

Heather

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Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango

Mmmm – I have been so happy since the day quinoa came into my life!  For me, this gluten-free and protein-rich food is truly a gift.  It’s SO easy to prepare and so versatile.  Did you know that it’s actually a seed and that it been grown and consumed for about 8,000 years on the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America?  The Incas were able to run such long distances at such a high altitude because of this powerful grain.  I’m not planning any marathons, but I’m gonna eat it.  🙂

Here is a delicious quinoa salad with black beans and mango that is adapted from a recipe in Veganomicon.

1 mango, peeled and cut into diced pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced as small as you can get it
1 cup chopped scallions (I used red onion)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
2 tablespoon grapeseed oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled (about 1 cup uncooked in 2 cups water)
1 15-0z can black beans, drained and rinsed

Combine the mango, red bell pepper, scallions/onions, and cilantro in a mixing bowl.  Add the vinegar , oil and salt and stir to combine.  Add the quinoa and stir until everything is well incorporated.  Fold in the black beans.  You can serve immediately or let sit for a bit for the flavors to meld.  This tastes good chilled and is even better at room temperature.

Try it – you will LOVE it.  And it makes great leftovers!

And, here’s a SECRET:  Use what you have.  Substitute here and there (like I did) and this will still be uber-delicious.

Do you want to know how quinoa can help you beat the belly bloat?  Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll tell you how!

Eat your quinoa,

Heather

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Kale and Avocado Salad

I used to LIVE for Cadbury Creme Eggs.  When Easter was approaching I would scour the stores for their first appearance and do a little happy dance when I found them.  Ooooh – I love the milk chocolate and that creamy, oozy center.  They were such a treat for me that I had to have a moment while I was eating one – no talking to me and no sharing bites.  That was MY CHOCOLATE.

I loved them for years until I realized that they made my stomach hurt.  Or they made me get bloated.  Or constipated. Or all of the above.  Umm – how un-sexy is that when you are wearing your new cute Easter dress? I learned the hard way about how foods like Cadbury Creme Eggs (that have lots of sugar and dairy) affected me, and it wasn’t pretty.

Along the way I used my Cadbury days to understand how to balance my diet with foods that make me feel ENERGIZED and SKINNY.  And you know what?  The more I eat these “balancing” foods that me me feel AMAZING, I don’t even WANT the Cadbury Eggs anymore!

Now I’m not telling you to give up your Easter treats.  No way!  (In fact, I’ll probably have a little 70% dark chocolate that day).  I’m all for having treats, and a holiday usually calls for them.  What I DO want to tell you is to ADD IN some good things that will help you ward off the sugar crash, the bloating, or the tummy-ache.

How about a kale and avocado salad as a nice addition to your Easter brunch?  I first learned this recipe from Holly Thompson of Nutritional Style and it’s a winner – everyone LOVES it!

This recipe requires that you get messy, and use your hands. It’s loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats and tastes delicious. For an added protein punch, add some hemp seeds to finish it off.

Kale and Avocado Salad

1 head kale, any type
1 ripe avocado, chopped into tiny pieces.
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Cherry tomatoes
2 Spring onions
Juice of one lemon

Directions

  1. Remove center stalks from kale and slice into ribbons (I like to roll it up and slice across—chiffonade style).
  2. Add a little bit of olive oil and massage with your hands to coat kale (in a bowl)
  3. Add sea salt to the kale and massage further. (This will allow the kale to release more moisture and make it more palatable).
  4. Add an avocado and massage with your hands.  Feel free to “squish” it!
  5. Add tomatoes, sliced in half.
  6. Add sliced spring onions.
  7. Add juice of one lemon—toss.
  8. Sprinkle with hemp seeds—optional.

Enjoy and Happy Easter!

Heather

P.S.  Want to empower yourself to understand which foods serve you versus which foods make you bloated and icky?  Contact me for a 30-minute complementary discovery session and let’s get a game plan for you!

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Vitamin “L” (Love) Goes a Long Way

When people hear that I’m a nutrition and wellness coach, they assume that I’m all about making them eat green leafy vegetables and getting all their vitamins in.  While that’s important, of course, there’s a super special one that is more important than the others – Vitamin “L” (love).

While our health depends on what we feed our face, how we live is equally, if not more, vital.  How are our relationships?  Do we enjoy our careers/life in general?  What is our spiritual practice like?

I have a secret for you – food, spirituality, our relationships, our purpose in life – it’s all connected.  So, you can eat broccoli all day but still be grumpy and unhealthy.  Or, you can be a happy-go-lucky junk-food-junkie but have multiple health issues.  I work with my clients in a holistic way to balance their secondary food (what they put in their mouth) and their primary food (their lifestyle) so that they can achieve the optimum version of themselves.

So, how can a regular ol’ gal balance both food and lifestyle to get to her best, shining, sparkly self?

1.  Adopt an 80/20 way of eating
If you can eat well 80% of the time, then allow yourself 20% for indulgences.  This way you can love yourself enough to make good choices most of the time.  When you do choose less-than-stellar choices, it’s OK.  No one can be perfect all the time, so building in this “cheat” time is key to a lifetime of good habits and a positive attitude towards food (this means no more beating yourself up!).

2.  Make food with love
You know how much you enjoy mom’s or grandma’s cooking?  Food cooked with love tastes better and somehow nourishes your body more fully, because your body will feel that love.  Try to prepare food for yourself in a loving way, and then see how your body loves you back!

I made some special vegan and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies for my son Nathan this past week (he is on a gluten-free diet for allergies right now).   Yes, they have sugar in them and are a special treat.  However, he was so happy that I made them just for him, and I loved making them for him.  The recipe is from The Flying Apron and is definitely worth making again.

3.  Give gratitude
Studies show that people who build in gratitude rituals into their daily lives are happier overall.  I love to write 3 things I am grateful for each day in my journal.  Another way to do this is to go around the dinner table and have each person give a small gratitude for the day.  Incorporating a positive mindset is crucial to living a healthy life.

Did any of these tips resonate with you?  Share a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

Do you need help around balancing not only your nutrition but your overall lifestyle (and Vitamin “L”).  I’m here for ya!  Contact me to set up a chat session where we can carve our easy, simple steps for you to live your best life.

Hugs,

Heather

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Why I don’t “sweat” my workouts anymore

I found out recently that I have an athletic body type.  This means that my shoulders and hips are roughly about the same width and that my waistline isn’t super defined.  I had to chuckle because anyone who knows me KNOWS that I am not an athletic person.  I mean, I took soccer in 3rd grade and ran FROM the ball instead of running up to kick it!

As I became an adult, however, I realized the need for regular movement of my body.  And, being a child of the 80s, I turned to aerobics.  I tried it all – step aerobics, cardio-resistance training, kickboxing, etc.  And, I loved it all – I loved the “high” I would get when the endorphins kicked in, but I also thought that such high-intensity was the only way to exercise.

Being a busy adult, however, many weeks I couldn’t make it to the gym at least 3 times.  So, when I did make it, I would be sore for several days and very tired after my workouts.  I didn’t try to work out anyplace else other than the gym, because I wanted to make the workouts count.

But, as I slowly listened to my body, I learned that I could workout in ways that were KIND to my body.  Sure – sweating is a good thing.  But, for my less-than-stellar flexibility, maybe other types of workouts would benefit me more.  I began trying yoga, pilates, and walking.  And, my body LOVED it.  I still do kickboxing sometimes, but I am so happy that I found what I was craving – the right exercise balance for me.

So how can you find out what type of movement is best for you and your body?

1.  Try balancing your workouts
You probably have seen super-buff guys who only lift weights, and then svelte yoginis who never miss their yoga practice.  While I totally respect these people’s dedication, there’s a possibility that these two types could benefit from trying each others’ favorite workout.  Tight, buff people could probably use some stretching and lengthening.  Flexible people may benefit from lifting weights or kickboxing.  Understand which type of workout you prefer, and maybe throw in the opposite every once in a while and see how you feel.

2.  Listen to your body
When I was working out so hard, I was sort of miserable.  And, my body didn’t feel very good.  It definitely didn’t make working out enjoyable.  Now that I am “freeing” myself to explore new and different ways to workout and do what I enjoy, my body is thanking me.  If the thought of your workout fills you with dread or an “I have to do this,” then pay attention to that feeling.  Try to find something else that you would LOVE to do, so that working out is a treat and something wonderful you are doing for your body.

3. Everything counts
Even if you can’t make it to the gym, it doesn’t mean you have “failed” or can give up for the day.  Your body NEEDS and CRAVES daily movement, so while you may get a more intense workout at the gym, you can do other things on your days at home.  Dance with your kids.  Do a workout video.  Take a hike.  Dave and I try to walk the dog every weekday morning and it is an amazing to start the day that way (and it counts)!

I’d love to hear from you about what type of workout balance is right for you.  Leave me a comment below!

And, if you need help around finding the right workout for you, contact me to schedule a 30-minute get-to-know-you-talk.  We’ll chat about they best way that you can you find the right workouts for your lifestyle and for your body.

Enjoy moving – don’t sweat it!  🙂
Heather

 

 

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Why the word “diet” can be good thing

Carbs versus no carbs.  Vegan versus paleo.  Protein versus not enough protein.  Dairy versus soy.  Our society is inundated with mixed messages around the right diet and how we need to eat.  I am always hearing people say to me, “I should eat this way” or “I shouldn’t eat that way.”  They want to follow a specific diet plan in order to improve their health/weight/energy, etc.

Did you know that definition of diet is a way of living or thinking, a day’s journey?  WOW!  I don’t see anything in that definition about the usual deprivation or “should” – words we usually equate with diets.

So many people go on a “should eat this way” diet and then

  • They feel worse because their body isn’t getting what it specifically needs.
  • They beat themselves up and feel like a failure because they can’t follow through.
  • They fall off the bandwagon and resort to binging or eating in a worse way than before.

Through my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I have studied over 100 different “diets.”  Each diet conflicts with the next and can create a lot of confusion.  We students have bounced all over the place with how we have been eating this year! But, through that confusion, the idea is to begin to get out of the head and into the body.  The goal is to get in tune with what OUR OWN body wants, not what diet we should be on.  And that’s what we help our clients do.

So how can you get more in tune with what your body wants, but in a healthy and productive way?

  1. Check in
    A food journal is a great way to begin to get in tune with how your body reacts to food.   I’m not talking about the-counting-calories food journal here.  I’m talking about, “Wow – that spinach salad I ate at lunch really gave me energy this afternoon” or “Ugh – I ate cheese pizza and I feel really bloated right now” type of journal.  No judgement – just observation.
  2. Be the driver
    One man’s food is another man’s poison.  Only you can know your body well enough to know what foods work for you.  Just like you are in control of your car as the sole driver, know that you are the sole driver of your body.  Steer it towards a sunny beach and not the ghetto.
  3. Be mindful
    While we all want a “party in our mouth” at mealtimes (or those cookies before bed!), we are also eating to fuel our bodies and our minds.  When you shift towards the understanding of which foods can fill you with light and energy versus which foods leave you exhausted and gassy, you will be in more control of your own energy and your own life.  Food fuels not only your body but your thoughts, and emotions, so choose wisely.

So, next time you hear the word “diet,” think of the definition – a way of living or thinking, a day’s journey.  Think of what works for YOUR body and YOUR life and begin to empower yourself to make the right choices for YOU.  You’ll then be free to create your own long-term, sustainable way of eating that will last a lifetime.

Do you need some help in exploring foods and finding what works for you?  Contact me for a complementary Wanna Eat Well Discovery Session.

To the right diet for you,
Heather

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But healthy eating is so expensive!

You all know I LOVE me my health food store.  I could just go in and look for hours – the freshness of the ingredients, the numerous healthy options – it’s pure entertainment for me.  But, the number one roadblock that I hear from people is that “healthy eating is so expensive!”

While I could go on and on about why our government is subsidizing corn so that it can be made into cheap high fructose corn syrup for our bottomless Big-Gulp sodas yet they do nothing to help us afford our spinach, I won’t get into that here. Nor will I contradict the idea that healthy eating CAN be more expensive – especially with $3 power bars, $10 smoothies, and organic meats that are nearly double the cost of than plain’ old meat.

What a dilemma! 
Do we eat cheap processed food and pay the consequences through our health and future doctor bills
or
Do we pay more for beautiful, vibrant foods but risk financial strain?

But don’t worry too long!  Here are some simple tips for you to eat better while still watching your pocketbook.

1.  Buy organic, but only sometimes
While buying organic fruits and vegetables is best for our bodies and for the environment, it isn’t always so good for our budget.  If you need to pick and choose which produce to buy organic versus not, stick with Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, a super easy-to-follow guide of which produce has the most pesticide residue versus which doesn’t.

2.  Buy items with less packaging
By sticking to items which little-to-no-packaging, you are not only eating more healthful items (an apple doesn’t need a package), you are also probably not buying individual packets of outerspace-orange organic cheese crackers (or whatever snack-y item your child is begging you for).  This also is a great rule for checking out the bulk aisle – I buy grains and nuts there, where I only get what I need, which saves money (not to mention the environment!)

3.  Be a detective
The amount of healthy options in regular grocery stores is growing by leaps and bounds.  All you have to do it to look a little harder in your local store and you may find some healthy foods – the ones that you were oggling over in the natural food store – and they cost less.  Just be sure to read the labels:  stick to products with only a handful of ingredients to ensure you are not getting the above-referenced cheese crackers or some sort of soy-isolate-blah-blah-blah that really isn’t good for you anyway.

Try these tips next time you shop and let me know how they work for you!

Or, need a little hand holding with shopping?  Contact me – we can conquer the grocery-dilemma together!

To your health,
Heather

 

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